Saturday, July 25, 2009

Riverbeds and Arugula

This week I’m descending into the green riverbeds of Monroe County. Last week I was dyeing a suite of verdant yarns that have already found themselves in my weavings. I constructed the base of one piece using a sumac weave that lets the weaving grow off the loom. It creates a realistic base for the single tree that will stand in the foreground. I wrapped the tree branches, needle felted the tree trunk and attached branches onto the trunk. As I laid out the background weave I used my trusty black sharpie and drew the outline of the piece on the warp. Then I started weaving, using a set of deep teals I blended to create the predominant colors of the weaving. I documented my progress with a picture and decided it was time for a break. The boys were ready to go for a bike ride, so we loaded the bikes on the rack, filled the water bottles and headed for the old rail trail and started our adventure. We stayed in the shade canopy and traversed the Clear Creek trail, a most pleasant eight mile trip.

That evening I got back to weaving and by the next night I had the piece finished. I’m really enjoying creating my most recent pieces with tree and water themes, and I’m pleased with how they have turned out. I stretched out the weaving and this evening I’m incorporating it into a dark brown frame. To finish the piece I’ll worked on needle felting trees onto the distant shore. I’ll also expanded the river into the foreground using sparkly silvers and a lot of strong contrasting blues to achieve movement in the water and give still more depth to the piece. To finish it off I’ll added some rocks I collected from Lake Monroe last year. My secret is to scour the creek beds entering the lake for small rocks that have a small hole eroded through the rock so I can discreetly secure them to the weaving with thread. I spend hours combing the creek beds and evading the copperheads for just the right rocks, and I must say that my collection of rocks with holes is extensive. Of course when that fails I have a secret back-up plan: my drill press!

To complete the foliage I also need to crochet leaves using the materials I dyed last week. I love it when just the right color for a piece I’m working on turns up, even if it comes about by accident. If you try enough color variations on enough materials you’ll find what you need. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

The other news of the week involves my latest breakthrough soup. I get all sorts of new greens from the CSA group each Wednesday, and this week it was arugula. I think I used the green arugula (and not my green yarn) in the Tuscan white bean and arugula soup I made on Thursday, which was very tasty. One sprinkles it with grated, aged Parmesean cheese from Bloomingfoods and it tastes terrific! It’s amazing what you can find on the internet—recipes to consume just about anything. Late in the week I dropped off one of my last abstract weaving to Wonderlab for their silent auction. Of course the boys quickly disappeared into the building as I chatted. I ended up doing my default activity, which is creating ornaments for the upcoming holiday art shows. I had a striking mohair teal that I picked up at the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Franklin, IN a few weeks ago. It’s such a strong, rich color that I had to incorporate it into a project. Later I dropped off some soup to one of my enablers, Mary at the recycle center. She gave me some organic soybeans that went into the soup, so I made sure Mary got to try it. I think that’s what recycling means. Anyway, the soup made Mary—and me—very happy.

Until next week…

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