After being gripped by an eco-dyeing fervour for the last couple of years I found myself taking an unintentional and unplanned break from foraging and dyeing (you may have noticed I've been posting a lot more poems than craft lately). It seemed I had run out of things and reasons to dye. After all there are only so many eco-dyed scarves you can wear and an entire wardrobe of eco-dyed clothes is probably a bit much, even for me.
I've been at a bit of a crafting impasse recently. Even though I've been hosting Crafternoons at my place, I haven't actually been doing any crafting. I've been too busy with other things. And of course the dust is just settling after our big move out to the hills.
A recent event had me back into making things with my hands. Two of my beautiful friends, Mel and Kiri just got married. It was a 3 day camping festival of big love. An amazing co-created event with all the guests contributing their time, skills or money to create a beautiful ceremony. I wanted to make them something beautiful so I collaborated with the very talented artist Claire Mosley. We created a guest book for people to sign at the wedding.
I asked Claire to create the cover and I planned to hand bind the book. You may remember I hand bound some notebooks last year (was it really in October?). Claire suggested eco-dyeing cotton fabric. I said yes, what a genius idea! Eco dyeing+ book binding? Now why hadn't I thought of that? I bet you can see where this is going... (new mania alert! Cloth covered books with eco dyed fabric).
Sadly the fabric Claire dyed didn't turn out so I hunted through my sewing cupboard and found some eco-dyed silk I had made a while back. The silk was from an old wedding dress I got at an op shop. I had pre mordanted the silk in vinegar which gave lots of yellow leaf prints. At the time the yellow was too much so I hid it in the cupboard. When I took it out I was pleasantly surprised with its lovely colours and patterns. Sometimes you just need to wait before giving the final verdict on something. Give it time to grow on you and time for the original expectations to fade so you can see it for its own beauty.
I was a little nervous about using silk - I thought perhaps it may be too thin to glue so I did some samples with a coupe of different glues I had in the cupboard (it pays to hang on to every crafting supply you own even though packing it into boxes and moving it can be a real pain). Luckily for me the acid free PVA worked a treat, The bookbinding paste was a little slug so I decided not to use it on the silk.
The book turned out beautifully and Im really pleased with the result. And try grateful to the Mose for suggesting an eco dyed fabric cover. Thanks for the inspiration Claire!