I’m gearing up to travel again, this time to one of my favorite art fair destinations—Madison, Wisconsin. The fairgoer have diverse and eclectic interests, and my friends Wendy and Duane take great care of us while we’re there at their beautiful home well outside Madison. Preparations this year have been a little more challenging than usual, however. I spent a lot of time this week repairing the damage to my canopy walls. I ordered a repair kit from Creative Energies, although I quickly used the entire kit. I started calling around town to find repair tape specific for vinyl. J.L. Waters downtown came through for me and saved my tushie. Two more rolls of tape and I should be watertight again.
In the wake of my Columbus disaster I decided that I needed to keep making new art as I worked in repair and recovery mode. I’m excited that I’m close to finishing my ‘Summer Salad’ piece, although I think it might become ‘Summer Veggies.’ I’ve been poking away at little green onions to finish the piece. I knew I was on the right karmic track with my art when, on Wednesday, I drove to Musgrave Orchard to pick up this week’s CSA vegetables. I arrived a little early and I was poking away at my onions when Andy drove up with a big bushel basket of freshly picked green onions! I still need to make a few more, but I’m sure the piece will come together before Madison. In my near future I’m also thinking about making a ‘Lemons to Lemonade’ piece. It will have whole lemons and sliced wedges presented at various angles. After Columbus, it’s my answer to the old adage, ‘When life gives you lemons…”. On the other hand, you could take my friend Miah’s suggestion, “When life gives you lemons, just return them for some nice jewelry.”
As I prepare for Madison, I have a secret project cooking just outside of the veranda. I collected maple bark, lichens from a fallen tree, oak bark pieces and was given osage orange shavings. Each material went into its own big covered pail to steep in warm water. The pigments are extracted over a few weeks, and right now the maple bark has the richest colors. It’s good, stinky, messy science fun that will translate into some uniquely dyed fleece. It’s fun to think that when I get back from Madison I’ll have some buckets of natural dyes to experiment with.
Finally, now that summer is here, the CSA has injected its vegetables into my life. I’ve been getting weekly infusions of greens and onions, more than we could possibly eat in a week. This is my time of the year to make freezer meals for the long, cold months of winter. Over the past couple of weeks I managed to make huge batches of three kinds of soups with greens to freeze away. I made ‘Lois Soup’ with mixed greens and veggie sausage and a lentil soup with greens. On Saturday I made a nice sweet potato corn and kale chowder. I got the idea for this at the Unitarian Universalist art Fair last December. They have a lunch kitchen window open, and while I was trying to decide what I wanted, my friend Julie Lawson told me about the soup that she had made. It sounded warm and comforting and just perfect. I remember enjoying it so much! As I was trying to decide what kind of soup to make with the kale I had, I thought of that experience. And whom do you think I ran into at the farmer’s market, right after I after I walked past some sweet potatoes? To make a long story more compact, Julie sent me the recipe and I have another big stockpot full of soup ready for the freezer!
Until next week…