Sunday, 29 September 2013

Eco Dyeing

Magic things have been happening in my kitchen this weekend.

A lovely friend lent me a magazine article about Eco Dyeing on paper.  I've tried a similar technique on fabric using plant material bundled in little fabric parcels, as part of a research project last year, but have never tried that same technique with paper.  I really don't know why because I just love plants, flowers and all things nature related in any type of image.  I'm one of those annoying people who photograph flowers and plants wherever I go.  I sniff them too.  Probably why I have been so graciously endowed with a generous 'snorkel'.

I had visitors for most of the day so I couldn't 'get my craft on' until night time.  But when I did...OMG it was so worth the wait.

The first step in the process is to layer leaves and flowers between pieces of printmaking paper.  I used watercolour paper as that's all I had.  The whole bundle is then clamped between two sheets of perspex and plopped into a boiling bath.  I used half dead roses from my vase but even so, I felt sorry for the poor little blossoms.  It looked really hot in there.  I chucked a few more dead roses in for good measure.  You in numbers.

After a good couple of hours (I was enjoying a nice happy hour with yet another visitor!) the papers came out of the pot, were rinsed and left out to dry overnight.

The article in the magazine said that roses don't generally release any colour although can leave a nice impression. So I wonder where this colour came from?

I think these images are absolutely stunning!

I can't wait to experiment again, although I need to do a few sensible things first like housework, washing and mowing the lawn before I lose track of the whole weekend...happy-houring and dyeing!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Making Soap

 I've been 'soaping' again.

Such a Zen passtime.

Good for the soul.

I love watching the process.  The emulsifying of water, oils and butters.
I don't love wearing gloves to protect myself from burns.  But I do anyway...because I'm a nerd.

Sometimes (well actually most of the time) I worry that I'm going to blow up my poor old overworked stick blender. I imagine that I'll be soaping away, caught up in a world of my own...when 'BANG' the stick blender blows up and our whole half acre is suddenly smothered in creamy bubbles.  Can you imagine? "Honey I've managed to get rid of ALL the aphids off the roses".  
Thankfully that hasn't happened yet.  The bubbles, not the aphids.

The whole process takes a quite long time and you have to 'be' with the soap...not leave and go put the sprinkler on, not hang the washing out, not check the letterbox and get caught up yakking to the need to BE with the soap.  It's a miraculous process...

Roses are also miraculous...don't you think?

(These roses still have aphids).