tea and bleach

trying some solar dyeing with natural dyes from blue castle fiber arts. i've never tried the powdered stuff, and it even comes with an herbal mordant! so i'm enjoying the experimenting... and putting this blazing sun to some good use..

feathers gathered just from this afternoon.. the birds are moulting. lots of tail feathers this time of year too, on the ground, not on the birds. i wonder if they know about jude's magic feather project.. i think they might send her some real feathers along with the stitched ones.

a little experiment with bleach and tea, tea and bleach. staining and removing stain, like remembering and forgetting, over and over. the splotchiness of this block may be overdone 80s, but it does remind me of elderberry's colours. her horse mom was an appaloosa. i was thinking a lot about elderberry being sterile and how i think that's part of what makes me want to honor her. i worry about mules, maiden aunties, spinsters, and crones without offspring... who will remember us? i am working on expanding my outworn ideas of family and fertility.

the heat has inhibited exploring and gathering, but i still need to look for an elderberry bush nearby. there was a lovely mother elder at our old house, sprung right at the site of the blanched, fallen oak, but i never dyed with her. i'm so grateful to have found some elderberry partners.


  1. Hey you. Just a hug from me today. xxxxxxx

  2. those feathers are so beautiful, your cloth weaving photo reflects them. did you soak in bleach, or sponge, or? i feel like the word community is taking on a new meaning for me- a bigger family, but built on some common spirit...maybe this spirit can carry the stories?

  3. love the photos and the experiments - what are you going to do with the bleach and tea one? and which kind of tea it is to be so dark :O i love tea dying too <3

  4. oh i love the the appearing and disappearing color!

  5. "like remembering and forgetting"...yes! Those feathers are grand! :)

  6. jeana, i've been thinking of you lately. been following your blog although haven't had the right words... but hugs, always.

    handstories, i just dabbed bleach here and there. first i tried a bleach pen but it didn't work on the denim - it actually darkened it! maybe a spirit community is family.

    francesca, it was just a block that i was experimenting with - i am working on a larger quilt and i was hoping it would be part of it. the darker part is denim that is mostly bleached, the lighter is muslin that is most tea-stained, although there's a little bleach and tea everywhere! i just used ordinary black tea. it is wonderful isn't it?!

    jude, thank you for being here!

  7. remembering/forgetting forgetting/remembering
    LIKE it a lot.

    you know, truth is, i would have made a just
    fine mule...sterile. i know this to be true.
    although i do "embrace" my motherhood and all
    that it has gone on to be, i would probably
    made an even better mule. my daughter and i
    discuss this a lot. the energy of an unencumbered woman can be a true gift in this
    just to say.........xoxoxo

  8. i first read this a few days ago grace and it has stuck with me... replaying in my brain and sprouting seeds... suddenly i find myself with a lot more energy.