Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Take It Further start (long)

I'm feeling particularly relieved at the moment. (I know it won't last.) This year at work has been full of back-to-back conferences that I've run, and I'm finally getting my feet back under me and am doing my "real" work.

I manage a couple of dozen different grants and accounts and I have them all up to date for the first time in months. Now I have to turn my attention to the annual report that should have been done a while back.

This is the start of this month's TIF piece. It's very different from what I had planned. But once I began thinking about where I worked and how I managed the process, I ended up with more images (more on how I did the transfers below) than I expected. This journal page kind of traces the process of how I work. It's starts in my brain. It's the one workspace we all have in common.

I often do research and some thinking on my computer. Next is my ironing board work-station where I can do larger or messier things or those that require heat. Mostly I sit in my chair and stitch. The image of my stove-top photo studio isn't clear, but I still decided to include it. (I'll know what it is.) Last is my file cabinet/display gallery at work. I don't often put up images of pieces I've done there--they're more likely to appear as a background on my monitor or at the top of the custom calendar pages I print each month. But it's every changing and a kind of a symbolic bulletin board for me.

I identified each photo using a letter rubber stamp. It's a big one like those date stamps libraries used to use. This one has about 16 bands of the alphabet so you can "set" and print your own words. I've had it for years and this is the first time I've used it. I love it. I used pigment ink.

The little blobs are actually off center yo-yos (thank you, Clover!) to represent all of the piled up bags and totes that contain my various projects and materials. I have added a lot more since taking this photo and plan to add more yet.

That's pretty much it. I plan to complete it this weekend. I'll back it with some prequilted fabric I've used on others and add some sort of loop for binding.

Image transfers: I wanted the images to be rather rough and not crystal clear. This is where and how I work right now, but it's not my ideal and I think I'd like it to be fading away. Here's how I did it: I printed reversed color images of my photos using a laser printer. I ironed on two layers of Wonder-Under fusible to the front of the paper (one at a time). Then I soaked the images and rubbed the paper off of the back. This type of transfer isn't quite as clear as using acrylic medium, but it is quicker--you need to let the medium dry at least 24 hours. Press, wave in the air a bit to cool, and dump into a pool of water. The two techniques are equally fragile (you can remove the image with the backing paper if you're not careful).

I rolled the wet paper off with my fingers using kind of a pushing motion and let it dry a bit. Once the paper begins to roll up, it will help the process by picking up other bits of the paper as you move it along.Then I wet it again and went over it again with a more circular motion and got more of the paper. I let it dry again.

By now my fingers are complaining about all the rubbing so I dampened a tea towel and rubbed some more, very gently. Now you need to be careful--you can easily rub away the image--and here's where the edges begin to fray.

Once I had the paper removed, I placed my images on the background fabric (and spent about 24 hours moving them around each time I passed by) and pressed with a hot iron to fuse. Fabric right side up, image photo side up (the photos will now be facing the right direction), fusible down. Cover with a Teflon press sheet or parchment paper and press with a hot iron. The images brightened up a bit upon being transferred.

I was pleased with how well they stuck--no curling edges or missed spots.

Concurrent with this month's project, my husband and I have been doing some house hunting. We do it occasionally but haven't for a while. I would like to move (desperately!) but am not thrilled at taking on a huge mortgage, so our options are limited. We live in the town where he grew up and he's not one for change so he's not thrilled but he understands my reasoning.

This month, dreams and reality met. (so far, reality's winning)

For many many years we've driven down this one short street, out in Indiana near the Dunes, and said, "boy, this is where we'd like to live." A few weeks ago as we were doing that exact thing, we noticed (for the first time in all these years) a house for sale on the street. So we called and went to look at it. It's lovely. It has no stairs--but it looks like it may have a wet crawl space. It has a large garage--lined with toxic particle board. And the whole thing was kind of like that. Lovely living room but the kitchen needs a major redo. It would double my commute to work and effectively isolate my hubby. And it's just barely beyond our price range--and if we moved there we couldn't afford to redo the kitchen and bathroom. But this area is so far beyond our price range that the place seems quite the bargain--and very difficult to pass up. This was a really hard one but for now we've opted to stay put.

It really got us thinking and talking about what we need (space, no stairs, trees) and want (studio, three-car garage, a bath and a half, a kitchen we can have a table in, neighbors further than 10 feet away). We've looked at other houses, closer to where we are now, and that's honed our requirements and also encouraged us to stay put for now. We've been contemplating renovation but I think we'd need to move out in order to be able to do that. We need (and sometimes want) change but we're two old fuddy-duddys stuck in our comfy rut.

3 comments:

averyclaire said...

Wow...you sure have a lot going on..journal quilting TIF, grants and annual reports, conferences, and stitching...house hunting...
Whew!!! But I know you and how you manage it all so WELL!! Love your description of "how you did your TIF images. Thank you. Can't wait to see the finished project! Hugs.

Miss 376 said...

Love the way you have dealt with this month's TIF challenge. Found it fascinating

Paula Hewitt said...

house hunting is always a pain - i hate when you find the perfect house - except for the price, the commute, the renovations....... hope something turns up. well done with TIF too. hope work calms down