Color Inspiration Thursday: Lady Slipper

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Lady Slipper on Spirit Trail Selene

One of my favorite things about living where I do are the hundreds of Lady Slippers which appear in the woods, little spots of color before much else (wild at least) is blooming. For whatever reason, they absolutely love the woods around our house, and there’s one area in particular that is covered in them. I took the photos in the collage below on a walk last year, when these delicate flowers were at their peak. It seemed fitting to commemorate them in a new colorway for Spring, Lady Slipper.

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Pink Lady Slippers are not all that rare (at least they aren’t in my woods), but they are nearly impossible to transplant or propagate. So wild Lady Slippers are a treat, and always a surprise when I first see them each year.

Such a pretty pink hue.

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Color Inspiration Thursday: Art Nouveau

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“Art Nouvea” on STF Sunna

I continue to have some fun experimenting with techniques and colors. This is a color dyed with a couple of different techniques: variegation, and speckles. I really like it, and can imagine it knit with a dark blue like Atlantis or Werewolf of London, or a deep charcoal like The Witching Hour. Or, of course, all by itself.

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It’s a really soft colorway, and feels very “vintage” to me. The Victorian Era was all about mauve (check out  one of my favorite books on the history of color and dyes for more on how mauve ignited a whole new method of dyeing, with its discovery in 1856). Coupled with golds, tans, and blues, “Art Nouveau” pulls together many of the favored colors of this refined era.

I’ll have some at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, and stay tuned for a shop update sometime soon as well.

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Guinea Pig Creative: Pysanky Egg Dyeing!

Earlier this week, our Guinea Pig Creative group got together again at my studio for another evening of friendship and craft. This time around, we chose Pysanky (Ukranian) egg dyeing, since Easter is nearly here. This time around, we were: Patti, Jen, Emily, Kat, and Karen.

 

I did this years ago with my kids when they were younger. They enjoyed it, but at the same time found it very frustrating (they may have been a tad bit too young for the intricacies of this dyeing method). We do have some fun handmade Christmas ornaments from our afternoon of egg dyeing, as we added little hangers to the tops of most of our eggs.

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Kat applying wax to her egg while Karen and Emily relight their candle

If you’re not familiar with how Ukranian eggs are decorated, it’s done with wax resist that is “drawn” on with a tool that melts the wax by holding it over a candle. You then draw designs onto your egg while the wax is liquid, remelting the was by holding your tool over a candle and adding more wax as needed. In a multi-step process, you draw and then dunk your egg in different colors, to create a multi-colored egg. Starting with the lightest shades and moving darker. On many eggs, the final color is black, which really sets off all the other colors.

It takes some time to figure it out and get it working, but once you do, it’s pretty darn fun. As long as you can get rid of any preconceived notions of how your egg is going to look.

We all have a whole new appreciation for artists in this medium. It’s not easy, but it’s really fun.

The cool thing about this medium is that, while you’re working on your egg, you may think it looks terrible. But melt the wax off, and it’s really magical.

Above is my egg at the midpoint and then finished but still covered in wax (looks pretty disappointing, right?).

Jen heating her egg to remove the wax at left, and Karen and Emily’s eggs-in-process at right.

Removing the wax on my egg.

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A slideshow of some of our finished eggs.

 

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My egg in the center and Patti’s two eggs on either side. I wanted my egg to also have some peacock colors in it (bright green, aqua blue and purple) but quickly found that these colors wouldn’t overlay the orange. For that, I would have needed to apply colors with a cotton swab in certain areas. Next time!

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From left: Patti, me, Jen, Emily, Kat (Karen is taking the photo, boohoo)

I can’t recommend enough getting together with friends to do something creative. Of course it’s always great to get together with friends, but adding an activity really takes the fun up a notch. If you have a group of local friends, try to set something like this up and do it! It’s especially fun if no one really knows what they’re doing. Our evenings include a craft, snacks, drinks, and lots of laughing. There’s just something really great about being with other women friends, and I cherish every moment of these special evenings.

At our next get together in May, we’ll be making polymer clay stuff (yet to be determined what exactly) at Patti’s stained glass studio.

Friends and craft, together, with great snacks and good wine thrown in. Win win.

 

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Color Inspiration Thursday: Atlantis

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Atlantis, on Spirit Trail Selene

Atlantis is a soft, medium blue. A true blue, without teal or green undertones, medium in depth and hue, Atlantis is dark enough to not be a pastel, but light enough that it will show cables and other stitch patterns to great effect.

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I love this blue, and named it after the (imaginary?) city of Atlantis because it reminds me of ocean water with just a bit of sunlight streaming in. Like, perhaps, it would look from Atlantis looking up towards the surface.

 

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