Monday, October 24, 2011

moonday dye-pot: oak leaves

three-fold wisdom of the tree
leaf: wisdom of change, ever releasing
branch: wisdom of growth, ever reaching
root: wisdom of endurance, ever deepening
(source unknown)

There's a huge oak tree on a property adjacent to us. When we first moved here, I was slightly annoyed that I had to rake up the leaves. But then things evolved (both me and the garden layout) and now the oak  leaves fall directly into garden beds to enrich the soil. This morning I gathered some to make a dye-bath. None of the references I checked had much about oak leaves but quite a lot about the acorns and galls instead.

Released oak leaves about to change wool and cotton...

Today is a waning, nearly dark, moonday in Libra. Light and airy Libra helps us in the areas of balance and fairness. It also helps us to bring beauty into our lives on some level -- our homes, our work, our reading, or even our clothing. The body parts affected now are the hips, kidneys, and bladder making good hydration something to keep in mind.

The moon's waning energy to let go is still strong. I'm wondering how to apply the wisdom of the moon and the leaf to my life. It must be within me, too, to know when to change and what to release.


  1. the oak leaves are great for warm browns in the dye bath. if you want to make bundles, the oak leaves do leave good prints on silk cloth, not as good on cotton. throw in a few acorns in the dye bath. the tannin from the acorn is a good mordant.
    my back yard is loaded with oak leaves and acorns right now.

  2. Deanna, thanks for the tips! It's already boiled for a few hours, but I have about 8 acorns I can put in while it's still hot. Acorns are a rarity this year and I hope that's not a weather indicator. Will make a bundle next...

  3. I put some acorns in a canning jar...doesn't seem to be doing much. It's a warm fall sun now though. Better boiled?

  4. It's your turn to dye with oak leaves. I did it a few months ago and got deep brown from them. Can't wait to see what you get? Hugs Nat

  5. Nancy, I honestly don't know if the leaves HAVE to be boiled, I'm just doing what comes into my head -- remembering that Deanna boiled some of her plant material with good results. This batch has been boiled and was left sitting overnight -- looks ready to go today...

  6. Nat, I'm glad to hear you were able to get a nice deep brown from oak leaves -- that's encouraging, thank you. I'll go poke around your blog to see if you posted it!

  7. Quilt or Dye -- the leaves are still in the dye and the color is fantastic. Can you believe I haven't made it to a store yet to get creme of tartar to mordant the wool? I guess there's no hurry, the color can only get better in the meantime!