Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pictures that represent the message sent.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Elderberry Ink


  • 1/s cup ripe berries [elderberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries.... as an example]
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. place the berries in a bowl.
  2. Use a potato masher to begin to crush the berries.
  3. Remove the berries placing the berries over a sieve or lining the 2nd bowl with muslin cloth.
  4. Carry on crushing the berries while using a sieve or cheese cloth to hold onto the berry seeds and skins.
  5. Very gently squeeze the pulp every so often to encourage the juice to come through.
  6. Let the juice drain and drip out through the sieve /muslin.
  7. When finished dripping use the pulp in the compost.
  8. Add vinegar to the juice to retain the colour. 
  9. Then add the salt to help prevent the moulding.
  10. If too thick just add a few drops of water. 
    1. Check constancy. 
  11. When satisfied use.
  12. After use keep remaining ink in a small glass jar [with a lid on] in the refrigerator.

Similar Posts

  1. Elderberry Cordial
  2. Elderberry Jelly
  3. The Elderberry

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The Crunchy Chicken

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A note on 2.5D, 3/4 Perspective and pseudo-3D

2.5D ("two-and-a-half-dimensional"), 3/4 perspective and pseudo-3D are terms used to describe either:
  • graphical projections and techniques which cause a series of images or scenes to fake or appear to be three-dimensional (3D) when in fact they are not, or
  • gameplay in an otherwise three-dimensional video game that is restricted to a two-dimensional plane.
Common in video games, these projections have also been useful in geographic visualization (GVIS) to help understand visual-cognitive spatial representations or 3D visualization.
The terms 3/4 perspective and 3/4 view trace their origins to portraiture and facial recognition, where they are used to describe a view of a person's face which is partway between a frontal view and a side view.

Copied from  2.5D

The spinning dancer

The spinning dancer appearsz to move both clockwise and counter clock wise

 If the foot touching the ground is perceived to be the left foot, the dancer appears to be spinning clockwise (if seen from above); if it is taken to be the right foot, then she appears to be spinning counter clockwise.

The Spinning Dancer, also known as the silhouette illusion, is a kinetic, bistableoptical illusion resembling a pirouetting female dancer. The illusion, created by web designer Nobuyuki Kayahara,[1][2] involves the apparent direction of motion of the figure. Some observers initially see the figure as spinning clockwise and some counterclockwise.
The illusion derives from the lack of visual cues for depth. For instance, her arms could be swinging either closer to the viewer and to the left or farther from the viewer and to the left, and hence with her circling clockwise or counter-clockwise on either her left or right foot. She changes leg because she is facing either towards or away from the observer, there being no surface features on the silhouette to indicate at any point which side of her is presented: the least ambiguous positions are her profiles when she is on either side of her circle, though it's still not known whether the foreground or background leg is on the floor, and from where she moves indeterminately either on the near or far arc across to the other profile.
There are other optical illusions that originate from the same or similar kind of visual ambiguity. One example is the Necker Cube.

Copied from Wikipedia

Saturday, July 30, 2011

How to Make Waxed Scented Pine Cone Fire Starters


  • Double boiler as a heat source
  • Wax must be melted in a double boiler to reduce risk of fire. 

    1. This can be achieved by using a metal can large enough for your largest pine cone to set into with at least two inches head room above the pine cone.
  1.  Place a mark on the can at the top of your largest pine cone (a coffee can usually works well). 
  2. Place the can in a pan of water on the stove. 
  3. Add broken pieces of wax or candle stubs to the can and allow to melt on medium to low heat until the liquid wax reaches your mark
  4. For scent add some aromatherapy oil such as pine or cinnamon to the wax
  5. Tie a string around a few of the scales. 
  6. Holding the string dip the pine cone slowly into the liquid wax.
  7.  Remove and allow to drip over the can until it stops.
  8.  Place on wax paper and allow to completely harden. 
    1. This may take about an hour or two.
    2.  You may need several coats if you wish to completely cover the pine cone.
  9.  After the final dipping, sprinkle the cone with glitter or fake snow for a more decorative look.

CAUTION: Because of the properties in the essential oil cones should not be placed on finished wood furniture without some protection as the essential oil will damage the finish.

Making Pine Cone Firestarters with both Wax and Chemicals

  • Pine cones
  • Chosen Chemical for flame colour
  • Bucket
  • Newspaper
  • 1.65 litres [half of a gallon] of hot water
  • Sawdust -natural

If you wish to have pine cones that are both waxed and burn with color, use this method:

  1. Mix fine sawdust and your chemical of choice in a large container.
  2.  Follow the directions above for making waxed pine cone fire starters.
  3.  After dipping, immediately roll the pine cone in the chemical mixture.
  4.  You may have to use an old spoon or ladle to get the sawdust into the hard to reach areas of the pine cone. 
  5. Set aside to dry and then shake away the loose sawdust.
  6.  If the cone is not covered to your satisfaction, you may repeat this procedure

Make a Holiday Gift Basket

make a gift basket of pine cone fire starters

make a gift basket of pine cone fire startersPine cone firestarters can be arranged in a basket or other container to make a great family christmas gift basket. You might add a fancy box of fireplace matches and a small set of instructions and safety instructions within the enclosed homemade  card and envelope.

A bottle of wine, some glasses or fancy snacks, and an elegant candle can add a romantic touch to the gift basket.

How to Make Pine Cone Firestarters with Colored Flames

  1. Equipment

  • Pine cones
  • Chosen Chemical for flame colour
  • Bucket
  • Newspaper
  • 1.65 litres [half of a gallon] of hot water
  1. For colored flames you can soak the pine cones in water to which one (never mix two chemicals together as this might cause an adverse reaction)of the chemicals.
  2. Fill the bucket with half of a gallon of hot water. 
  3. Add a cup of the chemical of your choice and soak your pinecones for about 8 hours. 
    1. Use only one color per cone or break the cones apart before soaking and then when dry, mix the different chemical soaked scales together when adding to the flames to provide an array of colors.
  4. After the cones have soaked remove them with tongs and spread them out to dry on newspaper.  
    1. Since some of these chemicals may lightly stain the surface, do not spread them on good surfaces without proper protection.
  5. The pinecones need to dry for at least 3 days before they can be burned. 
  6. When dry you can add the cone to the fire and watch the colored flames dance

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A recycled materials rainstick


To create a rainstick from recycled materials and begin learning about the "nature" of the rainforest.

What You Need:

  • Cardboard tubes in a variety of sizes. Eg: Toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, gift wrapping, mailing or carpet tubes.
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Packing or masking tape
  • Hot glue or white glue
  • Drill (only necessary if using carpet tube)
  • Flat head nails or toothpicks
  • Hammer
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint or poster paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Fabric (a small amount of burlap, cotton, etc.)
  • Decorations to glue on the rainstick (leaves, jute, twine, shells, yarn, sand etc.)
  • Objects to put inside the rainstick (rice, corn kernels, sunflower seeds etc.)

What You Do:

  1. Try to use 3" to 4" in diameter carpet tubes that you can find at any carpet and flooring store or paper manufactoring plant. 
  2. Cut the tube to an approximate length of three to five feet. You can also use smaller tubes such as paper towel rolls.
  3. Drill tiny holes (smaller than your nails) around the entire area of the carpet tube. This will make hammering the nails much easier and safer. 
    1. Note: If you are using smaller tubes from toilet paper or wrapping paper, then all you need to do is poke holes with an awl or other sharp instrument.
  4. Using a hammer, insert flat headed nails into the holes that you have drilled. When you look into your tube, you should see an absolute maze of nails.
    1.  Note: If you are using smaller tubes ie toilet paper or wrapping paper, then all you need to do is stick toothpicks through the holes you poked earlier.
  5. You are now ready to "plug" one end of your tube. You can use many different things but we find that the best material is corrugated cardboard. 
    1. Simply place the tube on a piece of cardboard, trace around the tube and cut out the circle. Repeat the process so you have a circle for both ends. 
    2. You can attach the cardboard circle using hot glue, white glue or tape.
  6. When one end of your tube is sealed, put a few cups of sunflower seeds, rice, corn kernels or a combination of all three, into the tube. 
    1. You will start to hear just how many or how few cups it will take achieve the desired sound. Remember, you don't want to make the rainstick too heavy, so take it easy on the filling.
  7. Once you are satisfied with the sound, you can seal the other end of the tube with the second circle
  8. Using acrylic paint decorate the outside taking on the theme of what you have been learning about.
    1. The key is to keep it simple and to repeat patterns and colors.
  9. When the paint is dry, you might want to add some decorations using hot glue or white glue.
    1.  Sand, shells, raffia or material are all good ideas.
  10. All that's left to do is to play your rainstick and wait for the thunder.


rainstick construction with bamboo

Materials needed

  • Handsaw
  • Wood Glue
  • Scrap of 1.5cm [½ inch] thick wood
  • Drill with a long bit
  • Sandpaper
  • ½ Rounded File
  • Kabob Skewers
  • Bamboo – 1-3 feet long, 3 inches in diameter

  1.  Cut your piece of bamboo to the desired length.
  2. Hollow out the insides (you can use a long drill bit, or even a piece of metal rebar). 
  3. Use your ½ rounded file to make the outside edges as smooth as possible.
  4.  Drill 2 rows of holes in the bamboo, roughly 2.5 cm [one inch] apart.
    1.  Be sure to use a drill bit the same diameter as your skewers.
  5.  Add some wood glue to the skewers and feed them through the bamboo. 
  6. Allow to dry.
  7.  When the glue has dried, trim the ends of the skewers that stick out of either side of the bamboo.
  8.  Cut two pieces of wood to be used as plugs for either end of the bamboo.
  9.  Glue one in place, and allow to dry.
  10.  Sand the areas where you trimmed the skewers, and stain or paint the bamboo (if desired).
  11.  Fill approximately 1/5 of the length of bamboo with your filler of choice (rice, beans, rocks, gravel, seeds, etc.). 
    1. Experiment with different amounts and materials, as different fillers will produce different sounds.
    2.  Be sure to cover the end when testing!
  12.  When you are pleased with the sound of your rainstick, glue the other piece of wood into the open end and allow to dry.

natural dyes

Did you know that a great source for natural dyes can be found right in your own back yard! Roots, nuts and flowers are just a few common natural ways to get many colors. Yellow, orange, blue, red, green, brown and grey are available. Go ahead, experiment!
Gathering plant material for dyeing: Blossoms should be in full bloom, berries ripe and nuts mature. Remember, never gather more than 2/3 of a stand of anything in the wild when gathering plant stuff for dying.
To make the dye solution: Chop plant material into small pieces and place in a pot. Double the amount of water to plant material. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Strain. Now you can add your fabric to be dyed. For a stronger shade, allow material to soak in the dye overnight.

Getting the fabric ready for the dye bath: You will have to soak the fabric in a color fixative before the dye process. This will make the color set in the fabric.
Color Fixatives:
Salt Fixative (for berry dyes) 1/2 cup salt to 8 cups cold water
Plant Fixatives (for plant dyes) 4 parts cold water to 1 part vinegar
Add fabric to the fixative and simmer for an hour. Rinse the material and squeeze out excess. Rinse in cool water until water runs clear.
Dye Bath: Place wet fabric in dye bath. Simmer together until desired color is obtained. The color of the fabric will be lighter when its dry. Also note that all dyed fabric should be laundered in cold water and separately.
Muslin, silk, cotton and wool work best for natural dyes and the lighter the fabric in color, the better. White or pastel colors work the best.
NOTE: It's best to use an old large pot as your dye vessel. Wear rubber gloves to handle the fabric that has been dyed, the dye can stain your hands. It's also important to note, some plant dyes may be toxic, check with the Poison Control Center if unsure.

Making natural Shades of Orange dye.

Alder Bark - (orange)
Bloodroot will give a good orange to reddish orange color.
Sassafras (leaves)
Onion (skin) - orange
Lichen (gold)
- Carrot - (roots) orange
- Lilac (twigs) - yellow/orange
Barberry (mahonia sp.) yellow orange (with alum) very strong & permanent. Any part of the plant will work.
Giant Coreopsis (Coreopsis gigantea) Yields bright permanent orange with alum.
Turmeric dyed cloth will turn orange or red if it is dipped in lye.
- Pomagrante – with alum anywhere from orange to khaki green.
- Butternut - (seed husks) - orange
Eucaluptus - (leaves and bark) beautiful shades of tan, orange and brown.
Old man's beard lichen - yellow/brown/orange shades
Paprika -pale yellow - light orange)

Pioneering thinking

Making Natural Shades of Brown Dye

- AcornsWhen preparing acorns, the byproduct of making them edible can be used as a natural dye. I cracked open the acorns with a large stone. To make the nutmeats edible you boil them in hot water and strain, then boil again with new water, until the water runs clear. When boiling them the water will turn brown (natural tannins boiling away from the acorns.) This brown liquid (natural tannic acid solution) can be used with a vinegar-based fixative for a very dark brown color to cloth
- Amur Maple (Acer Ginnala) - black, blue, brown from dried leaves.
Beetroot -Dark Brown With FeSO4
- Birch (bark) - Light brown/ buff - Alum to set
- Broom - (bark) - yellow/brown
Broom Sedge - golden yellow and brown
Coffee Grinds
Coneflower (flowers) - brownish green ; leaves and stems - gold
- Colorado Fir - (bark) - tan
- Dandelion (roots) brown
Eucaluptus - (leaves and bark) beautiful shades of tan, orange and brown.

- Fennel - (flowers, leaves) - yellow/brown
Goldenrod (shoots ) - deep brown
- Hollyhock (petals)
- Ivy - (twigs) - yellow/brown

Juniper Berries
Lichens - A pink, brown, or wine colored dye can be produced from a lichen known as British soldiers.

- Maple Trees (Red Leaf Buds) - red-brown color when dried. Found on branches before new leaves appear only present during early spring and throughout fall.
Oak bark will give a tan or oak color.
Old man's beard lichen - yellow/brown/orange shades
Pine Tree Bark - light medium brown. Needs no mordant.
St John's Wort (blossom) - brown
Sumac (leaves) - tan
Tea Bags - light brown, tan

Walnut (hulls) - deep brown (wear gloves)
Walnut (husks) - deep brown - black
- White Birch - (inner bark) - brown
White Maple (bark) - Light brown/ buff - Alum to set
Wild plum root will give a reddish or rusty brown.
Yellow dock (shades of brown)

references: Pioneering thinking

Ingredients that make natural dyes.

Making natural shades of pink dye

Raspberries (red)
Roses and Lavender, with a little mint and some lemon juice to activate the alkaloids can make both a brilliant pink dye and a very tasty pink lemonade.
Lichens - A pink, brown, or wine colored dye can be produced from a lichen known as British soldiers.
- Camilla -It's a nice pink-magenta. With lemon and salt.
- Grand Fir -(bark) pink

Pioneering thinking

making natural shades of red dye

Elderberry - red
Red leaves will give a reddish brown color I use salt to set the dye.
- Sumac (fruit) - light red
Sycamore (bark)- red
Dandelion (root)
- Beets - deep red
Bamboo - turkey red
- Crab Apple - (bark) - red/yellow
Rose (hips)
Madder (root) - red
Hibiscus Flowers (dried)
- Canadian Hemlock - (bark) reddish brown
- Japanese Yew - (heartwood) - brown dye
Wild ripe Blackberries
- Brazilwood
- St. John's Wort - (whole plant) soaked in alcohol - red
- Bedstraw (root) - red
Turmeric dyed cloth will turn orange or red if it is dipped in lye.

References: Pioneering thinking

making natural shades of Blue Purple dye

 Dogwood (bark) - blue
Red cabbage
Woad (first year leaves). Woad gives a pale to mid blue colour depending on the type of fabric and the amount of woad used.
Mulberries (royal purple)
Elderberries (lavender)
- Saffron - (petals) blue/green
Grapes (purple)
- Cornflower - (petals) blue dye with alum, water
Cherry (roots)
Blackberry (fruit) strong purple
- Hyacinth - (flowers) - blue
Japanese indigo (deep blue)
Indigo (leaves) - blue
Red Cedar Root (purple)
- Raspberry -(fruit) purple/blue
Red Maple Tree (purple)(inner bark)
- Nearly Black Iris - (dark bluish purple) alum mordant
- Dogwood - (fruit) greenish-blue
- Oregon Grape -(fruit) blue/purple
- Purple Iris - blue
Sweetgum (bark) - purple / black
- Queen Anne's Lace -
- Amur Maple (Acer Ginnala) - black, blue, brown from dried leaves.

References: Pioneering thinking

Making natural shades of Black dye

- Iris (roots)
Sumac (leaves) (Black)
Carob pod (boiled) will give a gray to cotton
Oak galls - makes a good black dye.
- Sawthorn Oak - (seed cups) - black
Walnut (hull) - black
Rusty nails & vinegar - set with Alum.
- Amur Maple (Acer Ginnala) - black, blue, brown from dried leaves.
Sweetgum (bark) - purple / black

References: Pioneer thinking

Making natural shades of Purple dye

 - Basil - purplish grey
Beluga Black Lentils - soaked in water overnight .. yield a dark purplish / black water. The color is washfast and lightfast and needs NO MORDANT and it lasts - a beautiful milk chocolate brown (when super thick) ... to a lighter medium brown or light brown when watered down.
-Blackberries Strong purple 
Daylilies (old blooms)
Dark Hollyhock (petals) - mauve
- Elderberries elderberries make a lovely deep lavender color!
Hibiscus (flowers, dark red or purple ones) - red-purple.
Huckleberry - lavender (can use it for dye and also for ink.)
Lichens - A pink, brown, or wine colored dye can be produced from a lichen known as British soldiers.
Logwood (is a good purple but you have to watch it as it dyes quick when the pot is fresh. Also it exhausts fast. We use alum to mordant and using iron can give you logwood gray.)
Pokeweed (berries)
Portulaca - (flowers, dried and crushed to a powder) use with a vinegar orsalt mordant, can produce strong magentas, reds, scarlets, oranges and
yellows (depending upon the color of the flower)

Red Cedar Root - Red Cedar root = Purple dye (Alum mordant.)
- Red maple TreeThe inner bark of the Red Maple tree when combined with an iron mordant yields shades of Purple on wool.
- Safflower - (flowers, soaked in alcohol) - red

Pioneer thinking