Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Beginnings

I have been wanting to start writing this for some time!
There is so much in each day- so many ideas and so many activities; so many opportunities to be creative, whether physically, mentally or spiritually, and it is not enough to have those thoughts and make these things for ourselves- when we share them others can benefit and add to, build on or change those ideas.
  Everyday I try and create something, it is a part of who I am- I am a Maker, and my makings allow me to explore, observe, create and give me a great sense of peace. 
  We are heading off a new adventure in the coming weeks- our destination to be decided this week!  Wherever we are my plan to set up a natural craft retreat center- what fun! Natural dye gardens, sustainable buildings, guest artists, workshops, retreats...lots of making in a beautiful natural setting. It's good to have visions like this to keep us directed and focused.

  I get quite panicky when we are getting ready to go travelling and I have to pack and sort my craft materials into boxes. Those that I will not see and use for a time, those that must come with me for some known and upcoming project, and those that already in mid-form. I find this so difficult, and usually go into a high energy crafting mode, where I make in every spare minute, as if I may never have the chance to create again. I know it is a stress coping mechanism- packing is one of my least favorite activities! But as a crutch- I think it's a pretty good one! And because I craft with natural materials, often sourced from my environment, or locally, it also keeps me grounded, wherever we are.

 Today's project is dyeing with my yellow plant friends- goldenrod and tansy. They are out in such abundance right now, but only for a short time longer. There are fields and fields of goldenrod near here, and I see them and wonder at the quantities of this free dyestuff, and at what I might create!

  I am dyeing wool prefelt, silk gauze, wool yarn, wool felt, and some lovely merino rovings. Some will be overdyed later to get perfect natural shades of orange and green. All of the fibers are prepared with a mordant of alum and cream and tarter. The alum allows the pigments to penetrate and fix to the fibers, while the cream of tarter brightens the color tones. The goldenrod will give me shades of lemon yellow, through a pure sulfur yellow. The tansy I like for it's deeper golden hues, with hints of browns and oranges.

So today is about beginnings- a new blog to share ideas with you, a new journey, and some new craft materials, in warm shades of yellows. Great beginnings.....

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