Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Using what comes to you

We have some awesome fruit trees and currently EVERY tree is producing laundry baskets, galvanized wash tubs and buckets full of pears, apples and plums. My dear husband lee has been picking the fruit and bringing it to me like cats bring in they latest prey , daily. I like to wait till the fruit reaches it's perfect ripeness before cooking and making sauces so this is a time consuming process. This year i decided with the first really big crop of gravenstine apples ever  to combine them all in a apple sauce  which is apple pear, plum sauce. all organic and from our property only thing added is filtered water and scant amount of ascorbic acid crystals. i "put them up" in canning jars, glass is the healthiest, and i use to freeze them to save on additionally fuel consumption the canning boiling process and we have a deep freezer which is really inexpensive to run electrically.  BUT this year I am deep hot water canning most of them.
I thought to my self how unhappy i would be in a 20 story apartment in a huge city, no way I could can fruit  and stay contented to the earth daily. That is important  to my healthiness on all levels. So when and if any of you receive jars of our fruit sauce from us know that they are more than healthy and good tasting and beautiful plum shades, they are also full of centering energy from our Zayante studio/orchard to your body.

dyeing yarn/fiber in the saori way

This past weekend I held a dyeing workshop for the mavens of the fiber forest. Talented spinner Heather  who sells her hand spun skiens to shops here in central/ northern california, showed me some awesome yarn she spun. The photo shows a core spun elastic with hand dyed wool. You can see the relaxed skein, and then it stretched to it's full length. This is a talented woman and I want to spin some of this amazing"elastic stretchy" yarn and weave with it on my SAORI loom. Heather dyed some kid mohair locks with acid dyes in jewel tones as well. Heather and her talented mom are both spinners dyers and "fiber artists" How nice is that? Talent for  the fiber arts defiantly run in her family.
Heather's relaxed  hand spun skein
The yarn fully extended. Amazing!

Candance applied her "free form" SAORI philosophy weaving techniques to her cellulose  fibers hand painted skein by dying intuitively . she wants to use the hand painted cotton for saori weaving warps. Not getting hung up on thinking to much and worrying she painted 5 or 6 skeins with procion dyes . Her skeins  are still waiting to be rinsed, more photos to follow in a few days, they were  beautiful.
Candance's beautiful dyed skein


I hand painted some skeins of various cottons with procion dyes after soaking the skeins in a soda ash presoak, I was amazed that the colors came out so bright after the final rise and a 24 hour waiting period of letting the dye set. The cotton 5/2 cotton will be used  for warp for weaving .These were really dark skeins and i was kind of disappointed at first after the rise, but  the original colors did strike and held and  the darker colors washed away! Just the opposite of acid dyes and protein fiber reaction when dyed. The wipe up rag/towel even came out cool, Candance said ,"hum if we cut it up the towel in strips we can use it for weft in a weaving for texture". cool saori idea candance.
This was a first time to try dyeing a hand paint cotton skein with out steaming to set, it works beautifully with procion dyes. usually i have used silk or wool etc and acid dyes. only wash the cotton skeins in cold water though the life of the finished artical or project  too, that way if the colors  bleed they will not set. Thank you heather and Candance for a great mavens dye day. AND to my husband Lee for setting up  the heavy tables, tanks pots and preparing the areas too.

 My finished cotton dyed skeins of 5/2 and textured yarns
dried dyed mega cotton skeins and clean up towel

Friday, August 20, 2010

Santa Cruz County fair crunch time

This week has been hectic. Last minute finishings before I take my entries to the Santa Cruz county fair . The bartlett pears, gravenstine apples, two kinds of plums  are falling from the trees in droves! so i made pear, plum apple sauce, every day this week. I ran out of canning jars today so went to the hard wear store  to get get dozens more. sneek peek of one of my entires, an hand knit hand spun and dyed alan dart creature  and my indigo hand spun yarn was turning my hands blue , but the clean up from the canning, I deep freeze the canned sauce in canning jars, finely erased the stubborn indigo stain from my hands. : update all 7 of my entries are delivered to the fair , woven clothing, a dress and jacket,  a wet felted mushroom bag,hand spun knitted brownie , and a scarf, and woven bag. will post photos of the display and weaving demos at the fair after the the 15th of sept . the week of the santa cruz county fair.

Friday, August 13, 2010

6 yr. old's First saori weaving comes off the loom

My six yr. old student's first 2 days of weaving came off the loom this week. I just love the colors. HE  did such an amazing piece! I am busy finishing up things to enter in the santa cruz county fair. I will not post the photos till I actually turn them in. Besides the weaving I designed and knit and felted a purple mushroom hand bag, botanically correct. Still working on a hand woven bag and a knitted hand spun toy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

6 year old and weaving joy


The weather was perfect for another SAORI weaving class on the covered deck yesterday. My returning student brought her 6 1/2 year old son along to class and another new student tried her hand at a first weaving intro. SHE was sad to leave the loom she loved weaving so much. well i am astounded but this is true. the 6 yr old after playing with cars and bottles and some dress ups said I want to weave. So I set him up with shuttles and a loom and continued helping  his mom. A few mins. passed he had used up a complete bobbin and was beaming and asked for more yarn.  He wove on for 5 straight HOURS. There was a brief food break, A few mins here and there but he was so excited he did not want to stop. We then moved into the inside studio and the loom  was barely inside the door when he grabbed a chair and was off weaving again. I heard from his mom this morning. After they arrived home and had dinner he wove for another 2 hours before bed. Then first thing this morning right out of bed he started weaving again! That is weaving JOY and competition for the loom mom!  Her great saori free style scarf and first weaving just off the loom, really beautiful.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


With months of work and thought my web site is launched. This is a photo a friend took in Big Basin park up here in the Santa Cruz mountains California near where I live and  where my studio is located.
I want to thank Sky Barcus  my web designer for his patients and skill in helping me.
Blurry eyed and sleepless I kept at writing and sending him photos all hours of the day. I  am very fortunate  to know such a creative intelligent web designer. I  contacted him just last week and he started to work on it just a few days ago to reach my dead line, the end of of the day august 1, 2010 and he did it.