Category Archives: Eco Dyeing

avocado t…

Magpie's Nest Avocado TMr Magpie and I enjoy eating avocados plain or fancy…

Magpie's Nest Avocado goodness

since last year I have been saving the skins and pits in the freezer with intentions of dyeing fabric and laces and such (I did paint some dye on papers too but I am getting ahead of myself)…

Magpie's Nest Avocado bits

 I tried a couple of different ways of making a dye bath with the avocados…

Magpie's Nest Avocado potthe first way was to plop a bunch of skins and pits into an 8 quart soup pot covering with water simmering for about an hour or so (thanks to Judy Bidwell for sharing this helpful link with me)…

I would definitely cut up the skins and pits for this method next time … I got excited (can you see my sunshine cup reflected in the pot?) …

Magpie's Nest before and after handstitched pillow case

with help and encouragement from several friends (thank you Kim Gibson) I also tried a second method fermenting cut up skins and pits in ammonia and water for about a week (no picture of the jar with the mixture brewing and my photo above did not capture the delicate rose color  of the “after” pillow case pieces very well)…

Magpie's Nest Avocado Dye linens

as with all kinds of eco dyeing the process is full of surprises because of all the variables…

Magpie's Nest Rubber Stamps

using an assortment of text rubber stamps with a foam mat underneath

Magpie's Nest dyed fabric for stamping

I stamped on some of the plain dyed fabrics…

Magpie's Nest Avocado dyed stamped fabrics

which created some fun pieces all inspired by a lovely swatch of text stamped avocado dyed fabric that my friend Jan DeBellis shared with me last year…

Magpie's Nest iphone apps

~♥~ wishing you a happy T day along with everyone over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard’s ~♥~

 

 

a good egg…

last year around this time I had so much fun playing with natural dyes and eggs using some leftover dye for fabrics too (there are  photos and examples here)

getting-started

it was an exciting process and the eggs turned out so beautifully we did not have the heart to eat them all…

Petrified hard boiled eggs

so we tucked a carton of eggs marked *2013* in the very back of our fridge (actually I did the egg tucking 😉 Mr Magpie knows by now to proceed with caution with an eye out for unexpected things in the fridge like homemade gelli plates and such not intended for eating)…

red cabbage dye

over time these hard boiled eggs will completely dry out and become “permanent” egg decos  …

petrified eggs 2000

 I got the idea to petrify eggs back in 2000 … last year I found a couple of those cartoons of eggs that were stashed out of sight on top of a tall cupboard in my art room…

beet and onion dye

I had heard that you could leave fresh eggs out undisturbed and over time they would dry up and could then be used for crafting … 

Colored petrified eggs  from 2000

I did try the natural plant and dye technique on the thirteen year old eggs above last year and it worked nicely when I weighted them down in the dye bath …

Forsythia Japanese Cherry Blossom mug

I am joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard to wish you a Happy T Day

Daffodils under the Redbud Tree

“When arguing with a stone an egg is always wrong.” ~African Proverb

April Tea …

 

Afternoon sun (1)already…

Beet Dye Egg Ready to Eat

this beet dyed egg was the first we broke into curious if the natural plant dyes soaked into the shellBeet Dye Egg Ready to Eat (1)

 the papers in the background were part of the egg dyeing cleanup and will be nice to use for collage…

Beet Dye Egg Ready to Eat (2)

our blue eggs dyed with red cabbage will be the last to be cracked into I think…

Beet Dye Egg Ready to Eat (3)a favorite condiment of ours is a Sesame seed mix called Gomasio which is a delicious way to cut down on salt consumption and flavor food…

Contorted Filbert Catkins

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.” ~Hal Borland

natural dyes…

Mr Magpie recently brought home two bags of onion skins and thus began a wonderful two day+ adventure eco dyeing eggs AND fabrics...

onions

last year I used onion skins, beets and turmeric to dye eggs but resorted to food coloring for some blue and green…

beets ready to be trimmed and cut

this year I went all natural using two kinds of onion skins, beets and red cabbage and could not be more pleased with the results and surprises all along the way…red cab

here is how I did our eggs starting with Martha Stewart’s fail proof method of hard boiling eggs so the yolks stay a pretty yellow with no green coloring at all…

Getting Started

using squares cut from nylons to help press the items I selected against the egg to act as a resist I tied the bundles securely with a twist tie to help hold everything in place (you can tell how excited I got about this by my run on wording trying to tell you about it all)

Yellow & Red Onion Skinsafter filling one pot with yellow onion skins (pulled from 10-12 onions at the supermarket thanks to my Mr Magpie!) and a second pot for red onion skins I added about 4 cups of water to each pot (not covering the skins completely) along with 3 Tablespoons of white vinegar …Tablespoon

bring the skins and water to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or longer straining liquid from the plant material (rubber gloves and paper to protect your work surface are a very good idea)…

onion dye egg bundles

soak bundled eggs in the dye liquid in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight…

onion dye  reveal

the eggs needed to be handled gently after removing  them from the nylon wrappers and dabbed dry to keep from smudging the dye giving them a chance to dry completely undisturbed…

Yellow Onion Skins

Love the golden glow the yellow onion skins gave the eggs…

Red Onion Skins

the resist pattern flopped on one of the red onion dyed eggs above on the left (I tried layering threads from ripping a second hand eyelet dust ruffle which made great fabric for dyeing) so I gently dabbed the egg with a paper towel leaving a wonderful mottled finish…

'Chocolate' Red Onion Dyewho would guess that red onion skins would turn eggs into rich chocolate colors…

egg bundles

 on day two I chopped up the beets for one pot and the red cabbage in a second pot following the same cooking directions as I did for the onion skins…Beet Eggs & Fabric

as vibrant as the beet dye turned out the eggs stayed a soft color…Beet Dye Collage

 interesting green colors emerged which is a bit mysterious because no greenery was used in the beet dye bath at all…

Red Cabbage & sampler

the red cabbage had the biggest WOW reaction for me leaving me to wonder HOW it could dye the eggs beautiful shades of blue while fabrics turned gorgeous shades of lavender using the same cabbage dye bath…

Red Cabbage Eggs and Fabric

the lighter colored blue eggs were soaked for several hours

Cabbage!and the darker blue were left in the cabbage dye overnight in the refrigerator …cabbage & beets egg carton

as you can tell I was more than delighted with this entire process…

Onion skin egg carton

only one egg cracked during cooking which was a good way to test the yolk which was done to perfection…

Beet Dyed Fabrics

I could do an entire post on the fun of using up the leftover dyes for fabric scraps, laces and doilies and such…

Onion skin dyed fabrics and lace

but I have gone on long enough here…

Red Cabbage Dyed Fabrics

if you are interested in learning more about the possibilities of dyeing with natural plant materials try searching the internet for “natural dyes” and prepare to be amazed

Mr Magpie

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” ~Bernard Meltzer

dyeing to play

indigo … cochineal … Osage orange … these were some of the natural dyes that the talented  Kim Gibson gave a talk on … followed by a hands on demo last week …


being a big fan of the color blue … indigo especially intrigued me … it is perfect for over dying fabrics giving them a common thread … if I had taken notes I would have some proper technical terms here … but you get the idea


it is always special when you can spend time with passionate people … someone who Loves what they do … Kim is a very talented and generous  artist … full of information and inspiration


at first I thought I would just watch and listen … then realized it would be silly to miss the chance to play …. luckily since the gathering was held in our local fabric store … there was plenty of cotton to buy … I used white and off white for each of the pieces I am showing here


I took a good yard or so of dyed fabric pieces home in plastic baggies to dry


tying a couple of loose knots made these great patterns above


and the Osage orange strip of fabric didn’t thrill me quite as much until I scrunched and squeezed  one piece of the deep indigo around it before drying it  … I learned a lot and had a great time in the process … Kim Gibson teaches fiber arts classes at our local G Street Fabric stores

a couple of days later I needed some watermelon red wool for a project so I thought I would give dying with Kool-Aid a whirl …


I have wanted to try it ever since I saw Dot’s beautiful array of Kool-Aid dyed wool roving … still sorry I did not snap a picture of that … but you know how it is when you get in the room with lots of creative people … the energy levels are high and it is all very exciting … that’s my excuse and I’m stickin to it 😉

… while Kool-Aid is not exactly “natural” in my view … you can do the dying in a regular kitchen pot


it was quick and easy and silly me buying just one package of the mix (we never were big Kool-Aid drinkers at all what with all those names we couldn’t pronounce in the ingredient list) … be sure you use unsweetened 😉

the pale color yarn on the left was an afterthought … but as you can see the pieces put in the pot before it … sucked most of the color out already … playing with dye and fabric is chuck full of wonderful surprises