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  • Writer's pictureSuitman

April 2018 - Week 1: Berry Jams and Natural Dying

Updated: Apr 17, 2018

I experimented a little more with natural dying during the week. I had made some blackberry jam, and after extracting the seeds I ended up with some pulpy stuff I thought might work to stain/dye some clothes. There's one way to find out...

The diluted pulp ready for soaking the tied up shorts in, along with a mesh bag I gave up on.

2/4/2018 - Monday

I started using another bar of the over-super-fatted soap that went a bit rancid. It is now about fourteen months old. It works well, but is a bit soft because of the excess oil.

Discoloured soap from

excess oil going rancid.

I made some raspberry jam in among doing domestics (a load of washing and meat loaf for dinner - so much for no meat Monday).

Raspberries coming

to the boil.

I ended up with 6 ½

little 125gm jars of

my first home-made

raspberry jam.

I continued working on the timeline (which took much longer than expected) and sent to Andrew, ready for our meeting on Thursday. The timeline breaks the year up into two week blocks and outlines what I’ll be doing at those times.

3/4/2018 - Tuesday

I did my weekly blog upload for week 3 (a day late because of working on timeline etc…

I continued working on items to take to my meeting on Thursday (Prioritised reading list, Chapter Outlines, Table of Contents matched against readings, etc…

I emptied the jars of raspberry jam and cooked the mixture a bit longer because the jars of jam haven’t set properly after being left overnight. I put a jar in the refrigerator yesterday and it also has not set.

tilting a jar of jam to show it isn't set
The jam was still runny the next day

four and two thirds full jars of raspberry jam
I ended up with four and two thirds jars after reducing the mixture

I was student representative for two PhD candidates completing their RPRs during the afternoon (2.30-4.30)

4/4/2018 - Wednesday

I went to the library to get a copy of Manuel Castell’s Social Movements in the Internet Age.

I went to an HDR social catch-up with other PhD candidates that commenced with me (replacing the Semi-colon reading group which was overburdened by additional readings). Four of us had a cuppa and chatted for a couple of hours about how things have been going for us. This was enjoyable and therapeutically beneficial and will be sure to become a regular event. We’ll meet every month and change the day to something that suits more people… possibly a Monday.

I read a little of Castell.

5/4/2018 - Thursday

I had a meeting with Andrew. Everything is going well, though Andrew suggested engaging with other movements/groups who are employing Situationist strategies, such as detournement. He showed me a site (AnnaNicoleSmith something or other… I’ll have to try to find it). This is a way to connect and spread my own word through ‘exchange’, i.e. sharing each other’s message.

6/4/2018 - Friday

I helped Ruchi organise the details for the upcoming Digital Art exhibition at Project Gallery from 7-20 May.

The flyer for the

upcoming digital

art exhibition.

I went and gave some raspberry jam to Matt and Deniz and they gave me some jalapeno-mayonnaise and pepperoni. Nice exchange… or at least mutual giving.

I worked a little on another rewrite of Fuchs.

I started taking some notes from Castell.

7/4/2018 - Saturday

I bought some more blackberries to make jam and continue with my shorts dying experiment. I didn’t quite get the jam ready by the time I had to leave.

a pan with blackberries and water
Blackberries cooking

Straining the seeds out through a fine-mesh metal strainer.
Straining the seeds out through a fine-mesh metal strainer.

Seedy pulp on a plate to use for dying.
Seedy pulp to use for dying.

I went to Dad’s for lunch. I finished the jam in the afternoon and moved on to dying.

A quarter cup of salt in the bottom of a bowl.
A quarter cup of salt to pre-soak the shorts.

Shorts soaking in salt solution
Shorts soaking in salt solution

Discoloured water in a bowl.
Discoloured water from soaking in the salt solution

The tied up shorts ready to be soaked in the berry solution.
The tied up shorts ready to be soaked in the berry solution.

The shorts soaking in the berry solution.
The shorts soaking in the berry solution.

The shorts weighed down in the solution with a jar filled with water.
The shorts weighed down in the solution with a jar filled with water.

Dyed shorts hanging on the line to dry.
Shorts hanging on the line to dry. The dying effect is subtle.

8/4/2018 - Sunday

I made pizza in the morning.

Homemade pepperoni and mushroom pizza.
Homemade pepperoni and mushroom pizza.

Rob and Jason called in to say hi… we discussed planetary problems, the idea of cooperation as opposed to competitiveness, and community building.

I went for afternoon tea with Bryce and Deniz. I spoke afterwards to Bryce about community building.

I worked a bit on Castells.

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