If you venture out into the woods... magical things happen. This time, our feet turned pink.
How? 'Tis the season of the blackberry. And where there are blackberries, there is pink. Even better: there's something to do. You can pick em, eat em, turn them into jam, bake a crumble, OR use them to make tie-dye pants or bed-linen - depending on how experimental you want to get.
The other day, just before the end of the summer holidays, we did just that. We packed a bowl (not the Californian kind) and went out into the forest. We searched high and low, got pricked countless times, ate loads as we worked (in particular Annie, who doesn't understand the concept of future-use just yet, see below), met two Hercules Morses, who were bigger than horses, and came back with a good kilo-worth of ammunition.
The kids then plopped them in a bucket, squelched them, mashed them, stomped them, using their hands and feet. "Eew, it feels weird!" Minu kept shouting, but at the same time, couldn't bring herself to remove her hands from the bucket. "Just a few more squelches... They're not quite squashed enough..."
Next came the tie-dye action. The kids used loom bands to tie up their shirts, but unfortunately they melted in the pot. I now realise the dye doesn't need to boil. The fabric just needs to sit in the dye over-night. In all the excitement, we also forgot to use colour fixative (mix half a cup of salt with 8 cups of water and soak fabric for an hour before you dye the t-shirt). So we did plenty of things wrong, but as Aristotle said, "For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." Innit. Next time we'll get it right.
What you need:
- A bucket for squelching
- A sieve and a pot
- Some elastic bands
- A t-shirt
Top quote: "Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard." Walt Whitman, The Complete Poems