Friday, July 29, 2011

Playing with Paintstiks and Rubbing Plates

Take the rubbing plate of your choice - here I've used one of the Triangles plates- and tape it down with blue painter's tape so it doesn't shift around. Some people then spray it with quilt basting spray, but it's too hot to spray outside and I don't want to spray that stuff inside. So I taped the fabric with the tape too. Then I peeled away the paintstik film on the side of the stick - to make a larger surface area for making a rubbing. These are from a mini set. I used mauve, celadon green, Wedgwood blue, iridescent light gold and iridescent orange.

I painted some silk crepe that someone had given me, saying that maybe I could use it to line a purse, but when I looked at it earlier this week, I realized that the silk pieces wanted to be painted scarves.
If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me, "You're so creative! I'm just not artistic." I'd be as rich as Bill Gates. Making rubbings is as easy as finger painting and requires no special skills. It is also very fun and my silk looks awesome. I'm letting it dry now. The drying takes about 24 hours. Then I'll iron it between sheets of silicone release paper, sew it and show it off to you. These scarves will make wonderful gifts...if I can bear to part with them.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scary Patterns VIII: Cruisin' For Foxes

A common refrain among sewists both male and female is that the pattern companies don't make any good men's patterns any more. Case in point: this groovylicious leisure suit from 1975, just begging to be made in that patchwork denim print polyester doubleknit for optimum fox-cruisin' capabilities.
To better impress the ladies, please add a Tom Selleck moustache and Mr. Brady perm.
If your Halloween plans involve dressing up as Magnum PI, find it here. Send us a picture for our wall of shame.

Quote of the Day

Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.
Mark Twain

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Working With Paintstiks

First, get your mise en place ready, as they say in chef school.
Clear off a workspace, and protect it with newspaper, a plastic tablecloth or silicone release paper. Wear old clothes or an apron, so you don't get paint on your clothes. (Just like kindergarten)
My basic toolkit:
Blue painters tape, to hold stencils, fabric and rubbing plates in place.
Invisigrip, to keep rubbing plates from sliding on the table
A paper plate or Palette Paper, to mix colors on
A dedicated vegetable peeler, to be used only with the paintstiks, to remove the protective film. (See the little paint peelings in the picture? Paintstiks have a protective film that keeps them from drying out. You remove this before painting with a rough paper towel, vegetable peeler or little paring knife. It's easy to remove and comes right off. Be careful not to get paint all over your hands. Maybe I am just really messy, but I always do, and end up with paint on my nose. It does wash right off...but still. Kids require supervision with this.)
Scrap fabric, to practice on. I do a lot of practice samples before I use the "good fabric". Kind of like making a muslin - same idea. The more you practice, the better you get.
Assorted paintstiks
stencil brushes
Purchased or home-made stencils
And most importantly - time to practice, play and try out new ideas.
That's what I'm doing today - trying out different colors and fabrics and just seeing what develops.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Another Kind of Skirt

When the going gets HOT, it's time to think about cold weather sewing! I can't help it - when I get a fabulous idea, I have to try it out. The new Christmas Patterns are coming in for my website. I was unpacking them, and I read this line on the tree skirt pattern: "Two blocks are included, or use your favorite 12" quilt block." I thought, "hey, I could use anything there, as long as it was 12 inch square. This has possibilities." It's not that I have a favorite quilt block. A twelve inch block would be perfect for printing pictures on and also for embellishing with Paintstiks. Working on an art project might help cheer me up. (We really miss our dog. When we come home from an errand, there's no joyful welcome. I miss that.)
So this weekend, why not mess around with Christmas fabric, paintstiks, stencils and all sorts of messy fun? There's nothing like fooling around with art to help mend a broken heart.
It's better than moping around and more healthful than eating brownies.
What are your plans to beat the heat?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Goodbye, Petey

We're sad this weekend to say goodbye to our Springer Spaniel, Petey - the Best Dog Ever. Farewell, Petey - may there be ample squirrels to chase in heaven.