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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fabric and wood... lessons are good.

First, there's a little bit of an update. Do you recall the dog bed I made and posted on the last blog entry? Well, it turns out my dog, Jada, hates it! Yep, the fabric I used makes a funny noise and startles her when she starts to get onto the bed. So... I'll be chalking this up to yet another learning experience. It's all about learning, for me.

Onto other things. Last week I tried my hand at fabric painting for the first time. I tried fabric paints initially but realized I do not like them. They are too clumpy for my taste and it's hard to get the paint to flow smoothly. I quickly moved onto acrylic paints mixed with fabric medium. Here are my first projects.

The good news is that I was pretty happy with them overall.

The bad news? I ruined the Is It Shabbat Yet shirt! I was super angry with myself for ruining it!!! I washed the tshirt after a few days of letting the paint cure, and it looked great. However, when I put it in the dryer, the black paint smudged EVERYWHERE!!! As it turns out, I should have read the directions more thoroughly, as my Plaid brand textile medium required heat setting prior to washing and the label stated 'air dry only'. Another lesson learned! Read, woman, read!

I looked online for fabric painting pointers after my project was ruined and *several* blogs/sites advise one to cure the paint for up to 4 days, then heat set (it appears the iron is the easiest way to do it but there are other options) and let it cure again for up to 2 weeks. That seems like a really long time for an impatient gal like me, but considering how long it takes to paint the shirts it'll be time well spent. So I'll be heat setting the other two shirts, then resting them 2 weeks before I wash them. Wish me luck!

Want some extra cool tips1)
1) I used a Henna tattoo bottle filled with acrylic and fabric medium and it worked super well for making thin lines for letters and on the designs.
2) My designs started as very very loose sketches put onto the shirts with a Singer disappearing ink marker. I must admit I was a bit disappointed in how quickly the disappearing ink disappeared on the shirt and that it only gave me 3 shirts worth of designs before it died. The label stated it would last for up to 72 hrs. but it didn't last an hour at times. I'll be looking for another brand/type of pencil or marker to put my designs onto a shirt.

Next, some other projects I've been working on...

Here are some display shelves (for my sculpted and fabric dolls) I'm building with the wood I bought off Craiglist (CL). They are in need of a good sanding, primer and will be getting white paint to match the furniture in my office.

Yep, here's the desk I built from more of the CL wood I got from the scraps at the cabinet shop. It's unreal that I'm building all these things with $20 worth of wood. Cheap = Fabulous in my world!!!

Final piece all loaded up and ready for me to get to work. The blue boxes used to be another color and design but I used household primer and painted them blue to work better in my space. My office space primarily sage green, medium blue, soft/medium pink and white. Too bad the appliances are such an ugly black/gray... oh well.

Check out the secret cubbies in the back. They are perfect for seldom used programs I just can't get rid of yet.

This is the first desk I have ever built. I built it as I went along. No, I really didn't have a master plan. I just started building cubbies in the beginning; I actually thought I was going to make them as display shelves or for media in the livingroom. Then I realized those cubbies would make me a big girl desk on a budget. I had been looking for a desk I like, and that was in my budget, for months with no luck. My previous desk with a kid's desk I bought at auction for $3 but it just wasn't working for me. Suddenly, the plan came together to use the cubbies and scrap wood that had been in the garage for months. Magic! The best part? If I ever move, it's highly portable. Yep, I never screwed it all together so the shelves between the cubbies are not attached. The table top is not attached either, so it's totally portable but super stable and strong, too.

These are the cabinet shop scraps I started with before sanding them, adding wood glue, using countersink bits, and wood screws.

I'm off to create... something.

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