Archive for July, 2011

Vote for me!

Would you lovelies be so kind as to vote for me in the Dorset Cereals Little Blog Awards?

Dorset Cereals little awardsThank you so much!

PS Fibre of the non-cereal variety coming up soon!

Month 2 and the theme is Fibre

On Friday we kick-off month 2 of year 2 of 52 crafts in 52 weeks with the theme of Fibre. This is going to be a tricky month for me – remember last year’s attempts at needle felting, knitting and crochet? Hmmmm. Well this time around I’m adding weaving to the mix and trying knitting and crocheting again, hopefully with more success.

Week 1: Weaving
Week 2: Knitting
Week 3: Wet felting
Week 4: Crochet

Don’t forget, you can choose to complete 1,2,3 or 4 crafts each month to fit the theme – they don’t have to be the ones I pick. And you can post your crafts in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter (using the hashtag #52crafts52weeks) or in the Flickr group (or all of them of course).

Tell me, what are your favourite fibre crafts?

Knitting

Have you been inspired to try printing this month?

Here are your blog posts and projects all about printing. Enjoy, and if you have any to add, leave me a comment below.

Shawn tried both potato printing and screen printing this month:

Potato Printing

Silk Screen

Laura posted some great potato printing inspiration on her blog – don’t be fooled by the name, she certainly isn’t crap at art!

Trish mentioned the embroidery screen tutorial on her blog, genuine mudpie – I’ve just spent some time over there and it’s a lovely place to explore – check out the crocheted belt, a project for month 2 maybe? She also tried sun printing – looks like good fun and something I want to try too.

EDIT
Lots more inspiring projects have been added to the comments this week and I love them all!

Printing with crochet flowers
Creadientje
used a crochet flower to create this print – isn’t it great? I love how the texture of the yarn comes over in print.

And Talia did some fabulous lino printing – I love her giraffe motif. Her blog post about the project gives some great tips on how to succeed with lino printing.

Lino printing

And finally, Barbara told us about her potato and silk screening exploits:

I tried potato printing and silk screening this month. I did a t-shirt with a symbol that opposes high pressure gas drilling (it is an environmental issue in my area) , and I made several prints on paper with my potato “star”. I think I can cut them and use them in collage or as journal covers. I am working on learning how to make my own journals using paper that otherwise would end up in the landfill. Thanks for all the inspiration this month, on to fiber crafts!

And finally finally finally, and thank you to Talia for the suggestion, you can upload your own links to your printing projects below. I’m going to start including this on every post so look out for it from now on.

(how cute is that little logo?!)

{week 4} mono printing

Have you enjoyed this month of printing? I have. My fingers are stained with printing ink and I have learnt four new printing techniques, all of which I can imagine using again.

Framed monoprint

This week I tried mono printing. I’ve found several different methods of mono printing but I found this technique in an old issue of Making magazine.

You need: glass (or acetate), a roller, ink, paper (plus scrap paper), fabric (optional) and some pretty foliage from the garden.

Nature's supplies

1) Mix a light colour and thinly cover your glass with it. On a scrap piece of paper lay down some of your leaves. Cover the leaves with a layer of ink.

Printing in progress
2) Place the leaves ink side down on your paper. Use your roller to cover all the paper with ink. Peel off the leaves and leave to dry. Repeat with your paper, and fabric if you like (I used some linen).

Printing in progress
3) Clean up your roller and glass.
4) Once your first prints are dry, flip them over and draw a simple line drawing on the back.
5) Roll out the darker ink on your glass. And then blot the ink with some more scrap paper.

Printing
6) Really really gently, lay the paper face down on the inked-up glass.
7) With a ball-point pen draw carefully over your line drawing.
8) Peel back the paper to reveal your mono print.

Monoprinting

Monprinted linen
I will probably do some machine embroidery over the top of the linen, I really like the effect and I have a particular soft-spot for that little leaf down in the bottom right of the fabric.

So, have you done any printing this week or over the last month? I’ll be sharing everyone’s projects and posts here later this week so don’t forget to comment here, on Twitter (using the hashtag #52crafts52weeks), on Facebook or Flickr.

Flashback: week 4 in year 1 was all about papercutting 

{week 3} lino printing

If you’re a fan of 52 crafts on Facebook or follow me on Twitter you’ll know I was celebrating my birthday on Saturday and therefore felt slightly delicate yesterday! Plus I was suffering from a severe lack of inspiration and motivation.

This lack of motivation continued into today but I forced myself to get out my sketchbook and drew a chrysanthemum (they were dotted around my house in glass jars for my party) in the hope that inspiration would strike. No.

Sketching

So I decided to fill a page with scribbled flowers to try and get some ideas going. And it worked! The super quick drawings at last inspired me to start cutting into my lino block.

Lino printing

So, to lino print, you need: a pencil, tracing paper (possibly, I didn’t use any), lino cutting tool, lino (I used easy-carve), ink, roller (brayer), something to spread the ink on (I used the glass left from the photo frame I used last week) and paper/cards/fabric/whatever you’re printing on.

I drew directly on to the lino with a soft pencil but you could use tracing paper to transfer your design.

Just like with stamp carving you cut away the parts you want to stay white when you print. I decided that I actually wanted to fill my design with colour so I only cut away the scribbled flowers. Make sure you cut away from you – safety first! To go around corners smoothly I find it easiest to slowly rotate the lino as I cut.

Lino cutting

I mixed up some ink to get a light blue and used my roller to get an even layer on the glass. Then I rolled it over the lino. Once it was all inked up I placed it carefully on a card and rubbed all over the back of it – ideally you’d use a clean roller but I didn’t have one so I used the back of a spoon to rub all over the back.

And that’s all there is to it. Once the cards were dry I used a black pen to add poems about flowers on some of the cards and some more scribbled flowers on others.

Finished cards with writing and doodling

Have you tried lino printing? Any other printing this week? Share your projects in the comments here, on Twitter (using the hashtag #52crafts52weeks), on Facebook or Flickr.

Flasback: Week 3 in year 1 was all about papier-mâché

Is there a low-tech way to screen print?

If you were daunted by my last post about screen printing with a myriad of tools and steps you may be asking, is there an easier, low-tech way? Why yes, there is!

I remember one of the very first tutorials I found and bookmarked was about screen printing with a few simple supplies. In fact, here is that very tutorial.

It uses an embroidery hoop, tulle (or old tights), ink, paintbrush, glue and your chosen design (oh and something to print on!).

How does that sound? I haven’t tried it but if you do, let us know and share your photos.

{week 2} screen printing

This week’s craft is one that I’ve been putting off trying even though I was desperate to have a go. It looked just too difficult.  But I couldn’t have a printing month without trying screen printing could I?

And actually it wasn’t difficult at all.

In my crafty studio

There are lots of different screen printing techniques but I chose to use a paper stencil.

If you want to try it too you need: a wooden frame, screen printing mesh, staple gun, printing ink, a squeegee, something to print on, masking tape, paper, plastic spoon and a craft knife.

If you’re handy with a hammer you can make a frame from 4 pieces of wood but I used an old picture frame (my husband’s idea actually) and then stapled the mesh really really tightly to it. You could of course use a pre-made screen.

Then I chose the image that I wanted to use for the stencil. Last week I sketched an artichoke from my garden so I traced it onto a piece of paper with a sharpie (so the lines were nice and thick) and cut it out with a craft knife. This took ages and you would probably be better off choosing a simpler shape but I got there in the end.

Artichoke sketch

Cutting the stencil

I taped the stencil on the flat side of the screen (I’ve seen tutorials that say you don’t need to tape it down but I decided to) and then laid the screen on a scrap piece of paper to test the stencil. I then taped all round the edge of the screen (so no ink could get through where I didn’t want it to).

Screen ready for printing

Using a plastic spoon I dolloped some ink along the top of the screen and then (holding the frame down with one hand), used the squeegee to pull the ink over it. I pulled back the other way and then repeated again. Finally I gently lifted the screen to reveal the design and held my breath! It worked!

The screen after printing

I printed the artichoke on canvas tote bags – if you’re printing things like bags and t-shirts, remember to put some paper inside to stop the print going through two layers.

Finished printed bag

I’m really pleased with how they turned out – I think these will make perfect grocery bags.

So, have you tried any screen printing this week? Printing is the theme for the whole month of July and you can choose any method at all. Share your projects in the comments here, on Twitter (using the hashtag #52crafts52weeks), on Facebook or Flickr.

Thank you for all the lovely comments about my craft video last week! I was really nervous about posting it but I might make another one soon.

Flasback: Week 2 in year 1 was all about Freehand machine embroidery (a favourite!)


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