three books

three books

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Trite but true

The theme of this weeks drawing challenge, hosted by the ever fascinating Nadine at is "NATURE". While the weather is still warm and lovely here in Vancouver the quality of light has begun to change and there are subtle signs here and there that summer is mostly behind us. That had me waxing nostalgic (if you'll pardon the pun) over the change of seasons in my place of origin - Ontario - where autumn reigns supreme. It seemed an apt time to experiment with a little trick I saw on Pintrest - with apologies because I can't find the one I saw again to give credit to the person who shared it - there was however several others so you will be able to track down the process if you want to try it.
Eco-dyeing - essentially all it means is using natural things - leaves, nuts, etc. to make marks on paper or fabric. In this case I made a little bundle of hand made paper alternated with watercolour paper with leaves in between each layer. I used several different kinds to see what colours they would produce. I squished them all together between two pieces of door sheath (which transferred some colour of it's own), tied it with string and put it in a vat to boil for a couple of hours.
I probably should have left it bound longer than I did but I couldn't resist sneaking a peak. Maybe that is why they were so vibrant and lovely while wet but faded considerably when dry - no worries - I dipped them in wax which enriched the colours permanently. Yum! I chose a simple, Japanese style binding to lash them together.
Then I wondered what I wanted to say in my autumn book but everything I thought of was kind of trite and I didn't want to bore anyone with my sticky sweet memories. My solution? I wrote all those memories on little squares of paper and permanently embedded them in the waxy leaves.
What a fun project - now off to see what everyone else has done to rise to tiny woolf's challenge. Visit here: to see the rest.


  1. Wow, Sue, after talking to you the other day I was eager to see I have.... with wonder and awe at the beauty you made from beautiful nature. Love the colours and the addition of wax.

  2. That's kind of interesting! I've never seen that before. The cover appears as leather to me...beautiful!

  3. this is beautiful!!
    all of it
    the material, the colours....
    and i wish i could enlarge
    those little images
    to see more of it

  4. Oh that is beautiful! And I feel the same as Patrice: I wish I could see more! Love the structure of it.

  5. i was pleased to be able to click on your photo and see it larger, to enjoy the details. to see the leaf imprint on your cover. it is quite lovely. i also think it would be hard to leave it for a long long time... would want to have a peak.

  6. What a beautiful and truly nature inspired creation. Just lovely!

  7. my word, and how clever! i wish i could just feel to the touch your project i just wanna dive into myself. i think i want to see more of this...
    thxs for playing, sue!
    and wait a minute...
    "where autumn reigns supreme"....?
    that's it! i'm moving!!

  8. Wonderful and truly nature beauty and I would love to see more about the process and the result because for me it looks just absolutely fab! Please show more!
    And please feel invited to the next dc at my place/blog.

  9. my nose almost touching my screen, i want to have a closer look! the biggest photo shows me something really lovely, i want to see more!
    tangible nostalgia and autumn melancholy, fine work Sue, xx

  10. Stunning Sue. I know Ontario in the fall. The coloured maple tree leafs. The almost ridiculous bounty of fallen coloured leaves that crackle when you walk in them, and may perhaps harbour a miscellany of rodents. The rodent idea came to mind one time when I was walking in the forest with the leaves almost up to my knees in places and always covering my ankles. The smell of fall air. And then later...the smell of snow in the air before it actually does snow. I'm a B.C. born and bred gal but I spent one year in Ontario which gave me precious memories. Don't even talk about the thunder storms. Now that is Mother Nature making a statement.
    Your whole book makes my fingers tingle to touch it and to smell it and to look and examine and enjoy it in person. I'm compelled to try this out one day. The method I mean. I love your book. I love that your written words make up a permanent part of it. I dream of making hollow beads where you speak the words into the empty bead and then put the cover on, and then seal it. If I made a book like yours I would maybe do some type of spoken word into a nut shell or seed pod or something like that. Your art inspires me. Love Norma, xo

  11. I think this was inventive and beautiful. I tried bringing the smaller photos into focus and was sad to find I couldn't zoom in. The whole thing is fascinating.