Sunday, September 15, 2013

flowers, grapes and solar dyeing

 so, while everything else in the garden and flower beds is winding down for autumn, here's the delphinium looking like it's ready for another round.  this totally surprised me as i thought they were thru and have been ignoring and not watering them for about a month.  the earth mother often surprises me with her bounty!
and then there's grape harvest getting close to happening!  these are probably Pinot, but i don't really keep up well with what's what in Jim's vineyard.  i do know,  however, that the muscats are looking full and ripe and juicy... and the bird and yellow jackets seem to also be taking notice.  this is prob. my favorite wine and i'm hoping the grapes get harvested before the wildlife takes its toll.

lots of  harvesting and crushing and dinners for the friends who come out to help,  before we leave for Crete on Oct. 17.


and then there's my experimenting with the new solar dyes.  i've only dabbled a little bit, but am learning as i go.  have to say tho that so far am not really impressed.  i have used the blue, purple and green and the colors come out pretty tame, not the bright and vibrant that i love.  not nearly finished learning and experimenting tho.

 here is one fail.  i didn't cover the fabric with the dye completely.  the fern would not stay in place, so i didn't get the result i wanted.  not really crazy about the fabric i used for this either.  it's sort of a dull yellow with the design done in gold.  this was a blue dye i used.... nah.

this one is a bit better.  used white fabric and purple dye and this time i did get the fabric pretty well covered with the dye.  thinking i might use this in a quilt for Zylie, i cut out some "Z"s from heavy stiff paper... almost cardboard, and they stayed on the fabric pretty well.  also, a stem from a bush... which stayed on the fabric nicely.  so, after painting the damp fabric with the dye, using a foam "brush", putting the cutouts and plant stem on, i put it out in the direct sun.  it was dry in about 20 minutes... and this was the outcome.  probably useable.

i really like the effect on this piece.  after i wet the fabric, squeezed out the water and laid it out on heavy plastic and brushed on the green dye, the wrinkles left from the squeezing gave the result an uneven look that i do like!  not really visible in this photo are very little dots like the effect of sprinkling dye powder on it... interesting!

i planted some sweet potato vine in 2 of my hanging baskets this year and love how it looks.  i had no idea that it would have blossoms and am happy that they appeared!  the foliage is a gorgeous deep maroon/mahogony and sets off the delicate pink blossoms beautifully!

last Sunday, Maggie, Jake and Judy came out for lunch... which they brought and to my delight it was BLTs!!  lovely visit.  and Jake seems to be adjusting to life in Portlandia quite well... big change from living in Brooklyn for years.

it's been a good week!  and i'm trying not to get deep into dread of the rain and cloudy days predicted for the coming week.  and then the inevitable grey days and months coming soon.  guess i better get an attitude adjustment going here... or up the antidepressants.

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