Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Autumn blessings (part 2)

The art of being happy
lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things
Henry Ward Beecher

softly October
Soft autumn colours for Mosaic Monday

Thank you to my flickr friends and faves for sharing their beautiful work:
1. The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness
from common things - Henry Ward Beecher
2. 3. Blätter 4. Oak Leaves 20 Sep09

thank you for visiting me
 and thank you for leaving such lovely comments
it's a pleasure to hear from you
when I know you are busy too

~ simple pleasures ~

to ramble along a dusty lane
to feel twigs snapping underfoot
to hear leaves rustling in the wind
and chance upon conkers and acorn cups

~ happiness ~

is a delicate sycamore seed
a falling leaf, a seed pod, a shell
raindrops and birdsong
an umbel shaped seedhead

~ happiness ~

is arranging autumn's finds in a playful way
and using nature's gifts to dye with

more avocado dyeing

This was a bit of an experiment. I left the avocado skins in the fridge for a month so the skins darkened to almost black and the insides were quite brown. I wasn't sure they would work at all as it looked really yucky in the pan, but I still got an earthy pink from it eventually. I like the piece of scrim at the bottom ... crinkly like lace

Eucalyptus leaves

Eucalyptus leaves with a soothing aroma

Eucalyptus leaves
A dear friend gave me a huge bag of these leaves. They smell heavenly! I have only used a fraction so far. This is my first attempt at using the leaves to dye with. Next time I try it I shall try to get a stronger solution. This was a bit too watery. Anyhow, I got a gingery brown coloured dye and left the fabrics soaking in it for a week

The fabrics have a subtle yellow/brown. The silk especially is very pretty. I want to try this again. If I have a stronger solution I feel I may get a more vibrant ginger brown

Brown onion skins

Brown onion skins
A tried and tested favourite. I had been collectiong onion skins in a bag in the fridge for months until I had absolutely loads. I used the whole lot in one dye batch with not too much water and got such a strong colour almost immediately. I think the onions themselves (an English variety) were very strong indeed as I had such sore eyes from peeling them when cooking

I'm really pleased with these fabrics
They've been through the washing machine
and are still really deep in colour

The piece of lace (which is not a natural fabric)
came out a very pretty pale yellow

I also have some natural dyeing with montbretia (crocosmia) to share with you in the next post and some more hearts I made with the montbretia dyed fabrics (a paler, truer yellow)

from Cathy Cullis

~ happiness ~

is reading poetry
handling deliciously soft threads
sorting your stash
colourwashing/painting sketchbook pages
and preparing for new projects

Stef Francis threads in early autumn shades ... very inspiring!

Sketchbook pages

~ happiness ~

is spending time with friends
allowing yourself some time to play
and nice surprises in the post

Autumn inspiration

Art Sketchbooks Workshop
Julie and I both love the work of artist Sally MacCabe so we treated ourselves to Sally's sketchbooks workshop last Wednesday. Sally's studio and all her work and sketchbooks are just so wonderful you can't help but be inspired

The first thing we did was cover our sketchbooks to personalise our books and identify a theme. My sketchbook is going to be full of autumn inspiration so I chose pumpkin orange and gold for mine. We used gesso for texture and then acrylics to colour

I'm really pleased with the texture and colour gradiant. It's got a nice feel I want to keep handling it, which is a good thing!

We played with many techniques such as monoprinting, drawing with ink and water, wax resist, wet in wet watercolour and painted and stamped pages to make a Tim Holtz book

my tile - monoprinting

another tile - monoprinting

after a while the samples started piling up

playing with wax resist and wet in wet watercolour

pebbles in autumn colours

Sally cooked us a lovely lunch and then wouldn't let us leave the studio until we had stuck some things in our new sketchbooks. Julie and I both had such a lovely time. It was a grand day out :o)

~ happiness is a sweet surprise ~

The very next day I couldn't believe my luck but I had another lovely parcel with sweet gifts from Cathy ... some of her beautiful hand dyed fabrics, a small painting and one of her acorns

I adore my acorn!

Cathy's used her hand dyed fabrics
with hand stitched decorations and buttons

I went for a ramble along a dusty lane and
hung the acorn on a lichen covered tree

and then noticed I was being watched ;o)

~ simple pleasures ~

pleasant walks
and making an ATC I made for a friend
with sycamore seed wings painted in copper

and making little tags with fabric layers, text
and sycamore seeds tinted with gold

I know it was a long post
thank you for reading down to the bottom ;o)

hope you find happiness in simple things this week
Carolyn ♥


daisy said...

Another totally fabulous posting. I especially luv the wink!

Hope you are doing well & have got the same glorious sunshine that I have today xx

dosfishes said...

Wow, what a post. You make me want to play with dye pots. Sally McCabe's work is glorious and your compositions sublime. Thanks Carolyn for keep me enchanted. xox Corrine


Thanks Daisy, a beautiful day, blue sky, bright sunshine, white sheets blowing in the slightly chilly breeze

Corrine, thank you, always a pleasure


Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

Your posts always make me feel more open, more thankful and always a bit happier...thanks!

cardinal arts said...

such beautiful images - and how lucky for you to get a gift from Cathy!! I have never heard of using avocado skins for dying - love the pinky colour

Julie said...

We had a lovely day with Sally, didn't we? It was a real treat, just like your post today, and so good to share the day with my dear friend :) Your dyeing looks beautiful as ever, you have some lovely subtle shades. I love the poetry and the eye watching you :) xx

ju-north said...

Lovely, lovely!

Connie Rose said...

Simply awesome Carolyn -- like all your work! xx

Ruth said...

The sketchbook class sounds wonderful. Your dyeing results are wonderful and I love the eye!

Lisa said...

Love this post! What a fun day you had working on the sketchbooks! The textured look is wonderful. Also love seeing the results of your dye experiments ~ turning out some gorgeous results! I tried the avocado dying, but don't think I had enough skins nor left the fabrics in long enough as all I got was an odd tan color. Am going to have to try again! Thanks so much for including one of my photos in you mosaic!

Gina said...

It was worth reading all the way to the bottom. Lovely post.

sharon young said...

Wonderful post, so full of inspiration and colour. Love your avocado dye samples, and may thanks for the into to Sallly MacCabe's, lovely work.

mano said...

wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.......!!!!

La Dolce Vita said...

what an absolutely magical and delightful post!! well... I am certainly inspired now!! grazie bella!!

jan said...

Love everything, but the avocado and onion skin dyes are lovely will have to try this sometime.

Barb Cady said...

What an awesome post, I so love your work, you inspire me in so many ways. Thank you so much for sharing. You have knoctobered me out!

fibrefrolics said...

Another stunning post Carolyn. You sum up the joy and wonder of Autumn so beautifully. Love the avocado dyeing and the sketchbook workshop looks awesome and inspiring.

Jill said...

This is a fabulous post Carolyn.
I have been trying to emulate some of your photographs, but in doing so I realise the skill you have in placing your subjects so beautifully.
When you dye cloth using the plant material do you use a mordant, (I have never done it, but knew someone who did) or just cook up your mix?

Julie Shackson said...

Wonderful post; as ever! What fun to join your musings on art and life. Lovely thankyou xxjxx

Sally MacCabe said...

Your blog is wonderful as always Carolyn.... and thank you for the 'plug' on my sketchbook dayschools!

Sophie Munns said...

What an absolute treat Carolyn!
There was just so much delight here at this post...Thankyou !! Thank you!!

Twiglet said...

Lol - I got to the end of this posting and let out a huge sigh!!! I think I had been holding my breath as I scrolled down the page! Such glorious work, experiments and wonderful autumness but don't make your post any longer in case I pass out!!!!! Thanks lot - Jo

Deborah Younglao, Silk Painter said...

That's a great quote by Beecher. I love the seeing all the things you can dye from! I'm surprised at how deep the onion skin color was.

Kim Hambric said...

What beautiful, inspirational photos. While I love the garish side of autumn, I always appreciate the more subtle side. I feel the need to go outside and gather.

karen said...

wow, so many beautiful images in one post. It's all sublime!

Deborah said...

Wonderful dyeing results! Now I'm inspired to try again.

Pom Pom said...

I like picturing you stirring those pots of dye! I love the acorn, too! Everything is so beautiful - a feast!

lucylovescrafts said...

This is really good I love the Avocado experiment! so unique- this is why I love following your blog! Love, lucylovescrafts x

bad penny said...

sigh - I'm in heaven when I pop over here ! How I'd love to do a workshop like that one.
Love to see how your dyes turn out & loving your seed pics & labels

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

I love stopping by to your blog, I come away feeling so rested and inspired. I wish I was clever enough to work with textiles but sewing a button on is my limit. I guess I'll stick to paint.

annette emms said...

Oh! How I have loved reading this post! Such visual treats. . . You have inspired me, again! Annette x

Ro Bruhn said...

What a fabulous post, I'm going back to look at it again. The best eucalyptus leaves for dying are the silvery grey coloured ones and they are also best after a drought, easy for us, probably not so easy in the UK. They produce the most wonderful orange/rust colours when boiled up.

silverpebble said...

What exquisite images and words Carolyn. It's so exciting to see your experiments with natural dyes - what subtle, beautiful colours.

Heloise said...

So many lovely things to see. Enjoyed seeing the work you did with Sally, I knew her a bit through Art Week when she lived here.

bad penny said...

Carolyn, you have an award on my blog. I know you are modest & don't accept them but you deserve it & I'm giving it to you whether you pick it up or not !!!! Becaues I LOVE your blog.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Henry Ward Beecher's quote is so true! Just love your Autumn Blessings part 2 Carolyn! The mosaic and first image 'Sentimental', in particular, appeal to me. x

libbyquilter said...

oh my your posts are always so pretty and full of delightful surprises~!!~
love the natural dying experiments that you are doing. what beautiful soft colors are produced~!!~


Dot said...

What a joy your blog is to visit Carolyn! Your words, the art, your love of nature shine through. You are such an inspiration. Love your nature faces and your onion dyeing is gorgeous! So glad you and Julie had such a wonderful class (your autumn pebbles are beautiful). Thank you for sharing so much with us. Dot xx

Helen Suzanne said...

my goodness what a fabulously long and rich post. I love the autumn feel you've captured. Thanks too for making me think of the onion skin dyeing... such rich colour.

dropping by after a long absence blogging and delighted to see your work, also to add a little note... I'm changing my blog and webpage to http://thestudio-helensuzanne.blogspot.com/ and thought you'd like to update/add any old link you might have for heb-art journal.

all the best and looking forward to my next visit.
Helen S

Jenni C's said...

beautiful images, creative words, inspiring ideas, a feast for the senses...thank-you for sharing....

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I'm a bit behind in my blog reading but have to comment on this post. Every bit of it was a delight to read. I'd have to define happiness as reading one of your posts!

DK said...

Hello. I've just found your little bit of net space here and wanted to say I just love it. You show so many beautiful items and ideas. Right now I am especially fond of all of the information and photos regarding natural dyes. Thanks for making such a great blog space and have a great weekend!