Last winter when my book was completed and out of my hands, I experienced something maybe similar to the empty nest syndrome. As I wondered about where to go next, I had one hit after another to try my hand at natural dyeing. It combines two of my passions so beautifully: the meadows and gardens I adore outside my back door and the textiles I'm always drawn to transform and reinvent. I checked out books from the library and ordered several to own. My friends, Margie and Sonia, were huge inspirations for me, and you can see that in the pinterest board I began that's devoted to the subject. And then, well... you know my story. Life's strange twists took the front seat and inspiration waned. Until NOW!
As you may have gleaned from my maya*mail last week... I'm getting back in the saddle! Those aronia berries from our dinner party were calling me. I save a handful for a mini dyeing experiment. I didn't follow any rules since I just wanted to allow my intuition to lead the way back to my inspiration point. I threw the berries into a pot of water and simmered them for a good long time.
I added some fabric and lace scraps and boiled them too. Since I didn't use a mordant, I won't be using this material for something that needs washing, although it's surprisingly color-fast. Perhaps a pouch. I tossed in a zipper with cotton webbing at the last minute, just in case I go that route. It's just a small beginning... a little step past my tea and tumeric dyeing, but oh my!
I'm all fired up now! I've been pouring through the pages of India Flint's Eco Colour and can't wait to set up some dyeing experiments this fall.
My gardens have plenty of lupine leaves and our land is filled with giant black walnut trees. I think I'll begin there... but then there is also this book, Harvesting Color, to explore and zinnias to pick.
It's so fun to feel that invigorating charge of something new and right! Do you have any exciting paths to follow this fall? If not, why not start brainstorming now. A new season always calls for fresh starts and inspired beginnings!