tutorial: doodle to thermofax ready image

I love doodling in my sketchbook. This sketchbook is definitely not a work of art – it’s my WORK place. Most of what’s in there is an ugly mess and I don’t care. But some of the doodles have potential as thermofax screens.

This one for instance.

thermo_sizing_tute00

Picture taken with iPhone while doodle was still in sketchbook.

Now if I wanted to turn this into a great screen it would need some work. I need a stark black and white digital image so that I can print it out on my laser printer that uses the right carbon based toner that will burn through the emulsion on the fabric mesh when I run it through my thermofax machine.

See how the page is shadowed at one corner and brighter at another corner? That’s not going to work.

It is also hard to keep the image from key-stoning when you take a photo with your phone or camera. See how the image is distorted in the upper left corner? It leans in and isn’t square? The sketch itself isn’t that way – just the photo.

How to fix that?

SCAN YOUR IMAGE

thermo_sizing_tute_scan

Scan of doodle cut out of sketchbook so it will lay flat.

You can see the difference in this image where the lighting is perfectly even and the photo is square. When you scan your image please pay attention to the following.

RESOLUTION: scan at 300 dpi because you are concerned with print quality – not screen quality. 72 is standard for an image that you look at on your screen but is not high enough for a clear crisp print.

FILE TYPE: JPG will be the easiest to work with in a digital editing project. If your piece needs no cropping and is already in black and white a PDF might do as well.

COMPRESSION: when you scan your image, then save it, make sure that you do not compress the file further. At some point when you go to save you will see a quality slider similar to the one below. Make sure you drag the slider all the way to 12 – which is the maximum quality.

thermo_sizing_tute001

Now – make a copy or duplicate of your image and lets get busy. You always do that right? That way if you make a mess of things (I often do) you can start back with your original file.

CONVERT IMAGE TO BLACK AND WHITE

No shades of grey. No creme paper. No shadows. When the thermofax machine burns through the emulsion coating the fabric screen the grey areas of the screen may or may not burn all the way through. The best way to have a clean image for your print is to have a clearly black and white image to send to me. If you are starting with a lower quality photo such as the first one in this post, I’ll show you how to clean it up.

These instructions will work with pretty much any digital editing program. I’ve used Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and Gimp as well as a few others. If you can’t find the tools I mention in exactly the same place just open your program and type the tool name in the HELP box at the top. Most of the programs will give you an arrow pointing to where that tool is located.

BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST

thermo_sizing_tute02_brightnessFind wherever your programs Brightness/Contrast controls are hiding and give it a click. Up will pop a window with two sliders.

thermo_sizing_tute04Play around with the sliders until you can see that the image is as bright white and dark black as you can get it without losing parts of your image.

LEVELS

thermo_sizing_tute02_levelsI also often play around with Levels instead of brightness/contrast.  This is the most complex of the three methods but it isn’t a big deal. Remember that  control+Z is your best friend. It is the UNDO button. 

thermo_sizing_tute05There are three sliders in the levels window to play with. I’m certainly not a photoshop expert so I’m not sure I can explain to you why these work or how – but they do. First I mess with the slider on the right under that funky mountain graph looking thingy. It usually makes the white background whiter as I move it to the left. Next I work with the middle slider. This one is more fiddly – I move it back and forth until I’m happy with how black my blacks are. Sometimes I mess with the far left slider but not often. 

Again – just play around as see what you get.

THRESHOLD

thermo_sizing_tute02_thresholdThe last and sometimes quickest tool to use is the Threshold filter. It’s also the tool that is hidden in different places in every digital editing program so you might need to type it into the Help bar to find it.

It’s quick and easy but it isn’t always the best at keeping all the details you want. Let me show you.

thermo_sizing_tute06There is only one slider to play with and you get ALL black and white immediately. You need to slide the little pointy button back and forth though. I really didn’t want all that shadowing on the upper right to show up.

thermo_sizing_tute07So slide that slidy slider around and see what happens. In this case – moving it around too far got rid of the shadows but lost some of the lighter circles in a different part of the doodle. Again – play until you are happy with what you have.

thermo_sizing_tute01Here is a middling image that doesn’t have any messy bits and has enough of the circles intact to make me happy. What do you think?

VOILA!!! 
Now you have a stark black and white image.

Remember – there is no rule saying that you can’t try all three in conjunction. Sometimes I boost the Brightness/Contrast then go straight to the Threshold filter.

Now – it might be the case that you see some messy flecks and dots that are bugging you. Anything on that page (I recommend you print out your image so you can see what you are going to get in the finished screen) is going to show up.

thermo_sizing_tute12
We can fix that.

Hunt around for your eraser tool. Remember that HELP box up at the top of your control menu can find it for you.

thermo_sizing_tute12eraser

You will need to size your eraser, and decide the “hardness” of the tool.thermo_sizing_tute14

I needed my eraser to be small enough not to erase any of my circles so it was set quite small on this file. Remember that if you accidentally erase something you wanted to keep you can click control (or command) Z – or Edit/Undo to, well, undo what you just did.

Hardness controls whether the edges of your eraser are hard or a little fuzzy. With a black and white image I like a hard edge.

Click and slide and work your image until you’ve erased all the flecks and specks and you like what you’ve got.

Good?

GOOD!

I strongly recommend you also check out my tutorial on SIZING so that when you send your image to me to be made into a thermofax screen you get exactly what you want.

HAPPY PRINTING!

tutorial: sizing images for thermofax screens

If you are unsure of how to size your image so that I can make a thermofax screen for you – here are some instructions. First the simple list. Then detailed instructions with pictures.

  1. SCAN your image (if you are working from a sketch.)
  2. CROP your image so there is no extra white space.
  3. SIZE your image so that it prints exactly the size you want.
  4. PRINT your image at 100% to test it out.
  5. NAME your image with your name, image name, the size YOU want the image printed at.
  6. SEND me your image via email after you have placed your order.

Now for detailed instructions.
With pictures and everything!

 

SCAN YOUR IMAGE

There are many ways to create imagery for thermofax screens – one of my favorite is simply doodling. This is an image from my sketchbook. In order to make this into a screen I first need to digitize it.

thermo_sizing_tute_scan

Scan of doodle cut out of sketchbook so it will lay flat.

You can see the difference in this image where the lighting is perfectly even and the photo is square. When you scan your image please pay attention to the following.

RESOLUTION: scan at 300 dpi because you are concerned with print quality – not screen quality. 72 is standard for an image that you look at on your screen but is not high enough for a clear crisp print.

FILE TYPE: JPG will be the easiest to work with in a digital editing project. If your piece needs no cropping and is already in black and white a PDF might do as well.

COMPRESSION: when you scan your image, then save it, make sure that you do not compress the file further. At some point when you go to save you will see a quality slider similar to the one below. Make sure you drag the slider all the way to 12 – which is the maximum quality.

thermo_sizing_tute001

 

If you don’t have a scanner you can work with a photo taken with whatever camera you have. In this case I took a photo with my iPhone.thermo_sizing_tute00

It is very difficult to get even lighting. It is also hard to keep the image from keystoning, see how the image is distorted as it is in the upper left corner you see here. See THIS TUTORIAL for working with the image to make it thermofax-ready. This image is NOT ready because it is not a stark black and white.

Once you get it stark black and white like this…thermo_sizing_tute01-1… you might need to further edit it. Say you drew your doodle on a 4″ x 6″ page but you actually want a 6″ x 8″ image? You will need to size it. These instructions will work with pretty much any digital editing program. I’ve used Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and Gimp as well as a few others. If you can’t find the tools I mention in exactly the same place just open your program and type the tool name in the HELP box at the top. Most of the programs will give you an arrow pointing to where that tool is located.

now….

CROP YOUR IMAGE

See all that extra space around the image? In order for you to get exactly the size you want it will help you to get rid of all the extra. Look for the CROP tool… It usually looks like that little square I’ve pointed to on the left.

thermo_sizing_tute13The crop tool will probably open a box over your image that you can then pull or drag along each corner to get rid of all the extra white.

Sometimes you just click and drag over the part of the image you want to keep then you can move the sides around to tuck them in all snug up against your image.

Sometimes the box will only stay square, or only keep the original ratio of the image file. In that case there should be a bar somewhere up at the top of the window that will let you change the preset ratio to “free”. Or in this case to W x H.

thermo_sizing_tute19

next…

SIZE YOUR IMAGE

With the extra cropped away you can size your image to exactly the size you would it to print. Find your program’s Image Size tool.

thermo_sizing_tute09

When you open the Image Size window you will see what width, height, and resolution your current image is. Make sure the number you are looking at is inches – not pixels or percent, or something else. There is a pull-down menu next to the number so you can change to inches if that is not what you see.

thermo_sizing_tute11

Notice that because I am using a photo from my iPhone rather than a scan my resolution is 72. That is how many tiny little squares of light the computer crams into an inch of the image you are seeing. Great for on-screen but if I am going to print this I want to change my number to 300 pixels per inch. thermo_sizing_tute18Now you can change the width and height to whichever size you prefer, so long as it fits within the guidelines for a small, medium, or large thermofax screen.

Small: max image size  3″ x 4″
Medium: max image size  4″ x 7″
Large: max image size  7″ x 9.5″

You can make your image smaller than 7″ x 9.5″ if you want it smaller on a large screen. You just can’t make it bigger than the maximum image size for each screen you order. 

Why? Because even though the screen fabric you get for each size will be larger than the maximum image size you’ve got to leave enough blank space around the image on the screen so you can tape the edges or fit the mesh into a plastic frame.

next…

PRINT YOUR IMAGE

It’s always a good idea to print out your image to make sure it looks like you want it to. Make sure that however you print it – your print setting say your print size is 100%!

thermo_sizing_tute20

You might have to hunt – but make sure you are printing at 100%. In photoshop you have to scroll down quite a way to find the print scale.

thermo_sizing_tute21

Take a look at the printout. What you see in this printout (if it black and white with no gray) is what you are going to get on your screen. Is it fuzzy? Is it pixelated? Are there black splotches and specks? They will all show up on your screen. 

You can learn how to clean up your image in THIS TUTORIAL.

Now that your image is exactly the right size and as clean as you can get it (unless of course you want it speckled and splotched – I’ve seen lovely messy screens that work quite well!)

NAME YOUR FILE

Label your file with your name, a description, and the exact size you want the image (not including the white area around it) to print at. It should be the same numbers you put into the image resize box up there!

example: Kinard_dotgrid_6.9×9.jpg

finally…

SEND YOUR FILES

Go to my CUSTOM THERMOFAX SCREEN page and order the size and number of custom screens you want me to make for you then send me an email with your images attached.

Good?

Any questions? Feel free to ask. If anything is unclear please let me know and I can try to tweak this tutorial for you.

how it’s made – thermofax screens

Thought you all might be interested in seeing how thermofax screens are made. Enjoy!

You can check out my ready made thermofax screens here in my shop!

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celtic star thermofax screens

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Celtic Star DECO options

Large Stars = 7″ x 9″
Medium Stars = 4″ x 4.5″
Small Stars = 3″ x 3.4″

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Celtic Star QUILTY options

 

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Celtic Star WREATH options

 

Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
Small
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
Medium
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
Large
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

Thermofax 101 according to Melanie and Jane

The things Melanie Testa does with freezer paper resist and layering images…. IMG_0401

Well, she makes my heart beat faster whenever I take a peek. She goes into detail about what she likes on the Thermofax 101 DVD as well, which I greatly appreciate. You can read her review here.

Jane Davila has been a favorite artist of mine for ages as well and I was so happy when she agreed to review a copy of the DVD. You can read her review here.PC-bee

Did you know Judy Gula and Jane will both be teaching in a few weeks at the Quilters Unlimited show, the biggest and best show in the DC area. You can see a complete list of the classes that they are teaching on the QU website. 

So head over and see what Melly and Jane have to say. Leave comments on their blogs for chances to win.

Next up in the giveaway line up are:

May 7  Liz Kettle  http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey
May 8  Carol Sloan  http://carolbsloan.blogspot.com
May 9  Kathy York  http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com

 

Scroll down to check out the previous reviews and to see if they still have giveaways open. And if you can’t wait and are dying to play with some custom made screens of your own, or want to check out the ready made screens I offer – just follow the links.

Thermofax 101: the party continues

The reviews are pouring in. Are you curious about the technique yet! Want to play along?Thermofax_cover_web800pxh

And if you want to play right away you can order the DVD here, and Thermofax Screens here!

These reviews still have giveaways open… Have you gone over to take a look and leave a comment for your chance to win yet?

April 25 Leslie Tucker Jenison http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com
April 28 Sue Bleiweiss http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

April 30 Judy Gula http://www.artisticartifacts.com/blog/image

Check out the wonderful classes they offer at Artistic Artifacts, one of my favorite shops ever!

May 1 Sue Price & Elizabeth Gibson http://pgfiber2art.blogspot.com/image

Sue and Elizabeth do great work, teach wonderful classes, and have a THERMOFAX service. 

May 2 Judy Coates Perez http://www.judycoatesperez.comimage

See what she does using thermoFAX screens and DeColorant!

May 4 Linda Stokes www.lindastokes-textileartist.comimage

Linda, a fabulous Aussie artist has done some wonderful things with a masking technique that I can’t wait to try out!

Upcoming reviews – remeber that each and every review is having a giveaway!
May 5 Jane Davila http://janedavila.blogspot.com
May 6 Melanie Testa http://melanietesta.com/blog/
May 7 Liz Kettle http://www.textileevolution.com

Thermofax 101 with Sue Bleiweiss, Cheryl Rezendes

Today it’s Sue Bleiweiss’ turn to review Thermofax 101. Did you see her recent episode on The Quilt Show? She is fantastic and I love her work. (And she used thermofax screens in her episode there!) I’ll b reviewing her latest book here soon.me_lr29

In order to win her giveaway copy of
Thermofax 101: screen printing made easy
you have to leave a comment on her blog. Be creative and tell her what you love about her work! Be specific. Surprise her with the acuity of your comments. 😉 

Sue Bleiweiss Blog

 

Cheryl Rezendes also reviewed the DVD.Cher

I reviewed her book a while ago – still love it. Can you figure out how she made me blush? It involves the word “adorable.” and yes, she is having a giveaway too.

 

Thermofax 101: Leslie tucker Jenison

imageToday is Leslie Tucker Jenison’s turn to review my Thermofax 101 DVD. She has some great tips that I will use going forward – strapping tape! You’ll have to go there to see what she uses it for. image

image

image

She will be giving away a DVD to someone commenting on her blog. Best of luck!

Thermofax 101 DVD blog hop and giveaways!

ready, set, GO!

Here we go – review copies are out – people are playing and we are ready to have a party! I’ll be giving away a copy of my DVD at every, single one of these blogs so be sure to stop by and check out what these fabulous artists are creating. Leave comments and share the news with your friends!
Thermofax_cover_square_web800pxh

And if you want to play right away you can order the DVD here, and Thermofax Screens here.

April 24 Cheryl Rezendez  http://www.cherylrezendes.com

April 25  Leslie Tucker Jenison  http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com  

April 28  Sue Bleiweiss  http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

April 30  Judy Gula  http://www.artisticartifacts.com/blog/

May 1  Sue Price & Elizabeth Gibson  http://pgfiber2art.blogspot.com/

May 2  Judy Coates Perez  http://www.judycoatesperez.com

May 4  Linda Stokes  www.lindastokes-textileartist.com

May 5  Jane Davila  http://janedavila.blogspot.com

May 6 Melanie Testa http://melanietesta.com/blog/

May 7  Liz Kettle  http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey

May 8  Carol Sloan  http://carolbsloan.blogspot.com

May 9  Kathy York  http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com

May 11  Susan Brubaker Knapp  http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com

May 12  Desiree Habicht  http://myclothesline.blogspot.com

May 13  Jamie Fingal  http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

May 14  Deborah Boschert  http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com

May 15  Sarah Ann Smith  sarahannsmith.com/weblog

Thermofax 101 is almost here!!!!

I’ve got a tracking number and have been giddily mapping the progress of a very large shipment of DVD’s – making it’s way slowly across the country. They are almost here! I’ve got a stack of shipping supplies and labels all ready to go.

I’ve also got a little surprise to add in to each pre-order as a sincere thank you to everyone who has been so patient with my manufacturing delays.

The pre-order offer of free shipping only lasts until Monday night (along with the surprise gift) so if you were thinking of jumping in, do it now!

Available now!Thermofax_cover_web800pxh

ORDER IT NOW!

Thermofax 101 DVD $19.95


 

Thermofax 101: preview

It’s  here!!!!

     
 
Thermofax 101 DVD $19.95

 

 
     

 

 

 

65 minutes of thorough instruction
Chapters:

Getting Started: what is a thermofax screen
Finding Images: find and design your own
How to Print: printing techniques and tools
Designing: creating cloth with layered imagery

Want to be ready to print when your DVD arrives?
Order Screens
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Order Textile Paint
Paint_opaque_300x180

New Work: just some samples

So apparently my “less is more” functionality lasted about 1 month. Or at least until my teaching schedule started. Since then I’ve felt completely overwhelmed again – too many things on my plate. There is a ton going on behind the scenes with getting the new DVD’s ready for you.Kinard_photos_foil6There are family things that are taking up more time than usual. Or I suppose – that IS the usual. There are other things in the works for later on in the year that are taking up time now. So the “less” part this past month or two has been blogging.Kinard_photos_foil5

So it’s nice when the things on the “to-do” list are fun. And it’s even nicer when they serve more than one purpose. These little sweetlings are samples for a class I’ll be offering at the International Quilt Festival this October called “Photos + Foil = Fun!” It will be one of those fun, I bring everything for you, kind of classes.Kinard_photos_foil2_web

They are also running off right away to Susan Brubaker Knapp who may or may not show them on one of the mini-demos she’ll be busy filming soon for the next season of Quilting Arts TV. She’s going to demo how to use foil with thermofax screens. (You can find the butterfly wings thermofax screen here.)
Kinard_photos_foil1_web

In case you missed the news – Susan and I will be teaching a retreat together at the Once In A Blue Moon retreat October 1 – 3 in beautiful Black Mountain, NC (near Asheville.) RetreatLogoBlack_webThere were only 11 spots left last time we checked so if you were interested you might want to send in your registration form now! I’d LOVE to see you there!

thank you for your order

Your DVD will be arriving as soon as it arrives from the press!

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Feel free to take a look around the shop and explore.
You can find 
ready made screens
textile paints
beading DVD’s
beading supplies
Lyric’s book on the Elements of Art 
ART

thermofax wings 1

wings1_570px

options

 

Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
Small
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
Medium
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
Large
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

thermofax wings 2

Wings2_570px

options

 

Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
Small
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
Medium
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
Large
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

thermofax heart 1

heart1

options

 

Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
Small
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
Medium
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
Large
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

custom thermofax screens

CUSTOM IMAGED THERMOFAX SCREENS

Untitled-1Guidelines for sending your own artwork

  • Order the number, configuration, and size of screen with the buttons on the right.  Include each file name in the box provided.
  • E-Mail jpgs or pdf separately to lyric@lyrickinard.com.
  • Label your file with your name, a description, and the exact size you want the image (not including the white area around it) to print at. example: Kinard_bird_3.5×5.7
  • Please send a high quality jpg or a pdf file. If you send me a 20kb image and ask for a large screen you will get nothing but a pixilated mess. For print quality a resolution of 300dpi is best.
  • Black and white images only please. Shades of gray don’t always turn out as you wish them to. Try playing with the “THRESHOLD” filter in your digital editing program. Remember that if you make a mistake you an hit “ctrl Z” and it will undo what you just did. Here is a great Photoshop Elements Tutorial to help you with this process.
  • I can do your Photoshop work for you for a fee – please inquire.
  • You can also snail-mail your design with a printed order form and a check. All marks on the paper will show up on the screen so be careful to look for dots and specs.
  • Please keep each design within the size limit for each screen: small 3 x 4, medium 4 x 7, large 7 x 9.5
  • Please send only original or copyright free artwork.
Size Image_Only Image+Frame Print_Ready
Small
max image size  3×4
$4.00 $6.00 $9.00
Medium
max image size  4×7
$6.00 $9.00 $12.00
Large
max image size  7×9.5
$.8.00 $13.00 $16.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you prefer not to use Paypal, please print and fill out this order form and mail a check.

What do I get when I order?

Image Only Image + Frame Print Ready
image imageframe imagemounted
Many people don’t mind printing without a frame. The mesh will curl so you need to stabilize it. Simply “bind” all four edges with duct tape  and you are good to go. I prefer using a frame because you can pick up the screen and move it with one hand. Order this if you would like to tape the mesh onto the frame yourself. If you’d prefer to rip your screen out of the package and print immediately then order it mounted. I mount your screens with waterproof duct tape on BOTH SIDES of the frame. I find that the double sided sticky tape just doesn’t last as long for me. Also – with the tape on both sides you can print with your screen facing either way.
Custom – image only
file name

 

Custom – image + frame
file name

 

Custom – print ready
file name

 

photo 4-1NEED PAINT? Order it here!

Lyric often offers exclusive thermofax sets to her newsletter subscribers:  

thermofax 101: instructional DVD

Welcome! Ready to try screen printing?
Thermofax_cover_web800pxh 

     
 

Thermofax 101 DVD $19.95

 
     

 

 

 

Learn how easy it is to create your own screen printed cloth! Thermofax Screen Printing is easy, fun, and well within your reach.  Let fun-loving artist, Lyric Kinard, guide you through the basics of what, exactly, a thermofax screen is, and how it’s made. Then she helps you begin your own creative journey as she shows you how to find and design your own imagery and how and where to have a custom screen made for you if you don’t have your own machine. Learn all about the basic supplies you will need and then get printing! Lyric will explain the properties of textile paints, how to prepare, care for, and use your screens, and finally how to design and create your own beautiful cloth.

Kinard_print_paint_play319

65 minutes of clear instruction


Chapters Include:
Getting Started: what is a thermofax screen
Finding Images: find and design your own
How to Print: printing techniques and tools
Designing: creating cloth with layered imagery

Want to be ready to print when your DVD arrives?
Order Ready Made Thermofax Screens
heart1Order Textile Paint
Paint_opaque_300x180

You might also enjoy
playing with FOILfoil_kit

Need a little help analyzing your artwork?
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thermofax paint

Textile Paint from Prochemical and Dye

Highly pigmented
Permanent after heat setting
Leaves a soft hand on the fabric
Perfect consistency for screen printing

photo 4-1 photo 1-1
3 oz each of
TRANSPARENT
Yellow, Red, and Blue
$9.00

 

 

3 oz each of
OPAQUE
Yellow, Red, and Blue
$11.00

 

TRANSPARENT      vs.     OPAQUE

printed onto on dark fabric:
320x144
photo 3-1 photo 2-1
3 oz each of
PEARLESCENT
beautiful metallic
Silver, Gold, and Copper
$12.00

 
3 oz each of
MIXING NEUTRALS
OPAQUE White
TRANSPARENT Black
TRANSPARENT Extender
$9.00

 

 

 

Tutorial: How to edit a photo for a thermofax screen

I’d like to show you how to take a photograph and prepare it for a thermofax screen. Printing with these screens is one of my very favorite things to do – you can use them with cloth or paper or really – any flat surface. If you don’t have access to a thermofax machine, I have a service where I can create a screen for you from your own images, as well as having a number of ready-made images for you to use.
 
 
 
1- Select an image. Choose something with high contrast – it’s easiest if it has a plain or simple background. Either use your own photography or find something that is copyright free. Wikimedia Commons has a wonderful repository of images under Creative Commons Licenses that are available for you to use. Download the highest resolution available.
Harmann zebra, Hobatere Private Reserve, west of Etosha National Park
Author – moongatclimber
 
2 – Open your image in your favorite digital editing program. 
I’m using Adobe’s Photoshop Elements (PS10) but the tools I’m using are fairly standard. They might be in a different place – if you have trouble finding them type in the name of the tool in the help window on the toolbar. You can download a trial version of the PS10 and use if free of charge for 30 days.
 
3- Crop your image.
Use the CROP tool to eliminate extra background. It simply gives you less space to have to fuss with.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4- Remember that command or control Z is your best friend – it’s the “undo” function and will let you back up as many steps as you need to if you don’t like what you’ve done.

 

 
\5- Select your subject. Use the magic wand, or some other selection tool to click and select all the way around the edge of your subject. You might need to click a lot in some areas that don’t have a high contrast line – don’t worry if extra space is included – you can erase that in a minute.

 

Sometimes when I double click I lose the selection. I just clicked too fast and the whole thing disappeared. What I do is just hit command Z again and it reappears.
 

6- Invert the selection.  The blinky line will now be around the outside of the image and around your subject.

 

 

7- Hit Delete and the background will disappear – at least mostly.
 

 

8- Control – D deselects everything.

 

9- Click on the Zoom tool and zoom in so you can see the edges of your work.



You can see that there are areas that need a bit of cleaning up and areas that you might not want to draw attention to. (Sorry guy – you’re going to be gelded.)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 





10- Choose the eraser tool to clean up your edges. 
Use the slider to change the size of the pixel brush so that it comfortably fits within your picture. Keep the opacity at 100%.
 




Start working your edges but try not to erase large areas all in one sweep. That way if you accidentally erase something you wanted to keep (remember “control Z!”) you won’t have to re-do large areas.
 
Continue to zoom in and out, moving around your image and changing the size of your brush to get into any tight areas.







 



11- Play with the Threshold filter found under the Filter/Adjustments menu. Sometimes it works the first time but sometimes you need to back out and fix some other things first. This is one of those times.

 
 
In this case, Mr. Stripes has lost the stripes on his back – he’s not quite ready for the “Threshold” filter yet. Simply hit “cancel” and we’ll do something else.
 
 
 
 
 

 

12- Play with the lighting. Find “Enhance/Lighting” then either “Brightness/Contrast” or  “Shadows/Highlights”. In this case – it is the highlights on the Zebra’s back that are being lost so I’m going to play with those for a bit and see if I can get the black and white stripes to look more even.
 
 
I’ve darkened the highlights, played with the shadows and messed with the midtone contrast until it looks like all of the stripes are closer to the same. Notice all the highly technical terms I’ve used – it’s really just messing around with things until you get something you think will work. As you gain experience you’ll be able to come quicker to the place where you can make the image work for a thermofax screen.
 
 
 

13- Try the Theshold function again.  My goal was to keep his eye from disappearing but to still keep the stripes on his back. Just move the slider back and forth until you are happy with your image.

 
 
 
14- Save your image. In fact – it is helpful to take this step quite often during your explorations. Hit File/Save As – (NOT just the automatic save function!) and rename each picture as you go. For instance, Zebra1.jpg, Zebra1.jpg etc.
Another thing to pay attention to when that “save as” screen is up is the “options” button. (I think I might have cut it off in this picture. It’s usually on the bottom right. Slide your “Image Quality” button all the way to maximum. This minimizes the compression that happens every time you save a jpg. If you don’t do this the file size might be so small by the time I get it that it will be too pixelated to use.
 
And there you have it. A crisp black and white image – no shades of gray – ready to be turned into a thermofax screen for your printing pleasure.



Send it through your thermofax machine or send it off to your favorite thermofax service provider and get ready to play! You’ll be printing in no time at all!

 

 

thermofax design

I thought you might like to see the original design I used and manipulated to create the hearts and wings. It took a few delightfully playful days to go

from this…..heart.wing.1.doverto this.

heart_wings1_570px

And from this….wing2.dover heart2.dover

to this.
heart4+wings+heart4_570px

If you missed out on the heart+wings special don’t worry. I’ll be adding the hearts and wings to the THERMOFAX SHOP soon, albeit individually rather than as sets.

Tutorial: Thermofax + Foil = FUN!

Enjoy this video for making a valentines fabric postcard!
One layer of paint, a second of metallic foil, a third layer of paint.

thermofax_foil_valentines

If you are having trouble seeing the video you can watch it on youtube HERE!

valentines day thermofax + foil special

I’ve spent the past few days blissfully playing with photoshop and some copyright free images from an early-twentieth-century German portfolio of forms from nature. I digitally flip, erase, copy, move, and generally mess around until I see something that simply delights the eye. I hope it delights your eye too!

heart_wings_heart1_570 Here I’ve used opaque white ProFab textile paint, the gold foil, then black paint. 
heart1+wings1_heart_570px

This kit is not longer available. Please check the Thermofax Shop for other screens.

thermofax_foil_valentines

Step by Step Thermofax + Foil Tutorial can be found HERE.

Here is another option for you.

heart4+wings+heart4_570px

 

heat_wings_collage_570px

In this piece I collaged watercolor paper with old sheet music, painted on a layer of gesso and acrylic something or other – I don’t remember. These sheets have been sitting around for too long. The first screen was with transparent red ProFab textile paint. The second layer was foil adhesive then foil. It was sort of a hot mess to print on the textured surface and I’m not sure if I was a mess with my foil adhesive or if the foil reacted differently from the way it behaves on fabric and stuck to the paint on paper. Live and learn. Or I should say PLAY and learn.

heart_wings_mess_570px

Itty bitty little screens

Even a tiny little ATC (Artist’s Trading Card) needs a focal point, somewhere to rest the eye. These cards-in-progress are a mere 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ – sweet to hold art in the palm of your hand eh?
 

 
Sometimes it is a blast working in this VERY small format. So small that it doesn’t matter if you mess up.
 
These thermofax screens are so small that they don’t need a frame at all. Just use duct tape to “bind” the edges and it will hold it stiff enough to get a clean print. If you are interested in making screens this small you can arrange a number of images on one page and order one full sized imaged screen. Just make sure to give it enough space around each image to cut it into it’s own little rectangular screen.
 
 
Today’s giveaway is another set of little bitty thermofax screens. These two are DaVinci sketches, perfectly sized for Artist Trading Cards.
imageLeave a comment telling me who your favorite master artist is.
What can you learn from studying their work?
I’ll choose a winner a week from today.

giveaway: mini thermofax screens

Congratulations to Autumn Adams who is the winner of Desriee Habicht’s pattern book and fabric bundle. In answer to my question, “how does art help you through the rough times?”  she said that “The wonderful thing about creating is that it puts you in the “now” so that while we are grieving we are also celebrating life because creating is giving birth.” I wholeheartedly agree.

image

Today, because I would rather spend some time making art instead of writing about it, I am going to give away a sweet little set of mini thermofax screens. I know it is hard to see them – they are a pair of royal seagulls dressed up in their funky finest… a small version of the pair I used (in a different technique) for this piece.

IMG_2278

Today I hope to spend lots of time in the studio – screen printing. I spent the morning repairing all the broken paypal buttons on my thermofax paint page – did you know I get to carry ProChem’s textile paint now? It’s totally my favorite for screen printing. I have them in the basic primary and neutral kits as well as my favorite three pearlescent silver, gold, bronze mix.photo 4-1

Leave a comment here telling me what kind of art you would love to make on a cold, wet, shut-in kind of day.

I’ll pick a winner next Tuesday.

Tutorial: Screen Printed Cat Pillow

Just for fun – over the next week or two I’ll repost some of your favorite tutorials – enjoy!

A couple of weeks ago one of my little ones walked in and said, “will you teach me to make a screen?” Now a very good mother would have done this long ago, especially since this little one has been asking to do this for months. Unfortunately I’m more of the “my studio is MY refuge” kind of mother and I don’t take time out as often as I should to let them into my space. I felt the need to take time for her this time. So glad I did.

She would like to share with you her process.
She things that if she can do it so can you!

General’s Carbon Sketch Pencil

Draw your picture with a carbon pencil and send it through a thermofax machine and thermal-mesh to make a screen. You can also email your image to a thermofax screen service and let someone else make the screen for you.

Lay out your cloth on a padded print surface (mine is a layer of felt under twill) and position your screen. It’s easier to handle a foam brush than a squeegee. Dip it in the paint. With one hand hold the frame, with the other press the brush across the screen. Notice how her finger is pressing the brush? You really need to squish the paint fairly hard to get the paint through to the fabric.

We made a few prints then washed and dried the screen before turning it over and making some facing the other way. We also decided to do some splatter painting over the top of the kitties just for fun. Dip an old toothbrush into the paint and run your finger over it. It makes a really fun mess!

Cut out the kitties and hold them up to the light and make sure they are aligned. Pin the cats and sew a straight stitch around them, leaving a gap about two inches wide. Use pinking shears to trim about 1/4 inch around the outside of the seam.

Stuff your pillow through the gap. I always have left over bits of batting so she tore some of those up and used them.

Squish the batting back into the pillow and stick a pin into it so that it’s easier to sew.

Sew a straight stitch to close the gap.

Pose for a picture with your beautiful little creations. Carry them around and tell everyone you know that you made them yourself. Sleep with them every night.

A little project…

I have a little girl who loooooves to make stuff. Actually – most of my children love to make things.

This one is a little different from the others in that everything she wants to make seems to requires my full participation. (sigh. If I were a better mother this would not be a problem.) She begged all through Christmas break to do some screen printing and it took until the very last evening of break for me to finally get around to helping her out.

Of course it took about that long to unpile the studio, which had become the repository for piles of wrapping paper and shipped boxes. That was of course, on top of the piles of shipping boxes and stuff from teaching all year mess. She says she also love snakes. She drew one and I messed around with it in Photoshop Elements until we had three screens with various sized snakes. And then we made a few thermofax screens.

Now we have another project underway that she can ask about – repeatedly. “Mom, when are we going to work on my tote bag?” And I can say “When everyone’s homework is finished and I’m back from taking your brothers to hockey and dinner is made.” It might be a while. One thing I love about this girl is that she is persistent. It takes dedication and determination to become an artist, right?!

SurfaceXplorations! A new emagazine from Interweave Press

I’m very happy to introduce you to a new e-magazine by the talented crew over at
Interweave Press
Surface Explorations is an all digital publication and can be downloaded to your desktop or to your iPad or other tablet. Even though I can do everything on my desktop that this publication is meant to do – I’m thinking an iPad might be in my near future. It’s that COOL!!!

I don’t think printed media is going away any time soon – there is nothing like holding a good book in your hand and turning a page and electronics and the beach don’t mix. BUT – you can’t click a link to go straight to a source or watch a video of the author actually showing you how to do what you just read about in a paper magazine. With this publication you can do that and more.


I’m very honored to be included in the inaugural issue of SurfaceXplorations with an article and video on Thermofax Screen Printing. I’ll show you a little bit about discharge (and remind you why testing is important!) and just plain have some fun with paint.

Some of the other authors are giving you a little peak into their contributions to this fun new digital publication. Stop by each of their blogs to check it out.

Mon 4/16 Lindsey Murray http://quiltingdaily.com
Wed 4/18 Jackie Lams http://studiolams.com
Thu 4/19 Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.blogspot.com
Fri 4/20 April Sproule http://sproulestudios.blogspot.com
Tues 4/24 Jane Davila http://janedavila.blogspot.com




If you are interested in learning even more about screen printing, I have an on-line class called Freeform Screen Printing opening up on May 4th over at QuiltUniversity.com! We’ll go even deeper into thermofax screens and learn a lot about regular screen printing too.

Scroll down a bit for another post about it or check out the class description here.

New Work: Links (part 1)

A couple of weeks ago I did my usual thing of looking at the calendar to see what was coming up the next week and realized there was a deadline I had forgotten about. A LOOMING deadline. 

Good grief – why is it that I can’t get myself to work on these things ahead of time? Of course I begin to mull things over in my head as soon as I know the requirements for the show so it wasn’t a huge scramble to come up with a new idea. It would have been kinder to my self to have begun at least a week earlier though so that I could have more time to test variations on my ideas.
The theme of this show was “Rituals.” It is a juried invitational – which means the curators invite a number of people to participate – but the final artworks still have to go through a jury process and have a chance of being rejected. I think it’s a good thing. The organizers start with a set of known artists whose work they admire but the artists are still encouraged to do their best work, knowing it isn’t a sure bet.
I started with a portrait taken by the talented photographer, Julia Wade. It’s been a favorite of mine for a long time and she gave me permission to create artwork from her photography. Remember – just because you’ve paid for a piece or art or photography does not mean you own the copyright – that remains with the artist.
In thinking about the theme of “Rituals” has had me noticing their importance in my life. I have rituals that range from a tiny repeated gesture that brings me simple comfort to the most deeply important spiritual practices that are central to who I am. The common factor among all of them is that they link me to the world around me, to my family and friends, and to the generations before and ahead of me. 
I played for a day with photoshop and different iterations of the portrait until I came up with something I liked then spent another day fussing with my wonderful (but persnickety) wide format Epson printer.
Next I created a thermofax screen with swirly circles on it and printed some white on white cloth. I think circles are a major theme in much of my work. When I’m thinking about them deeply, as I was in this piece, they represent something whole, something never-ending, things that are connected. Most of the time – they are just my favorite shape to play with.
Check in tomorrow for the rest of the story.

Studio Class: Thermofax Screen Printing April 18


New Studio Class
Thermofax Screen Printing

Wednesday April 18th 
11am – 2pm
$65.00 includes lunch and ALL supplies, fabric, paint, and a large framed screen to take home.

Enjoy a few hours of creative playtime with Lyric as you learn the basics of what makes a good image for a thermofax screen. You’ll learn how to choose, how to edit, and how to send an image to a service provider or use your own machine.

After creating your own unique image, make a screen using Lyric’s thermofax machine and learn how to prepare it for printing by taping the frame to a screen or binding it with duct tape.
Learn how to use the screens with a squeegee or as a stencil, what kind of paints to use, what kinds of fabrics, how to discharge and layer imagery.

Are you ready to PLAY!?!
Sign up now – space will be limited to 8 students.
$65.00




Fee includes ALL materials, you don’t need to bring a thing!

Wear old clothes or an apron.
Wednesday April 18th 

11am – 2pm

Doodles, Screens, and Art

I’m still doodling away even after last months Sketchbook Challenge theme has come and gone. As with many of us, it’s simply a way of life. I thought I’d show you what I do with some of my doodles. I always have my little sketchbook with me and often will just play around with a shape or an idea or an image.

In this case I was playing with circles. Big circles, little circles, circles in a grid, circles in random places.
From a large series of circle scribbles I chose three that relate to each other in some way but have different scales and different visual textures. One scribbled and bold, one orderly, and one delicate.
Next I cut them out of my sketchbook, scan them and print them out in different sizes, then create a thermofax screen with each one. Now the fun really starts!
I gather up fabric that catches my fancy and use the screens to print or discharge those doodles onto the cloth. The cloth above was discharged with Cascade Dishwashing Gel. (You can find a tutorial here.)
Circles by Lyric Montgomery Kinard
Eventually this particular batch of fabric is put together into a lovely little abstract piece of art.
What ways can you think of to make use of your doodling?

Freeform Screen Printing Student Spotlight: Linda Robertus

Linda Robertus was a student of mine in Freeform Screenprinting on-line at QuiltUniversity.com. One of the things I love most about on-line teaching is interacting with the international students. The internet has made the world a much smaller place in many wonderful ways. Linda is from the Netherlands but is is living in Australia. She has taken what she learned in class and worked to truly master the techniques. It brings me joy to see the lovely work she produces.
Screen printing with stencils is a truly simple technique that yields such lovely results. With a little patience and precision she has made this technique her own and brought her own unique voice to the process. I love the balance of color and the echoed forms in this piece. The implied and impending motion as well as the perfect stillness of the gymnasts is beautiful. This quilt is featured in the student gallery at Quilt University.

In this piece Linda has created a freezer paper stencil to use with a silk screen. I’d say she’s mastered the technique. I love the flow of this composition as your eye is drawn up and to the left, taking a detour here and there to follow the lines of the legs or of the gymnast’s horse. She’s blogged about this one here.

Linda also has a great time drawing the details of the world around her. She then emails a jpg of her drawing to me to be made into a thermofax screen for screen printing. 

You really do need to head over to her blog. She has posted lots of pictures of her projects that you will enjoy seeing. Leave a comment and tell her I said hello!

http://q-linda.blogspot.com/

This is a thermofax screen print made from a drawing of her screened porch door. The woman has talent and is not afraid to use it. Actually – what I should say – is that she is not afraid to spend the time it takes to hone her craft to the level of excellence she has achieved. We could all learn from her in that regard.
The next session of Freeform Screenprinting at QuiltUniversity.com begins March 18th. There are four lessons and I will be available for six weeks to answer questions in the class forum. The cost is $37. The best part?  When you take a class on-line nobody chastises you for being late, or for showing up in your pajamas. I’d love to meet you there!

The Sketchbook Challenge: Highly Prized

I’ve been thinking about the Sketchbook Challenge theme all month.
It only took a few minutes to know what I consider to be very valuable.
TIME
The first bit glued into my sketchbook? My usual schedule. It looks like that through next June. Five kids and a part time career will do that to you. Time is flying by and I often feel I’m missing it. My oldest daughter just applied for college. I’m feeling a little … something. Excited? Yes. Apprehensive? Just a tiny bit – she’s prepared. Bushwhacked? When did she grow up!?!
I’ve thought of images I wanted to incorporate. I’ve thought of amazing and wonderful outcomes.
I’ve also avoided actually doing anything until the last possible moment. It’s a fear thing. Yup – me. The lady who preaches non-stop that “it’s all about DOING the work and we can’t let fear get in the way.” Here I am in front of everybody – thinking everybody is expecting some fantastic outcome and feeling inadequate.
So. TIME for me to take my own words to heart and just DO it. Forget about expectations. 
1- The calendar gets glued in. Painted over with a bit of gesso. Oops. Now I remember that ink-jet prints smear when wet. Ah well, so be it. Find a couple of my favorite pics.
2- Let the gesso layer dry then paint a little bit of a color wash over that. I’m using Prochemical’s Profab Textile Paints – because I have a LOT of them on hand. They’re an acrylic and work fine.
3- Play around with photoshop and a few of the images that speak to my feelings. Print them out, cut them out, glue them in. I used a PVA glue this time. I think I might like gel medium better. We’ll see.
4- Add a little more of a blue wash over the hands to blend it into the background.
5- More acrylic in a transparent blue and an opaque white – swirls in with a brush – like time swirling all around me and away.
6- Hunt through my stack of screen for the perfect image. Ah – there it is. This time I used it like a stencil, first with the white opaque paint, then a navy transparent. It was a pain having the wire binding loops right in the way. I’m seriously thinking of working with loose sheets then binding them as shown in Jane Davie’s  tutorial. When I find some time.
I am addicted to thermofax screen printing. I have a machine and run a service, making ready made or custom screens. It allows me to feed my insatiable hunger for making new images in my own work. This particular screen came from a photo sent by Alexandria (one of my on-line students from QuiltUniversity.com) of one of her antique pocketwatches.  
This is what my work surface looks like when I’ve got projects going on. Stuff left from the last class I taught. Samples shoved out of the way. Kids forms for school events to be filled out. The usual. No – I’m not an artist who thinks clutter is great – it drives me nuts. I work best when I can clean everything up and start fresh with room to work and breath. No TIME for cleaning up right now.
8- Last step – I started in with pencil, moved up to a Sukura Pigma Pen and then decided a sharpie would glide over the bumpy acrylics on the page. 
My baby has wings. She’s ready to fly.
I’d love your feedback.
Do you have any ideas that could help me?
I want to learn how to savor each moment, live in the present. I still have to keep most of my schedule – I’m already very good at saying no to more stuff. The things I do I love. But time still flies away.
Oh, and don’t forget to head over to  the Sketchbook Challenge today to see who won this months giveaways. February’s theme will go up tomorrow. Can’t wait!

Wearable Art

I chronicled the beginning of these two pieces here.
I find it so interesting that the purple cloth I didn’t like turned into something I love. Both of these pieces were created on a severely limited time schedule. We were in the middle of having our floors refinished. The entire ground floor, including my studio, had to be moved out.
After dye work is done I love to lay down an overall texture by discharging some of the color. In this case I used some of my favorite images of ammonite fossils in a thermofax screen and discharged with Cascade dishwashing detergent. Great stuff! It’s thick like paint so that I can screen print with it and has enough bleach to take out the dye – but not so quickly that I can’t print several yards at once.
Next I use the same motif in similar colors to layer the visual textures in the cloth. Can I just say right now how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE my thermofax machine and whoever invented this process? The ammonite screens are available on my website by the way – and I can also do custom screens from your own images.

This was one of the first times I’ve simply played with the design of the clothing in a very free and improvisational way. I looked at the cloth and had a general idea of where I wanted to end up and took my scissors and began to cut. Bear in mind that I’ve been sewing clothing for almost 30 years now and have put in quite a number of hours doing things the “right” way with measuring tapes and patterns and such. I also knew I want to purposefully make these pieces larger than my size. The first layer is a simple tunic dress with very low arm openings, meant to be worn over a nice fitted t-shirt. 

The second layer is another tunic but the sides are open so it flows when you walk. I love things that flap and flow when I walk. It has lovely little buttons and beads and loops so that you can play with draping it many different ways.
The shrug has two lovely vertical lines extending down the front. Long vertical lines that bring the eye up to your face are a very good thing in clothing design. I think the shrug, with its lovely little beaded edge and some whimsical yet understated beaded fringes that hang under the arm will look lovely over a black dress all on it’s own.

The blue tunic is nice – but I think I’ll work on it more when it comes home. It’s cut on the bias, has raglan sleeves, and a veeeeery long tie so that it can wrap around several times. It’s also open on the sides up to the waistline. I sent it without the skirt. Not every experiment is a success. The skirt turned out to be almost a size six – tiny, while the tunic is very loose and could probably fit up to a size 18. I’m thinking something lovely with beading along the neckline – or perhaps some gorgeous mother of pearl jewelry to accentuate it. Who knows.
Again – scroll down to the last post to see detailed show information. These will be in Martinsville Virginia at the Piedmont Arts Association show,
The Art of the Quilt until December 30th.
I’d love to hear your comments. Any more ideas for the blue piece? Want to come try them on when they come home?

Student Spotlight: QU Screenprinting

On-Line Class opening August 27th

Blended Stencil Print by Julie Anne McDonald
Flour Paste Print by Sue Price
at QuiltUniversity.com
Thermofax Print by Sally Wescott
Hope to see you there.

Student Work

First a quick note: 3 ATC’s left – they go to the next three people that order the Quilting Arts DVD workshop “Surface Design Sampler Platter” from me. Use the button on the upper right corner of this blog or on this page at my website.
Now on to the good stuff! 
I’d love to share some of the wonderful work done by a student in my last session of “Freeform Screen Printing” at QuiltUniversity.com. The next session opens this Friday, May the 15th. There is still space available and time to order supplies. There are four lessons, one opening each week and staying open until June 27th. I’m there on the forum to answer any of your questions and to comment on whatever work you choose to share in the student gallery. Just think – I’m at your beck and call for a month and a half – all for $36.00. Can’t beat that.
Alexandra Panagopoulou took the screen printing class from the comfort of her home in Greece. Don’t you just LOVE the technology that makes distance learning possible? It still boggles my mind to have students in my class from all over the world. Sure, every once in a while we all have to put our heads together and figure out where a student in a far flung place can find something like “anti-chlor” (which is used for halting the bleaching process in discharge printing.)  But it’s definitely worth it and with so many good people willing to help out we always come up with a solution.
During class we learn to prepare an image for making a thermofax screen but the student can also purchase ready-made screens from different suppliers. Here Alexandra has used one of the leaf images I offer at my website and layered it in different colors on some dyed fabric. Gorgeous!
This lovely print was made with a paper stencil and masking tape resist on a wooden screen. It’s an easy and low-tech method that has yielded beautiful results in her capable hands. I look forward to seeing more of Alexandra’s work in the future. Perhaps, someday – even in person!

Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear

Take the ugliest piece of fabric (or at least the one that least appealed to me) and spend a few days in photoshop and with some screens and paint…. and I totally surprised myself. I think I’m in love.
Just thought I’d share a little something pretty with you.

You win a little, loose a little …

So – I finally got the new screens uploaded to my website. Unfortunately I broke the whole site and spend hours trying to fix it. It’s mostly better now. At least on the surface. I REALLY need to switch over to dreamweaver – can’t afford it.
I had enough fabric to make three shorts, two dresses, and two tops for my little girl. The first skirt/dress combo was a disaster. Ugly, ugly, ugly – but she wore it anyway. I made another attempt today. This time doing the ruffles the old fashioned – pull the basting stitches – way. The out of control skirt was trying to use a fancy ruffling foot on my m
achine. I obviously don’t know how to use it well.
Today’s attempt was much better. Her favorite part is the button – which she wanted to hold and carry around rather than have me sew it onto her dress. ah well.

New Screens

I’m in the middle of teaching an on-line screen printing course for QuiltUniversity.com. Totally fun. It filled before it opened so we are offering an overflow course beginning on May 15th. $36 for a four week course is a pretty great deal. The discussion forum is open a week or two longer than that so that if “life” gets in the way you can catch up on your own time. I’m there to help with any questions several times a day.

Of course I got a little carried away and started working on a bunch of new thermofax screens. All music related. I should have them up on my website by tomorrow morning. I’m thinking of putting my screens up on Etsy for sale as well. More exposure couldn’t hurt. If that part of my business picks up enough I’ll turn it over to my very talented and capable daughters who are always in need of more cash. I’m one of those horrifically mean mothers who won’t hand out an allowance. I do offer plenty of earning opportunities though.


First I need to make the Easter dress I promised to my youngest daughter. She picked out the fabric – I love it! I haven’t sewn a thing other than her blessing gown for her. I still have most of the things I made for her sisters so I haven’t needed to. Time to sew!
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