Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to Tie Dye a T-Shirt

We had a fun school activity at ISU and a group from the art department taught us how to tie dye t-shirts.
My three little models
You will need:
White T-Shirts
Soda Ash
Liquid Fabric Dyes (2-3 colors)
Squirt Bottles for Dyes (2-3)
Large Bucket

Step 1:
Mix 1 cup soda ash into 1 gallon warm water.

Step 2:
Let t-shirt soak in soda ash water for at least 10 minutes.

Step 3:
Mix the dyes and put them in the squirt bottles.

Step 4:
Remove the t-shirt and gently ring it out (retaining some of the wetness). Fold according to the desired pattern. Place rubber bands around the t-shirt.

Step 5:
Dye according to the instructions of each design. Be sure to saturate the fabric with your dye and reach the tip of your squirt bottle in between the folds of the fabric.

Swirl Tie Dye
How to make Swirls: pinch shirt in the center and twist it until all the fabric is in one big circle like a plate. Put three rubber bands around it crossing each other to create 6 pie slices. Dye the first pie slice one color, the next another color and the third can be left white or dyed a third color. Repeat this pattern on the other half of the pie. Your opposite pie slices should match in color.
Pinch center and twist
Cross bands and dye each section

Striped Tie Dye (vertical)

Stripes: fold shirt in half (sleeve to sleeve for vertical lines or hem to neck for horizontal lines). You now have a  rectangle. Take the length of the rectangle and fold it accordion style. Put 4 rubber bands around it (this will give you six stripes). Dye each section a different color. Saturate between the folds and this pattern has a lot of areas that might stay white.

Circle Tie Die

Flower or Circles: pinch your shirt at the point you want to have as the center. Pick it up and place rubber bands 2-3 inches apart working your way down from the piece you pinched until it is all banded together. Dye each section a different color repeating where desired. If aiming for a flower color the pinched tip yellow and the next section red or orange and then green for the leaves.

Step 6:
Wrap the t-shirt in newspaper and place in a plastic bag for 48 hours.
Wrap and place in bag

Step 7:
Rinse in cold water until the water runs clear. Remove bands and rinse some more. Machine wash with 1/2 - 1 cup vinegar and NO detergent. (Remember to wash separately the first few times as the dyes may leach onto other clothing).
Rinse then machine wash

A helpful site (where I got the b&w pics):

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bloomington Lake

Although mostly visited by Utahans the lake is located in Idaho just northwest of Bear Lake. It is a long dusty and in some places rough road up the mountain, but the rewards offered by Bloomington lake are worth the drive.

Remember water, snacks and jackets. There is a lot of wind off the lake so you will want to have plenty of warm clothes with you. The hike is not long (1 mile?), but starts steep. And don't make the mistake we made and stop at the first lake- take your family picture there like you're at the end of the road, because you're not! and then feel silly when you see how gorgeous the real lake is!!

Family by the first lake

The crystal green water is surrounded by the steepest rock cliffs in the Bear River Range. The flowers and plant life are beautiful.

Bloomington Lake, Idaho

Sorry I am too sick to fix the pics... Jesse and the boys are over on the cliffs (above pic).

Close up of the boys

Cliffs around the lake

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thunder Cake Day!

If you are looking for a way to teach Reading, Writing, Math and Science all in one activity today is your lucky day!

For this lesson you will need:
"Thunder Cake" by Patricia Polacco
Ingredients and utensils to make the cake (recipe to follow)
Balance scale and gram squares or weights
Index cards

Reading- You can read it to the children or have them round-robin read it together.

Math- Convert the measurements of dry ingredients into grams. Convert the liquids into milliliters. Journal your numbers and later add them together for a huge total number.

Writing- Write each ingredient and it's needed measurement on an index card.

Science- Discuss the different types of measurements being used and why (liquid versus solid). Using a balance scale and a beaker measure all your ingredients for the cake. Categorize your index cards and label them different colors according to liquids and solids.

Writing Again!- Journal the activity - What is your favorite cake? How many total grams and milliliters did you use to make the cake? What did you like about the book?

The cake should have strawberries on it, but I don't like chocolate and strawberries so the children put them on their slices.

Thunder Cake
1 cup shortening
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, separated ( blend yolks in. Beat whites until they are stiff, then fold in.)
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup pureed tomatoes
21/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup dry cocoa
11/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat egg whites. Set aside. Cream shortening, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Add water and tomatoes. Mix dry ingredients into creamy mixture. Fold in the egg whites until well mixed. Bake in two greased and floured 8 1/2 inch round pans at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Frost with chocolate butter frosting while still warm.

Top with strawberries.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Honey Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Honey Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
1 pkg. Cream Cheese (softened)
2 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla

Beat until smooth and creamy. Use for dipping your favorite fruit.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How to Make a Peasant Shirt/Dress

I made Ashley a peasant dress for the Renaissance wedding in October.

Here's how it is done:
This is for a child and will require-
1 yard of fabric for a shirt (2 yards for a dress)
1 1/2 yards elastic (I used 1/2 inch but for a toddler you would want 1/4 inch)

1. Find a shirt that fits your child loosely. Fold your fabric in half and lay the shirt over it with the top of the shoulder/neck lining up with the top of your fabric. Add three inches below the armpit and this is where you will start cutting (on your selvage or open ends of the folded fabric).

2. Lay a shorter piece of fabric (also folded in half) over the longer bodice part and cut it the exact same size as the arm holes you already cut.

Your two pieces should look like this:
3. Sew the sleeves onto one of the bodice panels.
4. Line the sleeves up and sew them onto the other panel.

5. Sew down the length of the shirt/dress from the bottom of the sleeve through the armpit and down the length.

6. Finish all your edges with a 5/8 inch hem.

7. Pin your neck and sleeves to a 1 1/2 inch hem. Sew 1/2 inch from the fold and then a 1/4 inch from the hem line (leave a 2 inch space open at the hem line for threading the elastic). This will make a 3/4 inch space to thread the elastic through.
8. Thread the elastic. Sew the ends of the elastic together. Close your 2 inch hem space.
 (My elastic was 21 inches for the neck and 9 for the sleeves.)

 9. Hem the bottom of the shirt/dress. Voila! You are finished!!!
I made a dress, but now I want to make her a bunch of shirts. I did tie a ribbon around her for the picture.

If that looks super hard (which it isn't) then it is because my tutorial isn't so good.

Here's the link that helped me and has great tutorial pictures.
Peasant Blouse Link

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Schooling Outside the Classroom

Here are some fun ideas for school on a picnic blanket. You will be amazed at the extra skip in your step after a day like this! Plus, the children will love you more than ever and shower you with hugs and kisses.

Cereal Necklaces- Take yarn and a box of cereal so each child can make a necklace to wear (and snack on) during the outdoor activities.

I Spy Syllables- Play I Spy by naming the number of syllables in the object rather than the color. (ie: I spy something with two syllables- tire swing)

M&M Math- Give each child a cup of M&M'S and have them do counting, sorting colors, adding and subtracting, counting by two's, etc. Also, have a place value chart for large math problems. This allows them to add numbers in the Tens and Hundreds places.

Journal Writing- Sitting on a picnic blanket and enjoy the sounds of nature is a great way to get some good writing ideas.

Bubble Chasing- To get up and move around, have the children chase bubbles while you blow them. Or let them blow the bubbles while you relax.

How to cut a Mango

Having lived in the tropics all of my life I have peeled and sliced hundreds of mangoes (plus, they are my favorite fruit!). I never knew it could be this easy!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

North and South

Last night I was feeling feverish and had an what did I do? What I always do...grab my favorite quilt, wrap up and watch a good period drama (in my life there are only two great ones, Pride and Prejudice or North and South). I watched North and South and just have to say: That is the sweetest, most romantic ending ever! So here it is for anyone just dying to re-watch the end.