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My life in visual.
By: Purple Goddess

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Sunday, 26-Jun-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
We love to pick our own veggies! South 47 Farm

A broad view of the farm
one of the stands
shallots! so pretty
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Well, we decided on <a href="http://www.south47farm.com/"target="_blank">South 47 Farm</a> yesterday, and it was an excellent choice. See, given my physical limitations right now, there was just no way I could do Pride Fest, no matter how badly I wanted to. Just thinking about trying to find a spot along the parade route made my back hurt. So, we did something we knew was easier for me and that required much less walkiing and being upright. We went to pick our own organic veggies for dinner tonight!

This weekend the featured veggies included several kinds of lettuce, napa cabbage, raspberries, several kinds of snap and snow peas, bok choy, chard (red, white and yellow) and summer squash. RPav* and I picked most of these, with the exception of the lettuce, raspberries and napa cabbage.

* - RPav = Hub. I have decided to give him a name because I have grown weary of calling him Hub all the time, and you know, I'm not going to use his real name. The only case in which I use real names are: 1) Quinn. 2) Kiernen - although I'm not sure I ought to do this, but well, I've already started. 3) If a Blogger uses their own real name on their blog and I am referring to them. 4) Arbitrarily, chosen at my own discretion.

Ahem. So anyway, she took me home.

Oh, wait, no, that's not where I was.

We went to <a href="http://www.south47farm.com/"target="_blank">South 47 Farm</a>. Did I mention it's a scant 5 minute drive from our house? And that that includes negotiating our way out of the maze that is our subdivision? And that it is an organic farm? And that you can, if you like, choose your very own veggies and berries? And later, apples! they have a little orchard there, as well. And that it's all organic?

And did I also mention that RPav was all worried about us spending the last of our grocery budget ($40) and said, "Okay, don't go crazy picking stuff now. I thought we were just here for spinach?"

Oddly, we didn't even see the spinach. I think it was hidden among the lettuce somewhere and we missed it. But we got a huge head of chard! And another giant head of bok choy! And enough assorted peas to add some great flavor to the stir-fry. And about 5 little summer squash. And the entire thing? ALL of those yummy fresh veggies? ALL of them together cost us all of $2.89. That's right - TWO DOLLAH and eighty-nine CENT. Can I get a what what???

We have both fallen in love with out little organic farm down the street. We are planning on going back EVERY weekend with our cloth produce bags (which caught the eye of the woman behind the table, she was so impressed with us - we brought our own bags!) and getting whatever they have fresh and then cooking it that weekend for dinner.

Have I mentioned how much I absolutely adore living in the Pacific Northwest? Oh my Goddess I am so in love with this part of the country. We could NEVER have done this in St. Louis. NEVAH.

Monday, 30-May-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Finally! Tie-Dye Day 2!!!

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I've been trying to get fotopages to load for weeks to no avail. And? Finally it loaded, so I too can upload the rest of the tie-dye photos! Here are the results, after washing and drying.

Sunday, 29-May-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Tie-Dyeing Part 1

Hub mixing the dyes. Safety first!
The little white stuff is the urea.
In the process of dyeing - the table.
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I promised photos of today's dyeing, and I deliver. Might not be very many since most of the time was spent mixing dye, soaking the items to be dyed, and then doing the actual dyeing. V. difficult to do photos with dye and gloves on your hands. So here are just a few.

Want to know the steps in the process? I shall tell you, loverly woman that I am. (Um, yeah, just watched the Lemony Snickett movie, sorry. Damn, was Jude Law LITERALLY in every movie made last year or what? That man is EVERYWHERE. Sheesh!)

Um, where was I? Oh, right, the steps.

Okay, so you'll need gloves for this. You can use the yellow household gloves or the latex kind, but REALLY, you want the gloves. Not only can the chemicals used be hard on your skin, but this dye is permanent and WILL dye your skin. In fact, the dye will dye anything it touches - counter tops, skin (hands, arms, legs, forwarms, feet), toilets, tubs, fabric, anything. Don't believe me? Look at my photos above and see what happens when you don't know you have holes in the latex gloves. For this reason I recommend the yellow household ones. But whatever works, just wear gloves. And clothes you don't care if you mess up.

Also, you'll need urea, soda ash fixer, the dyes, bottles to mix them in, hand towels for wiping off the gloves (I like to have wet ones and yes, they get covered in dye so make sure it's something you don't care about dyeing - today we dyed all of our household washcloths). I also like to use towels and a sheet under the items I am dyeing, in addition to a tarp over whatever surface I am using. And I always, always dye outside. It IS messy, no matter how neat you think you are.

Um, what else? Oh! Plastic bags to put the dyed stuff in after. I save all of my bread bags and produce bags and every twist tie that has ever graced this house and our previous one. I always wondered why and now I know. These are PERFECT for the job. You can also have spray bottles, syringes and anything else that might make some neat patterns on fabric hanging around in case. And a bucket for the soda ash mix/soak. And a giant plastic spoon to push stuff into it with, because it's HOT. And rubberbands or string (I prefer rubberbands, Hub likes string. We use both.) And right, stuff to dye.

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, you need to dye can be bought inexpensively at Dharma Trading Company. I LURVE them.

Okay then, on to the actual ateps!

1) First, make sure that everything you intend to dye has first been washed and dried, preferrably in natural detergent and do NOT use fabric softener! It inhibits absorbency.

2) With a dust mask on, mix the fiber-reactive dyes. This involves the measuring of the dyes and a Tbs of urea per 8 oz bottle. Since I am pregnant, Hub did this step whilst I tied some of the items to dye and got them in the soak. For the love of Pete, do NOT use some cheap dye like RIT, because that stuff is worthless for tie-dyeing. Procion fiber-reactive dyes are our favourites, from Dharma Trading Co. And NO, they are NOT paying me to say that for them. I just like them THAT much.

3) This step can go two ways. You can either soak your items in soda ash and THEN do the tieing, OR you can tie the items and THEN soak them in the soad ash fixer. Your choice. We've done the soak first/tie after method, so this time we decided to try the tie first (so much easier)/soak after method. At any rate, the soaking ought to only last about 10 minutes per item, I believe. We always get distracted and leave them in longer.

4) Wring out soaked items! Too much wet can lead to faded and muddied (running together) colours - too dry can lead to the dye not taking properly.

5) You are ready to dye. So go to it! Everyone has their little tricks for dyeing, I suppose. Today one of mine was to use a damp washcloth under whatever I was dyeing to avoid the dye running all over the tarp and mucking up newly-dyed things. Some of the items I dyed even got wrapped in the washcloths we used to dye them over and them placed in the bags together (I found that the washcloths served as a buffer between my gloves (the dye gets all over whatever it touches) and the item, and prevented the accidental mucking of the colours on the dyed piece. Does that makes sense?

Each new item got new washcloths, so never touched the muddied fabric I used as a tablecloth over the tarp. Also, I turned the table a bit each time so I was always dyeing on fresh fabric. HOPEFULLY this prevented a great deal of muddying of colours. We shall know for sure tomorrow. (For the record, we use washcloths instead of paper towels in our home so we have MANY of them lying about. And now they'll all be pretty!)

6) Once the item is saturated in dye (and I mean SATURATED - you REALLY want to make sure it is as saturated as you can make it without having the colours all run together), put it in the plastic bag, careful not to have any of the darker dyes touching the lighter ones (here is where the washcloths really helped in many cases). Put a twist tie on the end and let it sit for at least 3 hours, but preferrably 24.(Believe me, after dyeing all day, you'll want to just wait until tomorrow to rinse it all anyway because that's a day's work all in itself).

Okay, that's all we did today, so I am stopping there. This is pretty much the end of Day 1 in the process. Except for cleanup, which let me tell you, is great fun. Then you REALLY get to see the mess you've managed to make. Gah!

Part Two and the Photos of the finished pieces will be tomorrow. (Our anniversary!!!)

Thursday, 19-May-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Redmond Watershed Preserve

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A weekend or so ago Hub and I decided to check out one of the parks that is only two miles from our home, called the Redmond Watershed Preserve. Apparently it is several bunches of acres of ovely trails and park area that lead to wetlands just full of wetland creatures if you're there on the right day. And there are several different trails of varying lengths, awesome.

So we decided to take the shortest trail because of my pregnant girth, which was .3 miles. And it was just lovely. So here are the photos we took on that trail.

Thursday, 28-Apr-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Most Beautiful Tribute

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I was in an online mail art group when Quinn died. And right after his death, one of the women in that group, Boo, had the idea to make a quilt for us, in honour of Quinn. She had me ask all friends and relatives for squares that she was going to make into a quilt for him.

Neither of us had any idea about quilting at the time, so we told people to make the squares any size they liked. They did. I mailed them all to her, the ones I had, and she was then left with the daunting task of making them all into a cohesive quilt. And in the midst of this giant project she enlisted the help of a friend of hers, Carol. Together they decided to take the project in a slightly different direction and make some of the squares into a wall hanging, others into pillows and the bulk of them into a quilt book which they embllished and decorated themselves.

Today this package arrived on my doorstep. I've ordered some things from Ebay recently so at first I thought it was some of those, until I saw the return address. It was from Boo! It was the book! And a LOVELY wall-hanging! After I examined every page and cried my eyes out at their beauty and all of the love and hard work that went into this book, this work of art, I photographed the whole thing so I could share it with everyone here.

So I give you the most amazing tribute to my son, Quinn's Quilt Book, lovingly created by all of our friends and relatives and put together by Boo and Carol, who are angels on earth.

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