Wednesday, 20 July 2011

More of This and That.

I recycled some very old Procion dyes and old cotton pillowcases a couple of days ago. I had had the dyes such a long time that I wondered if they would still work. As I couldn't find the instructions and only had a scruffy piece of paper with some not very helpful handwritten notes I was nervous of what I might end up with, but am actually quite pleased with these results. There are one or two pieces of calico in among the cotton.

I also made up a 'dye'bath of black coffee for the above pieces. I thought I had been too heavyhanded but the results are a range of very subtly antiqued cotton fabrics. The lace has quite a lot of synthetic fibre and didn't take up the colour much at all.



Shall I enter this for the Turnip Prize? or even the Turner Prize? Perhaps not. It is a section of the old shower curtain I used to protect my working surface from paint spills and smears. Over the years it has begun to look quite interesting.


On a recent visit to Slimbridge we had to stop by the otters enclosure to watch them. They are so graceful and I love watching them turn and roll in the water. They move so fast it is impossible to get a photo of them in the water so I waited until they came ashore. Even then they were very busy scuttling about.


These are Eurasian otters, not quite the same as our native ones but very similar. Lovely creatures.


Still at Slimbridge, another of our favourite parts is the enclosure for harvest mice. When we got to it I thought it was empty, then suddenly three appeared and raced around so much I thought I'd never get a picture. They are so tiny - their bodies are half the size of my thumb.


I had to take these shots through glass which gives a rather misty effect.


They are quite safe in their environment with no predators to worry about.


Normal people visit Slimbridge to see the birdlife and take photos of them, but not me. I just love these very old pollarded willows with their wonderful Tolkeinesque shapes and textures. This one must be almost hollow.This tree is still supporting quite a lot of foliage but still has lovely holes in it's trunk and lots of gorgeous texture.

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I'm sure I did a similar post the last time we visited Slimbridge and you'll probably get another the next time we go. I'll try to remember to photograph some birds next time!










































12 comments:

Val said...

I just love te dyed fabrics Heather - beautiful subtle colours. Especially love the turquoise! I enjoyed your visit to Slimbridge - that willow is just amazing. What is the last picture - pattern made from stacking wood?

Heather said...

Blogger spacing has gone berserk again and I forgot all about that last picture. It is one of a series of low walls incorporating lots of different hidey holes for over-wintering insects. I thought the patterns that they made were very interesting.

Miriam Weaver said...

Love the colour of the fabrics, I need to do some dying soon.

Robin Mac said...

I am encouraged that you have done some dyeing with very old procion dyes and have come out with sume lovely colours - I have some too,so I must get them out! the photos from Slimbridge are wonderful, no wonder you keep taking photos of the willows. Great idea to stack the wood for the insects! Cheers

Ro Bruhn said...

Lovely dyed pieces Heather and your shower curtain looks very unique, I'm sure it could end up in a piece of art. Love the otters.

Gina said...

Your dyed fabrics are beautiful Heather. Such gentle subtle colours

Iz said...

I love the insect house - the patterns and natural bleached-out colours. And it looks as if your dyes worked fine, instructions or no!

Toffeeapple said...

What little lovelies the Harvest Mice are. The 'nesting' wall is a very good idea.

The Weaver of Grass said...

You are so adventurous with your syeing Heather - and the results look so good. Love the harvest mouse shot.

Carol Q said...

a lovely combination of pics Heather, scrumptious fabrics - love the way you presented them, and as usual you always manage to catch nature in a really interesting way.

Allabitrandom said...

I am with you on the wall! Birds at Slimbridge? Well yes, but leave them to the people with great big cameras and fancy lenses - logs are much more fun.

Linda said...

Well you should definitely win the Turnip Prize for your shower curtain...it looks very arty!!
And the photos of the harvest mice are just wonderful....

Wish I knew how to dye fabric....I just have to leave that to my friend Maggi ;-) Yours looks great too, heather.
XX