Archive for May, 2008

Color Studies

I’ve been working with a defined palette. It’s not really quite what I would choose and it has been a challenge for me. I’ve made lots of sketches and worked up two of the designs to try to decide what the final piece should look like. I’m still working on the final design but here are the two small trials.

This one is about 8″ x 8″.

This one is about 12″ x 12″.

The back of the second piece:

I’ll post the final piece in a little while with a full explanation.

Spring Beauty

While out walking in our woods and along the road the other day, I came across some lovely early spring wild flowers that were quietly coloring the landscape. Here are a few thumbnails of those I found in the last week:

Spring Beauty, Red Trillium, Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Witch Hobble (Viburnum lantanoides), Violets, Wild Oats

False Solomon’s Seal, Trout Lily

Fiddleheads

We’ve tried another Vermont delicacy. Olive, who is an old-time Vermonter makes a delicious wild salad made of greens and blooms she gleans from the woods. I’ve eaten fiddleheads in her salad and asked her to take me along fiddlehead picking when she went this Spring. Today was that day.

Fiddleheads are fern fronds as they are just coming up out of the ground, so named because they look like the curled scroll of the fiddle or violin. Not all ferns are edible, only the Ostrich Fern, and only when the fronds are first coming up.

We picked in a damp place just off the dirt road on the property of an acquaintance. Olive gets permission to pick here every year and it is a prime spot. It is a large cleared area where the ferns grow thickly and there are lots to choose from. We filled our bags in no time. The shoots are tender at this stage and easily picked by pinching off with your fingers.

It is important to get rid of the papery brown sheath that covers the fiddlehead as it comes up. Once that is off, a good washing is all that’s needed before blanching. I boiled mine for 5 minutes and served them with a little butter and salt. Mmm, they were yummy!

Ah, Spring!

My Bloodroot is thriving and happy and it burst into bloom this morning. It comes up as a tight white bud wrapped up in a frilly leaf cloak, blooms during the day and closes up at dusk. This is one of my all time favorite wild flowers.

Envelope Purse

Recently I taught an easy crochet class at Six Loose Ladies, our local fiber shop. The project was a cute little envelope purse made from one skein of yarn. While students were busy making the body of the bag, I started another one from some beautiful recycled silk we had in the shop. Working with this was interesting since it is very uneven in thickness and has some very large slubs. Also, it isn’t plied so it kept kinking up. But the purse came out very nicely, especially after I used a contrasting rayon chenille for the edge of the flap and added a large gold button.


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