Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hats from around the world

Whenever I travel I look for traditional textiles and fabric from that country. They're my very favorite souvenirs to buy. My niece is in the Navy and patrolling the waters in the Middle East. When they land in different ports she picks me up textiles. I just received this hat that she bought in Bahrain. It's worn by men and is called ghafiyah, it goes underneath the head scarf, you can't see it when the head dress is worn. Even though it is not seen it is beautifully embroidered. I believe this is a boys due to its small size.

Even the top of the hat is embroidered.

While I was photographing the hat last night, I thought I'd show you some of my other hats. I really didn't start out to collect men's hats but it just sort of happened. This hat is from Nigeria, Africa. My daughters in-laws sent it to my husband with a traditional outfit. They also sent me a beautiful women's traditional outfit.

When my husband and I were in England the friends we were staying with son gave me one of his police helmets. What a fun treasure, I have it sitting on some of the Liberty of London fabric I bought while we were there.

When I was in Peru I bought this traditional hand-knit men's hat. This is the type they wear in the Andes Mountains. It's setting on a traditional woven blanket I bought there.

Women's aren't as exciting, I bought this "hat" while in Kenya, the women wrap it in beautiful ways around their head or they use it to carry their babies on their backs. They also use it like a back pack caring sticks for their fire, etc.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hand-made paper

The topic of this months meeting at Herb Society was learning how to make paper. Our meeting was held at one of our members art studio. She had a 6 large pans of the slurry (chopped up paper and water) mixed up and ready to go. We each we're able to make some. I made 4, planning to put them together for a gardening journal with some white drawing paper in between.

Their was a lot of different dried herbs to add in. I love how even though the flowers were dried their color still dyed the paper. The newspaper will be taken off when the paper is dried and set.

This slurry had a hint of purple in it. I added dried purple flowers and dried green scented geranuim leaves.

This slurry had a hint of green.

And my last piece I sprinkled a lot of dried rose petals, it is Herb of the Year.

I'd forgotten to take my camera to the meeting, the owner P.J. let me come back the next day to take pictures and let my grandchildren each make their own piece.
This is the procedure, first you slide your screen under the slurry, (while little brother puts his hands in playing)

Then you shake it back and forth to get out all the water out you can.

While little brother sprinkles herbs on his piece.

Flip the screen over on newspaper and use a rolling pin to squish the excess water off.
Other brother is gently pressing newspaper to soak up more water from his.

Sprinkling on herbs.

Lots to choose from.

Their finished paper which will become the covers of their summer drawing books.

Have you been sky watching, with our warm weather we've been sitting out at night taking in the evening sky show. In the southwestern sky Jupiter and Venus have been visible. Venus orbits the sun far more swiftly than Jupiter, now it is catching up and passing Jupiter.

As we move into early Spring Jupiter will sink in the sky, becoming lost in the glare of the sun.

Meanwhile, Mars begins it's biannual visit to our sky. Mars is the reddish object rising over the tree tops almost due east as darkness falls. It will remain very prominent for the next couple of months, migrating more southeast during April, by May it will be rapidly fading.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rose Herb Conference

I wanted to share a few pictures from this years Herb Conference, even though we had a easy winter it still was cloudy, and cold. This conference comes at a great time of year, when everyone is ready for Spring.
There are many educational displays set up around the conference, all with the rose theme this year.

The following are a few.

A new vendor had the most wonderful herbal topiarys.

On the outside of her pots moss was growing.

I also loved the plants growing in the hollow tree stumps.

And little plants growing in the hand-made pots.

One of the lectures was on eating "black" vegetables. The darker the color vege. the healthier it is.
Eat dark!
My beautiful salad at our banquet. Roses were used a lot of different ways in our meals. How fun.

And crushed organic roses used in a chicken dish.

There were plant auctions, I love this herb garden chair.

A lot of creative people attend the conference, every year this group of women make new wool accessories. This year was wool felted roses.

The Dr. who spoke went on and on about how great this additive is for our gardens. It's to help enrich the soil. You can buy it at our local garden centers. This brand also has a lot of organic products.

A few of the plants I bought, a rosemary wreath and a shamrock plant (oxalis) in bloom for St. Patrick's Day.

A beautiful rosemary topiary. Love the moss growing on the pot. Looks like an old antique pot from France.

Back home it was sunny but still cold. My little sunshine with the ice from the birdbath.

The boys played outside all day Sat. and built a "fort" on our back yard property, complete with tables and chairs for their lunch.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Note: Not sure why I have this awful lettering on my blog, hopefully it corrects itself.
Maybe it's the solar flares from the Sun!

Worm Moon

I just returned home after attending The Michigan Herb Conference. It's was a wonderful 2 day conference with a lot of great speakers, plants and herbs for sale, great food and fellowship. I'll tell you more about it next week, but right now I want to show you my new book I got at the conference. It's a wonderful book onthe changing of the seasons, gardening, the earth, the moon and stars, animals, birds, and bugs in the north eastern states. I heard the author speak last summer and have been waiting for her book to come out. It has a lot of wonderful ideas, stories and projects to do with children. We (my grandchildren and I) began last night with going out to look at this months full moon called by Native Americans in our area as Worm moon or Crow moon or Sugar moon.

I did my little moon as the "Worm moon", with the warming days the earth worms are now coming to the top of the soil/lawn to gather bits of food and in the process they are aerating and fertilizing our lawns. This is such a fun little quilt to make, I sit in bed and applique and quilt each block, and on clear nights the moon shines in. (This is pinned to a much larger wall hanging for the picture).

Speaking of crows I made this piece a few years ago with sun-printing dyes. I took a white piece of fabric and painted the dyes on it and placed it out in the sun under our apple tree. It was very windy and the apple blossoms were blowing off the tree and landing on my fabric, wherever they landed the sun did not reach the fabric and the color did not activate. So the little white prints are petal prints. How fun is that? The whole time I worked on the piece 3 crows sat in the trees cackling, one ended up on my quilt. I cut him out, quilted and beaded him before sewing it on the background. I beaded the background of the quilt and added a little stream of ribbon flying around.
Crow moon has a lot of legends to it, one being if you see crows in February it will be an early spring. Full crow moon links the sound of calling crows to the end of winter. By Spring they are settling down to nest.
Sugar moon told the people when it's time to tap the sugar maple trees to get the sap and make maple syrup.

I stayed at the Kellogg Center on Michigan State's campus during the conference. I passed by this wonderful piece of Kuba cloth every day. This was hand-woven, natural dyed and hand stitched in Africa. The men traditionally do the weaving while the women do the hand stitching.

I hope this comes in clearly enough for you to read.

The hand appliqued symbols. Wish this was hanging in my house!

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo