Iris in Residence: Lori Graham the Rainbow Maker (Happy Pride Month!!)

Earth Silk Color 088 Rainbow colors green red blue purple
Earth Silk Color 088

In ancient Greek mythology, Iris is the personification of a rainbow. She makes a rainbow bridge to travel between the heavens and waters below to fetch drinks for the gods in Olympus. The freedom to travel between these worlds allows her to be the messenger, the communicator between mortals and immortals. Folks usually ‘wish upon a star,’ but next time I see a rainbow, I’ll give my hopes to Iris so she can carry them where they need to be heard.

Speaking of rainbows and communication, I think of Lori Graham as our very own ‘Iris in Residence.’ She’s our color impresario, the master dyer and co-owner of Of The Earth. She creates glorious rainbows of ribbons using sustainable practices. She obsesses about shades, and recently I took an opportunity to speak with her about color.

Q: Lori, besides the lovely ribbons of cotton and silk for Of The Earth, do you dye other materials?

Lori: Yes, I used to dye wool and cotton fabric using natural and chemical dyes.

Q: What were your favorite colors when you were younger?

Lori: When I was young, it was pink pink pink! Pink duvet, bedspread, pink lace – all pink – all the time.  Then in my early twenties, lots of black. Now it’s orange.

Earth Silk Color 089, light pink tipped with bright pink
Earth Silk Color 089
Earth Silk Color 053 pale pink, like bubblegum but not as bright
Earth Silk Color 053
bow in the back of a dress
Earth Silk ribbon adorns a bridesmaid dress
Earth Silk Color 099, pure black silk ribbon
Earth Silk Color 099
Earth Silk Color 092, bright orange ombre to deep golden orange
Earth Silk Color 092

Q: When new Pantone colors are released, do you generally agree with their trend sense?

Lori: I am interested in their bridal color forecast. That’s what I pay attention to because that’s what my clients will ask for. But I’m not always jazzed about the Pantone forecast and dread the “muted” or ambiguous tones that I’ll need to develop. For example, ‘seafoam’ (324, 324-5, 534, or 515?) and ‘merlot’ (093, 030, 247-5, or 232-5?) Both can be imagined in so many different ways.

Q: What is the most difficult color to achieve?

Lori: Right now I would have to say it’s “warm black.”

Earth Silk Color 079 black, softish black
Earth Silk Color 079
Earth Silk Color 241, soft black
Earth Silk Color 241

Black is a finicky mixture of colors and achieving the subtle differences in black shades is more of an art than a science. You’ve probably seen how when bleach splashes on black clothes, you get a lighter blotch, but it’s not grey or “pale black.” You may see a green, purple, orange, or blue blotch.

Lori continues: Regardless of ingredient inconsistencies, we are determined to create true colors for our clients. In the past, ‘warm black’ may have been a two step process. But more alterations and futzing is required when the original ingredients are different.  So, we keep copious notes and are constantly working to ensure that our shades match our swatches. Our colors are definitely a secret recipe!

Q: Do you dream in color, and when you dress up to go out, what is your happiest celebration color?

Lori: Yes, I definitely dream in color and I feel best wearing the colors of a candle’s flame: red, bright orange, fiery yellow and teal blue of the hottest part.

Earth Silk Color 097, four color ribbon with blue, white yellow and red orange
Earth Silk Color 097
Earth Silk Color 019 orange yellow blend
Earth Silk Color 019

Fairy Glen and Handfasting Wedding Ceremony and Celebration Traditions

printed hand dyed silk ribbon
Hand dyed silk ribbon with hand lettering
Studio Chavelli hand lettering on silk ribbon

At the end of winter, a petite curly haired woman came into our shop looking for special paper to print her friend’s painting onto. It was an image of Fairy Glen in Scotland. She planned to use the image in her wedding invitation.

Hand dyed silk ribbon with black print
Printed silk ribbon

While she found our lotka seeded cardstock to be perfect for her project, she was also enchanted by the idea of using our hand dyed ribbons for a #handfasting ceremony. I told her that we can even print her and her fiance’s names on the ribbon. I hope we see her in the shop again soon because that would be a fun project.

Printed silk ribbon with white lettering
Hand dyed silk satin ribbon with holiday message

The green and gold ribbon image was posted in Pinterest by Studio Chavelli, one of our customers. It features hand-calligraphy for a bouquet. The pink and red images are printed here in our shop. So you can get a custom message printed in black or white.

You are welcome to come visit our shop in Seattle and find inspiration for your next celebration.

Here are some links to details about #FairyGlen and #Handfastings.
Handfasting
Fairy Glen

SeaTac Airport Seattle Made Store Opening!

New airport shop

The SeaTac Airport C Gate could be renamed the “C is for Craft” Gate.  In May 2019 a new shop opened there in partnership with Seattle Made that offers locally-made products for travelers.

New airport shop
Sea-Tac Seattle Made shop

Only in C Gate will you find Of The Earth seeded paper cards featuring photos taken by our own Kevin Graham.

card rack
Seed paper goods in Sea-Tac Seattle Made shop

 

 

logo for Seattle Made

Of The Earth is a member of Seattle Made, a group who work together to grow their production businesses. The mission is “to grow and support a diverse ecosystem of urban manufacturers and producers that expand opportunities for local ownership and meaningful employment, build our region’s long-term resiliency, and celebrate Seattle’s unique cultural identity.” Of The Earth’s business aligns perfectly with this effort and we are fortunate to have our products featured in the airport store.

shop photo

Next time you travel by air via SeaTac’s C Gate, stop by the Seattle Made shop to buy a card, or other locally made gifts, and take us with you!

handmade cotton seeded paper card with image of the Space Needle

Iconic Seattle image printed in color on handmade seeded paper.

cotton seeded paper card with image of the Space Needle

 

Green Babies Seed Paper Onesie Plant Me Wildflower Shapes

seed paper onesie

We’re having fun with our new shape: a onesie that can be printed and personalized on many of our handmade seeded papers. Ideal for a #babyshower, #namingceremony or a #birthannouncement.

When choosing favors for your next party, keep future celebrations in mind. We want to ensure that the next generation of babies have plenty of wildflowers and nature to enjoy during their precious #mudpie making years.

Of The Earth strives to leave only baby-sized carbon footprints.

Earth Day 2019

seeded paper globes in outstretched hand

Seeded paper globe image

Soon  Earth Day will be here again. I’m excited to share a fun product that you could hand out to friends in celebration of this important day. Wee seeded paper globes that will sprout wildflowers if tended well and kept moist.

seeded paper globes in outstretched hand

He’s got the whole world in his hands.

We have two inch circles and tinier 1.5″ circles. Above is an image of the owner’s hand holding the tiny kind. Keep in mind, he is tall and they are massive!

white circle with text

We can print on the back side of these circles so if you have a special message you want to share with friends and family, we can do that. The printing should not negatively affect the ability of the seeds to germinate. The most important thing is to water it every day during the first month or so.

seeded paper globe shapes

However you choose to celebrate Earth Day 2019, please keep faith that our planet is worth fighting for. Scientists have agreed that humans can’t operate on auto-pilot like most of our time here.  Consequences of our actions are becoming evident, both for good and bad. So let’s plant some seeds, reduce our use of electricity and water and cause good results to blossom next season in the form of wildflowers. Of The Earth believes Earth Day is important and we hope you do too.

Cherry Blossoms Arrive


When I was young and the cherry trees would spring into their glorious pink, we used to singsong: “popcorn popping on the apricot tree.”  I still don’t know why.

But it popped into my head last week when I first started to see those trees blush. Here are some papers at Of The Earth that put in me mind of the cherry trees now blooming in Seattle.

It also made me think of our blossom wrapping papers and our handmade pink larkspur paper and pink larkspur stickers which look like cherry blossoms as in these images:

pink larkspur seeded paper heart

What’s the Buzz?

Seeded paper party favors

We were abuzz in the workroom this week. A bride-to-be in Colorado ordered favors with a customized “Meant to Bee” message on the back. I wonder if the couple met through a shared interest in gardening. Regardless, these little treats are sweet as honey and I hope their wedding guests love them.

We have hexagons with bees and a “Plant Me!” message on the back. Let us know if you’d like to join the hive!

P.S. Who else loves honey? These cute bears!

Of The Earth: New Employee

Of The Earth Seattle - Ribbon and Paper shop
my favorite ribbon color 076
Ardis Burr surrounded by ribbons

Hello, my name is Ardis and I’m the newest staff member making fabulous things for you here at Of The Earth. A lifelong crafter, I consider this my “unicorn job:” being surrounded by rainbows of silk ribbons, luscious and soft handmade paper, and bright graphic printed papers from Asia.  I began training here in October and am excited to see what this Spring’s “wedding season” will bring. Owners Kevin and Lori promise it will be a whirlwind ride – and we’re ready for it!  I look forward to helping fiancés and their families find the perfect combination of sustainable and beautiful items to celebrate their special days.

The ribbon I’m holding is my current favorite, 076. It makes me think of city lights at night, a fast roadway, and dramas set in downtown Chicago.