Monday, March 8, 2010

The Pandoras play with PhotoEZ sheets

At our monthly Pandoras meeting today, we played with PhotoEZ sheets. This product allows you to create your own silk screen stencils without chemicals or heavy equipment. To see a step-by-step tutorial on the PhotoEZ website showing how to create the stencil, click here.

We met at Grace Howes’ house, since she had done this before. It is best to apply the PhotoEZ in a semi-dark room, since it is photosensitive, so we had some funny moments crammed into her coat closet in the dark and then running outside to expose them in the sun. But the laughs stopped when none of our stencils came out! What was wrong? We tried and tried and nothing worked. Until Alisan arrived and read the directions. Duh! We had layered them incorrectly! As soon as we actually followed the directions (and made one call to the PhotoEZ headquarters help line), we were fine.

I started with this design I made from a paper cutout, scanned, repeated and resized in Photoshop:
Here’s how the stencil looks:
The green stuff is Duck Tape (a brand of heavy-duty tape similar to duct tape that is sold at craft stores and comes in funky colors) used to create a bigger surface for the paint to sit on before it is pulled down across the stencil.

When I got home, I played with screen printing onto fabric. I didn't have a squeegee, so I used an old gift card, which meant that I had to pull the ink down in several swoops. I need practice at this part, and get a real squeegee. And I need to try some different kinds of paints and inks to see what works best. Here are my very first results, using the old gift card and Jacquard Textile Color (a blue and green on the streaky one):

This is something I definitely want to try more! I think I need Grace to give me some lessons on the printing part.

Curious? You can read more about using PhotoEZ in Belinda Spiwak’s article in the current (March/April 2010) issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. 

When I got home, I called in to be interviewed on Pat Sloan’s Creative Talk Radio Show. Once I got over my nerves, it was such fun. Pat is a sweetie! We talked for about a half hour, and then Pokey Bolton, editor of Quilting Arts magazine, joined us. If you want to hear the whole thing, just go to the website by clicking here, and then click on the 03-08-10 title under “Recent Shows” at the top of the sidebar on the right. Then go to Pat’s blog (click here), where you can leave a comment and get the chance to win a copy of Appliqué Petal Party, or my Piñata Purse pattern, or a set of my orchid series notecards.