Saturday, July 16, 2005

leaf prints

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Weedy shirts by Tina Sams

Here's another great craft. I've used this process on shirts, jeans dresses, totes, and even stationery. There are books on the subject, but as usual, I'm a trial and error kinda gal. To get the process working, you may want to start out working on regular paper, and then go to cloth or fancy paper when you're sure of yourself.

You'll need:
Pressed weeds and flowers - These need to be flattened and mostly dry, but not brittle. You can use brittle stuff, but need to be much more careful. Gather what you'll want to use and stick it into old phone books for about a week. Queen Anne's Lace is STUPENDOUS!!!

Crafting Paints - the kind used for stenciling.
Paper towels
Small craft paint brushes or strips of sponge
Brayer (I use a 2" or 3" roll of packing tape)

Begin by painting the dried weed on the side that will touch the fabric. Not too much, or it will ooze. Place the weed face down, cover with paper towel (or newspaper) and roll the brayer over it to be sure that all areas have been covered. Remove carefully and admire your work. The same weed can be used several times if this is done carefully.

My all time favorite shirt, I made for my little Molly. It said "Growing Like a Weed" and had all sorts of herbs and plants in many different colors on a little white T. Beside each one, I'd carefully written the name of the plant using black paint with a very small brush, although one could most likely use a permanent market. It was awesome. Teenaged girls liked one we did that said "Wild Child", and was covered with all sorts of weeds.

Some favorite plants to use? Sage is lovely, along with bleeding hearts, tarragon (looks like seaweed!), lavender spikes, thyme, dill -although it requires tweezers - monarda, ginkgo leaves, maple seeds, oh it goes on, and on..... Certainly the best ones have veins, texture, and/or deeper sorts of structure. Wispier plants like southernwood are very pretty, while violet leaves would wind up being a large shape with very little detail � no texture.

To make the piece colorfast, it must be ironed using a pressing cloth and then placed in a hot clothes dryer for 1 hour. Most of the paints have specific instructions on the labels.

This procedure is great fun and can be used on scarves, dresses, jackets, FURNITURE!!!, walls, or anyplace your imagination takes you " and judging by our mail".that could be pretty much anywhere.

Well, now that I've written about it, there are all sorts of projects floating in my head. Guess I�ll wander out and see what kinds of weeds and plants I can get started on pressing. There seems to be an abundance of white yarrow and chicory, and the thyme is blooming in the garden. They will be great, along with poke blossom spikes, lavender (of course!!!), and bergamot. Melilot, catnip, mugwort, burdock, toadflax, chamomile, St. John's wort are all within a few feet of the backdoor.


Janiece said...

I love this! I'm thinking a tank top that says "Wild Woman."

Tina Sams said...

that sounds perfect!


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