Capturing the sunshine – tie dying with teens

Dear summer 2018,

I just wanted to let you know that the sunshine and warm weather, you’ve sent our way this year, has been awesome. We’ve enjoyed it. Made the most of it. Drunk it up like a bumble bee in spring. No weekends spent mowing the grass. No thought of bringing jumpers when we venture out. The wet washing drying on the line within an hour. Eating alfresco and late evenings in the garden. Lots of outside time.

I’ll forgive the fact that our salad garden was baked solid and not much grew, except turnips and lettuce. The green house has made up for it. (Anyone for a cucumber?) I’ll even put aside the fact that you chose the one evening we attended an outdoor theatre, to summon up a sustained downpour. I may never be able to watch Oscar Wilde again without thinking of raindrops on umbrellas.

No. Seriously. It’s OK. I’m over it.

Overall, we have been hugely blessed. Blue sky and sun. There is a big part of me that wants to capture that feeling. Bring it out when the first frosts bites and I most need it.

In an effort to bottle some of that sunshine, I’ve made strawberry jam, and have a vat of apple and mint jelly brewing as I type. We’ve nimbly crafted lavender wands to put among clothes in our drawers, to summon up the scent of summer, as woolly jumpers are pulled out to wear midwinter.

Wonderful, colourful ribbons.  I’ll be transported straight back to sitting by the lavender with my two girls, weaving and twisting the stems in place. (how to here) Watching a hummingbird hawk moth visiting the flowers waiting to be picked.

Good memories.

But, hands down, my favourite summer project, this year, has to be the tie dye bedlinen. I’ve had this one waiting in the wings for a few years. Looking for a summer that’s not too wet, because this project was always going to be big and messy. Not a kitchen activity. Oh, no. Has to be outside.

Although, I do usually count on the rain washing away the inevitable spilt dye, that runs off on to the lawn. While the rest of the grass in our garden was crunchy brown, this year, we did have one small corner that looked like a rainbow had laid down to rest. For weeks.

So three duvets and three pillowcases are now summer coloured. We bought more dye to top up the colour for the crumple style duvets, meaning we could dye three pillowcases, one bag and a pair of socks, at the same time.

It would be true to say that we are well and truly over the urge to tie dye for a while, at least. Yep. No desire at all to dye anything. I’m not even sure we have anything left to dye.

It was worth it. They did have fun. They innovated and problem solved as they went along. The bedlinen is now on their beds. Boldly declaring that summer is being observed in this home. Some of the vibrance washed out at the rinsing stage, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Enough sunshine has been captured.

Thank you, summer 2018. You have a few more weeks to run yet, but already you have proved to be a vintage year and we’ve captured it, not only in memories and photos, but duvet covers and pillowcases too.

Your forever friend


p.s. I’ll be bookmarking this post. Once the jam and jelly have been eaten, and the duvet covers swapped for a winter theme, there will be days that I’ll need a top up of colour and sunshine in my life. For sure.

Debs Random Writings

9 thoughts on “Capturing the sunshine – tie dying with teens

  • Friday 17 August, 2018 at 1:24 am

    This looks like so much fun, what a lively craft to learn, I remember my sister doing this to any shirt she could get her hands on in the late 60s/early 70s. I was looking for something for my mother to help with Christmas presents and am more interested in crafts than usual lately. I think there’s vibrance enough for the lifetime of your summer bedding. I love looking at this right now because there’s a big ol’ storm outside right now.

    • Friday 24 August, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      It is a fun and so colourful craft. Hope it helped to see you at least part of the way through the storm. 😀

  • Friday 17 August, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    You’ve got me wanting to break out the dye now and see what my eldest thinks. I’ve never seen lavender wrapped like this either – gorgeous #MMBC

    • Friday 24 August, 2018 at 10:48 pm

      I’m sure she’ll love it. A great one to revisit too in later years. The weaving is a tradition way to preserve the lavender. Great fun to do too.

  • Saturday 18 August, 2018 at 11:03 am

    I remember tie dying and how fun that was as a teenager. I really love the lavender wands. I need to grow lavender next year. So pretty.
    I’m sorry to hear about your garden. Our harvest is not the best here too- hot and dry. The weeds are growing great. Have a great day!

  • Monday 20 August, 2018 at 5:21 am

    Hi Cheryl, summer has been good to you this year and it sounds like you made the most of it too. Your lavender wands look lovely and if my lavender had survived they are something I’d have a go at making. So much for lavender loving the heat!… You’ve definitely captured the summer in that bedding. Bold, bright and happy colours that are sure to remind you of summer in the depth of winter!

    Thank you for popping by and sharing what you#ve been up to with #keepingitreal.


    • Friday 24 August, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      I know I shall be fishing them out of the airing cupboard when I need a quick blast of summer colour in the colder months.

  • Wednesday 5 September, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Your tie dying is amazing. So vibrant! I love your lavender wands too, the smell is divine. Have I left it too late to try it out, my lavender is no longer in flower?

    • Friday 7 September, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      So long as the stems are not dried out and brittle, you should be fine.

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