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Midland, Texas, United States
I write. I make stuff.


Friday, September 07, 2012

Tres Coyotes

As you know, we've been driving over to San Angelo this summer so The Ever-Gorgeous Earl can take photos of the water lilies in the International Water Lily Garden and so I can--duh--shop for pre-owned linen. I typed "used linen," but that sounded like I was going over there to buy dirty handkerchiefs.

So on the highway, we pass this ranch and always remark on what a cool sign it has, and finally The EGE turned around and went back for some photos of this sign high up above the ranch gate:
And as I've mentioned, The EGE is impossible. He doesn't want things, he doesn't shop, he doesn't say, "Gee, I wish I had~~" So when he likes something--whatever it is--I try to figure out a way to do something for him.

Which brings us to today's project. Or, actually, what I've been working on secretly all week: the stencil cutting is tedious, tedious work, mostly because the way I did it, I had to cut through two layers of tacked-together paper.

I printed out the photo in quick print, used a glue stick to tack it to the dull side of freezer paper, and cut through both layers to make a freezer paper stencil. I ironed a piece of freezer paper to the wrong side of the t-shirt for stability--if you've ever tried stenciling or painting cotton jersey, you know how it pulls up and stretches. The freezer paper backing prevents this. Then I ironed the cut stencil to the right side--I put this on the back of the shirt (the front has a pocket; I wanted to remove the pockets so I'd have more design room, but he likes them and wants to keep them).

 Cutting out and ironing on the bits for the eyes was a total pain in the butt. I think there was static involved--they kept leaping off the shirt and sticking to the ironing board cover. And of course I got one on backwards so it stuck to the iron.
 Neopaque fabric paint, so old that it was just a gummy mess in the jar (which hadn't been opened, but still) and had to be stirred and stirred. Applied with a sea sponge from long ago.
 You have to take your time and work with this to make sure everything's covered. I kept finding tiny bits of orange showing through.
Let it dry to the touch, carefully peel off the stencil (make sure there aren't any wet gobs of paint still on the paper), then allow to dry completely (it's 102 degrees here and bone dry, and I turned on the ceiling fan) and  and then heat set: cotton setting on the iron, turn the shirt inside out, iron over each section for three full minutes. Watch my very first ever video, How to Heat Set Properly, or Heat Setting 101. Total goober--I had no idea what I was doing. It's been years, but I still crack up every time I watch it:

OK! If you survived that, you can make it through ANYTHING. 

So I heatset the t-shirt properly, and here it is:

 I tweaked the legs a little because they looked more like horses' legs than dog-like legs, but it was hard to do with an X-acto and two layers of paper.  That's my excuse, anyway.
I'm pretty dang pleased with the results, I've gotta say.

It's a little crooked on Ricë--she's modeling it because The EGE hasn't seen it yet. And the orange is kind of funky--this room is the worst for color once it's no longer mid-summer: the sun comes in and makes it glow golden orange, but the "sunlight" setting on the camera isn't right, either. So it's never exactly right. Not as bright as the bottom three; it's closer to the first one but still not even that day-glo orange.

And that's The Project for Today. It's after 4 pm, and I think I should probably take a shower and find some clothes~~thanks for stopping by! XO


Raye Mayo said...

That is a really neat project. It's so difficult to find a gift for non-acquisitive people, but yours is even better because it's been so lovingly made. (Not to mention the obvious difficulty involved.)

I appreciate your detailed description, because if I ever attempt such a project, I will know what to do.

Thank you for sharing. I always enjoy your projects.

Ricë said...

Thank you so much, Raye! I love hearing that the posts are inspiring--that's why I do them. XO

C Pohl said... cool, great job!

Love your work

Carol. P

Barbara said...

That was awesome! Thanks for sharing.

mo said...

excellent idea, love the way you did it. i'm dying to know how the EGE reacts when he sees it ... hope you'll update us ;)

Emie58 said...

WOW!!! You did an amazing job!!!! You really captured the detail.. can't wait to hear what the EGE has to say when he sees it!

Sara Crittenden Coppedge said...

Fantastic! I hope you will use the marvelous stencil again and again...

Overexposed and Slightly Bent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Overexposed and Slightly Bent said...

I love this !! Bet the EGE will love it too! And your tip about the extra layer of freezer paper behind is a great one. I love that video - it cracks me up - and I always have to sing now when I heat set. Thanks for that.

Barbara L. said...

Thanks for sharing the coyote post. They look great on the shirt. I'm working on some stencils now and was trying to figure out the best way to use them on clothing. Now to work up the courage!

Ricë said...

Barbara, make a simple test stencil and try it on something that's stained or faded--a work t-shirt or something--like the clothes my husband wears to work in the yard.

Ricë said...

Thanks, y'all! He loves the shirt, but I think he actually likes the Batman & Robin shirt better--I just finished it this morning and need to take a photo and post it~~

Caatje said...

This is so cool!

Sharon Robb-Chism said...

Love the design, and thanks for the tip about the freezer paper behind the fabric to hold it steady. That's one trick I can really use!