The Invasion of the Living Room

Traditionally around the 10th of december I wake up thinking:
„Hey, aren’t I supposed to pick Barbara branches somewhat nowish? Oh, no it’s too late now I should have done it a week ago …!“
Yo’re to pick branches of spring blossoming woods at the fourth of december, and to put them in a vase (with water) and in a warm room so they will (with some luck) be in bloom around christmas time.
But this time I remembered! Despite having lain on the couch all day with a bad migraine, I got up in the evening, put on my boot and went out, not to the apple tree, because of snow beeing in the way but to the forsythia standing right there by the street. And one day later I got out again and did the whole round: witch hazel, dogwood, southern beech …

And I’ve got proof!

I think some of the buds are already beginning to swell.

I’m afraid the pictures don’t show much detail,
but turned out to be all artsy-fartsy.
Which I think is great by the way – but just not what I had in mind.

That’s no christmas decoration. That’s little moons, invading my flat, seeking shelter from the cold.

Did you get some yourself? Barbara branches? Moons?

Like it’s a piece of Aglarond

Do you see this?
The geranium sap shell (gss) is all crystal like a pretty little geode.

I took a lot of pictures, and you have to watch them ALL!

Do you know what’s great?


It dissolves really easy in water.

Making it very easy to soak up paint with a brush and … well paint.

OK, there are just five pictures but I like them.


A bunch of sunflowers.

The petals of a bunch of sunflowers in a pot.

The petals of a bunch of sunflowers with water and alum in a pot cooking slowly.

The petals of a bunch of sunflowers with water and alum in a pot cooking slowly, giving only marginal colour.

The petals of a bunch of sunflowers with water and alum in a pot, giving a bit more colour after more cooking.

The sap of a bunch of sunflowers after much cooking and adding some hydrous clay

The hydrous clay sap of a bunch of sunflowers after much cooking and dehydrating.

The dried hydrous clay sap of a bunch of sunflowers wayting for me to find me mortar and pestle.


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.