cabbage and hibiscus

I seem to play with something everyday.  Lately, when I dye fabric, I have been wishing to do something that is a bit more friendly to me.  Many of the mordants are not people friendly.  It is the stuff that helps dye set in fabric.  I have been seeing people use soy milk.  So I figured why not.  Soybeans are fairly inexpensive and they compost.  I may not like the smell but that is not a big deal.

I set a cup of soybeans to soak for a couple days.  Put them in a blender with a bit of water.  Blended for about 5 minutes.  Strained the liquid off of them and added more water.  I needed enough liquid to soak the fabric I wanted to use.  This first time I heated the soy milk with the fabric in it.  I decided that was a mistake.  Soybean when heated can leave waxy spots.

Those are the dark spots on the fabrics.  The cotton silk piece picked up more of the wax then 100% silk bits.  Since this was a first pass, I am going to use this piece for me.  I have some slips I need to make since I have ones falling apart.  I am working with a hibiscus dye pot where I did not eat the soy milk and that seemed to make difference.  

This dye pot was red cabbage and hibiscus.  It seemed to make a grey with blue tones.  The piece that I added iron to became a grey teal.  They are very pretty.  I have started to use the ribbons already.

I like this play.  The ribbons I am making are really nice on my slips.  More experiments to happen in the future.



The weekend before my travels, I laid out this quilt.  I think of it as the birds quilt because so many of the fabrics seem to have birds in them.  Especially the fabric along the diagonals.  Did I cut the squares big enough to see the birds?  Of course not.

When I got home, I had a stack of squares to put together into a quilt top.  It was nice to have a project that was mid work.  I did not have to think to hard on what to start on next.  I actually need to lay out another quilt top but my joints are not very happy with me currently.  I am not up to crawling around on the floor.  I am hoping soon.


needle felting

Koda Bear asked me to make him penguins that he saw in the Ashland yarn store.  Now, I have never tried needle felting because why would I wish to add another craft?  I am making fun of myself.  I picked up the kit for the penguins.  The Bear was supposed to help me make these guys but he is not quite coordinated enough.  We both got poked a few times with both of us working.

I did not get a lot of pictures of the making.  I was answering a lot of questions from my Dad about how it worked.  I will say practice helps with this craft, just like all others.  The second penguin, Sink, is better then the first penguin, Bomb.  Do not ask me why they are named what they are named.  That was all up to the Bear.

And he seemed to really like them!  I have found a workflow for making a hedgehog.  He likes hedgehogs so I see that this may be something that becomes a gift in the future.  I just really have to get the wool carded and go from there.  My Dad sent me home with a foam board so I have all tools now.

I will just continue laughing at myself!


to grow into

When Koda Bear and I were adventuring, we stopped in Ashland Oregon.  Part of it was for a bathroom break.  Part of it was for play because I knew of really nice park that I had been to about fifteen years before.  

The Bear loved it!  One of those he did not wish to leave and would go back to in a heart beat.  I liked it because there was kids playing there of all ages.  With parents playing too.  It did not matter how old the kids were.  There was a play structure, a rock climbing feature (not just a wall), a rope climbing structure, and all the trees and creeks you would wish as a kid.

It was just pretty.  There was some sun.  The rain had stopped for a few minutes.

The other thing was I got to go to a yarn store.  A yarn store I wished to go back to since the last time I had been in Ashland.  Koda Bear was very good in the store even though he wanted to still be playing.  And he kept asking where the tent would be setup that night.  We got to my parents that night so no tent.  But yarn was purchased.  Actually most things were purchased were for the Bear!

He tried a hat on while we were in the shop.  He wanted me to make it but I did not think it was soft enough.  He agreed.  And picked out different yarn.  I made him a hat while we were at my parents.  He wanted it to be big enough to grow into.  He wanted ear flaps.  It ties.  It has all the things he asked for.  

Who knows if he will wear it this spring but he might wear it next winter.  I can wear it if he does not.  It may just get snitched!


instant oatmeal

When I am traveling, I eat almost all my own food.  There is a random meal or ice cream cone that is not something I have fixed but otherwise it is mine.  When we are camping and Koda Bear likes oatmeal when it is cold, that can be difficult.  

In comes Carmella Rayone's blog Assortment.  She posted a recipe for making your own instant oatmeal.  Something I hate buying but do for boyos who want a quick bowl of oats.  A bowl of oats that takes as long to make as to brew the tea.  I figured I would give it a try at home.

I roasted 2 cups of rolled oats as a test.  325 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.  I put them in a blender with a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  I upped the salt a bit from the original recipe to make dividing by three easier.  I also add cinnamon because I did not wish to have to carry cinnamon in the camping gear.  Powdered ginger would be good too.

It looked like coarse flour or cornmeal.  I then covered the oats with about twice as much boiling water as oats.  I gave it a good stir and covered the small bowl with a saucer.  Let sit about four minutes

All the oats needed was the additions of brown sugar, butter, and a spoon.  

Koda Bear was very pleased with the oatmeal.  Now, camping we did eat pan toast of the cinnamon swirl bread I had made for most of our travels.  But that has to do more with pan toast and cinnamon swirl bread being favorites.  We also really only had one cold morning.

But now I have a jar of homemade instant oatmeal.  From groceries that are always in my house.  Less trash.  More options of what to put in it except eggs that become dinosaurs or gummy bears  It pleases me.