Monday, July 05, 2010

Happy Birthday, Stephen!

The Helgren family welcomed their second baby boy in the wee hours of July 4th, yesterday. His name is Stephen Christopher and he comes just a week shy of his big brother Thomas's 3rd birthday. We are very excited to meet him this coming weekend.
Look Stephen, we made these decorations for you! Well, actually we made them for our 4th of July dessert and fireworks party, but how cool is it that you'll get fireworks on your birthday every year! Once again, we failed to take photos from the party but it was fun. Lots of kids, lots of dessert and the annual walk over to the open field to see the fireworks. This year I made fresh fruit tart, brownies, blueberry crumble, and peach cobbler. Chris made peanut butter cookies and chocolate chip cookies. The peach cobbler was the biggest hit.

I decided to try batik dyeing silk play scarves for the 4th of July party this year. First, you might ask, who in their right mind tries batik dyeing for the first time and decides to make 17 silk scarves all at once the day before 40 people are coming over? Me. Ok, so it was a little ambitious. But I have a reputation to uphold. Every year we've done this party, I've given some sort of creative, homemade party favor to the kids.

I certainly have a new appreciation for batik dyeing. The results of my efforts were nice enough, but not at all what I intended. Partly the problem was that I had limited tools and it made painting the wax much more crude and messy. I had all these intricate patterns in my mind (I know, silly me). Also, I was under the impression that the blue I used would cover the red better so I really intended these to be red, blue and white - not red, white with a tiny bit of blue. I think I didn't use enough dye and maybe didn't use enough of the fixer.

So, I won't quit my day job to become a batik dyeing professional.
Lastly, here's a view of the birds from the kitchen window while we were getting ready for the party. I'm off to Oregon tomorrow for some soil and groundwater sampling. Then I'll rendezvous with Chris and the girls in the Bay Area to visit with our new nephew and his family. Have a great week!