Monday 10 December 2012

Ingress T-shirts

My husband did up a T-shirt of the Ingress logo, and posted the result to the G+ #Ingress stream. He's pretty proud of it - you can see it here. He was even more chuffed when it garnered him an invite code. Now he just has to solve the pesky technology problem that is preventing us from playing.

His was a pretty simple process - put a mask on a t-shirt, and splattered it with bleach. He used scotch tape, which didn't quite stick as well as he hoped, although we agree the flaws make the image unique.

I decided I wanted a shirt of my own, so I found myself a black shirt to start with. I wouldn't be putting the shirt in a dye bath, so I used a printed sticker as my design mask.

I haven't decided on my faction - I just liked the Enlightenment design to work with. Is Canberra under Shaper control already? The thought just makes me giggle. I do have a second black shirt like the one I used for the Enlightened shirt, and plan to make myself a Resistance version.

My Enlightened shirt would be using the bleach method, but I didn't want to go splattering in the backyard. It was a lovely day outside, a bit warm for my preference, and a light dry breeze. My creative eye had an image of a starbursty pattern coming out of the centre of the design, but when I went to put it down on fabric, oh how horrid it looked.

Think fast, how could I save it?

I never thought I'd say the answer was to relive the 80's. I'd done acid wash plenty of times as a teen. Acid wash jeans were all the rage and I'd gotten quite good at making my own.

I filled a spray bottle with undiluted bleach - with the heat and the bright sun, I had to work fast. For the original idea the shirt was on newspaper, that wouldn't work at all. I tossed the paper aside and just crumpled the shirt on the pavement and went to town with the sprayer. Every 'coat' of the shirt I would flip it over, smooth it, recrumple, then more spraying, repeat until happy.

(No final image - yet. Not totally happy with it and will be doing a bit of a fine tune first.)

For the Resistance shirt I'll use diluted bleach, and start with a damp shirt. I'm hoping this will make the bleach soak into the fabric a bit better, even though the surface of the shirt appears quite bleached, the inside is still quite untouched.

I thought I'd try another masking technique on one of Tiger-monkey's white shirts. I'd been looking for months for Elmers blue gel glue. Elmers is a North American brand, one I had trouble finding in Australia - no one I asked had ever heard of it. I couldn't even find a blue gel glue, just white glue which so far had made ugly messes of all attempts at dye masking. Last week I literally tripped over Bic's blue gel glue at the Reject Shop, and have been itching to try dyeing with it since.

I wet the shirt, and put a plastic lid in it to keep it steady. I placed a cut out piece of paper on the shirt, and put the glue down in a careful manner. I was worried I'd not used enough, and scared I'd used to much. Knowing I couldn't win that tug of war, I went with trying for an even coat with a paint brush. I set the shirt in the sun to dry the glue, which took far less than I'd read it would. Nice thing about the hot Australian summer sun, clothes dry fast!

My last attempt at tie dye was horrific. I'd rolled the fabric perfectly, and then put the elastics on so tight that the dye couldn't get anywhere. Whups!

So this time I remembered, firmly rolled fabric, relatively loose elastics. I nearly forgot to put the salt in the dye bath, and I did forget the liquid soap. (Last time I forgot both!)

I made the dye bath with off boiled water, probably 80c or so. I made the dye fairly dark, and didn't make a lot of it - not even enough to cover the shirt when placed in the bucket.

For amusement I decided to just set the roll in the dye bath, and let it soak it up. I think I left it in the dye bath for about 15 minutes, gently lifting the bucket to move the dye around, and pressing down on the elastics.

The gel glue worked a treat, and appears to have come out during the dye bath. I expected to have to remove it afterwards, so either the glue wasn't on thick enough, or the dye bath was too hot. Possibly both - as there is some dye where the glue should have stopped any colour from taking place.

Still, I love the result.

If you make your own Ingress shirt after reading this - I'd love to see it! Link it in the comments here, or on the post on G+.

Friday 7 December 2012

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies

I may have been baking a lot more in the last two months than in the last two years... These turned out good, but silly me left them in the standard sugar cookie time, when I should have cut the time. They didn't burn, I'm guessing the roll aspect means the baked much faster than their cookie cutter counterparts.

Cinnamon Rolled Sugar Cookies
End result: Teeth breakers. Not at all appealing.

So I stuck them in an airtight container with a slice of bread, and soon they were nice and perfect.

Bread, is there anything it can't do?

*bread image by hhh316 on DeviantArt, used under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Abstract Crayon Painting

Next time I do this one, I remember that shaved wax crayon has static funtime, and will get all over everything while you are working. Tiger-monkey had a great giggle at me picking up the plastic cup of crayon shavings and watching the shavings jump on to the table!

I put two 4x6 canvas down on parchment paper on a cooking sheet (in the middle of the sea...), and turned on the oven to about 160c. Once I had all of my colours shaved I then tried to arrange them on the two pieces of 4x6 canvas board.

Crayon Shavings on Canvas

When it was ready to melt I turned off the oven. I didn't trust the fan forced enough to leave it on, the last thing I needed was crayon bits all over the inside of the oven, it's bad enough the kitchen table was covered with them! As it worked out the heat was more than enough. I pulled the art out of the oven a couple times to push the melted wax to the edge of the canvas with a toothpick, before putting it back in to remelt. Repeat a couple times, and voila! I think it's art!

Melted Crayon Shavings on Canvas

Now to cover it with a clear epoxy, and hang it up!