Today I’m going to share a really simple method for making patterns with iron water. Iron or rust water can be use as a “colour changer” with almost all types of plant dyes. When iron comes into contact with plant dyed fibres, it shifts the colour to a deeper tone: we say that iron “saddens” dyes. You can modify an entire piece of fabric with iron to make a darker colour, or you can apply iron with a paint brush and create a darker pattern. Painting with iron water is one of my favourite ways to create patterns: it’s so simple and not messy at all!
In this blog post, I’ll show you five of my favourite ways to make botanical mandalas. I hope there are a few ideas here to inspire you to make your own mandala. It’s a lovely, simple activity that we can use to celebrate a new season, explore nature around us, and enjoy being in the present moment.
In this blog post I’ll show you how to quickly and simply extract dye from coreopsis flowers using hot water. This makes a beautiful dye that can be used like watercolour paint. Then we’ll play with lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to make a wider range of colours. The paint only takes a few minutes to make and is lots of fun!
In this blog post I’ll show you how to dye a scarf with mahonia berries (also known as Oregon grape) with a simple tie dye stripe pattern. These are my local berries – in the early summer, the bushes are laden with hundreds of strands of these little purple jewels. Maybe you have other local berries growing abundantly. You can follow this recipe and use the berries of your choice. Berries are pH sensitive, so I’ll show you how you can adjust the colours and make multiple shades.
When we have fewer possessions, we can make more space in our lives for the things we enjoy. Our minds are less cluttered and we feel energised. A couple of years ago I started to thin out my possessions and truly felt the benefit. The rooms didn’t get as messy so I would spend less time tidying up. My main focus is to simplify. Simplicity is a great mantra to live by and it can be applied to all areas of life. In this blog post I’m going to share part of my journey with you.
Today I’m thrilled to invite Merlin Fox from Knives Fox Spoons to my blog with a fantastic bead carving tutorial. With just a few tools, you can make your own beads from elder branches – then dye them to make beautiful jewellery (or leave them a natural colour and simply oil them, if you prefer). It’s an easy and rewarding beginner project.
In the photo below you can see the beads after they’ve been dyed – the yellow is from pomegranate skins and the warm brown/red is from avocado skins. I show you how to dye wood in my new eBook, and in this blog, Merlin shows us how to carve our own beads!
In this blog post I’ll show you how to dye paper with homemade plant dyes. The pink dye is made from avocado skins and the yellow is from pomegranate skins. With just a few tweaks to my usual fabric dyeing method, we can easily dye paper. Can you see the patterns on the pink paper? We will make those by painting paper with milk. It’s such a quick trick and I’ll show you how.
This mobile is so simple that I almost feel that it doesn’t deserve its own blog post, but they are so much fun to make that I just had to share this little how-to with you.
Have you ever wondered how to start a dye garden? Which plants should we begin with? If so, then you’ll love this interview with Liz Spencer – The Dogwood dyer. I started a small dye garden on my balcony this summer and one of the people who inspired me to do this was Liz, the textile artist behind The Dogwood Dyer. Today I’m honoured to welcome Liz to my blog. Liz is an incredible designer, natural dyer, grower and inspiring artist. So go and grab a cup of tea (it’s quite a long one!) and enjoy this inspiring chat with Liz about her plants and the tips she has for us…