Friday, 28 September 2007

What if...

I recently had one of those "what if" moments. In the past I've dabbled with natural dyes and had quite a bit of success with onion skins which produce a fabulous range of yellows and golds through to deep brown. Whilst making spaghetti with red onions and sun dried tomatoes (Jamie Oliver recipe) for supper a few weeks ago I suddenly thought "What if I use red onion skins for dying... would they produce a range of reds?" So I have been religiously saving all my red onion skins for the past few weeks and today decided I had enough to make a dye bath. I stewed my onion skins, boiled my fabrics and threads in mordant (alum) and then dyed my fabric. And the result... the same fabulous range of gold that you get with white onion skins! At least now I know and I've got some lovely gold fabrics to add to my stash.

I also managed to get to my sewing machine this week. Tomorrow I'm teaching a doll making class called "Diva Dolls". I love to make dolls. It always fascinates me how their personality seems to emerge as they are made and it's so much fun adding all the little details that make them complete. However I don't like keeping them and find them just a little bit spooky... so mostly I make them to commission or for sale. So as I was down to only one doll at home I thought I ought to make at least one more to bring to the class. I usually make quite "glam" characters but this time I wanted to make a old glam character... a glamorous granny if you like, inspired by the poem by Jenny Joseph - "A Warning". And so here she is...

But she can't decide on the fabric for her dress... should it be the plaid... or the floral crimpelene?

While she decides I'm knitting her a purple cardigan. I promise I'll post a picture when she is fully dressed. And just in case Aileen should look in (my tutor for my first Opus module) I've not abandoned my assignments. Some more rubbings have been completed and several monoprints (which are drying) I'm actually finding it quite absorbing and quite difficult to leave and get on with other things... which is why no one can find any clean socks this week!

More of my cutting mat with a black crayon and a white candle.

Overlaid with tissue that also has a rubbing...

And finally someone bought us some humbugs this week and they looked so much like my rubbings of sticks I just couldn't resist!


  1. That onion skin dying is so interesting. Funny how the red onions produced the same color.

  2. Gina, I just love your Granny, and what a wonderful poem.

    I was going to put leeks in our stew tonight, but now definitely will be using onions ... for the skins.



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