Sunday, February 3, 2013

If at first you don't succeed....



Well after the pent up dye up in November.....which, by the way, took me a month to clean up....

I almost gave up

this pursuit.

There are so many better suited and more inclined than I, I thought. 

and I live in the DESERT for gosh sakes....not much color here except in the sky 

Why was I so down in the mouth?

The results after gathering nuts here in New Mexico and bags of eucalyptus leaves in California
were disappointing

to say the least.

There could have been many causes, but the main one I think was I did not cook the bundles long enough....

so this week I was determined,

since, I thought, gosh...... I have studied with the 'master'

and my friends, although more practiced than I

are popping out brilliant results...


with my new equipment

 courtesy of the Family Thrift Center
(Op Shop for those down under)

I set out

to tame this dragon of desire in me

 to get some orange marks on this fabric!

so with


 reluctantly purchased from Trader Joe's floral department.....

I had another go at it.

and after 2 ++ hours of 'almost' simmering
and steaming....

I was very pleased


  1. Whoo hoo! So lovely that we won't remind them that it's "Euccalyptus", will we? ;-)

  2. good old eucalyptus absolutely needs at least boiling heat [remember steam is hotter than boiling water] as a catalyst to transform colour from ho-hum into red. plus you need the right species as they don't ALL give red and orange.

    the trap a lot of folks fall into is that of using an Asian bamboo steamer which while it makes things warm and damp also lets most of the heat escape. so the bundle becomes warm and wet but not truly hot.

    the bigger the bundle, the longer it takes for heat to get into the middle. it's simple physics.

    glad you're happy now.

    1. Thank you for your watchful much time has slipped away since I last worked with eucalyptus that I referred to page 128 of Eco Colour and in haste misunderstood that you were not referring to printing with the leaves....I was using step 2. So yes, the steam worked great. I also wondered if the altitude had any effect? I'm at 6,500 feet above sea level....I think water boils at a lower temp here. Anyway yes......I'm happy. Do-Overs are great practice.

  3. colours of the desert here ..

  4. A steamer...I'm giving myself that proverbial slap up side the head for not thinking of that one. Kudos to you! Crock pots work too, but I've yet to achieve colors such as yours. Wonderful!

    1. I hope you read India's comments above. Steam is hotter than boiling water. Go figure. My steamer was priced at $4.99 and that day they were having a 1/2 off sale. Can you imagine? $2.50 for my new toy?! And the large fryer....never used was only $10.00. It is nice to be free of a heat source for clean up.

  5. Great results, I love the combination of the 2 colors. What are you going to sew with these awesome fabrics?

    1. Hi Blandina! I have been dying bits of silk this way for the last few years....fitting in a boil up when I can, which is not that often and in spurts. I had the amazing gift of traveling with India Flint in Australia, where she teaches the idea of souvenir cloth....that is hand stitching bits together in a free form....slow way....that results in a cloth of memory. I am still unsure of what these will become....but I am thinking of linking them to my collection grows....of course the thrift store blouse and wool scarf were a bonus! PS....I think I got the steamer idea from you! ox