Messy May “adventure”

Series: Messy May #4

Prompt: 04 ADVENTURE
Host: Claudette @claudette_hasenjager
Guidance: Get outside to gather bits and pieces of nature and create a unique fabric using the bundle dyeing techniques.

I didn’t go out and gather flowers and leaves to try out bundle dyeing. I didn’t have to. I already had some fabric and papers that I dyed when I did Francisca Nunes’ free Flowers Magic class last year — it’s a great introduction to eco dyeing, though closed to new sign-ups at the moment.

I did, however, use this prompt as an opportunity to try a couple of other things.

After spending an age trying to find some appropriate words to go on my page (the start of a Matisse quotation), and then spending another age playing with fonts and layouts for those words, I eventually laser-printed them (along with some leaf and berry outlines) in reverse, ready to transfer onto my fabric. I used Pentart Express Transfer solution — one of those things that I have had in my studio for years before finally getting around to using it — and it worked satisfyingly well. The lettering isn’t a perfect solid jet black, but it’s pretty even and I didn’t expect any better, especially with using cotton as the substrate.

Then I coloured in the leaves and berries using Pebeo Setacolor fabric paints; another first-time use, though I haven’t had these anywhere near as long as the Express Transfer! Even though this will never get washed, I heat-set the paints with my Cricut Mini EasyPress, a tiny iron that lives on the corner of my craft desk and is surprisingly useful.

I finished it off by adding a frame with little bit of embroidery in the corners. Oh, and not forgetting the fake splatters of gold (painted not splattered) around the word explorer.

I wasn’t sure what the best way of fixing it in the sketchpad was, pondered a thin layer PVA glue, but settled on a few strips of double-sided tape instead which seemed to do the job nicely.

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