It’s officially fall, and here in Seattle that means the rain and clouds are back after a warm, dry summer. Here at Of The Earth, we’re experiencing the rainy day blues in a more positive way – inspiration!
“Into each life some rain must fall.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This collection of our lotka paper, handmade in Nepal, fits right in with the mood and weather we’re having. This is a lightweight paper with many decorative and artistic uses, including wrapping gifts.
Any discussion of color and mood would be incomplete without mentioning our Earth Silk Ribbon. These hand dyed, rich colors pull me right into a relaxed, rainy-day attitude.
Our seed paper cloud shapes are available in a variety of our seeded and petal papers, with or without printing. You can also create a custom design to be printed on them for your business or event.
Of The Earth customers had a busy summer. Here are some images that they shared recently of how they used our products. They include wedding invitations, delicate jewelry, custom art, seeded goods and more!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Today is the fourth and final day of the annual sewing and stitchery show at the Washington State Fair Grounds. We are wrapping up our first time exhibiting at this unique event. The last time I was at the fairgrounds was as a newlywed visiting the 1995 Puyallup Fair (since renamed the Washington State Fair). The scones, oh my the scones. These amazing treats have been a part of the Fair since 1910 and I was happy to enjoy a warm one yesterday. Twenty years ago Lori and I had just started our marriage and business. Today finds us with a maturing business (and marriage) and thousands of dollars in hand dyed silks at a sewing show. Next year we will be better prepared with small project kits for silk flower making and fabric embellishments.
Our silk customers have recommended this show for years and now we know why! With over 30,000 paid attendance we were happy to find the aisles full of crafty customers.
The Sewing and Stitchery Expo SewExpo is the largest consumer sewing show in America. There are more than 100 daily seminars, workshops and shows. There are over 400 booths packed with tools, supplies and fabrics.
I spoke to attendees from South Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, California and Texas. I saw a license plate in the parking lot from Tennessee!
You can buy a four day pass for $40 or visit one day for $12 to see a non-stop series of demos on the Free Stage and fashion models on the Expo Runway. The daily hands-on classes always draw a crowd as participants learn a new technique and leave with a finished project.
We hope that if you found us there this year you will be back for more silk ribbon next year and if you have not attended this event before you will come see what all the fuss is about.
We are so fortunate to have such wonderful customers! We recently were contacted by a customer who celebrated a fall 2014 wedding who just wanted to say “Thanks” for our contribution to her wedding day. We had worked with her to find the right silk color for her wedding, not realizing until receiving the photos just how prominent our Earth Silk ribbon would be on display on her big day. It was so wonderful to have a window into her event and see the happiness on display. Thank you so much for sharing! We love how beautiful you made our silk ribbon look!
Photographer: R.T. Photography, Louisville, KY
Alterationist: Heather Brown Alteration, Louisville, KY
Flowers: By the Bride, Erin Tims
Since we started our silk dying studio in 2010, we have known there was a need for this, now we have finally made it happen. The Earth Silk Sample Set gives you a look at our 90 blends in a new way. The 1 inch wide lengths will let you see how the dyes interact with the material in a more informative way than our 5/8″ swatches can. The eight yard lengths allow you to see how the patterns that form on some of our blends, repeat. Unlike the swatch card where the silk is grouped in numerical order, on the silk sample cards we have arranged them by color.
We have numbered them on both sides, with the silk overlapping by a half inch. You will notice that the ribbon’s number is centered on the correct color. You can also use the web site as a quick reference if you are unsure.
Well we did it! We battled Super Bowl hotel prices, a slushy snow storm that shut down parts of the city and empty propane tanks (burrrrr!) in our efforts to put our Earth Silk ribbon line in front of an East Coast audience.
Here is our latest effort at creative film making (video #3)
We just shipped this custom ribbon to a happy bride. She wanted to order our pressed hydrangea flowers but she needed a silk ribbon to match the hue of the flowers. We have over 150 colors in our hand dyed silk ribbon line but none that were quite the right shade, until now!
We offer custom dyed silk ribbon with a low three spool minimum purchase. Once we have your color matched, chances are it will become part of our growing line of silks. For those customers looking for an exclusive ribbon for product packaging or a signature line we can offer you a five year license of your custom color if you pay a $400 development and licensing fee. We will keep your design out of our product line while it is under license.
We are happy to display our newest hand dyed silk ribbon colors! Just in time for spring we came up with this set of three colors pulled from our original watercolor art work. The watercolor work was done to showcase the flowers that sprout from our seed paper; look for the art to grace our new product tags. Using the flowers as inspiration our colorist made these three new blends to welcome spring and our new business branding. We have had the pleasure of custom dyeing silk to match corporate colors, bridesmaids dresses, home decor, stationery and new product launches. We would love to work with you on your next project. With a low minimum requirement (just three spools) it is easy to have just the right look for your newest designs.
Available in five widths and two finishes our hand dyed silk line is the largest and most flexible in the country. Nowhere else can you find such talented craftsmen and women working to produce hand dyed silk goods in small runs such as ours. We are proud of our efforts to not only produce beautiful works but also to do so in an environmentally focused manner.
Let us know how we can help make your design ideas a reality.