Finding color names in nature

It’s been like, my thing, to conjur cute, memorable nature-inspired names for my Etsy listings. But I am better at tie-dying than the naming of things. Most of my colorful listings are named after fruits (or fruited desserts), or herbs, or seasons and weather phenomemna.

Yeah, okay. I spend a lot of time coming up with not so clever results. Like a chump. Because it turns out, some old European dudes did all the hard work for me a couple hundred years ago.

Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours is a 19th Century work that lists colors with poetic names and where you can find said hue in nature. Take Brownish Orange, which can be found in The Eyes of the Largest Flesh Fly. Or Blueish Green, like the Egg of  Thrush.

(Check out the post linked below for pics and color swatches and old-timey penmanship.)

Handwritten 19th-Century Color Guide Poetically Describes Where Shades Are Found in Nature


This. is. so. my. jam. You better believe I added this book to my Amazon wishlist.

And I’m going to rename my orange shibori tea towels Dyed as the Eye of the Largest Flesh Fly!


Or I might just stick with “Pumpkin” for that one. You know, we’ll see how it goes.



Until next time…

Stay crafty, my friends.

Inspired by succulents

Cactus Inspired Tie Dye Jen at
Cactus Inspired Tie Dye

Succulents are having a moment.

Every where you turn, little cacti are showing up on reception tables, home stores, in commercials and marketing photography…(guilty!). You don’t have to live in the desert to be barraged with the little buggers. Last weekend, I left a theatre fundraiser with a couple of good sized succulents. Used as table centerpieces, I couldn’t believe my luck that a pinkish one lasted through clean-up. I got to take it home, along with another green little orphan.

I just love the way color comes through succulents. The teals and pinks and greens are so unique and specific to desert flora. I don’t have any dye powders that match the subtle hues, but I was still inspired by them as I indulged in my weekly dye session.

I tied a cotton baby tee shirt and a cotton jersey baby onesie with the classic sunburst style and experimented with procion dyes. The pinkish mottled effect was acheived with ice-dying while the rest of the colors were dipped or squirted on. I didn’t acheive quite the same colors as the potted inspiration, but I’m still very pleased with the results. (Both are now listed over at my etsy store: BlitheStarBaby, btw).

Sunny Tie Dyed Tees
Sunny Tie Dyed Tees

There is a bee on your baby

In my last post, I hinted at my obessession with bees.

I also threatened crafts inspired by a frolic in the California poppies.

Well, here’s proof I’m a woman of my word:

Baby bee tee shirt,
Baby bee T.

This baby tee was ombre dyed to a rich marigold with fiber reactive dye, then washed & dried gently. It also needed an ironing to be a good canvas for ink stamping. I stamp baby clothes with ink instead of painting on them. Flaky or puffy fabric paints on baby stuff just makes me anxious.

Isn’t that little bee the cutest? It’s my favorite block stamp – today, anyway. Tomorrow, I might be all about the hummingbird action. For now though, I’m really into little bees. This little bee.

But come bee-stamping time, I find that my black ink pad was totally dried out. Whoopsies. I had dyed a bunch of fabric and stuff yellow to go bee-stamping wild, only to be foiled by an old pad. Serves me right, I guess. I kind of took old blackie for granted.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from finishing this project. I had the crafting bug, pun intended, and I had to see it through. While perusing my ink stash, I was drawn to this awesome elderberry ink pad – really dark reddish purple. I gave that a go, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s for sure better than black. It doesn’t really look very purple against the yellow, it’s just more…vivacious than straight black would have been.  And that vibe really echoes the intense wildflowers at the preserve the other day.

So yay! Happy accidents!

And until next time,

Happy Crafting!



(By the way, the little tee is for sale on my Etsy store: Blithe Star Baby.)


There is a bee in this photo

I live in Southern California and we happen to be experiencing a “super bloom” this spring. We finally had nice and rainy winter which has caused an explosion of green… and orange… and more…

Poppies, Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

I left my comfortable Hollywood hovel for a two hour drive into the wilds of Antelope Valley to witness the floral boom. Mother Nature did not disappoint.

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

This was my first visit to see the poppies in my 20 years of California residence, I’m ashamed to say.  And aside from seeing the poppies, I was hoping to get some insect actions shots. You know, like a dragonfly (the namesake of this blog) or a butterfly daintily landing on a poppy for a little photogenic rest.

Nothing but poppies.

Nope, no dragonflies, darters or damselflies today. The poppies were left to hog the glory for themselves. Which is how poppies like it anyway.

There is a bee in this picture.

Instead, I heard some buzzing in these purple things. I followed betwixt and between, from blossom to bud but this little bee was not in the mood for posing. Can you see her in the photo above? She’s the blob in the center.

Ms. Bee is not ready for her close-up.

Even in close-up, she’s hard to see. It’s like she didn’t want Instagram fame.

Gray Butterfly

And the only butterfly I saw was gray. I didn’t even know butterflies came in gray.

Fine, maybe it’s a moth. Not to be judge-y, but I was hoping for more dazzle from the insect classes.

But then again, anyone would look drab next to this:

Poppy Trail
Poppy Hill, (c) CopperShots Photography
Poppy Hill
Poppy & Purple

If you would like to see the best shots of my poppy hunting, check out the CopperShots gallery. Now I’m off to plan some crafting projects using these great color combos. Thanks for the inspiration, Nature!

Until next time,

Happy Crafty!

Scroll To Top