So it has been a give or take a week since I officially finished this school year and I can say that I am already struggling to find that non-school work groove again.
I’ve already began work on my summer project list:
Have a high tea Party
Make clothes (shirt w/ flowers + purple bodice shirt + square skirt shirt)
Russian Scarfs (3)
Make things for Show + Sale
Paint (flower book) + finish Miyazaki one
Can (tomatoes + chutney’s)
Clean Basement (studio)
Update dye journal
So I think I have my work cut out for me in between the other summer activities I have. First on my list is a shirt. Dyeing the fabric of course. And I want to use our crabapple blossoms which last only a short time. Apparently in my neck of the Canadian woods gardens are three weeks ahead of schedule! We’ve been having +28 degree weather! Zowwie! I’ve been enjoying the spring weather and have been cleaning up the garden: taking out all the dead leaves, weeding, making dirt look nice, starting seeds indoors along with some other plants.
(a satisfying picture of you compost, we got two wheel barrels full of it this year which is a record for us!)
I’m holding off on planting a lot of things in the ground as even before the may long weekend with this nice weather where I live it is still risky and the weather can turn on a dime. But when we do plant our annuals the garden will fill up (as it looks quite bare after weeding and the clearing I did last year). And this year my goal is to plant some late-summer/fall flowers as the garden finishes its main flower show by the end of July. So we will solve that problem hopefully.
(Irises are probably one of my favourites with their complex shape and many variations of colours).
The shirt that I have been making is yet again another variation of the pattern I made last summer (this will be the fourth shirt developed from it), but as always some variations. This time I changed the belt and the chiffon layer. As for the colours they gave me a surprise (as usual). So the chiffon and the bodice were both dyed using the crabapple blossoms.
(I used both frozen and fresh blossoms and used them respectively in their thawed and cook ways)
Remember the post I did on them last year? Resulting in a pale green-bleu colour on the cotton that looked white.
(Photos of crabapple blossom dye on cotton from 2015)
Well for this shirt I was hoping for a purple and pink colour scheme (pink from avocado pits). With a crabapple blossom bundle dyed underskirt layer, purple chiffon layer, pink belt, and possibly a purple bodice. But that of course didn’t happen but I’m not upset with the results. The underskirt is sort of a mixture of purple and gold from the results of a bundle dye.
The chiffon and bodice are a green bleu from a crabapple blossom dye bath, and the belt is avocado pink. So Not what I originally planned but I think I am happier with these results than my initial idea. So let us pray the sewing will go as planned. As well as future dye projects (our fern peonies and lilac are going to come out anyway now).
(all the colour scraps in a row)
And as for the winter coat I am trying to get the lining for my winter coat the right tone of red/burgundy that I want. But I’m hoping to do the actual sewing of the coat after I make the shirt as I want to get back into the groove before taking on something that is more challenging and foreign.
(The lining is still a bit too pink in my opinion so I am hoping that some iron mordant darken it down… Fingers crossed)
In addition since classes have ended I have been teaching myself how to spin yarn on a drop spindle. So far I don’t think I’m doing too terribly… Yes it isn’t perfect but I think its a good start.
(My first spun and set ball of yarn that I made)
And while I’ve been spinning I have been reflecting on fibres processes/ techniques I like. Of course sewing and dyeing are high up on my list of likes but I have concluded that I enjoy spinning more than weaving.
(My drop spindle)
Most likely because it is more of an instant gratification and less repetitive counting and math. Weaving does not allow your mind to wander. Whereas spinning is more of a go by feel process, much like dyeing, which I think suits me better.
(Closeup of one of my weavings)
For example, when I am dyeing I feel like I am thinking on my feet a lot as I do tend to want specific colours (which isn’t really practical when you are using natural dyes). So there is a lot of quick reactions/ go by feel. And I think that this type of work method is when my work feels the most natural to me. Others may feel the same. But despite my need for planning things I do tend to act on a whim more often than not.
So after this conclusion my words to weaving is that I think I will take another class with you but beyond my education I’m not sure I will pursue you.
I enjoyed you but I don’t find that I can get lost in you unless I am making a rag rug… (the most enjoyable project that we did all semester for me) And I only have so much space for rugs and a bit of a grudge against them as a purely decorative item… Aka please don’t have an entry mat/rug that people can’t step on with their dirty outside shoes.
On a different artistic note, last semester I was given a chance to get reacquainted with watercolours. They were one of my initial loves and reasons why I went to art school but then when I got there there didn’t seem to be many opportunities for me to pursue them at first. So they got put off to the side and my dyeing passion shot through… But then this past semester I was given a chance to break the paints out again and I rediscovered them as well as my love for them. So I’ve been spending some time pursuing that as well. Also it doesn’t hurt that I discovered that they can sell.
(One of my watercolours)
So until next time! When I’ll have some more finished items to show you!!!