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, 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.

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Owl

"The owl," he was saying, "is one of the most curious creatures. A bird that stays awake when the rest of the world sleeps. They can see in the dark. I find that so interesting, to be mired in reality when the rest of the world is dreaming. What does he see and what does he know that the rest of the world is missing?"
MJ Rose, Seduction Series

At night, before bed, I go out and check on the world. To see if it's cloudy, if I can see the stars, whatever. A week or so ago a huge black shape swooped across the yard and landed in the pear tree. It was the neighborhood owl. Another bird, one that probably was roosting in the tree for the night, took off with a squawk into the dark. The next day I was working on a collage for an online group and just happened to come across an image of an owl and ended up making this one as well.
Since the original plan was to offer classes in April about how to prepare fabric for the coming summer the next post will be about working with rusty objects as a mordant. I just have one more procedure to do and take some more pictures. I hope you and all you know are well, or as well as can be expected under the circumstances. A friend posted on Facebook about using the time to ponder what parts of "normal" could we personally live without and should leave behind when this is all over. I think this is wise. After several really frustrating weeks, I suddenly realized that this situation is telling me something and that there are certain things I am not wrong about and it is futile to try to fit myself into situations that are just completely unnatural, and in some cases downright harmful, for me. The owl does what it needs to do in order to survive, and  so should all of us.

Remember to check out my Etsy site, new things go in almost everyday.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Report from the Backyard

"If we built houses the way we build software, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization."
Clifford Stoll

Can you tell I have been spending way too much time filling out online forms, surveys, and not to mention online financial stuff? And let me tell you how much I enjoy listening to a lovely recorded message about whatever I am calling about can be found on the callee's website. That would be the one I am staring at, and have been staring at-and clicking endlessly on-for the last half hour. BTW, I have no idea who Mr. Stoll is, but he seems a very wise man.

The backyard keeps me grounded. Watching what plants are coming back to life, keeping track of the birds and their goings on remind me that there is a bigger world out there. They just deal with whatever they are dealing with and then there is the next moment and the next and the next. The Flicker is busy trying to find a mate. I have start calling him Ruddy the Riveter. The other day he started out on the furnace vent pipe on the barn, taping away. Today, even in the blustery wind we are having, he was at it again on the peak of the barn roof. All these are metal structures, he is not looking for a meal. He is looking for a partner. He is say "Look at me!" "Pick me-I am the best!" in his rat-a-tat sort of way. He needs to find the substrate that will make the loudest sound so the girl of his dreams will come along and claim him. Kind of like applying for grants, but I digress.

So, since getting a decent picture of this is impossible, I asked a dear friend to send me one of her paintings. Her name is Linnea Tobias and her work is wonderful. So bright and beautiful, and in a lot of cases thought provoking as well. You can see many of her lovely works on her Etsy site and when the Pottery Place Plus opens up again you can see them in person.

Flicker with Dahlia by Linnea Tobias
I have been putting eco printing on my Etsy shop, and adding new buttons every day, be sure to check back often-Thanks!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Decision Made! Well...Maybe, I Don't Know, Let's See What Happens

"This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it."
Dorothy Parker


"What fresh hell is this?"
Also credited to Dorothy Parker

There is not much eco printing going on since it is still pretty cold and the plants are keeping their heads down, as are we all at this point. I have been spending so much stressful time on the computer, that by the time I get around to this blog I am worn out and haven't been keeping up with it. Here is an update of life in semi-isolation.

Adding things to my Etsy site, next week's task is to explore other selling options. If nothing else, by the time this is over I will have a much better online presence. With everyone at home, and finances uncertain, I don't expect tons of sales, but at least I will get a lot of things done I should have been doing all along. Thanks to all who have been buying, even small purchases help a lot.

These two images are of a series of works regarding the effect of textile production. The series is called "Unraveling: The Effect of Fabric on our Environment, our Culture, and our Health". Or some such thing. It is scheduled to show in September. I will be writing more about it over the spring and summer. The top image is for a piece called Worry Dolls, regarding child labor (yes, this is still, unfortunately, "a thing") and the bottom is about what happens to first world clothes when they are dumped on the third world. If you donated clothing labels, this is where the lion's share of them went. Still trying to decide on that screaming pink thing dead center in the middle-may have to de-emphasize that.

 Life around the house goes on as normal.

Lots of wandering around, both in the yard and over to the river and back. 

Mr. Man is getting ready for gardening season. His health is good, we are trying to keep it that way by staying home. I am learning all kinds of new digital web skills because of this! (imagine frowny face here)

Buddha excels at self isolation.
Anyway, needless to say, I don't know what will happen with the show season or my intended class schedule. With no crystal ball it is hard to tell. Galleries, like the Pottery Place Plus and Essential Art will eventually open again and classes can be put together at the last minute, while not ideal, it is possible. The art fairs are another matter. Are they being held, is it worth the expenditure during a year like this, are all questions with no answers at the moment. 

I want to thank my friends and local art community for all the help thus far, you guys are the best!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Grrrr..... Rant Ahead

Ok, I have had it up to my eyeballs with this. I had to remove the "Contact Me" from this blog as it had turned into the Great Spam Blasting Machine. I am researching whether it is possible to put some sort of bot filter on that widget in order to bring it back, but that info is not easy to find. The crappy people of the world screw it up for the rest of us. On the other hand enough people must respond to that junk to make it worth it to them, but they are making my life difficult. So, if you would like to contact me you can either sign up to receive the posts by email (no, this is not a ploy to increase my following-I am p*ssed!) and reply to that with your requests to be on my mailing list etc., or sad to say, message the page on Facebook. Yes, Messenger is very spammy also, but I do respond to every legitimate message on Drye Goods Studio-the filters seem to be better on pages than profiles BTW. You can try Instagram direct message, but I get more junk through that than I can count and tend to ignore it as it is full of all kinds of idiots proposing that if I just pay them $9.99 a month I will be featured on their Instagram and I will be drowning in buckets of money by next Friday. If they were that big a star they would not need to DM me, I would be chasing after them, just sayin'.

I am so sorry about this, I know a lot of people don't want to deal with FB, but I don't know what else to do. If you have a business card my full contact is on that. Some of it was getting pretty creepy not to mention that when the influx is so bad gmail starts throwing it in the spam folder (this is a Google Blog, afterall) that tells you about the volume.

I haven't been eco printing much, just lots of sewing. While I love sewing, I think it is like watching paint dry and haven't come up with any interesting post ideas-but new posts will be coming soon-I promise!

This is demon kitty, and I am not afraid to use her! Changing the sheets is a three Band-aid job-she is ferocious! Too bad there isn't a digital way to let her respond to spam!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2020


The first month of the year,
A perfect time to start all over again,
Changing energies and deserting old moods,
New Beginnings, new attitudes."
Charmaine J. Forde

I had planned to turn these tank tops into shopping bags by sewing the bottoms shut-but now I may wear them! 

Working on fabric for some landscapes I am making. I ran out of long pieces so I just threw in a little a bit and that, rolled them up and hauled them out to my stove-only slipped on the ice once!

This is what I mean by a little of this and that; cracked leaves out of the miscellaneous leaves box, St. John's Wort flowers, and whatever dried tree catkins were left in that box. I love the freedom in making random pieces of fabric, I lose that urge to "design" and learn so much from the serendipity of it. I also sometimes end up with pieces I can't make myself cut into, so I have learned to make lots of them! 

This is a piece of cotton canvas from a session a few days ago. I had "abused" it in several different ways (coffee dye after rusted nails and I can't remember what else) so I was really surprised that the onion skins (that would be the mass across the top of the picture) printed green. I figured they might end up almost black.