Monday, November 25, 2013

half a moonday

November's calendar moon cloth is coming along. Those trims are from the 1970's when my mom worked at a fabric and sewing machine store called Designer's Fabric Center in Dickinson, North Dakota. It was the place to go for high-quality fabric and Viking sewing machines and she loved working there. When the store closed, she bought what seemed like half the inventory, more than she could use during her lifetime, including a big steel pattern cabinet with those huge drawers. I sure wish I had that right now. After my mom passed, my sister and I took turns choosing fabric, patterns, buttons, trims galore -- what we could pack in suitcases or seemed worth shipping -- and still ended up leaving a bunch that went to auction. Anyway, I think the orange and gold pompom trim might work on the moon cloth, a 70's vibe for sure.

Just some other things I've been doing -- it seems a person can grow English holly here in Colorado and even get those beautiful red berries if the plant is placed in a spot with heavy shade. We grow Oregon holly here, no problem, but I didn't know we could grow English holly. Keeping Ms. Holly alive in the house until spring is the challenge for now. A red squirrel nutcracker was fun to wrap for a holiday party last week. Can anyone look at that squirrel without smiling?

It's planting time for the paperwhites -- various containers, gravel, planting mix and moss. Nice to get my fingernails dirty again. Winter weather has set in here -- by the time these bulbs bloom, we'll be craving all things green.

Today is a waning moonday in Virgo. Fittingly, to go with the half-moon cloth, it is also a half-moon day. Waning moon energy helps us to take care of the business at hand, tie up loose ends, and let go of the unnecessary or the unachievable -- while Virgo enhances problem-solving, practical decision-making, and a mighty work ethic. These are qualities that I will need over the next few days.

Wishing you a nice week.

Friday, November 22, 2013

a leafy picture story

A picture story of two leafy dye bundles -- serviceberry, pear, plum, rose and lunaria leaves on silk and wool. I know neither fiber needs a mordant but I soaked the wool anyway for about a half hour in hot water and a smidgen of alum. The same leaves were placed on each cloth, although not in the same order, which I should've done, darn it. But the photos will help to compare the outcomes.

The bundles were steamed with the leftover alum water for an hour, then placed in plastic bags under a pile of books (this tip is from Kathy) for about a week. They spent a few days outside to dry out a little and today was the day -- the kitchen smells very ripe if you know what I mean.

Amazing, maybe the best outcome I've ever achieved with leaves. After a few more days, I'll iron them. And after that, well, it's a mystery.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. I might look for more leaves when the snow melts. xo

P.S. I realized my photos of the wool outcome were of the underside of the cloth, so I've taken and added one more picture -- the third photo of the wool outcome is of the right side. What a difference. Just got too excited, I guess.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

an orange thing


I started that top piece years ago, I think when Anthropologie first came to Denver and they had those big pillows with random applique, embroidery, and needlepoint all over them. I really enjoy this way of doing applique -- fitting colorful little pieces into small areas. When I don't know what to do and am trying to make a decision on a sewing project, I sometimes pick this one up for a few minutes. It's the epitome of slow cloth.

It dawned on me this morning that there's an orange thing going. From the sun/moon cloth to the random applique to new on-sale hand towels. To surrender to this orange thing -- the half-sun cloth is becoming the November moon cloth. November's calendar cloth needs some toning down so it's soaking in the acorn dye-bath for a while.

Today is a waning moon tuesday in the sign of Gemini. Gemini days feel light and airy and energetic -- good for running errands, making preparations, and brainstorming. Gemini also makes us feel very social, so meetings and outings with friends might come together now with very little effort. I always notice that Gemini days are fun.

To a week doing whatever we want. How about that?

Friday, November 15, 2013

t-shirt totebag

A few nights ago I was on a roll with the little half-sun cloth -- I sat at my sewing table under the OttLite and there was no stopping me. A moon joins the sun, the colors satisfy some craving I have inside of me lately.

I've pretty much left the bees alone this past summer. Last week I suited up to take a look and also slide one of the cozies into what would be considered attic space for us. They were very gentle and seem to be doing just fine without me. When it gets colder, we have another cozy to go over the top of the bee house but we're not quite there yet.

The black & bright floral of that inexpensive long-sleeved t-shirt is why I bought it in the first place, but it shrunk in length so much that I couldn't wear it anymore. I've been hanging onto it for a while now only because I love the colors so much -- and today it became useful once again. It's a t-shirt bag. I sewed up the bottom, cut out the neck and armholes, and there it is.

Happy weekending -- the full moon will grace us once again on Sunday. In that soft chair there will be evening cocktails, daytime bird-watching, anytime reading and music. And maybe some new knitting  -- I really like the wurm hat but haven't decided yet. xo

Monday, November 11, 2013

see clearly moonday

The little October calendar moon cloth is all sewn up, so I'm poking around, trying to decide what's in the stars for me next, in a sewing way. I came across these tucked-away sun and moon projects on linen -- no progress whatsoever on either of them since they were begun. Maybe the sashiko moon just wants to be a sashiko moon and no more. I want to call the sun piece there goes the sun instead of here comes the sun. As the days get shorter, a sunset is maybe more fitting than a sunrise.

I made some leafy dye bundles this morning that are cooking on the stove right now. Then I hunted for flowers to make a small bouquet. To do that in November is unheard of, but it's just glorious outside. Most of the autumn color here in Colorado is yellow, but we're trying to change that and it's a little redder and orangier every year.

Today is a waxing moonday in Pisces. We are well-inclined to continue to strengthen and expand ventures and projects under the growing moon. Some Pisces associations are heightened intuition, desire to retreat, imaginative, dreamy, and more idealistic than realistic.

To seeing clearly.

Friday, November 8, 2013

incense box turned treasure chest

The little October moon cloth is #11 in a 13-moon cloth sewing series. It was fun to make but finding time for it was not so easy. Because it's meant to be a sewing ritual, it's nice to not feel rushed and to be able to sink into the cloth and the meaning and the actual sewing. I really don't know where my time goes. When people ask what I've been doing I go blank. Maybe I should say everything and nothing. Or on what level are we talking here?

Just realized my little incense box is a perfect container for small treasures. And smells so good. The white lady vase and the plate are old thrift store finds, still in good favor.

What I'm wearing tonight -- it's a new silk tie bag made by Deanna and my name came up for her giveaway. I love it.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. I'll be here doing everything and nothing. xo

Monday, November 4, 2013

first november moonday

Almost, but not quite, finished with the October full moon cloth. Just a little blanket stitching left, a bit more stitch on the house, some ties to hang it with, and that should do it. It looks big here, but it's only about 4" x 8".

After harvesting a head of cabbage, if the plant is left to grow some more, it will produce baby cabbages. These four were from one of the pointed head cabbage plants in my garden. They look a little rough but were fine under those outer leaves. And they were just the right amount to make Colcannon on Halloween night -- one pound cabbage to 3 pounds potatoes.

Today is a waxing crescent moonday in the sign of Sagittarius. With the many changes outside, it feels like a page has been turned. So I'm settling in, thinking about November with its seemingly wide expanse of days -- waiting, watching, and wondering what new things lie ahead.

To the wonders of November. And here's how I make Colcannon.


1 pound cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup butter, at least
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 pounds potatoes, can use more or less
1 1/4 cups half & half

Cook cabbage in boiling salted water until barely done. Drain and roll up in a cloth towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Melt 2 T. of the butter in large skillet -- add onion, cabbage, salt & pepper. Saute until onion is soft. Peel, cube, and boil potatoes in water until done. Mash potatoes, gradually adding enough half & half and butter to make them fluffy. Add cabbage mixture and dot with more butter.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

earthing and singing

All I can say is I found this documentary on the concept of earthing, or grounding, very worth my while. It's so simple -- skin-to-skin contact with our beautiful earth is healing, energizing, relaxing, protective, whatever your body needs. I wrote a little about it here. If it's too cold outside to be barefooted, the same benefits occur with bare feet on a basement concrete floor. Also, touching something growing in the earth or using earth-grounding devices.

Listening to the cup song in Gaelic might make you feel good, too!

Happy weekending -- I'm planting garlic and stitching a mooncloth. Barefooted, it's warm outside. xo