"I begin with an idea ... and then it becomes something else"
~ Picasso

Friday 30 October 2009

autumn treasures

I've had such a lovely autumn day today

It's been very foggy. Proper fog with proper Cornish mizzle thrown in for good measure. It's dark and cosy indoors and I've finished all my work. I've been putting in some long, long hours in the office this week and I feel happy because I've finished! Today I got to play a little …

Nature's treasures

Arranging gathered finds…

various pieces of peeling bark, bark from a Tenerife palm tree, seeds, pods, acorn cups and dried berries

The finds are arranged on some fabric that Julie gave me from a project she did on distress. I'm really interested in the project that she did so I was able to find out all about it from her when we met up recently. I will tell you more as I enter into the same project shortly ...

I'm sneaking my favourite leaf in again!

Hello leaf!

So, continuing with my love of autumn colour, today my treasures are gold and copper, precious metals and gifts from friends ...

These beautiful leaves are so gorgeous I wanted to show you them again.
They were made especially for me by my friend Cathie

These treasures were a second wonderful package from Cathie

Gold mesh and metallic fabrics, a long strip of copper, gold and copper charms with words and numbers, a Native American herbal teabag and some delicious white chocolate. White chocolate is my favourite and this chocolate was a real dream. It was Ghirardelli's "Vanilla Dream". I've never had it before, I've never even seen it in England. It was the creamiest, meltiest in the mouth sort of chocolate

These were gifts from my friend Julie. We met up recently when she came to St. Ives on holiday with her husband.  We immediately got on like a house on fire, spent a long time chatting over tea and muffins, exchanging gifts and having loads of fun

The fabrics were all results of various experiments by Julie where she left a package of fabrics, papers, photos and images tied up and hanging in a tree for months. The object of the exercise was to see what natural effects the elements had on the various materials. I am currently putting together some bundles of materials to have a go at this myself

The other fabrics were the result of Julie's experiments with blackberry dyeing and the two more colourful fabrics towards the right are Julie's experiments with rust dyeing. Julie also gave me a sketchbook covered with copper fabric that she had made herself and printed with sea horses and on top of that there is a small piece of the painted fabric she used in copper and purple.  I really love the rust dyed fabrics which I've used in my photos below

This little pumpkin guy was made for me by Monique of Blueberry Fields. We did a swap together. She gave me the little pumpkin and I made a calico birdie collage for her. He is so cute! He is just four inches and smells so sweet of sugar and spice and all things nice ...

Monique also sent me a huge bundle of leaves in all shades of Autumn. They are beautiful with a very slightly waxy feel to them which I like. I have them pressed inside a big book to finish drying out

Here is my little pumpkin guy

With the help of Monica of The White Bench I am trying to dry out this pumpkin and gourd so that I can gild them. I have already had one fatality. One of the gourds was shrivelling up nicely in a very interesting way but it got way too smelly and then the stalk fell off so I had to throw it away. So far, these two pumpkins are still fine. I think it will take months and months for them to get how I want them. I was going to dip them in wax until Monica shared her gilded pumpkins on her blog

Autumn treasures

I was recently inspired by Sharne to try some natural dyeing with spices

Paprika and Cumin

I chose Cumin and Paprika because they looked colourful and I was enthusiastic until I smelt the Cumin. It's not to my personal taste buds, or should I say “smell buds”.  I had some simmering away in my dye pot for 15 minutes. It produced a mustard brown coloured dye. The fabrics came out very pale yellow

The paprika did not smell so strongly and produced this vibrant "tomato soup" coloured dye

I will show the dyed fabrics here when they have finished cooking

Have a lovely weekend whatever the weather x


Pom Pom said...

I may have told you this before, but your arrangements remind me of when I was a child and we had a "wild" cabin up in the woods. I loved making little moss nature tables on the fallen tree trunks. How many hours a week do you work at your husband's office? I don't know how you accomplish all your wonderful art! How was punkie night? xoxopom pom

Julie said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your post today Carolyn :o) I have a gourd that I managed to dry out a couple of years ago. I hadn't thought of painting it but that's a great idea. I shall have to get my paints out! Hope you don't get blown away this weekend!

hungeryjack said...

Nice post - pop art pictures ..Keep Posting

pop art pictures

gunnelsvensson said...

So nice post, as usual, and your photos, I love them !!!

Jacky said...

Wonderful autumn goodies (and gifties)...lots of lovely links too.
I love the dyeing, especially the rust and the paprika. I'm on the lookout for an old aluminium pot to play around with.
Jacky xox