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.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Merry Christmas

 "My dear

In the midst of strife, I found there was,

within me, an invincible love.

In the midst of tears, I found there was

within me, an invincible smile.

In the midst of chaos, I found there was

within me, an invincible calm.

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that

within me, there lay, an invincible summer. 

And, that makes me happy.

For it says, that no matter how hard

the world pushes against me, within me,

there's something stronger..."

Albert Camus

Poinsettia on watercolor paper treated with alum alone. Very Bright and zingy! The yellow is from the green leaves of the plant, the purples and greens from the red leaves of the plant.

Poinsettia on watercolor paper. Half the papers were treated with alum and half with a soak in iron water; then the papers were layered alternately so that both mordants effect the colors from the leaves. Some might say darker and more somber, but I think they are very interesting to look at.

A few years ago I did a post about poinsettia, such as its poisonous reputation etc., you can check that out here.

Have a wonderful holiday season, make the best of it any way you can while protecting yourself and those around you. Dig deep enough and you will find your invincible summer.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Early Winter

"Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people's legs like house cats."

Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen

One of my favorite winter scenes, red hawthorn berries and white snow.

The cactus are safely ensconced in the sunroom for winter.

Here is our house cat, very displeased with the snow.

The damage from an early snow, the leaves were still on the trees, making the weight from the snow more than the trees could bear. Our patio furniture is under there somewhere. Now it is so cold that to try to brush away the snow could do more damage, so we wait for warmer temperatures and hope there is no wind in the meantime.

 I have been passing the time at the sewing machine, you can see the results of that in my Etsy shop under needle cases, I  hope to get some other things done for my Square shop and Pottery Place Plus as well. Then I hope to get back to winter time eco printing activities and more blog posts.

I hope you are safe and warm and wish you peace in trying times.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

After the Ecstasy, The Laundry

 "Mystery is so ever-present that no one can know for certain what will happen one hour from now."

Jack Kornfield, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path

I actually love doing studio laundry, I get to look over each eco print in detail. This is a Golden Currant Leaf



Sunflower leaf

Peony with coreopsis


My eco printing is now available online! CLICK HERE

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Peeling Onions Part ll

 "Reality, it seems, is not a flat plane, but has as many veils as an onion has skins."

Johnny Rich, The Human Script

This is onion skin with no pre mordant laid out on silk dupioni. After laying out the onionskins and folding the fabric in thirds the long way, I put rusted nails about every 5 inches or so and then rolled the silk up jelly roll style. Then it was steamed for an hour and allowed to cool off. You can let it set longer for darker colors, but you run the risk of the rust "burning" the fabric. Everywhere the nails interact with onionskins, you end up with black stripes; almost an animal print!

Once the above procedure is done you can then dip the fabric in iron water-no heat applied in this case. It starts to change from orange to browns, greens and grays almost immediately, so keep an eye on it. I think this sample was about 30 minutes or so. You can either rinse it out at that point or let it dry on its own, keeping in mind it will continue to darken. Also remember that wet fabric appears about two shades darker than it will when it dries, so just gage from that how dark you want it to get.

Side by side-the tiger print and the jungle it lives in!

If you would like to see a real world application of this technique visit my page at the Pottery Place Plus Online Store.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Peeling Onions Part I

 "Life is an onion-you peel it year by year and sometimes weep."

Carl Sandburg 

We grow a lot of onions! We grow Candy Sweets as they are not readily available in stores and are really good. The dye material they are wrapped in is a bonus! We also grow a few red onions.

Just lay them out on the silk and roll them up. With no other plant material you end up with a kind of marbled effect. I used scraps of silk dupioni for these samples.

This with no mordant.

This is with an alum mordant.

This is red onion skin with an alum mordant. Love the shots of green!

Iron pot as a pre mordant, I filled the pot with water and a small touch of vinegar, heated it to boiling, shut off the heat, let it cool for an hour and then added the piece of silk. I let it soak for several hours. Then I rolled up the onionskins and steamed.

Here they are all laid out side by side. Normally I would just be adding crumbled onionskins around leaves, but I thought this was a good way to show different mordants and eventually I will use the fabric for various projects. The next post will show the effect of rusty objects as a co-mordant.

You can find my handmade supplies in my Etsy shop and scarves in the Pottery Place Plus online store.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Experiments on Paper

 "When a path opens up before us that leads we know not where, don't be afraid to follow it. Our lives are meant to be mysterious journeys, unfolding one step at a time. Often we follow a path worn smooth by the many and in doing so we lose our authenticity, our individuality, our own unique expression. Do not be afraid to lose your way. Out of chaos, clarity will eventually rise. Out of not knowing, something new and unknown will ultimately come. Do not order things too swiftly. Wait and the miracle will appear."

Ann Mortifee

This is a print from the leaves of the pincushion flower. Left to right; watercolor paper soaked in iron water, watercolor paper soaked in alum, and the third is watercolor paper soaked in copper-love the red! If you click on the picture and look closely, you might also see the creepy little face at the top of that print! The first two were steamed in a stack of paper that I alternated the paper soaked in iron water with the paper soaked in alum, so the leaf in between was affected by both. In the case of the alum paper the print is a more golden yellow. Normally with just alum by itself it would be a bright lemon yellow-both nice, but it is good to have options!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Experiments with Indigo

I grew indigo this year and decided it was time do something with it. I used the recipe that is in Harvesting Color by Rebecca Burgess.

I planted it in big pots this year, about 4 or 5 plants to each pot. Since it does require a fair amount of water it was much easier to maintain it this time around. This is Japanese Indigo (polygonum tinctorium).

This method calls for cramming a pound's worth of leaves into a large jar. It does not need to be quite this fancy, but this was the biggest one I had that was clean. Indigo requires no mordant and from what I have read can be come displeased with residues etc.

You then put the jar of leaves and water into a big pot of steaming water. You don't want it to boil, thus the thermometer. The water in the jar is turning dark in this picture, the water in the pot is clear water. I thought this was a great way to do this as it makes it much less likely that the indigo will get too hot. The only downside to it is that it doesn't make a ton of dye, but there is still enough left to do some other small pieces. Once I got to the point where I alkalized, oxygenated and then reduced the dye, there wasn't time to take any pictures. But that is ok, I highly recommend getting the book (link above) and following it step by step.

This was the end result! I was so pleased with it as I haven't done much indigo and at different times it didn't seem like the process was going the way she said it would in the book. This is silk crepe de chine and I am just going to admire it for awhile before making it into anything.

Remember you can get handmade supplies in my Etsy Shop and there are scarves available at The Pottery Place Plus online store.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Eco Printing on Paper

"One of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else." K.L. Toth

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


"The time has come to reweave the future with different threads."
Yaakov Jerome Garb

I added some huckleberries to the mix after I had laid out the leaves. The post alum rinse described in the next two pictures will change the reddish color to a purply-blue. Post rinses will also change the colors of other plant materials as well, so expect some yellows and greens to appear.

This is what the scarves looked like after steaming. I allowed the rolls to sit until almost dry. The reddish color will not last on its own for very long, so a post alum rinse is in order. About a teaspoon of alum dissolved in a cup of warm water and then added to about a gallon and half of cool water is enough for two scarves. Submerge the scarves, let soak for several minutes, then remove, gently squeeze out excess water and hang to dry out of direct sunlight. After they are dry, wash in cold water by hand with a bit of shampoo and again, hang to dry out of direct sunlight.

I did these one at a time so I would be able to take a comparison picture. So the bottom is before the alum rinse and the top is after.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

All the News that is Fit to Print

"Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heros overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down."
Eleanor Roosevelt

New Online Store

Pottery Place Plus is starting an online store to help offset the complications of Covid-19. It is beautiful! Here is the link to my page, but while you are there hit the "Return to PPP online store" link so you can see the work of my fellow co-op members. Since we offer curbside pick up, shopping in store, and shipping options I have started off with the things I have the most of and are fairly repeatable, but more is coming soon!


I needed something to look forward to, always keeping in mind that things may need to change depending on what is happening in the world. To that end I am offering two classes at Urban Art Cooperative here in Spokane. They are the "Alchemy with Plants" scarf make and take that I have offered in the past. Due to physical distancing requirements space is really limited, so get signed up soon. Full refund in the event Covid puts a kink in our plans. Click on either date for details.

Saturday August 15th from 3-6 PM

Sunday August 16th from noon to 3-PM


Last year I got the deal of the century on packages of men's tank tops. While I already knew that the prints wouldn't be as crisp on cotton ribbed fabric as on a smooth surface, I figured it was as good a way as any to play around with barriers and blankets as any. I do like the results for the most part! All got a good scouring and then over the winter I did various soaks in whey protein and soda ash. Then I played around with rusted nail patterns. Left to right: black walnut, oak, and sunflower. I may have pushed the season on the sunflower leaves, they seem to work best when the plant has had some flowers go to seed, mine are just starting to flower. A trip through an iron bath should darken up that print.


I have a little upcycling project in the return issue of GreenCraft, out now!

The Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour

Coming up September 26th, click HERE for details!

If you need supplies to finish off all your quarantine WIP go check out my Etsy shop for handmade buttons, pendants, and papers. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

One Step at a Time

"In the middle of it all, pause and look around you. Appreciate what's beautiful. Take in the love, nod to what's good and true. And then move forward one step at a time."
Kathy Freston

Saturday, April 25, 2020


"Sometimes courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
MA Radmacher

This scarf was done last year, with the two plants pictured below and PAS mordant.

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Spotted Knapweed

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


"Everything here at St. Aggie's is upside down and inside out. It's our job not to get moon blinked and to stand right side up in an upside down world. If we don't do that we'll never be able to escape. We'll never be able to think. And thinking is the only way we'll be able to plan our escape."
Kathryn Lasky

Papers from last summer

Friday, April 10, 2020

Rusty Objects as Mordant

Since my spring class ideas went down the tube thanks to COVID-19 social distancing, I decided to do a mini lesson in how to use a rusty object as a mordant. This is the way I do it. Where I got the idea was an article in a magazine on "rust dyeing". So, I followed those instructions and then did eco printing on top of it. There are probably other ways to accomplish the same thing, but this is the method I use and this is for silk.

1. Thoroughly wash the fabric first. This is referred to as scouring in dye world. For fine weave silks this it is basically just washing the fabric out in some sort of detergent or shampoo in warm (not hot) water. I usually fill a basin with warm water, dissolve the  shampoo in it, put the fabric in and let it soak until the water cools off or I suddenly remember that I left said basin in the laundry room days ago. Then I rinse it out. If the rinse water looks cloudy I may do the whole procedure again. On raw silk I will wash, soak, rinse several times as it is a much thicker fabric and it takes more effort to get out any silk starch. If you are upcycling silk clothing you will want to let the item have a long soak, and may wash it again just to make sure you are getting out as much of whatever laundry agents were used on it. You will never remove it all, but the more the better.

2. Fill a basin with water and a generous splash of white vinegar. Let it soak until thoroughly wetted out. With something like crepe de chine this is almost instantaneous, with something like raw silk it may take an hour or more. As you can see from the picture below, even after scouring the raw silk will still bead water, so it is important to let that water and vinegar get all the way into the fiber.

3. While you are waiting lay some plastic sheeting out on a flat surface that won't be disturbed for up to 24 hours. You will need enough to lay the fabric you have out and then fold the other half of the plastic over it.

4. Once the fabric is really wet lay it out on the plastic in such a way that you have the excess sheeting to fold over it to keep it wet. Place your rusty objects, in this case rusted nails, onto the fabric. You can be random, you can make patterns, whatever. Remember that you may not get the entire object to print, so be open minded. 

5. Using a spray bottle with 2 parts water and one part vinegar, spray the rusty nails until soaked. Cover with the remainder of the plastic sheet. You can keep using this plastic sheeting until it seems to get kind of "dusty" and then you should throw it away and start over. Rust dust is not good for the lungs.

6. Let set. As far as how long, this can depend on how warm it is in the place it is setting. The warmer it is the faster the rust drools off onto the fabric. So, for instance, in the winter I may leave things sit in the barn loft for about 24 hours, but in the summer I very often lay them out first thing in the morning and then make a note to myself to go check late afternoon, very often six hours will do it. Remember that rust is destructive to fabric (as is iron ferrous powder mordant, BTW) so you don't want to get carried away with this, you could end up with holes in the fabric! 

7. When you go to pick it up, it should look something like this. Set your nails in a container to get rusty all over again.

8. Dissolve about a tablespoon of plain salt (per yard of fabric) in some hot water and then add tepid water to fill the basin. Let the fabric soak in that solution until the water cools off. Then lightly rinse out. You can now eco print immediately or let it dry and store it for later use.

9. This is how my little sample turned out. I am still waiting for spring to arrive, so I used some Red Maple (Acer Rubrum) leaves that I had pressed and saved. Not the most exciting colors in the world, so there is also a detail picture of a scarf using the same technique.

This is the sample after opening, I haven't peeled the leaves off yet.

This is after final washing and ironing. Notice that everywhere the rust came into contact with plant material it turned black.

The coral color is eucalyptus and the green is arrowleaf balsamroot. While not as pronounced you can see little shots of black where the leaves and rust interacted. The eucalyptus is darker than it would have been without the rust. So, the rust does have some effect even if the plants aren't in direct contact with it.
So there you have it. Remember that I put new things in my Etsy shop almost every day, so check back often. I hope you are safe and well.