Tuesday, April 10, 2012

hippie mama badge

for some reason, this easter my mom and D's parents both thought we had plans elsewhere, meaning we had plans nowhere.  this wasn't terrible; i saw my mom the day before easter along with my aunt and some friends for a pampered chef party i hosted, we ate easter candy and tiny quiches and got to hang out, which was awesome.  D's folks are doing their easter dinner the weekend after this, so his brother and sister can attend, as on the actual day they do churchy stuff, and none of us do.  so we had the day to ourselves, and it was such a freaking beautiful day! seriously.  spring in the pacific northwest has been holding out on us, and on easter sunday it wasn't just warm, it was balmy.  the air smelled fresh and green, there was a warm breeze, every birdie was out singing, the whole she-bang.  it was like waking up in a disney film.  D made a nice big breakfast, and we spent the day lounging and enjoying the weather.
one of the very cool things we did was use this 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...

2 comments:

Sarah Lindahl said...

That's great. I'm sure the kids will think back on it fondly, but they will focus on something dorky you or D said and laugh and laugh. (that's what happened with my sisters and me and we laugh and tease our parents until they both wish they were born sterile.)

amanda said...

i think i already know what the joke will be; the punchline was "phallic baldwin" and alluded to my deep love of all things alec baldwin...