Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A time to build up

Once again, I want to begin by pointing out, I still cannot leave comments on any blog with embedded text.  If you aren't sure what "embedded" is, simply scroll to the end of this post and see what it means and how to change your comments. I also cannot link to AEDM because I can no longer see the links.  This is very frustrating.

When I got to my basement studio this morning, I realized I needed to finish this piece I started several weeks ago.  It bothers me when people start a piece of art, promise to show pictures on their blog when it's finished, then never mention it again.  However, as you can see, the only thing I have done is sand the top of the wood around the plaster.  I hadn't even cleaned up the mess, except for wiping the wood block, before I shot this.  Of course, I never let messes build up, so I immediately cleaned the sanded paint from the table after I took the photo.  I realize this is still leaving you hanging, but this piece has taken me longer to develop than I imagined.  Either my heart isn't in it, or I've lost all inspiration.  But (and this is a big but), once I start working on it again, I'll show photos and not keep you hanging.

Sometimes a technique in a magazine catches my eye, and I know I have all (or most) of the equipment and tools needed to create it.  That's what happened earlier this week.  The only thing I needed were two D cell batteries and I would be ready to go.  Since I stopped at Dollar Tree (their motto: "Where everything's a dollar") while buying groceries this week, I decided to buy two sets of these batteries.  After all, how reliable can Dollar Tree batteries be?  Add to that the bed sheet fabric I've been tearing into workable sizes this month and I was ready to go.  Before I did anything else, I tore a strip of bed sheet 6 inches wide the length of the sheet.  Next, I tore the strip into 6 inch squares.  I got 12 squares and felt I had enough.

TIP: Thrift store bed sheets are a great value and give you lots of yardage to play with for much less than you would pay for the same quantity of new cotton or muslin.  Used bed sheets have been washed many times, so you will save the cost of harsh chemicals needed to prepare your fabric for dyeing, even fabric marked PFD, or prepared for dyeing.  All you need to do is run them through a complete wash cycle without soap to remove any residue.  Additionally, any untreated stains will add character to your dye project.

I try to be organized and, true to form, I knew exactly where the Twirl O' Paint contraption was.  Don't you just LOVE popcorn ceilings (NOT!!)?

Per the article, I prepared my fabric squares before I realized I did not have the same machine the author used.  Hers was much smaller, so I was already in trouble!  Changing those batteries didn't help, either.  I was so frustrated at this point, I almost gave up.  But I'd had this machine for at least two, possibly three years, and never used it.  So, it was time to dust it off and put it to use.  Being the neat freak I am, I wish whoever owned it before me, had taken time to clean it.  A bit late now, though!

After the batteries were finally in place, and the fabric had been secured with masking tape, I was finally ready to go.  You can see I planned to use fabric paint.  However, when I started working, the Tulip brand (in the back) was hard and refused to leave the container.  If it had, it would have come out in a big block of nearly set paint.

Now I was REALLY on the verge of quitting.  First the fabric was torn too small, the batteries put my hands and fingers in sheer agony, not to mention THREE broken fingernails, and now the paint was nothing more than a blob of nearly dry nastiness.

But I had come this far, and was not planning to give up!  Always the optimist, I threw the Tulip paint in the trash and got out every bottle of "Scribbles" and its counterpart, and tested the first few bottles.  After much coaxing, I finally got the paint to flow.  Not a bad deal, since I got all those "Scribbles" and a generic equivalent at my friendly Household Hazardous Waste Swap and Shop, where all supplies (10 max per month) are free if you live in the county.

This may not look like a rousing success, but I was thrilled.  After all, I had SO much time and energy invested in this already, it was a real joy to see anything positive.

Of course, as I was trying to coax the paint from the bottle, I squirted it all over the side of the "lid," along with my hand and arm.  It was time to take a much needed break and give myself an attitude adjustment and a quick shower.  I was SO glad I took that much needed break, because when I went back,

I made all these (except the upper left square I made earlier).  Some were better than others, some I liked better than others, and the bottom three were still wet, but all were finally finished and I was incredibly pleased with my accomplishment.

Please click on this photo, because I didn't crop or resize it so you could see some of the detail.

Sometimes I work on projects I have no immediate plans for.  But rest assured, these pieces will find their way into something I make in the days or months ahead.  It's always good when the spirit (or magazine article) moves me, to make a few extra pieces that I know will come in handy at some point in my altered art journey.

This is Day 28 of AEDM.  Are there times you have kept making or reworking art, even when you weren't sure it was in your best interest?

9 thoughtful remarks:

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I remember my daughter making these on paper--what a fabulous idea to create a similar thing on fabric. I know you will put these to great use!

I have used fabric paint on some of my aceos and also on the lid of a wood box, creating the effect with toothpicks!

elle said...

That is the coolest thing I've seen in a while!

see you there! said...

Never heard of a Twirl O Paint. I like your fabric pieces and have no doubt you will use them effectively at some point.


Gaby Bee said...

What a cool idea, Elizabeth. Your fabric pieces look absolutely stunning! I'm curious what you do with them.

Have a great day!
Gaby xo

fairy thoughts said...

Ah this remind me of school (long time ago). the detail is fab, i especially like the yellowy/green and black one... what are you going to make with them
janet #26

Carola Bartz said...

Wow, these look really cool, I like that. I'm afraid I don't have the patience to even try this, but it's nice to look at. And about your first project in this post - I have had some of those experiences as well, I start something, even take photos, then all my interest and inspiration go out the door. However, if I take it out way way later then I might feel inspired again.

~*~Patty S said...

Your bed sheet idea is a brilliant one...I am on the look out for some!

Your whirly paint designs certainly are unique and lovely!

Some projects just take time ...

Rita said...

I remember doing this at the fair when I was a kid! Best fun ever! :)

Susan said...

Woh they look sooo cool!! And fun :)