Thursday, May 29, 2014

- On pins and needles: Trying dyeing

I've had a project working in the background ... unsure how it would out, but now seeing that it will be usable.

Having a large quantity of loosely woven muslin, it occurred to me that there was enough to make a light summer robe. After a few judicious folds, it appeared the robe would require only two short shoulder seams.

And since it was painfully plain, I decided to try dyeing it with windfall lichens 

and onion skins ... all wrapped together and steeped in hot water from the tap.

As with most novice dyers, I peeked too soon, so the previous photo is actually a re-wrap (which is why the ties are already colored). But I was happy enough with the final dye to continue constructing the robe, boro-style.

It's nearing completion, at which time the plan is to layer on more color ... adding some avocado skins to the mix and trimming the vegetal matter to make more coherent design elements.

And so, once again, "to be continued" ...

On a pincushion (3)

(link here to the 1877 story of the same title)

This latest story takes place outdoors, since the things we love can be found in the garden as well as the house.

New to Texas, we are still learning the flora and fauna as well as how best to manage the land. Our latest project has been cactus-whacking to eliminate some of the prickly pear, which will help out the grasses and make the trails a little safer for two-legged critters.

This week, the cactus whacked back, as I took a dive while dumping a load on the compost heaps. Fortunately, I was wearing good gloves, so I only had to pull pins and needles out of my forearm.

A different kinda pincushion

 There are, however, cactus so beguiling that they are given a home in the rock garden. Don successfully transplanted lace cactus last year, and last week we discovered this shy little specimen on the flood plain.

Since there were two others nearby (we try not to transplant anything that's one of a kind), Don made some room in the lace cactus bed and moved in our latest volunteer.
Note: the cacti are about 3 inches high

And they all lived happily ever after.

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