inhale...exhale...relax your shoulders...repeat as often as needed

Thursday, September 29, 2016

sow and sew::indigo!

In the spring, I tried starting indigo seeds in flats indoors. It did not work. In early June I found some seedlings at Twin Pond Farm's spring plant sale. The Japanese Indigo (polygorium tinctorium) plants I bought that day loved growing in our raised beds here at our bit of earth. 
Last Saturday I pulled all the plants, stripped the leaves from the stems and ended up with about a pound and a half to work with.
A pound of leaves filled this large pickle jar. I covered the leaves with water, put a lid on the jar (not tight!) and set it in a large pot of water. I kept the temperature in the vat steady at around 170 degrees F for about three hours.
Over the years, I have collected several beautiful books about indigo and shibori and dying. I ended up using A Garden to Dye For by Chris McLaughlin. It's a lovely little book, with simple and easy to follow instructions.   

When I got to the step in the process where I had to oxygenate the vat I felt that our decision to splurge on the farmer's style stainless steel kitchen sink was justified. Slowly pouring the the dye solution from one vessel to the next...back and forth for about 10 minutes...with plenty of room and no chance of staining...exhale with relief!
I dyed a silk scarf (the more turquoise result) and a yard of linen (the rich blue solid). I also played around with a few shibori techniques on cotton with varying results.

(I found a variety of necessary supplies for this project at Dharma Trading Co.)

I've had a life long love of all things indigo. Growing my own plants, harvesting them and then using them to dye fabric has been on my bucket list forever. Finally accomplishing this project was so deeply satisfying for me. 

There are a few coreopsis tops drying in the woodshed and the tansy is still blooming in the gardens...

How about you, dear readers...have you tried fiber dying? I'd love to hear of your results!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

a dove at the front door and in my heart, too

It seems appropriate to do a celebratory shout out to my beloved alma mater out in Indiana. Last night, a group of Earlham students made a big splash in NYC...check out what happened here.

As the elections draw nearer, the madness seems to grow, and so I will feed the light of peace whenever I am able. 

Peace, friends.
It's all about peace and love and hope and light and justice right now.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

why we sow

  • carrots on the right have gone into the fridge, carrots on the left are stored in buckets of sand in the root cellar.
  • edamame plants from our csa at anchor light farm.
  • steamed and shelled edamame.
  • a bumper crop of onions.
  • garlic. some to eat, some to store, some to plant for next year's crop.
  • fingerling potatoes! our first effort with spuds.
  • the jack-o'-lantern pumpkin patch.
  • last year's apple crop was outstanding in vermont, this year, we are happy to have a few.
  • the last of the lacinato kale. some folks call it dinosaur kale. :-)
Oh, these days are full. I've been back and forth to my Mumsie's in Massachusetts a bit and it looks like the new normal. It's hard. But this is how life unfolds and it's how the generations intertwine. 

In between visits, life here condenses to accommodate the time available. 

We are creeping into my favorite season and I pinch myself every day as I awaken in this beloved spot. Cooking with the food that has grown out of the dirt right outside our door, as the late day sunshine streams into our splendid new kitchen...this...this is our very own bit of earth.

Meditating. Eating well. Stitching. Mending. Sleeping. Breathing deeply. Harvesting. Acting locally.

All of it under the sanctuary 
of the bright blue sky and pitch black night.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

triptych 36