Monthly Archives: May 2012

Sorting and Storing the Fabric Stash

For some yeas now, I have stored lots and lots of fabric pieces in big bins in my garage. And for some years, I haven’t liked that arrangement for several reasons. First, it is dusty out there, and dust does filter into the latched bins. Second, sunlight manages to get in also, fading stripes on the fabric. And third, it isn’t very accessible to me when I feel like puttering through my fabrics or starting a new project. 
But now that we have a big room for our office and studio, I determined I would move my fabrics indoors. 
This is our old oak TV cabinet. It has nice closing doors to hide messes, but it is very brown. 
I primed and painted it -it took many, many layers to cover the brown wood. I also sprayed the hinges ORB, and I’ll replace the knobs. Ignore that unattached door on the right. It has hinge issues that need to be addressed.
We moved it into the studio, and then I discovered an interesting method on Pinterest for storing fabrics. It’s visually appealing, tidy, and gives quick access. I cut heavy cardboard into “mini bolts”, and I folded and rolled all my fabrics around them. I also purged some “no-go” fabrics from my stash. I purged more than this, but I didn’t get a final photo. 

 Four big bins of fabrics became these tidy little bolts.

I’m storing them in the newly-painted cabinet in small plastic bins I can pull out like drawers.
Interior view: The empty shelf on the bottom is reserved for patterns, while the pile of fabrics on the top shelf is fabric that is too big to roll on mini bolts. This is all my fabric now, and I plan to keep it pared down from now on.
 
I’m linking to Met Monday at BNOTP.
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Learning to Paint Ceramics

Last week I cashed in on my Christmas gift from Greta and Daniel and joined Greta at “Out of the Box”, where she works. As she taught a group of 8- to 10-year-olds, I sat in the corner and painted my bisqueware teapot. She gave me instructions to paint it in three layers, allowing it to dry between each coat. Then, when her class was over, she helped me dip some lace into a bucket of slip (liquid clay). I wrung it out, and the two of us carefully draped it around the teapot, spacing the points evenly, all the while being careful not to drag the lace across the surface which would mess up the paint job. It was a challenge, but we managed to do it. We pressed the lace into the pot firmly and re-slipped the spots that didn’t stick.
Then I waited patiently for the big reveal after it was fired. The danger was that the lace might slide or come loose during firing. This isn’t a typical process, so no one knew exactly how it would turn out. 
Greta and I are both happy to report that it came out very well. Nothing slid or slipped, the color layer is uniform, and the details of the lace even show up. 
  When it was fired, the lace burned away, leaving only slip. What looks like applied lace is really just clay. Amazing, isn’t it?

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A New Room

As soon as David had most of his stuff moved to his new apartment, I got busy and started turning his old bedroom into a new studio/office.
Some of David’s stuff still littering the floor
First off, I blew most of my garage sale earnings on some IKEA furniture:
A corner desktop, two straight desktops, and four Vika drawer units. I gave one drawer unit to The Professor. Wasn’t that nice of me? We inherited another corner desktop from David, when he decided it wouldn’t fit in his apartment.
 This side nearest the door is mine, and The Professor has the right side.
I’ve designated my three drawer towers as sewing (far right), desk and office supplies (middle), and crafts supplies (far left). I have three kneeholes available, although the center one under the window is jointly owned by both of us. Whoever needs it the most at that moment gets to use it.
After putting together the furniture (love my IKEA tool kit!), I got to the fun part ~ arranging all my sewing and art supplies in the cute little drawers. With a little purging, just a tiny bit, it all fit in the allotted drawers. I love the neatness and organization, and I love to open each drawer and look inside.
Now that the basic furniture is in place, I get to have fun adding accessories and decorative touches. Lots of fun to come!

I’m linking to “Met Monday” on BNOTP

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Pinterest Craft Day 5

Staining Glass
Today four of us met to do another craft from our joint Pinterest board. This week we tried staining glass with alcohol inks, using several colors of unsweetened Kool-Aid packets:
lemonade (yellow: no)
lemon-lime (green: yes)
mixed berry (blue: yes)
berry blue (blue: yes)
grape (purple: no)
strawberry-kiwi (pink: no)
pink lemonade (pink: no)
cherry (red-pink: no)
black cherry (red: yes)

The yes and no indications were the colors that worked well and not so well for us. For example, yellow came out looking clear. 
We mixed a few of our colors with a dribble of hot water in baby food jars, stirring to dissolve completely, before we added a few tablespoons of rubbing alcohol.
We tried painting, dabbing, spraying, and pouring on various surfaces: glass vases and jars, flat glass raided from old picture frames, watercolor paper, and fabric.

 When it seemed to take too long to dry, we tried mixing other Kool-Aid packets with only alcohol. But then we seemed to get granules that made streaks, so we decided it really needed to be dissolved with a tad bit of water after all. 
  Our faves from all the processes we tried? Painting with a brush on the outside of glass. It made a smoother color, it was easy to apply, and it dried faster than the other methods. Sometimes we applied two colors, one right on top of another, and that came out well too. Greens and blues are the prettiest; we made many shades of aquas and teals; so beautiful!
 Beautiful blues and greens grouped on a tray sparkle in the late afternoon sun.

Edited to note: 48 hours later the alcohol ink was still sticky. The color started to separate and run on the glass; we voted it a failed project. Ultimately, we simply washed it all off and returned to clear glass. But they sure look pretty for the camera!

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