Thursday, June 12, 2008

Natural Dyes and other things

We have been experimenting with natural dyes at the beginning of this week in preparation for a group session we are running with two other families later in the month. We found a list of natural dyes from one of Katie's books and we also sourced some from an article written on the new Home Ed Wiki.

As cold dyes we used the juices of mixed summer fruits (making deep purple) and beetroot with vinegar (making pink). The following were all boiled to extract the dye:

Tomato - yellow/orange
Tea - light brown
Coffee - dark brown
Earth - darker brown
Yellow onions - yellow
Turmeric - deep yellow/orange
Dock leaves - very pale green
Dock leaves and nettles - pale green

Katie and Ben use the dyes to paint on paper and materials (cotton and linen were the best) with some lovely results.


Other things

More socialising than ever seems to be occurring at the moment - we're all enjoying it but it makes getting back to our normal learning routine harder and harder. Anyway, Katie and Ben stayed away on Monday night so P and I sneaked out for a delicious curry in the evening. Friends came on Tuesday from lunch time so I had the house to myself Tuesday morning. I missed my kiddies big time and mooched around the house which was such a waste of valuable "me" time! Having breakfast all by myself (as P leaves early) was the worst part; it was just lonely.

My mum has knitted this lovely winter jumper for Ben, he's really chuffed with it. I think she's going to have a go at knitting something for Katie too.

On the (diminishing) work front, we've continued with maths as much as possible doing workbooks and the fractions poster. Katie and Ben were impressing P with their knowledge of mixed, proper and improper fractions as P had forgotten what they were (just shows you much all this is used in the adult world)! In our geography project we're still looking at weather - understanding different cloud formations and what they mean weatherwise. We did an experiment to make a cloud in a bottle which sort of worked but not brilliantly and didn't seem to impress either of them! We've also made a rain gauge and put it outside just as the rain stopped and the sun came out! At least, using our cloud guide, we'd been able to predict this would happen. Just found this cloud guide which is good too.

The doll's houses have been rediscovered and Ben has done a new paint job on some of the walls before putting in the furniture. The visiting cat "Kandar" wanted to try a room out for size, but ended up snuggling on Ben's bed in the end.

PhotobucketOn the garden front I've managed to find space for all the chilli and pepper plants in the end; they couldn't have lasted any longer in the conservatory. We have two tiny apples appearing on our baby Granny Smith. We've noticed, by chance, a collared dove nest in one of our trees - visable from one of the benches so we can keep a quiet eye on what's happening. Lots of new ducklings have appeared and seem to be healthy. We've named one "Wanderer" as it likes to go off by itself, running like mad to catch up with the rest of it's family once they've moved on. It got left behind the other day and we found it sitting in the middle of the road, still strong and healthy and such a darling to pick up and stroke and totally weighless. Managed to track down the mum and reintroduced it to the rest of her brood. Mum wasn't happy with me being so close and came running out of the bushes to have a mega nip at my feet to keep me away! Discovered these two acting as a hoover in my kitchen the other day - cheeky pair!
Finally, spotted this tiny baby bee having a suck on a left over grain of cereal.


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At 9:46 am, Blogger Shirl said...

The natural dyes look wonderful - must give that a try.

I love the picture of ducks in your kitchen - that's so cool!

At 10:13 am, Blogger Lisa said...

Off to check the dye link, thanks for the ideas!


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