Geranium pt. 2

I told you about the red geranium paint I brewed.

After the shell experience there were about 100-150 ml of the stuff still to go.

I put it back in the pot (including the crystals at the bottom) and let it boil (the crysals dissolved rather quickly). Then I added 2 teaspoons of aluminium hydroxide, also known as hydrous clay (Tonerdehydrat). The clay is supposed to absorb the red dye.

Which it did, I think.

Now all of the water has to go.
For four days now the stuff is standing in a water bath. The first day went pretty well, I was at home all the time and could regulate the heat.
Now I’m working again and there are only the evenings to heat the water.

I’m to impatient for this kind of stuff!

Origami …

… is not good for me.

Sadly not in the oh-my-god-I’m-so-obsessed-I-hardly-do-anything-other-than kind of way.

Sometimes I have trouble with my right hand. Some kind of chronic sinew irritation …
I’ve long hesitated but in the end I had to admit: folding makes it worse.

So that’s it folks. At least for the near future I really should restrain from doing to much paperwork.

And then we will see…

coming home

After a weekend of beeing away from reality, having fun, making plans and not beeing trown out of the ICE-train, I’ve returned home to find my geranium shell – which was well-filled when I left – looking like this:

It’s hardly surprising, considering that the plant sap consists of 99,9% water …

Neither it’s completely dried.

I think I could sink all the sap in the shell – but I won’t!
Instead I will use the rest for the pigment.

Wish me luck!


Fortune favoered me with some spare time last weekend. And so – with my boyfriend busying himself with bike preparations – I took my chances and a box of dried geranium flowers and started another attempt at producing paint.

As usual the flowers were cooked in an alum solution.
The crystals disolved rather quickly in the hot water. (I used about 15 teespoons and about 300 ml of water)
After adding the flowers it looked like this:

After 15 minutes of cooking.
At the surface there happend some crystalisation each time I stopped stirring.

And indeed there water was red:

I put the whole bulk in a jar …

… and then sifted it.
The result was a jar full of red sap colour with a layer of crystal at the bottom.

And now for the really interesting part:
When painted it looks like this

The darker stain glitters!
It’s the same effect as with the elderberry batch.
The book does not mention this – I think it’s some of the remaining alum crystalising.

I already started drying some of it in a shell, and I plan another attempt at producing some pigment – using a different method this time.

The Gladden Fields – Project – First Part Finished

I recently finished the first unit of the bathroom decorations.

The transparent stuff worked pretty well. It gave me a better grasp at the whole piece, which behaved well and didn’t tried any funny things.
Also I used more paint, so the pieces were thicker and didn’t went out of shape that much.

So for now it looks like this:

The colour of the flowers are actually more lilac, but the rest of the colours is pretty godd.

I’m thinking about flipping the next unit vertically. Like it’s mirrored … There would be two units of reeds next to each other … what do you think?

Urban Permaculture

I have a new book. It’s called ‚Jedem sein Grün‘ (which roughly translates to ‚Green for everyone‘, here’s the Amazon link.

It’s a book about permaculture. If you’re not familiar with the term, the Internet has a lot to say about it.

Basically it’s about sustainability, self-sufficiency, making do with what you’ve got and, of course, saving the world.

This book is not only about permaculture, it’s about urban permaculture, which means the same but not as an romantic, ideal dream about a big farm far out in the countryside, working in accordance with nature itself – no, it means starting right were you are, making the best of what you’ve got (a little garden, a small balcony, maybe only a window …).

It’s not a book that teaches you very much. It’s more the sort of book which reveals possibilities, shows you what others are already be doning. It gets you in the mood to do more yourself.

There’s a lot I could do with my balcony. A lot of space unused. I think next year will see some chances. More balcony boxes, maybe a salad tree, more vertical gardening, compost, insects, birds … much planing to do.

In the book there is one example of a urban farm.
There is a property in the middle of Pasadena, about 1/10 of an acre of garden, which is self sufficient. They even produce more food than they need, they sell some of it.
1/10 of an acre! That’s about 404,7 square metres!
If you don’t believe me, that’s the way to the homepage.
There’s even a short film which you find here.

This all starts me dreaming. Dreaming about turing my parents home (which is much more than 400 square metres) into a sort of village farm, maybe selling a some of my art, selling bikes too … growing stuff, transforming the whole ground, doing crater paches, sun traps, insect hotels …

Maybe …

First of all I need to turn my balcony into some kind of mini farm
– and I need less working hours to do all the stuff I want to!