Monday, 13 October 2008

Beetroot dyeing

This morning I woke up to an interesting surprise : letters and apples for Saint Nicholas. Girl monkey gets very excited about the holiday season and when she was little she would start asking in March for the Christmas tree. It is bad enough that all the shops are full of products for the 12 days of Christmas already but to wake up with a wish list for Saint Nicholas... well what can I say. Both monkeys love this Dutch tradition. Many will find it rather bizarre and not politically correct but I think once you know the history it is nice to keep some traditions alive. It is all too easy to go overboard.  Many do not know the history behind the helpers of Saint Nicholas (called Black Peter). They were originally moorish and are depicted with black curly hair and they have black faces because they delivered the presents down the chimney. So there we have it. Anyway leaving wish lists is far too early but at least I have had a bit of warning. Power Rangers movie, Barbie dolls, Fairy Magic books, a DS (I've already said that he won't have enough money for that!), Horrid Henry books, a hot water bottle (no it is not that cold), to name a few.

I had a productive day, finished more Christmas decorations, tried to get my Etsy shop up and running (few more days to go I think), cooked a couple of meals a few days ahead and made an effort to dye a linen shopping bag. I cooked a big bunch of beetroot today and absolutely love the colour of the water always. So as I was given some very practical but rather dull cream shopping bags at an event in town I thought why not try my hand at dyeing with organic matter. Oh what a flop. Mr Betsy looked curious as I popped the bag into the pan, asking if I had done this before and whether I knew the colour would wash out (answers no and yes). And I should have read up about this. After boiling the bag for about 40 minutes there was still no change in the colour whatsoever. Usually the cooking water is a beautiful deep red, this time it was more brownish red. So a bit disappointed with no result I took the bag out and left it to drip in the shower, the colour of the basin turning into a rather unsavoury tone. As there was absolutely no change in colour I didn't make an effort to hang the bag properly. Fast forward 4 hours later, I took the bag out of the shower as the monkeys wanted to get in and guess what : a brownish pink tone has appeared on the bag and because I left it slightly crumpled up it now has a tie dye effect, unwanted but still surprising. Does anyone have any experience with beetroot dyeing?

I am going to curl up in bed with the novel that I am reading (False Impression) , a cup of nettle and peppermint tea and I think I might sneak in a piece of apple and plum pie that I took out of the freezer tonight. I made such a big pie last week so I cut it up in nice chunks to enjoy whenever.... hmmmm. 

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