Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Dyeing with willow bark.

At a Regia meeting, the guys were making a wattle fence. Very cool but I forgot the camera of course. It takes a ton of material. They were making it out of Bog Willow (or at least what we all grew up calling Bog Willow) at Earendel Farm. There is a huge stand of it which has part they want to cut back in order to create new straight growth for basket weaving. We noticed that the inner bark was bright yellow, so we stripped a bunch of cut branches and the trunk and I took the bark home.

I half filled the largest dye pot I have with bark and topped it up with warm water. I let it sit until the next afternoon when we started up a fire and I cooked it for several hours. The water was a deep gold. I removed the bark and it was colourless! I popped in 5 grams of alum and then put in 45 grams of Shetland wool. I cooked it for several hours more and let it cool in the pot.
Ick.. this is what I got.

Earlier this spring I put up a huge pot of bog willow leaves for a dye vat and we got a very pale yellowy green. Not enough colour for the huge amount of leaves we had, to bother with in my estimation. So Bog Willow isn't going to be one of my more favoured dye plants, I don't think.

Friday, 21 August 2009

The Wedding

I don't normally do family pics here but since I was asked about the wedding :)
Here is the bride and the groom. I'm so proud of my little girl!
It was an outdoor wedding, held in the spectacular gardens of a bed and breakfast. After a summer of wet, cool and dreary weather, the day was perfect; warm, sunny and not to humid!

Of course the bride was beautiful. She chose the colours of deep pink, almost fuchia and a lime green as a wedding theme. These have been her favourite colours since she was able to choose!

The wedding party consisted of her best friend, her brothers and the groom's sister was the groom's best person. Here are the boys. My daughter spent a great deal of time making sure they were dressed perfectly. Two of them provided music for the ceremony. The middle lad plays bass guitar which really wasn't needed for the quiet chords and riffs which were played, so he gamely held the flowers and readings.

The boys and the groom all wore black Converse running shoes. What you can't see in these pictures is that my daughter has on custom made Pink, lined with green print high top Converse running shoes. This was a near miss until a dear friend in Seattle made sure we could get them as the company doesn't ship to Canada.

The Elora Mill was a lovely spot for a reception with wonderful ambiance and great food. My daughter told me afterwards that it was better than she even imagined it to be and was a perfect day. It really was.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

I'm Back

From moving and the wedding.
Moving was the worst move ever. I'm tired of cleaning the new house but there is still tons left to do. Everything in the new house is covered with grime.. one of the drawbacks I guess to moving to a century home with few renovations and updates done to it. On the upside though is the outdoor space is quite alluring. This is the house from the back. That deck has been calling me for tea times and meals. It is perfect for taking spinning breaks and I'm sure if I could figure out how to get a loom out there, I'd be weaving there as well.

There is a tiny man-made pond with water lilies. The poor dog fell in the first day when he was snuffling about. Luckily the gold fish didn't seem to be bothered much. I'm not fond of gold fish but apparently they are needed to consume the algae, so they have my blessing as the sound of the pond is lovely.

This is the front door. Well, side door in realty, but the one that is most obvious to use 'cause the front door has no real pathway or access to it. The inside door here has the most miserable of locks, requiring precision timing to actually open. But this is pretty and inviting, which perhaps makes up for the fact that it may take a while to actually get into the house.

There is a weedy garden area that I've started clearing out. I've got radishes and lettuce planted just to have something growing. The two Dyer's Greenweed bushes that I transplanted will hopefully take to their new homes. We're planning on where to put the new garden bed so we can accomodate the dye plants as well as the veggies. While the current garden is bigger than I had before, it isn't big enough for what I have envisioned :) There is a green house so I'll be able to grow new Madder, Woad and hopefully Dyer's Knotweed plants for next year. As well there are plans for heritage tomatoes, herbs and other plants.