Preserving Leaves

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This is something else I have been wanting to do for absolutely ages.

I have been collecting leaves from my garden and putting them in a book to flatten and dry out for I don’t know how long with the intention of using them to print with, use as a mask etc but to also trying stitching them.

They are quite brittle when they are dried so I turned to the trusty Tinternet to see what to do with them.

I decided to go with soaking the leaves in glycerine which makes them softer and therefore more workable.

Where to buy glycerine I asked myself.  So the supermarket is where I looked and found the smallest bottle on the planet!  But thought hey I’ll go with that.2016 May 28 Preserving Leaves 1 t r a c y f o x

Needless to say the leaves have sat in the book and the tiniest bottle of glycerine has sat in the cupboard (too embarrassed to say how long but measured in years and months)…until yesterday.

I mixed the glycerine with hot water then put the leaves in, apparently to magic ratio is 1 part glycerine to 2 parts water. My solution wasn’t exact, I needed a bit more water to make sure the leaves were covered.
2016 May 28 Preserving Leaves 2 t r a c y f o x

I am only trying a few to see if I am happy with it plus I didn’t really have lots of glycerine.

To keep the leaves from just floating on the top of the water, I put another container on top and poured water into that to weigh it down a little.
2016 May 28 Preserving Leaves 3 t r a c y f o x

I have left it outside over night and am dying to take them out and dry them but the information I found said to leave them for about a week.

Can I wait that long I ask myself…patience is the reply!

I did sneak a peak today though – sorry, couldn’t resist, just checking they were ok you understand!
2016 May 28 Preserving Leaves 4 t r a c y f o x
2016 May 28 Preserving Leaves 5 t r a c y f o x

Anyway, I shall share the results with you next week and if they are good to use then onto the monster fronds of my tree ferns.
2016 May 28 Preserving Leaves 6 t r a c y f o x

**UPDATE**

So the results are in, what do you think?

Here are the leaves after a few days soaking in the glycerine solution.
The liquid was becoming darker and I was worried all the colour would disappear from the leaves so I tested them and they seemed to be bendy enough (technical term!) so I took them out.
2016 June 06 Preserving Leaves Results1a t r a c y f o x

I patted them dry with paper towels and pressed them in My Leaves Book for a couple more days and here they are in all their glory, dried and finished.2016 June 06 Preserving Leaves Results1 t r a c y f o x 2016 June 06 Preserving Leaves Results2 t r a c y f o x

Here are the backs of the leaves which are more gorgeous than the fronts I think with all that lovely detail.
2016 June 06 Preserving Leaves Results3 t r a c y f o x
2016 June 06 Preserving Leaves Results4 t r a c y f o x
2016 June 06 Preserving Leaves Results5 t r a c y f o x
2016 June 06 Preserving Leaves Results6 t r a c y f o x

THE VERDICT?
2016 June 06 Preserving Leaves Results7 t r a c y f o x

Did I get the results I wanted?

Pretty much yes I think.

As you can see they are definitely more bendy and not brittle at all.

I like the way they have turned out especially the detail on the backs of the leaves.  I do like the colour they are now but would have liked to retain the deep reds that they originally were.

What next with these leaves?

Playing with printing with them to see how they stand up to paint and being cleaned.  It will be interesting to see if the lovely detail is transferred to the print.

I will also be putting them to the test with a needle and thread at some point.

Will I do more?

Yes definitely!  I have gone from buying the smallest bottle of glycerine in the world to perhaps the biggest so I had better use it!!  I’m not sure I had enough in the solution this time as it was supposed to be 50:50 but it wasn’t.
2016 June 06 Preserving Leaves Results8 t r a c y f o x

I am eager to see how different leaves behave.  I have a bucket full of some that I have been collecting from my Moody Magnolia. I will definitely try the ferns and Acer leaves from my garden.

Please leave a comment and tell me what you think or if you have tried this yourself, it would be lovely to hear from you.

Thank you for stopping by, it is much appreciated…

t r a c y

* If you like what I do, then others might too – thank you for liking and sharing *

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Reaping What You Sow

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We have spent most of the day in the garden today, completing long awaited jobs, moving this, replanting that and planning more!

I miss my garden A LOT over the colder months and am always itching to get out there.

There is a lot in the garden that I planted because they will find their way into a creative project.

I use the leaves from the acer for eco printing which give a lovely delicate effect and I shall be experimenting again this year with different mordants on different types of cloth. They may also be used to print with.
2016 Apr 10 Reaping What You Sow acer t r a c y f o x
They are only just appearing and I am already looking forward to using them but I do have some of the seed heads from last year in the freezer to be going on with! No idea how that will turn out but I’ll give it a go.

2016 Apr 10 Reaping What You Sow bamboo t r a c y f o x
I plan to use some of the leaves from my bamboo as a resist on my silk screen and to print with them.  This grows fast so there is always plenty to harvest.

I also have a sambucus nigra which gives good eco prints. It was in a big pot but I have now put it in the ground as I don’t think it was very happy so we’ll see how it goes.  It doesn’t have much growth on it at the moment so not much to show.

My tree ferns will be due a hair cut soon to allow room for the new fronds and I can’t wait to experiment with sun printing using these which I have been wanting to try for absolutely ages.
2016 Apr 10 Reaping What You Sow tree fern t r a c y f o x
I haven’t done this before and they are massive so more thought needs to go into how I shall do it. Obviously, actually having some sun would be good!

I used the big leaves from my fatsia japonica in a free motion quilted piece a good while ago which I will share soon. I love the shape and scale of these leaves.
2016 Apr 10 Reaping What You Sow fatsia  t r a c y f o x

Hope you have enjoyed the sunshine today.

Thank you for stopping by, it is much appreciated…

t r a c y

* If you like what I do, then others might too – thank you for liking and sharing *

Eco Printed Wool Scarf

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The last of the 3 eco printed scarves.  You would never believe this was wool as it has fabulous drape.
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Wool Scarf 1 t r a c y f o x
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Wool Scarf 2 t r a c y f o x

Mmmmmm.. Can’t wait to wear this one too.
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Wool Scarf 3 t r a c y f o x
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Wool Scarf 4 t r a c y f o x

Links to all the other ecoprinting posts
Eco Printing Eye Candy
Eco Printed Silk Satin Scarf
Eco Printed Cotton Scarf

Hope you enjoyed the work.  Why not leave a comment or share with your friends.

Thank you for stopping by, it is much appreciated…

t r a c y

* If you like what I do, then others might too – thank you for liking and sharing *

Eco Printed Cotton Scarf

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This time the cotton eco printed scarf.
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Cotton Scarf 1 t r a c y f o x

I never make anything for myself but this one has my name all over it!
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Cotton Scarf 2 t r a c y f o x

Some close ups..
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Cotton Scarf 3 t r a c y f o x
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Cotton Scarf 4 t r a c y f o x

Hope you like it.

Thank you for stopping by, it is much appreciated…

t r a c y

* If you like what I do, then others might too – thank you for liking and sharing *

Eco Printed Silk Satin Scarf

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Below are photos of one of the eco printed scarves I made recently as promised in the previous post Eco Printed Eye Candy. 
The silk satin drapes beautifully.
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Silk Satin Scarf 1

I bought the tailors dummy (as yet to be named) ages ago but unsurprisingly didn’t have the space to unpack it.  It now lives in My New Room of Requirements where it will hopefully be put to good use.
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Silk Satin Scarf 2
Close up of the prints..
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Silk Satin Scarf 3
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Silk Satin Scarf 5
2015 Sept 14 Eco Printing Silk Satin Scarf 4

There are another couple of scarves to show you in the next posts.  Why not click on the Follow button (on the right or below) and make sure you don’t miss them.

Thank you for stopping by, it is much appreciated…

t r a c y

* If you like what I do, then others might too – thank you for liking and sharing *

Eco Printing Eye Candy

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For quite a few years I have been experimenting with merging 2 of my creative passions, gardening & textiles.

Learning from books and online, I have tried various techniques to try and extract colour and shape from my garden onto cloth.

Last year whilst stalking the Committed to Cloth website (I have wanted to visit there for such a long time), I saw an Eco Printing course was available with Brunhilde Scheidmeir.  Not knowing whether I would be physically well enough to do I booked it.

Then the wait began, nearly a whole year!

Well in August I did manage to complete the 3 day residential course and loved it.  Brundhilde is a lovely person and I very much enjoyed working with her.

Because I wasn’t new to the technique I had lots of questions about how I could improve what I had been doing and taking direction from Brunhilde that’s exactly what I have achieved, oh and some fabulous pieces which I love.

I was very disciplined about the samples I wanted to test taking lots of plant material from my garden as that is what is closest to hand and using it with different mordants.

2015 Aug Eco Printing sample layout t r a c y f o x
2015 Aug Eco Printing sample cooked bundle t r a c y f o x
2015 Aug Eco Printing sample revealed t r a c y f o x
2015 Aug Eco Printing sample revealed 2 t r a c y f o x

I had various levels of success with the different plants but I learnt lots even giving me ideas (as if I need anymore) about what plants to grow purely so I can harvest them.

It wasn’t all ‘work’ and no play though as I had also planned to make some scarves based on the outcome of the samples.

Here they are being created….
2015 Aug Eco Printing Cotton Scarf cooked bundle t r a c y f o x
2015 Aug Eco Printing Cotton Scarf revealed t r a c y f o x
2015 Aug Eco Printing Silk Satin Scarf cooked bundle t r a c y f o x
2015 Aug Eco Printing Silk Satin Scarf revealed t r a c y f o x
2015 Aug Eco Printing Wool Scarf cooked bundle t r a c y f o x
2015 Aug Eco Printing Wool Scarf revealed t r a c y f o x

I was really pleased with this one on paper.
2015 Aug Eco Printing paper revealed t r a c y f o x

Join me for the next post where I will share more photos of the finished scarves.

Thank you for stopping by, it is much appreciated…

t r a c y

* If you like what I do, then others might too – thank you for liking and sharing *