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It’s been a foggy day, raining off and on. Before I was a serious gardener I didn’t care for rainy days for many reasons. My hair would frizz, I didn’t like to walk in it, I didn’t like to have to carry an umbrella or wear a raincoat…. my list was long.

When gardening became a passion I learned to enjoy what the rain had to offer. It makes me want to stay indoors, enjoy the sound of the rain, read, work on quiet projects, enjoy comfort food and sit by the fire with a glass of wine at the end of the day.

Today a friend stopped by and brought lunch to share. We ate it while watching the eagle that was watching the geese involved in a very loud discussion, much honking and fighting and finally they settled down.

Because it feels like early April even though it is only February, lunch conversation turned to garden plans. We both like to use plants for a variety of uses, food, medicine, dyes. I remembered I had some avocado pits that needed chopping and when I checked them later I found that one had hardened too much to dice for better drying. But it shows the color I’m going for rather nicely… shades of red.

My friend stayed an extra hour before going back to work keeping eye on the eagle to see if it would fly away. After she left it put on quite a show of fishing. I watched as I sat at my work table, trying to get some work done.

Finally getting around to the pits, chopped what I could and took a photo. In the lower right hand corner are the freshly diced pieces. Lower left some dried pieces. At the top a fresh pit for chopping. In the center the dried pit showing color. The process of using natural dyestuff can involve several days of simmering or soaking and the odor can be a bit much. So I do this kind of thing outdoors when the weather allows. If this weather keeps up I won’t have to wait much longer before I start outdoor fleece washing and dye projects.

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While Easter is not about new clothes, candy, nor colored eggs, it is usually around this time that the weather is warmer, allowing us to celebrate and play outdoor and wear new spring clothing.   We’ve had much rain the last couple of months.. more than twice what we normally do for the month of April, but it was just warm enough to spend some time outdoors.

Saturday afternoon we dyed eggs.  The kids did theirs by dipping their eggs in food coloring which resulted in very bright and colorful eggs.

I experimented dyeing eggs using patterned silk fabric. One of the  photos show the eggs wrapped in the colorful fabric and then another layer of fabric to prevent the colors from touching the other eggs. I forgot that blown eggs want to float in water and so I put a trivet on top of the eggs to keep them submerged while dyeing.  The next photo shows the finished eggs. The colors and patterns didn’t end up as clear as I liked but I think not too bad.

While the eggs dried we went to Mt Saviour Monastery which is a few minutes away to see the lambs.  Jess took quite a few photos and so I’ll show them in the next post.

Saturday evening we went to Easter Vigils and Rosie’s Confirmation at a nearby church.

Sunday  up at 3am for Easter Vigil service at 4 am and then breakfast at Mt Saviour Monastery.  Then home in time for an Easter egg hunt before the kids went off to church with my daughter.   Jess, being taller had an easier time finding her eggs.

I had to smile when I saw what Connor was wearing for Easter.  Don’t know where he got the shirt, but is it called a Guayabera in Spanish.  It is often worn in place of a shirt and tie in Latin American countries and tropical islands.  My Dad, Enrique used to wear one and my sons wore them when they were little.

At Easter dinner Connor asked if  he could say Grace.  At 5 years old his prayers wander a little and can get long but we don’t mind at all.

Is it possible to be creative and get anything finished after a 3 year old child discovers the joys of binoculars? 

I think my brain is fried…..

Yesterday hubby and I celebrated an anniversary.  Instead of buying each other gifts, we pick out something that we can use, something that would reflect where we are in our lives.   One of our new hobbies is bird watching and we didn’t have binoculars  so we went out yesterday and picked some out before we went to eat. 

Back home, using the binoculars, we spotted our resident hawk and scoped out feral cats waiting to pounce on birds.  I like cats a lot, but between the cats and the hawk, the birds are in constant danger.    Maybe I should have a talk with Mr Hawk and see if he can solve the wild cat problem…. actually we plan to work with a local group to trap and neuter the cats.

Anyway, today I am watching grandson Connor…  who came with no volume control …. sigh…    The older I get the less I seem to be able to function around  noise.

Of course, I also have some things to finish up for The Festival Of Women In The Arts “Entangled Threads” exhibit which runs the month of March.  I’ve finished some final things,  needed to finish some small felted items and then tag the items and do up some cards with descriptions.  It has taken me a good part of the day to finish the little bag below ( for size reference, it is sitting on a large postcard) make and attach the beaded dragonfly.   Normally it would have taken me a fraction of that time.  I’ve decided anything else will have to wait till the little man goes home.

The little bag was made with fiber dyed in my studio.  I used very bright yellow/pink/orange.  I love all colors and just about now I need a shot of bright color to help cope with the last days of winter.   I have a bunch more of these to finish, in different sizes and colors, planned to pick one from the group to add to my exhibit items.  Since this is the only one finished, I guess I will be spared having to choose just one.   

Now I need to get going on the tags and descriptions….

An observation for those who like to work with dyes…

While the words dying and dyeing mean two entirely different things, they sound exactly the same. 

Thus, telling the person at the monument company that you will have to come back in the morning with the sketch and inscription info you are ordering for a headstone, because you are dyeing in the afternoon, does not exactly go over very well.

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