Tuesday, September 7

What to do with falling leaves

I spent a wonderful weekend collecting leaves in my yard.

You're probably wondering how "wonderful weekend" and "collecting leaves" can appear in the same sentence.
It's what we did with the leaves after we collected them that was so great.
My friend Patricia came up from Maryland for the weekend, and we attempted to recreate the beautiful effects that India Flint achieves in her eco-dyeing processes.

Armed with India's book, Patricia's pots, knowledge and hot plate; as well as some eucalyptus she got from a friend in Florida, we conducted some backyard research.
Some of our experiments turned out well, and others did not. (I'm not sharing those.)
Emboldened by our results -- and frankly running out of fabric -- I pulled an old favorite linen shirt from my closet and loaded it up with windfall and onion skins.
This is what came out of the dye pot.

I'm pretty happy with the results and will definitely wear this shirt with its new design.

When the weekend was over, Patricia and I celebrated our successes, our mistakes, and a beautiful weekend shared, with lunch at Terrain, before she headed south.

I love this image of her taken at lunch, but did you notice her hands? And this was after a shower.

 They look like time well spent to me.


  1. That opening line had me hooked! Looks like you had a ball. Were you finishing in true style with drinks out of jars?!!

  2. Hi Leslie,
    This could be a new career, that shirt is gorgeous. What fun you and your friend had playing with plants...
    xox corrine

  3. What FUN! I'm going to look for that book. I'm ready to try something new after nine pen and watercolor Illustrations. I wish I lived closer your always having so much fun with your girlfriends.


  4. leslie, the shirt is great! you could do a class on recycling old favorites! the photo of your friend is very lovely. and the hands are perfect. thanks for sharing .

  5. Leslie,
    I am back at the school so those blackened hands are fit right in the printmaking studio! What a very fun time we had and what fabulous results you achieved.
    I love the photographs.

  6. wow Leslie! Your shirt is fabulous..nice experimentation!


  7. lOvE what you guys created - especially the shirt! i was a little sad that you guys had lunch at Terrain. i saw that and wanted to be there too! love that place.

    your friend looks like a sweetheart, such a kind face and lovely hands.



  8. love the shirt! my dog has been bringing leaves into the house over the past 3 days and i have a pretty good collection now. guess it's time to order that book and give it a go.

  9. OH Leslie, I am so sorry I could not have joined you on what looks like it was an amazing creative adventure. Perhaps you can find it in your heart and if you are not dyed out......maybe you can share with me sometime in the near future.

    Would absolutely love it!!!

    xo Karen

  10. i'm getting that book... i mean, who *couldn't* at this time of year?!!!


  11. As I gathered eucalyptus leaves from the damp ground yesterday, I noticed my hands had already begun to take on the golden hue they left behind. These photos make me even more eager to play-this-way with you and Keli next week. Thanks to Patricia and her knowledge... isn't it wonderful the people art brings together?

  12. How fantastic! I'm definitely going to have to take a look at that book!

  13. Wonderful and exciting experiments!
    Her hands look just fine to me!
    Your shirt is a delight.

  14. leslie...what wonderfulness these images evoke...almost makes me want to be where leaves change color...almost!!! ...what an unreliable blogging friend i have been...it seems all of you remain connected ...how i miss you and connecting almost every day...i hope you have had blissful moments and peaceful journeys since my last visit.... i promise to return more often...


  15. that shirt looks as if it had fallen out of my suitcase...
    glad you're having fun with leaves
    best wishes

  16. It is always such fun to create and experiment with another person, especially when that other person is a talented friend.
    Your shirt looks great and is of course one of a kind.

  17. Love this blog. My husband is buying me India Flint's book for my birthday on November 2nd.....my trouble is the leaves will have gone by them!ha...don't sduppose you can tell me how you did this can you? Understand if you say noxxlynda

  18. Well! I thougth I left a comment for you here! I must have rushed away too fast. What I said was your day sounded so wonderful, the resturant one i would love to go to (with you!) and your friend and her stained hands very beautiful! roxanne

  19. Leslie,
    I love the shirt. You could sell those, lady. Did it take very long to dye it? Just curious.



  20. What great results! Also sounds like fun!

  21. Stiffie:

    The image of you and Patricia rooting through the yard will stay in my mind forever.

    The writer In the room attached to your kitchen

  22. Wow! LOVING that shirt!!! How cool!!! And I liked the other pictures....Last fall I was seen picking up the lovely leaves from the maples planted around my local WalGreen's store...never caring if they thought I was nuts!

  23. Well, where have I been?!? I'm such a slow blog reader, I swear.. THIS looks like such a great weekend. I love collecting leaves. I didn't know anything about India. And your successes look great. I love leaves. LEAVES!

    i gotta leave now.

  24. The results of your "experiments" here are fascinating. You have a way with leaves!