• DIY,  Natural Dyes,  Sustainability

    Growing Color: My First Dye Garden

    Freshly planted marigolds With the gardening season coming to a close, I want to take some time to look back on my first attempt at growing my own natural dyes. We have limited space and my thumb is not very green, so when I began thinking about planting a dye garden I knew I needed to keep it simple. I selected a couple dye plants based on the colors that I was hoping to achieve and how hardy they were.  I decided to start with marigolds, dyer’s coreopsis, and hopi black dye sunflowers. I purchased my marigolds at the nursery already started and I bought the dyer’s coreopsis and hopi black…

  • Natural Dyes,  Reclaimed Materials,  Slow Fashion,  Sustainability,  Upcycled Materials

    Out and About

    Happy Friday! It’s been a whirlwind of a week with little sleep. I have been doing a lots of knitting (see above walk with kiddos…having knitting will travel, right?) and planning for future dye projects, but don’t have much to share at the moment. Teething baby has left me with lots of nursing time and I have been reading and researching during much of that time. I’ve been coming across and collecting articles and links related to sustainability and the fashion industry. So I thought I would compile a list regularly for you to peruse at your leisure. I don’t want to limit this collection to sustainability and fashion, but also…

  • Design,  DIY,  Handmade,  Natural Dyes,  Reclaimed Materials,  Slow Fashion,  Upcycled Materials

    Experiments with Painting Fabric

    Lately I’ve been intrigued by the idea of painting with natural dyes. My hope and vision is to use natural color to create unique painted fabric using upcycled cloth. I’ve tried working with iron water as color modifier to paint patterns on naturally dyed fabric, but I have not been very successful. The patterns and colors tend to bleed together too much when washed. After some initial research in Natural Color by Sasha Duerr, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. Promagrenate skin dye was up first. I simmered the skins on and off for a day. After straining the liquid from the pulp, I reduced the…

  • Design,  Handmade,  Reclaimed Materials,  Upcycled Materials

    Textile Abundance

    It has been said that the textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world, second only to the oil industry. Fast fashion and the desire for “on trend” clothing has doubled the production of clothing over that last 20 years. Many times an article of clothing is worn only 3 or 4 times before it is discarded. The average American consumes 82 pounds of textiles per year and the EPA estimates that textile waste takes up approximately 5% of landfill space. This is discouraging when 95% of textiles can be recycled for other uses; either through second-hand stores or in some new form (pillow stuffing, rags, carpet padding,…

  • Uncategorized

    Focus 2018

    With the New Year fast approaching, I have been thinking about all the endless possibilities 2018 has to offer. 2017 has been both very joyful and very difficult. Looking back of course the joy totally overrode the difficult, but I’m very much looking forward to new beginnings. I’m not one for resolutions, but I do like the idea of a word to help guide your intentions for the year. My word for 2018 is focus. I feel like I have a million ideas and goals in my brain, but sometimes that just leads to an overwhelming feeling. I want to focus more directly on how to achieve my goals and…

  • DIY,  Handmade,  Reclaimed Materials,  Sewing,  Upcycled Materials

    DIY Backpack: A Lesson in Upcycled and Reclaimed Materials

    I decided I “needed” a retro style, drawstring backpack. I’m 38 weeks pregnant and I felt that it was the only kind of bag that was going to be useful for quick trips out and about. I love my over the should bags and larger totes, but the straps tend to get in the way when you are babywearing. I have seen more and more of the retro style backpack bags with modern updates lately. Some are beautifully crafted from leather and others from fabric. I thought I could scour the thrift shops to see what I could find, but that was quickly ruled out when I realized how much…

  • Handmade,  Small Busniess

    Time and Comparison

    Time is an interesting thing when you are working in a product based business. People want things now. Instant gratification! I understand; you see something beautiful and the desire to hold it, touch it, use it is immediate. But, how does it look from the makers perspective? Coming up with original, creative ideas takes time. Making the first, second and maybe third prototype takes time. Once you are happy with the final product you need to photograph it and market it…more time. It’s hard to be on the maker end. The one man factory as such.  People are starting to see the value of handmade goods, but you can still…

  • Hand Knits,  Handmade,  Natural Dyes,  Small Busniess,  Uncategorized

    Shop Update

    I’m slowly, but surely getting around to updating my shop with new things that I have been working on over the last couple of months. It’s taken me longer then I had wanted it to, but sometimes that’s how things go. I’ve been working on a couple different things, including upcycled wool diaper cover/soakers and hand knit baby bonnets, along with hand dyed pot holders. Check it out www.goldfinchlimited.etsy.com

  • Natural Dyes,  Sewing

    Finished Quilt

    Over the weekend, I finished up a naturally dyed and hand stitched baby quilt. Some projects seem to drag at the end and you just want to finish the piece, but it’s hard to get there. I have had a few of those projects lately, so it was a pleasure to work on something that I was not only excited to see completed, but that I really wanted to do the work to get there. I don’t feel the photos that I have taken thus far do the quilt justice. I want to take it around to everyone and show them so they can see it with their own eyes. I guess you…

  • Hand Knits,  Handmade,  Natural Dyes,  Small Busniess,  Works-in-Progress

    Monday Mornings

    We had a beautiful Sunday, filled with knitting, napping, BBQing, fishing, bike riding, and lots and lots of family time. I woke up this morning ready to work on all my current works-in-progress. Trying to decide where to start can always be a little bit of a challenge for me when I’m really enjoying working on each of them. I am currently working on a few prototypes for hand dyed baby knits and hand dyed/stitched quilts. I’m very excited about the direction these projects are going, but one can only work so fast. I only have two hands. The slow and meditative work allows for love and intention to be worked…

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