Garden Design Fabric Bowties!

I have gone bowtie crazy!  George has been after me for years to make him a bowtie.  Evidently they are really hard to find and good ones are quite expensive.  Then recently an old friend asked me whether I would make her some neckties from my fabric designs. I got a McCalls pattern that had both a necktie and a bowtie.  Sad to say, I quickly realized that making the necktie was going to take more time than I had .. .  But the bowtie — now that was a different story.  It was far less complicated than the necktie, and took much less fabric.  So here’s my first effort … what do you think?  The fabric is one of my favorites, a design I made by kaleidoscoping my photograph of a purple laelia orchid.

Bowtie number one

Bowtie number one

Here’s the bowtie on the proud model, George.

George wearing bowtie number 1

George wearing bowtie number 1

Bowtie number two is also from the McCalls pattern.  I used another of my favorite fabric designs, a kaleidoscope pattern from my photograph of a butterfly’s wing.

Bowtie number 2

Bowtie number 2

How do you like it on George?   For this one I used the standard bowtie hardware, a hook and clasp and adjustable slider.  I had to order the hardware online because none of the local fabric stores carry it.  Contact me if you want information about where I got the hardware.

George wearing bowtie number 2

George wearing bowtie number 2

Here’s my third bowtie.  I found great instructions on a blog for boys’ bowties, and just made it a bit larger for a man-sized bowtie.  This is a double fold tie.  I haven’t had a chance to make the strap, so I’m using one of the bowtie clip-ons that I got when I ordered the other hardware sets.

Larger bowtie

Larger bowtie

This is the back, showing the clip-on hardware.  You just slip the gizmo through the tube at the back and clip it onto each side of the shirt collar.

Back of bowtie showing clip-on

Back of bowtie showing clip-on

George was too tired to put on the shirt to model it, but I got some shots of him holding it up to his t-shirt. Here’s one:

Mr. Bowtie

Mr. Bowtie

And another … !  I figured out how to print the fabric for this design using letter-sized sheets of fabric, so I can whip up the bowties rather than waiting for yardage to be printed for me.

Honeybee design bowtie

Honeybee design bowtie

This is a closeup of the center loop

Honeybee design bowtie center piece

Honeybee design bowtie center loop

This is the original file I used – my photograph of honeybees in a hive, kaleidoscoped into this design:

Honeybee kaleidoscope design

Honeybee kaleidoscope design

Tired of bowties yet?  Okay, just one more.  My latest is made of fabric I designed from my photograph of a swallowtail butterfly wing.  I kaleidoscoped a small part of the photograph using the Kaleider software program (see my other blog posts about Kaleider).  I love how brightly colored the fabric turned out —

Swallowtail bright bowtie

Swallowtail bright bowtie

I just started showing the bowties in my Etsy store.  Click here for my first listing. I can also make them to order from any of my fabric designs, so contact me if you want to special order one.

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Inkjet Transfer Techniques Workshop

One-day workshop :  Saturday July 17, 2010

Noon to 4:00 pm at Canyon Trail Park & Art Center, 6757 Gatto Ave., El Cerrito.  $45 plus materials

Butterfly window hanging

Butterfly window hanging, Transfer Artist Paper

We will explore using inkjet transfers to enhance your artwork and to create mixed media, collage and other works.  Learn several techniques to transfer images and text to a variety of surfaces.  Transfers are ideal to get your images and designs onto surfaces that you can’t fit through your printer.  We will experiment with many different products, including a new heat transfer polymer material, Transfer Artist Paper.  You will complete at least two transfers at the workshop.

Double exposure on canvas

Double exposure on canvas, heat transfer

Pre-registration required.  For more information, or to pre-register, email me at heidirand@gmail.com.  If you can’t make the workshop, email me for other options, including private classes.

Lisianthus box lazertran heat transfer

Lisianthus box lazertran heat transfer

Printing on wood veneer

I’ve written before about transferring my inkjet images and designs to wood.  I’ve done some printing directly onto wood that I treated with Golden Paint’s Digital Grounds, but not much because I haven’t had great success finding veneer that’s flat enough to print.  I ordered some veneer online from Rockler, great price – but it was too warped to send safely through the printer, and although I found directions to flatten veneer, I just didn’t have the interest in doing that step on top of all of the others needed to get a good inkjet print. I have been using small flat pieces of the Rockler veneer to make wooden postcards using Transfer Artist Paper (TAP), more about that another day.  Oh, okay, here’s a photo of those wooden postcards – I will write a whole post about my process to make those soon.

Wood veneer postcards using TAP

Wood veneer postcards using TAP

So anyway, I had great hopes for the first inkjet-treated veneer that I’ve found, available through Cards of Wood, called SMartGRAIN™.  I was excited that it could go through the normal feed of my small printer.  Thicker wood veneer has to go through the straight path of my larger printer.  This veneer is thin enough to curl through the normal feed.   I got the starter kit from Cards of Wood.  Their price for the kit is $25 for 6 letter-sized sheets.  After that, you buy them by the sheet, and they’re $5.25 each.  They also paid the shipping for the sample kit, which was nice. For my first test, I chose an image that I thought would look good on wood, and one that I had printed on veneer that I coated with Digital Grounds, for comparison.  This is the original file for my Koi and Wisteria blended collage.

Koi and wisteria blend

Koi and wisteria blend

The image is abstract, but there are sharp elements, and I wanted to see whether the inkjet coating was of good enough quality to reproduce the sharpness.  This is the result on the new inkjet-treated product from Cards of Wood:

Koi wisteria collage on wood veneer

Koi wisteria collage on wood veneer

This is the same image printed on veneer that I coated with the clear gloss Digital Ground.

Koi wisteria collage on wood veneer treated with Digital Ground

Koi wisteria collage on wood veneer treated with Digital Ground

I much prefer the print that I made on the veneer that I treated with Digital Ground.  The detail is much better – part of the collage is a garland of wisteria blooms, and the Cards of Wood print is blurry, with no sharp detail.  The color of the Cards of Wood print is a bit brighter, and it’s close to the original image file, so that’s good.  I’m very finicky about detail and resolution in my prints, though — it’s very  important to me, and it shows how good the quality of the inkjet coating is. I should emphasize that I’ve printed on many unusual surfaces, and I never expect that a print on things other than paper will look the same as on good inkjet paper.  I do know that the color and grain of the wood will affect the quality of the print.  That’s why I did the comparison between the Digital Ground-treated print and the one on SMartGRAIN™ wood.   I’m not convinced that the Cards of Wood product is worth the money.  I will print the rest of the four sheets and let you know my final verdict.

Handmade gifts with your inkjet printer : one-day workshop November 15th

This is going to be a really fun workshop.  I’ll show you how to make personalized gifts (for friends and family or for yourself!) using your own photographs, designs, or other material and your home printer.
Fabric on tote bag

Fabric on tote bag

 We’ll explore a  variety of different techniques to create unique gifts, like printing on fabric and other special surfaces ideal for making presents.  Each person will complete at least one project at the workshop, and you’ll go home with many ideas and new things to try on your own printer.  There’s plenty of time before the holidays to create gifts for everyone on your list!

Lavender sachet

Lavender sachet

When you make a personalized gift you can save money and show that you care to take the time to create something special for your loved ones.

Fabric covered light switch plate

Fabric covered light switch plate

You can use photographs and the originals or scanned memorabilia of things in your lives together for gifts that people will treasure and keep. 

Treasure bags with fabric iron-ons

Treasure bags with fabric iron-ons

The workshop will be Sunday November 15, 2009, noon to 3:30.  Cost is $35 plus materials. It will be held at the Canyon Trail Art Center in El Cerrito California.  Please pre-register by emailing me at heidirand@gmail.com, or you can pre-register at the El Cerrito Recreation Department, 7007 Moeser Lane El Cerrito, (510) 559-7000.

If you want to see the gifts that I make from my photographs and designs, please visit my ETSY shop.

Workshop : Inkjet transfer techniques

Inkjet transfer techniques : one-day workshop

Sunday October 25, 2009, noon to 4.  Canyon Trail Park & Art Center, 6757 Gatto Ave., El Cerrito.

Masdevalia orchid box

Masdevalia orchid box

Learn several techniques to transfer images and text to a variety of surfaces.  We will explore using inkjet transfers to enhance your artwork and to create mixed media, collage and other works.  You will
complete at least two transfer projects at the workshop.

Swallowtail butterfly tile

Swallowtail butterfly tile

For more information, or to pre-register, email me at heidirand@gmail.com.   You can also pre-register at the El Cerrito Rec Dept., 7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito, (510) 559-7000.


Transfer artist paper on lutradur

Some people on the inkjet transfer yahoo group (inkjet_transfers@yahoogroups.com) were wondering about using Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) on lutradur.  Lesley Riley’s new book on lutradur says that TAP works on lutradur (and she invented TAP, so she should know!)  Since I’m having such a great time experimenting with lutradur,  I had to try these two interesting products together. I picked one of my current favorite photo collages as my first attempt.   I took a photograph of koi swimming in a pond at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, and blended it with my photograph of a bonsai wisteria tree. This is the digital image:

Koi and wisteria collage

Koi and wisteria collage

I printed the image on TAP using the recommended settings (media set for plain paper, resolution at fine quality).  The TAP print looked great, pretty much what like the image looks like on treated inkjet paper. I cut an untreated piece of lutradur inches larger than the image, because if it turned out well I figured I might do something fun with the edges, like use a heat gun to curl them.

I heated my iron to the highest setting.  I put the lutradur on my ironing surface, which is relatively hard and not as padded as a normal ironing board.  I cut the excess TAP from the edges of the image, as recommended. I positioned the TAP printout face down onto the lutradur, and placed a piece of parchment paper on top of the TAP. Pressing down firmly, I held the iron in place for about 10 seconds, then moved the iron to another spot until I had covered the entire surface. I peeled up an edge and saw that it had transferred completely. I checked the other edges and had to place the TAP down and re-iron a few spots.

After making sure the entire transfer had adhered, I peeled the TAP paper off.  I think the transfer is beautiful! The color and resolution are nearly as perfect as an inkjet paper print. I love the way the translucency of the lutradur allows light to shine through the image, and how the filaments and texture complement the image. I also think the abstract nature of the image, with its rich tones, worked really well on the lutradur.

This is the result:

Koi and wisteria on lutradur

Koi and wisteria on lutradur

This is a closeup of the bottom left edge, to show the filaments and texture of the lutradur, and how well the rich color transferred:

Closeup

Closeup

And another closeup of part of the transferred image:

Closeup

Closeup

I think if you pick the image carefully, a TAP transfer to lutradur is a great option. I’m not sure how well fine details will transfer, but I think that this abstract image with its rich colors worked great.  Considering that in order to print this image directly onto the lutradur I would have to coat it with Golden’s Digital Grounds (see my other blog posts on that subject), using the TAP was certainly quicker and easier.  When I decide how to finish the piece I’ll post an update.

Transfer Artist Paper on cotton

I previously wrote in my post about Photos on Wooden Boxes about using Lesley Riley’s new Transfer Artist Paper (TAP), available from her at http://www.transferartist.com   I just tried TAP on fabric.  I have resisted making t-shirts to sell because I was never sure whether the iron-on transfers would last, how they would wash, etc.  I have ordered some t-shirts made with my designs through my zazzle shop, http://www.zazzle.com/GardenDelightsArts* and the shirts are great.  They have a large variety of shirt styles and sizes.  I even sold a couple of children’t t-shirts the other day at the Pinole Artisan Gallery, so hooray for that!  Anyway, I bought some blank onesies (infant garments that snap at the bottom, very cute even to those of us who are childless) and decided to either sew some of my designs onto them, or to try using iron-ons.  Since I wanted to test out the TAP transfers anyway, I decided to use them for some of the onesies. 

Printing: I reversed the images because they’re transfers and you have to place them face down on the surface, of course.  I printed them with my Epson 2400, using Ultrachrome inks.  Per Lesley’s instructions, I printed on the plain paper setting and the medium quality.  The prints looked great – just as good as they would on normal inkjet paper, with full color saturation and detail.

Lesley’s website says to either wash the fabric right away (after transferring), in which case the colors will likely fade, or to wait a couple of days, and possibly the colors will fade less.  At least that’s how I read her instructions.  She also mentions that when she waited a couple of days, there was a line through the image where the cloth folded during washing. 

I pre-washed and machine dried the onesies.  I printed 6 images on 2 sheets of the TAP paper.  Following Lesley’s instructions, I cut out the image close to the edge to avoid having excess polymer transfer to the fabric.  I set my iron to the cotton setting.  As instructed, I used my ironing board which has a thin pad.  I put a piece of parchment paper on top the TAP transfer and placed my iron on top of it.  I held it there for about 10 seconds without moving it.  Then I peeled up an edge of the paper, saw that the entire transfer had worked, and peeled the backing entirely off.

On a couple of the transfers the edges were a little rough.  I think that’s because I didn’t hold the iron in that spot long enough, and the transfer was a bit incomplete.  My fault, but nothing that will affect the finished shirt too badly.  I was surprised that the holes in the iron didn’t cause a problem. Lesley mentions that the holes MAY leave untransferred spots, and I’d assume they would — but I did pick up the iron and place it in different spots, so maybe that’s why I didn’t have a problem. 

The transfers aren’t too stiff, just a tiny bit, but Lesley says that the stiffness will decrease as the item is washed.   I decided to wait until maybe tomorrow to wash them.  I really like the saturated colors and don’t want them to fade too much.  Here’s a photo of one of them taken right after I did the transfer:

Lars, photographic transfer to cotton using TAP paper

Lars, photographic transfer to cotton using TAP paper

I was very impressed that the shades of grey throughout the photo were transferred, as were the vivid colors of Lars’ eyes and ears, and his collar.  I’ll let you know what happens after I wash and dry the onesies tomorrow.

Okay. I machine-washed and dried the onesies.  Consistent with Lesley’s results, the transfer faded a bit, and the hand is a bit less stiff.  The colors are acceptable, and I would feel confident selling items I made with the TAP paper.  I’ll continue to test them.  I’ll make a t-shirt for myself and see how it fares after normal wear and washing.  Here’s the onesie with Lars on it, after washing and drying:

Transfer with TAP, after washing

Transfer with TAP, after washing