Here on the West Coast we had a cool start this morning, the hummingbirds were busy looking for nectar but the silly birds kept going to the one feeder where the sugar solution had frozen. I had put out a new smaller feeder with fresh solution but they kept going back to the frozen one ….silly birds, so I brought the frozen one inside for a while to thaw out and it gave them a chance to find the good stuff!
We have all kinds of woodpeckers here in our garden, Downy, Hairy, Pileated and the Northern Flicker. I had never seen the first two types but now that we put out Bark Butter….they come everyday and eat it as quickly as I can get it out there. It is a spreadable suet that can go into a small log feeder. One and half inch wide cavities have been drilled into a small branch or log, pack these holes with the spreadable suet and hang somewhere away from squirrels. ( That is quite a challenge around here.) My log has a small eye screw on the top to make hanging it a bit easier. All the small birds love it too including chickadees, nuthatches and bush tits. Even juncos fly up to it although I have to say they look a bit precarious, they are usually ground feeders and don’t quite know where to land on the log and madly flap their wings, most figure it out and eat quickly.
My apologies for the rather poor quality of the above picture but I was inside looking out but I hope you can see the log feeder hanging below the squirrel proof suet feeder. There is a tail prop feeder close up with some bark butter spread on this side and a hopper (House) feeder in the background. The woodpecker photos came from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The Pileated on the left and the Downy on the right.
Now onto other things…the knitted mitts. I am not sure if I will make this into a pattern to sell, as much as I would like to, I don’t know how too ! so I have a little learning to do first. Here are some of the proto types.
Lastly I would like to show you some more of my eco dyeing projects. Some went well others not so good but all have been great fun….now I have to decide what to do with them. I think I will definitely hand stitch over some of them. The one with the pink lines in it was a mistake I tied the bundle with bright pink yarn never thinking the dye would come out I thought it was acrylic ! oops…oh well maybe it will be better with added embellishments. As you can see one of them is very yellow, I used saffron which a friend had given to me….but I was rather heavy handed with it … a little goes a long way !
Using natural elements from my home and garden I started to experiement with Eco printing. I gathered leaves of varying sorts from the garden, previously solar dyed fabrics and a new item, an all cotton shirt. I have been reading India Flint’s book Eco Colour which is where this idea has come from. First of all I needed to lay out the leaves on the fabrics and then roll them up around a stick and tie up well with string. Then I soaked my fabrics in a mixture of St John’s Wort dye with a litte beet juice added, boiled them for approximately 10 minutes, it may have been longer but not much. My fire was very hot and the liquid almost boiled dry. Then I left said items for almost two weeks at which point I took them out of the liquid and set them to dry outside. Another two or three weeks has passed and I opened them up today. These are the results.
Trying my luck to-day with a little solar dyeing. Easy peasey! just put your choosen flowers, leaves or other into a glass jar fill with (rain water if you have it) tap water. Place your piece of fabric inside with the flowers and water screw on the lid and leave in the sun for at least a month….let the magic begin.