I'm feeling a little blue today, knowing that I have to leave in the (early!) morning, to make that damned long journey to the city again. Another 8 hours on a stuffy coach. I'm thinking about what stitching to take along for the ride. I never like to have to leave my little home and the boys. This is a quick one. I hope to be back on Wednesday. We have guests booked all of next week!
I've been playing with the fruits of Conostegia subcrustulata (Melastomataceae) again. The last time I tried to solar dye with these, I used too few fruits and it just turned the small scrap of cloth a slightly tan color. So yesterday Nilo and I gathered more fruits for this small experiment. We have alot of these shrubs in the garden and the great thing is - assuming that this dye is ever going to work for me - that they fruit and flower constantly throughout the year. Discover more about this plant here
Thought you might like this image of buds and immature fruits of Conostegia subcrustulata and a visiting grasshopper. The image was taken by Reinaldo.
So... on with the show!
First I masked a small square of calico, leaving narrow spaces between each strip of tape.
Then I started to smush the berries with a wooden pestle directly onto the cloth.
Doesn't that look yummy! Actually, you can eat these berries, they're sweet and gritty because they have so many minute seeds (which you can see in the images).
This is how it looked when I had done that with all of the gaps.
A random berry smushing! Pour the berries onto the cloth, place a sheet of paper on top, and roll over it all with a rolling pin.
Hmmm... interesting! Love that vibrant blue where the light shines through. It reminds me of...
When I was a child I was fascinated by the color of the jars of Vick's Vapor Rub when held up to the light. It was the only bit of entertainment one got when sick. I have a love of Bristol Blue Glass, especially that which comes in the form of a bottle of Harveys Bristol Cream, which, sadly, I can no longer drink :( I went to the Bristol blue glass factory on a school trip once. It was very cool! My (other) home town is about 40 minutes drive from the city of Bristol.
Some very random strokes made with a paint brush, with concentrated berry smush juice,painted direct onto the cloth.
I especially like this section.
And here they all are, hanging out. I'm leaving them there... because, let's face it, it is never going to rain!
And here is a new solar dye experiement, this time using a much higher concentration of these fruits and a piece of rolled calico.
This morning it looks like this... I'm optimistic! I will leave it in the sun soaking for a week.
I had to put a rock on the top to hold the cloth under!
Reinaldo came back from the field with several of these yesterday... Genipa americana (Rubiaceae - that's the coffee family). But more about that later!
My posts seem to get longer and longer. Thanks for your attention span!