Sunday, April 25, 2010

As if I don't have Enough to do

There are times when there are a thousand things I should be doing, like making the mulch pile in my driveway disappear, billing and accounting, spring cleaning, enjoying the mountains and local creeks....the list could go on....

But, my garden is mulched and mowed and beautiful in this mornings spring rain, and I have so wanted to paint the flowers of my garden, but with a twist.

The last few weekends, I have been obsessed with painting my spring garden onto every old white T shirt I have. I have always loved hand painted clothing. I have collected the supplies needed for years, as well as the art skills. I have also become completely bored with painting on rectangular squares of paper.

My daughter, Morgan, knows of my love for hand painted clothing and gave me a beautiful, simple sun dress with one morning glory painted on it that she found in St Croix.  Little did she know how that simple, white sun dress had inspired me to try again.

It had become clear, looking into my closet that I had not really bought any new clothes in about a decade. That was when all the good cotton seemed to disappear from the clothing stores. I hated the idea of having to go to a mall and buy clothes I hated. So, I invested in an assortment of good cotton blanks, short sleeved tee shirts and tank tops. Even some bamboo socks!

While I waited for the blanks to arrive in the mail, I dug out my old Procion dyes, beeswax, and the chemicals needed to fix the dye on the cloth, and thicken it for painting. I had to search for instructions, and information I had on the techniques I wanted to use.

I felt like a mad scientist, mixing Urea, soda ash and dye in my kitchen, while my mind had about 20 or so ideas for what I wanted to paint. Peonies, poppies, bleeding hearts, all soooo beautiful and in full bloom right now!

My house is on the market, by the way, and who in their right mind would turn their kitchen into chemical chaos on a weekend, where by some miracle, someone would want to view my home? 

After spending lot's of time watching you tube instructional video's, I pulled every piece of white cotton used clothing I had in my closet and began experimenting, knowing I didn't want to learn on my new cotton blanks, knowing the potential for mistakes at first try. After two weekends of experimenting I have four shirts I would be delighted to wear in public.

I feel as though a whole new world has opened up for me!  So many ideas, so little time.  

I'll be wearing one of these to a picnic today, and now I know what everyone is getting for Christmas this year.  

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Blooms and Abundant Beauty

Spring has arrived in a hurry, with abnormally warm temperatures it is all happening fast!

It is as though I left for Easter weekend in Virginia at the beginning of Spring bloom time, and returned 3 days later to the end of spring.

Fortunately, I went out with my camera last evening in my half acre wood and photographed the blooms. When I returned from work today, the 4th day of the heat wave.....most of the early spring bulbs were spent and browning in the heat.

The upside of this warm spell is sleeping with the windows open. I love hearing the birds waking up at dawn, and feeling the chilly morning air move through my room.

These photographs were taken in the evening light. Even though I had the setting on automatic....I held the flash lens down, and wanted to capture the true light. I did a quick edit and enhanced the photo's a bit, and I feel they represent very well energy of the pulsating and light filled spring season.

My garden is now 3 years old. It is maturing and fairly lush. Though, over the Easter weekend I visited my dear friend Carol, and her garden. Carol has had at least 20 years to naturalize her garden. I wish I had taken photographs of that!

Her Forget Me Not's are the offspring of seeds her son Shaughan scattered about when he was a 5 year old boy. They now bloom in drifts along her stone terraced walls. There are so many memories in her garden, of our children, our clients and gardening adventures lived over the last 30 years.

Here is a link to a slideshow of my blooming beauties this Easter week.

It has been a fun and family oriented Easter celebration with Easter egg hunts on Long Branch Farm with the grand children....with silliness and joy abounding.

I am most grateful for this magical spring and my amazing family.