Monthly Archives: April 2021

Dyeing adventures

There has been far too little dyeing in the last few months–we have had a full house and a two year old living with us at times, with plenty of other things to do! I’ve managed to overfill my own personal plate, as is my wont, or failing, or superpower. Or perhaps all three. And there have been big events, house painting, all kinds of things going on. But I did have a trip to visit my friend Marion at Beautiful Silks who had new products she wanted to try out for dyeing. We had so much fun! Her garden is a place of wonder, and the now-closed dye studio has been a place I have passed many a lovely, learning-filled day.

It’s so much fun to dye fabrics I wouldn’t necessarily chooose, combine fabrics and leaves I might not, and use plants I don’t have ready access to at home. Watch what Marion decides to do or ask for. And… we just stretched out into hours of playtime.

There was folding and clamping.

And some of my preference for rolling!

What fun.

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Guerilla gardening success

Dear reader, I thought you might enjoy a little success story. When I started work on this spot, it was a weedy spot covered in broken glass and rubbish. It’s a culvert near a railway station.

Summer and woolly scale, and a neighbour with his own opinions about the management of this space, have taken their toll, but even so, this space is green now. It is no longer a place people go to smash glass. The first post I can find with images of this site is in 2016. It has changed a great deal!

It is now possible for larger plants like wattles to sprout of their own accord in this spot, though they do not all survive human intervention. I’m still weeding and picking up rubbish. But no longer do people pass and tell me that nothing will grow here. Instead they can tell what I am doing, and in some cases they have seen me there often, weeding and choosing sedge starts to propagate in pots at home. Some pass positive comment, and I wave at passing train drivers as they gaze down on me in this spot stopping by the weed on my way past from a run or train trip.

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Sharing economy

This is just a gratuitous koala photo. We went for a bush walk with friends and once back at the car park–saw this!

This is me ready to go to yoga, with my non-standard bolster in one pannier, and four bunches of parsley for the Grow Free cart in the other. They were all gone by the time I pedalled back!

I am loving the traffic of books in and out of the street library my beloved has made (with help from my father and the gift of a cabinet from hard rubbish from a friend).

This is what I’ve been doing with yoghurt pots and excess seedlings over summer.

Meanwhile, public art! Gratitude to those who have the skill to adorn, and to local councils who fund projects like this.

I managed to give all these things away on Buy Nothing, to people who were glad to have them. I really did not hold out hope for the (new, removed) insoles. And I am sorry other folks need jumper leads as much as I needed them in the past! Those nappies… given to my daughter and left with me, now gone to where they will at least be used before being disposed of.

And a few more parsley adventures. Since we are rich in parsley!

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Overalls #2: Linen edition and #3 Heavy Duty Cotton Drill

The first pair of overalls went well enough that my friend was keen for another pair! I had been given a huge quantity of fabric, most of it upholstery weight; and I re-homed it to a new asylum seeker sewing project through STTARS; friends who sew; some Boomerang bags; a kindergarten… you name it, I organised fabric for it! And still had some left. One of the things I love about making clothing is being able to put little personal secret details into it, like giving my friend chicken pockets soon after they have started keeping hens!

It’s a gorgeous fabric, though heavy enough I think they are going to be winter overalls.

I faced the bib and the braces with a pair of capri pants from the op shop I happened to also have… also linen.

I think they really need a human inside them to look good finished, but this is my best offer for now!

The next pair used up some of my vintage cotton thread and feature sunny yellow pockets on the inside…

Hrm. Here is another image that isn’t going to make the front cover of Vogue [sigh!! obviously my lifelong dream–not]. Colour me happy that I got a request for overalls from someone else, who had seen the first two pairs, and here is her pair almost finished…

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Early summer guerilla gardening

Here’s an early summer guerilla gardening outing… I can say from the vantage point of Autumn that these saltbush babies are thriving and much larger! Also, that the blue watering can fell apart completely at some stage over summer!

Here is another. Documented with just this one image. The saltbush are so hardy: these look like rhagodia. The prostrate wattles have not all made it, but some certainly have survived summer.

And a different day. I think this was a solo venture into the local creekbed where it runs between back gardens. I seem to remember taking a phone call at some point while I was there, and maybe that’s why I didn’t take other pictures. A fig and an apricot join the random selection of trees growing along the edge of Willa Willa.

In a different part of Willa Willa, running through a park, myself and my friends are planting out Ngarrindjeri weaving rushes (the sedge, cyperus gymnocaulos). Here are shots of babies about to be planted as well as some from previous plantings that I weeded the same day.

More fruit trees destined for public lands, and some water to give them once I have weeded out a place to plant them and put them in.

Bladder saltbush headed out into the big, wild world!

It has become a bit of a tradition to do guerilla planting walks after dinner when people come for dinner with us. It’s so fine to be able to show entire areas that are now covered in native plants or shaded by trees, where once there was only weedy land and broken glass and a regular council poisoning regime.

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More grandbub outfits

After the previous post, I found a little dress at the local op shop. It seemed to fit the kind of measurements I was working with. I drafted a pattern from it, modifying it quite a bit to create a fairly plain shirt. Then the fun began and it was a bit addictive.

This one is new fabric from a shop I prefer not to frequent, on the whole… with binding from a Buy Nothing gift of the remains of a high quality men’s shirt.

Then this. Not my finest hour in pattern matching (OK–so I only thought about pattern matching after the fact and focused entirely on getting the whole thing out of the small yardage I’d bought). “Baa baa black sheep” is a favourite for this little person…

Then the chicken prints–I was amazed by what Tricia’s discount fabrics had tucked away in animal prints. Our chickens are so important the grandbub has been known to list them as family members, says good night to them, and visits regularly (every time she comes over).

These buttons have been sitting in my admittedly multi generational button collection for many a long year and finally met their [next] destination!

And this, from two stash fabrics. Cotton body and linen sleeves, with buttons of varying shades of red.

I am happy to say that these outfits have been in constant rotation… often in the style statement known in our household as “mix and clash”.

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