… is all that matters here!

As you know if you’ve been following my blog, I love making felt paintings.  I have to say though, my life has been so busy with other projects for a few months, that I haven’t made any for ages.

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Recently though, I was asked to make a video tutorial, so here it is. The pics don’t really capture the depths of the blues at the top of the painting, but I think you get the idea.

I had immense fun getting all my wool and silk rovings and searching through my yarn box for just the right variegated and also dimensional yarns, and then even more joy as the little painting came together.

I’m getting used to filming the process, and even the editing is taking less time – still a.g.e.s. – but I’m getting the hang of it, and the rendering and Handbraking and uploading to YouTube with the tags and what-have-you, so people who are searching for a felt picture tutorial, actually discover it!

My desire was to make an attractive picture that was easy to demonstrate, and also copy if someone wants to – without too many intricate materials or steps.  I may make a more complex picture later, if I get enough interest.  Or I’ll make another one for the love of it, and may even video it as I make it!

Here are some closeups of the details of the simple little Sea Beach picture:

So what next?

I do have a hankering to make another nuno scarf soon though because I want to do some eco-printing on it.  I have some rose leaves in the freezer from Valentine’s Day, waiting to be put to good use. Or should I say second use – the first being the expression of love. Ahh, soppy. 😉

If you’d like to watch the new video, here is a link.  Do let me know what you think, by writing in the comments. ❤

 

Macrame drink bottle holder

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I love my glass drink bottle, but don’t like how it bangs against things and want to avoid breaking it. I also want something with a handle so it’s easier to carry for long periods, say, when I’m out walking.

I’ve recently learned to use macrame for jewellery and thought I’d upsize to my water bottle. Macrame glass shell necklace.

It is free to remove for cleaning and I tied a handle for comfy carrying. So the knot wouldn’t annoy me, I tied the handle off on one side and then finished the ends with wooden beads. These look nice and are softer then glass beads when they hit the side.

Comfy handle

Soft wooden beads

I love this simple netting and it has a bit of a nautical feel too. What do you think?

Here it is hanging on a hook.

What do you do when your eco-printing results flop big time?

I’d forgotten just how disappointing that can be.  My latest creative efforts have been very satisfying, so I felt a bit slugged when today’s experiment went south.  In one day, I went from anticipation, to disappointment, to determination, to delight. Here’s how.

I’m in a real creative phase at the moment, and this morning woke up itching to dye something.  I rummaged in one of my cupboards and came across a brown paper bag stuffed to bursting with some old (literally – they’re vintage) linings from kimonos that a friend of mine gave me a couple of years ago to eco-print.

kimono silk.jpg

Using one oblong of silk that had once graced the inside of a kimono (and perhaps a geisha’s) sleeve, I set about eco-printing it with some kale slaw mix from Aldi, as I figured all the ingredients in that had potential to give up their dye.  I also threw on some cut red onion and a few lychee skins for good measure.

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All excited, I wrapped it tightly in a bundle and waited for it to steam.  Well, I didn’t wait, I distracted myself with another project until the timer went off.

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Like a kid in a toy shop, when it was cool enough, I unravelled the string and swept away the damp plant material … only to be massively disappointed.

The kale hadn’t left any marks, the lychees, only an imprint. The only marks given up had come reluctantly from the red cabbage, beetroot and onion.  After hanging the soaking strip out to dry, I was comforted to note a slight oxidation on the lychees, but overall, I had to admit that this wasn’t my most spectacular result.  The strongest part of the print was the smell – reminiscent of vegetable soup.

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As I had to do the weekly shopping, I set off to the shops in town, all the time pondering in the back of my mind how I could do the vintage silk more justice.  Cruising past the vegetables in IGA, my little eye spied a large red cabbage.  Perfect!  I brought it home heavily disguised as family food, then purloined it for a higher purpose. I must admit, knowing my two boys’ (husband and teenage son) taste in brassicas, it wouldn’t be hugely missed.

A few hours later of multi-tasking: dying with preparing the family dinner – which I didn’t think would be a problem with this eco-dye, considering the most toxic chemical I used to shift the dye colour was cooking salt – I eventually brought into life two unique creations.

The first was chicken Mediterranean style cooked with mirepoix, capsicum, passata and Moroccan spices which looked and tasted rather good, if you’ll pardon the self-praise.

The second was the rather gorgeous cabbage-dyed vintage kimono silk.

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I know, it looks like something I could have dragged out of a river in this photo, but as you’ll see shortly, it dried beautifully.

One amusing result was the queen’s head which imprinted from one of the 50 cent pieces that I ‘shirboried’ before dyeing.  I think the coin must have had a chemical on its surface, because the bright purple image is a lot sharper than the other shades of lavender from the cabbage.  Here it is directly after untying the bundle. Once dried and ironed, I noticed some interesting and unexpected small dark brown oval marks on the fabric.  It occurred to me suddenly that these marks were where the lychee skin had been, and it was possibly tannin from the skin that had highlighted the dye in those areas!

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Finally, here is the result, showing just how beautiful natural dyeing can be, especially when imparted onto a natural material, and in particular, one that has aged as gracefully as the Japanese lady who once wore it.

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Closeup of detail from one of the eco-printed and dyed pieces of felt I made recently for a tutorial.

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Editing a video

How to Eco-print a Tee shirt is one of several videos I’ve made showing how to make felt and eco-print. Here’s one:

If you want to know full details or watch the complete process of either making felt or eco-printing, zip over to Youtube.com\AannshaJones now!

I’ve got 3 more videos in the pipeline for editing and uploading and many more ideas to share with you.

Making videos is a creative process in itself and I’ve enjoyed the learning and pulled my hair out over the challenges – but hey, that’s the combined beauty of creating isn’t it?

Getting ready for the CWA Twilight Markets now moved to 18th April because of lots of rain in SE Queensland, I made a nuno felt scarf the other day.

It is totally different to anything I’ve made before and I love it!

Using a thin strip of black chiffon, I laid the wool rovings well over the edge to get a softer edging. I also made some pre-felts of bright orange and turquoise/teal which I cut and laid out on the top with other bits of wool shapes and lots of hand-dyed silk tops.

It was fun to make as I haven’t felted much lately and I was very eager to see the outcome of this one.

Here are a couple of pics – not the best quality, but you get the idea:

Nuno felt scarf - Black, turquoise and orange

Nuno felt scarf – Black, turquoise and orange

All ready for their debut at the CWA Easter Art & Craft Twilight Markets in Beerwah on Saturday 4th April, here are lots of little boxes of Gratitude.

Each box is filled with 100 mini cards with “Thank you” on the back and “I am grateful for” x 98 different qualities and things – plus two blank cards to represent either infinite possibilities or for you to write your own quality on there.

I love the quality printing and cards, as well as the little gift boxes that each comes in.

What a lovely gift of gratitude to give the world – like so many new babies – that I have had the pleasure in making.

This project began in 2006, and I realise now that I needed to work through my own non-gratitude to a much more fulfilled place within myself before they could be born.  Over the last 8 years, I have come face-to-face with those pockets within me that were not grateful but small, clinging and miserable parts of myself that had lost touch with what I call my true Essence.  My inner journey has taken me on lots of self-focused meditations and transformational zones, where I released so much of what was keeping me small and ‘dark’.

To me, Easter is a wonderful time of symbolic renewal in which to present these cards, as each one has within it the potential to assist personal transformation on many levels.

If you’re in Beerwah on the 4th April, please do come along and say hello and choose a card to receive a free ‘gift of gratitude’! I’m writing the little booklet that will accompany the boxes of cards, and the card I chose to assist me with this was Receptivity.

Receptivity

…And lots of other things as well!

Since I wrote my last post, I have bundled, boiled, dried, rinsed, dried and ironed quite a few new eco-printed shirts and tees. All ready for the CWA Easter Art & Craft Twilight Market on 4th April.

Rather than bore you with the details, which are similar as for previous posts, I’ll add a gallery of my latest beautiful nature-painted clothes.

I’ve taken photos of them in the last few moments of sunlight in front of our mini-rainforest – so the colours of the eco-dyed clothes are enhanced by the trees and bushes, and natural light.

Some silk and cotton prints.

Some silk and cotton prints.

… My feet haven’t touched the ground lately! Well, they have really, thank goodness, to keep me grounded with so much creativity bursting into life after a year of drought!

I’ll be updating this blog tomorrow with all the goodies that have been birthing, but here is a quick photo of some of the eco-dyeing to whet your appetite!

 

First two decks of Gratitude cards!

Leaves on paper 2

After steaming the bundle of paper with Eucalyptus leaves this afternoon, it was time to unbundle and reveal Nature’s beautiful patterns. I will let the pic speak for itself.

image

A few days ago, I experimented dyeing an old tee shirt and cotton scarf which had not been mordanted, but had been washed. I used turmeric and paprika powders from my cupboard and eco-printed with Eucalyptus cinerea leaves dipped in iron water.

After boiling for 2 hours the result was bright yellow turmeric areas, with smudgy black leafy areas.  I dried them but wasn’t really happy with them. I just don’t like the colours! They’re too garish. I didn’t really think it through but just grabbed what I had in the pantry!

Yellow Tee shirt yellow scarf

Undeterred, and not liking to waste a good under-painting, I washed them and dipped in milk/water mordant then dried again.

Today after dipping in water/milk again, I laid out a heap of Eucalyptus leaves from my garden and Eucalyptus cinerea that had been soaking in water with a bit of vinegar.

Yellow tee with leavesThen they got bundled up and as I write they’re still boiling in a bath of water stocked with more eucalyptus leaves and bark.

bundle Tee bundle with bands

There was space in the top of the pot to place an upturned colander, so I bundled up some more paper and leaves (just Eucalyptus leaves this time) and stashed them on there. I covered the pot with al-foil, and secured it with string to keep the steam in.

After a couple of hours or so, I’ll take them all out and leave the cloth as long as I can before opening them.  Good luck with that Madame Impatience!

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