Crayon Rubbings on Fabric

I’ve always enjoyed making paper rubbings of common objects and recently I’ve been thinking about trying some projects on fabric.  I had some ideas of supplies I’d like to use, but none are available in my town and will have to be mail-ordered.  I decided to go ahead and try some experiments today with the supplies that I had.  My daughter was up for experimenting, too, so we headed off on our bikes to a nearby college campus.  We took along some sections of second-hand-store sheeting and a small box of stockmar beeswax crayons.  We had a lot of fun and my daughter only told me a couple of times that people were looking at us funny :).

Here are some of our images:

These are from two door knobs in our house:

These are images from two different light posts:

From a memorial plaque by a tree:

From another plaque:

From a gate:

From a small water utility cover:

From a sculpture title:

From a phone utility cover- I love the geometric shapes on this:

After today’s experiments, I have lots more ideas in mind to try. I’m thinking  of trying to work some of  today’s rubbings  into some sort of art quilt along with more images that we collect other times.

I did heat set these images with an iron- I covered them with a couple of layers of paper while ironing to absorb any excess wax.  I tested a couple of them by then washing them in hot water with synthropal (a strong textile detergent I use for my dye work) and the colors stayed fast.  I may just stick with using the Stockmar beeswax crayons, but now I want the bigger box with more colors…which I will still have to mail order :).

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Rust Dye with Stencils

Yesterday, I saw a blog with instructions for making freezer paper stencils for t-shirts.  I’ve done this in the past with fabric paints, but seeing it made me wonder if I could make this work with rust dyeing.  I thought it would be great if the shape of the rust dyed image was not limited to to the shape of my rusty object.

I was (of course!) out of freezer paper, so after a quick bike ride to the grocery store, I cut out a few basic shapes.  For this experiment, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on the images- I just wanted to do something quickly to see if it would work.  After cutting, I ironed the shiny plastic side of the freezer paper onto the fabric:

I then took it outside to my plastic tray and placed it over my rusty saw blade- which is the only semi-solid rusty shape I currently have.  I sprayed it with my water bottle, sprayed it with a bit of water, sprinkled it with salt and then sprayed again with some water:

I covered it loosely with plastic to keep it from drying out too fast as it was way too hot yesterday.  I sprayed it a few times throughout the day and also at night when I closed the chickens into their coop.  Here is the image that I washed out today:

Success!  This image has sort of a country look which isn’t really me, I think because of the hearts and stars and the saw blade shape.  Still, it worked and now I can continue to experiment.  I need to get a flat piece of steel that I can turn into a rust stenciling surface for other sorts of images.  My son wants me to try to make him a skull and crossbones image rusty t-shirt and I think this technique will work for that- since I don’t happen to have a flat rusty skull and crossbones :).

I plan to play more with the freezer paper and maybe some other resists, too.  I’m thinking that soy wax would work.  I was also looking at a plastic mailer that came with a book I ordered.  I think that it might be interesting to try to cut shapes out of it and sew them to the base fabric as resists.  I’m definitely going to be exploring this idea more in the future.

Summer Squash Fritters

Since summer squash is plentiful in my part of the world right now, I thought I’d share a recipe I’ve been making a lot lately- actually for lunch 3 times so far this week :).

This recipe is inspired by the one in a favorite cookbook of mine this time of year, Simply in Season.  Here is the recipe mostly as published ( I’ll share my major variations at the end):

Vegetable Fritters

Place in a bowl:

3 cups shredded summer squash

1/3 cup minced onion or 2 cloves minced garlic

Mix together:

1/3 cup flour or whole wheat flour ( brown rice works, too)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 eggs, beaten

Mix gently with squash mixture. Heat a pan over medium heat (I use a cast iron frying pan).  Add a bit of oil or your chosen fat ( I usually use a bit of unsalted butter.)  Drop by spoonfuls into frying pan- I flatten it a bit with my spoon to help it spread a little.  Cook until golden then turn over to cook the second side.

The first time I made these, I used a mix of green and yellow summer squash.  The next time, I experimented more and substituted some grated carrot for some of the squash.  Other times, I’ve also added some finely chopped cabbage.  It seems to work best if summer squash makes up at least 2/3 of the ingredients.  I love how colorful they look when I use both yellow and green squash and orange carrots.  Today I only had yellow squash and yellow carrots, so they aren’t as colorful, but they taste good either way:)  Also, I often use both onion and garlic.  I always use garlic, sometimes even doubling it if the cloves are small because I love garlic (and also usually press it instead of mincing it).  I also add whatever fresh herbs I have around- today’s batch had some chopped up fresh basil added that came in my CSA box this week.  I experimented with brown rice flour yesterday and used it again today as I like it a little better- my daughter says she can’t tell the difference, though.  Also, for lunch, I usually just make half of a batch (and just sort of guess that my 1/3 cup measure is filled more or less half-way full as I don’t feel like getting out the tablespoons and teaspoons to measure it exactly!).

These are also good with a little cheese sprinkled on them.  I know I’m going to be making this quite a few more times before squash season is over.

Using Rust Dyed Fabric

I’ve been enjoying playing around with some of my rust dyed fabric and thought I’d share some of it here.

I’ve been participating in an irregularly scheduled group that exchanges various hand-made postcards for a while now.  There aren’t really any restictions in our group- in the past, there’s been all fabric, mixed media, hand-made embellished paper, photography, mini-paintings- all sorts of things.  My offerings usually involve something using hand-dyed fabrics.  I decided that this time I’d use some of my rust dyed fabric.  Here are the eight 4 x 6 postcards I sent out:

Here are close-ups of a couple of them:

They were made by cutting two of my saw blade prints into quarters.  I then appliqued on a portion of some of the prints made with washers.  The edge fabric is rust dyed and then over-dyed in brown tones.

Because I had to do some trimming of my appliqued shapes before sewing the postcards to their backing, I ended up with some interesting small strips of rust-dyed fabrics.  I really liked the way they looked and wanted to find a way to use them.  Then I happened to see the link to a small wallet pattern on somebody’s blog and thought it would be a perfect way to use up my fabric strips.

Here are the results:

Front of wallet:

Back of wallet:

Inside of wallet:

It’s just a small thing, but it makes me happy to see it in my purse.

The wallet pattern can be found here:

Wallet Pattern

You can see that I left off the vinyl outer pocket and the key chain tab.

And this little wallet pattern also came in handy this weekend when my daughter needed a birthday gift for a friend.  We sewed it up out of some fabrics in our stash Anna thought her friend would like.  We then filled it with (as my son says) “the gift certificate to anywhere”-cash.  It made a nicer presentation than just sticking some money in an envelope :).