button ghosts

Here’s my attempt at a primitive crafty Halloween decoration. I tried coffee and tea dying some linen first and had very unsatisfying results. I really wanted something dark. So then I tried painting on this linen with a wash of black watercolor. My art major husband was really shaking his head at that. Anyway, I ended up with a washing machine full of rit dye. I couldn’t find gray so I mixed denim blue and brown. Did someone ask me what crafts I hate? Dying! I never have any luck. So it’s kind of a purply dusky color. And not as dark as I wanted but I just went with it. I had some linen floss that I thought would be so cool to use and I’m really happy with how that turned out. My inspiration was this wonderfully eerie button bag that Jenn sent me a while back. I envisioned these really creepy button ghosts. I don’t know if they turned out all that scary. So here’s my Halloween table runner thing. Had to make a spot for some more tiny pumpkins too. Kind of random but then again aren’t all holiday decorations.

I just need to put up my mail order Happy Halloween garland and then I think I’ll be all set! Unless of course I get lured in by even more tiny pumpkins.

18 thoughts on “button ghosts

  1. Jenn says:

    I think that looks great! I think the dusky purple is perfect. I used rit dye to do some cheesecloth for a witch shawl and it worked great except for the mess!

  2. Kristin says:

    I think that’s really pretty- but have you seen the company Dharma? they have an online catalog and great colors for dying (fiber reactive) it’s easy and usually turns out great, if not a little unexpected….
    I like your blog-it’s my first time looking

  3. Pam says:

    That color is really popular right now in the fabric world. Moda has a couple of lines, including Cornicopia by Fig Tree that have a very very similar color in it!

  4. hannah says:

    i just love the stitching around those pumpkins, it so does it for me. and oscar? have you embarked on a costume yet? i am grappling with eliot over one of those pre-muscled costumes and LOSING! so sad for me… but on the bright side i do have two little girls to work with.

  5. Debra Roby says:

    You CAN use watercolor on fabric. You have to paint it, let it dry for atleast 2 days and heat set it. Still, I wouldn’t wash it a lot. Now acrylic is much easier to paint with. Just dilute it with water (1 paint/1-3water) let it dry and heat set. There are several fabric artists who only use painted fabrics. (check out this piece from Sonji Hunt.
    uhm, you washed the linen before you tried painting right??

  6. June says:

    I was thinking that the first picture you have showing the project from above was awfully familiar and this morning I figured out what it was. The small white pumpkins look like sea urchins. My husband collects them for me when he’s diving (never living ones in case anyone gets upset about this). I put them with my seashell collection but never ever thought about them in terms of Halloween. Now, your picture has inspired me to add them to my Halloween display, maybe stick a tiny twig at the top for a pumpkin stem and so on. Anyway, this may be a tad weird, but the idea that something can be used for something else is interesting to me–even a sea urchin can be Halloweeny.

  7. holly says:

    Just ordered some great felt, on sale at weirdollsandcrafts.com They also have scrap bags! Located in Ann Arbor Michigan.
    Thanks for the great patterns! Keep ’em coming!

  8. Chris Howard says:

    For some crazy reason my RSS reader lost your feed. I thought you were taking a vacation! Lucky for me I stopped by “in person” because I would have been simply heartbroken if I’d missed the fall Stitchette (can they be called stitchettes if they are boys?) patterns.
    I am so happy to find a craft blogger that is into the same things that I am (ie fall, primitive, country, halloween). It made me so happy to hungrily read your past posts and see that. I LOVE your Halloween table runner, and I even love the fact that it’s not a perfect black. Please do post your fall Halloween decorations (whether you made them or not) because I would really love to see them!
    About the house, well buying a new house is stressful, there is just no way around it. I can tell you that when the house is right, you will just know. I know that sounds like a load of hooey (it did to me) but after looking at the second room in our current house, it just hit me like a freight train. It felt like home, and with all it’s little quirks (it’s 100 years old) we are quite happy here.
    Have a great week!

  9. susan@artstream says:

    hi hillary,
    it is lovely! for dying things, try out dharma trading .com. i have been using them since college and their dyes and now their instructions are clear as well, not muck! simple stuff and you may even find you like to dye!
    anyway, i love love love these ghosties!

  10. Jennifer Coomer says:

    I think the color is awesome. Maybe not what you were doing for exactly. But very awesome none-the-less. I would buy farbic like that. To me the fun thing about dying is not really knowing what you end result is going to be until you get to the end result.

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