Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Urban Science walk

Last weekend a group of floral designers put on a public walk through one of the designers woods as a fund raiser for one of our public schools science programs. Designers from Mi. and other states each designed an area of the walk with natural elements. After dark they lit many candles along the walk ways. This is just a few of the areas.

This was a gazebo as you walked in, I loved the grape vine roof. Inside they had glass bowls with candles hanging. We hope to build our own next summer in our back yard.
This is one of the first stops, a hand made stone leaf with willow basket arrangement.

Another arrangement. A pond (mirror).
I believe this was suppose to represent of gardening bench.

These trees and mushrooms were one of my favorites, the tops of the mushrooms were covered with lambs ear leaves and trees with maple leaves.

This was beautiful with the candles glowing in the dark. Crushed recycled glass made up the water in this pond, note the blue herons in the background.
This was a neat idea , red willow branches tied together at each end with a fish bowl holding a candle in the middle. I'm going to make some next summer for around our patio.

This was tall grasses and branches made to look like a huge wave coming on shore.
This angel was made by some of the girl students from the school.

This sculpture had tons of granite stacked up with grape vine curlycues coming out. An old wagon with swans (bodies made of white birch).
This group of designers is called Urban Science and they have a web site with slides from their last year show called urbanscience.org If your interested look for the slide show under I believe tickets.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chocolate as a herb?

I went to my herb society meeting and the topic was chocolate, after "thoroughly studying" it we decided it could be in the herb family! It was a fun evening, the displays were so nice. This planter is full of chocolate mint, if you've never smelled it, it smells and tastes just like chocolate mint.
This was a wonderful antique hot chocolate pot and antique chocolate Easter mold. The speaker had a lot of wonderful old chocolate molds and chocolate samples from all over the world.
Here we are dipping fruit and sweets in the chocolate fountain. We also dipped in fresh mint leaves.
Here's a cute bit of chocolate trivia. Why is it called Devil's Food? By the end of the seventeenth century, chocolate houses had spread from France and England to the Netherlands. By coincidence, the group of Pilgrims that would later sail to Plymouth Rock took up residence next door to one of Amsterdam's biggest chocolate houses in 1690. The Pilgrims, who stoned people for adultery and basically repudiated anything that looked enjoyable, watched as the chocolate-house patrons cavorted next door. A few nights was all it took to convince the Pilgrims that chocolate was the devil's work. They promptly christened chocolate "Devils food," and outlawed chocolate in Plymouth Colony. Years later, when a cake made of chocolate gained popularity in Amsterdam, the bakers took one look at the dark, obviously sinful cake, and named it Devil's Food.
I just bought some autumn pansy's from the farmers market, the name is "Scaredy Cat". They are orange and black. The orange type have wonderful purple black lines running through the face that look like ink lines. My pumpkin in the background is a Cinderella variety. This is a picture of the black pansy (I forgot to rotate the picture). They last long into the cold weather.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Natural dyes from around the world

I spent the summer dying with native Mi. plants, before Deb came I sent to Dharma for natural dyes from around the world. We had great success with them. Here's Deb beginning not long after she arrived at my house. This moss I bought quite a few years ago from S. Dakota (it was dried), it made a bright yellow which I over dyed at the end with indigo.
This is alkanet bark, it dyed a purple gray.

Deb and I the last day at the stove.

This is a sampling of our all our colors. From left to right, cochineal, alkanet, madder root, annatto, cutch, osage orange.
cutch, osage orange, moss overdyed with indigo, all other yellows overdyed with indigo, the last one was one of my boring golds manipulated, and overdyed with cochineal. My favorite fabrics are my boring gold ones from summer manipulated and overdyed.
We manipulated (tied) these different ways and overdyed them. They make great applique fabric.
My final picture, I can't wait to cut into them. (Deb, your fabric will be in the mail next week)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Deb's visit

I had been so busy during Debs visit and then, when I got back to work I had to catch up here, so this is the first chance I had to post some pictures. I took a lot of pictures of Debs classes and lecture but most of them were with her camera. Here's a few from mine. This is Deb helping Mary at the first class "Thread Play". It was a great class, I think everyone learned a lot. Some students were asking her to come back next year, that works for me!

This is one of her pieces I loved, She made a crazy quilt clock for her quilt studio. There is so much detail the picture does it no justice. The clock's face is the spider web (she left the hands home). There are two pictures on there of her grandchildren situated behind old glass lens.I love this little piece, its the owl from Harry Potter. The owl is needle felted and hand embroidered. Its so realistic.

This piece is all her thread work. It's beautiful.
When Deb lived in Michigan she went with my husband and I to the astronomy club one evening to see the comet Hykatake. As we were leaving I turned around and said "wouldn't that silhouette make a great quilt". She agreed and went home and that night made this quilt! I was suppose to inherit it when she died, but instead she gave it to me during her quilt lecture at our guild meeting. I couldn't believe it, I love it.
Deb, designs and makes beautiful reversible purses. Before she went home she left this one as a gift for my niece. This is one side with her beautiful machine quilting designs and some beading.
This is the other side. I know my niece will love it.
She brought so many other wonderful pieces, I wish I had more pictures. In between her classes we played in my dye studio and came up with some great fabric pieces. I will post them on Thursday.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dye Studio

My dye studio/summer room is finished and I love it! Well, there's a few things left to do, next year. This is a view from one end looking out our back yard. To the right is my stove, table and work area. The little door walks into my dinning room. My antique stove, I use to do a lot of canning on it, before I learned how to quilt.
The antique table was my grandparents, my dad says his moms, my mom says hers! I repainted it.
Above my new door I put up my fabric print blocks. Two are from hand-carved from Africa, two are antique hand-made from copper and two are antique hand-carved wood. My little sitting area with my antique wool wheel.
I love the open rafters with my new fan, I don't know if you can see the fan pulls I made,I used two bone fish, two turquoise disks from China and glass beads.
This wall hanging I made 13 or so years ago. I wanted it to look like leaves floating down the river in fall, the boarders and some of the leaves are the first fabrics I dyed with natural dyes. Their cotton. This is the cutest caterpillar, it has a red head, then four white tuffs of hair down his back and then what looks like a tail!
Signs of Fall are coming fast here, I picked this leaf up in our yard and placed it on this stone leaf my mom made.
Thursday my good friend Deb from Alaska will be staying with me for a week, in between her teaching classes and a lecture for our guild we will be in the studio playing with natural dyes. I ordered quite a few that come from around the world. I want to do some manipulation and over dying with the wool fabric. I'll post them next Thurs. after she leaves.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo