Sunday, October 23, 2011

All I Wish to Say is This

I love all of the people who write for the blogs I read.  I get on here and look at all the wonderful farmy things everyone is making, all the changes they are trying to facilitate in each other and in themselves, all the love, passion and humanity they display just being themselves.....and I can't help it.....I get warm **fuzzies** and downright teary sometimes.

Or, it could be hormones.  But even if my reaction is hormonal, you all still are an amazing bunch o'people and I love you, truly I do.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Poison poison boil and bubble

Lately I've been farmy enough to post something almost every day this week!

Oh the joy of it!

So Sunday was my only day off this weekend and I squeezed every ounce of farminess in to every nook and cranny of it that I could possibly manage.  So much so that at one point, I was simmering down apples for apple butter right next to a steaming vat of poisonous berries I used to dye some wool.  Don't want to be crossing over stirring devices in THAT situation!

I felt very witchy while dying this time around.  I had gone out and bought dark green nail polish and as I stirred the vat of poisonous berries, I felt I was channeling my inner witch. The one who loves Halloween and has a strange desire to scare little children.  Bwaaahhhahahaha!


Ok well anyway, here's some photos:

Pokeberries - I ended up with about 3.25#  Definitely a glove-worthy project

Inside of the pan - isn't the color gorgeous?  It's about what the final color of the fiber will be.

Simmering down the dye bath

Right next door, yummy apples cooking for apple butter.

There were an amazing amount of seeds in the bottom of the dye pot!
I kept some for planting on the farm. 

Nope, nobody was murdered in the production of this yarn

But I did manage to make it look like it.....'blood' on the wall of the kitchen
'Blood' on the sink

And finally the wool (Shetland mordant in vinegar) was added

And the final product?  We'll find out in the morning, lid on and setting overnight!
Eye spy someone with a you?
Pokeberry dye is hard to nail really.  The times I've tried I've over heated the dye and ended up with a yucky brown.  I had my mom buy me this book at the Yarn Barn in Kansas as they were driving through on their way back from Alaska.  There was a very specific recipe in there for pokeberry dye using only vinegar as the mordant, evidently, the pH is key to getting the dye to truly hold.

I had to try it, the color it yields in the book is a gorgeous raspberry, not to mention my husband took one look at that color and said, "You have to dye that and knit me something with it!" so now I'm on the hunt for more pokeberries as well.  They are poisonous, yes, but hey, I'm not eating them!  And I promise not to eat the yarn, no matter how absolutely luscious it might look.

Here was the final product in the morning....OoOoOo....preeetty, drip dry, rinse and spin it in to yarn-what a delight!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Farmday Friday!

I'm back!  And actually, though my husband just left and I won't see him again for another 5 weeks (for our one year wedding anniversary!), I'm doing ok.  Keeping busy helps, eating everything in sight does not.  
I will stop that now.

Ooooo I feel a Farmy Weekend coming on.  It's been a while since I've immersed myself in good 'ol farminess.  

And there are pokeberries to use as dye, I'm having the bakes-ies (must. bake. something!) and I sat down at my spinning wheel last night and spun out some great, brown heathery Shetland yarn.  

I'm getting better and better at spinning.  This stuff is so nice I might consider selling it on our Etsy store: Mayberry Mercantile. I've gotta start stocking those shelves!

But I'm way off track here!  Ever heard of straw weaving?  It's not what it sounds like.  You don't take straws and weave them in to things, hm, though you could for sure, but why?

Anyway, you cut three straws in half and use three of the cut halves.  Cut three pieces of yarn, to the length of what you want to weave (think belt, purse strap or bracelet) then loop the end of the yarn, feed it up through the straws, one piece per straw, poke the loop up with a crochet hook or otherwise, bend the loop over the edge of the straw and tape it down (do this with all three straws), this becomes the 'warp' (the part that you don't see).  Tie all three pieces together with a square knot at the end where they hang down.

Next: grab some yarn for the 'weft' (the woven part that you do see)!  Stripey yarn is great, bulky yarn is great!  Hold the straws together, next to each other and even, then tie the end of your yarn on to the straw all the way to the left (straw #1).  

Now, weave the yarn behind the middle straw (straw #2), in front of the last straw (straw #3, no pun intended!) then loop the yarn all the way around the back of straw #3 and then in front of straw #2 and behind #1 then loop around to the front and then behind #2 again.  Keep going!  

As long as you can see that you went behind one straw on the previous pass, make sure to go in front of it the next time.  

Round 1
Tie on to #1
behind #2
in front of #3 and around the back to
in front of #2
behind #1 around the back to
Round 2
in front of #1
behind #2
And eventually you get this:

Warp dangles out the bottom on the left here, taped loops at the top, see?

As you weave, push the woven yarn down the straws on to the 'warp' (a.k.a. the initial three pieces of  yarn stuffed through the straws) which catches the weave which is why you have to tie the three yarn pieces in a square knot or the weave will just slip right off!

If you need a pocket-sized addiction: this is it.  It is small and friendly to take with and it is FAST!  It's really meant for kids but if I were you, I'd muscle in and have your own way with it.  It's tons of fun.  

I can imagine rolling up the weavings and sewing them in spots to make a super thick rug.  

Now go!  Weave!  Do it with your kids!  Share it with others!

And if you run in to any issues leave me a comment.

Other tips: push the weaving down tight!, when you finish undo the tape and slip the 'warp' out of the straws and tie it off.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The BIG 40

What's this?  I go away for a while, come back and I have

wonderful people following me?

Oh you are wonderful.

Just too terrific.

Thank you all, you are dears and finally.

Bless your

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Good Weekend

My husband is coming to visit this weekend.  Oh happy day!  

So many people ask us “How do you do it?”  Meaning live apart and ya know, I ask myself that same thing sometimes.  More often though people want to know why we do it.

I have a lot of nosy people in my family, some of whom can’t seem to even try to put themselves in another persons’ shoes.  If you are doing something outside their realm of capability, forget it!  They will forever think you weird.

I know I’m weird.  I embrace my weirdness and revel in the fact that I ‘go against the grain’, ‘conform not to this world’ and ‘blaze your own trail.’

So answers to how and why?

Q: How do you do it?
A: We just do, there’s no secret formula, you do what you can and you savor every moment together but you still fight, you still have pissy moments.  Se la vie.

Q: Why aren’t you living together yet?
A: Imagine 10 eggs, in the air, simultaneously and all you’re really waiting for is for one of them to drop so you can make a firm decision either way.  Or have egg all over you, one of the two.

So we wait.  We cultivate patience.  We learn to deal with what’s been handed to us and we wait for signs that we are doing the right thing.

I truly believe everything (of consequence) happens for a reason.  We are stunned at the heartache we’ve been through trying to secure a piece of land (the latest landowner won’t return our phone calls, no matter that we’ve been trying for 3 weeks to get them to sign something they agreed to sign verbally) 
– what is with people!!!

I think most people don’t understand that what seems like an inconsequential activity (selling a piece of land you care nothing for) can be a truly life-changing, epic thing for someone else (we don’t want to move to the same state until we’ve got the land secured so here we sit!)

I have proof of this. One landowner wasn’t calling us back so I called her and explained the situation from a very human perspective on her answering machine.  She called back within the hour and told me….finally the truth…..that she had decided to sell the land to her son......that was very upsetting.

This is what we are dealing with.  Person after person.  Land deal after land deal.  Falling through.  And we wonder… it coincidence?  I don’t believe in them anymore so the only question is, what’s next?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gut-wrenching Update

Silence on my blog?  You can bet when that happens that I am dealing with something.  You don't have to be an extrovert to blog....since you don't see people face to face.  But feeling so introverted that you don't even want to blog?  Now that's just odd when you think about it.

Question: does blogging facilitate self-absorption?  I've been struggling with this.  I don't think I have an answer.  It just seems that talking about oneself and what's on one's mind might just enables self-absorption.  Something I'd really rather not do.  Isn't there enough of that in the world?  Conundrum.

But enough rambling, on to the update!  

A week or so ago I posted about my relationship with food.  I have made some progress in that department but there is more work to do for sure.

So far I've gone from eating something sweet every. single. day. to indulging 2-3 times a week.  Still way too much.  And I'm not talking a bite here or there but sweets at 10am and 2pm and then again in the early evening.  See a pattern here?  I do.

I am still walking the dog for an hour each morning but wimped out last week due to the weather.

So I will say it again: Suck it up girl, you can do this.  Get off your duffer in the morning, find your joy, remember your blessings, and don't think that that donut will taste better than losing 20 pounds would feel.  It won't.

I don't want to look like I am now.  I don't want to be accepted as I am.  I don't want to be told, "you look fine" because it's not true and people who say that, whether they realize it or not, are enablers in this battle against bad food.

I'm not healthy and I know it.  I have the courage to admit it and try to do something about it.  And those pants?  Yeah, they don't make my butt look big, my butt IS big.  *laughing*

Ahhhh's the only path to change!