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Monday, November 14, 2011

Rainbows for a Cloudy Monday

ready-to-wear We’ve noticed something about Wisconsin…there are nowhere near as many rainbows here as we had in the Pacific Northwest. It rains just as much, but I guess the sun doesn’t come out as quickly here. Lest you think I have nothing better to think about all day, my kids actually were the ones who noticed the lack of rainbows here, not me.

Recently, it was Color Week at school. Really it lasted two weeks, and each day the boys wore that day’s color. In kindergarten, they also had that color snacks. The teacher posted a video on the school website afterward, and it was pretty cute to see the photos from each color day.

As rainbow day approached, I realized the boys didn’t have rainbow shirts. In Washington, I would have just driven to the Farmer’s Market and bought some cool tie-dyed t’s, but that wasn’t an option here. The farmer’s markets just sell actual fruits and vegetables. Imagine the nerve. I bought a primary color tie-dye kit and tried my hand at it, instead. It was surprisingly fun and possibly addictive. Here’s how I did it….

dyeing The kit came with everything but the t-shirts and plastic wrap. All I had to do was get the shirts wet and rubber band them…the directions were super clear as to how to make the starburst I wanted. Then I added water to the dye bottles, shook them up, and squirted the dye onto the shirts. It blended really easily to make purple, green, and orange. I put a garbage bag flat on the counter to protect it, and had pieces of plastic wrap for each shirt off to the side.

ready-to-soak After they were all saturated, I wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap (individually) and let them sit to absorb the dye. It said the longer they sit, the more vibrant the final result. Since I did this the day before we needed them, I only let them sit 8 hours, the bare minimum recommended. By the way, I did get red dye on the countertop, but Bar Keepers’ Friend took it right out…I love that stuff!

finished-tie-dye As you can see, it looks really vibrant here, right when I unwrapped it and cut the rubber bands. HOWEVER, you must wash them before wearing and A LOT of dye came out in the water. In other words, wash them alone the first time. I also threw in two Color Catchers, and they absorbed so much color they were dark brown. I’m planning to use them for card-crafting, since they look so cool.

The kids were all thrilled with the shirts, even though they faded a little. Fun, easy, and it came out to about $3.75 per shirt, for the dye and the shirts. I used a 40% off coupon for the kit at Michaels, and I probably could have dyed one more shirt with it, but it all has to be used immediately and I was out of shirts. It was kind of like when you get a great charcoal and hardwood fire going in the grill and want to cook as many meats as you can possibly find in your house. I looked and looked for another white t, but no luck.

I’m now plotting which of my relatives would enjoy a little tie-dye in their lives for Christmas. I bet your in a panic now, Mom, aren’t you?

rainbow-cookies We enjoy a lot of color in our lives, so last week when the roads were too icy for the little one to go to preschool, we made rainbow cookies instead. These are the easiest peanut butter cookies EVER…just 3 ingredients. You’ve probably made them, but here’s the how-to, just in case:

DSC_0001-2 Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 cup sugar
Sugar to coat them

Stir the peanut butter, egg, and sugar together. Roll into 1” balls, then roll in sugar (regular granulated or colored). Place on baking sheet, then gently (this was the hardest part for the little one) press a fork in an “x” to slightly flatten themsmashin

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool a bit before you take them off the sheet, or they will crumble. If they crumble, that’s okay because everyone knows cookie crumbles have no calories.

DSC_0004 She was pretty proud of her baking, and acted like Lady Bountiful dispensing them to the boys as an after school snack. She did concede to her Daddy that I helped her a little. Can’t WAIT until she’s a teenager.

Hope you have a colorful day!

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