16 July 2013

Creativity Journal - Day 10 (Water)

Use only water as your medium/inspiration today.
Water has long fascinated me, particularly the impact of water on poverty. For many of us in the developed world (and I presume most readers of blogs live reasonably affluent lives) water, on demand, on tap, is a thing we take entirely for granted. If you think you don't, try this - find your main supply tap, usually with the water metre, and turn it off for 24 hours. You'll soon realise how many times you turn on the tap and simply expect water to come out of it.

This site, which I haven't explored in detail, explains some of the connections between water and poverty - http://thewaterproject.org/poverty.asp. The simple cycle is - if water has to be collected it's usually the children, and most likely the girls, that do so. Education is disrupted or worse non-existent. Children are given the task because parents are busy trying to earn a living. If the water is dirty, the ability to work by the parents or attend school by children (assuming they have time) is compromised. Simply by supplying clean water the cycle of poverty becomes so much easier to break. Illness is less common; time and energy are more available - when was the last time you piggybacked a five year old 10 kilometres and then worked a full, productive day?

As I was thinking about water, I was considering all the uses I put it to. How it is a base ingredient. Generally it has little flavour of its own, no colour, no odour, but when you add it to other things it releases flavours and odours, and magnifies colours. Here is how water has inspired me today.

I am a coffee addict in recovery. Coffee and I have an unhealthy relationship and generally I try to keep my distance. Every now and then, as a treat, I will have coffee. I don't have just any coffee. In fact, I dislike hot coffee and am rarely tempted to touch it. But iced coffee, ah. Drug of my choice. And here's how I make it.

Make a nice, strong, rich espresso.
Pour over ice.
I know it looks huge, but that is an espresso cup.
It's quite difficult to pour and take photos at the same time.

Add another espresso cup of water. Add about the same amount milk.
No vanilla, no flavourings, no sugar, no icecream, no cream. Just what it says it is - iced - coffee -.

The second inspiration with water today was completely different. Yesterday I bought four plain, white, long-sleeved t-shirts. Today I bought 8 metres of plain white fabric, 8 white-on-white FQs and four packets of dye.The super-duper bright yellow is in the wash. I've also got a purple, grey and green. It's a bit of a suck it and see with the colours. The colour on the packet is next to useless for actually knowing what you'll get. Not sure what I'm going to do with the fabric, but I figured there was no point 'wasting' the dye. One packet does 1 - 1.3kg of fabric. All up, my four loads, is still under 3kg. The FQs I'm thinking of turning into scarves, maybe necklaces, some sort of accessory, anyway. The white-on-white is doing just what I thought it would do - everything but the pattern has changed colour, so they will be white-on-colour. The first load is done and I'm loving the colour. The second load is in the machine.

Dye? Water? Where's the connection? It's really quite simple, isn't it? The packet of dye by itself is useless. Wouldn't matter what I did, without water, the dye is not going to make a bean's worth of difference to my fabric. Oh, I might end up with a couple of splotches, looking like I spilt something at dinner time, but it's only with water that I can colour three metres of fabric.
Lovely white on yellow for scarves or accessory. Super bright yellow t-shirt. Just the thing for a gloomy winter day.

2 metres of matching fabric to make ... something

Tell me - how do you like your coffee? What have you successfully dyed?

 5:00 pm update - second batch is on the line. Supposedly "olive", it's very brown. The white-on-white is wonderful though. I 'accidentally' used FQs with quite dense patterns. The pieces have dyed very white. I think they will be used to 'soften' the brownness of the shirt. Pictures in a later post.


Sara Boepple said...

I love the reflection on the value of clean water and how we take itfor granted . What does "FQ" stand for/mean?

SueBK said...

A FQ is a quilter's measure of fabric. It's half the width; usually quilting cotton is about 44 inches, 22inches. And half a yard long. So it's an almost square of fabric 22 x 20 inches.

Faye Cook said...

Sue ,with your coffee you left out the last step
:then blitz it in you processor and you have a coffee slushy

Im an xnurse and know all about bad coffee addiction and bad coffee .

SueBK said...

You are right, Faye. In fact, one of the prime considerations when purchasing our new blender was whether it could handle ice or not. The Teen loves experimenting with fruit and ice (and a number of strange things) for slushies.