Silk, Silk, Silk!!

A quick trip into Goodwill today yielded a silk wedding dress! Nearly all wedding dresses I find are polyester. So, to find an all silk custom made dress is a real treasure. Even the lace overlay and bustle are silk. I’m not a lace girl but who knows how this will get used?  And the best part is they had thrown it into the costume category so it was only $10! I have big plans for this pile of silk!

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I “FELT” a chill in the air

I rescued a sadly felted pure wool blanket at the thrift. Ron thought I was cazy as I danced to the car. It was sweltering out but I felt a chill coming.

I cut it into shawl, scarf sizes for eco printing and natural dyeing. This one was bundled with fresh leaves and put into a logwood bath. Love the way it  turned out! I’m thinking it will go in my Etsy shop soon.

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Time Out for Natural Dyeing

There are always lots of projects beconning to me. One that hasn’t had any up close and personal time lately is natural dyeing. I told myself I need to use the dyed fabric from last year so I would walk by the dye studio and wistfully whisper …next year. But then the flowers and leaves are ending their cycle for the year and I caved in to the magic of nature. It had to be now or way too much later.

I don’t chase a perfect leaf imprint like many natural/eco print artists do. If they happen amid the marbling of color created during the process, that’s a bonus.

Ready to rinse out to see if the color stays.
Ready to rinse out to see if the color stays.
Rayon scarf with dogwood, smoke tree and marigolds
Rayon scarf with dogwood, smoke tree and marigolds
 Habatoi scarf wrapped around black locust pods. The rusty red was extracted from the pods. A pleasant surprise.
Habatoi scarf wrapped around black locust pods. The rusty red was extracted from the pods. A pleasant surprise.

There’ll be some Blue goin’ on

Japanese Indigo My Japanese indigo plants are doing great. An online friend shared seeds she gathered from John Marshall’s indigo garden. The pot is living under my weeping pussywillow tree. It gets filtered sun and it looks pretty happy!

The bottom photo is my woad. I transplanted it out of the pot when it was blooming. SEEDS! I have lots of seeds. I gathered half of them and let the rest self sow in the bed. Originally the bed was going to be weld and woad. Right after i sowed the weld the power company decided to replace a pole right next to the garden. When they were done, all the ground had been turned over and those tiny weld seeds were no place to be found.

Word has it that this lush 2nd year foliage on my woad doesn’t have much pigment. Will that stop me trying it out? Not a chance!


New Eco and Rust dyeing Results

I have been totally slammed this month with deadlines and daily life. Part of the reason is that I have been going to therapy 3 days a week for back problems. Each of those days was a complete waste since I would be so tired afterwards I couldn’t think about making art.

Ron has been helping create in the dye room. He is as enamored of the serendipitous results as I am. So here are some photos of our results, they have been laundered and are on the drying rack, soon ready to go to new homes. Enjoy!

Remember…right click for a larger image to see details.


leaf dyed scarf dawes leaf dyed silk dawes silk rayon scarves dawes

Eco Print Tee Shirts for Fall


Ron and I have been printing scarves and such while we have good weather. I love this tee!  It is printed with dogwood, smoke bush and fern fronds.  A funny thing is happening with our prints. We weren’t thrilled with the results at first, pale and lack-luster. So I took a page from some literature on persimmon dyeing and plunged this in baking soda water. I got this amazing gold color.  Who knew!

The shirts and things we are doing will be for sale at the Art Odyssey Christmas sale at the library in November.  Well, unless they are sold sooner!

Here is another one that has the bundle marks on the back and the dogwood is much greener.

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A4 Challenge Group Looky Looky!

This is a re- post since I wanted to introduce you to a new group that has come together from the QuiltArt List. We will do a challenge every 2 months. Here’s the address if you want to keep up with what we are doing.  (Yes, it is misspelled, my doing I’m afraid.)  My post is the first but others should start showing up in the next week,

Jeannie Sredl came up with our theme for the first challenge of “Off To The Races”. That could be interpreted many ways by the diverse group of artists in this group.  I think this quote says it all and should be the mantra of this new group.

The Race was on, the souls of the racers were in it. ~~ Lew Wallace, Ben Hur

Here is my offering in A4 size and a little about it. I wanted to challenge myself to use the mountains of hand dyed fabrics and threads I’ve been making. I started with only the fabrics in mind and no particular composition. That’s the way I work most of the time. I tell people I am seduced by the cloth as I let it morph into what it wants to be when it grows up.

I cut and pin, stitch, look at, stitch some more. When it starts taking on a shape I can see the meaning and how it relates to a theme I’m working from.  The quote on the piece is from Aditya Chandra:

Life is one race I never want to win, I’d rather stroll around enjoying the scenery.

Here it is, I hope you enjoy my scenery.

offtothe races copy
Janice Paine Dawes