Posted on Leave a comment

Growing Times

Growing healthful food and beneficial flowers (good for the garden and you) is a life long joy.
Here are seeds gathered and traded at a Seed Sharing event, Italian Vegetable and Herb packets, Native California Wildflower seeds, two varieties of Blueberry plants that will do well in our climate in 1 gallon pots, 2 sturdy watering cans, and, a little “Stupice” tomato seedling. Many thanks to our friends of 20 years- Island Seed & Feed, in Goleta, CA.

We are Green Gardeners in Santa Barbara, CA. We love to “feed the soil” with organic compost which we make ourselves or buy from a trustworthy source, organic worm castings from our worm bin and organic amendments that help correct any soil deficiencies. Organic soil care is particularly important for food crops like vegetables, tomatoes, herbs, berries and fruit trees, because all plants take up nutrients from the soil.

Our worm bin is made with recycled redwood fence boards. It’s on the East side of the house where our worms are sheltered from direct sun from the South and West and protected from most rain. If you want to build your own worm bin, Matt Buckmaster, from Island Seed & Feed has shared his woodworking plans, below. (Thank you, Matt!)

Beneficial insects include our pollinators! The flowering fruit trees, fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers are helping to keep our honey bees happy and vigorous. But, they aren’t the only ones! Do some research to find out who _your_ native plants are, what months do they bloom, which insects are in _your neighborhood_, both friends or foes! Local plant societies can help. Make a journal to record your findings. It’s tough work to figure out how to plant beneficial insect borders for your friendly insects (Green lacewing, etc.) to help defeat your insect foes (Aphids, etc.) Read this good article by copy and pasting into your browser: http://www.eap.mcgill.ca/PCBC_1.htm

Thank you for joining us as we do Pandemic Projects, meant to keep you energized, curious and learning!

Posted on Leave a comment

In Honor of Mrs. Nelson

Mrs. Nelson was a beloved High School English and Literature teacher, teaching during the 1950’s-1980’s in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Her favorite class was Science Fiction!

We honor her love of teaching and all the other teachers on both sides of our families, reaching back several generations and three countries. Join us and our friends as we create educational content for families to enjoy, together. These ‘Pandemic Projects’ will give you new ideas, a chance to slowly learn new skills, projects that can be done at home with a range of supplies- some found around your home and some that need to be purchased. Don’t be afraid to ask close family members if they have some of the tools or equipment and if they will help you learn. We’re “life long learners” around here.

Posted on

Hello!

I’m the new owner of Ancient Earth Pigments.

Hello!  I’m Linda D. Nelson, an all-ages art teacher, artist in Pastels, Oils and Watercolor, jeweler, activist and lifelong environmentalist. I’ve raised my family of 3 kids into strong adults with a great partner. I’m a woman of color who welcomes diversity.

I’m a co-founder of the Santa Barbara Art Association-Student Art Fund, a Non-Profit 501c3 which provides funding and grants for public Jr. and Sr. High School art classes in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, CA.

I support all forms of education by paying attention to local issues, rallying fellow students by connecting them with each other and sharing appropriate Calls to Action.  I’ve marched in Sacramento to support teachers and met with legislators.

My ‘Superpower’ is the ability to listen and help anyone of any age to become more creative and expand their horizons. My love of teaching arts and enjoyment of art history is a perfect fit with historical art pigments and tools. I’m developing my personal style in period illumination and egg tempera.  Ancient Earth Pigments is an awesome source for all of us to experiment in six or more mediums using one jar of color!

Can I help you experience something new and fun, today? Check out our convenient and affordable Historical Color Sets or the smaller beginner’s Pocket Pigment Kit.

Posted on 16 Comments

Making Liquid Gum Arabic

Making Gum Arabic

This is a resin binder used for tempera, watercolor and gouache; unless mixed with egg yolk or other additive, gum Arabic stays water-soluble through the ages. If not interested in mixing dry gum Arabic into a liquid, you can purchase liquid gum in art stores. Making your own is far less expensive.

 You need:

  • Gum Arabic powder
  • Distilled water (only necessary if your faucet water is alkaline)
  • Small deep bowl
  • Small saucepan
  • Pipette
  • Whisk
  • Lidded container
  • Clove or other strong essential oil to help prevent odor and mold as liquid ages
  • Glycerin [optional]

Method:

  • Put 1 tsp gum Arabic powder into a jar with 1 cup of water
  • Stir well to remove lumps in the powder; a small whisk is handy
  • Place jar in a saucepan filled with hot but not boiling water
  • Keep saucepan over heat long enough to dissolve the powder
  • Gum Arabic slowly dissolves and looks like water with resin odor.
  • Add 1part gum Arabic liquid to 5 parts glycerin for smoother liquid [optional]
  • Let stand 2-4 hours, to overnight
  • To mix paint, use pipette to add 2 parts water to 1 part gum Arabic, then add it to dry pigment
  • Use a muller to grind the pigment with the water-gum mix, working it until the paint it smooth

Short-cut Method:

  • If in a hurry, do this:
  • Stir gum Arabic powder into 1 cup very hot but not boiling water
  • Keep stirring or whisking until the powder dissolves
  • It may be necessary to heat the powder / water mixture until powder dissolves
  • Rushing things can leave undissolved powder in the liquid

Storage:

  • Well-capped, gum Arabic liquid keeps at room temperature for several days
  • To keep 6-8 months, add 1drop essential oil to prevent mold from forming and refrigerate.
  • If gum thickens, add a few drops of distilled water

Image: Our finely powdered gum Arabic, ready to be made liquid when needed.