An Ode to Woad – Part 2

So, as I mentioned last week in An Ode to Woad – Part 1, I now have a serious addiction problem.  Let me show you how that came to be…

After gathering at the lovely French General for the workshop, we all carpooled over to the park where our dyeing experience would take place.

Once at the park we got a delightful and informative overview of the history of woad dyeing from Denise Lambet, who flew all the way from the South of France just to create a legion of new woad addicts dyers.  After regaling us with stories of previous woad workshop students stripping down to their skivvies in an attempt to have just ONE more garment to dunk in the vats, she proceeded to explain how the process worked, and what we would need to do to have a successful dyeing experience.  Then we got to work. Read the rest of this entry »

New Stripes From Twill Textiles

Twill Textiles has just released a handsome new printed fabric collection by Peter Fasano.  Both Taconic Ticking & Taconic Stripe are printed on Belgium linen in 5 colorways: Mushroom, Sage, Straw, Lake, and Chinese Red.  Perfect for drapery or upholstery.  I love the way the printing highlights the texture of the fibers.

Contact Twill Textiles to learn about this and other sustainable fabric offerings.

Snips and Snails and… Bunny Skeletons? – Paperboy Fabrics

I just found out that one of my favorite British wallpaper companies, PaperBoy, is now offering their wonderfully wacky prints in fabric too.

PaperBoy was started by a mother (Victoria) who couldn’t find fun, good quality wallpaper for her boys bedroom. At least, wallpaper that wasn’t totally twee.  With her two six-year-old boys as critics, she set about coming up with hand-drawn images that combined classic ideas like dinosaurs and pets, with edgier imagery like graffiti and skeletons.  And thus was born Paperboy Wallpaper. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring, Tra La….

Happy Spring everyone! Ours started out with a bang last night – literally. At 4:30 AM my family awoke with a start as a huge clap of thunder echoed overhead. For the next 15 min. we got to enjoy quite a light and sound show, which even included some hail (to the delight of my nine-year-old).

This morning it’s all sunshine and fluffy clouds, which is the perfect setting to think about springtime. In celebration of the change of seasons, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of my favorite floral prints in organic and sustainable fabrics. Enjoy!

Plover Organic, Pink Roses – 100% organic cotton

WonderFluffShop (Etsy seller), Aqua Daisies – 100% organic cotton Read the rest of this entry »

A Little Peace and Quiet – Cushlab

One thing about trying to write for (at least part of) a living, is that you become very annoyed at certain noises.  Not the sweet song of the little goldfinches at the feeder, or the burbling of the fountain of course, but rather at a certain DOG.  The dog who goes all Cujo when the mail carrier dares to set foot on our porch.  The dog who whines at my feet because she hasn’t yet discovered that I am not the only person who can let her out the backdoor – after 6 years of living here.  The dog who likes to howl at the top of her lungs whenever our geriatric cat gets stuck in a closet, or is otherwise yowling for attention.  You know, that dog.

I think I need to buy these adorable wool pillows by Cushlab, so I can put one over each ear.

And those aren’t the only fun, natural fiber pillows they have… Read the rest of this entry »

Going Organic in the Bedroom

Guest blogger Christina Fluegge, of My Sparrow, is an accomplished interior designer who also has a line of beautiful and sustainable furniture and accessories…

We spend almost half of our lives in the bedroom so it is extremely important to use organic and toxin free products here!  You spend somewhere around 8 hours out of each and every day with your head on your pillow and your body wrapped up in your sheets and bedding.  What we sleep on is a very personal choice, everyone likes a certain type of pillow and a certain level of softness in their sheets and blankets.  When you are in the market for a new pillow look at the labels and strive for the most organic choice possible that suits your needs (I am still looking for the best organic/comfortable pillow I can find- have not found it yet!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Japan – Kurakin’s Nokori Dye

I thought it would be nice to do a little series of posts this week on some of the beautiful craft work that comes out of Japan.  Perhaps no other country is so obsessed with both the past and the future at once, so it’s the perfect place to explore when it comes to using historical materials and methods to create more sustainable products.

All images via Kurikan

First in our series is the cloth ware company Kurakin.

After receiving a research offer from the government to see if it could find a way to use food scraps as colorants, the Tsuyakin Kogyo Company, of Ichinomiya, Japan, developed the “nokori dye” method.  Read the rest of this entry »

Shades of Sustainability – Chista Lighting

I think someone dreamed up these lovely lamps after sipping a few too many Pina Coladas on the beach…

“I know”, they must have thought, “What if we use all this seaweed lying around on the sand, stick it on top of a coconut tree and call it a lamp?”*

Thankfully, the designers at Chista obviously waited till after vacation to put pen to paper, because the resulting lamps are quite elegant.  The bases are made of sustainable coconut wood, which gives them a wonderful grain pattern, as well as a pleasant warmth and character.  The shades are woven of seaweed and linen.  Yes, seaweed.  I admit to never having seen seaweed used in this way, but considering the results, I hope to see a lot more of it soon. Read the rest of this entry »

Gorgeous & Green From Pindler & Pindler

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Pindler & Pindler has introduced a new line of luxury fabrics under the name “Pindler Green”.  Focused on natural fibers such as organic cotton and linen, Pindler has created some lovely patterns that are sure to have wide appeal, and not just to the sustainably minded.

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I am particularly drawn to their suzani influenced patterns, such as Tybalt, an upholstery damask design, which is woven of 100% organic cotton and  comes in 5 colorways.

Read the rest of this entry »