Wednesday, November 02, 2011

This and That

I still haven't taken down all of the Halloween stuff.  Yesterday, the plumbers were working on the new addition to the laundry room, and I stayed in my bedroom reading.  I couldn't play in the studio because they were adding a sink up there.

The addition is very small (but then the laundry room is so tiny that anything will be an improvement); it will give me a little more space, a built in ironing board, and a shelf, hopefully, for folding clothes.

Anyway, I spent most of the afternoon going back and forth between a mystery and India Flint's book on eco dyeing.  I started it about a month ago, but was side-tracked by various other projects and the R.I.P. Challenge.

Yesterday, I started at the beginning again, hoping that it would be easier to digest (the chemistry aspect and multiple mordants tend to overwhelm me).  As I suspected, a second reading was beneficial -- and third and fourth readings will probably be even better.

Flint's eco dyed fabrics are so beautiful (slow and complex cloth) and just looking at her work is a real treat.  Her influence is felt all over the textile world and more and more people are venturing into this environmentally friendly method of dyeing cloth.

She uses eucalyptus in many of her fabrics, and I regret even more the loss of our eucalyptus tree to the tornado.  I need to get another one for this house (although we have a postage stamp yard) because both Fee and I loved that tree.  It was fast growing, too.  I planted a baby that grew mighty fast.

  You can see the eucalyptus at the end of the path.  It had grown much larger before the tornado hit.  Terrible picture, but it had grown this much in just a couple of years or so.

early spring; the comfrey hasn't gone crazy yet
early summer
Oh, how I miss my garden.  This one simply can never be the same.  This yard is so small and already planted in a simpler style with lots of shrubs.  The soil isn't very good either.

I spent hours and hours, days, weeks, months... shoveling huge piles of eco mulch, creating my old beds; the goal was that the grass would just be for pathways.  It had finally gotten there. My beloved perennials came back each year and many annuals re-seeded to the point of invasion.

 Oh, how I loved my Queen Anne's Lace, comfey, daylillies, etc..  It is sad to think of all the dye material no longer available, but maybe I'll have a little more incentive to work on this new garden.  All I have to do is dig up dozens of box woods and double dig the soil.  Huh?  I don't guess that is going to happen.  There is a great deal of difference between 50 something and 60 something.

I'm looking forward to next week and our little trip to North Carolina.  We will fly to Chapel Hill and rent a car and see as much as we can in 4-5 days.  I suspect it will be just a taste of what is on offer!

What's going on at your house?


  1. Your garden is lovely. What's going at our house: Relandscaping the front yard, working on my son's Christmas prezzie quilt. And cooking, cleaning, etc etc.

  2. Good luck with addition Jenclair! You can still make a nice garden even though you have a small yard. You would be surprised what you can fit in a small garden, believe me I know! I wish you were coming to Charlotte, NC. That is where I live-we could have met! Enjoy your 4-5 days in our state!

  3. You're right. The more that I read India's book, the more that I find and take in. It;s been very inspirational and informative. It's also changing the way that I look at the world (or as India says "the whirled") around me. Happy reading Jenclair!

  4. Rian - The garden at the other house was so colorful, and that is not the case in the new one.

    You have to work in so many things between trips, Rian! Good luck on the landscaping and the quilt. Bah humbug to the cleaning, but your cooking is always a thumbs up.

    Sherri - It isn't the size that defeats me, Sherri. The entire tiny yard is planted with box wood and larger shrubbery. I'd have to dig up all of that AND do something about the soil. But who knows, maybe I'll get around to it.

    We do want to visit Charlotte-- probably not this trip, though. I'll be sure to call if (and when) we do!

    Valerie - The book has so much interesting information, doesn't it? I've really enjoyed reading and dreaming!

  5. Wish I could ship you some of our Eucalyptus...they are ubiquitous in CA...We have seedlings all over the yard, besides the many large ones. I do love to hear the wind in the tops of the trees, and I love their smell after a rain. (However, they are so bad in a fire prone area, like a huge bucket of fuel waiting for a match) I'm so sad you lost yours =-( I would gladly share if I could...

  6. Debby- Your climate must be perfection for them! Sorry, though, that they are a problem as a fire hazard. Too many destructive fires in CA.

    I know you would share, but all I have to do is go to the nursery that carries them. Maybe more than one now. :)


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