Where did April go!?

For a sweet friend, a marriage congrats card.
My pair from Rachel Corry's Sandal Making class. I want to get my hands on some California-produced leathers now!
Making my mom a pair of sandals for Mother's Day.
And, my next footwear project is going to be....
...a pair of these! My foot is pictured in someone else's pair, made by Rachel.
I highly recommend Rachel's class. It was so much fun, fascinating, and satisfying to go home with my very own handmade pair of sandals. She has a Skillshare class up - quickly, take it if you cannot attend her class in person! 


Himalayan Blackberries Take Over

These sketchbooks from Pentalic are my favorite spiral-bound books for light wash watercolor work.
Yum

Himalayan blackberry is all over my yard and it's fortunately at a manageable amount - just have to trim off and uproot what I can. It'd be futile to attempt completely removing it. It's still inspiration for creative work.

More Mushrooms



A family of fruiting morels are in my front yard! They were discovered during weeding and general garden tidying. What's your favorite way to eat them? This is my first time finding edible mushrooms "in the wild"! 


First Day of School


Classmates' feet dangling from our "barn" classroom loft.
Plantago (plantain), Achillea (yarrow), and Stellaria (chickweed off scene). Can you guess what we made?


Piece I made few weeks ago. The mighty Taraxacum officinalis (dandelion). One of my favorite weeds, ever. 
I'm beyond fortunate to have the means and access to attend school for western botanical medicine. So much gratitude for everyone and everything in my life that makes this possible! 

To all my loved ones who donated money toward my tuition: I'm making your balms and salves this week! Forgive me, I have been struggling with that mildew and other household ailments turned into bodily ailments! *bow*

All That the Rain Promises

Oooohhh, unidentified. Questionable Stropharia? 
Peziza spp.
Yay, fungi in the yard, outdoors!
Fungi in my bedroom. On our bed frame. NOT cool or fun or healthy for my weakling human lungs!
Ack! Ick! Bleeegh. 

The wonderful rain has brought more moisture, beyond what my house ever had in the two years since we've lived here.

Our home is ill-suited for all of the moisture because I've revealed mildew problems in my bedroom before: last year, the one straw hat I own had green mildew growing on it. Luckily, my felted wool hat that sat on top had nary a mold spot. I took the straw hat outdoors, and covered my nose and mouth while I brushed off all the green mildew, sprayed with a diluted alcohol solution and let it bake in the sun. The straw hat bounced back from that and hasn't had another problem.

This recent incident, however, has resulted in much larger area of mildew. I found it growing on the cast iron legs of my sewing machine table! Wuuut?! Gross! On the bottoms of some straw baskets, into some wool skeins, sewing notions, and on my mattress. *

That was the worst bit. I went to bed one evening with an allergic reaction and no clue what was causing it. My nose dripped non-stop, my throat was itchy. My immune system went south, and I even got an eye infection (basically, I got pink eye) last weekend. There's no such thing as a "safe" level of mildew/mold because every single person has different tolerances for it. My partner, for example, has been fine. He's continued to sleep in our bedroom while I retreated to our living room.

Fungi, I have so much respect and fear for you! You range from the delicious chanterelles, boletes to the fearsome molds/mildews.

I actually have to stay home from work today :-( because I still, a week later, feel crappy from my symptoms and I also need to tackle the mildew again. I can't remember the last time I wanted a baking hot sunny day; I need it now more than ever so the sun can help me nuke all our belongings!

Wish me luck cleaning all of this. Have you ever dealt with mold in the home before? What measures did you take to prevent it?

*To clean the mildew this time, I bought a trademarked mixture of washing soda, trisodium phosphate. The product is called Concrobium, and is non-toxic. Can be found at local home improvement store. I also employed the vacuum, baking soda, and lots of ventilation to dry everything indoors. COME BACK SOON, SUN.