The Alchemical Flower

sun and moon in the alchemical vesselthe alchemical flower: sun, moon and stars

I mused about it then and am still wondering about the nature of dandelions. There seems to be something alchemical about the three stages and the transformation from sun to moon to stars.

With two of the same plant the sun and the moon can be added to the same vessel. There's the alchemical marriage again.

I'm working on several feathers and other things. It's one of those times when a lot is in progress and nothing completed. There will be a bigger update probably next week.


Twin Feathers

twin feathers

Fresh off the work table - two dark green and tan sibling feathers. One redder green with cinnamon background and the other more blue with stones on the chain. In the shop this Saturday.

Apart from that I'm dyeing red with madder, dark blue with indigo and working on something for May Calendarium. It's slow work...


Purple Maple

purple maplepurple maple

The new leaves have been unfolding on the purple maple tree in our neighbour's garden. The grass is scattered with the scales that covered the buds.

Dark red or purple in colour they dye purplish grey with alum but gave a bit of wine red when bundled and steamed.


Stars Above Stars Below and Mercurius

stars above stars belowUntitledUntitled

I've become quite interested in alchemy. Looking at all the puzzling alchemical emblems and reading the cryptic descriptions is leaving a mark. So here are two on that theme.

"Heaven above
Heaven below
Stars above
Stars below
All that is above
Also is below
Know this
And rejoice"

Firstly, this necklace that plays on the idea that heavens are reflected in the earth. That herbs and other plants correspond to celestial bodies. That transformation in one sphere effects transformation in the other.

These two pieces of fabric wanted to be together. They have been joined by smocking in three ordered levels and bedecked with small beads representing the stars or flowers. The edges are left raw for a subtle halo. Four crystal stars mark each side of the chain.

This piece is reserved but there is also:



This is a celebration of Mercurius, the indispensable mysterious substance that can bring about the union of opposites, the alchemical marriage of King Sol and Queen Luna and their transformation.

It was dyed to a soft grey and decorated with mercury-like beads. The smocking connects the two poles - the golden orb of the solar king and the silver sceptre of the lunar queen.

It will be in the shop tomorrow (Tuesday).



She Helps


A recent photo as I sit here working on next week's update. She also kindly collects stray eucalyptus leaves for me in the garden.


Calendarium : April

calendarium : april

Part of the Calendarium series in which I make a piece every month dyed with whatever I find outside at that time.

In April I dyed the background with yellow flowers from the garden (a mix of forsythia, daffodils, dandelions and kerria). The result was a bright yellow which ended up being toned down by overdying with alder cones and iron. Finally I added spots of colour by printing it with red tulip petals and blue grape hyacinth flowers.

The smocking is embellished with purple and bright yellow beads. The yellow is also on the toggle that closes the necklace at the back.

The symbolism behind it... something about beads of pollen. Something ancient and new. Bees. A little bag to collect and hold it all. It will have to remain a pocketful of impressions. It's been that sort of time. I feel torn in different directions and whatever hours I spend doing something else feel stolen from A. somehow.

Anyway, here we are in May already. I'll put the necklace in the shop late this evening.


PS I sneaked in a bit more photo taking and there will also be a bluegreen feather in the update tonight.



Red and White

red and white

Colours that caught my eye in the garden. I wonder if the red tulip petals would leave a mark.

There are three new feathers this week but sorry to say the two with the stones are spoken for. The purple one is in the shop now.

I don't know where the hours go... Time to collect A. from preschool again.





Here's a family of blue feathers ready to leave the nest. Two large, two small and one large with a decorated chain. They will be in the shop tomorrow (Saturday) evening (UK time).

The garden is full of forget-me-nots. The daffodils are over, the cherry's in bloom and the parsley in the pots starting to grow.


April Gold

april gold

A pot of garden gold for dyeing April Calendarium.

Very busy here with work and other things. A few pieces just need their photos taken. Hoping for an update early next week.


Working with the Blues

working with the blues

I came home from holiday and found the indigo vat well reduced and ready to dye. So now I'm working with the blues.

It's been an interesting few weeks. At first it snowed and then turned summery. An inbetween time of opposites. I've been reading about psychological alchemy and visited Rudolf II's alchemical laboratory in the cellar of a very old house.