I am a Canadian artist in Calgary, Alberta, working primarily with textiles. I'm curious, eccentric and just a little opinionated. Surrealist in thought, Fauvist at heart, this is my almost daily art journal, eccentric and eclectic, explorative and absurd.

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small violin section please

 More experiments with amur and  silver maples, coreopsis, carolina cranesbill and hollyhock blooms--several of the pieces were re-used fails--which i've never got to overprint ever-- and some are re mordanted pieces that didn't print at all the first time. I really can't find a lot in our new neighbourhood that is successful as an ecoprint, so am rather disheartened by this. My garden is not enough, as a lot of the actual dyeplants i use weren't transported when we moved--stoopid me thought i'd find tansy, yarrow and artemesia here, and a few other things too.......A microclimate/microcosm of the natural world is just that--ya ain't gonna find it everywhere even in the same city........

Love the delicacy of these. Details:

The one above was predone, a fail of tea and scentless chamomile on cotton, but the tannin obviously helped with an ecoprint the second time.

Below, not much print but WOW that blue from the hollyhock blooms!! 

I love how you get a blurp of yellow from the coreopsis petals, and a distict calyx shape from the, well, the calyx!

An errant silver maple in here too:

I think this is my favourite of this batch:

Again, rather delicate, very pictorial. Obviously i am going to have to go and dig up some of that coreopsis from behind that fence in the alley :)

And a scrap i just used , because i hate wasting cloth or plant matter:

Also down in the dumps about the lack of stitching in the past month. There  hasn't been a time yet when i could sit uninterrupted, calmly and happily, just stitching, without wondering what will happen in the next hour, day, week. Can't even do it on the way to work--i have a bus, a train, another train and then another bus, and none have a long enough duration that i can get a needle and thread out--and at the times i travel, no room to manouevre one anyways.

I'm HOPING i can get Friday to co-operate, time, drama and weather wise, and DogFaced Girl and i can make a trip back to Inglewood---most of the areas i collected from are gone, but maybe there will be some left that was further "inland" from the river---and that is now the edge of the river. Have to be careful though because the banks are still extremely hazardous, and it ain't worth losing my favourite girl, or drowning myself for a tasty bit of tansy. At least Nessie will have a blast! She hardly cares what i am doing, as long as she can see me, and i give her the occassional rest, drink and treat. Oh, to be so carefree.


Oh, and just remembered, have to pull out the jars of fermenting lichen to see if anything will work. I think it was April that i started most of them, and surely by now there will be results!

Reader Comments (7)

Wow what a lovely collection! I love tansy too - one of my favourite herbs. And yes that blue is gorgeous. Wonderful stuff.
Jul 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicky Perryman
What a fantastic collection. The blues are stunning. Hope things will start to look up for you sewing wise soon, been missing it but probably not as much as you have.
Jul 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaggi
These are all really beautiful. Looking forward to seeing what you do with them!
Jul 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKit Lang
Lovely indeed...I particularly like the first piece in the photo list. And I do indeed think that given time you'll find new sources of treasures...whether wild or planted by you.

Jul 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarg in Mirror
Ai-yi-yi. That blue, it's to die/dye for. I love blue, that blue in particular. What colour were the hollyhocks and what did you mordant them with (if it's not a state secret?). I ask purely out of curiosity, I am highly unlikely to try to reproduce what you are doing, promise, hand on heart etc.

Do you actually grow any of these plants or do you forage in the wild places? I once had dreams of owning a herb farm, filled with culinary, medicinal and dyer's herbs. Ah, how fate can be so cruel. Life sucks.
Jul 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
I grew the hollyhocks, and have a huge bag of stored dried blooms that i will be hoarding--couldn't transplant any because of the incredibly long taproot and the fact that they are biennial in blooming--and last years had a horrible rust infection that prevented me from saving seed--if i had only known though, i might have isolated some........i use the darkest colour only, an almost black burgundy. Sometimes the deep pink will work, sometimes not. I normally mordant with alum, and a bit of iron.

I just received some Coreopsis Tinctoria seeds but will have to wait until next year because of the short season here, poop :) Most of the stuff lately has been foraged, rather than from my garden--and i practice salvage botany: broken branches, fallen leaves, spots that are wind bent and damaged. Helpful when the local beaver runs through on the way to the river, or the deer and coyote use as bedding and forage!
Jul 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterarlee
Here's wishing for you to have some time to get stitching again. I'm convinced it's the thing that has kept me sane (well, mostly) over the years. And also sending wishes for your new neighbourhood to surprise you and deliver some interesting new dye materials. Hugs.
Jul 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

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