Black Walnut Ink

What does a stay-at-home-mom do between baby wrangling and printing posters for a couple of upcoming shows? Simmer walnuts on the stove to make ink, of course!

Mabel has been helping pile up the walnuts in our yard, which then go into one of my big enamel pots (formerly used for canning), are covered with water, and then the liquid is reduced in half. I also gathered some goldenrod to add to one of the batches to see if I could get a bit of a yellow hue to the ink. I didn't gather enough goldenrod and the plants are at the end end of their season here anyway.

The result is a beautiful warm brown. I've bottled some up to take to the Handmade Market, saved a quart for Charlie to use as a wood stain, and have another batch I'm reducing even further to make it really saturated.

Want to make your own? Follow the instructions over on You Grow Girl! Gayla takes all the guess work out of the process!


Things that are growing

I have a few projects to write about, but this morning I just want to check in and show a little bit of what's growing around here!

Loofahs at the community garden,
mums, zinnias, giant hyssop,
This one totally snuck up on me!

and Mabel?!


A family collaboration

A few weeks ago we took a family trip to the beach. One day M sat down and said, "Let's draw shells!" How could I say no to that? So we drew shells together.

Then I made a coloring page. Then we came home and I kept drawing.

I started playing with color and texture from some watercolors images I made with this piece in mind.

Charlie suggested I use a photograph of sand he took while we were at the beach. I tried it and I liked it! I have a feeling it won't be too long before Fox plays an even greater role in the process too, but in the meantime, I like thinking of this piece as a collaboration between Mabel, Charlie and me!