With the weather warming up and the excuses for staying indoors waning, I am starting to look around and decide what creative pursuits I can indulge in outdoors.
The winter is filled with all things textural, from weaving to crochet, macrame to embroidery, but I struggle in the summer to find pockets of time in which to craft.
I used to bring embroidery with me on car trips, but after a road trip ended with a needle stuck in my foot and weeks of finding coloured threads everywhere, I stopped.
This year, as I started to plan my garden I found myself looking into which plants I could grow that could be used in the fall for purposes other than eating.
From natural dying to utilizing the flower press I picked up for a song at the thrift store, my wheels have been turning. I have plans to turn the dyed fabrics, at this point limited to the beautiful avocado dyed fabric I have experimented with, into new pillow cases.
Or perhaps I shall spend the summer photographing scenes I can translate into watercolours this winter, or collecting ephemera on our hikes that will inspire a new colour palette in a weaving.
Whenever I am able, I like to include my children in this pursuit. While neither of my boys is necessarily into wandering the aisles of Michaels, I can usually persuade them to pick some flowers on a hike, or collect the smoothest stones for us to craft with later on.
It’s incorporating creativity into our daily lives that has made it easier to convince them to work with me on a project rather than having defined “assignments” or trying to force anything on them.
They did really enjoy guessing what colour the avocado pit would dye — one thought brown and one green, and both were rather shocked at the soft pink that emerged.
To make your own fabric dye from an avaocado, start collecting the pits now and save them in the freezer until you have a handful. Gently bring to a simmer in a large pot of water (preferably a crafting pot instead of a good cooking pot).
Once you have a colour that you are happy with, gently submerge your cotton fabric and let it sit until it develops the perfect shade.
Brianne Sheppard is co-owner of Makeshift Kamloops and Far and Wide. For more, go online to farandwidekamloops.com.