Friday, September 18, 2015

Tie Dye Trio!

I waited for the perfect day - one breezy, warm and sunny - to experience this happy craft with my grandkids. Everybody's fascinated with this unpredictable art, even grandmas like me who will dye (but probably never wear!) a shirt exploding with vivid tied and dyed neon color. I just love the twisting and tying and waiting in wonder to see what we've got after fabric has dried and anxious fingers tug and pull to open bands, revealing joyful, one-of-a-kind splashes of excitement.

My high school students looked forward to this ancient art every year, even though I led them through a maze of authenticity. We experimented with vegetable dyes alongside a selection of bottled colors. The results were spectacular and well worth departure from the gimmicky kit I'm using today. It's different working with young kids, though. They don't want to wait, dipping repeatedly for saturation, or bothering to come back a second or third day for additional colors.

I carefully considered the merits of many commercial kits before deciding on this one. I have no doubt that everything on the shelves at the three major craft stores would work, but I found my favorite locally at Hobby Lobby alone, or here on page 13. Some sets called for an eight hour wait before opening the bands. Sorry! We're seven and five years old over here. Do we look like we want to wait for anything (except bedtime)? Other kits required the traditional water bucket dye and rinse bath. Yeah right. That too. No thank you! I settled on this product mainly because the dye is sprayed directly on fabric, allowing maximum control. No rinsing needed. Air dry, open, then set with a short spin in a hot clothes dryer. Perfect!

This isn't a sponsored post. I buy up a storm at the stores I like and then rant about exactly what I think of my purchases. Just ask grandpa if you don't believe me!

Now back to the art studio!

Grandma tightly twisted rubber bands on each shirt, but the kids did the rest. Shirts dried in an hour. Once they were opened and admired, it was time to twist and spray again. This product allows kids to just freestyle it - bold and bright splashes of everything!

I probably should have titled this post "Tie Dye Trio and a Half." We also made a pint size t-shirt for Marshall, Sae's normally friendly little pet. My fingers are "dying" to type that the little guy was "purr-fectly" happy with his stylin' new look, but that would be a departure from what really happened when we pulled it over his furry little head!

"Sorry, humans. Totally. Not. Amused."

Monday, September 7, 2015

Over Before It Began

"It was over before it began!" so many now lament. And I heartily agree.
Five, four, three......the summer of 2015......going, going......gone!

But there was time for little boys and baseball. 

And a grandma "poet" with a camera......

See those numbers, five and three? 
Both of them belong to me!

Weeks of leisure, days of fun,
Handsome faces in the sun

Pretty ladies everywhere,
This is summer, not a care

Cousins "old"......

And cousins new!
Lots of things we found to do!

                                         (date of arrival: June 10, 2015)

Trains to ride.......

Places to hide

Lovely lilies in the park......

Scary stories in the dark!

Oh, the places we went!
The times well spent........

Each moment thrives within my heart

.....and also at my side. Because, you see, every time I accompany my little loves on an adventure away from home, I pick up a treasure from nature to remind me of the day. A heart shaped rock, a tiny perfect pine cone, an oval shell, a driftwood chip......

Grandpa asks why I don't label each item with place and date. But that's not necessary for me. It must be a "grandma thing" to have trouble remembering my grocery list or where I left my keys, but none recalling the origin of these. 

I do have trouble, though, but it's not inside my head! Somebody's "busy paws" think my little basket of memories holds suitable toys! Over and over again, I have apprehended him helping himself. Here, for immediate press release, is his latest mug shot...... 


For Petty Larceny!
Habitual Offender!

Oh, Charlie! Don't worry. Mommy will bail you out! (again)

Just one more caution, if you will,
Excessive rays are known to kill!

(actually just "playin' 'possum!")

Goodbye summer of 2015. You were a friend to me. A good, good friend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Garden Princess

Once upon a time, there lived a perfect little princess.

One day, the little princess decided that she would enjoy a wee jewel of a backyard playhouse. So, her handsome, smart, and brave daddy built one for her. Her pretty mommy painted it pink and white, adding an inside lime green chalkboard coating so she could draw pictures on the walls with her cousins and friends.

The little princess was very satisfied with her happy little home.

After awhile, the grandma of the little princess decided that there needed to be an enchanted garden attached to the charming pink abode. She hounded her gardening-grandma-blogger friends, Judy and Debra, for tips on how to accomplish this. They graciously complied, and soon a lovely patch of lettuce and beans and marigolds burst forth, thriving enthusiastically in the sun........

And every day the little princess enjoyed the process of planting and weeding and harvesting in this prospering place.

But alas! Curious critters living near the pond beyond began to emerge, stopping by to munch contentedly on produce produced by the little princess!

Oh noooooooo!!!!!

A call was put forth for a competent garden watchman.
Pumba, one of several loyal subjects of the little princess agreed to interview for the position.

He considered an offer of employment carefully, but decided that his best "watch-dogging" was done from inside the house. Under the fan. On the couch.


What was the little princess to do????

Fortunately, a pair of brothers - "Bert" and "Ernie" - just happened to be in the neighborhood that day. They agreed to assist, offering to stand guard, furiously spinning their wings in exchange for room and board. Visiting critters would scamper off to do their snacking elsewhere.....


And grandma? Well, to be truthful, she ended up just "armchair gardening" this entire project. Her grandma-blogger-friends, the little princess, her mommy and daddy, and Bert and Ernie actually did all the work.

But never mind that.

Grandma is very content. She frequently receives personally delivered, freshly plucked organic lettuce from the little princess, and enjoys writing blog posts that make it sound as if she's done all the work!

The end........

And everyone mentioned in this story lived happily ever after!

It is truly an honor to have been selected by the esteemed online publication, Grand Magazine, as one of 11 best grandparent blogs for 2015. Delighted. Surprised. Shocked, actually! I find myself in the company of 10 other writers who celebrate grandparent-hood in 10 distinct ways. For that I am profoundly grateful, particularly to editorial director, Christine Crosby, for her gracious gesture of support and recognition.

Enjoy timely articles and receive a complimentary online subscription to Grand Magazine at this link!