Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Jun 27, 2017

Small Dyeing-Avocado Skin

The skin from half an avocado, cut in two (no dyeing reason for cutting, that's what I do when I am opening an avocado to eat.)

This was rather unplanned, I just put the two pieces in a small pot --
(I confess it was my regular cooking pot - usually I am scrupulous about NOT using my food pots, but I didn't feel like getting out my dye pot which is huge and I wasn't doing anything but simmering an avocado I rationalized ) -
I simmered it for maybe 30 minutes, and there was a dark lovely ruby color to the water.
(And now I have to confess that I stuck two pieces of fabric - one silk, one cotton - into the pot, right along with the skins and let it sit an hour or so, with a stir once or twice)

I rinsed them with vinegar and then warm water and let them dry overnight.
I put the avocado water into a little jelly jar.
And thoroughly washed my pot and decided I MUST add a small pot to my dye-dedicated cookware.

 Here is the jar of ruby avocado water, with the morning sun shining through.

In the morning, I added a teeny bit of alum to the jar. And it darkened considerably, became a very dark maroon. Added smaller silk and cotton squares.

Here are the results.


on the left, without alum, with skins left in pot.on the right, with alum

on the left, without alum, with skins left in pot.on the right, with alum

I think I am going to focus on experimenting with avocado. I have a nice lot of skins saved in the freezer as well as seeds. And I've been gathering other mordants to try.
Much to 'what if..?" with.

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Jun 23, 2017

Visible mending

A favorite pair of cotton pants with a mesh bit at the bottom that keeps tearing.

 At first, I repaired with black thread, stitching and weaving,

but in the wash, the laundry bag I put them in opened, and my repairs did not survive the agitation.
So I decided upon this:

That lovely purple patch is a soft, worn bit of fabric from a favorite pants from years ago.  It seems like a blank canvas asking for some embroidery. I might oblige. The other bits are from repurposed thrift shop finds and kantha cloth scraps bought on etsy. 

I suspect I will wind up repairing and repairing, until there is no mesh left. Just the patchwork mending.
I'm okay with that.

Jun 7, 2017

Lemon balm

Communing with the plant spirits these days. No plans written in ink, just dreams, just staying open to what comes.
Last month I discovered a big patch of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) which migrated from a plant that had been potted last year.

I've been enjoying it snipped over my daily fruit salad.

It seemed time to harvest some the other day, so I cut enough for four bundles, washed it, let it dry on a towel, then made bundles.

Trying something I just read about...setting the bundles to completely dry in paper bags with holes. I liked this idea because it protects them from dust, etc. until they are dried enough for more a permanent home in jars.

And I'm posting this picture to remind myself that I am determined to label things this year!

I had a bunch of stray leaves left on my table outside that dried up nicely, so I made a couple of sachets with them. I wrapped the lemon balm in cheesecloth for an inner bag and then used the fabric that I dyed with turmeric root.  So much plant spirit goodness in this little project!

About 2" X 3", these are sweet and subtle, perfect for tucking in pocket, purse, or under a pillow and squooshing a bit to get a light scent of lemon, a moment of calming aromatherapy.

There will be tea in the future. And, a second harvest which might yield a tincture, depending on, of course, the dreams...

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Jun 2, 2017

Work In Progress: slow stitch story

this piece is just beginning to tell me a story.  bits and pieces.
something about maps. patience. wandering.