Friday, May 31, 2013

out of the dye-pot: a new blouse

Today was the day. The oak-leaf/lightning water dye-pot has been brewing out in the garden since last fall. My very disappointing eucalyptus-dyed cotton blouse was re-bundled (with red onion skins) a few months ago and has been infusing in the pot ever since. Oak leaves and onion skins and maybe lightning water, too, are pure magic. I love this outcome. 

There's definitely still life left in the dye-bath so it'll stay awhile. Now I need to find another big pot to brew up some of the bindweed I'm harvesting. I may not be able to grow certain plants, but I do seem to have a knack for bindweed. It's a good thing bindweed makes such a wonderful dye-bath, see it here and here.

I miss sewing and knitting, always do this time of year when there is so much going on outside. This piece surfaced -- or maybe I just noticed it for the first time in a long while -- so I made about 10 French knots and feel much better now. 

The sweet woodruff is in bloom -- exactly one month late. More proof of our funky Spring and that snowstorm on May Day when I should've been making May Wine with sweet woodruff blossoms.

Thanks for coming by! My weekend wish for all of us is that we make time to do what we love. xo


Monday, May 27, 2013

a making moonday

Making things -- a sun and a moon and a flower garden. Unrolling unlabeled bundles, too. I'll have to go back to my autumn dye-pot posts to see what leaves these are. The colander plate is a new find -- the woman who made it says she uses hers for making sprouts.

Today is a waning moonday in Capricorn. Time to focus on things already begun. This feels good to me -- I'm ready to let go of starting new projects for a while. To stay home, to stitch and weed and unroll more dye bundles.

Wishing you a week of beauty and feeling at home wherever you are.

Friday, May 24, 2013

moon & garden work

I might be late in planting my garden but I'm way ahead on freezing wild garden greens. This morning I snipped the tops off the lamb's quarters, Chenopodium album, growing in one of the vegetable beds and made up the first packets of the year for the freezer. This is how.

I've decided to use pomegranate seeds in the red knitted goddess, instead of the whole pomegranate. Even though the shell was hard and it seemed to be completely dried out, the seeds were still juicy -- it'll take a few days in the sun to dry them out enough to use. There's a reason I want to incorporate the essence of pomegranate that I'll write about next week.

Today is a Full Moon in Sagittarius and these fabrics seem right for the next moon cloth. The dotted ones almost belong together, don't they? The top one is a purchased cotton remnant and the piece right below it is silk shantung dyed with St. Joan's Wort last summer. The May moon vibe is yellow (to me), that much seems clear.

Hoping to get all my dye bundles out of their dye-pots, unfurled, labeled and organized this weekend. I'm so anxious to experiment with all the fresh leaf and flower goodness offered by the Green Nation -- starting with the pansies who are rioting out there right this very minute.

Thanks for visiting. Happy Full Moon! xo

Monday, May 20, 2013

kantha straight ahead

I've been choosing thread colors for a forgotten weaving (out-of-sight-out-of-mind) -- not hard to foresee lines and lines of kantha stitch in my future. Bliss. The biennial woad, Isatis tinctoria, is in full bloom, all from four tiny seedlings planted last spring. People said it would do this but I sort of doubted it because things don't grow here like some places. The average annual precipitation in Denver is less than 16" so we almost always have to lower our expectations on plant size and performance. 

I haven't forgotten the red knitted goddess -- she is slowly taking form with wool in her head and upper body. I'm not sure about the dried pomegranate in her bottom half, it does make her look and feel really earthy though. I guess I need a sign.

Today is a waxing moonday in Libra. Moonwise, that means beginning new projects, making progress on current ones -- growth and expansion in general. Zodiac-wise, these next few days are good for creating balance and beauty as well as initiating things, negotiating, and making agreements. In the garden, Libra days are ideal for sowing seeds and planting seedlings... 

...which all makes for a great beginning to the new week. I wish you many Libra wonders. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

stinging nettle quiche

The strange weather (snowstorm on May Day, I'm not going to let that one go for a while!) hasn't hurt the nettle patch one bit. Stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, needs to be cut back faithfully or its flowering cycle will take off before you know it. Then once it starts blooming and setting seed, harvest is over for the year because the leaves will contain a gritty substance irritating to the kidneys. For some of my other favorite uses of nettle, go here, here, and here.

Last night I made a quiche using 8-10 cups of freshly-picked nettle tops. The nettle leaves and stems were swished in water, towel-dried, and roughly chopped. Then the usual quiche-making method ensued using onion, fresh thyme leaves, garlic, half & half, eggs, swiss and feta cheese and oh my. It was so good. It would be fun to make this for a crowd and only tell them afterward that they'd just eaten stinging nettle. I did that once with catnip pesto. The end justifies the means sometimes.

A flat of Genovese basil grown from seed under lights in the basement will be sold at an organic plant sale this weekend. I hope it makes many jars of pesto for many people.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. xo 

Monday, May 13, 2013

a spring moon cloth

The April moon cloth is up and hanging on the little wooden mannequin. It's pieced together with cottons -- some new, some vintage -- and filled in with kantha stitch. Since it's only 7" in diameter, it was a nice way to do a little sewing while my attention is increasingly being pulled outside. Winter weather seems to have run its course and we are back to seasonal temperatures so I even unpacked summer clothes this morning. How about that?

Today is a waxing moonday in the sign of watery Cancer. Being Cancer is one of the most fertile signs of all for growing, I'm hoping to get caught up with planting my garden, of course. But this energy also applies to other types of growing and expansion, whether it be the seeds of healing, a new project, deepening a friendship, or making your money grow. 

And you might feel like nurturing somebody or something, maybe even yourself! Wishing you a great week.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

patchwork houses

Today is the new moon. I don't think I'm going to meet my self-imposed deadline (the new moon) with the April full moon cloth. It took a while for things to come together on this one, unlike the previous four. It's 7" in diameter so pretty small. I used pieces (of pieces) of vintage patchwork from a rummage sale to make the three houses. The patterns and colors just have that certain perfect vibe if you know what I mean. I know you do.

We had kale from the cold frame last night for dinner, recipe here. This is the best variety of kale -- I think it's Red Russian -- so beautiful and tender, even the stems.

I had to buy some flowers since there's not much to look at outside yet with the weather and all (snow on May Day). Baby's breath is inexpensive and can dry right there in the vase and stay awhile.

Also rescued two African violets from certain death which I had no business doing because we're plumb full around here. The living room coffee table is under a skylight so some seedlings are parked there. There's more in the kitchen under that skylight, a flat of basil under lights in the basement, and the cold frame outside is packed. It is still pretty cool here and rain-storming at this very moment. So glad it's not snow but really wish we could all go outside and dig in.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending  -- that means doing whatever makes you happy. xx

P.S. It's hailing.

Monday, May 6, 2013

part 2: dandelion bookcloth


The dandelion bookcloth is finished, simple and sweet, fun to make. I've been arranging and re-arranging stones and seashells on my altar and have begun a small new knitting project. A goddess is being formed, there's a stone in her head for the photo but she'll more likely be shaped with herbs, small stones and wool. I think she already has a name but it's probably too early to say it.

Today is a waning moonday in the sign of fiery Aries. Aries has a get-back-to-business kind of energy about it which quite suits a Monday, don't you think? And because Aries energy is strong and assertive, now is also a good time to initiate much-needed changes. Beware, impatience lurks.

Aries affects the head and face, to the nose. If there is a tendency toward headaches, we need to take it easy and not get too carried away with things. Even though we might think we can do it all.

Getting back to things. A beautiful week to you!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

a dandelion bookcloth

Since we had Dandelion Italiano the other night, I decided to stitch a little dandelion book cloth. My wool choices for the bottom layer have all been eco-dyed -- the top right is from red wine, the blue is from black beans and the rust from onion skins -- but the other two elude me for now.

You can see in the photos how much dandelion leaves shrink during the cooking process for Dandelion Italiano, but I assure you it is worth the effort.

The view out the sewing room window a little while ago -- and it's still snowing. Happy May Day!