Desperate times call for desperate measures. Or something like that! On another snowy day this week (there have been a few) facing another afternoon of sibling wrestling that turns to squabbling or an endless game of Monopoly (or both), I jumped up, remembering something I had stashed. That's it! I don't care if it's winter, I remember thinking. We need something fun and new. And that's how we found ourselves doing a craft - mostly inside but a bit on the front porch for ventilation - that really is best suited for out of doors. I mean, we've dyed with indigo a few times before, and it really is a messy affair. Without a doubt not made for children and old wooden floors and inside winter days. BUT! Desperate times and all that. We needed a distraction.
Since the first time we dyed with Indigo I've made it a point to always have a kit handy for days when a project like this is needed (though I always pictured it outside!). But I remembered, too, that I had a giant box full of cloth napkins sitting around waiting for this very day. I had bought a bulk supply of them about this time last year, thinking we'd make sets of cloth napkins for holiday gifts. That never quite happened, or at least it didn't happen last year. But oh, we could sure use a fresh and large pile of new dinner napkins! Or more importantly, we could use the day dyeing them.
Everyone lent a hand, tying elastics and knots and staying clear of the dye vat (only Mama is the foolish one who can't keep her bare hands out of it). A whole host of different shabori methods were used - some successful and some not so much, but all together the napkins, I think, look great together. My favorite look is the "moons" that we create with a mason jar lid as the resist (using clamps to hold it over the folded fabric).
Always, when the dye is out, some 'extras' get tossed in too - Papa rounds up a tshirt, I find a skein or two of yarn, a dress that could use a fresh look. And somehow - by my elaborate method of plastic on the floor and the doors and windows open and trays on the porch to catch the drops - we managed to keep it all fairly tidy and contained. A small miracle!
Thank heavens for stashes of treats like this. Where would we be without a little bit of crafty in our long winter days? Oh that's right, squabbling with one another and playing Monopoly again! (I jest. But only a little.)