It’s been a while since I did a Monthly Voice but with that ‘back to school’ feeling thick in the air, I thought it would be the perfect time to resurrect them.
For those that are new to this little corner of the internet, the Monthly Voice is a place for me to share what we have been loving over the last month and some of the things we have been up to. This one is like a bumper bonus edition because I haven’t written one at all over the summer.
I hope you are all enjoying the ‘Inspired by Nature’ series as much as I am loving putting it together for you, I am super thankful to have interviewed some amazing folk for the series so far, and you can catch up with all previous posts here, but before you do that, please welcome artists Abigail and Max, who run the studio practice Forest + Found.
It’s been one of the coldest Winters in a long time here. For months I have been wearing two cardigans and drinking lots of hot tea. Our old victorian house is pretty draughty, and it’s really noticeable at this time of year. I have been thinking about all the things we can do to make sure we save energy, and I decided to make myself a draught excluder for the front door in order to keep us all a little warmer.
I recently heard about smart meters, which show you exactly how much gas and electricity you are consuming. They’re a great way to help you be more mindful about your heating and the appliances you use. Plus they also tell you exactly how much energy you use in pounds and pence. That means no more estimated bills, you pay for what you use. It will be so useful to be able to identify times when we are using lots of energy, so we can cut back – a visual reminder that is bound to motivate you to turn that landing light off!
The draught excluder was super simple to make, and no doubt I will be making a few more for the back of the house. I also decided to add some dried lavender to the filling so it will smell lovely too.
I’m really excited to share the next instalment of the ‘Inspired By Nature’ series with you today. I first came across this lady on Instagram and just loved the creativity and colours in her feed. She is a natural dyer, who loves to forage for plants. Last year she wrote and self published her first print book. When she’s not dying scarves, fabric and wooden beads, she is experimenting with plants and kitchen waste such as avocado skins, pomegranate skins and tea bags to make dye. She also has an E-book available, which I can throughly recommend. It’s a brilliant guide if you want to try your hand at natural dyeing but don’t know where to start.
Please welcome Rebecca Desnos…
This week I had my first proper go at botanical dyeing, and it’s been such fun. One of the things that I’ve noticed about the process is it really is a ‘slow’ craft. You can’t hurry or rush dyeing your own fabric, and the more time you can give to each step of the process the better. It doesn’t take much effort, it’s just a matter of letting the fabric sit at various stages in different pots – the perfect activity to have ticking along in the background.
Natural dyeing is something I’ve wanted to try for a while, and I knew I wanted to start by making a curtain from a piece of muslin for the work room. Back at the beginning of the Summer I bought a copy of Botanical Colour At Your Fingertips by Rebecca Desnos. It’s a brilliant informative e-book available on Etsy here, (you can now also get a paperback version). It’s perfect if you want to dye natural fibres and not use any chemicals, which is exactly what I was after.