Friday, July 25, 2014

Tie Dyed Fireworks Tee


So. 

We don't often go out in public in matching shirts. For that matter, we don't usually do it at home either. 

BUT when an arts project results in awesome shirts like this...then, yes. We're going to strut around town in them.


Please ignore my we-are-going-to-be-late-and-lose-our-good-spot-mom hair. With a pen sticking out of my ponytail, too. *sigh* It's a miracle my family allows me to be seen in public with them.

Anyway, yesterday was Pioneer Day! And if you live anywhere other than Utah...you probably don't have a clue what I'm talking about. 

It's a lovely day full of bonnets, wagons, throwing candy and remembering the hard work and sacrifice of the Mormon pioneers who made the long trek to settle in Utah. Yep. Because nothing says, "Thank you, pioneers!" quite like chucking candy at small children. 

In celebration of this important holiday we made fireworks tees. We tried this technique at Art Club recently and I thought it would make a fun patriotic shirt, too. This idea came to me on July 4th when I was perusing their aisles and saw the t-shirts on sale. Too bad I didn't think of it, say, on the 2nd, eh? Oh well, there's always next year. 

(If you want to skip past all the chatter to the instructions for making these awesome tie dyed fireworks shirts, go ahead. I won't judge.) 


One of our fun traditions for the fourth of July and Pioneer Day is to go a little bit early for the parade, grab our favorite seat and then eat a picnic breakfast together. This year it was bananas, yogurt, juice and powdered donuts. 



I think Molly liked the powdered donuts.



That picture is what happens when I let my teenager use my phone. Wow. Such a nice and flattering shot of me, son. Thanks. 



I love watching the sweet relationship between my oldest and my youngest. Imagine a world where every teenager had to help take care of a wee little sibling AND was also fiercely loved by that small creature. That would be amazing. 

Ok. Onto the instructions....

Tie Dyed Fireworks Tee

Supplies: 
Cotton shirt
Red and blue sharpies
Rubbing alcohol
Rubber bands 
Eye dropper or snot sucker (hmmm...I'm not sure what the real name is of those things) 
Disposable cups or yogurt containers in various sizes

This is such an easy project. Take the cups and put them into the shirt, maybe about three at a time. Pull some of the fabric over the cup and then use a rubber band to hold it in place. 

Now color the fabric circle with the sharpies. Try lines, squiggles, dots, hearts....anything you can dream up! 




After you're done with a circle, drop rubbing alcohol on in the middle of it. Start with a little and go from there. The alcohol will probably spread farther than you think it will.


Let it dry, take cups out, move to a new spot and repeat until you have as many fireworks as you want. 


We found that lines and dots end up looking like fireworks the most, once they've had alcohol put on them. But random scribbling is fun, too!



Now, to set the colors. We tried heat setting some different shirts we did and then washing them. But....sadly, some of the colors faded. So, I'm going to try ironing our fireworks shirts really good to see if that helps set the colors better. 

Every now and then we even get my cute husband to do art projects with us....

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dying Patterned Fabric


I am a huge fan of Refashionista's blog and the crazy incredible things she does with a pair of scissors, a sewing machine and loads of Rit dye. I mean, seriously, that chickadee is amazing. 

My favorite thing I've learned from her is....

You can dye patterned fabric!

Ok. The rest of the world is probably thinking, "Well, duh." But this was news to me. I mean, I'd just never thought about it. 

So, when I stumbled across this fun skirt at a thrift store today for $5 (sorry, blurry pic)....



and it fit and I liked the styl and I can never have enough skirts, but I wasn't super keen on the print. So, I grabbed two bottles of denim blue Rit dye at Walmart...





headed home, popped it into a small load in my washing machine with hot water, threw in the dye and two cups of salt and...



Voila! I love it. (Although it's not this purple in real life!) 



I can't wait to wear it. 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Art Club

I have been wanting I do more art with my kids for awhile.

So, I started an Art Club. 

I was pinning and pinning and pinning all sorts of fun and artsy projects. I'd been collecting arts and crafts books for ages. And I'd done a fair amount of projects with my kids. 

But every summer I planned to do more.

And then I didn't. 

But art is soooo important! I want my kids to have the opportunity to create and dream and express new ideas, to work on something that doesn't have a right or wrong answer and to gain confidence in their creative choices. 

An awesome friend of mine, Elaine, started a super fun book group for kids last summer. I'm thrilled my kids get to be involved in it. And not only do they get exposed to new and interesting books and get to participate in fun book-related activities, it got me thinking...

What if I did something similar? But all about art? An Art Club? I could invite some of their friends. Then it would be on our calendar. I'd be commited. 

And because I'm impulsive, I jumped right into it. I sent Facebook messages to the mommas of my kids' friends. Kids came. And we made art! 

For our first meeting, I decided to start small. I wasn't totally sure how many kids were going to come.  We began with some drawing games.

I love drawing games! 

The first one we did, The Scribble Game,  involved scribbling all over a piece of paper. And then they passed that paper to their neighbor. Next they looked for images in the scribbles. You know, like when you're staring at a textured wall or floor with random squiggles and suddenly you realize a face is staring back at you? Your brain has organized the mess into something? Right? (Or is that just me?)  And when they found something, they outlined it with a sharpies.

The other drawing game we played, which produced a lot of giggles, was the Blind Art Game. Everyone closed their eyes and I described a scene...

Draw a house. Add the windows and the doors. Now draw a tree and a bird sitting in the branches....

I loved the moment when they opened their eyes and looked at what they'd created. Ha!

Next we made mosaics of our names using bright pieces of torn construction paper.



Next I gave each of the kids a paper divided into triangles (sorry! No picture of this one). And then I told them to fill in each of the triangles with drawings to represent the things about them that makes them special and unique. 

When there was about twenty minutes left, I got out a big drawer full of pipe cleaners. We sat on the ground and made stuff. 

I loved watching what the kids came up with! Crowns, hand cuffs (or ankle cuffs), people and unicorn horns. 


Then one girl started making guns from Despicable Me. And they were off....fart guns, freeze rays....you name it, they can probably make it out of pipe cleaners. 

I love, love, love how a group of kids (or adults, for that matter) feed off of each other's creativity. You never know what they'll come up with next. For instance...



Here's Sam as an undercover unicorn Greek god. Awesome.