Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blue Hands, Blue Locks, and Bluebirds

Not a very exciting picture, but it was another day of dyeing and I soak my fiber or yarn in soapy water before it goes in the dye pot.  This opens the scales and allows the fiber to more readily accept the dye.  Dyeing In A Dye Pot With Gaywool
is an earlier post if you're looking for help with dyeing.

Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece: Custom-Color Your Favorite Fibers with Dip-Dyeing, Hand-Painting, Tie-Dyeing, and Other Creative Techniques

This is a book that might also be helpful.

That was tricky, taking a picture of my hand, I've not done that before. 
Being a short person, I also have short arms, short legs, short fingers, and short everything else.  Try extending your arm and getting your hand far enough from your body that you can take a picture of it.  It is not easy - at least for me!

Enough of that silliness! Why don't I put on plastic gloves? It is such a simple solution . . . but it would involve a trip back to the barn to retrieve a pair and it was 9 degrees last night when I came home and my hair is still wet this morning. Do you know what I'm saying? You're with me on this right?

So, the fiber has been dyed and is now soaking in a sink full of water.  I will soak, squeeze out the water, refill the sink and soak again, until the water is clear.

I then spread the fiber out on screens that are elevated off the floor with recycled styrofoam boxes. This allows the air to circulate both above and below. I have a ceiling fan I turn on which speeds the drying process. Even when it is dry to the touch, I will leave it on the screens 3-4 days or longer to be sure it is dry throughout.

The Gaywool color that I used is called Bluegum.

I often will dye my seconds, fiber I wouldn't spin into yarn, mix some colors together and package it to sell.  Felters love it for embellishing, dollmakers use it for doll hair, it can even be used for weaving. 

Creative Cloth Doll Faces: Using Paints, Pastels, Fibers, Beading, Collage, and Sculpting Techniques


My daughter thinks I eat, breathe, and you know what . . . fiber!  Well we do have 40+ alpacas and I do have a lot of fleece and I am a fiber artist - what else would I do?!

My mom pays a friend to help me clean once a month, bless her pea pickin' heart!  It keeps me sane.  To have some sense of order and know that at least once a month, the house will get cleaned.  However, my friend has had two vacuum cleaners bite the dust at our house.  She said she thought it had to do with the animals and all the fiber - do you think?  It can be found many places . . . It might be getting . . .








Hung to Dry




Or you might see me sitting at the computer, where I spend way too much time, listing finished items for sale. 
Can you understand why I don't have time to clean?

More blue . . .

Just listed on Etsy under 'Paca Baby!

I found a Sizing Chart I thought was helpful when determining what age infant these would fit.

Crochet Precious Baby Booties 8740501

Now about the bluebirds.  I love bluebirds and I saw a whole group of them outside my kitchen window this morning!  They are such a vibrant, beautiful color.  It's a special day when I see bluebirds.

The Bluebird Book: The Complete Guide to Attracting Bluebirds (A Stokes Backyard Nature Book)

I must get the bluebird houses that my dad made for me cleaned out.
Sparrow-resistant Bluebird House 

The mythology of the bluebird has deep roots that goes back to thousands of years. Indigenous cultures across the globe hold similar myths and beliefs about the bluebird. It is the most universally accepted symbol of cheerfulness, happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health, new births, the renewal of springtime, etc. Virtually any positive sentiments may be attached to the bluebird.

Barbara Dunn, Field Editor, for Birds and Blooms Magazine has written an article called True Blue FriendsShe feeds and photographs "those heavenly blue, angelic birds that make me feel like one of the chosen ones."  She even raisies meal worms to feed them, really, I might have to try it.  I do like bluebirds!

I also found an article on building a Bluebird House and Bluebird Facts that I thought were interesting.   These are the facts I like the best.

Bluebirds are family oriented. The courting male dotes on the female, waving his wings, enticing her to select a nest site and offering her treats.

Male bluebirds courageously guard the box during nest construction.

Male bluebirds deliver food to incubating females and participate equally in feeding nestlings and fledglings.

How sweet!

Bluebird Secrets is an article with tips on how to attract bluebirds to your own backyard!  If you want to know how to raise mealworms, you can find this out here too.

I guess some people eat them too - oh dear, I'm digressing.  Find out more on the USDA Agricultural Research Service website.
  And a little bluebird ditty . . .

Though you're deep in blue, You will see a ray of light creep through,
And so remember this, life is no abyss, Somewhere there's a bluebird of happiness. Life is sweet, tender and complete, when you find the bluebird of happiness.

- Bluebird of Happiness, lyrics by Edward Heyman & Harry Parr Davies, 1934

Jan Peerce sings the song "The Bluebird of Happiness" which was an enormous hit in its day. "The Bluebird of Happiness"

And about the bluebird of happiness.  It is the most universally accepted symbol of cheerfulness, happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health, new births, the renewal of springtime, etc. Virtually any positive sentiments may be attached to the bluebird.

A great read for Spring . . .

What Bluebirds Do

What Bluebirds Do

Be sure to visit Dave's Bird Watching Blog
It is quite interesting. 
He has pictures of bluebird fledglings and videos of 
Bluebirds Feeding Nestlings
 and Bluebird Eating From Hand.

Bluebird Art - Baby Blue Print

I found this bluebird artwork by Amber Alexander.  Check out her Etsy shop at
Amber Alexander's Shop - she does incredible work!


  1. Interesting info on bluebirds. I have never heard of its place in mythology, but then we don't have bluebirds here in nortern Europe.

  2. Thank you for including my painting :)
    We have many many bluebirds here. They are just beautiful. They are bullied by other birds, however... :(