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Recycled Yarn

One thing that drives me nuts is reading a knitting book or magazine, fall in love with one of the projects, rush to my craft room, try to gather all the materials and realize that either the wool I have is not enough or I am missing a pair or two of the right size needle.
This is just absurd!
I have more than twenty pair of needles, but I never have the ones the project asks for.
Don’t come to me saying that I can fit to its gauge (I don’t know what that means!)
So, here is my solution to one of these “missing material projects”.

I had three beautiful yarns half way used. I needed I super-bulky one.

I bundled them and created a new one, with a very interesting color scale.

Here is the final project.
My son’s new hat!

Sorry, I have no pattern for this, it came out without counting the stitches, pure improvisation!

Corners Of My House

When I moved into the house I am living now, I find very challenging putting my signature on the decor. I didn’t want a magazine kind of house, but I wanted people walking in and noticing a few aspects and recognizing it as being part of my personality.

It is not about how well decorated your house is, It is about that little corner where you invested energy to make it special.
Either adding a flower arrangement, an ornament, an interesting piece for art, a picture, a few words on the wall or a furniture.

Even though I like painting my walls, I find sometimes that a crack or a stained all can bring a lot of character to a room.
History has to live in your house. Minimalist houses are not for me. I appreciate the beauty but could never live in one.
On the other side, I can’t stand clutter. I like to walk in a room and breath, be in peace, relax.
So, these are a little bits and corners of my house that I really appreciate.
Do you have some to show?! Please send us a link, I would like to see it!

A little sunshine through the window…

I Was Featured As Creative Mama!

Can you believe it?!

Arianne from Still Parenting hosted an interview and feautured me as a creative mama!
Thanks Arianne, for the lovely opportunity!

You should check her blog, Still Parenting, there is a lot of information on home schooling, craft with kids and etc.

Pearls, Pearls, Pearls…

 “The pearly treasures of the sea,
The lights that spatter heaven above,
More precious than these wonders are
My heart-of-hearts filled with your love.

The ocean’s power, the heavenly sights
Cannot outweigh a love filled heart.
And sparkling stars or glowing pearls
Pale as love flashes, beams and darts.

So, little, youthful maiden come
Into my ample, feverish heart
For heaven and earth and sea and sky
Do melt as love hath melt my heart.”

(unknown)

Look what I found today at the local thrift store.

I could take my eyes of the bag.

I thought twice before buying it, but I just couldn’t resist!
I have no idea what I will do with them, but I have a bag of pearls!

Pearls, pearls, pearls, lots of them.
I just love pearls.
I always had this fascination for how they are made.

Little tiny oysters make the most beautiful gift.
Pearls have this sense of prosperity, a bit of  mystery and a lot of elegance .

I like diamonds, but pearls are my favorite!
I even found an antique wooden spool of thread, inside the bag. It says “dental floss” on it. I wonder…

Have you found anything interesting, lately?!

Happy Birds

Most of the birds have gone away
On this cold, dark winter’s day
But here is one bird I can see
Looking for something to eat
Little bird, I’ll feed you
Till the cold, winter’s through
And all your friends come back to play
On some bright and warm spring day.
(unknown author)

Today we went to a friend’s birthday party. Mathew was turning 4 years old and the sun was out and the ground covered with snow.
He lives in a lovely house in the city, but far enough from the busy side that feels like being in the country.
On a little twined road, with only deers and big trees surrounding us, this solitary farm house stands strong watching over the entrance.
The kids played outside for awhile, treasure hunt, listened to gnomes stories by the fire and had hot apple cider.
As we went inside, Mathew’s mom guided us through, how important was to make sure birds have something to eat during the winter time and provided us with all the material to make our very own natural bird feeder.

Pine cones
Peanut butter
Bird seeds
String

First, you spread peanut butter on the pine cones, enough to stick seed all around.

Roll the pine cones on a plate covered with seeds and add the string.

Hang outside during the winter, so our little bird friends have something to eat!

 
The kids were all smiles and the birds too!

Make one today with your kids and don’t forget to be grateful for all the birds singing in the morning!
Happy winter!

I’VE BEEN PUBLISHED ! ! !

It is for real life! – as Dante says.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I open my mail box and saw an issue of the Apronology magazine.
I was first puzzled, because I thought they have made a mistake with my subscriptions and then I noticed the BIG anouncement on the front: Congratulations! You have been published!
One of my favorite magazines.

My vintage apron.
My name on a two-page spotlight!
Just a little taste.
Thanks to you all for following me and making this journey so exciting!

Waldorf School Fundraiser

I am sorry, for taking so long to write, but my energies have been focusing another kind of project.
When I first started visiting our local Waldorf School, my daughter was 2 years old and we were part of the Parents and Tots program there.
The program, songs, rhymes, crafts and snacks turned me on to a better way of living.
In order to thank them for such a beautiful gift, I decide to put together a cooking/song book, where a collection of the yummy foods we ate there and lovely songs will be compiled.
So if you think about what you can do for your little school, why not compile all these year’s treasures and sell it for the community.
It is not just a simple recipe book, it is a memento of your kids childhood!
I will post you soon the final project, but for now, I leave you with this little rhyme.

Pumpkin pumpkin sitting on the ground
Pumpkin pumpkin plump and round
Pumpkin pumpkin snap from the vine
Pumpkin pumpkin now you are mine!

The Girl Within…

I just couldn’t resist on sharing this with you, when I saw the calling for the following e-course!
Just imagine, having that little girl who hides inside you, living just OUTSIDE and running free!
Watch out my friends, you might get bumped!
That is okay, it is just Babi playing!

Kay-Lee Pantony describes her girl as:

THE GIRL WITHIN

Let me introduce you to my girl within. You can always find her at the top of a large tree.
Because she loves to climb.
And of course she will be wearing a pretty dress.
Because she loves pretty things,
especially if they are shinny.
And I must warn you she is an emotional creature.

Sometimes her heart feels like it is going to burst with joy,
or sorrow depending on the day.
No matter what she is intense and she suspects that this is hard on the people around her.
So she tries to modify her enthusiasm but it doesn’t always work.
Sometimes she can’t help but spill out all over the place.
She watches as people shrink back in discomfort and
she thinks that she should tone it down a bit but it is hard to contain once it gets going.
She loves her intensity and she loves spilling out and
she is sad that she has so few people to play with.

GOOD girls behave themselves and she know that but how can all this enthusiasm be bad?
She keeps thinking that if she finds a way to channel it no will suspect that she is always on the verge of an eruption.
She decided that if she holds the reins tight and
only lets out about 60% of her intensity that everyone will think that she is normal.
But the other 40% always threatens to burst forth.
So she has to find ways to distract it.
So she paints, draws, crochets, kayaks, bikes, reads and journals until finally it is quietened.

But for how long?

She looks around to others of her kind to see how they are managing.
Secretly she suspects that they too are trying to make themselves smaller to accommodate the world around them.
But when she looks in their eyes she is worried that they have forgotten themselves.
She wishes that they shared a mental telepathy where they could tell each other,

remember me? I’m big and intense just like you.”
Then she imagines that they form a club where they all become unapologetically themselves.
Of course there will be conflict but they all love and respect each other enough to work it out.
These challenges only strengthen each of the on their path to self-discovery.
And in their club they remember to dream bigger dreams.
They remember to become fearless.
And a secret that they only share with each other
is that they become like warriors compassionately guarding the freedom of us all.

Their relationships grow to make room for all who want to join.
They become like an old wood forest with strong deep roots and branches that endlessly reach for the sky.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5da1V6Kk0Z4/TGHHvFkPo0I/AAAAAAAAAAw/S8k9pfpwU_4/s1600/simply+sublime+musings+copy.jpg

That is my vision for all of us.
I want all girls and women to be fully, unapologetically themselves.
I want us to nurture and respect each others quirks and idiosyncrasies.
I want us to gently call each other on self-harm behavior.
I want us to invest in each other’s growth.
I want us to fill the space we were born to fill.
I want us to laugh until we cry.
I want us to cry because of all the beauty.
I want us to heal our broken hearts.

I want us to live tenderly, openly, creatively, authentically.

That is why I have put the e course SUBLIME together.
I want to help women remember their girls within.
This girl is a combination of our pre-adolescent, our mid-adolescent and present self.
She already lives inside us.
And she is very potent.
But sadly, most of us lost her along the way.
We learned to quieten her.
We learned to compartmentalize her.
We even learned to dislike her.
We judge her.
We ignore her.
We dismiss her.
We tell ourselves that we don’t have time for that nonsense.
And because of this too many of us have FORGOTTEN HER.
And as a result we have forgotten how to play.
We have forgotten how to have fun.
We have even forgotten how to laugh at ourselves.
As a result we are unduly stressed.
We are too serious.
And our health is in jeopardy.

Our health is my biggest concern.
For those of you who don’t know me I have a million theories about how to improve our health.
I designed the e course SUBLIME based on one such theory.
The theory is that the pre-adolescent self is free, to laugh, cry,argue, explore, create and heal.
I read once that a girl could walk down the street behind her mom doing the King Tut and no one would pay attention.
However, once she hit puberty all that changes.
The cultural messages start to dictate to her how she is to behave.
She starts to become self-conscious and self-critical.
She starts to judge herself based on the messages from the culture.
I call this the vortex.
It is like getting pulled into a swiftly moving current.
There is no way to remain standing no matter how strong we are.
We all went through it and this is why we don’t remember the girl within.
The vortex or culture redirected our attention away from her.

Next, I see the adolescent girl coming out the other side of the vortex, dazed, confused, altered.
She enters a state of growing amnesia where she learns to forget her vitality and originality.
She has been changed.
She is no longer free to be unapologetically herself.

I think we can change all that,
Through creativity and self exploration in the e course SUBLIME we are learning to reclaim, integrate and best of all remember our girl within.
Throughout the 6 assignments we use photography, collage and journaling to remember the power that still lives inside us.
Through creativity, reflection and a private supportive community we learn to increase the volume of the voice of this potent self.
We learn to hear her the way we once did.

We learn to allow her to feed our dreams
We learn to allow her to lead us toward fearlessness.
Through remembering and integrating her we learn to heal our wounds and grow toward our full potential.
 
That’s me!!!

FREE Craft Material

Okay, I will tell my special secret…I get a lot of my craft material for free.
Hummmmmm, yes I know, I told you I hunt a lot in yard sales and thrift stores, but one of my biggest supplier is a very good friend of mine.
She is an interior designer and her studio is filled with decor material.
They come in catalogs of just in a pile of fabric sewn together.

Every now and then, the companies switch their product catalogs and my friend gets stuck with all these “out of order” samples.

The companies don’t want them anymore and they could all end up in the garbage if no one shows interest on it.
The finest and most beautiful designs and colors. A full plate for an artisan with a lot of creativity and very tight budget.
I have even found 100% silk pieces there.

Go around your city and check out the interior design studios, I bet they would be more than happy to have you transforming their old samples in art!

I shared mine quote with a few friends and a few public schools, they loved!
Don’t know what to do with the small size samples?!
Here is what I do – Bookmarks!

I hope you enjoy it!
Do you have a secret supplier too?!
Would you like to share it?!

Herbs For Weight Loss

Yeap, my weight is going down, slowly but steady.
I am still craving lots of sweets, mainly because I am close to my period and that’s what body wants. I won’t eat it though.
Have I told you that I have been studying Natural Health for the past 10 years?!
Last year I actually got my diploma from Clayton College after 5 years of academics.
It has been a very interesting journey, with a lot of discoveries.
I’ve been using a lot of what I learnt with my family and we really cut down visits to the doctor’s office.
I don’t need to say that I only use them for referrals, do I?!
Well, I would like to share with you a few herbs that I know would help a weight loss diet and will be part of my present project (loose 15 pounds)

PLANTAIN – mucilage in the diet dramatically reduces cholesterol levels (the bad one), while not affecting (decreasing) the good cholesterol.

FENNEL SEED – used as dietary aid as far back as the first century. It does not affect weight loss directly, other that smoothing, mildly stimulating properties, aiding digestive system

BURDOCK ROOT – a help to clean the blood of toxins during the weight loss program. It enhances gall/bile functions.

HAWTHORN BERRY – heart aid, due to demands when overweight. Reduces coronary stress induced by weight and by exercise.

KELP AND BLADDERWRACK
– two of the best weigh reduction plants available.
Kelp maintains a healthy thyroid, lowers bad cholesterol.

And, a little Brazilian secret:

CARQUEJA – Carqueja has been used by Indigenous People for centuries for stamina as well as for fertility in women and virility in men. From a therapeutic standpoint, Carqueja has been used for a wide variety of ailments pertaining to the digestive system for which it is considered rather effective, promoting good digestion, supporting good liver function and helping maintain good blood cleansing.

Just a quick note, please don’t go take them without talking to a Naturopath! These are herbs, but you still need caution using them.
If you are in Kingston, Ontario and need a few Naturopath’s names suggestions, drop me a message.

Be in Health!

Information taken partially from The Scientific Validaton of Herbal Medicine by Daniel Mowrey

New Year’s Resolution – Loose Weight!

I guess this is the time of the year that we promise to do a lot and accomplish maximum we can.
So I got up at 7am and promised myself to start a real diet, one that really works and keeps my extra pounds away and regular exercise.
I know I don’t have a lot to loose (around 15 pounds), but they are getting on my nerves.
I’ve been reading about hormones and the way some of them are fat packers, foods to avoid and etc.

I designed a plan that I hope will work for me, based on the following parameters:

– Eating healthy (I already do all the organic and wholesome foods) – I guess this step I nailed.
– start periodic fasting – a few benefits of fasting are: purification, rejuvenation, more energy, greater abdominal peace, anti-aging effects, weight loss, more relaxation, etc.
– Back to the gym –  for at least 3 times a week, I want to do my cardio and weight exercises.
– Keep track of what I eat – this, I think, will be the key of my successful diet plan. I realized that when I diet with friends, the control of what I eat comes from them and also the incentive. It is very hard to match your resolutions and your friend’s will on the same time, so I decided to use a calorie diary to keep me alert.
I also got a calorie counter button, which will be permanently on bottom of the blog main page, that I am sharing with you, just in case if you also decided to loose a few extra pounds.
– I am trying to design my nutrition plan based on my ovulation, I usually crave a lot starchy foods close to my period and water retention is also an issue.

So, that’s it! Make your diary and start tracking what you eat.
After a week, go back and check the diet sheets. It will give you some clues on what you are doing wrong.

I am also adding to it the exercise data on that day, so  I can analyze its interference on my appetite.

Do you want to be thin with me?!

Next, I will bring you a few of the herbs and supplements,  I will be using the help me on my journey, and, of course, a lot of craft has to be done to keep me away from the fridge! Can’t wait to show you what I have been up to!

Holiday Break – What To Do With The Kids?!

I know, I know, as soon as the bell rings and our little angels are off from school, we hear parents saying, they get anxious about what to do with the kids after Christmas fever is over.
Yeap, calling Santa  will not work for the next 11 months.
So what, any ideas?!
This is what I came up with.
I realized that my daughter is very intuitive and loves making art.

She loves sewing, knitting, painting, drawing. She makes my job easy. As long as I provide the material, a whole bunch of hours is spent on creation mode.
But she is already 7 years old and her focus is way deeper than my 4 year old little boy!
He drags me to the craft room and begs me for help.
He wants finger knit like his sister, painting, drawing, felting and sewing using very sharp needle, what always end up on tears.
One day,  I was on a verge of finishing a sewing project and the little guy stopped beside me and asked me to try the sewing machine.

I first hesitated and then got a kid’s size one, gave him a few safety coordinates, a large piece of cloth and let the fun begins.
He spent almost one hour going back and forth with all the buttons, stitches and colored threads.
While he was sewing, I was able to finish a few projects while appreciating the beauty of his happy humming.

I am all into the whole Waldorf thing, natural toys, nature hunts, but I have to say – There is something about gas pedals and boys that really get them going!

 I hope you have a great New Year!
A life filled with love, peace, health, family, friends and little miracles!

Christmas Traditions – I am Back!

Hello friends,
I am really sorry for letting you waiting for so long.
I did not realize how busy would christmas time be this year.
I got a part-time job on a retail store in Downtown. I totally loved working there, my collegues were amazing and my boss very kind. It is actually one of my favorite stores in town, so I got to work where I shop! Lucky me!

Our Christmas Eve was, as usual, very festive and Jester (Santa’s helper), came to greed the kids. He brought a little gift, so they would have a little taste of what was coming.
Jester has been coming to visit us at this time of the year, since my daughter was 1 year old. He is part of our holidays traditions and creates that little special moment that we need, to get into the holidays cheers mood.
Christmas morning is the magical part. I love waking up with my kids screaming around the house.
My daughter, this year, made me coffee and  gave me a big good morning kiss. Hey, 7 am on a Christmas morning is not bad at all!
Mr. Sugar woke up with his camera already hanging from his neck.
The whole unwrapping gifts thing was taped and, of course, cheered with my favorite drink – Irish coffee!
We spent the day in pjs, playing board games and trying to figure out the toys and gadgets.
I got an awesome present! A digital picture frame!
Now, I can have my family pictures glaring at me all the time!
How was your holiday weekend?!
Any traditions on your family festivity?!
Merry Christmas!

The World Of Making Believe

Since I was little, the world of  wee folks and making believe has fascinated me.
Faries and gnomes were one of my favorite subjects, but after having  my first child they became part of my daily routine.
We like to go for walks in the woods and try to listen to them.
My daughter won’t  pass by a mushroom ring without noticing it and wondering about the fairies that could come for a visit

We gather nature treasures and twigs to build houses and little spots for them by the trees.
My son collects leaves and places them on a little table, he had just made, so our wee friends could have a feast.
Believing does not matter. After you see the delight on your kids eyes, you will start exploring all the possibilities life has, to bring to your kids the fulfillment that dreams can become real.
But, can’t they?!
It is up to you!
If you are interested on checking  one of our fairy houses, please click here!

How to Dye Fabric Using Nature’s Treasures

The process of dyeing clothes always made me curious.
I have to confess that I have thrown away a bunch of them, after a few non sucessful attempts to change their looks!
My laundry machine was always my biggest enemy, leaving behind a lot of stains on the following laundry!
I was always using the commercial dyes and the smell made me sick.
One day, someone told me that I could dye fabric naturally and I started researching.
I found a website, called The Pioneer Thinking. There I found the following rules to a successful dying process.
Try with the kids, they would love it!


So, look at your own back yard, a great source for natural dyes can be found right there!
Roots, nuts and flowers are just a few common natural ways to get many colors. Yellow, orange, blue, red, green, brown and grey are available. Go ahead, experiment!

Gathering plant material for dyeing: Blossoms should be in full bloom, berries ripe and nuts mature. Remember, never gather more than 2/3 of a stand of anything in the wild when gathering plant stuff for dying.

To make the dye solution: Chop plant material into small pieces and place in a pot. Double the amount of water to plant material. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Strain. Now you can add your fabric to be dyed. For a stronger shade, allow material to soak in the dye overnight.

Getting the fabric ready for the dye bath: You will have to soak the fabric in a color fixative before the dye process. This will make the color set in the fabric.

Color Fixatives:
Salt Fixative (for berry dyes) 1/2 cup salt to 8 cups cold water
Plant Fixatives (for plant dyes) 4 parts cold water to 1 part vinegar
Add fabric to the fixative and simmer for an hour. Rinse the material and squeeze out excess. Rinse in cool water until water runs clear.
Dye Bath: Place wet fabric in dye bath. Simmer together until desired color is obtained. The color of the fabric will be lighter when its dry. Also note that all dyed fabric should be laundered in cold water and separately.
Muslin, silk, cotton and wool work best for natural dyes and the lighter the fabric in color, the better. White or pastel colors work the best.

NOTE: It’s best to use an old large pot as your dye vessel. Wear rubber gloves to handle the fabric that has been dyed, the dye can stain your hands. It’s also important to note, some plant dyes may be toxic, check with the Poison Control Center if unsure.

Shades Of Orange


Shades Of  Brown
Bloodroot will give a good orange to reddish orange color.
Sassafras (leaves)
Onion skin
Lichen (gold)
– Carrot – (roots) orange
– Lilac (twigs) – yellow/orange
Barberry (mahonia sp.) yellow orange (with alum) very strong & permanent. Any part of the plant will work.
Giant Coreopsis (Coreopsis gigantea) Yields bright permanent orange with alum.
Turmeric dyed cloth will turn orange or red if it is dipped in lye.
Pomagrante – with alum anywhere from orange to khaki green.
– Butternut – (seed husks) – orange
Wild plum root will give a reddish or rusty brown.
Oak bark will give a tan or oak color.
Sumac (leaves)
– Dandelion (roots) brown
– Broom – (bark) yellow/brown
Walnut (hulls) (deep brown)(wear gloves)
Tea Bags (light brown)
– White Birch – (inner bark) – brown
Juniper Berries
– Fennel – (flowers, leaves) – yellow/brown
Coffee Grinds
Acorns (boiled)
– Hollyhock (petals)
Colorado Fir – (bark) tan shade
Yellow dock (produces shades of brown on wool)
Beetroot (Dark Brown With FeSO4)
Red Leaf Buds (of many maple trees )- red-brown color when dried. Found on branches before new leaves appear only present during early spring and throughout fall.
– Amur Maple ( Acer Ginnala) – black, blue, bown from dried leaves.
– Ivy – (twigs) – yellow/brown
Shades Of Pink
Strawberries
Cherries
Raspberries (red)
Roses and Lavender, with a little mint and some lemon juice to activate the alkaloids can make both a brilliant pink dye and a very tasty pink lemonade.
Lichens – A pink, brown, or wine colored dye can be produced from a lichen known as British soldiers.
– Camilla –It’s a nice pink-magenta. With lemon and salt.
– Grand Fir -(bark) pink



Shades Of Blue – Purple
Shades Of  Red
Red cabbage
Woad (first year leaves). Woad gives a pale to mid blue colour depending on the type of fabric and the amount of woad used.
Mulberries (royal purple)
Elderberries (lavender)
– Saffron – (petals) blue/green
Grapes (purple)
Blueberries
– Cornflower – (petals) blue dye with alum, water
Cherry (roots)
Blackberry (fruit) strong purple
– Hyacinth – (flowers) – blue
Japanese indigo (deep blue)
Red Cedar Root (purple)
– Raspberry –(fruit) purple/blue
Red Maple Tree (purple)(inner bark)
– Nearly Black Iris – (dark bluish purple) alum mordant
– Dogwood – (fruit) greenish-blue
– Oregon Grape –(fruit) blue/purple
Red leaves will give a reddish brown color I use salt to set the dye.
Sumac (fruit) (light red)
Dandelion (root)
Beets (deep red)
– Crab Apple – (bark) – red/yellow
Rose (hips)
Chokecherries
Madder
Hibiscus Flowers (dried)
Kool-aid
– Canadian Hemlock – (bark) reddish brown
– Japanese Yew – (heartwood) – brown dye
Wild ripe Blackberries
– Brazilwood
– St. John’s Wort – (whole plant) soaked in alcohol – red

Shades Of Gray – Black

Shades Of Red – Purple
 Iris (roots)
Sumac (leaves) (Black)
Carob pod (boiled) will give a gray to cotton
Oak galls – makes a good black dye.
Sawthorn Oak – (seed cups) – black
Pokeweed (berries)
Hibiscus (flowers)(dark red or purple ones) make a red-purple dye.
Daylilies (old blooms)
– Safflower – (flowers, soaked in alcohol) – red
Logwood (is a good purple but you have to watch it as it dyes quick when the pot is fresh. Also it exhausts fast. We use alum to mordant and using iron can give you logwood gray.)
Huckleberry gives a good lavender color and I have used it not only for a dye but also for ink.
Shades Of Green

Shades Of Peach/Salmon
Artemisia species provide a range of greens from baby’s breath to nettle green.
– Artichokes
– Tea Tree – (flowers) green/black
Spinach (leaves)
– Sorrel (roots) – dark green
– Foxglove – (flowers) apple green
– Lilac – (flowers) – green
– Camellia – (pink, red petals) – green
– Snapdragon – (flowers) – green
Black-Eyed Susans
Grass (yellow green)
– Pigsweed (entire plant) yellow green
– Red Pine (needles) green
Nettle
– Broom – (stem) green
– Larkspur – green – alum
Plantain Roots
– White Ash – (bark) – yellow
– Purple Milkweed – (flowers & leaves) – green
Lily-of-the-valley (light green) be careful what you do with the spent dye bath. The plant is toxic so try to avoid pouring it down the drain into the water supply.
Barberry root (wool was dyed a greenish bronze-gold)
Red onion (skin) (a medium green, lighter than
forest green)

– Yarrow – (flowers) yellow & green shades
– Mulga Acacia – (seed pods) – green
– Peach – (leaves) yellow/green
– Coneflower (flowers) – green
Broom Flower
Virginia Creeper (all parts); alum mordant; Peach.
Achiote powder (annatto seed
Plum tree (roots) (salmon color on wool with alum)
Weeping Willow (wood & bark) makes a peachy brown (the tannin
acts as a mordant)

– Virgina Creeper – (fruit) – pink

Shades Of Yellow/Wheat


Saffron (stigmas) – yellow
Safflower (flowers, soaked in water) – yellow
– Syrian Rue (glows under black light)
Red Clover (whole blossom, leaves and stem); alum mordant; Gold.
Yellow cone flower (whole flower head); chrome mordant; Brass to Greeney-Brass.
– Onion (skins)
– Alfalfa (seeds) – yellow
Marigold (blossoms)
Willow (leaves)
Queen Anne’s Lace
– Heather – (plant) – yellow
St. John’s Wort – (flowers & leaves) – gold/yellow
Burdock
Celery (leaves)
Golden Rod (flowers)
Sumac (bark) – The inner pith of Sumac branches can produce a super bright yellow color.
Weld (bright yellow)
Cameleon plant (golden)
– Mimosa – (flowers) yellow
Dandelion flower
Osage Orange also known as Bois d’arc or hedgeapple (heartwood, inner bark, wood, shavings or sawdust) (pale yellow)
Daffodil flower heads (after they have died); alum mordant
Mullen (leaf and root) pale yellow. *careful, because the little fuzzy hairs can make one itchy!
Hickory leaves (yellow) if plenty of leaves are boiled and salt added.
Tea ( ecru color)
Yellow, Curly, Bitter, or Butter Dock (despite various leaf shapes, all have a bright yellow taproot) gives you a yellow/flesh color.
White mulberry tree (bark) Cream color onto white or off-white wool. Alum mordant.
Paprika ( shade of pale yellow – light orange)
Beetroot (yellow) (alum & K2Cr2O7)
Turmeric (spice) –bright yellow
Oxallis – the one with the yellow flowers. Use the flower heads, some stem ok. It is nearly fluorescent yellow, and quite colorfast on alum mordanted wool.
Dahlia Flowers (Red, yellow, orange flowers) make a lovely yellow to orange dye for wool.
Mulga Acacia -(flowers) – yellow
– Sunflowers – (flowers) – yellow

My Little Secret Waldorf Place.

In my little imaginary world, there is room for gnomes, fairies, wee people, magical creatures, smiles, fantasy, respect, kindness and goodness.

When I first entered a Waldorf school, I thought I had found my secret garden. I thought  all my little wonders and dreams became reality.

Last week, I took pictures of my little Waldorf paradise, just here in my city.

It is very hard not to see all the beauty and life around.
Come for visit some time – Mulberry Waldorf School!

Thrifty Army

Recently,  a blog friend, Blondie Blu, has posted a few rules to help us to be successful when exploring the world of thrift stores, yard sales and craft.
I am re-sending it to you, my friends and wish you a great thrifty time!

1.  BE IN SHAPE – it is important to build up the strength and stamina needed for regular thriftiness and crafting.  One’s leg muscles must be in optimal condition for the purpose of walking up and down aisle after aisle of thrift shops, squatting down and up again for the best view into cluttered shelving, sorting thru endless stacks of mismatched china, and poking and prodding through pile after pile of vintage linens.  One also needs to build up arm and hand coordination for various acts of craftiness, be it the constant clicking of knitting needles (whilst continually picking up and putting down a cup of tea), or the hooking action of crochet.  Let’s not forget the muscle strength and endurance also needed for snipping and sewing of vintage fabrics and linens.  Be ready for the physical and mental demands and you will excel!

2.  UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE AND PURPOSE OF THRIFTINESS AND CRAFTING – It is fairly common for new trainees to feel that the whole purpose of thrifting and crafting with vintage goods is simply to find a “good deal” and save money.  Be patient with these new trainees and be ready to Show Them the Way.  Help them to understand the thrill of the “hunt”, the ecstasy of the “find” and the utter and complete satisfaction of the building up of the “stash”.

3.  DISCRETION IS SOMETIMES NECESSARY – Also help them to understand that there will be others in their lives that may not share their enthusiasm for “used” sheets, pillowcases and tablecloths (or as we in the Army refer to as pre-loved, vintage, re-purposed, pre-cherished or re-cycled); knick knacks with chipped paint, rusty tins, old Pyrex, crocheted potholders, lampshades with no base, scratched up tables, granny square afghans, etc.  Namely, these less enthusiastic people tend to be known as Husbands or Significant Others who may refer to our newly acquired treasures as “junk” or “crap” – as in “My God, what junk are you bringing in the house now?”  It is best to train these new recruits in the fine art of leaving newly acquired goods in the trunk of their cars and bringing them in when the Significant Others are either not home or appropriately occupied.  It is also possible to blend in the new acquisitions with the already established stash so said Significant Other will most likely never notice a thing.

Of course there are times when the services of the Significant Other are needed, i.e. for their brute strength in helping to pick up and carry in the tenth armoire or china cabinet found on Craig’s List that the Recruit may not know where she will put, but must have nonetheless.  That is when a blondie blu Army Recruit must truly be at her most creative in effectively soothing, complimenting and building up (and possibly cooking him his favorite dinner) said Significant Other so that he will cooperate.  Most married Recruits already know how to do this.

4.  THE FOURTH and LAST RULE – STAY FOCUSED – There are many outside influences that can distract us from our Thrifty, Crafty Greater Purpose.  Shiny, new objects gleaming in colorful photos in catalogs; attractively displayed items in store windows; a friend’s newly interior designed living room.  The distractions are too numerous to list.  Straying from our thrifty ways a little bit here and there is most certainly not a serious infraction.  We all go a little AWOL now and then.  As long as you keep your thrifty crafty Golden Rules close to your heart, you will reap the benefits of your best efforts and be a proud Army member for life.

 

A Day With Kandinsky

My Saturday started on a rushed morning, running outside of the door and driving 45 minutes to meet him…Wassily Kandinsky.
This Russian man is the father of Abstract Art and I had the pleasure of being thought by Andrea Mossop for 2 days and now I can say I understand what he was all about.
In one of the exercises, we had to draw black lines randomly on a canvas until we thought we had enough.

The following step was adding color to the lines, trying to listen to the colors needs more than actually “thinking” on the design.

After, a few more lines were added until I felt it was complete!

How wonderful exercise, very relaxing and engaging, I really recommend it for those moments when you “hit the wall” and nothing seems to come out of the creative world!

  
 

Kiss My Butt – I am 40 years old!

Yes, my friends I turned 40 this year and surprisingly I wasn’t scared at all.
I had  a big crisis when I turned 30 but ten years later, life was just perfect.
Why is it?! Here is my secret – Life is simple now.
I have no social, family or personal excuses for not being happy.
When you are young the whole world is asking what you are going to be, what career you will be choosing, etc, etc.
Well you finish university, masters or Phd and people start asking when  you are getting married.
Down the aisle you go and here comes the family, in laws, husband, mortgage and there you are, a wife/professional woman trying to balance life.
Things don’t end there, society starts asking for offspring and again, when possible, you give them what they ask.

So when you hit 40, chronologically, in most cases, all these challenges are part of the past and then a light sensation comes to your shoulders and you realize that you already proved to everyone, including yourself, that you were able to match any of those challenges.
So what?! Now?!
Relax, enjoy life, watch your kids grow, start a new profession, go back to school if pleases you, begin a new cycle on your existence, go bananas,  be happy!!!
Don’t forget, now that you are forty, no one has the right to challenge you anymore, so ” kiss my ass”  can be a very polite answer!

Secret In The Attic

Growing up in South America and being directly expose to North America culture wasn’t an easy job!
There was always the wonder of – Is that true?!”
My favorite subject was the mistery in the attic.
In most movies there was always a house with a big attic and people’s secret being kept inside wooden chests (hey, that’s my studio!), old boxes, closets…
There was always tbe excitement of moving into a house with an attic full of the previous owner’s secrets.

My imagination always went flying in my little wonder world.
Attics are very common in Europe or North America, not in my country.
One day I came to Canada and started putting to test all the literature and movies, I have been watching.

But I guess, the real proof came when I finally walked into an attic full of boxes and got to search around.
I could have spent days going through boxes, memories, dusty things.

When we bought the house we live on, the previous owner left a few (actually there were a lot of them!) boxes behind. Over the months, I got to explore them and collect a few stories.
The previous owner was my mother in law so, can you imagine how exciting was for us to find a few family treasures lying around?
We found pictures that have been missing for years, Bar Miztva invitations from friends who are now 50 years old,  old tools, old music posters (some of them hilarious!), old stuff, dusty shelves…
The picture here is from a seal press, we found in the house.
I just love playing with it and making marks in all kids of paper.
The gift of finding history has no price!
Do you have any interesting attic stories and finds to tell me?1!

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