Monday, October 10, 2011

The honey bear tale

This story begins with a honey bear. This honey bear originally held honey, but now it holds nothing. However, because it is so pliable, it is the perfect solution for a person like myself, born with a rare form of arthritis, who can't squeeze a pastry tube. This honey bear will help tell the tale of a fabric technique I have shown before, but have now modified.

Oh look. The honey bear is hiding!

On the other hand, Bleubeard is not hiding, but wandering out into the shady part of the grass (or what is left of it after this long, record breaking, hot, very dry summer).

He appears to be studying where the shade ends and the sun begins.

We'll leave him to his devices while we check out the materials for this project. You can see I've now added a few items to the table that I initially failed to bring outside.

Materials clockwise from back left:
Bleubeard (OK, he's just for show and not part of the materials)
Bucket filled with four cups of water
Empty cup to use in design
Several plastic bags, some new, some used, to cover work surface and hold fabric in place
Flour designated for crafting only
Fabric torn in various sizes
Empty honey bear container
Painters tape (low tack)
1 cup measuring cup partially filled with additional water
1/2 cup measuring cup
Chop sticks for stirring and writing
Plastic bag to cover work surface

The tale begins with the 4 cups of cold water, a chop stick for stirring, flour, and part of an old sheet that was taped to the plastic for stability.

It continues when I measure the flour which I plan to add 1/2 cup at a time, beating until all lumps are gone.

It didn't take long until I realized the chop stick was not the right tool for stirring 4 cups of flour into the water, so it was off to the house for a "bigger stick."

A whisk made much quicker work of the process.

Once the flour was well mixed with the water,

the little honey bear took over to tell the tale.

Because his squeeze top would leak at this angle, I placed the cover back on him. You can see the flour/water mixture is quite wet and took well to the fabric. The honey bear is pleased.

The little honey bear held a lot of mix, as is evident even after I added the mix to the second fabric. I'm not very good with "random" patterns, but I really tried to make these random both in size and position.

There was still some flour/water mix left in the honey bear after I attempted writing. Now you see why I don't like my handwriting.

Finally, after all kinds of squiggles and words of love, the honey bear was now quite empty!

I left each piece of fabric taped to its plastic backing and laid them on the ground to dry.

I replaced the honey bear's lid and placed it aside so it wouldn't dry before I could clean it. Then I added another 1/2 cup of flour, because I felt the mix was a bit too thin for spreading.

Next, I ran a bead of mix across the above fabric and used the squeegee to spread the mix. However, I accidentally deleted the photo of that step. And when it was gone, it was most assuredly and most horribly gone (to paraphrase the Wizard of Oz)!

You can see the results of the squeegeed fabric with the word "love" written several times using a chop stick. When I tried to lift the fabric, it was now too heavy, so I left it in place and

moved to the other side, only to discover where Bleubeard had been napping after I started to pull the chair away from the table to take the photo.

You can see the squeegee in the upper left of the photo. I used the same technique on this fabric, running a thick bead of mix along the top of the fabric and using the squeegee to spread the mix. I then used the old cup to make circular impressions in the mix.

It was quite windy by this time, so I had to weigh the plastic down on the edges while the fabric dried a bit. I then cleaned the materials that had mix in or on them and returned them to their proper storage places. Once dry enough to move, I took all the fabric pieces with the plastic intact, inside overnight.

The next morning, although it was quite windy, I hung each of the fabric pieces on the line. Some of the pieces are beginning to curl at the bottom. This is to be expected.

You can see the flour/water mix is beginning to dry, because it is starting to change colors. As an aside, don't you just adore my clothespin bag made by a friend? She used tea dyed fabric in the design.

For now, this is my favorite piece, maybe because it took the longest to make, and maybe because I anticipate visualizing how it will look once the paint is added. Hopefully, I will be able to show the finished fabric pieces either Thursday or Saturday. I know this is a very long post, but I hope you enjoyed the tale of the honey bear and how I used it in my resist dyeing. I really LOVE how I am able to gently squeeze the flour mix (using both hands) from the bear and neither my hands nor the bear were hurt afterward!

16 thoughtful remarks:

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

This is such a cool technique- can't wait to see the end results!
Now, I'm off to comment on your "Owl" post- I saw it when I was posting the results, but didn't take time to comment yet ;)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Very interesting technique! I am on the edge of my seating waiting for the next step!

elle said...

A beary good tutorial, Elizabeth. Just excellent. I'm saving it and I'll be waiting for part two! You are a honey!

see you there! said...

Anxious to see the finished product. You are going to have a LOT of fabric to work with when you are done.


Julia Dunnit said...

*No bears were hurt during the making of this tutorial* I love the random dots piece - it's certainly random, and I like the handwritten ones. You cursive girls sure make 'love' look like a flow of a word. I'm still slightly amused by the idea of poor Bleubeard spread onto a piece of sheet and covered in honey bear mix!!

rebeca trevino said...

WOW very interesting. the 'flour sheets' don't break in the wind? i guess the dots and other designs just 'peel' off the plastic and become embellishments for your artwork?

does this process have a name?, sorry about all the questions, but because i have not seen it before, and because i really don't know where this is going, i will just have to wait to see what you will make of it . . .

thanks for sharing the technique.
it looks simple and fun

Healing Woman said...

I followed the project all the way through and look forward to the cloth's final destination. I've seen resist done in wax but never in flour.

Sorry to hear about your arthritis. I'm amazed that you are able to perform all the wonderful experiments having that problem. It shouldn't surprise me though. You seem to have a very persistent personality and you are one who doesn't settle for imperfection. (in art work or in organizing!)

Whimsey Creations said...

Wow - that looks fascinating and something I'd like to try. Please do show us the rest of the story when it happens!

Marilyn Rock said...

Oh; that honey bear! Perfect! You are amazing with this technique, too. I love the result and can't wait to see the next step - painting right? Love it! Thanks for sharing this! xxoo

peggy aplSEEDS said...

i just love this honey bear tale. much much more enjoyable than just a "tutorial". looking forward to seeing the results!

voodoo vixen said...

Looks like you had loads of crafty fun with the little honey bear!! Why did I imagine you doing something surreal to the honey bear? I was beginning to think he would be all steampunk or something!! Love the look of what you have been doing and can't wait to see the finished results!!

Carola Bartz said...

This is hugely interesting and I wonder how it will go on. It looks exciting, and I really like how you used all those kitchen utensils. Really nifty. And what a good use for the honey bear!

sandra de said...

Beary interesting .... looking forward to seeing what you create with these patterns. Sooo pleased you like your little gift.

Terri Kahrs said...

Where there's a will there's a way, Elizabeth! Very ingenious to use the honey bear as a tool. Can't wait to see the finished pieces! Hugs, Terri xoxo

priti.lisa said...

I am glad I remembered to come back to visit Hunny Bear...this is getting interesting. That little Bleubeard is so cute keeping you company. I really miss my Bear. He was always with me in my studio. Have a happy week Elizabeth ♥♥♥

Halle said...

Ok...I'm very intrigued! Looking forward to the end result.