Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative


Leave a comment

Witley Court Worcestershire

Sunday 21st October dawned with clinging fog but with a small promise of becoming brighter.  Regardless of the weather we had decided as our trip to Germany had been postponed due to circumstances beyond our control we would have a day out.

Witley Court and Gardens are only 45 minutes from our home so are quick and relatively easy to get to, via a number of motorways and a variety of minor roads.  I had intended we set off early but as usually it didn’t happen, I suppose I should have learnt by now, but I suppose if we had gone early the fog would have still lingered.  As it was we found numerous trees draped in clouds of cobwebs encrusted with diamond-like water droplets just waiting to sparkle when the fog lifted.

I managed to take some really quite good photos, some of which are above taken with my small compact Nikon digital camera as big son was using my Fuji and little son my Panasonic Lumix.  Husband was using his new Olympus, which is able to take panoramic and 3D shots without the help of Photoshop to create the magic.

The photo with the spiders shows the fog just starting to lift. 

We had a great day out which was enhanced by enjoying a light lunch at the tea room just outside the gardens.  It was so nice we didn’t need our Sunday dinner when we got home.


2 Comments

Restocking my stash of hand dyed fabrics

After many months of using up my stash of fabrics I thought it was about time to start restocking with hand dyed fabric. This has also made me think about the fabrics I actually use – do I really need to buy the considerably more expensive patterned fabrics anymore?  No I’ll try to just use those I dye myself.  Thank goodness for my washing machine as it does all the hard work of rinsing the fabric once they have been in the dye bath for a while and my hands stay relatively dye free – I can’t get on with wearing gloves.

View albumView albumView albumView albumView album

 

To dye my fabrics I use a combination of techniques from all over the place but basically it is 2 teaspoons of dye mixed with a small amount of water, which after mixing I added further water to about 400ml.  To dye the above I divided this mixture in half and then half again until all the dye solution was used.

  1. 200ml of dye solution, topped up to 400ml with water and 400ml of salt solution.
  2. 100ml dye solution topped up to 400ml with water and 200ml of salt solution topped up to 400ml with water.
  3. 50ml of dye solution, topped up to 400ml with water and 100ml of salt solution topped up to 400ml with water.
  4. 25ml of dye solution topped up to 400ml with water and 50ml of salt solution topped up to 400ml with water.
  5. whatever is left topped up to 400ml with water and whatever is left of the initial 1 litre of salt solution topped up to 400ml with water.

All measurements are approximate.  I add the above solutions to zip lock bags with a piece of cotton fabric which measures approximately 50cm by half the width of the fabric.  Give the bag a squeeze and a mash around as much or as little as required to distribute the dye solution and leave – I leave mine overnight before rinsing and washing with a mild detergent and fabric softener.  I iron my pieces dry as I can’t wait to see what they look like and I can get all the creases out much more easily.

The salt solution I use is 200g of salt dissolved in boiling water to make 1 litre of solution.

All my fabrics have been soaked in a solution of soda ash and water for at least 20 minutes before wringing out and used for dyeing.  This can be left to dry and will be ready to use as and when but one thing I have learnt the hard way that soda soaked fabric should NOT be ironed until it has been thoroughly washed, as the soda seems to stain the fabric yellow which will not come out.