Day 16 Priorities and all of That!

I’ll be back later to write a much longer post, that post will be about first dates and yikes doesn’t even begin to cover what I’ve been learning about how much youngsters are spending on a first date these days!

This past year has been about priorities, actually it’s been about making myself a priority for the first time in seventeen years! If you’ve been following me on Facebook you will see what looks like I’ve spent a ton of money on clothes and boots. Well actually I’m very good at thrifting so no, I haven’t spent thousands of dollars on clothes and boots!

I’ve simply spent what a normal person would spend on themselves in say a two year period of time. I’ve replaced a lot of clothes, lost 85 pounds, and a lot of boots that my feet outgrew… once again. I’d really love it if my feet would stop growing.

Speaking of boots I bought a new pair of inserts yesterday and are divine, if you have high arches you may want to check out the inserts pictured above! I also bought four new pairs of wool blend socks yesterday… my feet are a top priority, I may live in my PJ’s seven days a week but I try to take good care of my feet!

The hat fetish… well it’s not really a fetish I’m my mamma’s girl and I love hats! That said about a year ago the hair on my head started falling out, it took until August of this year to figure out why and I’m still not sure we have the problem resolved.

So cue in the larger than life hat collection! I bought four new hats at Walmart yesterday so I would have something I could wear in my studio and not have to worry about it getting ruined with gesso, paint, wax, and the like. I still need a cowgirl hat to wear in my studio, cause well… I love wearing cowgirl hats!

I had extensive food allergies done in August and it turns out I’m allergic to citrus, pineapple, mangos, papaya, jack fruit, and am intolerant to citric acid. Actually, it turns out I’m pretty much allergic to all tropical fruits.

The shampoo and hair care products I was using was not only high in citric acid, but also contained citrus juice and citrus botanicals, whatever that is… shrugs shoulders.

I had my hair cut for the first time in six months yesterday and my hair dresser was pleased that the hair on my head was coming back in, it’s about three to four inches now, and she washed my hair with a new product that’s supposed to help keep it from falling out. And I’m to do a coconut oil treatment at least once a month to help nourish my hair… not sure how that’s supposed to work but I’ll try anything at this point to keep my hair from being so dry and damaged.

The Marigold Vat… uh, yeah, more on that later.

Day 14 Cleaning the Studio

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Making headway in the main studio, my sewing machine if finally on my sewing table once again!

The marigold dye vat is looking gross, tomorrow I’ll be adding a heater and an air bubbler to the vat.

Lots of stuff to accomplish in the next two weeks like finish cleaning my studio and the family room, and getting my office and the dining room dealt with as well. I’m turning my office into a weaving and spinning room (I have several looms).

I’ve decided that unless a body of work I’m working on requires hand spun or hand woven fabrics that weaving and spinning are now officially relegated to the land of “that’s my hobby” so I will have a creative outlet that doesn’t also have the pressure of needing it to make income as well, this is very important for one’s creative mental health.

I’ve been hankering to do some beadwork but unfortunately me beads are blocked off by a pile of stuff that needs to be dealt with, there are days when I wish I could clone myself times three to get it all done!

Day 13 Let's Eat!

People are always amazed that I’ve lost 85+ pounds and John has lost 70+ pounds based on the photos I share of our meals. Truth is we’re allowed treat days. The trick is to not allow treat days to become treat weeks, months or years.

We’ve been following the 21 Day Fix (A Beach Body on Demand) meal plan for two years now, I’ve adapted the foods we like to eat to the containers and to the meal plan. It works for us, this however, doesn’t mean it would work for everyone.

The containers work very well for me, with my being a very visual person. Imagine that a fine artist and also a visual person, lol! John has gotten so used to it now that if he isn’t sure he’ll ask me where he’s at with his containers.

Some days we go over, and other days we're woefully short of meeting the containers, for me it’s fruit that I have a hard time meeting for my weight bracket. And this is where my coach, and the BOD support groups come in handy. I can share my gains, my loses, failures, and triumphs there and always get tons of positive feed back!

Day 13 Eat the shells or don't eat the shells?

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I bought some pumpkin seeds that still have the shell on them and much to John’s horror I started eating them without removing the shell. He’s adamant that you don’t eat the shells, and I’m like but it’s fiber! Whatever dude the shells are high in magnesium which I’m very short on these days and need to take multiple supplements to get my mag levels back to normal range.

The marigold vat is doing fine, I shall post photos of the vat tomorrow.

Day 12 A Little Studio Time

Set up a spot on my table today for a little landscape painting. The idea is to work on the piece for only a couple of minutes each day until the last day of December.

So far I’ve laid down gesso over which I added marks using a graphite pencil and a charcoal pencil.

Still haven’t added the heater to my Marigold bath, I really should get on this as I’m approaching the point of no return and rather quickly.

Day 6 or is it Day 7???

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I’ve been so busy cleaning the family room that I forgot to post yesterday, and deal with my marigold vat.

Cleaning has been quite therapeutic for me, I’ve been thinking a lot about this past year, relationships, and the like. I need to sit down this evening and write out some thoughts, I’ll be sharing a few of those here over the next few days.

Painting by Laura Jonas, it hangs above my easy chair in the family room.

Day 4

Not much to write about today, the vat is a wee bit darker than yesterday so I’ve decided to hold off on introducing the wool samples to the vat.

Today was leg day in PT (physical therapy) I swear my therapist is making up new ways to make me hurt, sigh. I’m hurting in a good way because I’m developing better muscle tone, and my balance is about 80% than it was this time last year.

I’m off to clear off my sewing table, got an idea for some new pigment painted pieces in the wee hours of the morning that I’d like to start exploring tomorrow.

Day 3 It's Monday!

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This is the marigold vat approximately twenty-four hours after I put the flowers in to soak. I’ll be adding the mordanted wool samples later this afternoon.

It’s Monday and I really don’t have much to say at all, other than I woke up thinking today was Sunday.

I weighed myself yesterday, I was 254, which is good it means I didn’t gain any weight during the thanksgiving holiday, but I didn’t lose any either. Am I worried? Somewhat it tells me I’ve plateaued, but I’m also exercising now with a medicine ball and I know I’ve been converting fat into muscle., I’m losing inches but not weight.

The solution is to re-evaluate what I’m eating, I’ve slacked off on the veggies and need to add those back into my meals, and for a variety of reasons. I slacked off due to food exhaustion, I eat the majority of my meals alone and it’s really easy to just not eat a meal and replace it with a can of soda pop instead.

Day 2 Let there be Marigolds!

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Time to make the Marigold Fermentation Vat!

I started out with a clean one-gallon bucket (you can pick these up at any big box store that sells paint) and filled it with screaming hot water out of my tap. I don’t use boiling water, but you could use boiling water if you wanted to do so.

I then added my two cups of dried marigold heads, you can put them in a piece of pantyhose if you don’t want debris on your final samples. I gave the marigold heads a good squish in the water and have covered the vat with a plastic plate. I’ll check on the marigolds in an hour to see if they need to be squished with water again, they should sink to the bottom of the vat within a couple of hours.

Tomorrow I’ll add my wool samples to the vat.

Off to get groceries and do meal prep for the week. Two years ago, yesterday, I started my weight loss journey. I’m down almost 100 pounds from 331 pounds. I made a decision to change my, actually our lives that day. He’s down almost 75 pounds. We both have additional weight to lose for me it’s 85 pounds, and for him, it’s another 45 pounds.

More later on how we both lost weight.

Day 1 of the 31 Day Writing Challenge

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Day 1 of the 31 Marigold Fermentation Dye Vat.

Today I made thirty-five wool loops for my dye vat, one of which will remain out of the vat as my test swatch and I will put it in a journal later. I’ll remove one loop per day from the vat, photograph it, wet and after it’s been rinsed and dried.

I really don’t have much to say today philosophically speaking, it’s a wet cold day here and to be honest I wish it would snow.

I am thinking about washing the one-gallon bucket I found in my wet studio and starting my fermentation vat. I still need to go to the store to get a fish tank bubbler for my fermentation vat.

Thoughts on Fermentation: You can do the vat one of two ways, fermentation using a bubbler to introduce oxygen into the vat, or without the bubbler. If you do it without a bubbler you will need to either seal the vat entirely with a tight fitting lid which is similar to solar dyeing and you could even use a one-gallon glass jar for this experiment, or you will have to heat it up every couple of days to prevent mold from growing in the vat. Mold will definitely shift the final colors, and quite possibly in a direction that is not desirable.

I realize that using a bubbler is not true fermentation, it is however my method of choice when utilizing a fermentation dye vat. If it were mid summer I would put the vat outside in a sunny area, and let the Sun do its magic, that said however, it’s late fall here and I really don’t want my house smelling like a swamp right now, because very often that’s what a true fermentation dye vat smells like, swamp water.

After I start my vat I’ll make up an alum mordant bath and mordant the wool loops, rinse them afterward and add them to my vat.

Where did the time go?

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I’m not sure how it happened but tomorrow is December 1st which is the beginning of two separate challenges.

Challenge Number One is two write a post every day for 31 days.

Challenge Number Two is the 31 Day Marigold Fermentation Vat.

Tomorrow I shall start the vat, I still need to go to the store and purchase a fish tank bubbler for my vat, which will also utilize a fish tank heater.

And finally, create little yarn butterflies for each day of the week to be removed from the vat.

The fermentation challenge will end sometime around January 5th. The wool yarn butterflies will be pre-mordanted with alum.

31 Day Writing Blog Challenge

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Starting December 1st I’ll be posting daily for 31 days, topics include:

  • 31 Day Fermentation Vat with Marigolds

  • My journey of weight loss, I’m down 85 pounds and have 85 more to go!

  • Eating healthy when you could care less.

  • For my single friends… some tips and advice.

  • My wet studio, I’m reclaiming it after a year of neglect due to multiple injuries.

  • Photo of the day, for those days when I have nothing of substance to say.

Another words I’m going back to the format I was using when my blog was with Blogger.com

Oh the smell of the woods!

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I’ve been sorting through the supplies I inherited this fall when a fellow artist went into hospice, and I’m listening to George Winston’s album Forest on YouTube as I sort. My kitchen smells strongly of the woods right now, pine cones, pine needles, and oak moss lichen. I’m in heaven.

In other news the sink in my wet studio is finally functioning again so will be starting the 30 Day Fermentation vat with my dried marigolds on December 1st. Check back soon, or sign up for my newsletter, to see my progress as I get ready to set up the vat, and as I deep clean my wet studio that I abandoned early last spring when my I no longer had water in said studio.

I am participating in a 31 Day Blog Challenge for the month of December with a group of artists, so am hoping posts here each day.