Friday, February 27, 2015

Feeding Your Soul

It is difficult to believe that it has been a year since I last posted on this blog. I was inspired to jot a post after searching my local area for something to inspire and fuel my creativity for the weekend ahead. The town where I work, Tahlequah, is full of artists and beautiful surroundings, but it is winter and it is cold. Most have gone inside to warm-up by a fire. The trees are bare of any green (or even white for that matter). I want to dig in the soil. I want to collect natural dyes. I want to use the water from my rain barrel. I want to run an indigo dye pot on my lawn. I want to play in the stream. I want, I want, I want....  The fact of the matter is that all this waiting and anticipation only makes it sweeter when I can do those things. Maybe while I wait I can go to a good antiques store :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

And the Red-Winged Blackbirds begin to Sing

As spring approaches, my dye garden is beginning to green-up a little. The weld has established its basel rosettes for the second year which means "harvest time" later this summer. My madder, though seemingly killed by frost, is starting to shake off the winter blahs. (The real value of the plant lies underneath the top of the soil in the roots.) Last year, I tried my then three year old roots in the dye pot. They were raw and undried. They dyed beautifully! That color is only going to get better with each passing year. My dye plant supplier has given me a list of what she will have for me come April. I can't wait to add to my existing plant collection.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dyer's Coreopsis

My family and I have been collecting dyer's coreopsis to dry, sell, and use. With all the rain we've had this year, the flowers have responded in force! It's called "dyer's coreopsis" for a reason. The color is lightfast and washfast. One of our native dyes that can make that claim.  Five ounce bags of dried flowers run $14.95. Check my Etsy store for availability.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Spring in Oklahoma

Well, it's February.  A little early to be calling it "spring", but that is what it feels like and that is the forecast.  My dye garden is beginning to shake off it's winter nap.  The weld is going to be great this year! Soon it will be time to collect material for my first dye workshop coming-up in April at the Multi Arts Center, in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  Right now, it is the only comprehensive dye workshop on the schedule for 2013. 

Another dye class on the books is "The red - madder and cochineal".  That one will happen at in May at the Middle Tennessee Fiber Festival.  Check their website for more details.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Arkansas here we come!

Across Generations will be adventuring into the Arkansas Fiber Arts Extravaganza for the first time this weekend!  Arkansas is one of my favorite states.  Folks there are friendly and wonderful.  Combine those traits with fiber and you have utopia!

Several of what I call "pop-up items" will be available at my booth.  These are slightly used items that I have ran across which I feel fiber enthusiasts will be greatly appreciate.  I don't always have these types of items available, but my travels this fall yielded some great items.  Three vintage enamelware pans of various sizes are ready to do duty as dye pots and a wonderful table loom.  The loom sports four shafts and was in great shape to begin with, but my husband took it all apart and spiffied it up.  The metal has been completely repainted and all the wood sports a fresh finish.

Stop by and see me.  The event is in Hot Springs and looks to be an incredible time for all attending.  See you there!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Drought and dyes

The drought in Oklahoma has really put a damper on late summer dye collections.  Nothing stayed in flower very long and what is here is crispy almost beyond recognition.  Many trees are already turning colors and dropping leaves due to heat stress.  While this puts a damper on fall natural dye classes, it by no means cancels them.  We will still have plenty to dye with and lots of fun.

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to teaching a class on shibori this weekend at City Arts in Oklahoma City.  My romance with indigo continues and we will all be "blue" this Saturday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Dyed That!

Today as I drove towards work, the morning sky looked just like my spot-dyed wool called "midnight".  It was various shades of grey and white with a little purple thrown in for good measure.  Now I know 6:30am is not midnight, but nobody told Mother Nature what her sunrise this morning should look like.  And I was really happy that I could nail the sky's color so accurately in my dye pan.

I often take pictures with my phone of color combinations, naturally produced or otherwise, that I want to replicate in a weaving or in the dye pot.  Some may find it odd when they catch me taking a picture of the upholstery on a chair at a restaraunt or a shower curtain at the bed and breakfast I'm staying at, but I find it normal.  Color excites me!  Color breaths with life and is the undercurrent to it.  Color transmits messages.  For hundreds of years, mankind has sought ways to color it's clothing beyond what can be found on the back of a sheep.  People have died for color, stolen for color, and traveled long distances for it.  I for one will never take it for granted.