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It hasn’t rained here in 3 months and has been unusually hot too, so most blooming things are over and done with if they have even survived. I’m glad I didn’t make a dye garden this year, as the cost of watering would have been massive.

I try to do little preppy tasks whenever I’m under the weather, which is currently 10 days then 2 weeks improvement, repeat. So yesterday I collected a few thistledown, and a jar of dock seeds inspired by Uglemor‘s thorough experiments this July. I won’t be using them for yarn but probably stain paper with them as part of my pigment project. Oh, I didn’t tell you about that yet? Sorry, I need rainwater to get started, to not get a lot of calcium crystals mixed in as I suspect happened during my first trial run.

But I did complain that I couldn’t make paper last year because it was cold and raining all the time; this year I sort of forgot despite the heatwave (I also need to sort some way of pressing the sheets without having to bend over and pick up multiple cinder blocks from the floor), but I have started to experiment a bit at least, which is where the thistledown enter the picture. I basically want to add all sorts of interesting bits and bobs found on the property, and hopefully next year flower petals as well. Gawd you need to be flexible and quick thinking when you want to try a gajillion things on a wonky, unpredictable schedule!

I finally realized today what exactly my problem is. I was pondering (again) why I always feel so compelled to do silly things like collecting feathers and twigs and plants and slaving over papermaking, when a limited person like myself really should just pick one or two things and go deep, keep my focus, leave all the difficult tasks to others and just buy my materials to keep from getting exhausted. That would be the logical course, right? Essentially my logical brain knows that some kind of succes in the form of money and recognition is necessary to be able to keep a roof over your head, and for that, you need to produce something. This is something I stress over on a regular basis. My inner self / “soul” otoh? Is merrily disregarding all this and acts as if I’m simply working on a 30 year project. OOOODLES of time to make it all come together and finish something. And I can’t resist that urge. Interesting. I’ve touched on this before, but this distinct personality split hadn’t really been clear to me. Not sure I’d even avoid frustration if I was able to choose one angle and stick with it – it’s difficult to unthink something, isn’t it?

Yeah. I think today’s forage could perhaps go on a lookout for twigs and doodads to make paintbrushes from, to complete the madness. Any ideas for good items that fall into the “Close to home” category? (oh, errm, there’s another project that I probably haven’t told you about either…)

As soon as I have access to soft water, I’ll let you in on my new plans for plant dyeing, it’s been a while since I last wrote about that!

Also: Beeswax, guys. Stay tuned! (no, I did not collect this myself)