The Procion dyes that we ordered have finally arrived! I’ve never had so much of the primary colors – now I can use them freely for altering the basic colors of my up-cycled fabric, and tie-dye as much as I want.

I love tie-dye, and I’ve tried making it since my teenage years, but then I didn’t have access to high-quality dyes. I used some that were locally produced – the process included immersing of the garment in boiling water for a long time, and the resulting colors were pale and uneven. But now I can use better dyes, so the results are much better too.

I made this dress from a second hand white top and skirt. First I cut the top below the waistline, leaving enough fabric for stitching, and I secured the edge with my serger. Then I dyed both parts separately, which took a long time (and a lot of dye) for the skirt, as it’s really big. Actually, I dyed it several times – when I unfolded it and I saw there was still too much white, I thought it needed more color in some places. And then again, and again.
Finally, after both parts were washed and dried, I stitched them together.

The embroidered denim jacket I was working on is finally ready! I added some more appliques and trims, and I designed the back with a beautiful sari trim patch from my “sister in color” Mamta Motiyani as a centrepiece, framed by paisley patterns that we embroidered with our machine and a colorful Indian pom-pom mirror trim.

This is the link to Mamta’s colorful shop –

Joana from Karavana made the stylish photos, and the jacket is now available in our shop.

For some reason, I fail in growing some plants – I guess it has something to do with light and humidity, and it’s different every year.

I tried two times with small rhododendrone trees, but unfortunately their life was quite short. I tried to follow all directions, but nevertheless they both withered really fast.

I planted two varieties of iris, but they grew feeble – obviously because I kept them inside for too long. Now they are on the porch, but they refuse to bloom. May be it’s time for me to give up and save the bulbs for the next year.
They seem to prefer the outdoors – last autumn I planted some mini irises in the yard (without much hope, because the soil there is too hard, so I planted them too shallow and I feared they would freeze). And this spring I was surprised to see them in full bloom! So I will try this with the others too.

Beautiful mini irises in the yard

I’ve also tried growing peonies – but they don’t grow well in the pots too, so apparently I’ll  have to risk planting them in the yard.

Another fail (so far) – blue delphinium. In March I ordered three plants from a garden centre, but they were too small and they didn’t make it. So now I decided to try again – the new ones are much bigger and stronger, so I hope for better luck this time.

Fortunately, some of our plants are thriving. Mimuluses are flowering like crazy – they seem to enjoy the damp and gloomy weather, as do lobelias. 

Two years ago (in the summer of the Great Slugs Invasion in our yard) I tried planting some lobelias – I’d read somewhere, that slugs dislike the smell/taste of some plants (for some reason, most of their names began with L: lavender, lobelia…) But our slugs must have been too hungry to care, because they quickly destroyed everything except the small lavender bush – and it only survived for several months too. Then I decided to leave them the yard, and just garden on the porch.

Our vigorous mimulus
Sweet blue lobelias

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