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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Surprise Mordant!

I guess my acorns will have a bit of metal influence, like it or not! How did that get in there? Anyway, these are just soaking so they are easier to crush. Pictures of my recent experiments coming soon.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Snow Day!

I had all kinds of plans today, the rummage sale at Spokane Art Supply, getting some work done at the Potters Guild, maybe visiting with friends. Oh well, a bit of snow is as good an excuse to putter around the house and studio as any. Miss Not-a-Bird and I will be doing just that. She apparently has no interest in post holiday dieting, so I guess the first thing to do is fill up the feeder.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Good Day

I went to see the movie Wild today and I was impressed. It didn't quite give me the same sense of passion that the book did, but they did a good job with it. I came home and rinsed out several rusty nail scarves which all came out well-whew! Although I am not sure what I was worried about, the worst that would happen is that I would eco print them later. Then I took a small hike of my own over to the river. The wind was blowing and the sky was brilliant blue. The Spokane River was teal green as it is at this time of year. The wind is completely still now as the sun sets behind my favorite tree in our yard.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Not Blue...

But a fun color nonetheless! This is the result of my experiment in the last post. The turquoise and mint will make a nice ground layer for an eco print this spring.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Woad and Indigo Fermentation Experiment

I dried a bunch of woad and indigo leaves last fall. I wanted to see what would happen if I tried to ferment powdered leaves instead of buying the actual powdered dye stuff. So far the liquid is turning the right color, and they both have a smell, so we will see what it looks like tomorrow!

Monday, December 8, 2014


Birds nest in the spring, I nest in the winter. The art fair circuit is done for the year, and it is time to rest and reflect. The days here are very short, it gets dark around four in the afternoon. Since there is nothing that has to be done outside there is time to nurture ideas that have been waiting their turn. It is also a good time to look back over what ideas I did make come into to reality and decide if they worked, or if they could be expanded. Several years ago I decided that I would also use this time to experiment with new materials and it has turned out to be a good decision. Even if I don't pursue any of them to a great degree, I always learn something or am inspired in some way. This winter's experiment is with ceramics. I have no interest in making my own coffee mugs or dinnerware at this point, but I have been searching the world over for earthy buttons, beads and pendants to work into my scarves and accessories. I am having some success (pictures coming soon I hope-ceramics can take as long as eco printing) and have had many insights into my fiber work; not to mention meeting an inspiring group of artists.

On this morning's walk I found this little nest resting in a branch over the Spokane River. It does remind me that I should also probably think about cleaning and reorganizing my own little nest. After a year of eco printing, my studio does resemble a pile of sticks!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Zen Books

I read Cheryl Stayed's Wild last year and then read it or parts of it over and over. I can see why they are making a movie out of it, the story is astounding. Hope they don't screw it up, the book is incredible. It gives new meaning to "walking the path".

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Where did Fall go?

Whew! What with my daughter moving, several fairs and my husband having his fourth "cardiac event" (makes it sound like something I need to send out invites for) the fall just disappeared! My daughter is moved, her cats are back with her and my husband is on the mend so now I can get back to making things. This flutter of stuff is the beginning of a collaged box for a special order. It is nice to be in the studio again!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Busy Day

But a good one. Despite a cold that won't give up, I got to catch up with a good friend and got quite a bit accomplished. Good night!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Slow Dyeing

From a pile of leaves,

To a steamed bundle,

To finished scarf.
This is maple on a silk/wool blend scarf with rust as the mordant.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Finch Arboretum

Yesterday I went on a walking tour put on by Spokane Urban Forestry. Not only did I learn about trees but saw some crazy fungus as well!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Goodbye to Green for this Year!

Summer is finally coming to a close here in Eastern Washington. I used almost dead sunflower leaves on silk that had been wrapped around a copper pipe to get the greens pictured here. I have time to make some more, just waiting for the copper pipe to work it's magic on the silk.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Finally! An Eco Print Sample Book.

Since I have been gathering fall leaves I have had a lot of questions as to why I am "raking" public parks and the yards of total strangers with my bare hands. I came up with this little binder to show them. I didn't have a lot of prints I was willing to part with for this purpose so I will throw in some process shots and maybe even some paper for me to jot notes on. The front cover is an eco print on paper - lace leaf maple with alum as the mordant.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The End of Summer is Near!

     For the last few days I have been up early. I have been surveying my weed sites and picking what I need. As you can see, the knapweed is toast at this point, as are some of the garden plants I use. With those plants I now wait for them to reseed themselves, sleep for the winter and start again next spring.

     Yesterday I went to my favorite place to collect driftwood, alas, it is blanketed in a luxurious coating of poison ivy! That will have to wait until next year, when again, the pile will be floating in a bend in the river. I did see a lovely little snake, we traveled together for quite awhile before he turned off into the grass.

     Today I saw some silvery minnows and when I got home I discovered a pair of quail decided to have a late season brood!  I hope they get a chance to grow up before it is too cold. They were out for a stroll across the lawn. While the temperature says otherwise, the change of season is near!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fishing with my Father

I am working on a new eco print piece called " Fishing with my Father". He would go fishing at some farm pond or creek around where we lived and be glad to have me tag along. My parents had their issues, and by the time I came along it was just better if they stayed apart. He would come and get me and take me on these little expeditions. Even though I was more interested in stacking rocks, collecting leaves or swimming, he always seemed glad to have me along.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Eco Printing on Paper

More results! These were done with alum as a mordant. Some of the lace leaf maple was fresh, some dried from last fall. Which is almost here again! What happened to summer?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Eco Printing on Paper

These are my four favorites from yesterday's experiments on paper. I soaked the paper in alum laced water for an hour before steaming them for an hour. I used lupine, rose leaves, blackberry leaves, tickseed, plum and lace leaf maple for the prints. I was really happy with this process for a first attempt anyway. I can't wait to experiment some more!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Douglas Maple

I love the prints I get with Douglas maple. This one also has a bit of sumac, plum leaves and St. John's wort.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tansy and Ladybugs

Today was a good day. I intended to go out and harvest tansy, set it up to dry and get down to some sewing. When I was out harvesting I decided it was too nice a day to spend inside. After days of oppressive heat followed by days of smoke filled sky, the lure of bright blue sky, real white clouds and silly little bugs was too much to resist. So after bringing the tansy home I went back out to get Douglas maple along the river and the last of the St. John's Wort. I headed over to the mall to grab some purple plum leaves. I set all this to steam on silk scarves, now to wait and see what I get!

Friday, July 11, 2014

On the Road

This is the moon over Priest Lake, Idaho from last night. Since I had no cell service, here it is. I stayed at a lovely place called Granite Creek Marina, a little bit of paradise. Tonight I am in Newport, Washington at an RV park, no amazing pictures - but had a lovely visit from two hummingbirds and a robin that managed to sing with his mouth full, he found a lovely a bug as a before bed snack and still managed to trill away. Guess I'll finish off the wine for mine, but will hold off on the singing. I am here to broil away at the Pend Oreillle Lavender Festival.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


The magic of this plant is amazing! Can't wait to see it in the morning!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Post Boiling

This is what they look like cooked, now we wait and see what happens!


I decided to try this out today. I have done some dyeing in jars before but they came out pretty smelly. Hopefully a bit of a boil will help avoid that - we will see what happens down the road!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hopi Red Dye Amaranth

I am growing tons of the stuff and now can't find a dye recipe. So I decided to see if it steam prints, and, as you can see it does! Now to see if it stays red. These are the flowers shredded up and sprinkled in with pressed leaves. I also threw in some artemisia and locust.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Studio Friend

I was out in back steaming silk today and this little person joined me. Busy eating, no matter how the pots and pans were rattling!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bubble, Bubble Toil and Trouble

Doing some experiments with tansy. Although the recommended mordant is usually alum I wanted to see what the pot as mordant would do.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Studio is beginning to fill up once again!

This is the wall of the unwashed. We will hang out together until mid February, then I will have a lot of laundry to do!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Do they always "turn out right"?

Well, depends on what you mean by "right". Some scarves that come out beautiful on one end, but almost blank on the other can be done over. In the case of the fabric above, the coloring was lovely but the overall effect was not so great. When cut into strips the potential came back. I did these flowers with some of them and saved a few larger pieces for future projects.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope how I spend today guides the rest of my year. I slept in, cleaned my house and took a walk. While sleeping late all the time is not recommended sometimes one needs to get some rest. I will never be accused of being a neat nick, but the basics are always good. Being outside does me a world of good. Spring will soon be here and the collecting can start again. In the meantime here is photo of what I have done this fall and winter.