"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Lewis Stevenson
|This fall's harvest, in part anyway. Tansy flowers at the back, safflower petals in the jar, horse chestnuts, acorns, and black walnuts.|
I spared you the picture of the leaves being pressed and dried in a mountain of newspapers and cardboard weighted down by giant art books (see, the history of art does have practical uses) as well as the sleeping bag sized ziploc of avocado pits in the freezer. While not much into whole cloth dyeing these days it does pay to have some dyestuffs on hand to overdye with. The acorns are for tannin solution should the need arise and the horse chestnuts will supposedly make a laundry soap with a "blueing" effect-if you know what blueing was. Anyway, I thought it would be a fun experiment provided I can find the bookmark on my computer for the recipe. As I remember it is dependant on pH to a certain extent. The safflower petals are another experiment for the winter. While not known for being a completely permanent color (even though the ancient Egyptians used it as a dye) if done following exact directions it will impart pink to silk. We will see if I get it right. To my understanding even if I don't I will end up with a really lovely orange/yellow. Avocado pits also make a pink as well.
Over the last few years I have had a hard time making plans for the future. Can't imagine why, what with the Plague and all. I tend towards depression and anxiety anyway and wasn't doing all that well in 2019 to begin with. But, in the last few months I have decided to stick to my plan when I can't decide what to do. Pick the option that will offer the most options down the road. So, for instance, when on the fence about whether to do a particular art fair or not, go ahead and apply anyway. Burning $35-40 on an application isn't the end of the world and if accepted, I can decide at that point whether to accept and pay the booth fee later. If I hadn't applied, I definitely wouldn't be in the show.
That's kind of why I have been scurrying around like a squirrel this fall. As I said above, my emphasis is really on eco printing, not whole cloth dyeing. But having the dyestuff to work with does give me other options if an eco print doesn't "come out well", overdyeing can sometimes give you something so much better anyway. The other stuff just keeps me entertained! Last year the snow was so early that the leaves didn't change color, they just turned brown and crumbly on the trees and then hung on all winter. Strangest looking thing. So this year I made sure to get out and pick up some of my favorites for winter time eco printing.
Even though this is harvesting, it is a way to plant seeds of ideas for the future.