Sunday, 9 December 2018

catching up

 A dreary and at times stormy Saturday, where despite our love for autumnal weather the skies remain a dull grey, and at ground level drab browns and muddy puddles with absolutely nothing to entice us outdoors, we are drawn indoors and are able to turn our attention to the activities in the BirdhutAnd so, after an unusually long interlude, we will try to pick up the threads of the ongoing saga in The Dwelling, and reconnect with our small friends who are kind enough to share their lives with us. There are many familiar faces and we will spot a couple of new beings!

a small clay TrayBird, with feathers and metal feet

a bright red sewing machine in the room at the bottom right, where we store the delicate eco-print silk fabrics in the chest of drawers Rosie gave me when we visited her in Wirksworth UK this Summer;
the irony of this was not lost on me, as
I had recently gotten rid of my sewing machine as I more often than not argued with it! also, it ran too fast for my taste and was too darn heavy for sitting on my lap, nope we were more often than not in disagreement.
No doubt others here will have more patience than me with a red sewing machine*; the new Sewing Table used to be OBK's old bed which could not be squeezed into his new bedroom.

*generous gift from Jet

sort of partial overview

finally managed to fix the door hinges to OBK's new private quarters, never an easy job

a ghost figure found in youngest son's bedroom, we don't know yet who's hiding underneath, on the right a clay fertility figurine (I think), on the left a bird-hedgehog and 2 small hedgehog companions

a closer view of the Living room, OBK's wearing the new warm woolen blanket I knitted for him today whilst half watching Alias Grace on my laptop in the studio (have only recently discovered I can watch Netflix on the laptop, what a wonderful Winter this is going to be) I have moved the wall hanging to this room, to give it a warmer feel and also there's even more space in his bedroom than we thought, I will take photo's another day......

the Meditation Room, which isn't quite as quiet as one would expect in such a space, what with an elephant barging in blowing his trumpet, a monk chanting on his phone, the dog barking, the cow mooing and the horse whinnying, well I suppose if you can meditate here, you can meditate anywhere.....

The Studio (still not quite finished, like most of the other rooms, hmmmm) boasts a huge new open cupboard where Ms Smith can store her tins of paint, paper, brushes and all of the other artist's parafernalia; it attracts many of the beings who one way or another, want to practice their particular skills, like the hanging-from-one-hand-Orang Utan, the running-back-&-forth-along-the-shelf Hare, the climbing-to-safety Turkey Twins, not forgetting the walking-upside-down Monkey, it's a miracle Ms Smith gets any work done!

part of the newly refurbished Large kitchen with the beautiful Godin stove, another gift from Jet

OBK's kitchen full of beings delivering food, doing the washing-up, cooking, eating, cleaning up and making a mess of things, ha

here we have kind of the main entrance to The Dwelling where you are welcomed into the household by whomever happens to be nearest to the doors!
there is a lock and a key, which are rarely used as they have an open door policy; I strongly suspect it's because they cannot always be bothered to trudge all the way down from their beds if you would happen to ring the doorbell in the middle of the night, or if they're watching a live performance by one of their fellow beings and walking away would be rude, or they're glued to the telly watching a particularly exciting episode of Father Brown and don't want to miss a thing, but that's just my guess

Thursday, 4 October 2018

painting, gluing, wall papering, sewing, choosing, repeat

It all started with the corner kitchen cupboard, the quarter circle shaped one. I blame it on our eldest son. You see whenever he comes home, he starts unloading his stuff on the kitchen table, his laptop being the most important item, apart from his mobile, of course.

Anyway, the situation in our household is thus: we’re strapped for space (I know everybody says that, but we really are, house-floorspace amounts to appr. 85m²/915sqft, which obviously does not include the studio, or garden or garden shed etc, kind of small living avant la lettre) and in the kitchen the corner cupboard houses a socket, so when our eldest sits at aforementioned kitchen table, he needs juice for his laptop and the cupboard doors open, to a Black Hole. I had at an earlier time repainted the outside, a high gloss white, contrasting even more now with the interior look. I was so fed up with this dark corner sucking up all the light and looking so uninviting and gloomy……..So I bravely decide to paint the inside a pale chalk blue; I say decide as if I had chosen the colour, which I hadn’t beforehand. I can only choose when in the store with the actual pots of paint there before my very eyes…..and after a lot of deliberating, doubting, walking back and forth, I all of a sudden make up my mind and pick the colour! Of course once back home, I’m second guessing my choice, but having lost my receipt, ignore these feelings and carry on boldly: first removing everything from the cupboard, yikes, cleaning, painting everything a glossy white – only because I still had some -  as I am pretty sure the pale blue will not cover the blackness, finally, after two layers of blue life in the kitchen has improved, not least because all the plates, cups, bowls et al can go back in! The men in my household are very patient.
Now that I have the paints out and am in painting mode, I am also painting door frames and windowsills, kind of at random, but hey, lightening up the house…..lightening up my mood to boot.
The loo-door gets a different treatment: wall-paper-gluing newspaper articles of interest plus a couple of photo’s I like. All of this is leading up to where I am today: in the midst of redecorating and restyling The Dwelling!
Sweet Otter just carries on sleeping where ever!

Some of the stuff is neatly stored in these containers

a reminder of what OBK's room looked like.....

some (I'm not naming names) try to carry on as of nothing is happening and they don't offer to help

maybe I won't repaint every room, 

then again, I think I have

more and more, the beings drift all over the studio; things start to get messy, disorganized, unruly......duh, this is just a phase I say to self

aha, a hole in OBK's wall; Julie got me thinking about their need for privacy, so I am making a bedroom for him behind this wall! 

a small terrace, at last a small space has achieved some sort of peace 

the state of the studio this afternoon, me in near panic mode: will it ever get done? if so, when?

yes, a proper doorway has been made for OBK

a wall hanging for his bedroom, recognize this Jude?

here He is, lying on his new bed, allowing us a sneak preview

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

eco printing

what a surprise: a forgotten bundle in pan that needed scouring this morning, for the fresh walnut husk dye

yesterday: a very organised self placed 6 bundles in these glass jars for solar dyeing; I have written what's in each pot, tada fool proof testing.....the cotton strips of fabric used for the bundles have been pre-mordanted in oak apple solution.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend an eco print workshop last Thursday with Marijke Bongers, at her Eco Textile Studio, who herself learned a great deal on the subject from India Flint

below are the eco print results, some made after class from scratch at home, others were made in the class, or further evolved at home

how the paper prints might be framed, both sides are rather nice

I did end up washing all the fabric testers in olive oil soap, once thoroughly rinsed and dry, they they were ironed as well, as this makes for easier sewing; also, even if I'm not going to wear them (or anybody else for that matter) once they become Small Pillows, they will be fondled and touched so I don't to risk them being dirty in any way 

Yorkshire Dale Tale gradually coming together, both sides are basted and it is almost done!

the pink is madder, Marijke grows her own


maple & orange from black ink that emanated from the old paper that sat between the fabric; we made 'sandwiches': paper, leaves, fabric, leaves, paper, etc
folded between 2 metal plates, wrapped in a cloth, tied with string, into the dye pot, which sat simmering on the ring, for an hour at least 

ginko leaf resist and some kind of conifer


 lace and maple combined made for a wonderful result, above on wool, below on paper

sweet chestnut from our front garden


bundle back home, folded around a copper pipe, spritzed with vinegar, re-used all the leaves from the workshop, I think I added copper/vinegar water and some iron water as well, oh one cannot be too sure about these things.....if I don't write it down immediately I forget

finally blossoming, Morning Glory raised from seed

am really enjoying this eco printing! health is improving, appointment with my specialist this Friday afternoon, will try & keep you posted