Friday, September 3, 2010

Frustration and exasperation

Frustration and exasperation set in on Wednesday. First, I went to the thrift store and came home empty handed. The fact that it was 95 degrees F when I returned empty handed should have forewarned of events to come. After doing a few more Wednesday blog hops, I had to get off my bottom and make art.

For those of you who were here a few days ago, you remember the tutorial I presented and the results I got from the traditional arashi shibori technique. In case you missed it, here is the original post. I decided to redo the fabric that you see in the bottom half in this photo (and fabric). I forgot to take a photo of the piece before I wrapped it, but just imagine that this piece has been torn in half at the "V." I decided to give it another try. I left the top half intact and wrapped the newly sized bottom half around the pole.

I am trying something new on my blog today, too. Not sure I'm going to like it, but I assure you, these small photos will enlarge to full screen if clicked on. If you like the look, you can let me know. If you don't like clicking for a larger view, you can let me know that, too. Of course, there's a lot of other stuff to discuss. It's brutal honesty day, I guess.


You can see, I've already wrapped the piece that didn't get much paint the first time around. After wrapping the pipe, I started my lunch by putting a pot of rotini on to cook. After all, how long could it take to spray three or four swipes on a cloth?

I took the project outside, but it was so hot, my brain must have been mush because I didn't photograph anything I did between wrapping and the completed project. I guess I was hungry and wanted a quick spray, then back inside. Of course, that's when all the excitement happened, and I failed to document the action with even a single photo. As an aside, the fabric the pole is sitting on is the same I used to wipe up the paint in the tutorial. I didn't paint it. It may be the best piece of all, although it is much stiffer than I thought the fabric paint was when I first used it.

To make a long story even longer, I had my paint upside down in the bucket of water, as suggested by Simply Spray. You can see some of the canisters are missing. That's because the black and the poppy red would not spray, even after I had taken such care with them. So I shook, I wiped the nozzle, I even poked a tiny straight pin into the nozzle, but NOTHING came out. And the black was the fullest of all. I had already sprayed cranberry and bright pink and needed a color to offset the two. I did everything but throw the canisters into my chiminea (and no, I wouldn't do that to the environment or my chiminea). In the process, I forgot all about my rotini.

When I came back inside to wash one of the canisters that was dripping paint, I realized I had left the pasta cooking well past the "al dente" stage and well into the "chef boyardee sans sauce" stage.

Here I was, my rotini was now mush, I had no black paint, the poppy color tried to work when I ran it under running water, but only managed to dribble out from under the cap enough to stain my kitchen sink, and I was one frustrated, hot, hungry person with paint staining my sink! At about $6.00 a can, I was appalled, but now pretty sure Simply Spray was right when they suggested these were ONE USE containers.

I was able to get the purple to work and managed to get a decent enough traditional arashi shibori pattern out of this piece. But I have no black (the black in the fabric is from the previous dyeing/spraying), I'm not sure the other colors will ever spray again, even though they are sitting upside down in water, and I ended up refrigerating the rotini and fixing a new batch. Unless you are sure you will use a can of this stuff in one setting, I suggest thinking long and hard before buying it. Even with a Michael's coupon, it is still out of reach for most artists unless you are planning to do it as a group. After all, you can do the math. There were six cans, one for each of six colors, at six dollars a can.

I do hope you'll let me know if you like the format of the smaller photos that enlarge, or not. I know some people use this layout all the time. By the way, I'm writing to Simply Spray to let them know my concerns over their paint. And so no one misunderstands my frustration or the focus of this post, it's not in my failure to get this product to work, it's in the product itself.

Today's blog has nothing to do with fabric. I guess it's because I'm really burned out on fabric for the rest of today. That's when I searched for a blog spotlighting my second love, handmade paper. I found some incredible pieces by a UK artist Sue Pegg. She incorporates wax and plaster in the paper to seal in lovely images and text. There are many layers to her paper, including hand stitched words preserved by wax in the paper. This is one stunning technique I'd never even considered before, and I was mesmerized by the process. I also like that Sue, like me, doesn't use a deckle. It makes for a much softer and frayed edge, something I also prefer in my own papermaking. Please check out Sue's web site today. Although there are not many images in the gallery (the only link with images), what are there are worth a visit. I'm sure you will be inspired for various reasons, as was I.

22 thoughtful remarks:

Cynnie said...

Well let me be the first to make a thoughtful remark then,,,,,,,,lovely...and what fun making these pipe pieces! Have a great weekend!
Cynthia Schelzig

Halle said...

Well, your final piece is actually quite pretty despite all the trouble. I can understand your frustration in the product. Nothing worse than getting all set up and then the can won't spray or the machine won't sew or...you get the picture.

Tess said...

Wow, what a day. I do love the purple on the fabric though. I must get to experimenting with my gifted Spray paints but I just can't remember what it was I said I would do with them. Guess, I better work on an idea this weekend. Hubby wants a tie dye t-shirt. Maybe I'll do that. I think the smaller pics are ok but I seldom click to enlarge as my computer acts up whem I do that. Go figure!! Darm ting has a mind of it's own. I'd swear it's haunted....

Healing Woman said...

I can feel your frustration through your post. I've had those days too. I appreciate your honesty in 'telling it like it is' with the Simply Spray paints. You could have glossed over it (excuse the pun) and made them look good but you chose to be honest.

Cath said...

What a day! Last thing you want to do is have to cook again in the heat. I like the last piece you managed to do even if there was no black. The company sent you the paints to try so they cant say anything about your honest review.
I like the new look blog, I don't mind enlarging the photos that I am interested it.
This comment is all disjointed and I don't know why sorry.

Cathx

Steph said...

Liz, despite all the challenges, I think it turned out real well!!! I LOVEIT!!! :)

La Dolce Vita said...

nothing like a frustrating day in the studio to make you want to eat a good bowl of pasta! so sorry yours was mush! I am going to check out your link!

Karen said...

ooo that piece turned out really pretty despite all your aggravation and soggy pasta! HUGS X

Diane said...

First of all, the piece turned out fantastic. But I was laughing at all of your mishaps--sorry, but this sounds so familiar to alot of us, I'm sure.
I actually like the finished photo of you what you're showing larger in the blog, but it really doesn't matter, because we're able to click on it anyway.

Dianne said...

the fabric turned out gorgeous despite your frustrations! hope you can figure out a way to use the rest of the paint in the bottles...(I have used bamboo skewers to apply paint from an almost empty container) and I hope you finally got a good lunch! I like being able to enlarge your photos for a closer look, and I always enjoy the information you share. thank you for your lovely comments on my blog--you are very sweet! how is the de-bugging of your computer going?

Terri Kahrs said...

In spite of the lousy day, the fabric looks like it's gorgeous, Elizabeth! Had to chuckle when I read about the spaghettio stage of cooking! I can't believe that a $6 can of paint if for one time use! That makes it almost cost prohibitive unless you're throwing a painting party with a ton of Tshirts to be sprayed! Hope you have a wonderful Holiday weekend! Hugs, Terri xoxo

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Pasta was the perfect comfort food (2nd try LOL) for all of your frustration creating ... a one time use spray sounds odd ... I'll be curious what you hear back from the company!
Your end result is lovely Elizabeth.

Stay cool jewel ... we need rain desperately even 'Earle' may not deliver?

I like being able to click on pics and do it lots of places I visit
oxo

Wipso said...

Firstly let me say I really love the finished fabric even through all your frustration. Secondly I also like the new look of the blog. The pics have enough detail to see without enlarging but for those that need it they still have the option to enlarge.
Lastly I do hope you can find somewhere to chill and relax and hope you have a great weekend.
A x

Doone said...

the link for the moose in the hoose was a reference to Carmen's comment on my Mice in the Hice ( mouse in the house)... Carmen is of True Northern Descent you see.... I'm sure you woudl make a fab world leader you just need more votes, (mwahhahaha)

the paints? how brave are you? the nozzle being blocked - could you wear goggles and gauntlets and stick pins in two bits - one and inlet one and outlet? and tie die yourself all over - a living piece of Art?

Marilyn Rock said...

I think the fabric turned out great. I sense your frustration and sorry you had that to experience. The heat is just kickin' our butts, too! xxoo

Donna: said...

E..... the fabric is beautiful, even tho you wanted more black. It is wonderful. I doubt however that your bloodpressure is. :( Remember you are supposed to enjoy the process.
- Donna

Cath Wilson said...

Oh, you made me giggle, lol. Love the way the fabric turned out, though - even if the paint is crap! Wish it were so hot over here - we think we're lucky at the moment cos we're in the 70s! Have a great weekend :D

Love the smaller photos enlarging when clicked, btw.

Cath x

Lori Saul said...

This looks terrific- despite all of the hassles- I think the heat is getting to everyone! Thanks for getting back to me about the photos. I think I will have to find a tutorial in blogger to learn how to make my photos bigger than their "large" setting when uploading photos in new posts.

Mar said...

all considering i think the fabric was a smashing success!
and i LOVE handmade paper...i whoard handmade paper!!!
and i am going to go visit this sue person to see HER handmade papers!
thank you for that direction too

Bea said...

Oh my, I hope you are feeling better now. I hope you had a nice lunch, your tummy filled and you can at least enjoy the beautiful piece of fabric you have. And, yes a letter is needed, although at six dollars a one shot can I won't be buying them. There are too many other ways to dye fabric that are a lot cheaper.
I love handmade paper. I love hand written letters. I love script......sigh.......I think I love things that are slowly disappearing. :)Bea

Nan said...

Uh oh...an empty handed thrift store run can really ruin a perfectly good day...but I am fascinated with this technique you are doing. Read your earlier post and it seems if the cans would be good for more than one use it would be more fun. :) Nan

Marlynn said...

Harley sends you, Wendy, and Bleubeard hugs and smooches. WOW - you had a uggy day and yes, I, too, felt your frusration. BUT you ventured on where I would have just said, scrap it (or something to that effect - ; ]) hugs