Friday, 25 April 2014


this one has been basted and will be travelling with me to Marrakech, where I might get some sewing done; yes, we're off on a holiday - hope to be back with images and stories next week

this one is for my brother who'll be celebrating his birthday in Morocco

Thursday, 24 April 2014

full Thursday post

 such a Dandy Lion in our front garden, we have many a wild flower in our garden, seems the way for us: they feel at home here, self seed, are well adapted to this environment, don't need watering or feeding, they mingle with the seeds and plants that were either planted by the previous owner and/or ourselves, many can be eaten and/or used for dyeing I have come to discover, plus I am a lazy gardener and not very organised plant-wise (maybe it's true of other things as well, but I'll leave that for now)
I am part of the human race and as we as an industrious species cannot seem to stay still and be quiet in our room, I too am prone to action and am known to friends and self as the proverbial busy bee, so the gardening laziness ends with the design part, there's always lots to do in a garden I find: from mowing the lawn (well we call it a lawn as it is green, more green ground cover than actual grass) weeding i.e. removing nettles by hand, clipping hedgerows, cutting wood, sweeping the tiles, sowing seeds, making stakes, harvesting dyeplants, harvesting salad ingredients, reading in the one reclining garden chair we own, feeding the birds, especially the woodpecker who loves the peanuts! he always manages to brighten my day; watch the seasons...collect plums and apples and pears, eat these fruits, move stuff did I end up here, I was going to write about my walk this morning, here are the photo's: looking back towards the village of Arkel where I left my car for a check up this morning

on the photo above you can see a sign Linge (right) which is for the boats pointing in the direction of the river the Linge to the left, in the pic below is the Linge:
if you go straight ahead you follow along the canal leading into Gorinchem town and eventually to the large river Waal; I walked along the canal

one might wonder at the sight of these lamp posts in the middle of a field, that is until you realise you're in the Netherlands and we Dutch love skating, preferably in the open air; so come Winter a field like this is flooded and once it's frozen over we can skate on the ice and continue to do so in the dark evenings thanks to the lights shining down upon us.

 the canal:

in the back ground the concrete factory situated along the canal; until quite recently, let's say 50 years ago, people didn't want to live alongside the rivers and canals, it was for the poor and industry, how time's have changed, you have to pay a small fortune for anything on the riverbanks these days; below a beautiful gate with a sign that says 'no dogs allowed, cow pasture' (no cows in sight)

 we're now past the concrete factory, have crossed a bridge and are now on the dike, that runs along the Linge (not quite sure how that works out, checked it out on the map, there are curves and such) anyway I ended up on the dike with the Linge on my left, heading home once more

back home these prints awaited me, the prints I made last evening with the latest version of the lino cut, the hare has become slimmer, I felt he was too big in relation to the dog, although the dog is still a young dog, curious and slightly foolish, the hare is older and wiser and so he can be big, just not that big I decided.
In the print below there was way too much ink on the lino and all the lines that should have stayed white were stained, so I washed out as much of the paint as I could until I quite liked the effect of the darker outlines and then fixed it with ironing; it has an etch-like quality now:

 friends M & J came visiting and whilst they were happily cutting away at their lino's I did some more printing experiments on the linen patchworks I'd made a while back, all I have to do now is make a stretcher, ugh; also a small figure for the bare square above

after our hard work we went for a stroll in the woods, but soon hurried back as we could hear thunder in the distance coming ever closer, the sky darkened ominously; shortly after they had left the heavens opened and I was lured onto the verandah by the enormous din: hail stones

Sunday, 20 April 2014


 more dye results, from left to right: cow parsley/sorrel dye wrapped 'round copper pipe: bright yellow; coin clamp from avocado/onion peel dye: pale pinks and spots of blue; another yellow strip: same as first one; washer-clamp-cloth from avocado/onion peel vat, again more shades of pink and grey with hollow circles.....
new lino cut, I am so happy with this square shaped print: the dog barking up the tree, the bird perched on the tree branch, the watchful hare waiting to see what might occur

first print on paper, second one on cotton; might need a little tweak here and there, do they need eyes I wonder

of course there had to be a hare, it's easter!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Friday's Full Post

 in answer to Grace's question re the prints: they are lino cuts, they are placed onto the fabric/paper or the other way round whatever is more practical

what remains after dyeing

tie dye result, the overblown ranuculus flowers were tied with elastic bands and dipped into last week's cow parsley-sorrel dye, there's also a copper pipe in the vat, maybe that has had some influence, there are tinges of blue (not to be seen in pic, I have no idea why) where the fabric was bunched together;

below: clamp-resist from the old avocado/onion peel dye, I really like the washer circles and will make a lot more of these; here the clamps themselves also influence the results, as can be clearly seen in bottom left corner, where a square has appeared

 on the left the avocado/onion peel dye with still two more bits of fabric developing....on the right the cow parsley/sorrel with the submerged copper pipe...bits of mold floating 

the garden is very green

geranium phaeum:
I am very excited about this particular plant as I have discovered it's petals produce a beautiful BLUE. It is one of the most prolific plants in our garden, introduced by the previous owner and apparently it feels so much at home here it has spread all over the garden and continues to do so; from now on you will be seeing me on my knees collecting the petals as they drop, I will try to dry and crush them and make a HomeGrownBlueDye! It was Jude's idea of experimental dyeing with whatever happened to be in the garden on a daily basis that made me try the geranium, see her post Scraps of Spring

the very pale green comes from the plant stems and leaves

 spring has sprung, I see fields of dye, my thoughts wander elsewhere and I realise that at this precise moment in time somewhere someone is suffering, all of a sudden the beauty seems obscene, my observing it is meaningless and I ask self what is the point?
these thoughts never last....mine is a fickle nature, and thus my wayward mind lets itself be very easily distracted; back home the printing continues: 'tis what I do

p.s. all fabrics in this post have been soy mordanted

Sunday, 13 April 2014

the generous clematis

birds mainly

 the avocado/onion peel dye turned out surprisingly pale (not to say drab) and I decided to spruce it up with a print; the cloth was still damp after washing and as the piece was too wide to fit through the press I folded it over twice, hence the faded print next to the crisp print in the middle:

BirdBoy has embraced in the most literal sense the two newcomers, Bweetle and Twoad: they share a bed, his bed; there is nothing like living in close proximity to each other, you see, hear, feel and smell everything about one another; looking at this picture I see the crack in BirdBoy's head and the metal wire repair, the vertebrae on Twoad's back and the twisted legs on Bweetle, these things move me, I am looking in a mirror, for a moment I am aware of an unspeakable sadness within, such as Jude has mentioned here

The cow parsley/sorrel dye resulted in a very pale yellowy-beige and the spots were still too dominant I felt, so I again opted for a print to jazz it up, on the left a darker surround, on the right again the print has 'leaked' through onto the folded fabric, it was only afterwards did I think to tear the fabric in half, duh; all the bird prints were freshly pressed onto the fabric (as in: no folding over, and the cloth was dry) 

note: I used commercial textile paints for all of the prints, these were fixed by ironing.