Monday, August 23, 2010

Choke Cherries and Pokeberries

Yesterday was a day of experimenting with natural dyes. Choke cherries and marigolds were my plant matter of choice on this adventure. The marigolds ring my veggie garden and the choke cherry tree towers above it. I was a bit surprised  by the colors once the fabric dyed. I had spots of odd colors on the fabric and cheese cloth. My guess is they are from residue of dye left on the plastic clothes line from other projects.

I dyed these two pieces in the marigold dye. They were bright yellow last night. This morning they are a pale green. Interesting?????

These two were dyed with the choke cherries. The cheese cloth turned blue while the pfd fabric turned purple. This morning it looks more gray than purple. Both have spots of other dye on them.

While mucking about the garden swatting mosquitoes, I notice the pokeberries are coming on.

They will turn into plump black berries. On there is a recipe to make ink out of pokeberries. is a great site. I have used it in the past to find out  about settings on my camera.

I rather think the pokeberry plant is pretty and has an interesting shape. I used it to decorate my bedroom wall. I picked large branches and sat them in vases. Then I turned out the light and Eva held a flashlight on the plants while I outlined the shadow with a pencil. Then I filled in the shape with paint.

I painted the plants a few shades darker than the wall paint. I wanted it to look like a shadow from a window. I've done similar things in other rooms. It's easy and fun.

Today is my daughter Chloe's first day of college. Here she is leaving this morning. ( I think she was late for her first class)

We are meeting Eva's third grade teacher Mrs. Mars, hear she is out of this world, later today.
Big day all around at my house.


  1. HUGE day @ your house ... I love the berries and the choke cherries ... I have some cherries in my yard ... you made me think of an old Martha article on natural dyes ... did you see it? from years ago ...

  2. These natural plant dyes are cool, just watch the poke, it's a toxic plant as you probably already is quite beautiful though when in full Fall display. Can't wait to see how it turns out. xox Corrine

  3. very cool what you did on your walls! and I've never heard of poke berries or choke cherries. congrats on sending your daughter to college! i'm sure that was a bittersweet day for you.