Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas inertia

I am trying to overcome the inertia that you get once Christmas is over.  Boxing Day was ok, I had a few things to do - and avoided all shopping centres.
But I had put today aside to finally do something with the frozen flowers.
So far I have soaked some silk in alum solution. I did that a couple of days ago and today I actually got some flowers out of the freezer and soaked them in lukewarm water, as recommended by India Flint.
I am using two books: Eco-Colour by India Flint and Colours from Nature by Jenny Dean.
India recommends putting the frozen flowers in a bag that can be squeezed to get the colour out, so I have used cotton gauze.  It usually takes some of the colour and I have kept those bits for machine embroideries. This time, though, the gauze has not been soaked in alum and neither have the flowers. So I used the water I had soaked the silk in, in case there is any alum left in it.
The hollyhocks have given some purple colour, almost immediately. I diligently squeezed the mass of flowers, they end up feeling really squishy and slightly disgusting. The colour was very pale, so I am leaving the fabric in with the frozen flowers and hoping that more colour will leach out. I will leave it for a few days.
I tried this previously and the plant matter started to rot and gave me some stains, so I will have to keep an eye on it, not leave it as long as I did previously. But I have also thought that it might not rot if it is under the liquid, so I have weighed it all down with a jar.  Here's hoping.
The gardener in the family has been doing daily harvesting of dandelion flowers for me. I read that you can use them for dyeing - and it stops them from seeding and causing more plants to grow in our garden, where we don't really want them.
I had initially thought that I might get yellow dye but when I read the book last night, it was under the Green section.  And when I looked at the frozen pile I realised that it is predominantly green.
So far it is looking a very murky brown-green-yellow colour, and rather pale.  I may have to overdye that fabric.  At least the alum is supposed to be ok environmentally and I can put the plant matter in the compost heap.


Glennis said...

Hi Mary I know what you mean by inertia, I can't be bothered doing anything. Hopefully I will get better. Best wishes for the new year.

Mary said...

Glennis, it will be easier if the hot weather stays away. It is supposed to be hot tomorrow, not much will happen then. But I am hoping it will cool down again quickly - we have been lucky so far.

theregatha said...

I am trying to remember "something" about post mordant... not sure but I think the guild group have some notes on what happens when one adds a mordant after dying that transforms murky nothing into brilliant. Good to see you lifting out of the initeria!!!

Mary said...

Thanks theregatha, I will have to do some research. Not sure if the notes will be online and the guild isn't open at the moment. But I will have a look around on the net, see what I come across. It definitely needs something to liven it up!