Tuesday, September 28

Natural Dyes

A few weeks ago, the Tahlequah Farmers Market hosted a class on using natural dyes in Oklahoma. We gathered together in the center of the farmers market to listen and watch as Gina, a traditional fiber artist, walked us through the steps of making our own dyes at home using the resources available around us in nature. It was amazing how the simplest of resources (ie: onion skins) can be used to make very rich colors.
Here is a list of natural dyes from plants http://www.pioneerthinking.com/naturaldyes.html

The simple concept behind using natural dyes is to make a strong infusion from the plant of choice and use that as the dye bath. The material needs a mordant to help the color hold to the fabric, and throwing in a few pennies can achieve this. The material can sit in the dye for hours or days depending on how saturated of a color is desired. I am excited to begin playing with natural dyes ... I think I will begin the red onion skins since they make a beautiful green dye.

Soil Survey Online

We stopped into the local OSU Agriculture dept office in Tahlequah and talked with Rodger about living off the land and what we can grow in our area. He directed us to an online soil survey site that has a very detailed map of the different soil types in each area. It is easy to use and very fascinating to learn what types of soil are available.

Have fun exploring your area!

Tuesday, September 14

Natural Building in Clear Creek

I am back from a workshop in Oregon and ready to begin putting our Oklahoma dirt to work. My friend and I will be building a small cob cottage using the local resources we have around our area ... dirt, sand, straw, and lots of rocks. We also have a large forest of cedar trees which will be used primarily for the rafters and roofing. For those not familiar with cob, it is similar to adobe. Click here to learn more about Cob

course at the Cob Cottage Company in Oregon. Here is a picture of one of the example buildings -- super cute!

I plan to post our progress and share the joy of building with our hands.