Sunday, August 19, 2007

The All-Consuming House

Not much time for blogger this week. I've been playing with my wrecking bar!

Monday, August 13, 2007

And the Winner is...

The winner of my shirt giveaway during ArtsyMama's Artful Blogging Party is


Thank you to everyone who commented on my tutorial. It was very uplifting, especially those who said they look forward to my Etsy store. I hope to have shirts listed by the end of the week! I will keep you posted!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Kayaking, Eating, Swimming, and Sleeping

I am headed off to the Cape for the weekend, but before I go I wanted to share a few photos (to start) from my kayaking trip last week. My sis-in-law and I went to Lake Champlain and island hopped. It was fabulous and very relaxing. We didn't do much more than kayaking, eat, sleep, swim, repeat.

I fell in love with this tree. It will probably make it onto a future shirt.

Julie is always up for a challenge, which the wind provided.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

July Hometown Swap

Finally getting back to posting about the July Create a Connection Swap, which was all about your hometown.

This is the lovely box I received from Kelly. All about her hometown of LONDON! Very fun. Love the pop song mix. :-) Thanks, Kelly!

And this is the altered book I made for Nina about my hometown of the Pioneer Valley in Masschusetts. She posted about it on her blog too.

And a slideshow of the detail pics. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Artful Blogging Party & Giveaway!

Kari is hosting a fabulous blog party over at The party is to celebrate the new Somerset Special Publication Artful Blogging, so the theme is crafty tutorials and posts. So I decided to show a little about my thought process in how I make the shirts that have become a hot seller here in the Pioneer Valley.

My husband and I order the shirts wholesale through American Apparel (sweatshop-free!) and then embellish them. I love this shirt and so do all the customers. It is flattering on just about everyone.

This shirt was first screened. We either screen or stencil depending on how complicated the design is. All of our images come from photographs taken by us and then made into either a screen or stencil. Making screens and stencils is a little complicated to describe so I won't go into it now but there are TONS of tutorials online for you to have fun with. In brief, we specifically use the Live Trace function in InDesign CS2 to make the photos into the silhouette form you see. Then we may change it around and clean it up on Photoshop.

This shows the screen used next to the image it produces. We use Speedball screenprinting ink for our screening and stenciling.

And up close of the emulsion on the screen.

On this shirt I decided to do a decorative top stitch on the sleeve. I love this sparkling metallic thread but it breaks a lot in the machine so a sleeve is a small safe distance to go without the thread snapping!

Machine setting...on stretch it makes a cool vine-like pattern. In the future I would love a machine that does a bunch of decorative stitches, but I like this one a lot.

The subtle glistening on the 3/4 length sleeve.

Another popular embellishment I like to add is sequins. I really go for a subtle but very intentional attention to detail.

My goal is to make it look like a fairy has sprinkled pixie dust on the wearer's shoulder. If the sequins are on the back of the shoulder I add one sequin just over the front of the shoulder so you get a glimpse of it from the front (and vice versa).

The final product.

It is all very subtle which makes it not flashy but special and fun. Between the details and the fit of the shirts, I am told they are much loved by customers. Soon they will be available on Etsy! (I have been tearing out ceilings and cabinets at the new house, so I will hopefully get to Etsy in the next week!)

These are the tags that adorn the shirts...just a little added bonus for the customer!

And the GIVEAWAY...leave a comment on this post by the end of Friday and I will pull one name to receive this SHIRT (or one like it in your size, of course!). Good luck and thanks for checking it out!

Thank you Kari for hosting this amazing party! You rock!