Old projects

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Elisa emailed yesterday to ask for details on a project Rob and I completed months ago. It made me realize that I hadn’t yet posted about it!

Rob and I are both homebodies. We like being in our home. We like our home, our dogs, our cats, and each other. Lucky kids. We also do not have a lot of money to spend on nights out, especially in a city like Boston where the little things (like beer and food) add up quickly. However, we get bored. There are only so many board games, tv shows, movies, and internet sites out there and there are times when we get all home-bodied out. Luckily we are both creative people and enjoy the art and mind of craft. So, we get creative to combat the boredom!

Rob had made some graphic t-shirts for Christmas Gifts last year. The method was one I believe we saw online, but he very well may have come up with it himself. He used a gauzy type of material and an embroidery hoop and essentially created a silk-screen. The t-shirts turned out pretty great but it was pretty labor intensive. Really labor intensive. After he had finished these I made it my mission to seek out alternative ways.

Earlier this year I came across the Freezer Paper Stencil threads over at Craftster and saw some stunning examples of the technique on some craft blogs. I figured this was something that Rob and I could do with minimal amount of frustration. This is always a concern when you craft to relax and have fun, not to drive yourself bonkers. Also incredibly difficult to accomplish when you have two perfectionists working together. Alas, I promptly forgot this fab idea until one of my favorite nerds-in-crime posted about her foray into the world of fabric paint and stencils.

My passion sparked and the thought of another night of boredom motivated. So, one faithful Friday I trekked out to a local art supply store (this was back when I could walk blocks and blocks without having to sit and rest every four steps) for some provisions.

I purchased an exacto-knife (no idea why we didn’t have one of these already) and fabric paint in yellow, red, and blue (these could be mixed to make other colors). That’s it. Everything else we had at home! (I use Freezer Paper when I make soap so we had a stock of it already).

What a fun project. It makes your brain hurt a bit but the results are so fun. You have to think a bit abstractly about the image your using to know if it will really work the way you want it to. The whole negative space thing was hard for me the first few times. It took a couple of tries to get the stencils cut out right. However, we had so much fun doing it.
We focused mostly on stuff for the babe. This was before we knew the sex so everything had to be gender neutral. Melanie had gifted me some cute white t-shirts, these were the base of the project. Here are the designs we came up with.

Batman

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Every Baby needs a Brown’s Helmet

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Guitar

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Elephant

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Some project notes for posterity:

– It’s much better to do lots of thin layers of paint – less bleeding

– Printing straight to the freezer paper is a lot faster and easier

– Red is not so great – it bleeds during washing…

– Elephants, while cute, should not be Red lest they remind you of a certain political party that you tend to not get along with.

Robby brought all the supplies back out a few weeks after our initial try and made some more t-shirts! Three color is a bit trickier but Robby got the job done!

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