Monday, November 26, 2018

Test Test Test

While I'm still babying my shoulder and thus unwilling to give any actual sewing a try, I did test out something multimedia-ish that I've been meaning to try for awhile. I watch a lot of videos on that, granted, are tutorials featuring products she sells but which really give a lot of good general information about how to do a lot of multimedia techniques. And while the majority of the ideas are geared towards use on paper, a lot of them involve paint and could easily adapt to use on cloth. That's my justification for watching them. One thing she showed was how to remove design elements printed on tissue paper without using scissors. I recently realized that I had some tissue paper printed with dragonflies and maybe I could use it in my recycle bookbinding project. Step one is to take a wet paint brush to "draw" around the image, making a damp line - you should be able to see a bit of reflection around the lower dragonfly.

Now the tissue paper has been weakened and you can gently apply pressure to cause the damp line to tear. Ok, so far so good. I'm guessing that soft uneven edge is part of the reason that, when adhered to your project, the unprinted part of the tissue paper "melts into the background and virtually disappears." Yes, that is what it appears to do in the video, but that tissue paper is white. Mine is this tan, but since I'd be adhering it to my brown paper pages, I assumed the disappearing act would still take place.

But I have learned over time that many techniques that work so beautifully in videos and other instructions, don't always work the same when I attempt them. So time to test on a scrap of paper, along with trying out adhering with matte gel medium. Everyone uses this almost interchangeably with regular glues and pastes, and I could see that my preferred adhesives would be a pain if not downright impossible to use on tissue paper. So out came the medium and the brush and I tried both putting it just on the underside and as well as underneath and over the top. I didn't know what kind of visual change the medium might make on top but it literally looked and felt no different from the one just underneath, and the brushing on top helps to smooth out any wrinkles and give a nice even stick. However, as you can see in the picture, the unprinted portion of the tissue paper did not "virtually disappear."

So I will be going back to scissors and cutting these various sized dragonflies out leaving just a small margin of tissue paper. Here you can see an example of how they might fill some space on some of the pages - these are not adhered to the page yet.

Speaking of Joggles, look what came last week - a box full of goodies to play with. Joggles was having a closeout on Marabu paint products and I decided to get some more of their opaque textile paint. And try the textile paint in a spray. And while so much on their site was marked down, I checked my wish list and added a few more things like another stencil. And then because I had the paint and stencil coming and I'd watched so many videos using these on a gel plate, I added one of those to my shopping cart too. I bought enough to get half off shipping and two free Marabu crayons. Yeah, I have a bit of new supplies to play with.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

A Little Gift

Lately I've been thinking that if my readers are waiting for me to do something exciting and share it, they may have a long wait. It's not the only thing diverting me, but the ongoing family history project is sucking up time and is no doubt more exciting to me than my readers. As several of you noted in my last post, just the slide scanning is a bit daunting, but just like working on a large quilt, I've figured out a way to approach it in sections that counters the overwhelming feelings when viewed as a whole. But it still takes a lot of time.

However, I had lunch last week with someone who IS doing something exciting, or at least interesting. Sue, fellow POAC fiber artist, has been playing with these handy gadget holders. A quilting  friend of hers had given her one along with instructions, and for mine, she incorporated hand-dyed fabric because she knows how I love hand-dyed fabric. But while this is meant for things like rotary cutters, scissors, rulers and other small quilting tools, my first thought was how handy this would be for all these sketching pens I've been collecting.

So the fabric part slips over one of those acrylic stands and there are lots of pockets front and back. I'm still playing with what to put in it and where but boy, this is really going to come in handy!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day

A fifteen-year span between me on the left and my oldest brother on the right. What's with those see-through shirts in the middle?
Forgive me for sharing this 1956 or '57 era photo of my brothers and me, a stair-step arrangement that made me laugh. I'm supposed to be putting the finishing touches on my recycle bookbinding challenge project but I suddenly got a wild hair to do some slide scanning instead. Since getting the older carousels of slides from a brother in California, I've been doing a bit of picking and choosing trying to find specific ones to go with the next post on my family blog, sadly put on hold for far too long. This was getting me nowhere and I'd decided to put aside my tunnel vision and just scan the whole carousel. I soon found that while mom had written lots of information on some of them, most were blank, not even a date imprint from the processor. The above photograph is a prime example. Well, that shouldn't pose a big problem if these are placed in the carousel in order, as I was sure they were. Lots could be guessed by surrounding pictures with dates.

A snapshot of me decked out in part of my brother's uniform on the occasion of my third birthday.

As I switched from scanning mode to info adding mode, I discovered to my chagrin that the slides were not in order. My penchant for neat and tidy and sequential soon distracted me from the task at hand and I spent much time yesterday merely trying to sort the slides into chronological order. I can see that much detective work is left to figure out what and when a lot of these were taken by crosschecking albums of snapshots, letters, and a brother's keen memory. I'm on a mission to sort through all I have and make sense of it, adding a narrative for all who might be interested in our family history.

Waine Mahanke at Parks AFB

It has been nice to run across those pictures of my oldest brother in uniform, back in the late 1950's, now that it is the time when we remember the end to the first world war and especially honor all who have served in our military, men and women alike. One such veteran recently suggested that perhaps a better greeting to veterans than the currently popular "thank you for your service" would be "never forget". I liked that idea.

Two other brothers also served, plus one of their sons. You can read more about them in this post. Never forget.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

A Million Things to Consider

I exaggerate. As I return to that recycle bookbinding project, I continue to be amazed at how many things there are to consider, how many little details to add. Not a million, but there have been dozens. As I've eased back into it, trying to continue to set aside a bit of time each day, no longer for drawing but just for any kind of creativity, I'm less uptight about these considerations that keep popping up, except perhaps to be convinced my textile projects aren't this complicated. I exaggerate here as well. This, I've realized is much like one's first sampler quilt, full of different things to learn while striving to keep a common theme to hold the different parts together. One thing that occurred to me lately was that one way to assure some cohesion was to add more security envelop patterns throughout the pages. I liked the look of this image that didn't fit elsewhere added on top of this envelop. And I also realized that rather than glue the security envelop rectangle to the page, I could maybe just use this scrapbooking double stick tape and get it used up.

So my first task as I returned to this project was to dig out more security envelops and trim them to size. I'd transferred all my dragonfly poems and quotations and information to the brown paper pages except for a more general quotation that, while not referencing dragonflies directly, definitely encompassed the feel of all within. Rather than find a place to hand write it onto, I played with it in Corel Paint Shop Pro so that it would print out at the same size as the image at the top of the page. I added a blurred photo of birch trees behind the text and printed it out, then attached it to the security envelop rectangle that would go on the opening page.

I found security patterns to match the one used on the insides of the cover, and several more for variety, attaching them to the front and back of each signature with the double stick tape. I originally had fought the idea of covering so much of that handmade paper, but I got over it as I remembered I hadn't considered that paper much of a success.

I'd found more dragonfly images and pasted them to the brown paper for added stability. Those now got cut out and added to the inside spreads that needed more filling spaces around quotations.There still may be more added, especially on the flaps.

What was left is finding homes over the security envelop rectangles. And I'm finally bringing in some fabric too, this example using a scrap of Art Nouveau fabric fused down with Steam a Seam II. I'm getting pretty close to the end of this project and sewing those signatures into place. It's been quite the learning experience.