Wednesday, August 12, 2015

It's the Little Things

I've been trying to reconcile missing the entire gardening season despite the fact that we started an enormous amount of seedlings. 
For our 6 beds. 
And pending new bed that hasn't been dug yet. 

However, we got a bit behind this spring. Then it was June. Then my baby arrived in the middle of June. 

I still have the gardening bug though and have been trying to figure out really simple ways to brighten up our yard with what we've got. 

I've got this wonderful red geranium that I over wintered indoors this year. 
I've got a couple dozen old glass jars we found on the side of the road that we also used in our wedding a few years ago...

(just had to share. best day of my life.)

and I've got two sad window boxes outside my studio. 
I pruned my geranuim and filled 7 jars in each box with the cuttings. 
They will start to sprout, and this winter, we'll have geraniums all through the house. It livens up the window boxes for now. And I'll have even more reason to harvest red petals for color. 

After my huge dyeing spree, I've been having withdrawls. 
I've dyed up all my hand spun and had to go rummaging around for my stashed away mill spun. 

I got it all scoured and then mordanted in a cold soak of 10% alum for 24 hours. I love this method so much. Saves me butane and time and energy. 

Still thinking about what I'd like to do with it all. I've got 5 skeins of Purl Soho merino. I'm thinking of going all lichen. I've got quite the collection of several dye lichens. I'd like to make myself something real nice... A huge cowl? Maybe a sweater vest? Just not sure. It's a bulky yarn and will knit fast. A poncho? I need ideas. I'm thinking it's somewhere around 500 yards.  

I also set up another sample hoop stash. 
This time I only prepared wool, silk, cotton, and linen. 
Very basic.
My mordants are: 
copper liquor
iron liquor
oxalis acid (ran out of rhubarb leaves and I had this on hand, thank goodness)
alum acetate
tannic acid 
I used a second bath of the tannic acid and it was so much more powerful than the first bath. I only let it soak for a day and holy cow!) It's a beautiful color on it's own. 

After these dry, I'll sort them into their proper bags and then assemble 20 hoops with one of each. 
My first dye pot will be my jewelweed out back. 
And then maybe the horsetail out front. 

I'm finding that most of the time now, I just need 10 minutes here, 30 minutes there, to get anything going, or to check on progress or to just cleanup. 
Plant dyeing is very involved and a super long process, but it is not something that you need to stick by for hours and hours. 
At least not the way I do it.

And I'm so excited about my sample hoop work. 
I love setting these hoops up. 
It's long and tedious. But also mediative. 
Then at the end, when inspriation strikes, I grab a hoop and throw it in a simmering pot of plants and let it be. 
It's such a beautiful thing. 
And after all is said and done, I take my little piece from each one to add to my organized sample hoops 
my catergories are lichens, foraged plants, mushrooms, kitchen scraps, pigments extracts, and teas.

and the rest.... I add here:
A little quilt for R.

And then there this little thing. 
A view I haven't really noticed before until I was riding my bike, which I hadn't done in a year, to go to a new pilates class which I hadn't done in 15 years. 

All of which felt so great.
Being a new mom.... I can find it very hard to remember when to let go and do something just for me, like leaving the house and taking a class. 
Or letting it be ok that I can only spend who knows how long in the studio before the baby wakes up. 
I'm realizing quite happily, that it never matters and that planning only goes so far. 

I still pinch myself for how full and rich my life is. 

1 comment:

Kerry O'Gorman said...

such a pretty little quilt. Reminds me a bit of the Amish quilts. Did you ever read Plain and Simple? It's a very good read. Here's a link if you care to check it out