Monday, 1 November 2010


Happy November!

These early November hours
That crimson the creeper's leaf across
Like a splash of blood, intense, abrupt,
O'er a shield; else gold from rim to boss
and lay it for show on the fairy-cupped
Elf-needled mat of moss
R. Browning

Lesley popped round with a large bunch
of these beautiful red hydrangeas from her garden.
The red is deepening as the petals mature and dry

I photographed quite a few and added texture,
a border and text for the November calendar

I took a couple of the large flower heads
and pulled all the red petals off to see if it produced any dye.
I was very pleased to get this red dye.
It's a little watery but I'm expecting the fabrics will turn
a faded (hopefully vintage looking) pink

I also discovered that hydrangeas have some medicinal properties

I pressed a few of the best petals
This one was skeletonizing from the middle out like a lace paned window

I've left the rest of the hydrangeas heads to dry out and darken
like this one I photographed last year

I'll let you know later in the week what happens with the hydrangea dye

I hope you get up to some nice things this week!

Carolyn ♥


Patty Biermans said...

The hydrangeas are really beautiful. I have a lot of them in my garden but last year I have cut them the wrong way so I had no flowers this year. Maybe next year because they are my favourits. I try to use the colors in my paintings and feltwork. Greetings.... Peebee

Chris Gray said...

..lovely reds!...

...and I hope your pinks turn out as you'd hope.

x Chris

dosfishes said...

Somehow the faded hydrangeas are more beautiful in their display. Lovely shots. I'll be curious to see how the dye comes out. xox Corrine

Gina said...

The hydrangeas are gorgeous. (Lovely to see you in your previous post!)

SocksAndMittens said...

Gorgeous photos

Penny said...

Oh yummy!!!

Elizabeth said...

Looking forward to see the result of this experiment.

Clare Wassermann said...

oooo I've got some of those hydrangeas - I'll be gathering them soon then!! Hopefully you got my address for the giveaway? Exciting! x

Linda said...

How incredibly beautiful!

Katie said...

Beautiful. You always have great ideas.

Deborah said...

Lovely images! I'm inspired to check out my hydrangeas for dyeing possibilities!

Jill said...

Those hydrangea flowers are a wonderful deep colour, I don't think I've ever seen one that colour growing. I'm sure your dye will be a success.

Pom Pom said...

I love your little pots of dye! Hydrangeas have to be one of the fanciest flowers, don't you think?

umelecky said...

Just beautiful as always. I've never seen red hydrangeas. So lovely.

layers said...

what a beautiful deep rich dark burgundy color- can't wait to see what you do with the dye.


Thank you always for your lovely comments xx

Arn't they beautiful!

Pom Pom ... yes they are such a fancy flower! Like rich velvet with lace on top!

Donna ... the dye is evolving into a more mauvy pink. I shall leave it a few more days ... watching it turn

bad penny said...

Beautiful - now I'm wondering ...what medicinal properties ?

Chrissie said...

what a stunning colour the hydrangeas are, sumptuous even when dried. looking forward to seeing the dye results

Menopausal musing said...

An exquisite post and I am laughing my head off at the little bit of fun in your side bar (the "hand over the chocolate and nobody gets hurt" one!). :O))))))

Elizabethanne said...

What glorious colours in these Hydrangeas. Thank you for sharing them with us. Looking forward to seeing the results from the Dying. Your Friend Elizabeth.

jo mcintosh said...

Lovely hydrangeas, more interesting than the pink and blue ones I have seen.

Monica@The White Bench said...

I want to try that dyeing recipe! You always show such interesting things, Carolyn! Thank you!!

iHanna said...

Such beautiful photos and very well edited, I enjoy your blog so much now that I've found it! :)

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Love the way that you have photographed the hydrangeas Carolyn - the natural light enhances the richness of the colours of both flowers and leaves. Have blogged the heart at last! Have a wonderful weekend. x

missy k said...


Thanks for visiting!

I just don't seem to have enough 'arting' hours in the day at the moment!

I love these hydrangeas - hope you are enjoying your favourite season.

Lots of love


Fiona Whitehead said...

I adore hydrangeas but never seem to get mine to look this colour - what an inspiration - hope you're feeling better soon - and thanks for joining in with the inchy Christmas swap x

Jacky said...

What gorgeous colours...I hope you get some beautiful dyed cloth from these.

Jacky xox

Anonymous said...

Absolutely stunning Hydrangea, which looks very similar to one a friend of mine has. Does anybody know which Hydrangea this is? Stunning photography too!