Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another Crafty Secret

I realized today when I was searching for the third time for my can of Krylon matte finish spray, that I needed to get this out into internet land for the good of all crafters. Please, go immediately to your crafty outlet, big box crafty store, or dickblick.com and buy yourself a can of this. It will make all of your painting projects complete. Anything that has the potential to be sticky/tacky will benefit from this stuff. You just spray a quick burst and it will instantly protect your finish from fingerprints and sticking to other surfaces. It dries super quick. We even use it at work to tone down the glossyness on some plotter prints.

So this is my crafty secret for now. Please, heed my advice, you won't be sorry. :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fabric Printing/Stenciling Tutorial

This may just be a long post, but hear me out! I have been thinking a lot about fabric printing as of late. I want to post a quick tutorial on stenciling using the freezer paper method.

Currently I'm making a couple of place mats for my messy puppies. They both eat wet food, and tend to get it ALL OVER. I decided that I needed to put their names on the mats, so I'm definitely using the freezer paper method of stenciling.

Here's how:

1. Gather your supplies. You'll need:

Freezer Paper
a nice pair of scissors
an xacto knife (or detail cutting method of your choice)
a computer & printer (or template of some sort)
Textile medium & Acrylic paint (or fabric paint of choice)
a cutting mat (or safe place to do your detail cutting)
an iron & ironing board
fabric of your choice

2. Find the appropriate template. Whatever you want to put on your fabric, you'll need something to stencil. Once you find the template, transfer it on to the paper side of an appropriate size sheet of freezer paper. Handy Tip: To get really clean stencils, cut your freezer paper into 8.5" by 11" sheets and feed them into your printer to print out the design. Make sure you know which side you're printing on (don't print on the shiny side). For my design, I'm using the names of my puppies.

3. Cut out the stencil. Make absolutely sure you're cutting smoothly and right at the edge of your design. Do not cut into any open parts of your letters. It's critical that you be very aware of what you're cutting at this point. We're making a stencil, so you're cutting out the meaty part of the design. I'm cutting out the actual letters. At this point, you may be able to save the innards and use them in a reversed out design later.

4. Iron your design onto your chosen bit of fabric. At this point, your iron should be pretty warm, but not too hot. (We're melting a very thin layer of wax, so it doesn't take much.) Also, be sure that you do NOT use the steam setting of your iron. This will make the wax not stick, and will make all of that detailed cutting useless. Also, iron on the main bit of paper first, then re-add all of the details such as the insides of "o"s and "a"s and yeah, you get the picture.

5. Now it's time for the fun part. It's time to paint! Mix your textile medium according to the specific directions, or get your fabric paint out. Make sure it's nice and full bodied, you do NOT want a runny paint. The fabric will soak it up, and yet again, ruin all that detailed cutting you just did. Ask me how I know... lol. To correctly paint onto your fabric, take a nice flat ended brush, and dab the paint in an up and down motion onto your fabric. Be careful not to saturate your brush too much or it'll get way too wet and might soak into the fabric as well. After you've completed painting, let the piece dry according to your paint/medium's directions. I usually get antsy and pull the paper off before it's time. Believe me, it's a gamble if you do. I actually got red paint on the other bits of fabric, but since it's for the doggies, I'm sort of okay with it. If you do, just be careful.

6. Here's the finished fabric!

My textile medium says wait 7 days. So it'll be about a week before you guys get to see what these become. I'm very excited to see this project through completion. I'm getting a little antsy to finish a sewing project with my new machine. I've got a couple in the works and a couple more in my head.

Another option for fabric printing that is VERY exciting (especially for a graphic designer such as myself) is the new site called Spoonflower. We've all said at one time, "If only I could just print my own fabric!". Well, now you can! I just got my invitation to the beta, and I'm putting together some designs in my head. You should too! (I recieved my invitation within the week.) Don't worry, if you don't know the ins and outs of patterns, Spoonflower offers tutorials for pattern making. Visit them at www.spoonflower.com! :)

Edit: Here's a pic of some onesies that I stenciled with this method in Aug of 06. If you look at the top left one, it says "Frog Prince". The prince part is what happens when you use a very runny paint. It gets super messy and makes the piece almost useless. The bottom image was my fav of that batch. The little boy that was born around that time was going to be a leo, so this is the design I came up with.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My pottery may be a no go...

3 Stoneware Bottles-Matte White by Sara Paloma

Another potter who's work is incredibly fabulous would be Sara Paloma. Her grasp of form is amazing. She has very refined taste, and might I add, spectacular photography skills. :) If you get a second, definitely check out her work. It's beautiful! :)

On my pottery front, it may just be a no go. Sadly... When I got out there to retrieve the kiln, I found it to be in okay shape. But! They had about 5000 ceramic molds that were included with the kiln. (An all or nothing kind of deal) So! I have absolutely no where to store that many molds. Unfortunately I had to pass it by.

I'm still holding out hope that one day I'll be the proud owner of a ceramic kiln.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pottery love

Sweet Pea in Olive Green by Kim Westad

Isn't it beautiful? One day when I grow up I want to be as talented as the artist who created this. Kim Westad's etsy shop is full of beautiful and incredibly unique pottery. The colors she uses are usually very bright and vibrant and she pairs these with simplistic, elegant forms. They look like they're so easy, but I know they aren't.

Speaking of pottery! Today I was able to secure a ceramic kiln. I'll be picking it up after work. I got it for the red hot price of FREE. :) Viva la Craigslist!! Expect pottery on this blog. Sometime... if I can figure it out, without exploding things. I'm off to venture into the wild world of pottery! :) Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Recon Picture Frame

I'm sure everyone out there has received a gift that er... uh... just isn't their style. Well, since I'm no different, and since I'm a big proponent of the reuse R of the Three R's. I decided to make it into something fabulous. The original was a pretty standard frame with decoupage brown paper with butterflies on it. Now it's a simple blue and white frame that holds a pic of my dapper little nephews just perfectly. I reused the frame and some left over room paint. It's American Tradition in "Sea Tickle". I love how soft it is and also the texture that the decoupage made is a nice touch.

In other news, my brother has come to visit me and should be living in my living room for a bit. I'm excited to have him here as I rarely get to see him. He's a large.... teddy bear. :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Less fine art... still art?

Sadly, I missed my nephew Gabriel's 7th birthday. (Present-wise that is.) So I wanted to make it up to him with something really special.

As of now he's deeply in love with the Pokemon universe. (What 7 year old boy isn't?..) So after asking him his favorite, I went to work learning about this little guy. His name is Grotle, and apparently he was once a little guy named Turtwig. He evolved into this cute little warrior.

I really love the painting (I'm especially proud of the texturing on his back... bushes?) I hope he loves it too. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Re-starting with a Bang!

Great News! I'm finally at the position to where I can start creating again. I've been working on this re-initial post for a few days. I've been painting and I love it! :) The painting above was a creation for our bedroom. :) It's four different colors of a soft body paint by Liquitex.

Also, if you check out the very bottom of that photo, you'll see a teeeny tiny little girl puppy under my new comforter. :) She's our new little Chihuahua named Dede. She's the sweetest puppy I've ever met & a polar opposite of her brother (a 2 and a half year old boy Chihuahua named Agro). He's incredibly sweet to people and loves everyone, but he is very high needs. He has separation issues...

So! Expect more posts from me. I'm going to try to update once every other day, or even every day if I can.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A New Direction

Today I ordered my new gal. She's a beauty! (Super Inexpensive) :) I have big plans for our time together. My old machine was falling apart at the seams ;). (It was a starter machine anyway. I needed a better, grown up machine).

I started an etsy shop today as well, briemarie.etsy.com. There isn't anything stocked, but there will be. I have decided that it is time for me to give back to the arts for all it's given me, so 10% of all sales from this shop will be donated to a different art related charity each month. I will be selling accessories of all kinds, from jewelry, to purses, dog accessories to home accessories.

Also, as soon as I'm done moving, I'll be renewing my commitment to Creative Every Day as well. I feel it's very important for me to keep up my development as an artist. I have a ton of new ideas brewing in my head and I'm itching to let them come out to play.