Thursday, July 15, 2010

Martha Dips Too

I saw the August issue of Martha Stewart Magazine today, and was interested by her layout on "dipped" items, including linens and baskets. OMG she's got Halloween stuff on her website already, but I guess it's none too early as I am already musing Christmas. I can't find pics of her baskets on her site to show you but of course it's on the newsstand.

Martha suggests dipping your inexpensive baskets and cotton fabrics in dye and paint, and she shows lots of examples. I did not invent the dip, but I use it heavily. In French it is called Ombre, or Shadow. I spent a lot of time with my suppliers to develop this style, which I found in an obscure sample. It's not a basket you find all over France, and not at the major French suppliers, who may have the multi-color ombre, but I prefer just the basic color into neutral. At it's best, here is Kathy + Hubby; both British-American, both loved this medium blue Antibes:
It has a very relaxed style, which is why I called it Antibes. If you haven't been to Antibes, let's go; it's very casual, stylish yet unpretentious. Very south of France. Former Grimaldi hangout; their castle at the beach is now a small Picasso museum. This blue is so great with jeans. Perfect for the beach, though some people buy it for a laundry basket too.

I carry the style over into all colors; leather handles with rivets, leather corners; it is also the largest sized style; you could carry a small child in this basket! Here is a citron yellow:

The idea was to suggest the summer sunsets; here from Laguna:
The baskets close at the top, great for the boat or beach, keep the sand and hands and sun out of your basket; fuschia and rose:

The array of colors; all sell well~ though orange is hot; no two are alike:
And here mixed with the other classic, St. Tropez:
Rather than dip the basket, these fibers are dyed them woven:

This carried over into the net bags: plain vanille; $7 for set of three small, $12 for three large:

Certified organic cotton, but a little boring? Sort of like white sheets on your bed, or pattern?
It all started at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano; they had red and yellow and blue natural (made from bugs) dyes, dye-it-yourself; and I made le drapeau:
What else was I to make?
I sought to make a "commercially acceptable" alternative, so I did a large series, in sorbet colors:
I still set a lot of the natural:
But everyone loves the color: the tiny pink ones are great for baby socks. Wash your unmentionables, pack your husband's suitcase. People come up with all kinds of uses; I like to mix the colors, yellow into pink and orange:
Blue in to greens; these are the most popular, especially great with baby lettuce:
I have to do a new series tomorrow. My tips: use liquid dyes to prevent color dots; wash everything in hot water first and dye them with hot water. Be sure to wear gloves. Rinse in cold water until it runs clear. I dye everything wet, though Martha suggests dry fabrics. See you this weekend at the markets, or email me for the colored net bags.


  1. I love the rose dipped basket - would be the perfect complement to both my blue jeans and my stone colored khakis! Just fabulous.

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  3. Thanks for capturing a better time, allowing up to travel to places and periods were true, classic style reigns. xo

  4. The colors are amazing ~ so bright and brilliant. I'm eyeing the pinks with the drawstring closure. Fabulous!


  5. J'adore your items... très FAB u LOUS!!!
    ENJOY your weekend!