Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Field Notes" with India Flint

India Flint will be teaching at Long Ridge Farm in August! The workshop "Field Notes" will be a 5 day journey of collecting and working with dyestuffs indiginous to our land and using them to create your own expression on cloth such as in this piece created by India which is on exhibit in France. Learn to dye with what you have in your own locale, simply and beautifully. It will be a 5 day workshop the week of August 22nd for a fee of $700. I will have all the particulars within the coming week. Space is limited and already four have enrolled. A not to be missed and rare opportunity to work with this unique artist from Australia. About India Flint.

I will be back in the states Sunday evening. A bientot, mon cheries!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dimanche de Paques

I woke up in Bordeaux this morning to a crystal blue sky above the rooftop view from my room. Easter morning. Alleluia! There were birds singing and as I took in the view a lone pidgeon had come to my windowsill to drink water from the ledge catch basin. The city was quiet this morning. France rests on Sundays.

My traveling comrade and friend, Ramona, planned to attend Easter Mass and I decided to join her at the Cathedral Saint Andre. It was 4 blocks or so from the hotel, an enormous, grand cathedral. This is a view of the pipes of the organ.

It was standing room only, high mass, and of course all in French. I sat there in awe that I was celebrating Easter in an ancient church, in a far away place, with the music bellowing about the stone and stained glass.

We realized that in this Easter day Jean Pierre Cardinal Ricard was officiating the service. Perhaps that explained the standing room only but none the less it was a grand occasion.

After the service we took to yet another devine lunch, this time at le Cafe Francais.

We packed our bags, boarded the train to La Rochelle at 5PM and arrived to a thunderstorm and some much needed rain.
And so begins the natural dye symposium in the morning and another old city to meet this week as the days pass to nights.
Bonne nuit.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Beyond my peripheral vision

Bordeaux. It is alive. France shares a love for life, and gives this gift if you are open to it's hand.

my view of Bordeaux this morning...

holding court with great company....

and my weakness on Rue Porte Dijeaux.

The shops are closed tomorrow for Sunday and even moreso for Easter,....but the romance in Bordeaux doesn't close. A part of my heart remains here. Leaving in the morning for the next destination with reluctance. Je t'aime Bordeaux.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

baaaaa from la Madeleine

Saw the most incredible farmland today from la Madeleine to Fanlac to Bars....this is a very special part of the Dordogne Region.

Off to Bordeaux tomorrow at early dawn....bonne soir!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Fat is fat. Sauted potatoes in duck fat and herbs....mmmmm, the food is devine. The trip is fabulous! Cyber communication a challenge. Pardon! Presently in reeelax mode, in the French countryside. Visited Sarlat today for the outdoor market and on to Racamadour. Needless to say, awesome. It was 80 degrees F today, full sun, dined outside both for lunch and this evening in Montignac. I am having a French love affair with Bergerac, a yummy dry, white wine from this very region. Bonne Nuit!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

à bientôt chers amis

It's time to fly...

Leaving for France tomorrow...some time in the Dordogne Region, on to Bordeaux and then up to La Rochelle for the ISEND natural dye conference.
I will be sharing the trip here and on Facebook so do check in.

I feel so blessed if only the pups wouldn't look so weepy now that my suitcase is packed.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

All about CVM/Romeldales

Just published! An article I wrote for the fabulous online fiber resoure, Ennea Collective about our CVM/Romeldale sheep Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Whirrr go the shears

Shearing is done. The weather cooperated with a bright sunny day and no adverse weather for days ahead. What not to wish for is wet and cold. If the sheep are subjected to wet conditions before shearing it affects the shearer's progress and also management of the fleece after it is "on the table". In addition, I am not fond of plummeting temperatures after shearing when the flock is compromised with no fleece. The shiver and shake as they go...

Shearing began...we had three helpers in the shearing section and three helpers in the skirting section. Here is our shearer, Andy Rice, throwing a fleece on the skirting table.

Griffin is a yearling and he was not happy about the bad boy here.
Hours later, shearing done, we let them out of the barn and whoosh! With no lead and one controlling sheltie (Kalie) the flock was back to their regular digs and full hay racks....ahhhh
We all took a break for some venison chili, warm garlic bread, wine and camaraderie after the shear

Midway through shearing shows the signs of our breed's wool. It's greasy by nature and that manifests itself on the shearer's blades....

Always an event and magnificent each year!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

French Bleu

In anticipation of my upcoming trip back to France I found myself once again in a love affair with woad, the royal blue of France. I spent the day in the studio, immersed in is the vat before I began dipping....I wasn't pleased with the color here (eye test) but my eye proved me a bit picky. All turned out stunning!

below are silk indigo dyed a few weeks ago, right: deeper dyed woad, left: lightly dyed woad...note the difference in the hues added my CVM light worsted at the bottom for comparison.... my end of the day; silks in the top photo are still drying, here are ribbon and yarn dyed in woad along with a run of Victoria (in honor of the royal wedding coming up!) pip-pip!and a bientot!