Thursday, April 5, 2012
Growing and HarvestingI have entered Phase 3 of my series on making natural paints (Prior posts: Dyers Garden and Motivation to Make Paint and Making Natural Dye Workshop): growing and harvesting my own materials. The unnatural warm weather in Ohio has been beneficial for this. These images were taken ~April 2nd! We'll see if they survive a possible hot summer.
My daughter demonstrates the red inking of her hand by plucking a leaf and scrawling with the stem:
My second year's growth of woad is doing well. I had no idea how nice they smelled (being olfactory challenged, I was glad to register the scents of these blooms). Despite Woad's reputation for being evil and invasive, I was still surprised it grew okay in our hostile clay soil. My aim for these are to make both pigments and dyes; for the dye process, I'll need to either gather some urine (medieval processing required this)... or collect and use madder to change the pH of the dye precursors (I'll be trying the madder route/root :) ).
The madder patch is growing; note the black arrows that indicate new plants a foot away from the main plant that were the results from last year's rooting. Given that the roots (not leaves) provide the nice red-pink color, harvesting requires decimating a portion of the patch.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Dominion: A Coldfire Saga by C.S. Friedman
S.E. Lindberg Rates: 3 of 5 stars
C. S. Friedman fans will delightfully devour this Coldfire prequel. It takes place after the vivid prologue to the first Coldfire book but prior its first chapter. So it explains a bit of how Tarrant assumes control over the Canopy's Fae. It is engaging. And short. The length did not bother me since the eBook was well advertised as being a novelette (in fact, it is only available as an eBook).
However, from listening in on C S Friedman's Facebook page, I had assumed the prequel would occur even earlier in Tarrant's life and explain the events leading to the prologue. So, after reading Dominion, I was left hungry for more. In this light, this prequel did its job: I had a great time reading it and remembering the Coldfire series; I am even inspired to reread the trilogy now.
For newcomers to the series, start with Vol. One, Black Sun Rising. Consider Dominion after that.