Friday, May 22, 2015

friday follow-ups

Just a few brief notes about
things that have been happening here this week.

Azalea and Campion had their first birthday!

Azalea is maturing very nicely:

And Campion is now taller than his mama!

Remember when they were born?

I sure do!

Azalea and Campion, one year ago.

The porch floor:
it's finished - five coats - and looks good.
Really good.
Now a thorough cleaning is needed, to get rid of the sawdust lingering in every nook and cranny of the porch.
And all the windows must be washed.

This will be an opportunity(!) to try
the extreme-housework-with-audiobook system.
So far, I have:
1) found the 5-foot stepladder, and
2) lugged it from the workshop to the house.
It's a start!

But I'm going to save this task until it's too hot to work outside.
Other than Quite Small Tasks, 
everything happens on a Priority basis around here
and most of my priorities are outside.


In the Quite Small Task category:
my unstained cherry table gets an occasional application of oil.
I took the opportunity of doing it outdoors this week.

This is a genuinely enjoyable task.

Then I put the little table on the porch.
The room immediately shrank before my eyes!

It will be difficult to decide what goes on the porch.

I'm thinking beloved and happymaking items only.
The cherry table probably stays.


In other cherry-related news:
I've started a bucket of black cherry soaking for dye. 

Prunus serotina

I've never used cherry before, but Annie Cholewa recently blogged about her experiences with it. I don't know what species Annie used, but probably not the one I'm using.
An interesting experiment anyway.

And in my ongoing efforts to avoid using mordants (which improve the colors but alter the fiber) either to pretreat fiber or as part of the dyebath, I've poked around online and found a mordant-free method involving two separate cherry dyebaths at different pH extremes.
Well worth a try!


And now, I'm heading back outside to shift some fence panels.
Have a lovely Friday, everyone!


  1. Ooh, have fun with the cherry. Mine was a wild cherry, Prunus avium (and not the late flowering ornamental cherry pictured in my last post). I am really interested to see what colours the Black cherry (Prunus serotina?) gives. Happy dyeing!

    1. Hi Annie! Yes, I should have said: Prunus serotina. It's leaves are reputedly highly toxic to animals when wilted - not when fresh, not when dead - so it is one very common species I try to eliminate when possible. It is a very enthusiastic stump-sprouter, so I've always got loads of leaves and twigs at this time of year. Happy to have something useful to do with them even as an experiment! Thanks again for your interesting post. :)

  2. I'm not a dyer - no space for such pursuits now, and even at that my one and only foray into the art was to cook up some black walnuts. That was great fun and I still have a couple mason jars of 'ink'. Will be interested to see what happens with your cherry experiment.

    1. So far, black walnut has been my favorite dyestuff, and another reader - I think it's our friend Boud - has made black walnut ink!

  3. Yes,that was me. I used to give it to drawing students along with reed pens I made from wild grapevine a la Van Gogh! V. Thrilling.

    Now I think I have to try dyeing with my wild cherry. First to find out how...

    1. Ha! I once enjoyed drawing using a pot of black ink and a pine twig. Very freeing! I'll have to try grapevine pen, as I'm removing wild grapevines on a daily basis right now.

  4. Wow, it's incredible to see how Azalea and Campion have grown up!!! I do remember their birth, and it's wonderful to see them as such happy and beautiful adults!

    1. Thanks! They are certainly happy and (I think) beautiful, but the yearlings are still quite a ways from adults - more like teenagers at this point :) I think the year between 2 and 3 is when I really start to see the goats as adults. Most of the time! ;)

  5. Good luck with the dye project. Some of the fabrics done with mordant process are very interesting. I didn't know it can alter the fibers.
    Your goats are perfect goat models.


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