Saturday, June 28, 2008

Shibori Dyeing Day Results

These are the fabrics I made last week during our group's shibori dyeing day.

There are two 1-yard pieces, and the rest are 1/2 yard pieces. Some fabrics were wrapped on poles, some wrapped on pieces of rope, and some simply folded and clamped.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Shuffling the Cars

Each year we deliver the Jeep (which belongs to Marcia's brother) to the cottage on Chase Lake in the Adirondack Park. We stopped on the way as usual at the nice community park in Mexico, NY, for a picnic lunch. This marks the half-way point on the 150-mile trip, and Bill re-enters the Yukon as we leave for part 2 of the trip.

The Jeep reaches the camp, and Marcia enjoyed (?) her bouncy ride along the way. Marcia's brother, Ken, and wife, Patty, will spend many happy hours exploring off-road trails in the area. The Jeep carries its own spare gas tanks (the red cans mounted on the rear of the car.)

We delivered another of Ken's cars to the private airport where he will land in his plane from the Boca Raton airport in Florida. The car was left at the cottage over the winter, and somehow the power source for the battery charger had been turned off. It took us some time and lots of hope to get the "Z" started. Marcia really enjoys zipping this sports car around the roads from the cottage to the airport. The Yukon driver has to hustle to keep her in view!

The private airport is owned and maintained by a local pilot who is a crop duster. He also retro-fits airplanes with appropriate hardware for spraying. The tanker at left is used to transport his material to the job site.

Posted by Picasa

Maple Ridge Wind Farm

On the drive back from the cottage, we go through Lowville, NY, and see this vista. Click on the picture, and you will get a sense of the scale of the wind farm on the ridge just west of Lowville. Some 200 of these blade towers seem to go on forever. It is the largest such installation east of the Mississippi and generates some 300 mega-watts of electricity that is fed in the New York State power grid.

The poles vary in height from about 50 feet to over 200 feet high. The farmers in the area receive a substantial income from each unit on their land. As almost all of this area is dairy farm production, you see many new barns and tractors evident as a result of the extra cash.

Here the view is toward the East, and a left click will show the foot hills of the Adirondacks along with a closer picture of the wind collectors against the blue sky and puffy clouds.

The towers seem to be set at different heights and angles. We suspect it represents a function of known wind directions and so as not to interfere with currents and eddys of neighboring units. All and all, it is pretty impressive, and we recommend that your next trip to the North Country include a visit. We wish these came in a smaller residential size, and we would get one in a hurry. We bet such a day is not far away!!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shibori Dyeing at Bev's

Bev hosted our group of shibori dyers at her farm and let us use space in her barn for some of our work tables and for the dyeing. Our wrapped poles and folded/clamped fabrics were dunked in the dye buckets. We stirred/agitated for 15 minutes and then added soda ash. And then it was another hour of soaking in the dyes before we could start rinsing out the fabrics.

While the sun was only out for part of the day, some of the dyers set up their work tables on the lawn. While waiting for the fabrics that were in the dye buckets, people were busy preparing more fabrics for the next round of dyeing.

These are some of the fabrics which were laid out on the lawn after being rinsed.

Posted by Picasa

Dyeing Day Dogs

Our hostess for the shibori dyeing day was our friend Bev, who introduced us to her new puppy last September. This is Rufus, who was patiently waiting for Bev while she worked in the studio last fall.

And this is Rufus today, at almost a year old. He was very interested in all the dyeing activities and checked out all the fabrics that were spread on the lawn after they were removed from the dye pots.

Rufus loves to run around his yard and chase his two canine companions......

But his friends, Thelma and Louise, preferred to spend most of the afternoon snoozing in the shade of one of our work tables.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sewing Day

Priscilla and Beth came to the studio today for a work session. Since Beth and I had taken over most of the work surfaces, Priscilla was relegated to cutting on the end of the sewing station.

Priscilla is working on a new jacket that was going to have orange fabrics, but is rapidly becoming a black jacket with lots of colorful embellishments. The crab mola for the back of the jacket has now been replaced by a terrific kitty mola.

Beth and I spent the day preparing for the upcoming shibori dyeing workshop. We wrapped 1/2 yard pieces of pfd fabric on various sizes of pvc pipes and then folded and clamped more pieces that will hopefully create some interesting patterns when they're dyed.

This piece of fabric was stitched to create a sleeve to fit over the pole. It was then scrunched down the pole and secured with rubber bands. The remaining ruffle of fabric was "fluffed" out. This should give us some great lines on the fabric.
Posted by Picasa

Suki and Sewing Day

Beth and Priscilla were at the studio for a sewing day, and Suki came to greet the visitors and warm Beth's chair for her.

Beth worked on the supplies we'll need for a shibori dyeing day tomorrow and loaded them in her car's trunk. Suki had to check out each wrapped pole.

She gave some thought to making herself comfortable in Beth's trunk.

But she decided to leave the trunk, and Beth went home without her.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 16, 2008

Strawberry Jam Day

We have a long-standing tradition on our little farm of making jam. We used to grow our strawberries, but our advancing years have suggested we let nearby farms be the current supplier.

The cleaned fruit is crushed in the food processor. This is the second batch of berries, ready for the stove and SureJell.

The bubbling batch reaches near readiness. A rolling boil of one minute after the sugar is added completes the initial phase of the process.

Our shared Dutch heritage shows, as we use various old jars and lids to store our bounty. As we plan to consume all of this ourselves, we will freeze the supply and open each jar as needed.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 9, 2008

Garden/Studio Tour Day

We were one of the stops on the Garden Tour organized by the Genesee Valley Quilt Club to support the Club's Scholarship Fund.

Bill, with his Club-supplied pink-ribboned name tag, is gathering the first group for a guided tour of his many gardens.

Priscilla Kibbee came to help greet the studio visitors, and had some time to work on a new "orange" jacket. Her latest quilt that she started in Pat Pauly's class is on the cutting table in the foreground.

The old studio was used to display several contemporary quilts, along with two traditional quilts that my mother made in 1934.

The corner was used to show the first "Jet Trails" (on the left) and "Blocks", which will be at Art Quilts 2008 at the Brush Gallery in Lowell, MA.

On the design walls we showed quilts from the Blocks and Jet Trails series, along with some work in process.

The picture doesn't do them justice, but we also showed jackets and a vest made in Priscilla's classes and from materials she collected on her international travels.

Posted by Picasa

Touring the Gardens

After seeing the studio, the people on the GVQC Garden tour went to see our gardens....

Some bush roses behind the horse barn greet the visitors as they head for the garden complex. Most of the gardens are conceptual and not particularly colorful. The roses add a nice touch of color.

The opening to the perennial garden always frames a nice entrance with foliage and sculpture.

The winding path from the gazebo with its granite pillar light, bridge, and cement bench leads the stroll to further delights down the way.

The rectangular beds of the perennial garden have been "dressed" for the event, and the late afternoon sun shines brightly on the eastern fence and its shrubbery adornment.

A pergola provides a resting spot along the way. Morning glories and clementis will cover the sides and top as the season progresses.

Blue rug juniper creeps along the stones and surrounds the mother bear and her cubs (the pink granite variety) as it marches along.

The dwarf blue spruce, the stage, and the skeleton of the Harry Lauder Walking Stick mark the southern end of this garden.

The right side of the picture displays one of the four entrances to the maze garden. The forsythia at the opening blends well with the vertical growth of the arborvitae.

If anyone recognizes the plant in the foreground, we would appreciate a note. It is a shade plant that will have orange flowers late in the season.

The tea garden stretches out towards the "summer sweet" border. All of our gardens were worked on and whipped into shape for this early event. Marcia and Bill contributed mightily, as did our wonderful and talented gardener, Karen Johnson.

Posted by Picasa