American Girl Rainbow Fish

By: pbcmedia

Apr 26 2008

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Crafts, Culture, Family, Humor, Humor. Entertainment, Kids, Life

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Focal Length:5.8mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon PowerShot SD850 IS

“Pappy, could you help me make some rainbow fish?” My 10 year old grand niece, Bridget, called me in the middle of her school vacation week.

Absolutely. When do you want to do it? Saturday? Ok, I’ll be there. What do I need to bring?

She read me the project ingredients from her “American Girl” magazine.

“This is an “American Girl” project,” I say with squinting eyes. Yes, she said.

I hear the word “American Girl” and then hear Ross Perot’s (remember him, people!) “giant sucking” sound.

Instead this time, the sound is of money coming out of parents’ pockets rather than jobs out of the US going elsewhere. Typical marketing of an American Girl doll: (Oh, excuse me–I meant ways to buy a new friend)– “Ways to buy Addy-Choose how you want to bring Addy home.”

On their website, you can read that “Addy Walker’s story begins as she and her mother are escaping slavery to find Addy’s father and brother, who’ve been sold away.”

There are four ways to bring Addy home: The 90 dollar way gets you Addy and a paperback book. The 95 dollar way gets you Addy and the hardcover book. The 105 dollar way gets you Addy, the Book and Accessories. The 113 dollar way gets you the Doll and the Paperback set. But, don’t forget Addy’s Rope Bed for 48 dollars or Addy’s Ice Cream Freezer for 14 dollars.

I’m just wondering if you are escaping slavery and trying to find your father and brother who’ve been sold, are you making alot of ice cream along the escape route? Just asking.

At any rate, back to my grand niece and her project.

Ok, I say to myself. It’s not a doll. It’s a crafts project I remind myself. Made out of water bottles. How bad could it be?

Plastic soda bottles.

Acrylic paint in squirt bottles

Double-Sided tape



Tissue Paper

Clear Jewelry Cord

Duct Tape

Sounds doable. Like most crafty sorts, I had some but not all of the ingredients. I go to Mecca: A.C. Moore. I get the rest.

Large squirt bottles of acrylic paint that cost almost 7 dollars each but I’m also doing another project involving acrylics, so I justify the expense. Plus, the colors are just what is ordered for rainbow fish.

I get every pack of sequins on the rack. These are going to be Vegas rainbow fish.

After arriving home, I have the nagging thought that I’d better hear the directions for these American Girl rainbow fish before Saturday.

So, I call and get them. Sure enough, the devil is in the details. You are supposed to wash out the water bottle, dry it, and then squirt the paint in and then let the bottle dry OVERNIGHT. That means it’s not an afternoon project.

If you are a traveling craftsman, rather than a live-in, the project has to be doable in an afternoon.

So, I squirt the acrylic paint into the bottle knowing all the while that this would be the most fun part of the project for her and her siblings.

The directions said: Pick one color of paint and add one small squirt to bottle. Place cap on bottle and shake. Repeat with another color. Remove cap and let dry overnight. Replace cap when dry.

A small squirt shaken like marracas produced minimal coverage. OK. A few more squirts. More marracas, heavy duty marracas, and still not much coverage. What gives? I give a squirt of my 7 dollar tube of acrylic paint that empties the tube and then I shake this bottle as if it were the CEO of American Girl dolls.

You see the result. Today, I go to help her and her brother and sister do the sequins, the tissue paper, the jewelry cord, the duct tape and help hang them in their room. I’ll report back.

But, right now, all I see are two water bottles with two 7 dollar tubes of acrylic paint emptied inside. I have two more clear bottles (there are four kids) and so that will be two more 7 dollar tubes of acrylic paint. Amounting to, if you just count the paint alone, 28 dollars. Hey! I could have bought two Addy Ice Cream Freezers for that.

American Girl can’t do anything, not even craft projects, without a credit card. Come to think of it: that is a very true-to-life American history lesson.

©Pat Coakley 2008

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