Mushroom Dyeing Seminar

Mushroom Dyeing Seminar

Mycopigments Workshop
Exploration of mushroom and lichen dyes

Our instructor for the day was Alissa Allen. “Alissa has been experimenting with mushroom derived pigments and sharing her enthusiasm and experience with others for over 15 years. Raised by a forager in the Pacific Northwest, she has been a student of the natural world her entire life. She currently calls Massachusetts home but spends most of her time travelling; studying regional fungi, and teaching residents how to recognize and utilize their local mushroom dye palettes.”

Alissa and the many colors of mushroom dyes

We learned about mushroom safety, identification basics,habitats and ethical harvesting. There has been no evidence of a reaction from skin contact when dealing with mushrooms. There have been cases of people getting sick from poisoned mushrooms, so don’t eat the poisoned ones! 🙂 When harvesting mushrooms be sure to take the ones on the ground or on dying tree branches. You can harvest fungi from trees but not lichen because you would ruin their ecosystem.

Mushroom identification is a learned process, Alissa provided us with a brochure with colored pictures to help assist us with proper identification. She recommended joining Facebook groups such as the Mushroom Dyers Trading Post and visiting her website for more information.

Next up! Dyeing the mushrooms! We helped chopped up different mushrooms and lichen for the jars full of water.

Cortinarius Semisanguineus

You can now lower or raise the PH levels to cause different color variations, but not too high! Alissa also discussed how to use mordants in the dyeing process.

Recipe card examples

We were given some recipe cards and handouts for our future fungi dyeing experiments.
We were also able to dye some beautiful silk scarves to take home with us.

If you want to learn further information on mushroom dyeing, I would suggest taking one of Alissa’s very unique seminars!

Special thanks to Julie Saalsaa and her husband for opening up their farm for us!

Click on the pictures for more information

See you on the garden path!


Herb/o/logy Gives Back

When starting any new business, you need a detailed business plan. When I started herb/o/logy’s business plan, I was intrigued by the charitable community outreach page. After much thought, I decided that it would be a first-year priority that we find a beneficiary organization that would align with herb/o/logy’s beliefs.
Around that same time, I met some soon-to-be friends who believed in organic gardening and a natural lifestyle – a lifestyle that included three huskies, a cat, and a new Siberian Husky rescue.
Early in herb/o/logy’s planning, I wanted to include a canine line. A line that would use natural alternatives to bathing, and promote an overall spoiling of our canine kids.
Combining these desires, “Canine Companions” was born, and all of its proceeds benefit Raven’s Husky Haven and Rescue in Sycamore, IL:
     “Our goal is to do appropriate intake of beautiful rescued Huskies in need, undertake rehabilitation of health and well-           being, and to work with the dogs in terms of training and socialization so that their adoptions are happy and                  
We are honored to have the herb/o/logy Canine Companions line.  This line includes: Indulgence soap, Smokey’s Date Night Spray, Romeo’s Mousse, and Yahtzee’s Wheel Dog Wax!  All of the products are named after dogs from Raven’s Husky Haven and Rescue.  100% of the proceeds from the canine line will go to RHHR to help huskies in need!

Canine Companion Line


Logo For Raven’s Husky Haven And Rescue


Logo For Canine Companions

Natural vs. Chemical

According to Wikipedia natural skin care is defined as” using botanically sourced ingredients

currently existing in or formed by nature, without the use of synthetic chemicals, and

manufactured in such a way to preserve the integrity of the ingredients.” Here is my definition,

plant based with little or no chemical influence on the product. Further, the product will be made

by hand (or the occasional mixer) with sustainable ingredients that are eco friendly. Now,

in a perfect world this would be easy! However, as we all know it is not.

So once again my journey continues, to find the perfect product for our skin without the use of

synthetics. Easy right? Nope!

I can make you a triple whipped butter or a solid lotion bar with all natural ingredients!

However, when you start using water with your products you can introduce

bacteria; this is where a preservative comes in (the only exception to this rule is soap, no preservative is needed.)

Thus, we are back to chemicals, but I have found

a natural preservative to use in lotions and cremes. I am very excited to have found this product

and I have high hopes for it. So stayed tuned and continue with me on this natural journey!

See you on the garden path!