garden

Countdown to California

In less than 24 hours I'll be on my way to California! I'm taking another workshop with John Marshall and look forward to new learning, and to seeing  Sacramento, Covelo, Eureka, the Pacific and the winding roads! Hopefully this will also mean a break from the heat and humidity  :-D Last weekend in Loring Park --  90 degrees both days, humidity about the same -- very uncomfortable! Here are a few pics:

friends.jpg
View out the back of my booth

View out the back of my booth

I met another fiber artist working with natural dyes -- Dawnette Davis of Grand Rapid's Minnesota (no website yet....). I bought a beautiful silk scarf from her dyed with iron-modified cochineal and imprinted with rusted objects....the iron modifier created a beautiful grayish violet/blue. Here's a photo. Beautiful work!

naturally dyed (cochineal, iron) silk scarf by Dawnette Davis

naturally dyed (cochineal, iron) silk scarf by Dawnette Davis

I'm busy in the kitchen in between trip preparation tasks trying to put away some of the veggie garden harvest. Yesterday it was two big batches of pesto. Today it's salsa and cutting up oodles of zucchini for the freezer. My husband planted many Gladiola bulbs and so we have them all over the house as well as garden. Trimming bouquets and deadheading in the garden today it occurred to me to freeze some blossoms and then try India Flint's ice flower dyeing technique when I return. Don't you think freezing flower blossoms for dye is a brilliant idea? I really look forward to seeing what kind of color these yield ...

Glad blossoms for freezing

Glad blossoms for freezing

I am not bringing the computer so expect more on the blog after August 23rd when I return!

Loon tremelo, bark brew

This morning during breakfast I was startled by the tremolo call of a common loon as it flew over our house. This is a first -- even though we do spot a loon or two on Lake Como each spring, no doubt in transit to the North Woods. It's one of my favorite sounds and makes me long for quiet coniferous forests and tranquil lakes. The humid, cool and rainy weather pattern has been lingering over our area for almost a week. The garden is lush and you can almost see it grow.

SquashBlossom.jpg

Jenny Dean's blog post on useful garden trees for dyeing has spurred me on to try cooking my birch bark, which has been soaking for almost a month. This morning I gently simmered the bark for about an hour. The smell was not pleasant at first, but after awhile it had a vague scent of cinnamon -- perhaps the tannin? After straining the liquid off I will will see what happens with some well-used linen and a couple of pieces of silk. (I used alum as a pre-mordant.)

birch brew

birch brew

I am hoping for some pinks.

Foxglove blossoms

Foxglove blossoms