We Belong to the Land

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“We belong to the land” is a phrase from the song “Oklahoma.” The song describes lazy hawks and flowers on the prairie where the junebugs zoom. But it also describes farming and early statehood.┬áSo I’ve been pondering lately: In what ways do I belong to the land?

I think the question will stick with me for a while; this artwork is far from the answer. But I had fun getting to know the living things that speak for Oklahoma… The prairie celestials (blue flowers on the right in my drawing above) is one flower that intrigued me–one late morning in spring, it blossoms, and by mid afternoon, it has curled up again, ready to sleep for another year. Such delicate timing. What perfectly timed moments do we fail to see because we are too busy with our own little stories? We are more connected than we realize, perhaps.

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Re-working Art

I’ve been reworking some old pieces… I like to make art to fit particular frames to go in particular places in my house, but lately I’ve been wanting to make art for others. I’m playing with how to do this, and for now this means recreating a piece in a more standard size.

Here are the two I’ve recreated so far (first piece above and the reworked version below):

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As you can see, the arrangement and colors change, somewhat intentionally and somewhat of their own accord.

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Now that I’ve reworked these two, I’m moving on to something completely new! I love this phase of the process. (I love all the phases.) I have a few ideas rolling around, but which one will take root?

Fiery Inspiration

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Summer and Pentecost have me thinking about fire and inspiration, among other things.

Here’s what I’ve been listening to, lately, as I worked on this piece.

  • “Never Knew Your Name,” Mason Jennings
  • “Jesus, etc.,” Wilco
  • “World on Fire,” Sarah McLachlan
  • “Fire in the Hole,” Steely Dan
  • “Burn Down the Mission,” Elton John
  • “Ring of Fire,” June Carter Cash
  • “Joan of Arc,” Leonard Cohen
  • “Kiss the Flame,” Jewel

 

Dyeing Play Scarves

I decided to make some play scarves for C and her new baby cousin. I remember C loving scarves when she was a little baby–she loved to watch them move, hold them, etc. And now she loves to play dress up with them and build forts with them, and so they definitely get a lot of use.

The scarves I used for this project were 35 x 35, and I found them at Dharma Trading Post.

I followed the very helpful tutorial from Tried and True.

First, you soak the scarves in water with 2 tbsp of vinegar. I soaked them for an hour, but 30 minutes is supposed be enough.

Then I mixed Kool-Aid in 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of vinegar over low heat. I used 3┬ápackages of pink lemonade and played with adding a little blue and grape colors to make them slightly muted. This part was my favorite! (There’s an amazing chart of different mixtures here, but my shops didn’t have all the flavor packets listed.)

Why Kool-Aide? I really like the look of beet dye and other natural colorants, but apparently beet dye in particular isn’t very colorfast. I hear you can also use cake gel. Maybe next time I’ll try indigo, although in this case the silks definitely had to be pink.

After everything was mixed, I placed the silk in the pot (one at a time) and stirred it around. You’re supposed to let it sit for 10 minutes, but I was too excited and took them out after just a few minutes. The water started to turn clear as the color was absorbed, so I felt like they were done when that happened.

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Next you rinse the silk in cold water until the water is clear. The water was clear right away for me… maybe the extra long soak in vinegar made my silk extra absorbent?

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Then I hung them up to dry and watched as they sent magical silk blessings on the Oklahoma wind.

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And that’s all! They are soft and petal pink, and I’d kind of like to make more!

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