Sunday, 12 September 2010

In the pink


When I was a girl living at home with my three sisters, I was very fond of Bird's Custard (so long as it didn't have lumps, but that needn't detain us here).   The most interesting thing about Bird's Custard Powder is that it was pink.   Until you added boiling milk, and then it turned yellow.  My wonderment at that bewildering alchemy is now rivalled by my discovery that you get pink dye from boiling green avocado skins.   True.  A little while ago Heike had some lovely bundles of fabrics for sale, dyed just this way, and I had to buy one to see for myself.   I loved the delicate subtle shades of Heike's samples and had a go at making my own avocado dye.   I achieved some of the same soft tones, but a silk carrier rod really absorbed the dye and became a rich dark burgundy.   And we ate the avocado.


In this little quilted piece, I wove some of the strips of Heike's fabric together and used a bit of my own dyed calico to form the background.
One or two of the applied pieces are from my Erosion Bundles, which had some of the same delicate 'watercolour' look about them.   There's a bit of that old rent book which had some pink smudges on it and a scrap of lace that took some of the dye from a piece of printed Chinese paper it was wrapped up with.    And then I dotted around some running stitches and sewed on an old fabric button.   It was my first attempt at anything of the sort and I'm hoping that Heike isn't groaning at the mess I've made of her lovely fabrics!   
And the first one to ask "but what's it for?" gets a poke in the eye....

Please have a seat


so long as you're ok with heights - 20 feet up a castle wall in Spain!
We had a few days away last week, in Catalonia in northern Spain.   It's an area we've been to several times, just for short breaks, and we don't normally stray very far from the shore.   But this time we went inland into the ancient volcanic region just south of the Pyrenees to the old town of Besalu.   You have to leave your car on the other side of the river and walk across the bridge and through the portcullis into the narrow cobbled streets and up to the market square.  

I managed to resist most of the wares displayed for tourists in the 'souvenir' shops, but I did buy a beautiful little wooden spoon from a girl smoking a fag while leaning over a counter of rustic hams and sausages.   She didn't look at me once during the transaction and her only communication was to tell me the price.   Such a contrast to the lovely pharmacist who gift-wrapped the insect repellent Richard bought!

on the door beam

swimming hole at Aigua Blava
I'd forgotten how much I love sea swimming - we spent ages floating around in the waves in this little cove by the hotel.   Richard thought we ought to have snorkels, but in a kind of way I'm quite happy not knowing what's going on beneath the surface!

a fisherman's front door


I just wanted to say that it's been a nightmare trying to upload and edit my photos using Paint.net, or to get access to Blogger or my hotmail account today, or do more than five minutes before the laptop crashed.   Grrrrr.   One of those days, eh?  
                                          Hope you're having a better one?


14 comments:

ger said...

Ppfff... messing around with my fabrics... ;) No, I like it. I especially enjoy the sparse white stitches - just 3 of them on that one scrap, I think that´s lovely - + they DO ask for an old linen button, of course...! Ungroaning greetings, H.

Menopausal musing said...

Delicious fabrics and photos!!!!! You painted a wonderful picture of the shop assistant who sold you the spoon. Re hotmail: today it has been an absolute so and so!!!

JP said...

just love the gentle colours of the fabrics

Myfanwy said...

Hi Chrissie, love the stitching, and your photos. Glad you had a good time. Miss you on the thread.....

Printed Material said...

Those fabrics are a lovely soft and subtle shade of pink Chrissie and you've woven some magic with the strips. It is lovely but... what's it for? Ow, that sharp stick poked in the eye really hurt.... glad you're back refreshed from Spain but sorry to see the pc issues have not improved. It may be little consolation but you're not alone! Lesley x

Jee said...

Blogger's been playing me up too. Would never have guessed that beautiful pink came from avocados. As for 'what's it for' as Shakespeare once wrote 'reason not the need'.

Jill said...

Avocado pink - hmm, will Dulux run with that one? It is a really pretty shade.
Seeing your photograph of Besalu reminded me that I had visited there rather a long time ago while holidaying in Catalonia. I can remember one little town built right on the edge of some amazing basalt cliffs - a lovely region and many places would have a some works of art, although I don't remember the chairs being there way back in '96.
(Thanks for including a link to my etsy shop)

Things Hand Made said...

show us your spoon then! Looks like a nice couple of days. I love the colours on your pieces. How do you do it? In my head there is a big gap between buying avocados and the dying cloth.

Gina said...

Looks like a lovely holiday. I keep seeing this "avocado pink" and think I ought to give it a try.

Anonymous said...

The thought of Richard's gift-wrapped insect repellant really made me laugh! Though 'fag-ash lil' sounds very endearing in her own way...... I'm sure she has her charms. Were the chairs comfy? - don't tell me you didn't try them. Looks like a beautiful and fascinating place to visit. I love the different shades and textures in your vision in pink but ........... what's .. ...? I didn't say it!!
Anne

Uta said...

I would never ask "but what's it for". It doesn't have to 'be for' anything when its so gorgeous. Love that pink! Must put that on my list to try.

Jenny said...

I think your put together of fabrics is both creative and pretty, thats enough reason for making it. Very atmospheric photos.

dottycookie said...

It doesn't matter what it's for - your quilted piece is inspirational. I'm sorry I've only just found it - I came here via Emma's Splash of colour flickr group. Hello!

Abigail Thomas said...

yeah dont worry about the 'what is it for' question - its the creativity that counts.