Yesterday I decided, based largely on the unpleasant smell and the presence of many small insects, that it was time to drain the walnut ink. I've been soaking the walnuts for about 2 months in a large lidded pot on the back step. Now that it's definitely winter I'd quite like my soup pot back in the kitchen. None of these indicators (smell, insects and repurposing the pot) are to be found in the collective wisdom of the interweb regarding the making of walnut ink. If you have stumbled across this post in the search for walnut ink making advice, I suggest you keep googling: there's plenty of useful information around that will serve you better.
My walnut ink, unfortunately turned out to be much more insipid that my tests had suggested it would be. It does make a lovely golden brown wash but sadly is too light for writing, unless you want to forge documents from the Renaissance. I am disappointed and a bit surprised at how it all turned out since I am not a particularly impatient person, and when I started brewing my ink I was prepared for it to take as long as it would take.
I woke up feeling very out of sorts yesterday, which was probably why I impetuously decided to finish off the ink by straining it through cheesecloth (which I should have dampened first but didn't). Naturally the disappointment of having made such a poor job of the ink only worsened my mood, feeding into a spiralling miasma of frustration and failure that coloured almost everything I did all day.
Fortunately the only irrevocable mistake of my Very Bad Day was the ink. I had only invested a couple of dollars and a couple of hours in the project to that point, so nothing has been lost but potential. If anyone has a use for two litres of sepia walnut wash, let me know. Meanwhile, today I have begun fresh with a positive attitude and determination to try and do right.