Busy weekends

The past two weekends were busy ones. Held two sessions of Natural Dyeing on Paper and Cloth here in my garage (and on the back deck, and on the front porch, and in the driveway, and in the living room and kitchen and music room….!). Sponsored by CBAS (Cincinnati Book Arts Society, a total of 19 people came and played with all sorts of botanicals. Lots of fun!

An opportunity!

Just in case you were wondering what to do with yourself either the weekend of July 20-21 or the weekend of July 27-28, I have the perfect solution!

I am holding a Natural Dyeing on Cloth and Paper workshop at my place! We will spend the first day of each weekend making bundles of cloth/clothing and plant bits as well as paper bundles (I know which papers work best!) to do contact dyeing in pots of iron and copper. There will also be the chance to do some rust dyeing and compost dyeing in baggies that you can take home to finish.

This is being offered under the auspices of the the Cincinnati Book Arts Society (CBAS) and is a very inexpensive way to enjoy your weekend.

Interested?  Let me know at judy @ judydominic . com  (remove the spaces before sending!) and I’ll send you all the particulars.

New finds

I did a bit of bundling yesterday and had a pot with iron and a pot with copper simmering.

Working towards a couple shows in the fall, I pulled out some Goodwill specials along with some pieces that I had mudded over the weekend (and which washed out almost completely; I now know the limits of the retention agent!) A quick trip around the yard yielded a number of different leaves, most of which I had not yet tried for their dyeing abilities.

To the yard gatherings I added some onion skins plus cranberries and dogwood pips that I had frozen last fall. I also had on hand some dried American smokebush leaves and some florist eucalyptus (dollar euc?) that I had been saving.

I can say with certainty that osage orange leaves do NOT give off color even though the bark and roots are great. I’ve got a couple of the small balls bundled in a pot that is cooling at the moment but I’m not expecting much of anything from them, either.

Locust leaves came through nicely.

locust on cotton, iron bath
locust on cotton, iron bath









The surprises were: determining that the maple is now ready to use – lots of nice, dark almost black;

maple leaf, iron bath
maple leaf, iron bath









the American smokebush gave off an almost black while I was expecting to see  a yellow;

and red bud leaves and seed pods do just as good a job as the wild black cherry has in the past! I think it may become my new go-to leaf since the wild black cherry was cut down this winter.  More pictures when I unbundle the next group.

red bud seed pods on top of rust, iron bath
red bud seed pods on top of rust, iron bath


All sorts of exciting stuff happening here!

– Spent the weekend with some fabulous gals from the Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati at their annual fiber retreat in Oldenburg (Srs of St Francis convent Center – special place!) and wound up with some great rusted clothing!

– Hubby scored two of the last tickets to hear Carmon DeLeone and his New Studio Big Band this coming Thursday at The Carnegie in Covington!

– I have a stack of close to 60 sheets of really nice palm papers from last week’s efforts – with lots more palm pulp in the freezer – that I am confident will work well for stationery!

– Got accepted into the Boutique and Fashion Show that happens in Cleveland on Sunday, Oct. 20 this year!

– Completed my first reconstructed garment for this year’s sales from a knit shirt and two t-shirts – used all but one sleeve in the making of a dress with pockets! (Just hope there is a tall skinny woman out there who is looking for a cool, green dress!)

– And the most exciting thing is we were asked today if we would have oldest grandson, Sebastian, stay at our house for the 4th of July weekend as his parents attend a wedding out of state! This will be Seb’s first visit to his grandparents home, first time to visit with some of the cousins in this area, first extended stay away from mom and dad. There is an ulterior motive on their part: hoping to ease the ending of Seb’s dependence on his momma’s milk. He is almost 21 months old and has been drinking out of cups for a long time – just likes his mom a lot! With her going back to work – some nights – not nursing would be a big step for all of them. ITMT, we’ll need to do some childproofing before he comes. Can’t wait!!!!!

Maple a dud, dyebath a winner!

Well, spring maple leaves do NOT have the dyeing power that fall ones have.  In fact, they have next to nothing in them to give color.

Rather, I should say, I could not get any color out of  the spring leaves!

BUT, the dye bath itself was one that I was reusing and had lots of good color in it along with some rusty nails, so the refolding of the jacket I was trying to dye created some glorious new ‘wrapped shibori’ marks from where the cloth was newly open to the ambient ‘juice’. The jacket is still damp and hasn’t been washed yet, but I expect I’ll keep a lot of the new marks which blend nicely with the original dyeing that I did last year on it. Hope the owner likes it!

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