Here is a cool little video I created from my Instastory. It shows one of the many ways I make printmaking stamps, using plain ol’ craft foam.
Here is a cool little video I created from my Instastory. It shows one of the many ways I make printmaking stamps, using plain ol’ craft foam.
Can you believe it? Fall is here, and before you know it, so will the holidaze!
I am NOT ready for this. This is NOT ok! Wasn’t it just blazing hot 2 days ago?
Alas, ready or not, here it comes!
As an introvert, I tend to be in my head a lot. Lucky for me, I am, married to an extrovert. Left to me, I’d probably never get around to actually inviting folks over, even though I love company. I’m just much better at asking a friend to meet for coffee, or Pecha Kucha.
Around here, we’ve been doing a bit of entertaining after a long hiatus. The Mr. had a horrible work schedule for a while which didn’t allow for weekend entertaining. I am happy to report that his schedule changed, and we are back in the swing of things. I love having folks over just to hang, talk, chill, and, ahem, drink! In this day and age, as we develop more and more ways to be in touch, true connection just seems to be getting more and more difficult. It is still so desperately needed.
I am so happy that we have managed to create warm oasis of good food, good company, and good atmosphere in our little corner of the world. (Personally I think it’s all the printed fabrics, and the warm ambiance of my old-timey christmas lights that we keep up year ’round).
I am planning some very awesome workshops for the near future, so look out for the emails! I have pinned down some dates, just waiting to confirm a location, and we will be good to go!
In the meantime, be well, do good work, and keep in touch, my friends!
A note about my experience on screenprinting fabric with latex house paint…
I have been screen printing fabric with latex house paint for at least 3 years now. I have successfully printed a lot of things: napkins, pillow covers, curtains, t-shirts, tote bags, etc. I have exclusively printed on cotton, linen, and ramie, so I can not speak for synthetic fabrics.
I hesitated sharing this information because
1.) I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing before putting it out there, and
2.) I was not sure how it would be received. In the end, I figured, if it can help someone else, it’s worth the risk of an internet backlash (ha-ha!)
I mostly print on things that will not get a lot of washing, but I have successfully machine washed, and hand-scrubbed fabrics that I printed. I have found that it is best to wait at least a week or so, to let the paint cure, before attempting any washing.
So obviously, you can not just glop on some house paint onto your screen and expect a good print. If that was the case, everyone would be doing this already. There are a few reasons this would not work out.
I call these ‘challenges to overcome’.
In order to make latex house paint suitable for printing, it needs to be ‘modified’ and ‘extended.’
Modifying & Extending the Paint:
Extending the paint simply means diluting it. This means that you are not using the paint at full strength.
You will be diluting the paint with a thickener. Wait, what? Yes, you are thinning with a thickener. It will make complete sense, I promise.
Latex house paint is highly pigmented and can stand to be thinned. Strangely, the color is not noticeably lightened in this process.
Extending the latex house paint solves challenges #1-4. Extending the paint will:
Modifying the paint just means that you will add textile medium. This solves challenge #5. to make the paint wash-fast.
Now, I’m of 2 minds regarding washability. I believe that latex paint is washable on fabric.
Think about the last time you got paint on your clothes while painting. How hard was it to get that paint out? Extremely.
I add textile medium for extra protection. I do not really believe that latex house paint needs textile medium to be wash-fast.
On the other hand, I’m nervous to leave it out.
So you want to know what I use to extend my paint, huh?
I have tried a variety of products to make my paint screen-able. Here are the ones that I have tried.
So there ya have it.
In the next post, we will dive into more detail about each of these materials. If you have not, subscribe here so that you don’t miss it..
In honor of Valentine’s Day I’ve whipped up a quick little printing project using craft foam shapes. These are perfect for making your own printing stamps that you can use to stamp paper, fabric or anything else you can think of!
The craft foam shapes are great because most of the cutting work is done for you. They also come with adhesive already on the back, making your stamps ready to attach to your stamping block. You can use the shapes as is, arranging them into your own design:
Or further customize the stamps by cutting some intricate shapes into the stamps for a more organic look.
Once your shapes are cut to your liking and arrange them in your desired pattern. Peel of the adhesive backing and stick to on a piece of glass, acrylic block or wood block, and Voila! You’ve got a custom stamp. You can use this stamp with an inkpad on paper, or with fabric paint on fabric.
Now print with abandon on your paper, fabric or other substrate. So, raid your kids craft stash and go forth and make something pretty!
I am unbelievably happy to share the first product coming out of my YayToonDay line of custom Fabrics for the home!
It is available here for purchase.
I look forward to bringing out more of my home line.
More surface designs…of the non-printed type.
Currently loving embroidery, Afro-Martha style.
Fabric has arrived!
But I haven’t had a chance make something with it yet….so here it goes: Drumroll please!
Introducing Diamonds and Chevs by YayToonDay Designs!
The design on this fabric is inspired by my love of ethnic geometric prints, Yoruba heritage and love of color! The fabric in the pictured is printed on Spoonflower’s Cotton/Linen blend, but is also available in other fabrics. Yardage is available for sale here.
Remember a while back when I said I was finally going to design my first fabric line? Well, I’ve had the designs for a while now, but I kept futzing around with it. I found myself stuck in perfection mode…couldn’t decide on colors, etc. I also took a few detours, did a few home projects and hand printed some things, in the mean time.
Until last night, when I finally pulled the trigger. I did it. I ordered a yard. Ofmyownfabricdesign. From Spoonflower. Yay, Me! Okay, it’s not a whole collection yet (baby steps), but it’s a start that I’m pretty excited about. I cannot wait till it arrives so I can make something with it. Which means you all have to wait to see it too, hehe!
I waited so long because of sticker-shock. Spoonflower is great, but it’s not cheap. The DIYer in me kept thinking I could do it myself. I am absolutely in love with fabric stamping and screen printing, but after a few days of printing and sewing, I realize that those media are a little limited for what I want, which is yardage. And Color. Lots of it. So I bit the bullet and ordered the durn yard of fabric and got on with it.
Here is a long bolster pillow I made using my hand-printed fabric… I just love it, but the printing took the better part of my day, while the sewing took me less than an hour.
I am looking forward to listing something I made with my own design. I do still plan on hand printing some items, but for the most part I will leave the printing to Spoonflower.
Speaking of the shop, I have been cranking out some new earrings. Apparently I won’t be able to leave them behind as I thought. It seems they are quite popular. Everywhere I go people ask for the earrings. I have shops who want to sell them, so like they say, ‘give the people what they want!’ So here’s a shot of what my work table looks like currently…
Here are some more pillows I made for my living room. Isn’t the one in the forefront just gorgeous?! The fabric is is a lovely Batik with gold embroidery. Yes, I think they are both gorgeous, but I’m partial to shiny things…The fabric in the background was one I fell in love with while thrifting.
Let me just say, I am just simply in love with India. I love all things Indian. The people, the food, and the décor, oh my! Attending an authentic Indian wedding is on my bucket list. I recently discovered a lovely blog about Indian Interior Décor. I have been inhaling everything on this site, taking in the visual feast that it is. Needless to say, it is really informing a lot of my design direction. In the future I see my work melding my African background with other ethnic influences to create a very rich look. So excited!
If you’ve looked around this site, you know that I’m a Graphic Designer by profession.
About 5 years ago I first had the inkling that I wanted to design fabrics, giftware, papergoods and home accessories. At the time I was not aware that there was a whole industry behind such endeavors. I thought I was going to be limited to screenprinting T-shirts by hand. Looking back now, it’s like ‘Duh,’ of course there’s a whole industry! Just look around, design is EVERYWHERE. Someone has the divine job of creating all that stuff, right? Why not me?
It’s taken me a while to figure out how to break into this industry, but lately information seems to be everywhere! I am patiently awaiting Kim Kight’s Book, “A field Guide to Fabric Design” and I just joined the Forum over at True-Up
So now you know my secret. I am a big Design and Pattern Nerd. That’s what I’m doing when I’m not working on a project or Cooking something. I’m getting super-excited about a new trick I learned in Illustrator.
Well, I guess all my nerd-dom has paid off, because I am finally just about done with my first design collection, yay! It is my plan to offer my designs in the form of Fabrics, giftware and home accessories. I am currently working out the manufacturing, and you will be the first to be notified when it’s all ready.
A friend of ours recently got married. She is a dear sweet girl we knew since she was a fresh-faced 18 yr old college freshman. I can’t really remember how we met her (I’m sure it had to do with open mics and poetry). Somehow we bonded and became sort of her surrogate family-away-from-home and we had the privilege of watching her blossom into a lovely young lady. When she got married over this past summer, we unfortunately could not make it due to some extenuating circumstances.
I decided to print her a set of sheets as a wedding present. We share a love of Adinkra symbols so I figured I’d print her sheets with the adinkra symbol for “Love.” I also interpolated the design with typography to spell out the word ‘love’ but shaped to look like the symbol. Look closely to see what I mean. I knew this would be the ultimate wedding present and it would also give me a chance to flex my printing skills. I had been dying to print sheets since I saw this done in one of my favorite books “Printing by Hand” by Lena Corwin. I even have dreams of offering this on my shop one day.
I found a great set of sheets I wanted to print on. They were white buttery soft Egyptian Cotton 310 count. I was excited and a little scared to print on them, since ANY mistake means I have to buy another set and start over (or so I thought). It all started out well enough. I was printing in repeat, so of course this required a bit of planning…which is not my strong suit. This is what I started with:
I decided to kind of wing it, which is never advised for this kind of work. Everything went well till the second to last repeat…then disaster struck. I went to put down my squeegee and splattered the paint onto my nice white substrate! I did what you shouldn’t do in this situation, which is panic. I started trying to wipe up the the paint, which only made it worse. I was so busy trying to fix this mistake I didn’t get a chance to take a picture. Frustrated, I decided to finish the printing anyway and think of a fix later.
You can see how this might not make a good present. I racked my brain on how to salvage my project. I thought about buying a whole new set of sheets and starting over, but I knew there had to be a more inspired solution. Doing a whole new set means throwing this one out (since it doesn’t fit my bed). You might not know this, but I detest waste. Two days later I hit on a genius idea. Dye. Instead of white sheets, she would have sunny-yellow sheets. And that is what I did. I think it came out really well, and might even be better than the original white.
After much delay, she received her present, and her and beloved LOVED it.
I have been practicing printing on fabric using screenprinting, block printing, stamping, and stenciling. I am itching to get some products out there onto my (currently empty) Etsy store. For now I will content myself with practicing honing my craft. (Note: I don’t have pictures of my block prints here)
These prints I did on repurposed fabrics. I am really fascinated with the idea of printing on repurposed/recycled fabrics, which are abundant. I detest waste. I feel like objects have more than one life in them and I try to use what had been previously cast aside as being no longer worthy. In the following prints I’ve used fabrics that would otherwise be destined for the landfill. It was a great feeling to know that I got a little more use out of them.
The picture above shows my attempt at printing ‘ribbons’. I printed these using block stamps of my own designs that I cut by hand out of self-adhesive craft foam, I then mount the shape onto a piece of clear acrylic. (Side note: The acrylic blocks are sold in craft stores with the rubber stamping materials. Buy those if you like paying a lot of money for your things. I prefer to go the the glass/plexiglass section of home depot or lowes, as asking them to sell me their discards. I got a bunch for about $2, which I cut down to size using the plexiglass knife.) These ribbons were printed onto a deconstructed twin fitted sheet I was kind of tired of. I ripped it into strips about 2 inches wide.
The image above shows a design I drew and cut out onto plain ol’ contact paper. I used the contact paper as my stencil by sticking it onto the screen. I do this method for short run printing or when I’m just itching to print and don’t want to burn a screen. The fabric comes from a cut up pair of linen pants that Mr. AfroMartha didn’t want anymore.
I love doing repeat/allover patterns just as much as single placement patterns but they can be tricky when using the the screen printing method! The pattern above is my first attempt at a repeat. I had a hard time lining up my design on the fabric. I am going back to the drawing board to master registration before I burn any more screens. The fabric comes from an ikea curtain I purchased from the thrift store. The fabric is really nice and sturdy, and I wish I’d gotten both panels instead of one.
The ribbons again… The pink and red ribbon was hand-stamped. The fabric was some random piece of fabric I had around and decided to dye to try out the packet of iDye. The dye took pretty well, and I thought it was a nice backdrop for the stamping. My daughter begged me to dye her white sundress pink, which I did along with this fabric. It looks smashing and she loves the dress even more now, but I can’t wait to add some designs to the bottom of it. Of course I will post once it’s completed. Stay tuned…