Sunday, August 14, 2016

sunflowers morning, noon & night


I'm so grateful for sunflowers. They sway and turn, look up, bow down and everything in between. They are hosts to a myriad of insects and soon squirrels, birds and maybe people will come visiting for their share as well. They cleanse the soil of radioactivity and are said to be guardian spirits. I don't doubt for a second their divine essence.

Yesterday I collected flowers to make dye bundles.

Blue and purples to the left, dyers coreopsis and eucalyptus in the middle and portulaca to the right.

Red, gold and pink zinnias with purple basil and blue and purple pansies with blue larkspur.

From left to right the fibers are wool, cotton that was soaked in milk, more wool (a deconstructed jacket sleeve) and silk (a deconstructed blouse collar). This is my first dye project of the summer but I have intentions to do more.

 I learned a new way to cut up watermelon. Less work and more fun to eat.

The beets are sweet and abundant this year, I wish I could say the same of the tomatoes but it's tricky like that here in Colorado.

I'm working on reducing the amount of garden waste we send off to the landfill. This is a permaculture technique called chop & drop and it's done exactly like it sounds. You chop what's no longer wanted or needed at the base, then chop it up a little more, then lay it right back on the ground. Leave the plant's roots intact so that it can either regenerate or decay in the soil. Comfrey is a marvelous soil nutrient and we can't possibly use all its leaves in salve or tea.

Some older chop & drop, mostly burdock leaves and stalks -- if I had extra compost or some dried leaves, I'd cover it to help it break down faster and also make it look nicer. But the decaying look is definitely growing on me. I chopped & dropped for several hours over the last few days -- everything from small weeds to tree trimmings. It only makes sense when you think about it, to give back to Mother Earth that which she produced. 

I'm seeing red. The madder patch, Rubia tinctoria, started from seed  three years old, is old enough for some of the roots to be harvested this fall. Madder is a cheerful plant, the greenest of green leaves, tiny blossoms with berry-like seed capsules. It can spread and climb but mine has mounded upon itself to look like a shrub.

Still stitching one little plant-dyed moon square at a time -- part of the Quilty 365 project here.

Larkspur seeds collected and ready to be packaged or sprinkled around -- I'm thinking of doing a little guerrilla seed-sowing at the park where I walk the dogs. The city seems to have forgotten about one particular xeriscaped stretch of which half has died off over the last ten years. Today I noticed that hollyhocks have naturalized themselves and maybe next summer there will be larkspur as well. It should be okay since larkspur is a Colorado wildflower.

This is my full moon sewing project for this year. Each full moon of the year so far, cloth has been chosen and cut with stitching time fit in here and there. Loving it but applique-stitching these big moons by hand takes hours and hours.

She's bowing down, her head is heavy. Some days this is exactly how I feel especially when I'm out working in the heat of the day. It has been a hot, hot summer with little to no rain.

The waxing moon lights up the night clouds.

A battery-run votive candle is tucked inside the white vintage three-tier macrame hanger I found on etsy. It came from France and was only around $50 which seemed like an unbelievable bargain at the time, I don't know.

At night this beautiful sunflower still glows, I think the variety is even named Evening Star. Which it is.

Sunflower blessings to you!  xx


liniecat said...

That moon cover is worth your hours of stitching, it's growing old gracefully with colourful and cheerful companion fabrics.
Where's there's a will there's life in this case :)
Love it.
I caught the Perseids meteors the other night and am still psyched by seeing them, wonderful!
What must early men and women must have thought when they first saw them!
Such wonders, all around us and the flower bundles, will be interesting later, to see how they fare too.

Nancy said...

Ah, the land of moons, flowers, earth and LIFE! Love it here :)

dulcy said...

I adore sunflowers! Too much shade to grow them here, but the little farm across the street has a nice crop and I get mine there for vases and then to lay spent flowers about outside for birds and whatever else wants from them. Did you get all your dye flowers from your garden? Wonderful variety of color! I would love to see a tutorial on this from you! Also, the macramé hanger is fabulous! Love this post, as always.....

Rhonda Buss said...

Your post exudes peace :)

Ms. said...

wakened for no reason in the wee small hours, this is a good place to visit. I am refreshed and comforted.

Ms. said...



Understand, I am always trying to figure out
what the soul is,
and where hidden,
and what shape
and so, last week,
when I found on the beach
the ear bone
of a pilot whale that may have died
hundreds of years ago, I thought
maybe I was close
to discovering something
for the ear bone


is the portion that lasts longest
in any of us, man or whale; shaped
like a squat spoon
with a pink scoop where
once, in the lively swimmer's head,
it joined its two sisters
in the house of hearing,
it was only
two inches long
and thought: the soul
might be like this
so hard, so necessary


yet almost nothing.
Beside me
the gray sea
was opening and shutting its wave-doors,
unfolding over and over
its time-ridiculing roar;
I looked but I couldn't see anything
through its dark-knit glare;
yet don't we all know, the golden sand
is there at the bottom,
though our eyes have never seen it,
nor can our hands ever catch it


lest we would sift it down
into fractions, and facts
and what the soul is, also
I believe I will never quite know.
Though I play at the edges of knowing,
truly I know
our part is not knowing,
but looking, and touching, and loving,
which is the way I walked on,
through the pale-pink morning light.
Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver

Kathy -MIQuilter said...

There is no better way to "save" summers flowers than bundling them in fabric. And no better way to record our moons then in fabric. Love your blog.

Luna Crone said...

Beautiful post...

Beautiful photos... Especially of the waxing moon, riding behind clouds. -happy sigh-

Dye, from flowers... So interesting, but I know nothing about it. But it intrigues me.

Gentle hugs,
Luna Crone

Lesley Turner said...

what a wonderful post - thank you for sharing your life

Peggy said...

Lyn, thanks for the encouragement! I totally missed the Perseids, there is too much city light interference where I live. Darn.

Nancy, so nice, thank you.

Dulcy, I will write a post about flower bundles sometime, maybe when I unroll these bundles. You will love making them, for the most part, wool is one of the easiest fibers to accept flower and leaf prints.

Rhonda, thank you. And peace.

Michelle, I love the soul-searching poem you posted, thank you. Love Mary Oliver, too.

Kathy, you've said it beautifully, and thanks!

Luna Crone Moonwoman, thank you. I definitely recommend flower bundling!

Lesley, thank you for your kind words.