back and forth and backth again


Like a meandering meandery thing, so much to say, so little sense of order…!

Amongst the changes I’m progressing through in recent months, I’ve re-aquired a bunch of stuff that’s been in storage for a number of years. Some of which: a veritable shedload (well, technically, half a van load) of miscellaneous textiles which are gradually cycling into new creations. From linen to clothes and curtains, some are older than I am, some scrips and scraps, but they all have fantastic futures as somethings beautiful and/or useful (in most cases, I hope, both).

the seat from where I'm typing to you!
the seat from where I’m typing to you!

Then at the same time the gods of synchronicity have sent some gloriously inspirational folks to cross my path. I can’t leave them unmentioned in this post.

I encountered Raggedy Rags earlier this year at the London Knit & Stitch Show.

Raggedy Rags – Dress like nobody’s judging

Drawn in by the delight of uniquely upcycled clothing and the wonderful mantra I’ve since adopted as my own: Dress like nobody’s judging. I wish I’d gone back for that red coat, but I did leave with a head full of fresh ideas. And I’ll catch another coat another time.

Then the colorfulicious Katwise pinged up on my web-wanderings radar. Recently her splendidly multi-coloured home has been featured in articles all over the place, you may have seen it? As an artwork it’s amazing even if it surpasses your personal technicolour tolerances.

https://i1.wp.com/katwise.com/house_slices/house_003.jpg
living the rainbow dream

But beyond this, it led me to her sumptuous knitwear regenerations.

Katwise Elf Coat -  Recycled Sweater Tutorial - Plus size

If you have even an inkling of a desire to learn more I can really recommend her ebooks.

Between these guys and the web-rabbit-holes I’ve explored as a result, I’m all fired up for some cosy winter sewings coming up soon. Just need Santa to bring me a serger (or eBay, gotta be a little realistic) and I’m good to go!

every last ounce of goodness


I’ve been dying fabric for the quilt lately. I’ve been dying fabric for years. It got me thinking: The only stage I don’t like is towards the end when the residue dye – as it’s no longer active – has to be poured away. Why? it’s mostly water. But something inside me winces, it’s beautifully colored water and I don’t want to waste a drop of color.

In my perpetual quest for ways to wring every last ounce of goodness out of every stage in a process, last week I had one of those why did I never think of this before epiphanies.

rolled paper in a jam jar of dye dregs It’s no good to dye fabric with now, but it will dye paper!

Decanting the dye dregs into jam jars, rolling up scrap paper and standing them in the jar.

Then just let science take over: the water soaks in and climbs up the dry paper bringing the remaining pigment in its wake.

When they’re soaked through, or the water in the jar has dried up, or when I just need to clear some space I empty the lot into a bucket to finish intermingling and eventually dry.


dye dreg paper dying

It’s satisfying on so many levels: using up color, repurposing scrap paper, creating patterns for future collages and art works. It does it’s own thing when left to its own devices. It’s messy and unpredictable (just like me) And it’s effectively better than free!

More variations on the theme:

  • Dry paper, water-splashed paper, soaked paper (hot & cold water)
  • Letting the liquid soak part way up, then up-ending the paper so it runs down and creeps up at the same time
  • Pouring more color down the inside of the paper rolls
  • Using paper that’s been part printed on the inkjet so the colors merge and dribble into each other
  • Coffee dregs instead of / mixed with colored water
  • Just water + inkjet printed paper (but not laser printed – that ink won’t run)
  • Scrumpled paper for a veiny effect
  • Glossy photo paper (make good use of those expensive printer mistakes!)

Quilty Time


See what I did there? *snigger*

September’s just round the corner and me and the Inner Kid are looking forward to some cosiness. We reeeeeally want a velvet quilt in which to snuggle.

Now, something like 15 years ago we made one. It was a patchwork of scavanged velvet from car boot sales and charity shops, excuses, impatience and scant attention to detail. I didn’t have such a balanced relationship with IK back then, so handed over almost all the decision making, which culminated in a lovely colorful quilt, full of hurried inaccuracies, apology and shonky stitching. It began to develop holes almost straight away.

Fast forward another 10 years or so: We decide to re-incarnate/up-cycle said quilt into covers for floor cushions. Some long while after this they ended up in that limbo of ‘waiting for next idea’ space. The ragbag. The months of scavanging fabric, sorting and choosing, cutting into squares, sneezing from the fluff were so long past, but still fresh enough that we couldn’t totally let go.

Fast forward again to yesterday: I left IK sleeping off the excitement of the previous day and snuck upstairs with scissors and freshly washed quilt/cushion cover remnants.

Sssssshhhhh…. don’t tell, but I actually began trimming down the pieces to the same size (yes, measured not guessed)…. layed them out on the (ironed) backing fabric and pinned them. Just like a proper grown up would do!!!

I’ll post up some picks as we go along – meanwhile IK is yelling in the background: I have to paint the dream I just woke from. QUICK before it escapes!

Happy endings


Ingredients:

  • Paper. I can recommend a HP940C printer manual, but guess anything made out of paper would do just as well 😉
  • Procion dye. Super vivid colors. I used Magenta and Yellow.
  • Brusho. (Or any ink). I chose Brusho for it’s intense colors
  • Spray inks – like dylusions or Ranger color wash. Or any ink in a spray bottle
  • Water – spray bottle or brushed on to merge colors
  • About a week for inter-page drying and adding ink/dye to the uncolored bits. Building up the colors in stages prevents murky colors
  • Sunshine and a washing line for quicker drying (optional)
  • Suspended expectations. This project steers itself!

Here are some of the results…….

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(More on how this came into being here)

One Lovely Blogger


Big thank you to lovely blogger Not just a Mummy for the nomination. Here’s the deal:

  1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you
  2. Paste the award image on your blog
  3. Tell 7 facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 other blogs that you would like to give the award to
  5. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen and let them know about the award

Seven Facts:

  1. I’m fascinated by science, metaphysics and spirituality; I beleive in the power of positive thinking
  2. I passed my driving test first time, aged 29.
  3. I’m an avid recycler/upcycler. I will eke every last bit of use and goodness out of pretty much anything. I actually shudder a little at the word ‘disposable’
  4. I have an 18 yr old cat named ‘The Woozle’. She’s creaky and grumbles a LOT, but I love her all the same
  5. I’m hoping to go back to school in september to begin a degree in fine art
  6. Almost all my socks are stripey. There’s something about stripey socks makes me happy.
  7. Curiouser and curiouser, Alice in Wonderland is my fictional alter ego. (Well, one of them)

Fifteen Bloggers
Srsly? I’d love to, but I’m still a bit new here and haven’t met as many blogs as I’d like. 15? Holy Shmoly! Gonna skip this part for a while, but as I find new blogs of great loveliness I promise I’ll let you know. Deal? Cool! 🙂