Monday, July 23, 2018

gift of time

during this gift of time that i gave myself
avoiding traveling and instead doing some necessary things
i've cleaned. 
cleaned out the intensely untidy
and overstuffed closet in my studio.
which has lead to other things
as many cleaning projects do,
the bookshelves that hold equipment,
the unders- and overs- that also stashed "supplies"
mostly fiber in the form of
raw or prepared fiber
i found this little bag of madder root
that i bought from Trudy Van Stralen
the author of Indigo, Madder and Marigold
owner of Hilltop Wools
back in the 80's when I worked (briefly) for her. 
Trudy died in 2015, 
her business lives on run by her son, i believe.

i soaked them overnight or so 
and then cut them up a bit and then soaked more
 and cut them up again
nothing was longer than 1/2 inch by the time i was done, 
 i could have chopped them in the blender but i was tired of this work
and besides, i wanted to dye.
i'm not sure but i don't think i've ever done my very own madder dyepot.
i was once told by a *famous* (unnamed) dyer that madder goes bad after a while.
so i sent my newer bag off to a friend with good wishes for her to use it.
so in the ethers both tim mclaughlin and sarah swett recently became enamoured with madder.
i indulged myself after finding this old bag of 250 grams of madder.
i cooked on low heat, well under boiling, 
but i don't have a thermometer 
(well, i do, but can i find it?)
but it was a lovely color blood orange sanpellegrino 
stained the paint strainer bag
one little swath of kozo i just dipped in for a bit
part of my quest was to find fiber to dye so i can use my new tapestry pipe loom
with wool 
before i try the other stuff 
(do it proper first, gurl)
it was really almost red, 
but has oranged out some now.
meanwhile this was happening in the dining room 
while i unburdened all the containers, 
closet from hell, 
under the tables and etc.
there is an abundance that i wish i could be 
somewhat unburdened of.
this closet under the stairs is actually organized now.
this is the next big step after the fiber--
much fiber went to places--
the paper mills at home and at school,
some to recycle,
some to compost.
that box of bottles under my studio table is 40 years old
each bottle a lichen vat dye.
gifted to me by jean reynolds from cranberry lake.
in about 1980.
and my lovely partner has made a wagon from our trees he
marked for harvest
cut and hauled last winter. 
the sawyer came and made the boards
and it's now been screwed into a usable and "free" wagon.
a huge accomplishment.
home work
the best work.


  1. are you getting everything sorted in your new house?

  2. mo, not at all. just sorting the old one, which has not sold. yet.

  3. Love madder. Love how you are meandering and wandering even while home.

  4. Golly how we accumulate! You are rich none the less. Beautifully organized.

  5. bonnie, it's certainly how i operate, moreso since i've retired!
    michelle, yes, and the trash just hauled away as much as i could drag out last night...and there's still so much more. and thank you.

  6. oh my goodness - your are doing a wonderful job of sorting. makes me feel guilty as I too need to get on with reducing my years of saving everything that might be useful - someday! I have some madder soaking in the sun will see what colour it produces. I spend most of the day warping the pipe loom for the second time, thought it was going to be easier - not so much!

  7. Good for you, And in the heat!! I keep reshuffling these last few piles...slowly they dwindle.
    Beautiful wagon & madder results.

  8. jean, that pipe loom is the reason for the BIG clean. I needed some wool...
    hazel, you can do it. if i did it, anyone can. except a hoarder (and i've been in some). the rest of us just need to see stuff in order to make other stuff. the clean included the "back room", too.

  9. Hi V - what huge overhaul of that closet. It is amazing what we store up. This year I gave quite a lot of stuff away as part of my clean out - things that just sit there ands I could use but others would use sooner and maybe better. Love the colour of the dye. What will you haul on the wagon? Go well. B

  10. barry, yes. the wagon is to haul lumber and any heavy farmstead stuff. when you think that all that lumber 1 1/2 inch x 10 foot hemlock was cut here on the land, and that the sawyer has been here twice cutting up the trees that were felled for indoor carpentry and other things, i suppose it's a lumber trailer; it could also haul hay or wood chips. the undercarriage was very good--it would hold LOTS of metal...


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