Monday, June 13, 2011

flower loving moonday

I've been collecting the darkest of the purple pansies to freeze for more ice-flower dyeing. Every single one has that sweet little golden moon in the middle. Or is it a sun or a star?

If you're not familiar with ice-flower dyeing, India Flint has a chapter on it in her book, Eco Colour. It is basically freezing flower petals, immersing them in warm water, mixing in a mordant, and voila, you have a flower dye.

Today is a waxing moonday in Scorpio, traditionally the very best time to harvest leaves to be dried or preserved for storage. It's believed that leafy plant material gathered now will be especially effective medicinally -- and I really hope the same is true for dyeing.

Scorpio rules the sexual organs, and as flowers are the sexual parts of plants, I'm taking it a step further and working with flowersflowersflowers today. That's probably making my own rules as we go, but that's OK, heightened curiosity is typical Scorpio moon behavior!

More roses have been picked for drying and freezing. In my search for blue, I've also collected blue larkspur for the freezer and am going back out for some blue salvia.

Elder flowers, Sambucus sp., intended for treating symptoms of cold or flu, will dry in this low basket. Dried elder flowers also make a soothing skin wash or eye compress but I don't pick too many of these because I'd rather harvest the berries later on for syrup. Woven baskets are great containers for drying flowers and leaves that can't be hung in bundles. I'll place a light cloth over these delicate flowers to keep them dust-free as they dry, then store them in an airtight jar in a dark cupboard for up to a year.

What curiosities is Scorpio stirring up in your life this moonday?


liniecat said...

This Scorpio still has a wander lust itch that needs scratching, but is not sure which way to jump! But in the mean time Ive been bundling too....odd fallen flower leaves with Mahonia trunk scrapings which send the fabrics a stunningly bright green.The inner bark is bright yellow and then darkens to dull ochre when the air gets to it.
I have used up the blossoms Id frozen and got some lovely shades of yellows and pink. I got blues and hyacinth shades from blackberries, but for the life of me cant think If I used vinegar in the pots lol
I do afew each day and have ben using salt at first, then bicarb as bath for the fabrics. I no3 have a big pot of alum to trial too.
Hey Peggy, want some english violet seeds? I have lots of plants growing from an original wild one I liberated from the cliff tops at Whitby, several years ago.
I always get loads of seed pods. The flowers dont smell pretty, but they do look lovely and self spread of cousre thereafter.

woman with wings said...

Lyn, you should be writing a book on all your dyeing projects. I think I've said that before, haven't I? Honestly, you do so much! I'm going to check out the mahonia, mine aren't very big and I worry about making them suffer but I really want to work with it. I would absolutely love some violet seeds. Will email you.