10 September 2013

goodbye summer

Our temps have been dipping quite low at night.  We've covered some delicate crops.  We've picked raspberries and flowers at dusk, just in case of frost.
I found local, organic peaches at the farmers' market (a rare treat in Vermont)
and we are enjoying these final bits of summer.

04 September 2013

next up:

grape jelly!

(And those sweet little pants were another project this week--can you tell fall is coming?  lots more time for crafting!)   Joining Nicole this week.

03 September 2013


I've grown Hopi Dye sunflowers in the past, but never got around to using them for natural dyeing.  This year, I decided to try using my Moulin Rouge sunflowers with some natural colored peace fleece wool (Thanks, Tonya!)

Using some info from my great find (50% off at a local bookstore), I simmered the sunflowers (and stems) for about 30 minutes.  Then I let the dye bath cool.  
Meanwhile, I put my (already wet) wool into a mordant bath with alum and cream of tartar.  Seems like there is a lot of variation for how much to use, but I used 6 g cream of tartar and 18 g alum for 100 g of wool.  This simmered for about an hour.  I was careful to heat it slowly and not stir the wool much for fear of felting.  
Now, being inexperienced and not finding info easily, I tried to remove excess water and then put the wool into my dye bath.  I let it soak for 20-30 minutes and then gently rinsed it.  

I wish more of the purple color stayed, but it's mostly a grey color now.

Please feel free to chime in with any insights or advice for me.  I haven't dyed wool naturally since college (!!) and I've never used sunflowers before.

27 August 2013

a gift for my mum

I think I may be able to start posting my Tuesday crafting posts again... I've been finding some time to work on some projects, usually after everyone else is asleep. 
This is a pillow that I just finished for my mum's birthday.  
I traced each of the grandkids' hands while we were in Michigan and attempted to make it look like a sun.  That didn't quite work but I still like the way that it turned out.  I am not the best sewer (and can't really work with a pattern), so I'm pretty happy with it!

21 August 2013

catching up

Well, it's been such a busy time catching up around the farm that I haven't had time to catch up on the blog!  
The big boys just got back from Michigan on Monday night.  While they were gone, we got our second cut of hay in, had farmers' markets, battled some pantry pests (nothing like spending an entire day cleaning the pantry when there is hay on the ground!) and did some canning.
The day after they returned, the kids and I joined our homeschool group at Fort Ticonderoga.
I had my hesitations about going since there is so much to do here, but it was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed it! 
On the way home, we got stuck in a construction zone on the top of the Crown Point Bridge...the views of the Adirondacks were amazing!

And little F is 7 months old today!