Natural Arts

Rose Shadow Silhouettes
I love waking up to see the sunlight create rose leaf patterns on my net curtains - the way they move in the breeze, sometimes slight & sometimes with a lot more sway. And this morning a little bird was singing its head off in the rosebush. I couldn't see it & was conscious I had no idea what bird it might be, I was sure my friend Jane would have known instantly! But I'm loving this wild challenge of connecting more with nature. I decided I'd try & capture some of the shapes the sun & rose leaves were making (though my camera's not up to much).
Natural Dyes
I woke early, looking forward to playing around with the material I'd found in the street in Bristol, from fabric sample books. I'd seen a couple of you-tube videos of a lady who was very excited about cooking up vegetable dyes in her kitchen to dye paper scraps she would then use as a foundation for some artwork. I loved her delight & enthusiasm at the colours she was able to get from various tea bags; beetroots; red cabbage leaves. I knew I'd have to have a go myself. 
I have to say, I found the process a lot more satisfying than the eventual results on this first trial-run, but it was fun experimenting. I will try again with different materials, other ingredients, more research, and different mordants to fix the end results. I tried: builder's tea; apple & blackcurrant tea; cinnamon sticks; panch purim; cabbage leaves; the seeds from an elm tree (had to look that up); lavender, flaked chillies; bits of banana skin & some mouldy old raspberries, fixed with vinegar & salt. The tea, raspberries & chilli worked best.
I tried steaming them while I took a long soak myself. Since I was in the mood to experiment, instead of just adding boiled water to my henna mix I cooked up some left over nettle & rosemary concoction, with tea, cabbage leaves, and quite a lot of sage (traditional way of darkening hair), strained out all the bits then mixed with the combination of henna powders I use.
I didn't think of adding a face mask - next time! I have enough books on such things and already have yoghurt and honey in the house......


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