Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lumberjack Avoidance Technique

Today is the day before the bi-monthly yard waste pick-up in my neighborhood.  It is also the perfect time of year to trim low hanging branches from the Live Oaks and unruly bits from the Crepe Myrtles.  I should be in the yard with a variety of cutting and sawing implements so that I can take advantage of this great opportunity.

Instead I am avoiding this much needed activity to bring you, and only you, a brand new product I found the other day at Hobby Lobby

I originally went into the store looking for alcohol based inks so that I could check out a technique from the latest Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine.  Instead of the inks I found something even more intriguing...Pastel Dye Sticks.

I have played with Oil Paint Sticks but the cost of the sticks ($6.00 and up), the extra long cure time (three days) and the fact that they change the hand of the fabric, have made me a little hesitant to use them in many projects.  Pastel Dye Sticks look like a good solution for me.  Inexpensive ( about $4.00 for a set of fifteen) and quick cure rate (heat set in seconds) make them something I can try out without a huge commitment.

Using an ancient t-shirt as my fabric, a simple stencil as my design, the brown and gold dye sticks this is what I came up with >>>

Since I have had muddy paws on this shirt (and all my shirts!) at some time or another this seemed like a perfect little test project.

Heat setting required a piece of paper over the design and a quick hot ironing.

As you can see the paper absorbed the excess pastel oil base.

The dye did not change the hand of the shirt at all and the shirt is still fully machine washable and dry-able as it was in the past.

I think I am going to try out some more ideas like sharpen the sticks so they are less like crayons , try them through a silk screen and find a better way to keep the fabric taut rather than just my fingers.

Oops!  The trees are calling me but maybe I can do something else to do to avoid using my lumberjack tools....even folding laundry is beginning to look interesting to me today!

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