Introducing: Party Animals!

Recently, I was approached by a lady asking for a sibling set for her twin boys. She’d fallen in love with the Party Llama, and was hoping I would be able to expand a little; a sort of variation on a theme. She suggested a Party Goose or maybe an Ostrich. The idea of a Party Ostrich tickled me greatly! And so we went with that.

Since her little guys are turning 4, she was justifiably leery of giving them white shirts to enjoy their party (and cake). So, we opted to dye the shirts. She chose a dusky blue and a soft green as well as individualized colors for the hats and noise makers. In order for the silhouettes to show up on the colored shirts, I made the gray darker than I generally do on the white onesies. And the bright colors for the hats and noise makers sure did pop!

Here they are, all done!

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I love that ostrich so much! My new plan is to make a trio set of Party Animals: Llama, Ostrich and a Moose. Stay tuned for the complete set!

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I Dream of Thee

So, from time to time, I’ll participate with the NonTeam Treasury Challenge with a group from Etsy. This works out for me quite nicely; I like to make treasuries, and they don’t require that I jump through a huge number of hoops to play along. It’s win-win for everyone!

This week’s Inspiration item was a clever little Cupid’s Arrow ring made by shrimpsaladcircus.

It’s such a dreamy picture, with a lovely romantic feel to it, so I took that and ran with it. Here’s the treasury I created in response:

Tutorial – Freezer Paper Stencils

Several people have expressed interest in know more about how I do my shirts, so I thought it would be fun to do a How-To post.

Several people have expressed interest in know more about how I do my shirts, so I thought it would be fun to do a How-To post.

But, before we begin, I have to throw in a little disclaimer – this particular design is rather more complicated than my normal ones, so it really isn’t the best example to use with this post… but I was just so excited to show off this one, you’ll have to bear with me. I mean, the steps are basically the same, just that this one was bigger and a little more elaborate than my typical designs.

Anyway, so basically what I do is stenciling with freezer paper. Here’s a general overview of the process:

Decide what you want to print on:

This can be done on canvas bags, pillows, pants, shirts.. basically, any fabric that you want. I recommend cotton, it absorbs better.

Typically I use 100% cotton, baby onesies or toddler t-shirts. However, this time around, my littlest brother was coming up on his 15th birthday and had asked me to make him a shirt. So, I decided to get brave and do my print on a button up (90% cotton, 10% spandex) long-sleeved, adult sized shirt.

Draw up a design:

Since this was for a teenage boy, I decided that my typical cutesy designs weren’t going to cut it.  After some thought, I decided to go with an arctic night scene splashed with the northern lights.

I sketch out my ideas with pencil and then, once it’s satisfactory, I’ll color the parts to be cut out in black pen or marker. It’s important to remember that you’re going to have to cut out the design, so simple shapes are better. Once you’re pleased with the design, you’re ready to move onto the next step.

Measure out some freezer paper:

I use scissors to cut out a square or rectangular piece big enough to hold the entire design.

Draw out design onto freezer paper:

Draw the design on the non-waxy side of the paper.

With the smaller articles of clothing, I actually will just trace my original design onto the freezer paper. However, since this project was larger, I had to scale it up, free hand.

Cut out design:

I use an exacto knife for all the intricate cutting. Also, using a cutting board underneath will keep your tables looking better longer.

Iron design onto shirt:

The beauty of freezer paper, and what makes this all possible, is that one side has a light layer wax, while the other side is of sturdy paper. So, when you iron the pattern onto fabric, it creates a seal that protects the uncut areas from exposure to paint.

Turn the waxy side to the fabric and, with a hot iron, press firmly on the paper to affix the pattern. Use pressing motions, don’t rub.

Paint and voilà!

Once the pattern is attached, be sure to put some paper in between the fabric layers to protect the back side of the shirt. And finally, decide what colors you want to use and then it’s time to lay down some paint! Apply the paint using a brush or a sponge.

Let the paint dry completely (about 4 hours) before gently peeling off the stencil. If you’re careful when peeling, most stencils can be reused several times.

On this particular project, I went another step further and embellished the fabric paint with a fine-tip black sharpie and a silver paint pen. I also used fabric spray paints, but I don’t recommend those for this type of project.

Giraffe Kisses

I decided to submit one of my shirt designs to OneMillionGiraffes.com.

Some time ago, I was introduced to this site: OneMillionGiraffes. I even sent in my own schnazzy drawing as a contribution (check it out). Then, I pretty much forgot about it.

But recently, as I was seeking for inspiration for some more designs and I decided to draw a baby giraffe kissing a mom giraffe.

Once I got it all done, I remembered this site collecting one million giraffes, and decided to add these two giraffes to the bunch. See it here! (I even put together a treasury of giraffes on Etsy. Check it out!)

The moderators at the giraffe site thought my shirt looked so great, they emailed me back and asked me to confirm that I’d done it myself and not purchased these giraffes at a store. What a compliment!

Hope he makes it!!