Monday, July 6, 2015

Foutth of July weekend weaving

Saturday morning up and out I go into the yard gathering flowers for a table arrangement. Usually we're camping and I use my father's old minnow bucket (with a jar inside to hold the water), this year were home but I use the bucket filled with old vacation memories.

After collecting patriotic fabrics for years finally in 2000 I made this crazy quilt flag table cloth.

I don't remember the name of the patterns maker. It was simple method for crazy quilting and a lot of fun.

Last evening I went out to see what's ready to pick for weaving.
The rabbits have been terrible this year eating almost all of my dye plants. I'm very, very upset. My chocolate cosmos flowers that I spent 3 years looking for and finally finding seeds on line were coming up beautifully until Peter rabbit and his family ate almost all of them and other dye plants  one night.

I do have a lot of sweet peas and some dyers chamomile that were ready to weave.
A flower dyed wool strip completes this holiday weaving.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Herbal Sugars

After processing in a jar wool layered with cochineal, madder root and osage orange bark for a few months I finally washed it out. The wool almost looked marbled with layers of different color.
I do wish I hadn't put in the bark after sitting so long the bark left some dull tan colors.

June 24th, St. John's day, the St. John's wort is ready to be picked.

Besides being a wonderful dye plant it is a very important medicinal plant.

This year I'm infusing it in olive oil, very useful for sunburn and sore muscles.
I started with mostly flowers and buds, filling the jar as full as possible then at the top put in a few stalks to help hold the flowers under the oil. Fill with olive oil, use a butter knife to push the flowers aside to get out all the air bubbles. Air bubbles left in and flowers at the surface will cause mold. I left it loosely capped for a week, getting out the bubbles every day.

Now tightly capped it needs to sit in the hot sun for 4 to 6 weeks to process. The oil will turn a dark red.  When its ready, strain thoroughly, discarding the plant material. Place in clean jar and store in cool, dark place. Hopefully you won't need it but it's ready if you do.

Next up lavender sugar. Layers of lavender and sugar. By the end of summer use to sprinkle on home made sugar cookies and desserts.

And one more sugar using lemon balm and lemon thyme. Another topping for baking.

I used the herbs fresh so instead of capping tightly I placed a napkin in place of the lid to let the moisture from the herbs escape. Also I mix it every couple of days.
With the rose petal sugar I added rose geranium leaves for more flavor.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo