leaves in bundles ….

….in other words eco-printing, though I’m not sure if I really am eco-printing. I am using plant materials and following some of the “suggestions” made by some better known eco-dyers but after that it’s really just a bit of trail and error! OK a lot of trail and error and a load of experimenting!

My experiments so far have included eucalyptus, but also some local plants as well…this is “honesty” or Lunaria annua for those who like proper names. I loved the colour of these immature  seed-heads as they were about to be rolled.

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I did lots of rolling and wrapping to create the bundles – no two the same! and then got things cooking.

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I love the look of the bundles steaming away. I have always liked packages , things wrapped up and things with lids …I was sorely tempted to leave the steamed and cooled bundles just as they were.

(Sorry about the slightly fuzzy next few images, I was juggling the camera and wet bundles of fabric while wearing rubber gloves- never a good combination)

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But eventually my curiosity got the better of me…

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The seed-heads didn’t impart any colour to the fabric but it did make an amazing resist with lots of detail.

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The fabric is a lovely semi sheer silk and the print is really pretty and quite transient on it. And yes! I do have some plans for it…. I’ll show you as soon as I can!

Bye for now, Catherine

PS- It rained here for a couple of days this weekend past and things are much better on the forest fire front.  Many thanks to all of you who did a rain dance with Vancouver in mind!

Were not out of the woods yet, the drought is now a stage 3 (there are only 4 stages and I don’t know what happens after that!) but the few cool days we had were lovely.

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smoke on the water…

and with a nod to Deep Purple- there really is fire in the sky! and smoke and cinders and something called “particulate” as well.

I don’t know if the news has reached wherever you are but Vancouver and most of Western Canada are in the grips of what has turned into a nerve-racking heat wave. Temperature records are being broken all over and huge chunks of the western provinces are going up in flames. Thankfully there are firefighters coming in from all around the world to lend a hand.

Vancouver B.C.  July 6, 2015 A thick layer of smoke and haze from local forest fires continues to hang over  the lower mainland, here covering the waters off of Kits beach in Vancouver  on July 6, 2015. Here a detail frame of the sun just before it disappears early from the evening sky.       Mark van Manen /PNG Staff  Photographer   see Vancouver Sun/ Province/ News  Features and Web. stories    00037775A    [PNG Merlin Archive]

Vancouver B.C. July 6, 2015 A thick layer of smoke and haze from local forest fires continues to hang over the lower mainland, here covering the waters off of Kits beach in Vancouver on July 6, 2015. Here a detail frame of the sun just before it disappears early from the evening sky. Mark van Manen /PNG Staff Photographer see Vancouver Sun/ Province/ News Features and Web. stories 00037775A [PNG Merlin Archive]

Smoke from wildfires in the interior of British Columbia blanket the Lions Gate Bridge Vancouver, B.C. Sunday, July 5 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Smoke from wildfires in the interior of British Columbia blanket the Lions Gate Bridge Vancouver, B.C. Sunday, July 5 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

I borrowed the above images from the Vancouver Sun newspaper  site, this link will take you to a gallery of images if you want to see more.

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Now this not mean much to you but this is near where I live and at the bottom of the hill you can’t see, is where the harbour is and the water, which you also can’t see.

It’s been tough breathing this past week and I find myself checking the air quality daily, which is not something I usually do! Today has brought some rain, not much but enough to “wash” the smoke from the sky. On a quick trip to the shops this morning everyone I saw was smiling through the raindrops!

The heat wave has sent the garden into overdrive and I am knee-deep in cucumbers, ankle-deep in green beans and just dipping into the first of the tomatoes. I can’t ever remember them being ready this early in the season.

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Despite our favourite river getting lower and lower we have managed to find some pools deep enough for Ned to have a float….

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….and he’s discovered the place to be between walks is in the hosta bed….

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….which probably isn’t great for the plants but oh well, it’s been too hot to argue!

Things are happening in the studio, mostly in the morning before the heat is just too much to take! I have been dyeing, planning and preparing for a new body of work and experimenting with a bit of eco-dyeing as well. Good friend Anni Hunt and I spent a day playing and we got some lovely results….

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Hopefully there are going to be some treasures inside these bundles, I’ll let you know when they get unwrapped.

In the process of re-organising and setting up some new work, I have been playing with some very small bits of mixed media, I found this image of the harbour, which originally had a perfectly normal grey and rainy sky.  A little sand paper and some paint and it has become the perfect place for me to record a few thoughts (and fears!) about the “end-of-days” skies hovering over Vancouver.

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If you know a good rain dance, rain song, rain poem or any other rain inducing thoughts, I would be happy to hear from you!

Bye for now, Catherine