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Journal

Dyeing wool with onions

This is a brilliant way to begin dyeing with plants. It is frugal as you are using a waste food product; it is safe as all the things you are using are non-toxic; it is simple as the tannins in the onions mean that you don’t need a separate mordant. You can keep your dye for another batch of wool – add in more onions if you want the colour to be richer or simply repeat step 2-4 for lighter coloured yarn.

You need:

  • A big pan – big enough to take your wool and swirl it about.
  • A sieve for straining the dye bath.
  • A large bowl or tub.
  • A skein or two of natural undyed wool.
  • As many papery onion skins as you can get your hands on – save them from your cooking, ask friends or the greengrocer. The more onion skins you have, the deeper the colour.

Method:

1) Make the dye bath

Put all the onion skins into your pan, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for half an hour and then leave to cool and let it steep overnight.

Take out the onion skins and put them on the compost heap. Drain the dye through a sieve into your tub.

2) Prepare your wool

While you are preparing the dye bath you can soak your wool 0 untwist the skeins and put them in cold water and leave to absorb the water over 3-4 hours. Gently squeeze the water to make sure it becomes evenly wet.

Drain the water off.

3) Dye your wool

Add the damp skeins to the pan and heat it back up very gently to below simmering point – you don’t want to boil the wool. Stir the wool around regularly to ensure that the coverage is even.

Keep it hot for an hour and then allow it to cool naturally. You can remove the wool from the dye pot at this point or leave it to steep longer for a deeper colour.

4) Wash your wool

Take the wool from the dye pot and rinse it until the water runs clear, then gently wash with a wool detergent and hang it up to dry naturally. Avoid tangling the wool.

I would love to know how you get on with dyeing your wool. Please tag me @snapdragon.life on Instagram or use the hashtag #snapdragonlife.

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The kitchen is the heart of our home, it is the centre of the ebb and flow of daily life.⁠
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Always slightly messy, often very messy - a place for doing, stirring, tasting, creating.⁠
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I took this photo yesterday for the next issue of A Seasonal Way.  It is for an article on the way I cook and eat  and my addiction to cookery books. ⁠
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The light was beautiful - the first day for a month that the sun has topped the hill across the road. ⁠
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I snapped the shutter on this post breakfast space, charging leads out, scruffy, battered books, underused pasta maker, wilting plants . . .  and it made me happy.

#momentslikethese
#the_gentle_manifesto
#daysofsmallthings
#cornersofmyhome #heartofthehome 
#aseasonalway
#daysofsimpleandslow
#ournaturedays
#aquietmoment
#pocketsofslow
#thesweetlifeunscripted
#folkandstory
Tucked into the sunny side of the orchard hedge - marking the first planting we did when we moved here - a sunny patch of snowdrops, brought in the green from Finlaystone park.⁠
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Heralds of the ending of winter and the looking forward into Spring. ⁠

For even if we have a good few weeks of cold and dark to go, these are messengers from lighter days, antifreeze flowing in their cells, pure optimism.

#howihueit #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #ihaveathingwithwindows #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #floralstories #allthingsbotanical #underthefloralspell #slowfloralstyle #petalsandprops #nestandflourish #livethelittlethings #thehappynow #ihavethisthingwithflowers #moodforfloral #cornersofmyhome #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife #aflowerfilledlife 

These are from last year,  but this week last year, as my head was still wonky yesterday.
An example of how you don’t need to be able to see where you are going for it to be a beautiful route. 

I lost the weekend to a migraine so these are from a couple a weeks ago - a beautiful walk without views. 

#momentslikethese
#the_gentle_manifesto
#daysofsmallthings
#natureandnourish
#aseasonalway
#daysofsimpleandslow
#ournaturedays
#aquietmoment
#pocketsofslow
#thesweetlifeunscripted
#folkandstory
#westhighlandway #scotland
This week I have been taking ten minutes a day to create. ⁠
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To create something that isn't 'for' anything - just a chance to play.⁠
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It is part of the seasonal collage workshop that the inspirational Jenny @wrenrobertsart put together as the winter course for the Studio Club and I am loving joining in.⁠
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There is something so freeing (and addictive) about it - and it is also a great excuse to get my almond scented tin of glue out.

#simpleandstill #gatherandcurate  #gatheredstyle  #floraandfauna #nestandflourish #calm_collected #petalandprops #createsomethingeveryday #cornersofmyworld #aseasonalway #whathomemeans #cornersofmyhome #myhappyviews #myhomevibe #inspiredbynature #natureandnourish #slowdownwithstills #embracingtheseasons #ofsimplethings #foreverfaffing #collectandstyle #whimsicalwonderfulwild #tinytinymoments #aseasonalyear #mystoryoflight #wintercollage
Low morning light shining through the bottles on the studio windowsill.⁠
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The building looming halfway up the slope is the shower block for the airstream conversion.  We are still waiting for a plumber to arrive to connect it up. 

Once that is done, the reclaimed corrugated iron cladding can go on and the weirdly synthetic green will disappear.

#simpleandstill #gatherandcurate #lovelydeadcrap #gatheredstyle  #flowersinbottles #nestandflourish #calm_collected #petalandprops #artiststudio #cornersofmyworld #aseasonalway #whathomemeans #whereiwork #myhappyviews #myhomevibe #inspiredbynature #natureandnourish #slowdownwithstills #embracingtheseasons #ofsimplethings #foreverfaffing #collectandstyle #whimsicalwonderfulwild #tinytinymoments #aseasonalyear #mystoryoflight #scotland
It snowed last week - only for a day - but it transformed the ragged vegetable garden into something beautiful - a muffled glow.⁠
Even the ravaged sprouts - pecked to shreds by the escaped hens last month - managed to look majestic

#growyourownfood #theartofslowliving #livethelittlethings #nothingisordinary #natureandnourish #embracingaslowerlife #aseasonalway #seekthesimplicity #scotlandsgardens #growyourownflowers #cornersofmyworld #greenthumb #cornersofmyworld #simpleandstill .
Bringing the natural world inside when it’s a bit dark and gloomy outside 

It doesn’t take much to change the mood of a space.

The stone vase is by @jennifertetlow 

#howihueit #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #ihaveathingwithwindows #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #lovelydeadcrap #allthingsbotanical #underthefloralspell #slowfloralstyle #petalsandprops #nestandflourish #livethelittlethings #thehappynow  #cornersofmyhome #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife #aflowerfilledlife
We have an extrovert in the family 

Teasel has been living his absolute best life this week - new people to bounce at, new dogs to sniff, new places to explore. ⁠
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Walks and smells and even an unexpected swim.⁠
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Then snuggles by a stove and sneaky treats to end each day.⁠
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📷 @katieannglen  Puppy wrangler @zoeelglen 

#yorkshireterrier #yorkielove #yorkiepuppy
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

 

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