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Eco-dyeing silk with alum, tea, iron

Today’s experiment took me beyond my comfort zone of familiar eucalyptus.

Scarf 1

Using the golden eucalypt-dyed silk scarf from yesterday’s experiment which turned out very similar to my first attempt, I decided to over-print with some leaves I had on hand.

First of all, I dipped the scarf in an alum solution and ironed it dry.

To this I added tea leaves and kale leaf pieces on half of the scarf.  I folded it and rolled it tightly on a tea tree twig. I tied it tightly with twine (tighter than yesterday  in the hope that if any leaf prints came out, they’d be in better contact with the silk).

Scarf 2

For the second silk scarf, I scattered roibus tea leaves and black tea leaves from my cupboard, and some fresh sage leaves from the herb garden.  I folded this in half and half again several times until I had a small square that I secured with bull-dog clips.

The dye pot

Using an enamel bowl (kindly donated by my lovely neighbour), I boiled 4 teabags and some rusty iron nails, as I wanted to produce a dark brown/black.  For good measure, I added what was left of the alum solution from Scarf 1.

I stood a rusty mozzie (mosquito) coil holder in the pot and put Scarf 1 on top.  I immersed Scarf 2 into the dye liquid.

Black dye pot

Covered enamel dye bath

Covered enamel dye bath

Covering the pot with aluminium foil, I boiled it for a total of 65 minutes.

Then I took them out to cool and at the moment they are hanging up drying.

Two bundles drying in sink

Two bundles drying in sink

I’ll post the results tomorrow.

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Creating in my garden office

What a fantastic day!

After a fairly lazy start with a sleep in, and floating round Facebook for a while, I got a creative urge; my new website was calling: “Aannsha, write another article – I’m pretty empty up here in cyberspace – waiting for you to add more content.”

My garden office

My garden office

Okay, my website didn’t talk to me.  But it came to mind and, wanting to continue from my other article, eager to put more thoughts ‘out there’, I grabbed my laptop, hosed down the plastic recliner outside, and headed for a shady spot in the front garden.

Ignoring the occasional fly and enjoying the bleats of the neighbours’ sheep, I set about the business of writing.

I got off to a slowish start; the day was balmy, the sun warm and the atmosphere more conducive to napping than tapping out thoughts on my keyboard. So after a little doze, then a mala (108 rounds of my mantra) to get me in the right frame of mind, I eventually began.  And the article, entitled Being Yourself, Being Creative, went like this:

“Aannsha,” you may say. “This creative expression of life stuff that you’ve shared in the Expression of Life – it’s easy for you to say, but I’m not creative, I’m no good at expressing myself and frankly, I wouldn‘t know where to begin.”

Interestingly, when I typed this, I transposed the letters for ‘begin’ and typed ‘being’. And while I  corrected the spelling mistake, it did occur to me that I’d inadvertently typed a part of the answer. (And I know ‘part’ also spells ‘prat’, but that’s got nothing to do with anything here, okay). You see, being – being you – your SELF – is basically all you have to do.

You follow your deepest heartfelt urges. If you want to sing in the shower, even if the neighbourhood cats chuck rotting fish at you when you leave your apartment because your voice is shot – sing! If you have an urge to kiss your boyfriend because he’s just a sweetie, even though everyone in the class is looking and  they think he’s a dork – do it anyway. And if you feel so moved by the sadness in the world news, go  ahead, cry your heart out. You may be the boss of a multi-million dollar corporation and you may be  reviewing the news as part of your Monday morning staff meeting. But you’re human. And so are the rest  of the employees. …

[…]

…There’s a lot of craziness in the world at the moment. At lot of the systems in which we live have been engineered over eons to ensure we are predictable and give our life’s energy in most part to the System in which we live. But things are changing and fairly rapidly from an evolutionary perspective. And the fears you might be experiencing in the face of your own personal crap are a sign that you are already moving through the limitations. So right now, you may be looking at all of your life – or one or two aspects of it – and going, “Seriously. You’re telling me my life is going from good to fantastic? Get down here and check out my bills, I haven’t got enough money to pay them all.” Or “Oh get real lady, my cousin was shot the other day in a gang fight, my sister is on heroin and I’m just trying to get through today. You’re talking out your a**se.”

But wherever you find yourself right now, if you’re drawn to read this, it is because you have the answers within you and because you have the strength to take one day at a time to creating a world that you want to live in. You may not have all the answers right now. No one does. However,  … Read More

I hope you enjoy the read.  I’d love to hear from you with your comments. 🙂

I must say though, it has been a great start to 2014 – taking the initiative and bringing my ‘office’ out here into my garden overlooking our little rainforest.  I nearly stayed inside.  I am so glad I followed my heart and stepped out of my comfort zone long enough to hose down the chair and create my own little creative niche.

Nice to see I’m getting back into walking my talk again!

Let me end today’s post by wishing you a wonderful 2014 and may positive change come gracefully and creatively in line with your heart’s desires.

 

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