Thursday, November 3, 2011

Some dyeing, some gifts

It's never easy to document my rust experiments, because I wear gloves and am very careful about what and where I touch. That's why last week I


drug my supplies out to my porch and started the rusting process while the weather was still warm and sunny. I grabbed a pair of shorts I had outgrown, along with several very long strips of old bed sheets. Add to that my rusty people, back from their forced stay in storage, along with vinegar and some plastic bags, and that was all I needed for this project.


Actually, I had no idea how much initial fabric I had, so it was obvious I was going to need more than just my "peeps" for this project.


My "peeps" are taking this project to heart! Lots of wrapping later, the fabric and rusty pieces went into plastic bags, ready for the sun to provide the much needed help that was needed.


In the meantime, I found a bunch (or could this be a gaggle) of metal washers I was also anxious to rust. I used most of the vinegar and what I didn't use, I spilled in the plastic bag.

Now to play the waiting game.


While I was waiting, I received a gorgeous envelope


that was 100% Swiss.


Since I only know one person who lives in Switzerland, I knew it had to be from Margaret at Alice and Camilla.


Her note that she thought of me when she saw this, was absolutely PERFECT. And so was the lovely gift, an envelope with a rocking horse stamp, a rocking horse cancellation mark, and a rocking horse commemorating something I couldn't understand. I assure you, Margaret, I am in LOVE. This is going in my Rocking Horse altered book! It is awesome and I am more than grateful.


Before I could put my gifts from Margaret away, the box of Inspiration I won from Tammy at Inspiration Avenue arrived in my mailbox.


Look at all the goodies that were inside, too. Lots of art fodder I can play with. Thanks go to Tammy and the entire Inspiration Avenue team for this lovely box of inspiration.


After four days of allowing the fabric to sit in plastic grocery bags that reeked of vinegar, they were ready to be removed. I spent a lot of time washing the fabric in baking soda water. In fact, I ended up using an entire small box of baking soda. I hadn't realized how much rust the pieces had on them and how much of that rust migrated to the fabric. It was imperative to get all that excess rust removed and the fabric stabilized. And don't forget. Wear gloves all the way through this process. Rust has the potential to get into your blood steam if you handle anything rusty with no gloves on. After the fabric had been thoroughly stabilized, I washed and dried it like any normal fabric.


And finally, here are the contents of the cup. Some of these washers rusted better than others, but they all show some signs of rust. As soon as they were dry, I stopped the rusting process using a matte spray sealer. The fabric is some I placed under the leaking plastic grocery bags. They didn't leak a lot, but they leaked enough to cause a bit of dribble.

This was only part of what I did last week. I'll show more on Saturday. My blog posts tend to get long and involved, so that's why I'm breaking the week up a bit. Thanks to all for your visits to my blog. It is always wonderful to see you stop by and it thrills me when I read your warm comments.

12 thoughtful remarks:

Dianne said...

Sounds like a very cool process. Lovely gifties!

Halle said...

You are certainly going to have a lot of rusty goodness to play with now! Makes me want to go dig in the parts bins in the garage. :)
I'm doing a bit of tea dyeing today...mostly an experiment.

Dianne said...

lovely rusty fabric! turned out great and will make terrific art projects. hmmm...I need to be thinking about rusty pages myself...

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

The fabrics look really cool. I would want to get making something right away they inspire me so much. Thanks for sharing your process. xox Corrine

Dandelion and Daisy said...

After you place the metal on to the fabric and roll it up are you tying the bundles with string or leave it loose. I've been playing with dying using leaves...so far it is an interesting experiment.

Dandelion and Daisy said...

BTW, the first sentence is a question not a statement....are you tying the bundles?

Jo Murray said...

Wonderful work... can't wait to see the rusty bits in some masterpieces.

suziqu's thread works said...

I so loved reading about your experience as I have done my own with excellent results but I have also learned some new info about sealing etc. What do you use for this? Am wondering if it is available here in Australia.
Hugs,
Suzy

Healing Woman said...

I didn't know that a spray sealer would stop the rusting process but it makes sense. This is such a wonderful method you have shown. Somehow I missed several of your postings so took the time to read them this afternoon. I just love sun tea and your method for that looks like a winner too. Happy Autumn.

voodoo vixen said...

I always love your rusted fabric pieces... they look so fabulous with all the marks and shapes... I can see you being busy making lots of new stuff with this collection!
Wow! Love your parcels... the rocking horse envelope from Switzerland is fabulous!!

Marilyn Rock said...

What a marvelous process! Love the envelope, too! Thanks for sharing all of this! xxoo

Steph said...

These are soo beautiful...I love your rusty fabrics!!!! oooh yumms...