Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pirate wisdom.

My dad always had poetic words of wisdom:
Loose lips sink ships.
Don't make love in buggies, because horses carry tales.
Red sky at night, sailors delight.
Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.

A red sunrise hanging heavily over a dark sea is an ominous sign that a storm is looming large. This scarf was a mysterious and magical result of indigo and Quebracho yellow- believe it or not I was going for green! I don't know what I did to get the red, and won't likely be able to replicate it. Happy mistakes are always the most stunning.
Red and indigo scarf day or night- always so right!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Camo" cotton and cashmere blend sarong/scarves with a twist... and an olive! Theres no way to go incognito in these olive green shibori tied shawls. You will most definitely be noticed, stopped on the street, harassed at the beach and accosted at the farmer's market when you wear these. So let them know they came by way of the Vagabond's Daughter.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fern gully.

I used the hapa-zome method of beating color into cloth using a fern frond on silkHapa-zome is literally "leaf-dye" in Japanese, according to India Flint, author of Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles

It's one of the easiest ways to transfer the color and pattern of plant material onto fabric. Be patient, as hammering too hard will no doubt create holes.
Hapa-zome Technique by India Flint

  • Leaves
  • A small hammer or mallet
  • Some cloth of fairly dense weave (not too flimsy)
  • Thin cardboard or thick paper (such as cardstock)

1. Place the paper or cardstock on your work surface (such as a sturdy bench or uncarpeted floor) and place your cloth on the paper.
2. Arrange your leaves on the fabric. You could make a discrete array of leaves, overlap them slightly, or chop and scatter them over the surface of the fabric.
3. Fold over the cloth and place another piece of paper on top of the cloth and apply the hammer. It can take a little practice to get the hammer strokes just right, so experiment.
4. Remove the plant material and let the cloth dry thoroughly. Then press with a steam iron or heat press to set the color. (Despite this, the color will probably fade over time. Consider it part of the natural process.)
Eco Colour is filled with techniques for using plant materials to print and dye with in every season. Along with ideas for how to use the resulting fabrics. India suggests, for example, that you use the hapa-zome method to decorate t-shirts.
The fern may fade and change with time... but, so will I!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Splendor in the grass.

Nothing is more intoxicating than the scent of freshly cut grass. This many shades of green scarf evokes that smell and all that summer days mean to me. It's 90'' long and 54 inches wide. Use it as a scarf or shawl, a sarong at the beach, or spread it out for a most elegant picnic in the grass.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mellow yellow.

For centuries, all over the globe, turmeric has been used as a reliable textile colorant. Tibetan Monks have used Turmeric to dye there golden garments. The simmered seasoning will grab onto any fabric with gusto, so care must be taken if the color you desire is a more mellow yellow.
I was recently commissioned to dye and silk screen six drapery panels. The dye desired was Turmeric, and the initial color was way too brilliant. I had to wash and wash and wash until the color faded to more of a buttery hue, rather than maize. The monks robes will fade with time, too, but all it takes is a quick dip back in to the saffron colored soup and they are brilliant gold once again! This method works great for something like drapes, as they don't require many washings. The color will hold- no worries.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cold, misty June morning.


The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on. 
Carl Sandburg

Sand and Fog.

Logwood Gray and Chestnut extracts infused this silk with hints of foggy geometric shapes. Wooden blocks, bamboo chop sticks and flaxen twine were the resist tools used.