Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Dyeing adventures...

A few months ago I received from Monika from Red2White a little package in return for a package with wooden and ceramic buttons I sent her. Among other goodies, she included a bag of 100gr of logwood (Haematoxylum campechianum) and alum. Coincidentaly, as if the universe was trying to tell me something, the next day I received a book called "Colors from Nature - A dyer' s handbook" from Jenny Dean, the book' s author and all around dyeing guru.
Months passed by before I got around to put it all to work. I read Jenny's book which comes with all sorts of recipes and instructions for safety, extracting color from dyestuff, preparing dyebaths and applying it as well as mordants and its percentages. And the recipes are separated by colour in case you thought this was too complicated.
So, I presoaked and mordated 100gr of merino, 100gr of cotton, 100gr of bamboo and 100 gr of a blend of silk and merino. I later added 2 t-shirts and a few pieces of cotton fabric and lace I had laying around.

Clockwise: Jenny's book - logwood chips - logwood chips soaking - logwood chips dryingto be used another time...

Left: fibres soaking. Right, first dip of merino into the dyebath.

Clockwise: cotton, bamboo, merino, cotton fabric, merino + silk blend, t-shirts, some poly-something old curtain with lace and the last picture it' s the whole thing drying outside. On my Flickr you can see bigger pictures and the color in all it' s glory.

I was amazed at the depth of the color. I was expecting much lighter shades... but nope! Deep purple. I heard later from Jenny -when I emailed her half way through the whole thing- that logwood does bleed a lot and it takes a lot of rinsing before you stop seeing purple down your drain. However, as much as it was bleeding, the color on the fibres was and is still very strong. I didn' t care much for the merino and bamboo because their fate has been decided already and they shall be felted soon... I guess with all the water used in felting I will have a purple mess but it doesn' t necessarily have to be bad... I see an experiment aproaching! hahaha The cotton I will spin first even If I get purple fingers, and later rinse thoroughly. I find it easier to rinse once a fibre is spun.
I saved most of the dyebath and the purple water coming out of the fibres when I was rinsing them. According to Jenny' s book (did I mention she was the dyeing sensei...?) both dyebath and dyestuff can be stored for later use.

All these months reading books, blogs about dyeing. Talking to Monika and other fibre artists who are experimenting as well, I felt a bit daunted... overwhelmed. Words like Alum and dyebath and percentages scared me a bit. The safety aspect as well considering I don' t -yet- have a separate space where to try this, so its the family's kitchen.
I did realize that if one reads all the material, if one takes the time to "study" the moves and take simple precautions (like buying good, thick rubber gloves, having separate buckets, and cooking implements as well as putting some newspapers in case you are messy), it doesn' t have to be a difficult thing... and the results are marvellous.
One thing I keep repeating to whomever wants to hear me when we talk about natural dyeing is that when you go research about dyestuff you learn about a lot of things, not just colors: botanics, history, anthropology... you follow accounts of merchants in centuries past and learn about Europe' s trips around the world in search for the good stuff (like dyes and spices) as well as learning what people aroung the world were already using (and still do)... I find it fascinating to realize that those plants in the field which we all consider weeds, are actually plants that were used for dyes in the 16th century...
Anyway, if anybody is interested in giving natural dyeing a try, I suggest you get a hold of any of Jenny Dean' s books, or visit her blog and talk to her personally. She is incredibly kind with her knowledge. Never holds back.

And this is just the beginning....

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Flickr Favorites Tuesday: Dyeing

Flickr Favorites Tuesday: Dyeing
Originally uploaded by Marian Florcita

Pots of colors, bright skeins og hand spun wool hanging to dry... hand dyed red red... the exciting world of hand dyeing with natural pigments. These pictures are from photographers that have been travelling to Nepal, India and Marokko... when I think about those places, color and spices arethe first things that come to my mind.
I haven't had time to finish working on the pictures from my dyeing adventures yesterday, but I am thrilled!
I have been working on so many things, so much stuff to upload to the shop and show you here... maybe I manage this week.

Do click on the mosaic to see the pictures in their larger version and to get the info on the talented photographers/travelers who took them.
if you want to join the mosaic fun, hop to Mitsy' s blog.

Monday, 28 September 2009

While I'm dyeing...

I' m in the middle of some natural dyeing... so, while I wait (and nervously run back and forth checking that everything is going well), I wanted to show you this little matchbox books I made over the weekend, to include in every order that is going out now:

For the gods of crafting! hahaaha I just took out the first batch of wool... DEEEEP PURPLE! hahahaha smoooke on the waaater....chanchan chaaan chan...ok...
Anyway, the little books were fun to make and add some color to the package. I see that the ceramic tags that go with the orders are a success too...

I have a second type of tags which just came out of the oven, but they have to do with a bit of rearranging the logo/marketing side of this little biz (yes, I know... it' s taking me a while, uh? Well... I'm learning!):

These are also ceramic tags where I' ve drawn with a glazing pencil. I wanted the scratchy, pencil look on them... as if a little kid had been drawing. They were later fired a second time with a cover of transparent glazing just for a bit of protection and shine...

Well, you see..tags I have! hahahaa
And now I also have some cotton and bamboo dyeing... intrigued. Will show you latet this week how it looks.

So, happy monday.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Easterya -

Months ago I started thinking about presents I could take with me to my family... hand made, of course. I've made some myself but I really wanted to take other stuff as well.
I' ve purchased from Easterya a couple of times. Love her jewellery and she is a good friend; so I thought... the women in my family would like something from her too. I think Fab's creations are bright and beautiful and for the type of woman who likes earthy (all natural stones), refined and stricking pieces of jewellery. In my case, whether that is gold, diamonds or just wire and turquoises... I don' t care. A piece has to impress me by it' s design not it's price tag.
So, I told Fabs what I wanted and she put up with me going back and forth, trying to imagine my Mom, sis and sister in law wearing her creations... how big, what colors... all of that. What a patient woman!
Eventually Fabienne suggested a swap, which I love doing (because it isn' t all about money, right?) especially if we both know already that we like what the other makes. Sometimes swaps are tricky if someone suggests it and you like what they make but maybe not for yourself... however, this was not the case. Honestly should reign when it comes to swaps. So, she chose an item from my shop involving silk and soft colors and beading... and I got these:

And a gift for me! :

this is not the time for my family to start reading this blog! ahhahaha I promise a picture with the gifted ladies wearing these beauties.... and I promise you, you will find lots of goodies at Fab' s shop...

Friday, 25 September 2009

Merry Go round- What's next?

It' s time for our Merry-go-round, and this month' s topic is: "What's your next chapter"... well, I have different length answers:

Short Version: lots of projects. I've realized that, whether one goes through with projects or not, having them alone is a strong motivator for improving your own life and work. Lack of projects in your life I think sinks you in a bit of a grey desperation. Been there, not going back.

Long Version: in the short term, I'm leaving to Argentina in a month (as if you haven't read about that yet...). I'm not just going to sit around catching up with family and friends, laying on the beach and doing tourism. I'm going to be teaching, researching the world of wool and different autoctonous fibres over there (like guanaco and llama). Maybe catch a few (more) classes with my old weaving teacher, some stuff about writing books, and a lot of research about dyeing, weaving and design of the orginal peoples (yes, plural) that populated that area, Patagonia, before the europeans arrived. I'm very excited about it. I want to include more of the patterns and designs of the people from my land in my future work.

A middle- length term ahahaha... while Im gone there will be some construction being done for a mini Studio for me, in the garden... with a big fireplace, thank you! I'm tired of moving around the house not ever having enough room for all my tools and materials. I also want to have my own place where I can put a ceramic oven because I'm tired of turning down people who want to buy ceramic pieces from me, but I have nowhere where to make them... I love clay. I've been claying (with more or less success) since I was 5... and I enjoy the combination of clay and wool. Very earthy and natural. I would also like to combine both a bit more.

Long term... well, world domination, obviously! What else? From my Studio/bunker I shall conquer the world of arts and crafts... no? :) Well, this past year I have discovered that the universe had a tricky way of telling me and pushing me down this path. However, this is really what I love doing. I'm happy. I have lots to learn and do... but Im on the right path, I think. I sometimes wish I had a partner in crime because I have loads of projects in my head and when you work on your own sometimes you get no feedback or incentivation...but, oh well... we'll see.

Do read the rest of the entries from the girls in this group. Interesting read Im sure.

Jenny at Jenny Karlsson design
Wendren at Wren
Sara at Sara's Texture Crafts
Charlotte at Fancy Picnic
Agathe at Le Bar du Vent
Fabienne at Easterya
Ruth at Birdland Creation
Lily at LilyPang Art and Design

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

autumn leaves wrap

autumn leaves wrap
Originally uploaded by Marian Florcita

Autumn... best thing it has: soft light, afternoons in a sunny spot outside, wrapped with your favourite woolly shawl. A cup of tea, a book.... lovely.
Note those huge clogs there... my husband's... who actually - like a true Dutch man - uses them for gardening, going for walks with the dog or just sitting there on that spot doing some wood carving, That half trunk there is his "carving table"... quite handy for my tea.

Anyway, lots going on backstage here but I wanted to remind you of the weekly free shipping offer for the pendants and some yarn. Just contact me if you rather have a private order. You can always use the contact button on my website: Website which will get a re-designing job soon as well (as soon as I finish resizing a ton of pictures!).

Back to my movie... how many times can I watch "Four weddings and a funeral" and actually laugh....?

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Flickr Favorites Tuesday: Delights of Autumn

Flickr Favorites Tuesday: Delights of Autumn
Originally uploaded by Marian Florcita

I drink tea more than coffee... although I do like a nice ristretto every now and then. To me, one of the joys of autumn is to be able to take your steamy cup of tea to the bench in the garden, maybe a blanket of a big shawl too... and enjoy the soft light of this time of the year.

All the credit to the talented photograhers who took these pictures. Click on the mosaic for a larger view and their names! If you want to play along, go visit Mitsy' s blog!

Lastly, scrool down a bit to the previous post, and remember all those pendants have free shipping this week!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Glass and Wool -Pendants

A new week. New surprises... new work. For those of you who like to make a statement with your jewelley, who aren' t afraid to wear bold pieces...Voila! A new series of "Glass and wool pieces~ pendants".

is the key word here. We are not talking about weight but the reflection of light in the glass and how the wool changes it' s color slightly and the glass sparkles:

"Red window"

"Portal of Light"

"Green light"

All three of them are listed in my shop where you can also see more pictures of them, details and how they look on.
THIS WEEK, the shipping is free for all those who -in the message checking out- add the word LIGHT. It' s an offer for all those who come to this blog! Remember that I do take private orders as well! Just contact me: and add the word LIGHT on the message!
It' s not complicated, right??? :)

So... FREE SHIPPING for these pendants (writing LIGHT! in the message)
And still FREE SHIPPING on the "EAT YOUR GREENS" set of hand spun yarn! (described on this post).

So, there you go...

Friday, 18 September 2009

Give Away Winners!

I know... you' ve been biting your nails all day! I know! Did I win, did I win? haahhaa Sorry... it was a nice autumny day here so we went for a hike... glorious! had a lot of fun.
But here are the winners. Remember these 3 pendants were in the pot:

I made a list with the names of all that entered attaching a number in the "order of appereance":

...and then used the randomizer from and drew 3 numbers:

So... 4) Monika, 15) Carolyn and 7)Mariel Congrats! You've won a pendant each!
Do contact me please through the contact button in my Website, with your address so I can send them to you as soon as possible!

To the rest, do not despare! More Give aways to come! Thanks for playing though... :)
A FREE SHIPPING WEEK for certain items is coming. Maybe it's an item you were thinking about purchasing? They will be announced on Monday! So, stay tunned.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, 17 September 2009


Originally uploaded by Marian Florcita

Just a lsat minute post to remind you that today is that last day to enter the Give away! Don' t forget to leave your name in this post if you want to participate.
Tomorrow we will announce the names!

And here my other blond guy :) my son with his new blanket, all handfelted (no sewing) in merino wool. Excellent for this coolish autumn days... on the couch, watching a movie, reading a book... aaaah the joys of autumn!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Window Farms ...and almost "Give away day!"

Hello all!

Besides felting and making ceramic goodies (running a house, biz, being a wife, mother, friend, volunteer...) I also take care of our 60m2 veggie garden. It' s actually a family venture and we are happy to say that every year (we are on our 4th year) we get more and better produce and a whole lot of knowledge. This year we' ve harvested tons of food: lettuce, spinach, beans (still today, more than 9kilos!), onions, garlic, carrots, pastinaak, tomatoes, aubergine/eggpplants, raspberries, strawberries, red currant, white currant, black currant, grapes, pears, courgettes, leak, aromatic herbs, broad beans, broccoli....and something more Im forgetting probably. We are now starting to gather the autumn fruits such as walnuts, apples and hazelnuts... and huge pumpkins! Our 2 freezers are FULL.

Many people say, " yeah well... lots of work! Lots of patience! I don' t have time, I don' t have room, knowledge...etc". We do have room because we bought this old house just because there was room enough for a garden. The knowledge we didn' t have but because we are slowly trying to turn to the eco/green path and do as much as we can to have a more self sustainable life; we've learnt. A bit of reading and a bit of empiric testing. And here we are, harvesting monster zuchinnis which in a shop cost fortunes... we harvest them by the bunch.

Anyway, for those of you who have always wanted to have a go at growing your own food but don' t have the room, or want to do it at a micro scale, this iniciative might provide info:
And if you are into a more self-sustainable life and feel like learning, discussing the subject and others : That blond guy up there, aka Mr Husband, writes it.

Last days today and tomorrow thursday to enter the give away! Leave your names in a comment on that post. Friday we announce the three winners!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Flickr Favorites Tuesday: Autumn

Flickr Favorites Tuesday: Autumn
Originally uploaded by Marian Florcita

It' s tuesday again and time for a mosaic with my favorites. It' s autumn. No denying it anymore. I' m wearing a cardigan and boots. I love the palette autumn brings... only it has been raining non stop here so, not so enjoyable.

There were no takers for the "Eat your greens" Free Shipping - Set of yarn. And that is cool. Will post soon something else that might be of more interest to others (explained here).
And now to drop off the little one at kindergarden and then some work.

If you want to join the Mosaic fun, visit Mitsy' s blog.

All the credit to the photographers whom took these gorgeous autumny pictures.

ONE LAST THING! Remember to sign up here for the GIVE AWAY! This friday (18th) we are drawing the names from a hat!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Eat your Greens SET- FREE SHIPPING!

Wow, thanks for your support with the yarns. Two of them are already gone and will be travelling with a little gift each...

As you know, and if you don't it is, I will be going back to my homeland for a visit in a few months. So, just because I feel generous (or I need to save as much as possible so I can spend it travelling in Argentina) I will be having prompt give aways, sales, free shipping type of "events" every week. They will be announced here, in the blog.
Now, one word about e-shops. I understand, as it has been mentioned to me via emails and comments, that people might not feel like opening new accounts on e-commerce platforms and that puts them off of a great offer. I totally understand. Most of my selling happens via private orders anyway, so if you would like something that you see on my website ( under NEWS you see all the new items!) or here, you just have to contact me and we arrange everything via paypal... no worries.

So, first up... FREE SHIPPING THIS WHOLE WEEKEND- 12/13 September- of the following items:

"Eat your Greens" set of hand dyed and hand spun cotton and bamboo yarns. The total quantity is of 120gr:

1-100 % Cotton in olive green (not fully solid). 38gr
2-100% Cotton. Soft greens and yellow...not solid. 25gr
3- 100% Bamboo yarn. Shinny and soft greens to yellow tones. 26gr
4-Soft green Cotton plyed with bright green thread 20gr
5-100% Cotton in olive green and shades of yellow 11gr

(bigger pics here)
120gr is not a whole lot but it is enough to combine with other yarns for weaving, crocheting, knitting... and bamboo can even be used for felting! And it goes for 14 euros only!!

It will be in the shop now, but you know where to find me otherwise :)

Have a good weekend!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Hand dyed and hand spun

Remember a while back I had a couple of posts on my dyeing adventures ? And I had selected some fibres to spin during a weekend... Well, I don' t know about you but week after week have gone by and I haven't noticed. Or actually, I did notice but I haven't figured out yet how to stop time and fit all I want to do in a 24 hour day. So here we are with those fibres, all spun into some singles.

First up I have this set of 4 different fibres: cotton, silk+merino, bamboo and pure merino which I dyed all with the same dye in a scarlet color but with 4 different results:

Clicking on the links above will give you individual pictures.

The wooly ones I have used in felting projects for accents of lines and they work really well. Cotton, as far as I know, doesn't felt, but it's great for weaving, knitting, crochetting, etc.

Merino and Silk blends, unique skeins!

Caribbean waters:

Purple Dusk:

Spanish Spices:

Mandarinas y Cerezas (Tangerines and Cherries):

There are more to come that are already spun and ready to be transformed into something. These ones are all in my DaWanda shop now but remember that I do take private orders as well! Just contact me:

Remember to sign up for the Give Away of the three pendants next week. Which color next for the seed hand bags? So far turquoise seems to be leading the way... leave your comment here.

It' s movie time now!!!!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Give away x 3 -Which color next?

Well, ones computer acting up and going on a strike is really not something one wants. How technology dependant we are! At least us at home.
While the technician tries to settle a deal with the bundle of chips and wires my laptop is; I go on working twice as much because I have more time with wool and less time in front of the screen!

It's been a while since I hosted a give away. It's not a demagogical move it's more of a "being grateful and showing it" move. It's not about how many sales, magazine/blog features and/or adulation I might receive. Naturally we all like those (especially the sales because they provide the cash for more supplies for more experiments and fun ...essential my dear Watson...); but this will be a give away to thank all of those who come here and comment a few lines every time I post something in an attempt to reach out to the big world out there. I don't want to get sappy (or silly) but you are my critics, my crafty support, knowledge source... and laughter fountain... many I've got to know outside the blog and into more friendly base via emails and it just makes ones world so much bigger to talk to people form different places and walks of life. Advantages of technology.

Anyway, without any (more) further blabla... here is the thing: You've all seen my -so far 7- Lily Seed handbags, all in my DaWanda shop now.

So, to participate in this give away, you just have to leave a comment on this post telling me which is the next color -or combination of colors- you would like to see or think would fit this type of bag.
Next week friday 18th, we will draw 3 names from a hat...and each will get one of this little pendants...

The bag resulting from this "collaboration" will also come with a surprise or two :) But that for later!

So...go on... which color is next?

Monday, 7 September 2009

retro gray seed handbag polaroid

retro gray seed handbag polaroid
Originally uploaded by Marian Florcita

A new, sober and simple, comfortable and versatile seed handbag. It was hand felted with grey coarse wool and lines with a funky retro fabric. It closes with a vintage black and white button.
It's listed in the Dawanda shop now.

If you'd like to purchase this bag, or any bag from this new line, you can also contact me at:
If you' d like to place a custom order for a bag which better fits your colorway wishes or design, do not hesitate in contacting me. I like the challenge of a custom order. You can find me at: info@florcita.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Ceramic tags

Production has been stopped for a few days as we juggle with the baking, the new windows for the house and a sewer problem... just because stress comes in three fold, right?

Just out of the oven are these ceramic tags in terracota and black clay. They go with each package that comes out of Florcita's headquarters :) Since I was already making these new batch, I spent some more hours making the same type of name tags but for gifts I'm taking to Argentina with me. So one for each of my family's members... crossed eyes after dealing with all the letters!

Will be back soon... when calamities go away! ahahaha Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

macondo en ceramica

macondo en ceramica
Originally uploaded by Marian Florcita

Do you remember this post where I was making a sort of recap of the different versions of my interpretation of Macondo -the mytical town in Garcia Marquez "One Hundread years of Solitude"? Handfelted, drawn? Well, this is the ceramic version... what do you think?
It made it to Cuteable' s Flickr Fridays.
Click on the picture if you want to see a larger version.

This is a pretty busy week in this house. My husband is changing all the windows and frames of the house and...boy do I like dust and messy rooms. I'm not very fond of cleaning, but I' m not fond of living in a mess either!
Also, my husband' s grandmother is turning 90 years old this sunday and we are organizing a big party... and I'm in charge of baking for around 70 people. Sometimes I do not apreciate my own volunteering spirit! So, pretty busy.
With some luck tomorrow I can show you the last of the Seed bags I' ve made. A very sober one too...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Flickr Favorites Tuesday: hearts

Flickr Favorites Tuesday: hearts
Originally uploaded by Marian Florcita

Hearts hearts.... I love them red of course... if one could make a compendium of the amount of materials and artistic hearts interpretations the art' s world has to offer.... we would never end! But it would be quite interesting, wouldn' t it?

This mosaic I made to join in the fun at Mitsy' s blog. I was inspired on a heart that is coming my way... aaall the way from Argentina, made by the great Ceramist and mosaic artist Mariel Trill Guillot. You can see some of her work in her blog.

Gracias - Merci - Thank you - Dankjewel - Grazie! Isn' t it beautiful! Love it!!! Gracias!