Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Trying dyeing. First attempt.

I've always wanted to try tie dying again and since I now got to a stage in my life where doing really nice things are never too much trouble. I bought some dye to give it a try.  It ended up being lots of fun, even though I walked around with really ugly blue hands for a few days!  (Just could not find those plastic gloves that we had left over in the camper at the end of our Alaskan trip last year!!)

This was the very first attempt, choosing blue because even in the worst of cases, blue in combination with white turns out to be okay.  I simply tied pieces of hemp string around the fabric and was quite surprised with the results.


Then it happened....  the more I 'googled' and 'pinterested', the more I got addicted to tie dying, shibori and anything remotely connected to  soaking bundles of cotton fabric in beautifully colored water.  I tried a few shibori techniques which turned out really pretty.

Simply putting elastic bands over small bundles of fabric.



Wrapping and tying the cotton around a plastic tube.


And my favorite, wrapping the cotton around a piece of hard plastic and tightly fasten it with elastic bands.  Resulting in unpredictable block patterns.


The next step would be to try out natural dyes.  I like the simplicity of the whole idea  -  simple soft undyed cotton combined with leaves, flowers, fruits or vegetables which grow in my garden, the forest or just sit there in the fruit and vegetable basket waiting to be turned into something pretty!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Feeding the birds

After 16 years I'm still not quite used to the European winters.  This time of year I still turn green with envy when reading Facebook posts and blogs of friends spending Christmas holidays on sunny white beaches and enjoying BBQ Christmas lunches and huge watermelons.

Fortunately there are also things I grew to like.  Things to color in the endless gray cloudy days.  Thick woolen scarves and gloves.  Bulbs creeping out between rotten Autum leaves, showing their green stems long before one expects any sign of Spring. Red holly berries which I thought only exist on Christmas cards!  And fresh white powdery snow!

And having to feed hungry birds in the garden by making colorful ornaments out of fruits, nuts and popcorn.  Inspired by many blogs and ideas in magazines, I decided to give it a try this year.

For extra inspiration I invited 3 friends over to enjoy an afternoon of chatting, drinking coffee and being really creative!  The chatting part went really well.  The coffee later changed into wine.  And being creative, well................ let's just say, some of us tried a little harder than others!  But then it was all about enjoying the afternoon and that we certainly did!

A slight Christmas vibe in the back garden.  Haven't heard any bird complaining though.

Almost edible!  And yes, there was wine too!  And not for the birds!

Dried oranges.  The one I decided not to share with the little birdies.

Pretty little mixtures of lard, bird food and fresh cranberries.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

More painted Autumn leaves

I liked the painted leaves so much that I used the idea as Christmas cards last year.  I first ironed the leaves with a steam iron between 2 layers  of cotton, then painted them and afterwards covered them in a layer of paverpol  (something I think similar to modge podge).  I wrapped cotton string around the stems and attached a small card to write on.

Really nice when visiting friends and see one of these hanging somewhere!

Thanks again EenigWonen for this great idea!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Garland of painted autumn leaves

 During a Sunday morning walk in the woods I gathered hands full of beautiful Autumn leaves.  Inspired by by this wonderful and creative site,  Autumn Ideas, I kept them in the garage to let them dry properly.

A few weeks later I was lucky enough to have the daughters of two good friends from back in South Africa, stay with us for a weekend.  They were spending the year en Europe, working as au paris in Holland and Belgium.  On the rainy Sunday we spent time being really creative and enjoyed ourselves  painting all sorts of patterns on the leaves.



The results were really amazing and the autumn leave garland is still hanging in our dining room!