lliam and I sat down and worked on some little treats for his classmates on monday. if it was up to me there would be hearts galore, but he insisted on drawing dinosaurs - it was really sweet how after each drawing he would explain what each of them were. I think his classmates will really enjoy them.
I didn't run errands today and feel I got a lot accomplished - I sat down and concentrated on sewing and making about 50 pouches - I have to make more because they mostly went to wholesale orders. I try to do them in stages and it goes by pretty quickly. I squeezed in some pouches with the natural dye fabric. once I get more fabric I will be doing some more dyeing. I'm a real beginner with the dyeing and hope that with more experimentation I can get a handle on it. one of the things I was told is that it's hard to replicate surfaces - I'm okay with that - I feel the natural dyeing is freeing that way.
I hope there will be some special valentine celebrations for you this weekend. xxa


  1. those are great gifts, Lliam
    and those pouches look great, Arounna, especially the first one.
    have a great weekend

  2. Hi Arounna. I am wondering what you use as mordant and what, if anything, made you choose to use natural dyes vs. fiber reactive? Thanks.

  3. what lucky classmates lliam has! it would've been such a treat for me had i gotten those when i was his age.
    those pouches are beautiful, btw.

  4. What a great idea for the gifts! My 6 year old made gelatin monoprints for her friends this year.
    Love the fabric on the pouches! Now wait, you made 50 of those pouches in a day? You are truly dedicated!

  5. I would love a valentine from Lliam!
    Those look like the best!
    The pouches look beautiful arounna!

  6. thanks everyone!
    I hope I get one from lliam

    kathryn I printed the fabric and sewed the black portion on a different day - yesterday was the zipper and lining and finishing portion. I watch movies while I sew - it helps the time go by.

    fulvia - I'm not an experienced dyer so I don't really have a preference - I am interested in the fiber reactive dyes, but I do like the "sad" colours of natural dye - I think fiber reactive dyes tend to be a bit brighter and you can get even areas - I like the un-eveness of the natural dyes. I use alum and cream of tartar as mordants. I would love to hear your thoughts on the differences.

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  8. I'be happy to talk about this. Granted that everything boils down to personal preference, setups, supplies, etc. but, as you probably know, some of the mordants are more toxic than anything man-made. Parts of each process require safety measures but I think you can achieve even better results with synthetic dyes. An authority on the topic is Paula Burch; here is a quick link to get you started: http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/FAQ/naturalsafety.shtml

    It is actually more work and not as much fun to strive for solid, even areas with fiber reactive dyes. It is a whole lot more interesting to go for the results that I think you like. As for the brightness, that too can be controlled. I will be happy to tell you all I know and/or refer you to much wiser and talented folks on the web. Let me know your questions. Thanks.

  9. those natural dyed pouches are just awesome -i hope you make some more as i would snap one up in an instant. plus, dinosaur buttons? awesome.

  10. Hi Arounna, I received your bird love brooch and it is really beautiful. I am sure my mum will be very happy with it.
    As a kindy teacher I love seeing parents like you who encourage their children to be creative and individual. Liam's classmates are a very lucky bunch.Best wishes, Hedy

  11. I would like to add my two cents on natural vs synthetic. Synthetic dyes, no matter what brand are all dependent on petroleum products and that alone makes them less eco-wise in my eyes. I think what sets natural dyeing apart is the fact that you can grow or gather the dyestuffs yourself ( except maybe not the little cochineal bugs) and in doing so have a direct, significant connection with the source of the magic. I agree everything natural isn't necessarily without any potential harm. But if that were not the case most of modern medicines would never have been discovered. I would like to also comment with respect to that link re are natural dyes safer and the logwood statements. Logwood can be an chemical irritant to the eyes, respiratory system and for some the skin. It is not toxic in the sense we usually think of that word. It is not carcinogenic. The components hematin is only heme ( think hemoglobin) with an hydroxyl ( think water) group added and the other one, hematoxylin has been used as a stain in biology and medicine for over a century. The important thing is to have good ventilation similar to when you cut onions. Just thought of that since my daughter and i are making french onion soup and we were both crying profusely. Point is you can't believe everything you read on the internet and it is always best to learn all you can about something before collecting and dyeing with it. Sorry for writing a chapter of a book here but I felt some might be scared off of natural dyeing.

  12. how could a synthetic dye be safer and more eco friendly than a natural one ? This is such nonsense to me !! Anyway, Margie explained way better than I could have ever done it myself.
    anything dyed with a synthetic dye will for sure look more "plain" and, less "organic" as something dyed with a natural dye. I have easily made my choice.

  13. Ho it reminds me when my son was more smaller, it also has fun creating badges with his drawings ...

  14. i love both of these projects! those pouches are amazing.

  15. Your dying project is really rally beautiful. It give me the feeling of traditional Japanese fabrics. Lovely, and inspiring.


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