Indoor dyeing

It's so cold that I'm restricted to indoor projects. This has put a halt to most indigo dyeing since I can't air any wet textiles outside. They freeze almost instantly, and trying to unpin them from the clothesline is really hard.


Frozen hemp


Right now my outdoor dye-work is limited to hurried picture-taking.


 

 



 

January wonder

Just when it seemed too cold for anything but cozy indoor projects, an outdoor wonder appeared.


 When the ground is frozen and the world is ice cold, I toss seeds and crumbs to the birds. Today this fine feathered beauty was waiting and watching the festival of sparrows and pigeons from the power lines



 Those feathers!



I think this is a red-tailed hawk.


What surprised me the most was that the birds on the ground didn't seem to mind him at all.  Also that he simply watched them for nearly an hour.

December Silks

December has been filled with beauty and busy-ness. Happily, I've been able to squeeze in some of my favorite projects, including the dyeing of more silk threads.


After soaking in alum


Indigo


Indigo and weld

Cochineal, madder and indigo


Baby pastels (indgo, madder, weld, walnut)


More madder and cochineal

  Coreopsis flowers, weld and madder


Walnut hulls


Cochineal and madder


Walnut, cochineal and madder

Cochineal and snow

 

Steady...


After all of the Thanksgiving visiting and joy, it's time to get back to normal.


The days have become soft and gentle again. I finished planting the daffodil bulbs!

I'm still working on emptying the silk fabric storage baskets. Since I'm so busy with dyeing all the time, they fill up  fast.


Vintage block prints

 



 I really love old Indian block printed textiles and keep my eyes open for them at yard sales, estate sales and second-hand shops. Sometimes it's hard for me  to use these fabrics, just because they're so beautiful. Then I ask myself if I'm waiting until I'm 150 years old before I dare to use them?!!!?

I allowed, (forced), myself to use some of these wonderful fabrics and yesterday morning I took a few pictures of what I've made so far.

Winter has fallen!

Most of the peach tree leaves have fallen straight down without changing color.


Hiding in the leaves



 The temperature fell to 17 overnight. The rhododendon is a good weather gauge - it really shrivels in the cold.



The first snow has fallen. As usual, I'm in the middle of an indigo dyeing project. The cold complicates this a little - mostly it's just less pleasant to work outdoors.


There are still dozens of daffodil bulbs to plant. Winter is beautiful, but I'm just not ready yet.


 

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.

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