There is something special about waking up in the forest. Everything is so quiet, calm and cozy from inside the cottage. The soft and hazy morning light filtered through the tall white pines and shining warmly through the old windows is what wakes you in the morning. I love walking the winding and sometimes steep paths surrounding the small cottage my husband’s great grandparents built in the early morning. The lake is still and clear. The air is humid as the first light of day lifts the evening rain from the forest floor. As you turn away from the lake and the cottage to walk up the path that weaves between the boulders you notice that the heavy roar of waves and wind from the day before have been replaced by the ethereal sounds of long ago fallen rain dripping from the leaves, squirrels chewing eagerly upon acorns, and the occasional steady beat of a woodpecker.
The mornings in central Ontario can be a little chilly, even in August, but if you are lucky (and it isn’t your turn to make the morning meal), you return to a cottage with friends and family emerging from their feather down cocoons, the building warming up from tea brewing and breakfast on the go.
Blanket a gift
The best part: I don’t have to walk alone anymore.
All photos by me.
When I first started screen printing, I knew I wanted to work with eco-friendly water based inks. It didn’t take long for me to discover all the limitations and drawbacks of printing with water based inks, but I was determined to stick with the eco-friendly option.
The first time I washed one of my screen printed shirts, I was disappointed to see how much the ink had faded. After working so hard to get a crisp, dark print, my new t-shirt now looked old after one wash. With more practice and with better tools and techniques, I learned how to make better prints, but then, one day, as I was hanging a load of laundry out on the clothesline, I noticed how beautifully the ink had faded on one of the shirts I had made for my husband. The light black ink that said “BEER” in big block letters had blended with the heather grey cotton. The word still stood out but you could see the variegated flecks and bands of grey peeking out from underneath. It was at that moment that I had an idea: to stop fighting with the ink and instead embrace the vintage fade.
I looked for soft, worn-in feeling shirts with character for my fall season print and found the perfect, super soft t-shirts, with matching sweatshirts, in a woven three-tone plum colour. After one wash, the previously opaque ink fades to reveal the colourful character of the fabric beneath. What remains is the permanent, vintage fade look of the print, it won’t fade anymore with the next wash. (And don’t worry, you can wash the shirts regularly with your other clothes, they won’t damage your old favourites.)
I was so pleased with the results, I had to keep a sweatshirt for myself!
All photos by me.