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.

Dyeing with Marigolds

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Freshly picked marigolds.

Dyeing with Marigolds

About twenty years ago now I did a special graduate school project where I took dried marigold heads and started a Thirty Day Dye Vat based upon Nest Rubio's article from Shuttle Spindle Dye Pot, Spring 1993, where she did the same thing only with madder root!

The result was a stunning range of reds from her vat and a stunning range of yellows to brassy greens from my vat.

Join me in the next thirty-two days as I recreate this vat using fresh marigolds from my garden (that will be dried first to maximize the color extraction) on my blog for this journey! 

Giving Away Classes this Week!

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Join my Facebook group Almost Stitched to win a place in one of my online classes!

All you have to do is join the Almost Stitched and post an original comment to the pinned post (do not comment on someone else's comment) for a chance to win! I'll be announcing the details when I post the giveaway.

Today I'll be giving away four seats in my online class Earth and Sky

Plus you'll get to see what I'm working on ahead of my trip to Seymour, Iowa this coming weekend!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/almoststitched/

Birthday Blowout!

I’m celebrating my 52nd birthday this month, starting with a storewide sale 23% off ALL Online Classes and eBooks!

I’ll ALSO be giving away seats in select online courses starting on Monday the 24th!

And back by popular demand I will be hosting a 20 Day Bird Challenge that will focus on Whimsical Birds! Cost and Start Date to be announced Next Week. Join my Newsletter to learn more about the Challenge!

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Solo Show and Summertime Savings!

Field Notes and Test Plots can currently be seen hanging at the  Sanford Museum and Planetarium  in Cherokee, IA, until August 31st.

Field Notes and Test Plots can currently be seen hanging at the Sanford Museum and Planetarium in Cherokee, IA, until August 31st.

Hot Temperatures means Hot Deals!

Take advantage of the hot summer temperatures and fire up some dye pots, or paint some fabric with earth pigments. 

Now through August 20th, EVERYTHING is 40% OFF Storewide!

The discount is applied at check out so you won't have to mess with any codes!

Check out my website for online classes, eBooks, videos, and more!  

I Lost My Why!

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I've been doing a whole lot of thinking the past two weeks, because a whole lot has happened since the beginning of this year. Some of it is good, some of it was bad, and some of it was down right ugly. 

That said, I've been doing some hard core thinking, and realized I had lost my "Why".  

This past week I've been seriously ill with a nasty head cold that settled in my lungs, which set me into an asthma attack from which I've yet to recover. This has forced me to rest, I've been so exhausted that until today I haven't even been able to sit quietly and read one of the many books on my table.

I'm still not sure why I lost my "Why", however, after some reading this afternoon I now have a new "Why". God truly does work in mysterious ways. 

So there will be some major changes in the very near future coming my way, which includes a move out of state, a new blog... to be announced soon, and a new book on a topic I would have never guessed I would be writing about! Stay tuned!

[LIVE STREAM EVENT] Plastered Fabric

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Learn How to Create Plastered Fabrics!

I will be live streaming at 7pm CST this evening, I will be demonstrating how to create plastered fabrics, wine not required, and then surfacing some of the fabrics I created earlier with pigments, ochres, etc.

I hope you will join me, looking forward to hanging out this evening! ~ Kimberly

PS: It's Free!

Click here to join me this evening! Almost Stitched