Tuesday, April 10, 2012
hippie mama badge
real indigo tie dye kit i'd ordered from amazon. a few years ago we stopped using paper napkins and paper towels (although to be honest, we do buy paper towels for camping and for the kid's bathroom, so there's no good excuse for them not to clean it up!). i have a lot of store bought cloth napkins, some home-made ones, and a bunch of really lovely ones i received as wedding presents. what makes me crazy about my people is that when they open the linen drawer, they are just as likely to use napkins in place of towels for cleaning stuff up, thereby staining them and making the napkins grody. if you want your visitors to be okay with cloth napkins, it's best that they don't look like you cleaned up mud with them, right? while reading a martha magazine, there was a little aside about using real indigo dye, and it stuck with me because indigo is DARK, and dark napkins and towels probably get stained less than light ones. i picked up a 12 pack of 100% cotton napkins in white, which were a deal at $10, and pulled out some flour sack style dish towels i had lying around and we got to work!
we used basic tie dye techniques, and the results were amazing. using the real indigo is also a process; the dye itself is this bright lemon-green, and after you submerge your piece and get it saturated with the dye, you have to let it oxidize for at least 20 minutes to see how dark the blue will be. you pull out a lime colored piece of cloth, and watch it get darker and bluer by the moment. all four of us worked outside, getting some sun, experimenting with patterns and techniques, and generally goofing off. not only are the napkins and dish towels very pretty and unique, and not only did i totally earn my hippie mama merit badge, but we had the best time hanging out and doing something together. whenever i look at those napkins and towels, i'll think of that beautiful sunday afternoon, the first day it really felt spring, and having a great time with my little family. it sounds so hokey to say, but i hope the kids looks back on afternoons like that and think to themselves, "yeah, i had a pretty okay childhood."
*also! i discovered that my husband really is a hippie: he is very good at tie dye. he did all sorts of cool things that made my circles look like amateur hour! hee hee...