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.

Friday, June 8, 2018

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

"Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund." Anthony Bourdain

On top of Kate Spade, missing children, and all the rest, this news is so very saddening. Although not a cook by nature, I so enjoyed his shows as they allowed me to travel to places I probably will never see in person. They were about so much more than cooking. Rest in Peace.
Again, that number is 1-800-273-8255

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Busy, Busy

"The eyes of others are our prisons; their thoughts our cages."
Virginia Woolf 

Collecting materials

At this time of year the steamer pot barely has time to cool off.

There is always time to do an experiment or two, this shirt was mordanted with acorns, it turned pink!

Everybody seems to be busy at this time of year, the bumble bees are all over the comfrey plant.

But you have to allow time to sit and stare at the sky sometimes or you miss stuff like this.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


"You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures."
Elizabeth Gilbert

Garden phlox out in the wild.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Be Fearless, Nothing will Explode

Or probably not anyway. And whatever happens, the art police won't come and arrest you.

I have had a lot of things rolling around in my head lately. The first being the missives that appear in my email inbox almost daily assuring me that if I take an online art class I will achieve great spiritual awakening. Haven't clicked on the links yet so I am not sure what enlightenment is going for these days. The next thing to pop up when I was dinking around on my phone instead of dealing with the laundry was the Sylvia Plath quote I shared the other day about self doubt being the enemy of creativity. Hmm. 

Laying out Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Cottonwood catkins, Oregon Grape flowers, and Knapweed on very wet silk-sorry about the grid showing through. The catkins are a bit of an experiment. Needless to say, since they are red, I was hoping they impart red.
I guess these things haunt my thoughts because I am getting ready to hit the road (more about that in a moment) and people come through the booth and say things like "There are so many creative people in the world, I am not one of them" or "I never would have thought to do THAT." Never quite sure what that last one means-but I will take it as a compliment. Teaching is also planned for the summer and in every class there is at least one person that is afraid to do anything "wrong" or is severely disappointed when whatever they are doing doesn't come out exactly as they envisioned it to start with. This leads me to a cartoon I saw that went something like this:
Character 1: "You draw really well."
Character 2: "Thanks, I practice a lot."
Character 1: "It must be some God given natural gift."
Character 2: "Well, maybe, but I practice every day."
Character 1: "I wish I could draw like that."
Character 2: "Why don't you practice?"
Fact is if you never just say "To hell with it, let's see what happens!" you will not get far. That is why I try to show experiments here. The world of plants, natural dyeing, and eco printing is very large. There are in most cases several routes to the same goal. I may not end up with what I had hoped would happen, but I always learn something. And yes, it can be what not to do, but it also can lead to something wonderful that just needs some tweaking or becomes a step to another process.

Arrowleaf Balsamroot and Cottonwood catkins with rusted nails as the mordant. In this case Oregon Grape flowers did not react to the iron mordant so I am doing a sample with alum mordant to see if they will impart color that way. The catkins are the grayish green squiggles in between the leaf prints. No red, but very pretty anyway.

This is another sample with the same plants and mordant as above, but it got a post rinse in an alum and cream of tartar rinse. It brightened the colors, the greens have a yellow cast and the catkins turned almost turquoise, which is very water-like and quite striking.
Almost everybody has something they excel at and they would not be successful at it if the creative process didn't enter into it. Their job, cooking, gardening, child rearing-the list could go on and on. If you really do feel that not being a maker of some sort is leaving an empty space in your life, go for it. Take a simple class to start with, there are many out there to choose from; get some friends together and do the "drink and draw" thing or take a clay or jewelry class from a local guild or shop. Learn to say "Why not?" instead of just "Why?". Look, I can't promise you a great spiritual enlightenment experience, and being of the Zen Buddhist ilk I wouldn't try (we are all about the here and now). I am simply encouraging you to give up preconceived notions as to what art and creativity are as well as ditching the notion of "right and wrong" in order to find your own voice. Once you come across the medium that you find fascinating doing it over and over becomes something you can't wait to do; the excellence at it is simply the byproduct of your enthusiasm for that medium.

Come see what I have been up to this weekend at The Moscow Renaissance Fair, East City Park, Moscow Idaho on Saturday and Sunday. Don't forget to check out the classes in the box on the right side of the page-sign up soon!

Every art fair should have a dragon.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Spring is Here!

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."
Sylvia Plath

Arrowleaf Balsamroot and Cottonwood catkins

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Waiting for Spring

"The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel."
Piet Mondrian 1872-1944

Working with some very old pressed leaves passed along to me by a friend. They still work!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Leave it to Beaver

While out walking a few weeks ago I discovered the beavers had been busy harvesting the cottonwoods along the river. They left many little chips and pieces around, so being the hoarder that I am, I picked up a sack's worth and brought them home. I thought I had read somewhere that the inner bark layer was used for medicine and dye. After further research I did find it listed as a medicine, but not a dye. This has never stopped me before. After the soaking I opened the jar and it had this tannin smell, so I figured it should be good for something.

Beavers in action

I put the chips in a jug of rainwater and let them set for several days

Note the color change in the water

I put the liquid in a pan and put in various pieces of fabric. This is not entirely scientific, as I put in two pieces of silk, one pretreated with alum and one with steel wool along with two pieces of cotton that had no pretreatment. After this I treated one piece of cotton with alum and one with copper liquor. As you can see, not much to write home about. I decided to eco print on the samples to see what would come of that. The backgrounds on all of these are darker than they appear here, I am still fumbling around with the new phone camera. While I have no idea how much tannin may actually be in cottonwood bark, it did smell that way and I do think the prints on the cotton are darker and more detailed than they would have been otherwise. On the silk there wasn't that much difference one way or the other. We will see what happens down the road when I get around to rinsing them out.

Cotton with alum. Maples and dry hollyhock

Cotton with copper mordant. Maples, eucalyptus.

Silk with alum. Various maples
Silk with steel wool. Maples and dry hollyhock.