Monday, June 29, 2009

Crafting Curtains

I decided to make my living room curtains by hand. I realized I have made almost all my curtains by hand and really enjoy the creative freedom you have when making your own home furnishings. Purchasing ready-made curtains from big box stores can really date your home. Hand made furnishings allow for creative, unique functional art in your home that store bought, mass produced items from China cannot provide. I used the book Printing by Hand from Lena Corwin as a guide. Lena Corwin is a textile designer with very colorful, scandinavian influences. I love her work and wanted a little Lena Corwin design in my living room curtains.

The process is not complicated. The materials are easy to find in any craft supply store and there are templates you can use in the book. You can also easily design your own templates.

Here I am cutting foam and foam board in order to make stamps. After cutting and gluing the foam on the foam board, I used a paint brush to liberally apply acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium and firmly applied the design to the fabric. I then let dry and ironed for heat setting.

I am cutting a design from the book onto freezer paper. After cutting, I simply ironed the freezer paper, shiny side down onto the fabric. This temporarily adheres the paper onto the fabric, making it ready for screen printing. I didn't use my screen on this, I simply made the paper border large enough not to spill over the paint onto the fabric. I 'squeegeed' with a popsicle stick.


Hand printing can be addictive and fun!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Craftiness Gardens

Darling nephew and daughter graciously agreed to help me build my vegetable garden. First we started with building raised beds out of cedar, lining with cardboard and darling husband filling them with grass clippings for compost. Later comes the soil from The Natural Gardener. Then we fenced off the area with do-it-yourself fencing. Finally we made a gate. The main critter problems we have in our neighborhood are rabbits and cats. Not the wild rabbits you have in rural areas, since we are in the city, our pest is the next door neighbors pet rabbit they like to let loose and nibble on my ornamental grasses.

My fall planting list includes, Bright Lights Swiss Chard, Bioda Di Lyon Swiss Chard, a lettuce mix, Kohlrabi, Sweet Mild Yellow Onion 'Ailsa', 'Pumba' yellow onion, Antohi Romanian Sweet Pepper, Napa Cabbage, Spinach, Soybeans 'Black Jet', Purly Chives, Fortex Snap Pole Bean.

I purchased these seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds out of Winslow, Maine. I decided on these veges after reading Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening by Garrett and Beck. I had no idea Texas has a 10 month growing season. The fallow months are July and August when we only grow mosquitos and fire flies. This book has been very helpful since I am a relative newbie at vegetable gardening. I don't count the times I spent shopping too late in the season at a big box store for gardening supplies, planting poor quality seeds in poor soil. I have always wondered why I could never grow anything. Now I know. I highly recommend this book to any Texas gardener wishing to grow their own food.

I had a stellar crop of lady bugs that laid eggs on my dill plant. They went to town on the aphids on both my beans and my apple trees.

I will keep you posted on my journey to become an urban farmer*