I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Friday, June 12, 2015

Where have I been... what I'm I doing...

This is one of those months. I have been coming and going, meeting myself in the middle and not staying home much.... and when I do get home... by myself... this happens.
The Prospector and I have been camping at Spicer Meadow Reservoir on Ebbetts pass for two weeks and I came home for three days last week, for a social get-together with friends, to water the garden, check on a few things and bring some supplies back up to our campsite. Well, I headed to town to do some shopping and pick up mail at the Post Office and this is what I drive down into at our entrance. Sometimes mother nature doesn't really cooperate with us very well.
It appeared that one old Pine tree fell against another and they both came down.... in the middle of the night... without a sound... without wind, rain or tornadoes. Well, we don't have tornadoes very often, here in California, but someone I know suggested that a bear could have been rubbing its backside on the tree and pushed it over against the other one. Ha, ha, ha... That's as good a story as any. 
So thanks to a really great neighbor with a chainsaw, I was able to get out, drive into town and return home again. He and his friend cut the trees away and dragged them to one side with a chain and a truck. We will, now, have to deal with cleaning up the cut Pine trees that are lining our road. We have awesome neighbors.

So I'm not really caught up with anything at this point. I came home, with the dogs on Wednesday and Steve arrived today. It's good to be home... but now the RV needs cleaning out. And... there's laundry to do etc., etc., etc.

SOooooo... I need to finish a "second day" post about the Nuno Felting/Botanical Dyeing class that I went to at the end of May. My last post left us with wrapped Nuno felted scarves that were rolled up with  Eucalyptus leaves inside. Remember?
We drove home after a long day of making a Nuno felted scarf and preparing the scarf for Botanical dyeing.
On Thursday we arrived to find that the scarves had been steamed and dyed in the leaf tea and were now ready to open up. What excitement.
I may be missing a step here and there, because we also went to lunch and wandered around the nursery and shops... in additions to all of this scarf making. My brain is missing little parts of what we did, and when. But that's OK because it was a few weeks ago and I'm lucky to remember what I had for dinner last night.

We always had the friendly and informative instructor talking to us about the process and answering any questions that we had about what we were doing and what was next. She was so excited about what she was teaching. It was contagious.
She talked to us about the cooking process... and what would happen to our scarves.
She wore special gloves that protect the hands and arms when working with the hot leaf tea. I thought that I could use a pair of these when I feed my chickens.  Rhode Island Red is getting a bit too demanding. That hen is a terror. She jumps at me for the lettuce I bring them. She is going to be on my endangered species list if she keeps it up.
How would you like to have a porch like this one to do all of your messy crafts? I would die for all this space.
This is part of an old fruit processing and packaging building. It is huge and accommodates all kinds of businesses now. The next one down is a ceramic store with planters, fountains and statues. This huge building was the High Hand Fruit Shed in Loomis, CA. above Sacramento. Now, there are more houses than fruit trees around here, so the whole place has been turned into a Nursery/ restaurant/ mall , with lots of shops. Talk about "repurposeing". This building is having its second life and what a great idea for the owners.
This is where the cooking was done.

So... we took our scarves wrapped around each pipe and we slowly undid them. This was the fun part. We laid them out flat and removed the leaves and let the breezes on the porch dry them while we cleaned up the classroom and talked about what we had done. There were smiles all around.
Each had its own distinct patterns and designs. Each was beautiful and unique to the person who make it.
All were done a little differently. All were so beautiful. The orange places on the scarves is where we used those round eucalyptus leaves that wouldn't absorb the tea when we were laying them on the scarf... and the instructor said, "Try it anyway." Yep. That's the one. Beautiful, clear imprints of the leaf in a very lovely color. It's amazing how the fabric allows the leaves to imprint their natural patterns into the fibers. Magical really.

This is one end of my scarf. This is where the copper pipe left its mark (the darker color) and where the string and rubber bands that were wrapped so tightly onto the pipe made their imprint... or I should say resisted the color and left their mark, like a negative photographic print.
The scarves almost looked like snake skins. So interesting and organic.

The resident cat, Petunia, came in to see what was going on and approved of the finished product.
"Meow, ladies. Nice job."


I will take some photos of my scarf when I have time and show you some close ups of the leaf imprints.

 For now I leave the four of us standing in the covered part of the nursery with our completed masterpieces around our necks and smiles on our faces.
We had so much fun.