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Non-organic tie and dye

Another new cousin arrived in the family and we were back to scratching our heads how to welcome the little bundle into the family. We definetly wanted to print some baby clothes but also wanted to do something new. So I thought why not tie and dye. P and I did an organic version earlier but this time I decided to try the non-organic colours. 

P is older now so I showed him different techniques of tying the fabric (with rubber bands) and he managed to do some of it. He found the twisting and tying back the band tricky, so got rather annoyed. I bought blue, red and purple colours and once we tied up the fabric, dunked them in the coloured water and left them over night.

P could hardly wait for the fabric to dry, to untie the bands and see the wonderful designs. In his excitement a couple of them smudged and that kind of added an edge to the design. All in all it turned out well except the whole process was way messier than the organic version – I had to scrub the bucket and bathroom real hard for the colour to go. Also the blue fabric resembled a whitening process (using neel or blue bird brand) gone wrong.

We anyway gifted it to P’s new cousin hoping he will like it.

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Our first order all set to go!

Yay! our first order is all set to go today. It’s a batch of block printed/hand painted baby clothes. Though P didn’t understand what an order meant he shared my excitement all the same. It kept us busy a good part of our Xmas hols.  All of Ps friends have gone on vacation and he wasn’t too pleased to be left behind. I can’t thank the kind soul who gave us the order, enough.

P did help me with most part but I had to hand hold all through as I didn’t want to mess it up. He was certainly not pleased with all the instructions and hand holding.

We also handmade and customised the gift bag. That was new for P. More on that in the next post.

For now we are bidding an arty farewell to 2013 and hoping for more creative encounters in 2014.

Happy new year to all of you from us!

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For the new lil cousin

Our Xmas hols is turning out quite hectic. P has a new cousin sister – one of our cousins delivered a baby girl early this month. I bought the usual baby clothes to gift. I was beginning to paint on one of them when P wanted to ‘help’ too.

Since block printing is what he likes most, I thought these would be the best gift

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Block’ing’ the gifts!

One of the first things I introduced P to when he started leaning favourably to art, was block printing. The idea of dipping the block into colour and pressing it on a surface to reveal beautiful designs some how got him all excited. We started out printing on old t-shirts, kitchen cloth and rags. We have now moved onto runners, place mats, handkerchief and pretty much anything.

Block printing is one thing that P needs no supervision now. I just have to lay out the paint, cloth and blocks and he is happy to be on his own. We just finished a set of handkerchiefs for both grandmothers – P’s ‘dial a sympathy pals’ when his creators come down harsh!

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Tie and dye – the organic way

We tried something new and different from our previous projects and we loved it. We had to repeat our work twice as the first attempt was unsatisfactory. In a way am glad as it taught P not to give up.

I decided to try some tie and dye with P for a change. Since I didn’t have the ready made dyes, I decided to use vegetable extracts. It was the day of beetroot in our menu anyway.

So out came an old white handkerchief, pulses and string. I got P to count and put 3-4 pulses and place them on the cloth. Then we cut a piece of string and tied it around keeping the pulses inside.

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While P managed to cut the string, tying was a new thing he was learning, so it added to the fun. We repeated this till we had a few balled up ‘hills’ like P named it.

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Then we dipped it in salted beet water and boiled it. While P patiently waited for the magic to unfold, I realised the colour was not catching on – probably because the proportion of water was too much.

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P was most disappointed to see a very faded version of purple when we finally rinsed the cloth and removed the knots.

Pacified him and had another go at it but this time we tied using rubber bands. I used turmeric powder as I was fairly sure the colour would catch on. Also this time we boiled the water and then dipped the tied cloth and kept boiling it for a few minutes.

A quick rinse and untying of knots, P was awe stuck with the magic design and magic colour.

P plans to gift his magic ‘tiiiieedd and dycd’ hankie to amma ‘only if she behaves well!’

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The down side of this – now he thinks veggies are great for colouring so lets not waste by eating it!