Wednesday, March 28, 2007

dye delite!

okay-i'm trying to post these photos of my seven merino rovings i dyed at last saturday's dye-in before i make dinner and head to little son's mandolin lesson/my banjo lesson in town. the photos don't do them justice. they seem washed out. if anyone has any tips for photographing fiber to capture the true color i would love to hear it!(or read it) i was in one of my swampy murky moods-in fact when "big" son saw one of them he said -you should name that one "swamp."-yippee!! that's the effect i wanted to acheieve-not only am i a hoppy gurl-i'm a swampy gurl! there is no white-the sun washed out the photo.

Monday, March 26, 2007

wet white wool

wow! there's a wicked-ass storm brewing outside right now.(gee those hopi rain sticks seem to be working) the wind is blowing the rain horizontally-the chickens are hiding. i hear it may turn to snow tonight??? quite the contrast from yesterday's gorgeous day.

yesterday, the foothillfiber guild had yet another amazing dye workshop with sara(dye goddess and weaver extraordinaire) at the beautiful home of sue f. We enjoyed a warm day full of fiber, colors, dogs, laughter and food to "dye" for!

can you guess which important small object of technology i managed to forget? yes, my camera(actually it is little son's camera.)damn! not only for all the fabulous color creations but i saw blooming wildflowers on my drive to sue's-lupines, california poppies and the redbud trees!

this workshop was one of my more successful ones. i finally got colors and results i was actually trying to achieve. in past workshops my stuff never came out as i desired. it was always a surprise or a gasp! not that they were bad- just completely not what i expected.

My high school chemistry teacher gave me "D." so maybe all this mixing of colors and formulas was intimidating at first. I guess i'm a slow learner and things finally sunk in! mixing your own colors is awesome-better than straight from the jar hues!

you'll have to wait a few days for me to post my pictures from this workshop as they are busy drying. i rinsed them this morning and yes, sara-you win! I tried your soaking method as opposed to gentle under the faucet rinsing-your way was better- not quicker but better.-softer roving! i guess i will just have to learn to be a bit more patient and just have a cup o tea! i even let them cool "completely" before rinsing-something that was real real hard in the past. if anyone wants to view pics of our fabulous dye day here's two other blogs that already have them posted.birdsong- and sharon's

okay, now for some details on the st. patty's "dye" for beer day at nettie's. this dye day was not as successful. but we had a blast! this is as far as we got when it came to dyeing:

then this occurred: check out nettie's cute tee. sorry no pic of my shamrock socks!

and this:

so then we decided to go downtown and party more-luckily nettie lives in walking distance so we hoofed it. past the old classic car, thru the old cemetery and thru a bit of woods.

we end up at the back entry of an old brewery-one beer and some nice but sleepy celtic music(no jigging happening at that point!)we head for some sushi and "lucky" sake-the kind with the gold in it that you drink out of a box for good luck and abundance-nettie assured me it was good-i kept having wine in a box visions-gag! but it was wonderful-check these pics out:GOLD! see waitress putting the gold in.

after fun at the sushi house we head out for some dancing-most places were pretty lame or charging cover(i refuse unless it's something really good) so we end up at" the crazy horse" a place we never go to-but boy oh boy-that's where the fun was-a 70's cover band, no cover and crazy folks-this group of gals was having way too much fun!

nettie and i must have been having way too much fun too as there were many pictures like this on my camera:

well, we made it back to nettie's and i spent the night-the next morning i headed home with wet white wool.

Friday, March 23, 2007

no time for books

i awoke this morning cloudy and confused- still stuck in that dream state. i tend to dream intensely in the early morning. starting my tea water i knew i had a busy day ahead of me. reflecting back on the day it was indeed busy but it was a good day.

*drink tea
* make kids breakfast
*feed and water chickens
*make dyes
*schooled till noon
*make lunch
*water lettuce, potatoes, peas and kale
*deal with alfalfa sprout jungle in kitchen-hubby tried to help with the sprout growing- used way too many seeds! they just keep on growing! not pretty sight!
*friends come over at 2:00-kids play i teach lynn to dye merino rovings for spinning
*friends leave at 5:00
*OH MY GOD! i realize my monthly Chicken Chronicles article for my local paper is due today!
and i haven't even started!
*write article while making dinner-burritos-again.
*have dinner
*free ladybugs from my refrigerator into my aphid infested lettuce patch
*wow-big son put chickens in their house without being told-thank you!
*rinse dye from wool-they have cooled-oooooh, aaaahhhhhh!
*practice banjo-gads-i really need to practice more
*read little son bedtime story
*attempt blog entry

-and i wonder why it takes me so long to finish a book.

was going to post pictures and write about st. patty's dye for beer day-way too tired! this a pictureless boring blog entry-is that legal?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

banjos not bombs!

this week i was blessed with a little post office "delite." Not only did i receive my brother's tea, but i got my bumper stickers and my new felix the cat t-shirt. felix the cat is playing the banjo-how cool is that? which sparked a post office debate-who's the better banjo player bella fleck or earl scruggs? gotta love small town post offices! if anyone has to sport one of these-i can email you the guys addy and he will fill your need! and to top it off 4 lbs. of merino and new dye colors for our st. partick's day dye for beer day at nettie's on sat.(kid free zone!-mama's day-yee ha! love the chitlans but sometime you just need gurl time-adult gurl time)

note-tea is behind girl playing banjo sticker and the beautiful daffodils and berries were hand delivered by my sweet 6 year old neighbor "raena" who informed me the strawberries were from her garden and her cousin made the plate. now miss raena is quite well known as a phenomenal story teller. like the time i fed her beet borscht and she told me how she loves borscht and the first time she ever tried it was the previous week when she and her dad went to russia for two nights and that's all they ate. now, if we were further along in the summer i might have believed the berries were from her garden-they have great ones-but i had just seen her berry bed and it was still sleeping. and the plate-well, hmmm? but the flowers just made my day-they do have them everywhere and my kitchen smelled so sweet.

well, i've tried posting earlier this week but my hands were just too darn sore. been doing a lot of physical property work. got 2 kinds of potatoes planted-yellow finns and nugget rusts. planted snow peas and lacinato kale too. i can't believe that my mixed lettuce bed survived all the snow and now the heat has caused them to bolt. damn. but the hens are happy. clover sprouts everywhere. hazel "grace" prefers her water from the dog bowl.

well, despite my sore hands i did get some spinning done at "spinning saturday"-a local spinning group that meets at the public library-what a fun time we had. and it seems like when we've exhausted all possible fiber discussions we end up ranting about politics. one observant spinner noted that when this happens we all start spinning super fast! as talk of our country's president escalated one spinner brought up the incident of people placing little flags with george's face on them into dog poop. i wondered if this was true or some kind of urban myth. so, the minute i got home i googled it. and sure enough-it was true. here's the proof-i guess it has been big in germany. what a statement.

on a lighter note- i did finish my 2 green hats for my etsy store in time for my st. patrick's day special- free shipping on any hand knit "green" item thru the month of march. the gnome hat turned out a bit dr. suessy-the yarn was super soft.

miss "raena" is modeling the dr. suessy hat-note spray bottle in background for training vicious kitten-she tries to attack the hens-more on her later. nighty night.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

caffeine crisis!

i awoke this morning dead to the world. terror struck me as i opened my box of lyons tea. now, beer may be my first drug of choice but caffeine is my 2nd-in the form of tea. i don't do coffee. but i need my morning tea-every morning. how could i let this happen? as well as being a beer snob, i am also a tea snob. liptons just doesn't do it for me-or any other stuff they call tea at my little local market. it's a 30 minute drive to civilization-but i'm car less for 4 whole days! what was i to do? well, i did what any jonesing tea junkie would do when they realized there was a whole box wrapped and ready for the post office-in a birthday care package for their youngest brother. i tore into that box so fast-got the water boiling and sighed a great one. that was close-i didn't want to have to go pimpin to the neighbors-but then they only have "constant comment"-good grief! i got hooked on this tea when my grand pal nettie brought me some from her travels in ireland. no other tea would do for me-hooked bad. it was a great day when i discovered teadog in texas. phone in hand, i gave them a quick ring and ordered me a new shipment. these guys are great-teas from around the world-fresh and fast shipping. love you guys-kiss kiss kiss! sorry tommy-this was your box
of birthday tea. geeze-now your gift is going to be even later. but not as late as those xmas cards and boxes still waiting to be shipped-i am sooooooooo bad!

brother tommy, who's box of tea i stole-was thoughtful enough to send me a b-day gift certificate from amazon(it arrived on time, mind you!) and i finally got my own copy of spin to knit! yea! i just love this book-i've been borrowing my local fiber guild's copy-but had to return it. now i have my very own to drool all over! i can't wait to knit the faux fair isle raglan-uh-after i finish just a few of my pips(projects in progress)-yes that is plural.

speaking of pips-remember the fiber challenge?
from my feb. 26 and march1 blogs? well, it's coming along nicely-i'm knitting it in the round and i have about 10 inches done. check it out-color fun! I just might have to have a small ball charity drive(stop smirking)-i'm having tons o fun with this project and just might have to make up some cute baby sweaters for my etsy shop-so start saving those little balls for me- that is if i'm not totally sick of doing this by the time i get this sweater finished.

the weather has been good so i've been avoiding the book work(you know-the dreaded school stuff) and we've been unschooling- working in the garden getting our potato bed ready for planting and we finally dragged the old bunk bed out from being disassembled and stored in the living room-(quite attractive wall piece) and set it up outside in the trees for a fort/sleeping loft/first level of the many level tree house to come-it's a work in progress-no pictures yet. maybe later. this mama is tired-zzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Monday, March 5, 2007

city fun

us hillbillies(no, this is not a pic of us) do come off our hill every once in awhile and head to the city. hubby and i actually had a date last saturday-with no kids! wow-now that's a rare phenomenon. we even had fun. no bickering or arguing-well, that's not true-we had a slight incident in the begining-i hate being late for things(yes, i can be a real freak about it)-it does'nt bother him. But the "spillit quikkers" were playing(and it does take awhile to get there) at the hoppy brewing company-one of our fav. brewpubs from 11:00am-1:00pm- it's beer for brunch time. since we never go out-i didn't want to miss any of it. we love the spillitquikkers!!!! two hours just isn't enough. at least we got the tiff out of the way. The rest of the day was great. After pubbing we headed to the crocker art museum. they were having a ansel adam with georgia o'keefe show. a bit misleading-there was only one small georgia painting. it turned out to be photos of a trip to yosemite with georgia and some of the rockefellers. there was pic. of georgia leaning against a snag-very awesome indeed. i will see if i can put in on my blog. wow-
check it out-the crocker let me steal this ansel adams photo! too cool.

there was also a show of betye saar-she does collage and installation-type work-i think that's what you call it. i'm no art expert. her stuff was intense-dealing with the african american experience.

well, there happened to be a wedding reception happening at the museum and i'd had just about enough of that crowd. so-off we went to brew pub #2. the rubicon. They serve a mean i.p.a.-so full of hop flavor i wanted to break out into song and dance. but the waitresses looked like they had had quite enough of this type of behavior so i restrained myself and ordered fish tacos instead.-obviously a sign of my recent maturity. the rubi has the best fish tacos-no deep fried drippy taco mess here.-yum wish i had some now.( I better rap this up soon-little son is having math issues-pencils are flying, heavy sighing-even some growls-but he tells me he doesn't want any help.) after the rubicon we headed back home up into the hills-while leaving the city we saw the most beautiful pink full moon rise. a nice ending to our date.
sunday was spent doing outdoor chores as the weather was awesome. my salad bed survived-that old dollar store shower curtain really did the trick-we just threw it over the little lettucelings and they survived freezing temps and 2 snow dumps-we ate our first harvest last night with dinner. nothing like homegrown! i even saw the tiny sproutlings of the beets and radishes i planted a couple of weeks ago. amazing creatures.

not much fibering-i do have a new blue-faced leicester(wow-i can spell it from memory now) roving up on my etsy store. it's a full 10 oz. so one can spin for a bigger project.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

melty hot wool and the knitters

i've been busy dyeing fiber for my etsy store. having way too much fun doing it! remember my fiber challenge? here it is so far. it's a bit scrunched as i didn't have long enough needles. it feels so satisfying watching those little balls of yarn disappear in my fingers. i'm rather obssessed with it at this point. watching the color changes-what a color study! i keep telling the family-"wait, let me just finish this tiny little ball"-as they wait for dinner, schooling or bedtime stories. i feel like a pioneer woman making quilts out of her scraps. i know-corney! but it's true. how can i throw these little balls of fiber away? and now i'm gonna have an awesome sweater with memories of all my past projects. besides my time taken up with this project i'm trying to do some green stuff for st. patty's day(my favorite day)--i'm bringing back the gnome hat- a super seller at my craft shows-in progress shown in-oh hell-i lost the label-it's here somewhere-but i think it's a wool/alpaca blend. the little ball of "spring" will soon be another hat-i hand painted the merino roving and spun it. i can smell the leprechauns. "reclaim the snake!"

on another note-what a week-i turned 44-gulp-egads. still don't feel grown up. check out these awesome cookies my friend rhodie made me-she knows i hate cake. we have home movies on the super 8 showing me as a wee one crying when it came to cake eating-yuk! look at these luscious jems-chocolate chip with nuts- mmmmm! my favorite cookie-hey, i'm a simple gurl! thank you rhodi-hugs to you- i finally got a cd i've wanted for years-hubby down loaded it for me-kisses to you- "the knitters"-excene cervenka(hope the spelling is right) and john doe -used to be in my favorite punk band "x"after they broke up they did this for awhile-don't know when the knitters ended-or maybe they are still happening-i'm just out of the scene ya know. anyway-the album is "poor little critter on the road."-effin awesome! thanks to pippi for the correct spelling of effin! the best rendition of "rock island line" i've ever heard. exene-I LOVE YOU! you rock gurl!

thanks to sara for teaching me how to do links! sorry for the weird spacing of this post but i'm still trying to figure this stuff all out!