Rust Dye

Posted: February 8, 2016 in Crafts
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Dyeing fabric has always been something I was interested in, and recently I’ve found that some people actually use rust to achieve interesting colours and even batik like patterns with apparently pretty simple methods.

And guess what? It really is that simple. All I used for my tries so far was some water mixed with vinegar, some rusty metal items, a plastic bag to wrap the fabric in and time.

The rusty items need direct contact with the fabic so the rust can do it’s work:

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Different shaped objects create different patterns – these were some big screws wrapped in the wet fabric. Not all at once though, which is why it can take up some time to dye a bigger piece of fabric this way.

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The longer the rusty items stay in contact with the fabric the darker the ‘print’ becomes – but it will eat through delicate material pretty quickly when they stay in contact for too long!

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This one actually got a few tiny holes because the fabric was much thinner than the linen and cotton I dyed before so I underestimated the damage it could do to thinner material. Another effect is that the rust colour spread through the fabric where it was wet and created completely different patterns on this one, though I’m not sure if that happened because the fabric was much thinner or from a different material (I didn’t buy this one myself so I don’t know what exactly it is).

For now I’m pretty satisfied with the way my first tries of using rust as dye turned out, but I’ll play around some more to see what else I can get. And maybe find some practical uses for it besides post apocalyptic themed clothing and items!

(Disclaimer: No, I did not iron any of those pieces yet. And I won’t until I actually intend to use them for something where they actually need ironing. Yes, I am lazy like that. Life’s too short to spend it ironing – ain’t nobody got time for that!)

 

Winter Blues

Posted: January 1, 2016 in Embroidery, Stuff
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It’s been a while since I mentioned working on this, and it’s still a work in progress. This year has been long and short at the same time, a lot of learning and discovering and, hopefully, a start to some healing.

It’s been almost half a year of working on these blue stitches on and off, sometimes several days in a row and then again nothing for a week or two, but eventually it’s getting there. But now I can’t bring myself to fill in the last little gaps to complete it, as if there is no inspiration left for those remaining white patches.

I’m not sure if that means it’s actually done in the state it is now in or if I simply need to give it some time until the inspiration comes to me – or maybe I’m just afraid of going the last steps and finishing it all the way. Maybe the idea of finishing this work and having nothing to do afterwards is scary, or maybe the image of an all white canvas to start with again is too intimidating right now.

I guess I’ll have to leave the blues at rest until I know where it wants to go, and see if I can find ways to get back into creative work again after not being home for so long. I’ve started experimenting with unusual ways of dying fabric and have been rather happy about how some of these turned out so far, so I might show some results of that soon.

Moss and Lichen

Posted: August 30, 2015 in Photography, Thoughts
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Forests and graveyards are awesome places to find moss and lichen, and weathered and overgrown tombstones are particularly fascinating. They make me think about the fact that these stones will last longer than their owners have lived on this earth, and even though they will stay in their place for a long time they will also fade eventually. Humans aren’t made for eternity, and rightfully so. Even mountains have to bow down to the flow of time eventually. Nothing is eternal, after all.

Blue

Posted: August 29, 2015 in Crafts, Embroidery
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It’s somewhat surprising how much time it takes to fill such a small space with stitches. But it’s interesting to see the blue grow randomly, without a plan beforehand, and the result looks almost organic.

I wonder how long it will take until I’m finished and there’s no white left, and even more whether I will actually be content with my creation. But those are thoughts for the future, and this is about the presence – not thinking or making plans, and just do instead. So far I’m somewhat pleased, and that’s something already.

For now I’ll let the embroidery grow at its own pace.

Broken Shells

Posted: August 23, 2015 in Photography
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A few days ago I’ve came across a concrete lid hidden between brushes, where apparently birds drop snails on to break their shells to be able to eat them. A day or two later, on my way home, in a completely different place, I found another snail shell that was completely unharmed and just laying on the sidewalk. I wonder what that’s supposed to mean.

Maybe it should tell me that going your own path slowly is alright, because otherwise you’re going to be cracked by the birds..

Pincushions always come in handy whenever pins are involved – and tiny ones are great to take on a trip! I made some of these recently with felted balls and bottle caps, a few have been gifted away and one accompanied me on the two weeks I just spent away from home.

Cheap, lightweight and easy to stuff into a small corner so it doesn’t use up too much of the space needed for all those dragged along clothes that will never see the daylight during a trip anyway. Additionally it protects needles that get pushed far into the ball of felted wool very nicely, so there is no worry about damaging them at all while also looking pretty cute.

I think I’m going to make a little kit for my embroidery stuff to take everywhere, with one of these tiny pincushions included.

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A square of fabric I embroidered a bit ago that took me a long time to do. It stretched out over weeks until I had to leave it behind so it could become part of the quilt it was meant for, so it never got finished. Yet it doesn’t feel incomplete, as if it was supposed to be a work in progress forever.

It looked better in person, especially the colours, but I’m glad I got at least a picture to remember my work. After all it’s the first time I ever did embroidery in my life. Looking at it now there are a lot of things I would do differently, but learning about new things is also a constant progress and I can be happy with what I created to a certain extend, without regretting my mistakes and lack of knowledge too much.

Maybe I’ll do something similar again in the future to see how the differences will turn out.

I didn’t really decide what it is yet. A necklace maybe, or a charm.

I felt like having a little piece of a forest to carry around with me in my pocket, or anywhere really, so I made a patch of moss. It turned out alright I guess, I am able to like it. I’m not so sure about showing it to others though, there’s always this feeling of being stupid and silly lurking in the background.

But I’m happy I made it. And it grew faster than I expected.