Life is busy, spending much less time on the computer lately, and more time with grandkids, outdoors, and artmaking. Finishing up this month's work in Kim's journal, part of the MMCA journal RR I'm in.
The family celebrated the 6 year birthday of grandson Ethan with a rich and tasty dinner at Red Robin, where he looked forward to and thoroughly enjoyed the wait staff clapping loudly while singing the Red Robind birthday song. I look forward to driving the last couple miles before reaching home; the views of the Olympics often take my breath away. I felt especially honored to witness this beautiful sunset on my way home from the birthday dinner, and because for once I had my camera in the car beside me, I can share it with you, too.
At least once every summer I like to spend the weekend outdoors, dyeing and painting silk fabrics. Much of this weekend was spent doing that very thing. Many of you know that I have a business selling vintage kimono silks. I have quite a collection of kimono and obi - many are in very nice condition and those will remain intact. Most of them though are damaged and those are the ones that I take apart, sorting them into good condition, those that I will sell as is, and damaged. The portions that are damaged, as well as the plain silk linings, are what I dye and overdye - I just LOVE the idea of turning something damaged into something beautiful again! The first thing I do is machine wash the silk pieces in synthrapol - a product that strips any sizing or other surface contaminants from the fabrics. Then the fun begins. I mix up batches of procion mx dyes - the basic color families red, blue, and yellow and mix my color batches from those.
Once the fabrics have soaked in the dye/soda ash solution for at least an hour, I 'cook' the fabrics in my microwave (no NOT the one we use for eating - one just for this very purpose!). I zip a bag closed, leaving open only a tiny portion open on top for the hot air to escape - I haven't had an exploding bag yet! (knock on wood) - then I cook each bag on high for 4 minutes. After all the bags have been cooked, I let them camp outside overnight to watch the stars (and cure a bit longer :-)
In the morning I rinse the contents of each bag seperately (and rinse, and rinse!) until the water runs pretty clear, and then they all go through a hot machine wash with synthapol again - this time the synthrapol removes all excess dye from the pieces. All that's left is drying and ironing.
In the next couple days, I hope to paint and foil some of the pieces, oh boy, more fun! I have some ideas in my head of projects I want to create with the fabrics, hopefully things I can bring to Art and Soul Portland for vendors night. I'll also be bringing some bags of dyed and painted small fabric pieces that I'll be selling there as well. I can't believe how the summer is just flying by, there is still so much I want to do outside in this beautiful sunny weather....
I hope you are enjoying enjoying the summer too, thanks for stopping by!
As i was taking an evening walk along our trail last evening, i noted how the smells were changing, that i was smelling hints of the upcoming autumn in the swaying partially dry fieldgrass. that the crickets song sounded different now, like there was a thin echo that followed every note. the orchard looked so lush and inviting, i wanted to share some photos with you. here is the apple tree that i talked about in an earlier post - the yellow transparents, their color is one of my favorite hues, like a transparent naples yellow. i'm the only one who will eat them though, as the rest of my family are quite particular about their apple attributes, and this one is not crisp. Here is a photo of one of our filbert trees, it's loaded this year and has the most delicious nuts. the blue jays manage to descend in a mob on the exact day they are almost ripe and clean the tree out in a day. i think we will net at least one tree this year to get some nuts for ourselves :-) i took a couple shots of the beautiful crabapple tree but both turned out blurry so I'll share that with you another time. Here is a shot of our bosc pear tree and one of our anjou pear tree; our big big apple tree, a late summer variety, is in the distance. the bartlett doesn't have a good set due to deer damage when it was a youngster so we won't get much there. I don't have a vegetable garden this year and really miss it. Next year a little one for sure
i don't have many words lately. in a day, i speak very few, write even fewer. i've swung to the far end of my reclusive introvert side. in 2 weeks i've left our place once, because i had to. there are moments when i feel lonely for people, for friends, conversation, but mostly i just want to be alone with my thoughts and myself. what a strange bird i am...
A photo of Violet on sea legs in the river a couple weeks ago
I have a vivid dream life. Often, if I wake in the night after a dream, there are symbolic images that just call out to be captured in my artwork. They feel strong, and full of color and energy. By morning most of the details are gone. I'm moving closer to the prospect of having a paper and pencil by the bed and writing it down. I must find a way to do it so that I don't disturb W as he is a light sleeper.
I do remember a delightful portion of one of last night's dreams. I was standing in the front yard of my childhood and looking at a yard across the street. I watched a deer who had his muzzle deep in the grass watching a jumping frog. I walked over to the deer and climbed on top of her, she was quite large for a deer. I rode the deer where I needed to go, on the road among all the cars and busses. I lightly touched her neck in certain places to indicate to her which direction she needed to go. Hmmm....it feels like it means something but I don't know what.
While I was taking my morning walk on the path this morning, smelling the cool fresh breeze, feeling the warmth of the bright but not-too-hot-yet sun, and trying to be mindful of the present moment, I found myself thinking of apples. This is going to be a bumper crop year for them, which means I'll be spending many hours picking, peeling, cutting, cooking, and canning them so I can replenish our pantry with apple sauce and apple butter. We have a small organic orchard, and one of the things I enjoy most living here, is watching the trees change. As I passed our *early* apple tree, a semi-dwarf loaded with 2" Yellow Transparent apples, I picked one and poked my finger nail into the skin to see if it was ready. A bite confirmed what I had suspected - the apples were ripe and ready for eating. And oh so delicious! Eating an apple outside in the fresh air is near the top of my list of life's simple delights; it has been for as long as I can remember. What a great start to the day.
I'm involved in the long-term project of digging out my studio. Sorting, purging, selling, cleaning, and rearranging. I am not one known for my long attention span, just the opposite, so after an hour of this activity, I magically found myself out in back of the house, paintbrush in hand, painting national geographic pages with citrosolve. Not that I need one more piece of this yummy paper, not at all. But I admit, I am addicted to the process, the mystery of the unexpected, never knowing what the results will each time I adventure in this process. Taking that a step further, I pulled out some objects to use as a *resist*, including leaves, mesh, and grass, and played with pulling out pages before I started and combining them with other pages based on color and pattern instead of the totally random effects I get if I used the pages in the order they are bound. This is a scan of one of the pages where I used leaves, I think it turned out very cool and I'm already longing to experiment more with it. Hmmmmm, I wonder what dilute bleach would do as a discharge agent when used with objects.....
I'd forgotten how much fun these are to make! I finished this one this afternoon and hope to start on another this evening. I realize how time is just flying by - just over two months till Art and Soul (Portland) and I've got lots of dolls and artwork to create to sell on vendor night!
"Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips." From 'The Prophet' by Kahlil Gibran