Friday, May 22, 2015

Salad Days

This last week has been dedicated to the garden. While we planted a lot of vegetables and eagerly await the Summer months to help them grow, but right now we are up to our elbows in lettuce. This is a good thing, fresh salad nearly every night is a very good thing.

Next the Swiss Chard will be ready to harvest, The potatoes are starting to poke their leaves above the surface. I love growing potatoes. Later in the Summer we'll go treasure hunting for golden and ruby treasure buried in the soil.

A barrel full of mint is close to the kitchen door. it smells so lovely.

It is a lot of work and the weeds are always mocking us by spreading faster and growing taller than would seem possible, but at the end of a full day in the garden, it is absolutely worth it. To see our future dinners growing in our own back yard is pretty cool.

Oh and check out this handsome fellow, he and his friend came to visit after the fountain received a good cleaning. The first time we've had a Western Tanager in our garden. Hooray!

Happy weekend all!

Monday, May 18, 2015

The New Brood

Well, let's all cross our fingers that the sickness has left the building. I swear, this has been the ill-est school year in history, for the whole family. I am well and truly Over It! Ah, but let's talk of more pleasant things shall we?

It occurred to me that you were not formerly introduced to the new Brood in the coop. Last November we lost our other beloved chooks to some vicious critter, so a couple of months ago we began again with 3 wee baby chicks.

Pictured up above is Starr, a Leghorn, and so far seems to rule the roost.

This here is Loretta, an Australorp. She follows Starr around constantly, though she seems quite good at scratching up worms.

This is Van Zandt (named after the late singer/songwriter Townes), a Silver Laced Wyandott. She is independent and wiley.

Now this particular group of little hens is nothing like any other brood we have had. They are far more skittery than past chickens, even though we had the same routine as the others and handled them often. They are also contrary, they do not do what we expect them to do, what others have done. We shall see how it all works out. Meanwhile we are all happy to have chickens again. I am looking very forward to September when we may start getting fresh eggs again!

Oh and check out this video of The Engineer's brilliant automatic coop door opener that he created to keep the little ones safe.

Monday, May 4, 2015

More Adventures in Natural Dyeing

Yes, I've been at it again, I just can't stop! The most amazing results and surprises have come about, a few disappointments as well, but that is all part of the learning process.

The biggest "Wow" moment came from dyeing with black turtle beans. Depending on the fabric I used, I got deep blues to bright purple. My neighbors must have though I was a bit crazy when I was exclaiming over the results. Oh let's just face it, the neighbors thought that already.

I also tried dyeing with some Madder root and played with folding and clipping techniques. This is really fun and creates the most interesting designs.

The Blueberries on vintage kimono silk was another surprise, I didn't think that the color would be so saturated and delicious looking!

An experiment in over-dyeing created the loveliest green.

I'm even dyeing embroidery floss and loving the results.

Now, if I could just stop dyeing everything I can get my hands on and actually make something from my experiments! All in good time.

Happy Monday everyone!