Wednesday, July 1, 2015

- Keeping well occupied: Updates on current projects

I've done a second dyeing run on indigo cloths destined to be a part of Hearts for Charleston ...

Thimble flower dyed over indigo cloth
after 24 hours of steeping in an alum and vinegar solution

Thinking I might have found the "missing ingredient" from the last thimble flower dye run that veered toward purple instead of the expected blue, I pre-mordanted this set of cloths with soy milk. To no avail ... they once again turned purple. So I'm accepting that's what is meant to be.

After these cloths spend another day in the sun and take a trip through the washer to remove allergens, I'll be moving on to the next step in creating the nine-by-nine strip cloth weaving: stitch.

While patiently waiting for the dyeing process to conclude, I finished the second building in the Austin Skyline cloth collage.  Linen side ...


and dyed-muslin side, to which I have pinned the cloth for the third building ...

Note: I'm giving up on designating which is the a-side and which is the b-side for now

Probably should have done this sooner, but here's a link to one of the skyline images I've been using as a guide for the project.

As noted earlier, I've also been working on turning over the partially decomposed compost heaps on the edge of the floodplain.  Realizing that the newly exposed soil was in danger of washing out during the heavy rainfalls we've been having, I began creating berms on the upstream side ...


And as I worked, I began to think of it as "the cactus corral" ...

Eventually the compost in the middle will be moved out to the edges, leaving a clear area for planting

With any luck, the protected area can be seeded with wildflowers that will turn this formerly weed and cactus-choked corner into a thing of beauty.

26 comments:

susan said...

You work so hard on so many interesting projects, Liz. You always manage to spark my creativity and inspire me to begin a new project of my own.

Liz Ackert said...

Likewise, you have me thinking of tortilla soup!

handstories said...

I see lots of blue here, especially next to the purple thread. They look very rich. & I'm intrigued with watching your skyscrapers be built…you have such amazing precision in your stitching.

Liz Ackert said...

Oh indeed ... the cloth had much blue in it to begin with. I'm a victim of my own expectations, too often scoffing at what I have for want of what I imagined might otherwise be. It's a tendency that I am trying to get over ... obviously with mixed success.

Thanks for the comment on the stitch precision ... another old habit that I alternately embrace and try to shake.

handstories said...

I know the embrace & shake feeling, but even with an effort to embrace, I couldn't achieve what your gifted ability!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

ok...finally have shaken loose from my storm experience and can look closely at your last
posts....the work with the compost and BERMS....this is a Joy to watch...which wildflowers
will you plant?
and your blues...oh oh So bluely Blue....
maybe today i'll deadhead some more of the Mexican Hats and try again. That mint green
i got the first time slowed my enthusiasm.....but try again...

Liz Ackert said...

Mint green sounds like a color I'd like ... are you using the entire plant? I got my blues/purples by using only the darkest flower petals (which literally took hours to gather.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

i used the whole kind of spent blossoms. I'll go look and see if there's enought mint green
left. Has been hanging on line since you were up at the Ocean. if i do, i'll send it to you.

also...soon it will be time to collect this year's walnuts and i am thinking about how just
a walnut dip can "sadden" colors that are too too and make a beautiful difference. Do you
have walnuts there?

Liz Ackert said...

Hmmm, I must have missed that mint green post. Amazing how much can happen in a week.

No walnuts here, but plenty of oak galls ... which are on my list of things to try.

Thread Born said...

Liz- enjoyed the updates on your projects...I love all those "blue-y" colors...very rich. I think the heart project sounds wonderful! The Austin skyline is magnificent...I love how you are working on both sides...something I plan to try. I'll be heading out to Austin in October with hubby for a short vacation. Looking forward to seeing that skyline for real!

Liz Ackert said...

Austin is a wonderful place ... six years on it still feels fresh and new

Mo Crow said...

Wow! such a yummy view of what is happening in your world!

Liz Ackert said...

Thanks Mo ... life is good indeed

Dana said...

I have never seen a picture of Austin before. I didn't realize it was so big and beautiful. Your embroideries are going to be a lovely compliment, and your blues look wonderful.

Liz Ackert said...

I love that Austin still "feels small"

deemallon said...

I don't know which to prefer -- the blue in progress for the Charleston quilt project or the emerging skyline. Both are delicious. The buildings really come alive with those tiny stitches.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

would you like some walnuts? they are still on the tree but there are
Many this year

Liz Ackert said...

No need to choose ...

By the way, as I dug in my compost yesterday it occurred to me that purple is a liturgical color (summoning my former altar guild days). That will surely influence the direction I take when I start to stitch ...

Liz Ackert said...

Ooooo yes, please! Can I pick them up in October?

Liz Ackert said...

As to what we will plant, I'm thinking bluebonnets ... now that would be a fun dye trial!

Marti said...

Well occupied indeed and well hatted as well because with all that you are doing Liz, I can see you wearing several hats: Certainly an artist "beret" as you re-dye your indigo cloths; a hard hat to build your Austin skyscraper cloth and a good ole Texas cowboy hat aka sun hat to round up your cactus corral and build your berms. Me, why I'm wearing a baseball cap as in being a spectator because I can't wait to see your blue cloth weaving...

Liz Ackert said...

Another morning well spent digging in the dirt ... don't own a cowboy hat, but the strip of lightweight cotton that I tore from a thrifted skirt makes a great head band. Hoping to have some woven strips to show in the next day or so, at which time I'll put on my show-off hat (big wink)

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

you can. but that cuts short the dye season..if i send them you would have the
whole end of the summer with your vat.

Liz Ackert said...

Guess I'll need a recipe, too ...

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

how extraordinary, we have the same word 'berm' however a slightly different meaning: verge or wayside; i love different languages

Liz Ackert said...

Verge ... what a great word.