Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An ending and a beginning

The dear patriarch of the farm I have visited frequently over the past 40 years has passed on.  Alex was 98 and died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his loving family.  His decline was not without pain, but like everything else about him, happened with profound honesty and dignity.  He was a farmer and a mighty warrior for the water rights of Northern California...it seems fitting that he died  on the early morning of the first day of the Year of the Dragon...a water dragon...when the rain was pouring down in bucketfulls...

Seems like now the rain is quiescent, but the drops are still on the oxalis:

It is another sort of new year now...there is sadness, and there is love, and there is hope. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

RAIN! and results

Ah, finally some rain! Hopefully several days worth...here are some raindrops on the apple tree:
Well, I didn't wait very long to unfurl my bundles!  here they are right after unrolling...might make a nice skirt...

Then, I wasn't sure what to do next, so I ironed them. This is onion skin and crocosmia:

And this is onion skin and marigold flowers...kind of greenish.
I've got to do some more reading about rinsing them in a way to keep the color as much as possible.  All suggestions would be very welcome.  This has me so intrigued.  I've signed up for Glennis' online indigo dyeing workshop!  Phew!  That's all for now. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jumping in...

For quite a while I've been watching fellow bloggers do dyeing with natural materials, and suddenly I find myself taking the plunge...cautiously!  I collected some onion skins and dried marigold flowers, laid them on silk, misted them with vinegar and rolled them up.  Now they are steaming in a lovely pot from a garage sale.  There is a lot of uncertainty in my mind as to whether this is the best method...I'm trying a little bit of everything I've seen recommended.  After they're done steaming, I'll let them sit for a week...that is I will try to let them sit for a week without peeking at them.

There are lots of migrating birds around now, so I went down to the bay to see...here are some, reflecting...

A ground squirrel was also surveying the scene:

Lastly here is a January rose...the first thing I saw one morning as I woke up.  It's a bit odd to have roses in January, but I was glad to see it.

That's all for today.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Getting Ready

Hello everyone,

In my ongoing effort to create a blog header that makes me happy, here is the entirety of the latest version, before I focused in on the parts I like best (see above).
It's the result of experimenting with techniques from Jude's Magic Diaries online class.  Around the edges are strips of arimatsu shibori from Glennis.

Also, I've been trying (in vain, it turns out) to escape the cold that's been going around.  Today, my voice is totally gone!  I can only squeek very softly and with great effort.  I have rested and rested and rested and here's what else I've been doing, in order to prepare for Groundhog's Day, my favorite holiday, Feb. 2.  They are sachets...the one for gentlemen is full of pine needles and smells woodsy.  The one for ladies is full of lavender blossoms and rose petals, dried.  I wasn't too good at sending out Christmas packages to my relatives this year so I hope these will make up for it.
That's all for now...I hope you are all in good health.  In case you catch this cold, here is a tip: try oregano tea with lime juice and a little honey.  xoxo, S.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Outlined in gold

Happy 3 day old new Year!  I am still a little wobbly from the "holidays".  Christmas at the farm was peaceful and deep.  Here is Bird in the early morning fog:

nearby, up in the tree-top:

by the roadside, on my way home:

And something I made last year, one from a little series of "horse-hearts":
I had a sale in December and it went well.  Next year I want to find a way to enjoy the season more, feel less nervousness, more trust.  There is conflict in me about selling, but I love the pieces to go out into the world.  Maybe do the selling earlier in the season so most of December is about giving, relaxing...is it possible to relax in December?

Well, that's all for now...I hope 2012 is going well so far for each of you...xoxo, S.