Friday, March 4, 2011

Pioneer quest?

KAY... not quite a "quest" per se, but certainly a delving.
Let me explain: Nathaniel and I have been compiling a list of some historical places around southern Ontario that we're planning to visit over the next few months, and one of the places on the list is Black Creek Pioneer Village. I haven't visited that place since seventh grade, and Sir N has never been, so there's a significant measure of excitement in experiencing everything there from an adult's perspective.

Many of my own interests are more than a little anachronistic, so this forthcoming venture into Pioneer-world has caused the creative juices to churn and squeak, and I've come up with a creative endeavor that's going to be shared with my dear friend Kel, a soul-sister who lives on the other side of the world in the wilds of Tasmania: we're both going to create natural dyes from the native plants and mordants of our own areas, and use them in some artsy projects!  I'm aiming to dye both cloth and wool, do some sewing, and use the spun thread to embroider embellishments on whatever it is I'll be making.
This is exciting! I've been doing some research about the plants that are indigenous to our area, and can't wait to experiment with the colours I'll be able to create from the different plant parts. Of course, I'll have to wait for the snow to melt and the plants to actually start -growing- before I can harvest most of them to start dyeing, but there are some components I'll be able to work with fairly early.

I should be able to create light greens from the leaves of new herbs, pinks from early strawberries and sumac flowers, yellows from onion skins, etc. What I'll be creating with all of these components will be a surprise, but I'm really, really looking forward to the process.

In that same anachronistic vein, Nathaniel and I are aiming to learn some of the other things our pioneering predecessors would have spent their time doing, including canning/preserving berries and other fruit, brewing our own beer or wine, making our own cheese/yoghurt, foraging for wild foods, and tending a garden full of indigenous vegetables and flowers.

Spring really is just around the corner: the March rains will quickly give way to April's green, and we'll be prepped and ready to go!


Cananada March 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM  

I -love- this and I am excited to hear all about it. <3