Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Liquitex Silkscreen Medium, Results & Game On Diet!

I'm back at it!  Feels good.  All the travelling/nursing/babysitting grandkids has passed for a while and I've managed to get moving again. 

Part of this happy development is that my niece talked me into joining a group called the "Game On Diet".  Go here to check it out.  http://www.thegameondiet.com/  In short, it's a healthy living plan that not only helps you lose weight, but also encourages exercise, sleeping the correct amount of hours, drinking water, and best of all, changing bad habits and trying new good habits.  And that part has resulted in this FINISHED project!

This is the result of using Liquitex Inks, provided to me by C&T Publishing as one of their author ambassadors (means I get to play with new products!)  I'm loving it. 

These inks are wonderful.  Lots of pigment and easy easy easy to use.  I've tried stamping with them, painting fabric with them, monoprinting, and silk screening on both paper and fabric.

One comment on an earlier post of mine regarding silkscreening asked what I was using for medium to allow use of the inks on a silk screen, and to answer that.....

I laid out as much Liquitex Iridescent Fluid Medium as I thought it would take to scrape across the silk screen itself.  To that I stirred in drops of the Liquitex Inks until the color was intense enough for my liking.  I stirred it really well so that it was completely mixed.  And that's it!  The only thing of note here is that the iridescent medium takes more attention to wash out of the silkscreen than regular medium.  If not cleaned well, your silkscreen would not last the predicted 100+ prints! So as always, the price to pay amidst all this exciting play is careful clean up!

With a spoon I laid out the inked medium at the top of the silkscreen and pulled it with the soft edged scraper to the bottom.  This was the result.

This is a piece of commercial fabric, with the silk screen placed on the print where I thought it would work well.

I pressed it when it was dry, to set the colors altho the inks supposedly don't need that, but having added the medium I thought I'd ensure permanence. 

Then I decided to cut the tree up and displace it in a wall hanging in the required 12 x 12 size.  The results above are what happened.  The blue fabrics are the ones used in an indigo dye workshop I took with my girlfriend (where I managed to stab her in the elbow with my scissors but that's another story)!  The reason you see my last name on one strip is that I couldn't use it if I cut off the name.  I love how some of the shading in the dye process fell into the design. 

The orange piece on the right side is a piece of hand painted and sponged fabric that I did when playing around, and the border is a piece of hand painted fabric that was cotton, but had a textured weave and I've used the bumpy strips in it, which collected the paint in a different way, to represent bark around the hanging. 

The quilting of the Garry Oak leaves is done with King Tut Thread from Superior Threads http://www..com/shop/category/king-tut/description/  The quilting of the tree is done with blue Sulky Sliver metallic. 

Here are some close ups: 

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A New Chapter in my Life!

It's not a book yet, but it could be!  I'm setting out on a new chapter in my life.....the one that begins when you retire from your full time office job and start another life style.  I've looked forward to this for some time now, as do many of us.  But it was expedited by the twists and turns that life throws at us. 

First of all, my retirement date was planned for the end of March.....making April 1st or April Fools Day the first day of my retired life.  An auspicious date for such a monumental change don't you think?  So, as always, with "the best laid plans of mice and men" .....things didn't work out that way.  During my Christmas vacation, I fell and broke my foot.  That put me in an air cast, with instructions to keep my foot elevated for a period of time.  But, beyond that, I was unable to drive our standard vehicle, so had to take extra time off work.  Rather than have the office go through training someone for my absence with the broken foot, and then again six weeks later for my permanent replacement, I decided to expedite my retirement date. 

So, I guess if you want to get technical, I retired at Christmas break because I've been away from work since that time!  My last official day on payroll was January 28th, and my first official day of retirement turned out to be February 1st. 

But nothing is ever that clear and concise.  I was sitting here in my chair on the morning of January 30th when the phone rang.  It was my Mum, and she was upset.  My Dad had fallen, broken his hip and was in the hospital.  She asked "Can you come?  I can't handle this alone."  I said I would be there as soon as I could.  I was on a plane within two and a half hours, with the help of my friend who drove me there.  She was great as we put things into her vehicle.  She asked "Do you have your other shoe?  If you're there long you may want it."  So I dashed back inside to get the other shoe that matched the one I had on my "good foot".  Turned out to be a good thing because not only did my stay stretch to three weeks, but the ice and snow was treacherous with an air cast, so as soon as I thought it feasible, I took the boot off and wore my runners, with my Mum's "cleats" attached.  Great invention that one! 

So, my Dad waited 2 1/2 days for surgery, but has pulled through miraculously considering he is 96.  There were some long worrisome days, but Mum and Dad have yet again surmounted the obstacles thrown in their path and Dad is gaining strength and Mum is able to help him. there was a week in the hospital, a week in the rehabilitation center, and then a week at home.  I stayed until I was sure they could handle the shower, cooking, the trips to the lab for blood tests etc.  I didn't really want to leave when I did, but I had things at home that needed to be attended to as well!  One being the pets I had deserted in my rush to get there.  People were looking after them and I totally appreciated that, but you can only let people help you for so long! 

One of the things I did to help out was to walk their adorable and extremely well trained little dog three times a day.  I couldn't help but notice the houses in the neighborhood.  I like unusual buildings and this district was amazing....everything from the heritage home to the ultra-modern....side-by-side making a very eclectic neighborhood.  It was a pleasure to walk around and see these places. 

So now I'm home, adjusting to retired life, checking on my parents every second day by telephone, and planning to go back for a short check-in on spring break.  I'll be taking two granddaughters to see their Dad at that time and will tie in a visit with Mum and Dad.  In walking around in my back yard yesterday, I discovered a surprise....crocuses blooming all over the lawn in our back yard.  A harbinger of spring that was very welcome after walking a little dog dressed in boots and sweater in -37 degree windchills!