March 26, 2011

Don't drink the tea...


...when you can stuff your tea mug full of fabric scraps and end up with some *antique* color instead.  These bits & pieces sat for three days in a strong dilution of Rooibos tea which I used as a natural plant dye.  Mind you, I wasn't very tempted to drink it anyway - something about the smell really puts me off.  Although I'm aware of its medicinal qualities (very high in antioxidants) and I generally love any plant material that comes from South Africa, this is not the beverage for me.  But for dyeing?   It serves a whole new purpose...


All these scraps were WHITE (or had a white background)...natural fabrics only, no synthetics.  I was pleasantly surprised by how differently they absorbed color.  Let me put them into groups so you can get a better feel for the differences:

100% cotton

Rayon/silk blends (top & middle), linen (bottom)

Silks

The cottons took the least color but they do have a pleasing old-world feel, much nicer than their previous stark white selves. The silks took on the most color, by far, and are my hands-down favorites.  Look at that bottom one, now an absolutely gorgeous bronze!  I don't know silk varieties very well but I believe that's an organza...

Rooibos literally means "red bush" so I was hoping for some of those elusive pinks that many of us have been striving for of late.  After the dyeing is over, one is left with these...


Is it just me or do you find those stains on the teabags interesting too?  Seems I am not alone - look what I found out amongst the cyberpixies...

abstract tea bag collage, by Armen Rotch

Tea Bag Quilt, by Charlene Hughes


Should any of us be in need of more caffeine for the day, imagine this...entire walls constructed of used tea bags.  Bottoms up!

Poetic Justice, by Tania Bruguera
2003 installation at the Istanbul Biennial




March 6, 2011

For all they do

Our hands...they create the extraordinary...

...define a lifetime of vision...

...lead us to places we hadn't thought to go...

...speak softly, with the smallest of gestures...

...work & toil & offer a lifetime of servitude...

...lead us in prayer...

...ask questions...

...tend to the small rituals that define our daily traditions...

...help us build home...

...reach out, sometimes attaining unexpected results...

...offer warmth...

...bring the world in for a closer view...

...participate in all our explorations, however far we wish to go.

Hands...the keepers of our desires...

...and the pedestals for encouraging even the smallest of miracles.




PHOTO  CREDITS - top to bottom:  mendhi hands  here;  Georgia O'Keefe's hands  here;  hand between doors   here;  pink tulle  here;  dandelion fingers  here;  prayer beads  here;  questioning hands  here;  teacup  here;  hands holding nest  here;  reaching out  here;  electrographic  here;  girl with glass  here;  rock in hand  here;  blue hands  here;  black-and-white marblers  here.