Wild and out of control! Squirrels, as any gardener will know, love to raid the compost and deposit pilfered seeds about the yard. I am used to having a few volunteer tomatoes, sunflowers, and of course Cucurbits! The trouble with the cucurbita family is that the first few leaves are almost identical. One could play a guessing game - pumpkin or cucumber? Melon or zucchini? Most of them get (sadly) plucked out in order to maintain some semblance of order.
These two lovelies, however, decided to grow around the trunk of our recently deceased tree. I gave them no encouragement, I did instruct Mr. Crafty to mow around them. So, like any good guest, in exchange for a little yard space they have provided me with some mysterious squash yummies.
You see, across the Cucurbita family, cross-pollenation is to be expected. I have heard tale of pump-alopes, cuke-inni, and other hybrids. (Such as my Pattypan Ghost!) These two seem to be different decendants from an acorn squash, each diverging in it's own fashion. We will see if they maintain the tasty flesh of their ancestors...
Do you leave volunteer veggies in your garden? Have you had any delicious surprises?
Monday, October 27, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
I dedicated myself in the summer to building my repertoire of plant dyes in the next year. Since one must gather as the year turns, it was time for Elderberries. It's the last of the season for berries, most had begun to wither and dry on the trees. Since I did some very large batches of syrup earlier in the year all the berries I gathered wen into the dye pot.
For the dye materials, I got into my Spinzilla stash. Irish wool, sock-weight Lincoln, and a loop of Lincoln roving. It was all pre-mordanted by soaking in alum and hot water for several hours while the dye bath simmered. Mordanting outside of the dye bath works better, as the mordant can bind up dye particles thus making them unavailable for binding to the fiber.
food-based dyes (Which tend to be less colorfast) and into wild plants and trees. Bindweed seems like a perfect choice as there is no lack of it right outside my back door! How do you push your craft skills?
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Greetings gentle readers, I'm back after a scheduled blogging break. (It was not intended to go this long, life seems to take over when you let it!) And so, to make up for lost time, here's a pretty intense project... Book Making.
I made simple boxes, seen to a page. One of my big complaints about commercial day planners is that weekends get the short shaft! As I'm often busier on the weekends I need to give every day of the week the same space. It's only fair.
I printed only on one side, so that the facing page would have list space. At the center of each bundle the book switches sides, one for dates and one for lists. Notice there's no dates in it yet, much simpler to print it out then fill it in.
Yes, that is a folder made of polished petrified wood. It's fantastic!