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Ecodyed – Art Top

Ecodyed - Art Top

raw silk eco dyed top, one of a kind – red2white


“Steal Like An Artist”

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Interesting thought to share …

Pattern and Outrage

The book “Steal Like an Artist” is a great and inspiring volume. You can read it in an hour and a half, and should, many times.

Here are a few of artist/author Austin Kleon’s liberating and clarifying concepts:

  1. “Nobody is born with a style or a voice… We learn by copying.”
  2. Copy your heroes.
  3. Copy from more than one source.
  4. “You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.”

In that vein, today I celebrate a cloth face put together in preparation for an upcoming children’s quilting workshop that I’ll be teaching at the Boston Center for the Arts.*  This exercise served two purposes. One, it acquainted me with the project on the tactile level – obviously important when teaching. Two, it gave me a chance to express something, so there is less chance I will insert myself into my students’ work…

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Too many projects on the brain.

Work room 020

Work room full of items without completion.

box of thread

Sitting here staring at them doesn’t make them move along.

dress with stitches, eco dyed cotton napkin

So many grey days in a row.

so this is Paris, the bag of many pieces

Someone said it’s spring.

I have a 12 foot snow pile in my front yard and my garden’s under 4 feet.

I don’t believe them.

eco dyed silk

Must stop looking and start working. 

Project Pillows

Project Pillows


I wish I could describe to you just how incredible the smell of this jasmine is. It fills the room and makes me smile. And it’s been blooming for weeks. Non stop loveliness!

I didn’t realize at first that you need to stop watering them for them to bloom. Really. Let them dry out a bit, not wilting dead, but just dried out and then water them again. You’d be amazed! Well, maybe not if you already knew that trick.

It is wonderful!

We are finally sort of settling in. The chickadees have found the bird feeder I put out for them. We’re trying out one of those finch feeders too with nyger seed and we’ve had a female purple finch so far but that’s it. The problem with being in town, and on a busy street I guess.

I crocheted myself a new pair of slippers. My sister says they are psychedelic Peter Pan feet. I’ll have to take pictures and write up the pattern. Soon. When I have a chance. We just got internet installed here yesterday. There was a waiting list, how weird is that? But I’m not used to this small of a town, this far North so maybe this is common. There really are some cute spots here, and for anyone who knows the Polar Bear Express, this is where it starts.

Can’t wait to get at the silk. I hope the projects will form as I can see them in my head. That’s the tricky part. 

Versatile Blogger Award

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I find I am the recipient of the Versatile Blogger Award.

How lovely!

I did have to look up what the award was though :) It’s actually a pretty cool way to commend fellow bloggers and know that someone out there appreciates what you do.

It all started when Marta from Domestic Goddess Project left me a lovely comment on my About page that she had nominated me for the award. I found this site Everything VBA that explains how it works.

After thanking the person for the award, and for letting you know they appreciate your work, you then get to nominate 15 other bloggers, thereby making them smile and realize that you appreciate them.

You also have to let the person know 7 things about yourself.

Here goes:

  1. I am madly in love with my absolutely perfect-for-me husband. He is the reason that I feel safe, and secure, and inspired enough to create and I will never be able to thank him for all he’s helped me with. I enjoy every day with him and he is my best friend!

  2. I am a whole quarter of a century this minute, though, by November I’ll be 26.

  3. I have loved the colour purple as long as I can remember.

  4. I am addicted to crochet! As I was telling someone today, sometimes I sit down to do a little bit and come out of the crochet haze an hour or more later, much farther along on my project, and very behind on everything else.

  5. We have taken up “birding” this year, March 21 to be precise, and have thus far seen 107 species. My favourites are the Eastern Bluebird and the Cedar Waxwing.

  6. We are moving farther North, from the Near North of Sturgeon Falls, to the North Proper, in Ontario, Canada. We’ll be living in a little town called Cochrane that has a Polar Bear Habitation. I didn’t think we’d be that far north, but apparently…

    7. I still have my head cold!

Now for the Nominations… the envelope please…

  1. Threadborne – The lovely Wendy is a genius when it comes to eco dyeing and is a constant source of inspiration.

  2. Red 2 White – Monika has made some incredible clothing, that, as soon as I saw it, I wanted to get started sewing. And her iron infused leaf prints are wonderful!

  3. The Simple Life of a Country Man’s Wife – I love the fact that Country Man’s Wife is as madly in love with him as I am with my husband. And farm life in South Dakota is just fun!

  4. Studio Mothers – Great tips on beating the TV numbing habit and getting creative with your creativity! Oh, and what to do with Aunt Zelda.

  5. Japan in 365 Days – Gorgeous pictures and a great way to armchair travel. Search out the monkey shots, they’re so cute!

  6. Simple Provisions – Amelia got me with her Homesick Toast and then all the other lovely recipes keep me coming back.

  7. Zween – Cute odds and ends of craftiness. The DIY Tree Decal for the nursery is adorable.

  8. Clasheen – Great for all things felting. Oh, how I want to try nuno felting!

  9. Kirsten Jane – Seriously! Who doesn’t want to make their own shoes!

  10. Design by Lulu – Lovely blog. Great paper crafting.

  11. Biscuits and Bobbins – I fell in love with the title and then the recipes. The Zucchini Ribbons with Lemon Basil Pesto and Goat Cheese sounds so good!

  12. Puddle-Wonderful Life – The blog is as good as it’s title.

  13. Kids in Love Collective – Awesome compilations. Check out the string gardens.

  14. MattnEric – Great reviews on music, like their latest on Regina Spektor’s new album “From the Cheap Seats”.

  15. StichedUpMama – I still don’t really understand yarnbombing but it sounds like a blast and I really want to try it!

    Thanks again Marta!

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Found this over at Crayons and Milk. Oh, how I love my husband!

crayons and milk

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I found this and fell in love with Miranda’s brilliant succinct concepts. Be sure to check out the 12 Ways to Watch Less TV and Be More Creative on the righthand side. Also very good information! Aunt Zelda will never bother us again.

Studio Mothers: Life & Art

Sometimes creative angst gets the better of us. How often do you find yourself thinking “I don’t have enough time,” or “My work’s not good enough,” or “I’ll never reach my creative goals”? Here are four simple ways to avoid those minefields and stay focused on what really matters: your creative work.

1. Turn rejection into affirmation. With practice, you can reframe rejection so that it actually affirms your creativity, rather than causes injury. Here’s how. Simply put, you can’t get rejected if you haven’t had the courage to send your work out into the world. And you can’t send your work out into the world if you haven’t reached a level of completion and polish that makes you believe your work has legs. And your work can’t have legs if you haven’t put yourself at your desk or easel or studio bench and actually done the work, for however…

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Collection Ideas

I was trying to think of the basic, classic pieces every woman wants in her wardrobe.

The dress.

The top.

The skirt, or skirts.

And a jacket.


The Idea That Started Me Thinking

This idea kept me up rather late one evening a couple months ago. I had been looking through the lovely world of fibre crafts and nuno felting was such a wonderful idea it stuck in my brain. Stuck so well that at 2:30 when I ought to be sleeping this is what I was dreaming up.

Some soft shade with barely contrast freeform edging and shell buttons from the clams we had collected from the Sturgeon River last summer.

Why not try it out? 


the base

Here is my shipment from Dharma – my silk and roving.

For reference this is 16 oz of wool roving.

I’m not sure exactly how much this is going to felt. I think it depends a lot on how thick you want the felting to be. It is so lovely and soft. Roving is a particularly happy thing.

Then there is 4 yards of silk twill and 4 yards of flat crepe. The silk twill seems a good sturdy fabric which is what I wanted for good wear. I so hate when you find something lovely but it wears out super fast! The flat crepe has the most lovely sheen on it that I hope will still show through when the felting is complete.

I also received a free gift from Dharma as it was my first purchase. I opted for a silk habotai scarf that I thought I could practise my felting on. Pondering whether or not I should dye the silk first and then felt it, and maybe even dye it again, or dye the roving separately, or felt it all and dye it. So many options!

And of course what to use for dye stuffs? Though many of you may be experiencing the beginnings of spring and crocuses, we still have 2 feet of snow on the ground and are always expecting more. Blizzards on May 31st are not unheard of!

Plus some of my friends want to help out, and try their hand at it, so I may end up waiting for them to help out. It’s always so exciting learning something new and sharing it with someone. 

sool start

All of this research made me want to start doing.


I was looking for a new business adventure and this seemed a lovely idea. Learn something new, create something that is from sustainable and natural sources and provide a service for those who love the process but not the work.

Dharma, a lovely site online, has a wide variety of silks and roving to choose from to get you started in nuno felting. With all the different varieties it was hard choosing what exactly I wanted and how much.

A proper business plan involves start up so $100 was allotted to sool investment and the fabrics and roving were chosen.

Silk twill, for good wear, for 1 dress and 1 tunic, maybe even a skirt, we’ll see what we can get. Then flat crepe for the skirt if there’s not enough of the twill and for the scarves/wraps.

Straight wool was the staring point for the roving but the alpaca and camel are calling my name. Doesn’t camel roving just sound lovely to you?

Now onwards to the felting…

the quest

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The merino wool in question could not be duplicated. It was also far too casual for the wide range of places and situations you need your clothes to show up for.

So what to use instead?

In searching for a fabric that could be built into anything for any situation I chanced upon nuno felting. Nuno from the Japanese for fabric or cloth. This method gets wool, a wonderful fibre, to be friends with silk, yet another wonderful fibre, forever. Together they hug you with their wonderfully performance ready selves. What kind of performance?

Silk, the base of the fabric, is a glorious fibre. It keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer. No matter the climate it can be quite at home and comfortable. Your skin can breathe while in it and it’s considered hypoallergenic. And, just in case, it`s a natural fire retardant. You never know.

Wool contains all of the benefits listed above and also has naturally high UV protection, far above that of synthetics and cotton.

Both are 100% natural fibres, renewable and biodegradable. What`s not to love?

Fabric – check!


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This idea started when I sought warm clothes for Northern Ontario winters!


I chanced upon a company producing 100% merino wool garments. Not only warm but soft, stink-free, comfortable – sublime!

Why had I been wearing cotton for so long? You can`t wear a cotton shirt for 2 weeks stink free without washing. But you can with these.

So why not a whole closet full of them?

Full of natural, temperature regulating, eau de b.o.-less clothing. Clothing you don`t have to think about and care for. Clothing that cares for you!

In starting down the natural fibre route we might as well keep on going and find a natural way to achieve colour, to enhance our already wonderfulness

So here was I educated, contented and well clothed.

I wish I had of known this sooner!

But you can`t know if you don`t find out.

So here you are my friend…