Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Apr 30, 2017

Spring things: storms, dyeing

Bundle of nerves here, two days of storms racing through, a great deal of rain, moments of terrific lightning and thunder, and, last night, a brief pounding of hail. Lily trembles from head to toe and heads for the basement - even the sound of heavy rain has her alert, anxious.

I may not tremble from head to toe, but our history with rain in the basement and flood losses leaves me with a triggered anxiety when heavy rain is in the picture, a regular patrol of the perimeter of the basement which is my main fiber studio. Wet vac at the ready, dehumidifier going, and snake-check & replacement. (Snakes = 3 foot tubes of absorbent material to position at vulnerable points, guaranteed to slurp up a gallon of water.)

One more day is promised of gloomy gray, and stormy moments and rain. One more day of reframing, of reminding myself of water's joy,  how the plants grow so well, of gratitude for the cycle of rain and sun.

Meanwhile, I  put my herb plants in containers yesterday during a lull: three varieties of basil, thyme, lavender, rosemary. I went ahead and set them outside on the little brick patio at my back steps. And this morning, they seem happy, none the worse for the hail.


Also yesterday, inspired by this post by Jude Hill at Spirit Cloth, I started some small dyeing in mason jars. I had never dyed with whole turmeric root before and found some at a local shop, the Asian Market in downtown Terre Haute. 

Jude's method is just to boil the plant matter a bit,  add some alum (1/4 tsp should do), and transfer to a mason jar or two, adding the bits of cloth and thread to dye. Like her, I'm not drawn to using yellow and turmeric yields a bright and vivid yellow, but I like the idea of over-dyeing it, or using small bits here and there.

I put white cotton squares and rectangles in one jar, and some colored fabric, a couple of kantha pieces, in another. In each, I put two skeins of embroidery floss, a grey, a pink, a brown and a color I can't remember. I wish I'd taken a before picture of the materials.

I am also wishing for some sun to give some more heat to the process, but that's not happening.  So we shall see.

Apr 28, 2017

reading this


— John Inslee, 0 to 9, issue #5, January 1969

Apr 27, 2017


I think I am using up all my online communication allowance on Facebook. My blog became sparse and sporadic when I found my way there. Wondering today if it has to be either/or.

The very next day after my last post I got sick with the Coughing Thing That Lasts Six Weeks. And I found myself unable to resume working on the 365 Embroidery. I've given myself permission to let it go. The illness and the direction I want to take with stitching have moved me into a different space.

On the ottoman are bits and pieces of what I am playing with:

Nothing is finished. Little is connected. The bits are afraid of commitment.
(Pottery faces come from Lyn Belisle's Etsy shop Earth Shards, which is on a break at the time of this writing.)

A lot is going on inside me, I seem to be moving into a different space. Always becoming. Never finished. C'est moi.

Different relationships are springing up between me and fiber arts. For a time, knitting and crochet were giving me no pleasure, so I stopped. Now I am knitting again, and finding the rhythms useful.

I am remembering 'small is beautiful.' Letting go of the notion I will ever create large works in fiber, those sculptural pieces that dance in my head, that require installation and large spaces for display, storage. No, I work small. I like  working small. Right now that is taking the form of these pouches:

Knitted body, crocheted top edge. Trying to write up a pattern. I think it is simple, that it will be good practice for pattern writing. But I find myself getting lost in trying to explain every detail. Every little nuance of the way I've made these, or perhaps the why.

Can't I just write: "Thread drawcord through the dc round'?
Must I write: "Thread drawcord through the  dc round, over one dc, under two dc, ending with at least one or two dc between the ends of drawcord" because I've found that threading pattern is most pleasing to me?

I think I must simplify, be concise. Allow whoever might use the pattern to find their own just-right threading and finishing touches.

What goes in these pouches? Little treasures, crystals, herbs, I think.