Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spring Rush

My, how much has changed in just a few short weeks! We have gone from bits of snow and brown grass, to green leaves and even blossoms. And it is only April! It is unheard of around here!

 The ice was completely off the lake by April 6, and the migrating ducks are now harder to spot.

 I've been busy sewing all my own clothes (including a chic retro bathing suit and high-waisted bikini bottoms!) and I wanted to try dyeing this dress with the woad from my garden (which stayed alive and green all winter under a blanket of snow).
 I dyed it ombre style.
 I also have been experimenting with shibori techniques using my lichen dyes on silk.
 We were recently given a playhouse and my dad and I have plans to make it bigger and better! Stay tuned for that!
 We are spending the majority of our time outside, eating most of our meals out there and playing in the yard. Our yard has absolutely no shade, so we are making a little shady area under our deck, if we need to retreat from the glare of the sun. We hung up curtains and I am in the process of building a little couch/chair from pallets that will soon have some comfy cushions.
 I've added 4 new raised beds to our garden, plus the new green house against the house. My long-suffering husband has been helping me shovel all the dirt.
 The hummingbirds are also back, nearly a week early. This little male Rufous has claimed our feeder for his own and perches on our deck to keep a constant eye on his territory.

 This morning, it was -3c, and he had his feathers all puffed out to keep warm.

 Our deck space is becoming a nice retreat for us, and many of our meals are eaten here. This summer, I am very focused on creating outdoor living spaces.
 I am in the process of hardening off some of our plants, to make room for new ones under the lights.
 Our mason bee house is standing in our chicken coop garden and 3 male mason bees have already emerged from their cocoons! How exciting!
 Can you spot the three empty cocoons? The females are in the larger cocoons and they emerge later than the males. I am hoping that my cherry tree will be in full bloom when they emerge, as it needs lots of help with pollination.
I can't get enough of spring!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter Weekend

We headed down to Kelowna for Easter weekend. It is a grueling drive to make with toddlers, but so nice to see family.
 Before we left, there was still quite a bit of snow in the yard.

 The snow eventually gave way to spring, the farther south we drove. Sage brush and desert were a strange sight to see after a white landscape.

 Cousins and Easter egg hunts made for a wild and noisy time. Sleep deprivation and the odd grumpy moment (ahem) did not ruin the fun the of the weekend.
 The high mountain passes still had lots of snow on our way home.
 My plants had grown heaps while I was away and I spent today re-potting everything.
 The backyard is nearly free of snow and the temperature is hitting 16c or higher!
I have a beautiful selection of lichen dyes now. Almost time to start knitting my sweater?
 Letharia vulpina on the left and Umbilicaria on the right.
 The chickens must be enjoying the nice weather, as all four of them are now contributing to their room and board.
 I think I'll go back outside and enjoy these blissful temperatures!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

March, In like a Lion

We've had some wild weather lately, including a thunderstorm and a couple of hail showers. The snow is still here, but is slowly melting. And in lieu of actually having my hands in the dirt, I have been browsing garden pictures to find inspiration. I came across some beautiful driftwood and stained glass garden sculptures and wanted to give it a go for my garden. I melted pony beads in the oven and used an old fence post for my sculpture. Not bad.

The kids are getting excited about Easter, so we dyed some eggs the other day and made a beautiful Easter tree.

The tomatoes and onions are growing bigger and look great!
Cedar and I planted some radishes in a pot and put them outside in our greenhouse. They seem to be doing well.
The chickens are getting over their fear of me and are venturing out of the coop for some seed foraging.

And finally, I started dyeing with the Umbilicaria lichen that I have been fermenting for 4 months. The colour is unbelievable!

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