Notions-Drye Goods Studio Diary

Thanks for checking in. I am a fiber artist. My current emphasis is on eco printing and other wildcraft with a touch of up-cycling thrown in. You can also catch up with me on Facebook at Drye Goods Studio.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Corvallis, Oregon

I am sorry to announce I will not be attending the Corvallis Oregon show due to my husband's health. I was so looking forward to it and I wish the show organizers and participating artists a wonderful weekend.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday, Monday

"Courage is not the absence of fear or despair; it is the capacity to continue on despite them, no matter how great or overwhelming they become."
Robert Fanney

Artemisia absinthium (wormwood) on paper with copper mordant.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Impossible Things

"Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them."
Lindsay Eagar

Trying out carrier blankets, used to add mordants and dyes to eco prints, I haven't a clue as to what I am doing, but once I figure out it you will be the first to know! I see the beginnings of minty green, so it won't be all bad whatever happens.

This is a Japanese Butterbur, a friend gave it to me and I finally found something it will print on! It has beautiful big leaves, looks sort of like a rhubarb, and it turned into a challenge. Here it is on paper with copper as the mordant. This was an experiment in rolling paper for steaming, I think I will try it again but pressed next time. I finally have a pot big enough to do fairly good sized sheets of paper. It is an old turkey fryer pot; it is very, very tall!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

It is Good to be Home

"It is a big world, full of things that steal your breath away and fill your belly with fire...but where you go when you leave isn't as important as where you go when you come home." 
Lindsay Eagar, Hour of the Bees

While the cat's away, the mouse did a lot of canning!

Teaching is so much fun, I learn so much. Student's questions and their approach to the process always gives me new perspective.

One bad thing to come back to-the smoke. Apparently this is the new normal for August in Eastern Washington.

Considering the heat and the smoke, the garden did well while I was gone. This particular bloom is a lesson in appreciating what you get. It was supposed to be dark burgundy, but it sure does glow in the evening light.

Ahhhh, to be back in my studio again! These bundles are done with random and somewhat wilted leftovers from the two classes I taught, in a week or so we will see what I ended up with.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


"The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see."
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Anacortes Washington

Off to the Anacortes Arts Festival, this weekend, booth 812W and The Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival August 11th and 12th, booth 179. Come by and see what I have been up to!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Blues

"Particularly with the blues, it's not just about bad times. It's about healing the spirit."
Taj Mahal

Since I work with the seasons, sometimes it looks like I only work in one color. In this case, blue. Most of the blue you see here comes from Hollyhocks, although there is some petunia as well. Weirdly enough, I like ironing. In the studio, anyway. It gives me a chance to look things over and see wonderful details and surprises. Here is what I discovered today.

A little oak leaf hiding amongst the Hollyhock.

On the left, the main print (bottom of the leaf), on the right, the echo. I love the hollyhock on the left, almost photographic.

Sumac floating over rusted nails with a little bit of black locust for some green.

Another oak leaf, this one turned plum by its hollyhock neighbors.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Don't be Sad!

In this case however, it may not be a bad thing. In natural dyeing there is a process called "saddening" and it can be an interesting experiment. I had some scarves that while they had nice clear prints, weren't all that exciting colorwise. I decided to do some dye experiments with them and ended up using the iron pot as an adjunct, or modifier. Exposing a previously dyed fiber to iron is called "saddening" as it grays out, or darkens the original color.

This is the dreaded Burdock, a monster of a plant. Since most plant names that end in "dock" belong to plants that will make some sort of color (usually yellow), I decided to give it a shot. I had to go to a fair so I left a note on it so nobody would over achieve with the weed killer while I was away. It is one of those invasive things that puts out a zillion seeds and can take over the yard in a blink of an eye.

I made a dye pot by first pouring boiling water over the leaves and let them sit overnight. The next day I simmered (not boiled) the leaves for about an hour. Boiling can sometimes make all your color disappear. 

As you can see, it made a yellow dye as expected. I blocked and tied the scarves in order to expose the previously done eco prints to as little heat and color as possible. Again, simmering, for about an hour. In this case I did not leave it to sit overnight as I didn't want the color to get very dark.

This is my iron pot. Normally there would be a picture of the above scarves bobbing around in it, but apparently I forgot to take that picture. So anyway, there is water with a splash of vinegar in the pot. I brought it to a boil and let it cool off completely and then added the blocked scarves. It took no time at all for the color change to take place, maybe 15 minutes. You have to keep an eye on it so it doesn't get too dark as then you won't be able to see your eco prints anymore.

This scarf turned a gray/green, it really added the right touch to what was a mass of brown prints.

This scarf had onion skin in it to begin with so the exposure to the iron made those a bit more golden and again the background is a subtle grayish green.