Sunday, February 17, 2008

Update 2 Febuary TIF

Well this months challenge is turning into a lot of fun. Last week after I posted and went in and setup my cutting table for painting. I mixed up a very dark gray to start and painted the bottom of my muslin. The size I started out with was approximately 14 x 20". Then I added more white and painted up a little higher, added more white and so on. After I painted about 1/2 of the fabric I threw some kosher salt and let it sit over night. I forgot to take a picture of that part by itself, but I got the back so you can get an idea of what it looked like. Also in some of the other pictures you see part of the bottom.





Then I spent a couple of days thinking about how to get the red part of Mars. when I first thought about doing the project, I was planning on using painted and distressed tyvek for the red part, but in a comment last week from MixPix (thanks so much) I got a site that had picture of Mars. I knew that the tyvek would be too hard to give the effect I wanted, so I decided to paint up a group of old dryer sheets.
For those not familiar with using dryer sheets (the white ones) after you use them, save them up and when you have a bunch, put them in a small mesh bag (I use a bra bag), throw them in the wash with your clothes and then in the dryer. I usually give them a quick press with the iron on low heat and then store them in a plastic bag till I want to use some. They paint up with regular fabric paint or watered acrylic paint. I usually use a spray bottle to apply the paint. I used a russet and then also mixed up a blend of raw sienna and yellow for some others. I didn't want the sheets to be uniform so on some of them I sprinkled some salt to see what the effect would be. On a couple I used a few splotches of a metallic copper or bronze to give more texture. You can see how adding different layers over each other changes the color of a section.


I started to lay out the dryer sheets on the top of the shaded muslin that I had painted earlier. I found that I had to tear the edges of the dryer sheets so that there would not be a straight line where the sheets covered each other or were on the top of the stack. As you can see in this picture I did cover some of the shaded gray areas so that the gray would show through in various sections. I also took the shreds of the dryer sheets that I had pulled off to make the edges ragged and just randomly placed them on the red sections. When I was pleased with the color and coverage of the dryer sheets, I sprinkled some BoNash powder under the sheets and fused everything down to the muslin. The dryer sheets are so sheer that I didn't need to put it beween each layer.
Then I got brave and decided to cut Mars out of the base fabric. After I cut out the circle, which has an approximate 12" diameter, I really got excited. I don't think there is anything better that having an idea turn out just the way you invisioned it. I've still got a little more work on the planet itself, and then I need to finish the rest of the piece, but here is my Mars! This has really been a fun challenge this month.




Here is a picture of Mars that I downloaded off the Hubble site, just so you can see what the original looks like.
For my friends that read my blog, that are interested in seeing the more prosaic projects I am working on and done this past year, I'm going to start another blog, with just regular projects. You can find this blog at

http://megabqprojects.blogspot.com/







12 comments:

Beverly said...

Mars looks great- you've given me a reason to save my dryer sheets! Can't wait to see the finished challenge piece--

Gwen said...

congratulations! It is indeed wonderful to have something turn out just as you had envisioned it!

Thanks so much for writing about your process so well. I look forward to seeing the finished piece, as well.

MixPix said...

I love this - the colours of the dryer sheets are really interesting. I especially like the layering which produces a much richer variety of colour. Very pleased that the Hubble site was useful, too. You GO girl!

reneorgeron said...

Meg, Love the Mars design! the coloring came out great. I use dryer sheets for backing on pieces that I paper piece. Have you ever heard of Lutradur? It is a great interfacing, I bought some from Joggles. You can paint, draw, lightweight,but strong. Fun to play with Rene

Debbi Baker said...

Wow Meg - this looks fantastic - I loved the background too before you even cut out Mars!! I have only played around with dryer sheets but using them like this is so effective, you have motivated me to try again. I love the variation in colours you've achieved. You are right to feel very pleased. Look forward to seeing it all finished!

freebird said...

Your techniques really paid off with a great Mars! I've only tried dryer sheets once but wasn't too impressed. Obviously it was my lack and not the dryer sheets. Guess I need to play with them some more.

Vicki W said...

Thanks for visiting my blog today and for this great tutorial on your porcess. Your Mars is awesome! I'll save my dryer sheets from now on.

JANE said...

Hi Meg, I love where you are going with this piece and can't wait to see the final. I too save my dyer sheets and ue them under fabric as a stabilizer. Thanks for this new idea. Have a great weekend!!

juanita sim said...

Fun to see what you are doing! Thanks for all the pics. The effect that you got with your planet Mars is quite inspiring. It's nice when the work turns out so closely to the vision. I look forward to seeing the next step.

Penny said...

thanks for visiting my blog and I just love the look of Mars. We dont have dryer sheets that i can find here in Australia so i am going to buy some when i come to the States in April!! I am going to have a very odd collection of things to bring home.

linda stokes said...

your Mars looks great Meg, I'm in Australia too & although I remember using dryer sheets once (in the dyer), I haven't seen them recently. Might have to look out for them.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Donna said...

Your Mars turned out wonderful! I love the layered effect with the dryer sheets and the different paints. I'm making a note to try this technique in the future.

Thanks for the encouraging comment on my blog.