Marking time


There's more than one way to keep a diary
and it seems I've inadvertently been keeping one
through bundle photographs.
Call me crazy
but I love the look of them.
Obviously I must, because I can't seem to stop.

Beyond the anticipation of scrumptious prints [hopefully] waiting be revealed, 
there's a metaphor about this process I strongly relate to --
the metaphor of time ...
mainly, the importance of  giving  time.

Now I can say
I've learned great patience when it comes to unwrapping my bundles.
Oh, it was   SO HARD  in the beginning, I'll grant you that,
but it didn't take long to discover the wait was worth it.
Such marks from dry-down !
So, I'm not troubled by that discipline any longer.

And it seems when I have gotten antsy
I've helped to pass the time by taking a lot of "portraits."
Otherwise my files would not be so close to bursting with the sheer quantity.
oh dear.

Collating parts of my picture library this week was a long overdue task.  Since I've
gone off the deep end you might say, with effects editing, the multiplicity factor
was slightly out of hand [putting it mildly] and if there was going to be
any hope of finding particulars, some organization was in order
or I was doomed.

When the  Ecoprints  album was finally assembled, I reviewed the group
with a scrutinizing eye
noticing immediately the inordinate quantity of bundle shots.
Ever do a thing repeatedly - unconsciously - only to become aware of your
at a much later date?
Good then.  I'm not alone.
Laid out in chronological order I saw the entire past year [almost]
illustrated by the progression of foraging, wrapping and dyeing ... 
with special emphasis on

the bundles themselves.

It was grand to have them all in one place !

There was a "walking down memory lane" aspect to this endeavor
and I kept getting sidetracked by delightful memories of dye days past ... like the
great can experiment with my Lopez group - how we juggled for space in the cauldrons
but folks using blackberries bled all over their neighbors anyway.
Still, with such pretty results nary a complaint was heard.

And then there was the afternoon I became my grandmother in the kitchen
[preserving cloth, not green beans] and learned to  stuff, steep + store
for India's pantry shelf out in the interpixies ....

Mainly, I've dyed alone [cue Country Western music ?]
conducting all manner of experiments.  Different themes on different days,
playing around, plodding through,
definitely having a grand ole time.

I've put a few leaves through their paces

but then later, trying to ecoprint on paper put me through mine.

 do not wrap your paper bundle with rubber bands
you've put something sturdy inside to hold the bands in place.

Imagine unfolding mush [see collapsed bundle above]
... yessiree, not pretty.

When I couldn't make bundles, I sometimes dreamt them up instead ...
messing about with the entirely wonderful DianaPhoto app
one can conjure up all manner of imaginary landscapes
and so I did.

Halfway through the year a very particular dream did come true
and I wandered off to one of the more gentler landscapes I've ever encountered
where I bundled my heart out next to a great wide river
and drank   far too much   far too little fine, single malt Scotch Whisky.
This one was especially yummy.

but I'm digressing from the true direction of this story ...

which is to share my year of time-marking
through some portraiture of
the humble bundle
[no, I have not been drinking whisky this evening].

All those glorious bundles !
They've been rough and ragged ...
they've been tidy, clean & slick

but they've been mostly everything in between.

A motley crew of unrelated objects served as bases:
hauled from the shore
mailed from the desert
and yes, even stolen ...
[innocent indiscretion at the shipyard, really]

but in all cases,
the tighter the wrap, the surer the outcome.

Here's a couple of favorites.
On the left, silk wrapped around three copper pipes; on the right, silk filled with seaweed.

Their diary entry might have read something like this:

Dear diary, had the most marvelous morning beach combing at the cove. What a 
stash of interesting seaweed! (time of year?)  Must try some in bundles - 
wonder if they'll give prints?  So nice of P to give me the copper.  Perfect temperature this aft, 
no wind - I'll wrap on the porch.  Still good color in the madrone bath, I think.
Dog's curious bout the unusual smells - funny to watch her nose twitch 
while she investigates. HA! a sneeze.
Can't wait to try my new string.

But instead ... 


and there was my story.


  1. What delectable images, art works in themselves as are some of your bundles, the picture with all the bundles in clamps look like jewels, mine never look so neat and I still haven't learnt patience.
    I visited a garden centre this week who were not obsessed with keeping everything swept and have gained a great many fallen leaves some of varities not known, I am looking forward to bundling these soon.

    1. Never occurred to me to *sweep* the garden center of leaves - excellent! You can stash them in the freezer if you can't get around to bundling them soon-ish.
      Thanks for the kind words, Debbie, and all best wishes for patience {{ wink wink }}

  2. I always enjoy your posts but this one in particular has a wonderful "feel" to it. I too have a hard time not opening my bundles. Can't wait to see what yours have done. I too have not had good luck with paper. I know I have to just experiment. Janet Wright, Friday Harbor

    1. ... still sticking to it on the paper challenge, Janet, not giving up yet. Tis a different animal, for sure - I'm determined to hone in on its finer points ;>]
      thanx for the visit !

  3. oh Christi , theese bundles are so lovely and the colour from your area are so speciel , enjoy you have theese possibility , the camera are in your hand as a story all the time , thank you

    1. Many thanks, Bodil.
      Did you get yourself a new camera after all???

    2. yes Christi i have bought a new one to a ok price, even i could not put any pictures on line

    3. Oh well, sorry the rice didn't work but enjoy your new one !

  4. Wait a minute - what is this magical wonderland of cloth and string and color have I wandered into? I never want to leave - in fact if they were mine I'd dry them as bundles and hang them on the wall - each one with its own mystery and wonder. Thank you.

    1. Now there's a thought - hang them as-is on the wall ! Lordie, now that would certainly be a test of true patience ... to NEVER open them. Dunno if I'm made of THAT kind of willpower, Penny, but if you could do that then I can say for certain you would be a most excellent natural dyer ;>]]

  5. uhm. holy moly.
    saw your fb post ... went onto inoreader to read, excitedly thinking, "I can tell her about pulling my first bundle outta the jar" and then ... this... so so gorgeous. not quite so excited. these... your's? scrumptious!!

    1. {{{{ JEN }}}}} you pulled your first bundle out of a jar??? Say whuuuutttt??? You've finally joined me in some botanical alchemy??? JOY !
      Please do tell. Oh yes please!

  6. Bundling is " like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get." Your bundles are like jewels someone said. Oh yes, jewels! I love the orange/red one in the first picture. And, the stuff, steep + store for India's pantry shelf. Imagine needing a special cloth and going to the pantry to choose from rows and rows of canned cloth...right next to the green beans, of course.

  7. Chip Butter, hello, and thank you.
    Liking that comparison to a box of chocolate, 'specially since I have to be careful of how much of it I eat these days .... but I don't have ANY of those restrictions with devouring bundles ;>D
    Your description of a cloth pantry makes me want to create one - or - wouldn't a children's story along those lines be a delight? Perhaps you should write one !

  8. I love bundling too:)) And your fotos are really beautiful, they tell me a lot of stories... just wonderful!
    Ciao from Italy, Helga

    1. Thank you very much, Helga, and for your visit all the way from Italy!

  9. Visual poetry in your images and spoken poetry in your words. This is the most beautiful, lyrical post I have read for a long time. Grounding as well as being incredibly inspirational. Thank you!

    1. {{{ blushing }}}
      Such kind words ... thanx much.

  10. i'm late to this party, having been out in the whirled for a bit...tis a fine collection. some i even recognise, having been present at their inception :)

  11. Well, I wonder if I have ever seen a blog post that I have liked better than this one. It is amazing. I love your bundles the way they are, and the exceptional way that you have photographed them. Yes, I can see how they are like a journal - calling up memories of the time you spent with each, wrapping with your hands forming the new mysterious shape, so nurturing. Someone else has said that the bundles are like art just as they are, and I would have to agree. Beautiful.

    1. Judy, how kind of you. Thank you. And I do believe that you fully understand this process
      and the meaning in the making ....

  12. lovely photos! a work of art by themselves, will you be selling your photos? I truly love them, anything showing the passing of time (wabi-sabi)

    1. Haven't really contemplated selling the photo work that comes out of my iPhone. Maybe one day, Susan. Exhibited in galleries years ago when I was doing *traditional* b/w darkroom prints but not sure I will be making the print leap with digital any time soon. But thank you all the same!

  13. What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing your images and diary in this way. I so relate to what you are saying. Like they used to say in my children's neighborhood group . . . we are parallel playing. The fourth image from the top is one of my favorites, it's like a painting, I would never tire of looking at.

    1. meuli, I like that, "parallel playing" ! and you are so welcome. Very pleased to know
      that maybe a few others are at play like this [doing diaries in unwritten ways] too.

  14. this is not just a post......what beauty , what love.........you are..wel you are!

  15. I gave a talk recently to the Northwest Collage Society and mentioned India Flint and eco dyeing and confessed something... I like to see the bundles... wrapped and bound! The bundles! I love all the ones you posted images here.. they are visual haiku to me.

  16. I do love all the photos of beautiful bundles. xo