Saturday, July 21, 2012

My latest obsession

I've had this post finished for several weeks, even before I posted to Inspiration Avenue. In fact, that was where I got the idea to make the ones I showed on IA. Since I demo how to make them here, I didn't bother with the explanation several weeks ago.

Although I made these first, I had to wait until my friend Kathy, who is my dear art friend I recently spent time with in a Wichita hospital, received them in the mail. So here is how I make my latest obsession: art flags.

Supplies from left:
Fabric of your choice (I used pieces from two bed sheets my neighbor Sally gave me; both are blue)
Craft sheet or plastic to keep your table dry
91% rubbing alcohol (do not use 70%)
*Staz-on reinkers, color of your choice (I used Midnight Blue and Cactus Green)
Foam brush (stored with the reinkers and can be reused)
Mixing containers (as many as you have ink for, or clean one after each color)

*You must use a waterproof ink for this. Do not use color washes, or dye, distress, or pigment ink. This ink must be able to withstand the elements. That is why I use Staz-on brand. I suspect there are others, but this is the brand I use exclusively. And I have absolutely NO affiliation with the company, nor am I compensated to say this.

Also note that I don't buy these reinkers to re-ink stamp pads. That is because I have no stamp pads, except black. I use these to dye my fabric. I found it works even better than cold- or hot-process fabric dyes for small projects. And it is much, much quicker, too.

I began by pouring several drops of Midnight Blue to the lighter blue fabric. I allowed the ink to soak through the various layers of fabric until it reached all the way to the bottom layer. I soaked all of the fabric in alcohol with a foam brush until the fabric was completely saturated.

Note: Although I normally mix several drops of Staz-on and alcohol together, then apply the mixture to the fabric, this time I tried something a bit different by starting with the pure ink, then adding the alcohol to the fabric.

I allowed the fabric to dry, which took maybe 10 minutes. Of course, I took it outside and it was one of those over 100 degree F days we are so famous for.

I repeated using the green, allowing it to soak into all the layers, too.

Once again, I allowed these to dry. Alcohol dries much faster than water, so your fabric should be dry in no time at all.

Sew, sew, sew. Come up with clever words that either inspire you, or are proper for the person to whom you are giving the flags. Use all kinds of fabric scraps and ribbon that go with your design. Take into consideration where the flags will go. Make your ties long enough to tie to each other or around a single pole or tree. Remember, these will be outdoor art.

Here is another view of the three flags I made for my friend Kathy. Note how I varied the length of the various ties. These flags say everything I needed to say to make Kathy smile.

I wanted to remind her to laugh when she saw my silly project. At first I liked the length of the flag, but decided to add the colored wet wipe to the bottom. Also, after I made the "L" for laugh, it didn't really look right. That's when I decided to add the thin ribbon which I carried over to one of the ties. Note also how well I affix the ties on both ends. I don't want them falling off the flag before it is consumed by the environment.

Next, I want Kathy to heal. Note how I used the same fabric to write the words as well as the same Sharpie on all the flags. I didn't have enough lacy fabric to stretch the entire width of the flag, so I cut a small piece. I cut it wrong and had to remove a small piece, which I wasn't about to throw away. In my opinion, it was an even better embellishment than the length of ribbon/fabric.

Finally, I want Kathy to get well enough to shop because it's something she always wants to do whenever she comes to Wichita. Again, I used fabric scraps to make this flag. And I'm well aware the colors of the blues don't exactly match. But that's actually the real charm of these flags.

I think there will be a lot more of these in my future. Thank you for taking this art flag journey with me today. I will add this to my tutorials page, so you can easily find it.


8 thoughtful remarks:

LiliansArt said...

Reallylikemthe colors on these

peggy gatto said...

Just so bright and breezy!!!

Steph said...

nice colors, E!!!! love the flags!!!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I'm sure these flags make Kathy smile! I just love how your mind thinks and your hands carry out the thinking!

~*~Patty S said...

I too am ready to jump on the "Prayer Flag"/Art Flag wagon...Love the buzz and inspiration in blogland!

Your flags are wonderful and I think the blues are gorgeous...I always notice in nature how ALL colors seem to go together and look great

Kathy must really Love your beautiful and thoughtful gift!
Here's hoping she is right as rain very soon!

Take Care E

Barb said...

Such imagination. Love the entire project you came up with and especially the wet wipe. Your friend will really enjoy them.
North Carolina

SandeeNC said...

I love how each flag has a thought, almost a prayer with it, made especially for her. Super sweet gift Elizabeth, and I am sure she loves it! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

Halle said...

I missed these...somehow...How fun!!! I love flags as you well know.