Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dehydrating, Spiders, Using Dyes, and More Cleaning

I am continuing to dehydrate Swiss chard, along with the stalks.  

The recent rains brought up some nice green onions.  I am dehydrating some of them today also.

We are now at war with spiders.  I clean the webs down, and they rebuild the next day.   We have also seen wolf spiders in the garage about 3 inches in diameter.  

My mother has armed us with 3 bags of hedge apples. They do have a funny smell, so I hope they work.  I'll be placing these bad boys around the house, garage and barns today.

I am starting to experiment with natural dyes.  We have many outside animals, as well as inside animals, so I am trying to work with dyes that I can easily dispose of without harming them, or our septic tank.

I crocheted this flower vase doily with 100% 2 ply cotton yarn.  I then boiled red onion skins in a designated pot for dye purposes.  I discarded the skins, and heated the water with the doily.  I turned the heat off, and let it sit overnight. 

For this, I did not use a mordant, however an alum mordant would hold the color longer.  To experiment in how long the color will last, I purposely did not use a mordant.

It turned out to be a beautiful golden color.  The dye water actually appears red, but the color of the cotton is golden.  

I'll be delegating cleaning to the kids later today.  I've been sick and have developed a bad cough.  I am grateful for the sunshine and wind today, so my laundry will dry quickly.


Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

Oh cool. Your doily looks good.

I've used horse apples (what you call hedge apples; same thing) around our house for spiders too. It seems to work. I put some around the outside perimeter.

and they're pretty too!

simplicityinthemaking said...

Okay I read the title and thought "Oh my she is dehydrating spiders!" Yes you have gone too far in your skills of dehydrating, but then I noticed the comma. Phew! spiders.

Candy C. said...

Love the color that the doily turned out! Hope you start feeling better soon!

Turtle said...

love the color!

I use chestnuts for keeping the spiders away, just place in corners, drawers on shelves.... has worked for 2 years now!

Unknown said...

what are hedge apples? a fruit on a vine or??? never heard of those...

Kristina said...

They actually grow on a tree. Stores sell them, but my mother can get them from a neighbors tree for me.