Tuesday, 25 September 2012

National Op Shop Week

I just found out this morning that this week is the inaugural National Op Shop week.  What fun!  I've always loved op-shopping (can you tell?) so I don't need any encouragement, but thought the below article might just be the spark that gets someone else going.

The information came from the Peppermint magazine website (not sure if I'm allowed to copy and paste from a website?) but just wanted to spread the word.

Today marks the first day of Australia’s Inaugural Op Shop Week. Sponsored by ALDI and coordinated by the action group Do Something, the aim of the week is to encourage us to spring clean our wardrobes and donate our unwanted clothes to Op Shops. The latest research shows that more Aussies are turning to Op Shops to buy their clothing, but sadly, clothing donations are going down. Jon Dee, founder of Do Something, says donating your clothes is a great way to help out your community, do something positive for those in need and support the environment. To give us extra incentive to participate, over 2000 Australian charity stores have been listed on the Op Shop Week website.  So there’s no better time to hop to your local Oppie, donate your unwanted goods and maybe even pick up a bargain for yourself!

Friday, 14 September 2012


We've been learning about Indigo at Tafe.  (Perhaps you're wondering if I do anything else other than Tafe, textiles, art and belly dancing?  Well the short answer is NOPE.....and I'm loving every minute of it).

I've been taking my time to stitch the patterning into the fabric before dyeing and some of the results have been a bit of a bummer, and others have been just so amazing.  Well I think they have......but then I'm a nerd with no life remember.

Indigo dyeing does have it's down side though.  The blue dye goes on forever and colours everything within a 50 mile radius if you're not careful.....despite what the experts say.  I picked up my fabric from Tafe today which was still in the Indigo dye bath (a plastic bucket), and very kindly offered to rinse the other couple of students' fabrics also.  I mean what did I have to lose....it was a sunny day and I was going to do mine anyway.  (Mistake number one).

I decided to steer clear of my already corroded white acrylic kitchen sink and headed for the sunny backyard.  

All I had to do was take the dyed fabrics out of the bucket, let them oxidise in the open air (and very pleasant sunshine) then rinse them.....not hard.  Really?  I now have blue feet, blue lawn, blue pegs and clothesline, a blue dog, and tonight I even have a blue natural bristle shower brush.    I have no voice from laughing and squealing......the dog thinks the hose was invented solely for her entertainment.  

Oh, I also have some stunning fabric.

Pretty amazing huh?

Sunday, 9 September 2012

My path.

I was looking for a birthday card for a friend yesterday and found this..........so I bought it for me!

It took me until I was well into my 50's to realise it was time to walk my own path.  Hopefully I'll live to be 100 so I can get my money's worth!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Dye Pot

My husband recently sold my faithful old dye pot.

The conversation went something like this......

"Where's my pot?"

"What pot?"

"The pot that was up there on top of the camping cupboard."

"Oh that beat up old thing....I sold it."

"You sold it?....Who to?"

"That sheila."

"What sheila."

"That sheila looking for saucepans for her son's flat."

"I don't believe you.  I don't believe you sold my beautiful old pot.  I've had that pot for 30 years!"

"Well you never use it.  We never take that pot camping."

"That's because it's my DYE POT......I don't do any DYEING when we go camping."  
.................(thinking that someone around here is about to die very shortly).

"Oh shit."

So the hunt for a new dye pot began.  It has taken me a very long time.  I've scoured the second hand shops, haunted the trash and treasure markets and visited the dump shop repeatedly.  It had to be a particular sort of pot. I wanted a pot that had character.....
a pot that would add it's own 'ambience & glow' to my fabrics.....
a pot that had been well loved and cared for by it's previous owner..........
and it had to be aluminium.

OMG.....I found one!!

Just rest your eyes on this little number.

How funky is it?

.....and what about the tap handle?  I've died and gone to heaven.  Dye pot heaven.

That's why I'm taking photos and blogging.  It's a pretty momentous occasion.

It would be nice to have a photo of my old pot though.  The pot that I used to clean and scour the wool I spun to knit my girls' jumpers. The pot I used to dye that very same wool with leaves collected in the Northern Territory.  The pot that has moved around the country and lived with me in almost every State.  The pot I managed to find a special secret hidy-hole for when we lived in a caravan.  The pot that is probably going to poison the young bloke it was bought for when he cooks his first 'stew'.......they'll no doubt blame his lack of cooking skills as they scrape him up off the kitchen floor!

All that poisoning aside, I'm so happy that I've found another pot to give new vibrant life to....an obviously well loved and looked after pot. Probably one that has sat on the stove for many long hours, fed a family nutritious and comforting food in winter, probably even pickled onions and made preserves...... 

And now it's going to start a whole new vibrant busy colourful life!