Last Glimpse of Autumn

Posted November 13th, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Garden, My Photography

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While snow falls in other parts of the country, we’ve enjoyed lovely, warm temperatures.  Yesterday, it was 77 degrees in Charlotte!   Many were out in shorts, walking their babies, running, walking their dogs.  I’m not ready for the 25 degrees expected tomorrow morning.  Obviously, I should have been taking advantage of our warm days instead of working inside.

The day is overcast, perfect for photography.  I’m headed out now, camera in hand, to capture a last glimpse of autumn.

Hope it’s warm where you are!

June!

Posted June 2nd, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Garden, My Photography

Amaryllis 6:14

Hardy Amaryllis – Click on image to view

One of my favorite yard flowers, the hardy amaryllis is just what its name implies.  It winters over beautifully.  I especially love the color and elegance of the plant.

On the Street Where We Live

Posted April 25th, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Garden, My Photography

We are so fortunate to have the Kings Drive Farmers Market at the bottom of our street, just seven houses away.  An overcast morning today  provided perfect light.

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Plants and cut flowers are just an addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, jams, jellies, several varieties of honey, free range chicken eggs, and tiny quail eggs, considered a delicacy by many.  Oh, the delights of having a farm stand in midtown Charlotte.  Note:  Photos are too large to be clickable.  I hope to remedy this soon.  My apologies.

Spring Garden

Posted April 9th, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Garden, My Photography, Personal

Fern Fronds

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VA Bluebells

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In North Carolina, spring has arrived.  I was treated to a second showing of Yoshino cherry blossoms while in Greensboro over the weekend.  Just a hundred miles north of Charlotte, blossoms are only beginning.

I photographed azaleas just opening, ferns unfurling and Virginia bluebells in our garden this evening…………at the golden hour, my favorite time to shoot.  Hope it’s spring where you are!

Photos copyright Ellen Guerrant

Snow Dyeing – What Fun!

Posted March 2nd, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Dyeing Tips, My Photography, My Work, Tutorials

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Snow Purple Blue DetSummer Sky

Note:  Fabrics have  been pressed.  Some may show a fold line.

Snow Dye Storm Sky Stormy Sky

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Snow Dye Rust BlueCrab Chowder

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Fabric “batching” on an elevated screen.  Nearly all the snow has melted after 36 hours.

Here are more of the fabrics I snow-dyed recently.  Hard to believe we had 10″ of snow a couple of weeks ago.  Today was sunny and warm, and the daffodils are in bloom

Here’s my method for snow dyeing:    Be sure to wear a mask, preferably a respirator, and gloves when working with dyes.  Make sure utensils and containers are for dyeing only!  Do not grab something from the kitchen to use.   Mix a solution of nine (9) T. soda ash to one (1) gallon warm to hot water.   Let soak at least 30 minutes.  Wring out fabric and use wet, or let dry to use later. Manipulate fabric as desired by folding, pleating, scrunching, twirling and twisting.  Lay fabric on an old screen suspended over containers to catch dye run-off.  Cover with snow.  Using Proxion Fiber Reactive dyes, available from www.prochemicalanddye.com  in solution or in powder form, pour or sprinkle desired colors on top of snow.  Try to remember where your fabrics are placed for more accurate color planning.  I chose blue, golden yellow and pagoda red.  I regretted using pagoda red, as it has a lot of orange in it, causing a rust or brown effect when it mixes with blue.  I’ll use care next time to choose a true red.

I let my fabrics “batch” until the snow had completely melted.  Then they were rinsed many times prior to a machine wash with 2 T. Synthrapol (available from ProChem or Mary Jo’s Cloth Store near Charlotte) and hottest water.  Toss a Color Catcher in with the final rinse to ensure excess dye has been removed.  Damp dry fabrics and then press with a hot iron.  Enjoy!

The folks at ProChem have an excellent website which includes instructions for many types of dyeing.  For those on the west coast, check https://www.dharmatrading.com/ –  another very good source.

If you try this type of dyeing, follow safety precautions and have fun!  I stashed several gallons of snow in our freezer and will have another “snow day” soon.