First snowflakes

The first snowflakes arrived this morning. The Japanese indigo is finished growing.


Dogwood bush 



Redbud leaves and bits of snow


Frozen indigo dyed linen on the clothesline


Cold feet!


November

It was quite cold this morning, with beautiful yellow sunlight.


Sparrows warming themselves on the windowsill and mock-orange branches.



Maple tree in the neighbors' backyard


Late rosebuds


 Almost ripe


Houseplants in!


 The annual bringing in of  ihe houseplants has begun. The nighttime temperatures have been in the 30's.


Old blankets help, but it can;t go on for long. Carrying them in is a heavy and tiring job. Figuring out where to place them is too.


  Most of them are great-grand-children- plants from Mom and Granny. They are living heirlooms and connections.

This picture shows about a third of the houseplants settled into their winter headquarters, Now for at least 6 months of plants indoors.


 

Walnuts

Every summer for many years, I've collected a supply of black walnuts for dyeing  from a huge tree in the neighborhood.



The fruits of this tree usually ripen and fall to the ground around middle of August. This year each time I visited the tree I found barely any walnuts. The ones I did see were tiny. They gave very little color. I resigned myself to waiting another year for the beautiful browns and creams of walnut hull dye.

October

There's something about the light in October. that makes the world almost too beautiful. Even on a cloudy morning there's extra richness in the colors.


Flying saucer morning glories


Red nightshade berries and yellow Virginia creeper leaf


Silk dyed with indigo


Virginia creeper


Perennial sunflowers


Virginia creeper


 

Elm tree

There is an old elm tree growing between our house and the neighbor's house.

This tree is beautiful. It's branches are like an umbrella, giving deep shade on summer days and even some cover from the rain. Ive seen so many birds in the branches - woodpeckers, thrushes, nuthatches, robins, cardinals, blackbirds, finches,warblers,and of course, the sparrows. The squirrels race up  and down and use it as a  pathway to their home in the hole they've made under the gutter. One day I saw a racoon sleeping on the edge of the roof.


August 29

Moms'  Birthday


Goldenrod  (Solidago)


My Mother was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 29 1930


 

I miss her every day.
 


 

August

In some ways, August feels hectic and difficult. School is about to start. When my children were younger, it included the stress and expense of shopping for school supplies, bookbags, uniforms, and shoes. With 10 children, this was a big deal!

Annoying, insects, (fleas, pantry moths, yellow jackets, fruit flies and mosquitoes), seem to increase, multiply and  thrive in August. Maybe they know their time is growing short.

Fresh Indigo

Basket of Japanese indigo leaves


One of the nicest things about growing indigo is dyeing with the fresh leaves. It's a quick summertime treat. The colors are different from vatted indigo. The shades are greener, like robin eggs, turquoise, or mossy water.


Strained dye


Dyebath, rinse water, and leftover leaves


Little particles of indigo leaves in the rinse water



Silk embroidery threads


Organza silk before the final rinse


After washing and rinsing

Wool Pot holders


Undyed wool loops


Years ago, a dear friend shared a huge 5 pound bag of pure wool pot holder loops with me.. Little did I know at the time just how valuable and hard to find these would become. I dyed the loops with natural colors, and made potholders for gifts and for sale.

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