Housewife, cheapskate, crafter, mum. Trying not to go crazy, trying not to go broke.

Monday, February 21, 2011

DIY Silk Screen Success! and Tutorial

 My previous efforts at printing on fabric were successful, but because I applied the stencil directly to the fabric, I could only use it once.  After a bit of research I came across this blog which has a great tutorial on how to make your own screen print using an embroidery hoop and an old nylon stocking.  I have done mine a little differently though.
First you get your design, you can make it a positive or a negative.  I made mine a negative because I wanted to enclose the skate in a rough heart.  You then trace your design onto a piece of contact.
Put a piece of stocking into the embroidery hoop, and pull it as tight as you can.
Cut your design pieces out of the contact.
Peel the backing off and stick them onto your frame.
Put a magazine, cardboard or a box inside your t-shirt, just make sure it is flat and reasonably heavy, because the paint might stick to anything too light. 
I chopped a piece off my kitchen sponge to use as an applicator, and lightly dabbed the paint onto the stencil in the frame.  (You can see the frame sitting on the t-shirt in the background.  You can also see that I have little stubby fingers.)
Gently remove the stencil, and allow to dry.  Check the instructions on the paint, I heat set them by giving them a spin in the tumble dryer.
Get carried away, I managed five t-shirts before the adhesive began to give up, but I'm sure if I let it dry out I could re-stick it.
  Last step, leave wet t-shirts and paint all over the lounge room after realizing you have three minutes to get to school to pick up your oldest son!
  Happy printing!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Everyone Else Is Doing It...

The Panda took me out on a lovely dinner for two, and as we shared sangria and tapas and chatted he asked me an odd question "Have you ever thought you might just try it?"  He was referring to kissing a woman, and his reasoning was that when you start hanging out with a group of people you begin to be influenced by them.  It got me to thinking about the other ways that being part of the 'derby family' has influenced me.
   I have learned that big cellulitey thighs are fine, even sexy.  That fleshy upper arms, hairy armpits, wobbly boobs, round stomachs, bony shoulders, nobby ankles, red cheeks and sweaty sweaty exertion are all cool, normal, wonderful!
I have considered getting a tattoo, after seeing so many bodies inked with beautiful, humourous, sometimes confronting images.  I have looked at myself and decided not to get a tattoo, that my body tells its own story of  family, struggle, sunshine, breastfeeding and mortality.
I have learned that people are people, and however you try to categorize them, there will always be some that can't be neatly placed in a box.
I am greatly looking forward to the next roller derby bout at the Chillout Festival, where I may be reffing (if I put in enough hard work!), and I will definitely be having a stall selling derby shorts, skirts, and dolls.  (Here's a sneak peek!)
Oh my goodness, no wonder I get tired!  But its all worth it ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

What Are You Aiming For?

What are you aiming for?
Sometimes, I discover I am aiming for something just because I think it is desired or right or correct.
Sometimes, I discover that I'm being really successful, if I just moved the goals.
Sometimes, I'm aiming for a Catherine Zeta-Jones, and ending up with more of a Helena Bonham-Carter.
And then I realize, I LOVE Helena Bonham-Carter, and her freaky dishevelled I-don't-give-a-damn style.
Why aim for perfection, if I don't even LIKE perfection?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Squeeze Machine

I struggle with my youngest son.  Sometimes I feel like he is a little homeless man living in my house, and I wonder why I don't get that feeling of natural connectedness with him.  He is the littlest, lightest, skinniest, and lowest in the pecking order amongst the children.  When the other two are packing away or putting on their shoes, he is staring at the TV, climbing on the couch, or stomping a piece of cheese into the carpet.  My first reaction is often to yell "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" "JUST DO IT NOW"  or "WHY?"
  I do not like it.  I tell my family the most difficult child needs the most understanding, but I have fallen short too often.  But since learning of the weighted blanket therapy, and putting it together with ideas like Temple Grandin's squeeze machine, I have been modifying my behaviour.  Instead of yelling, I have been trying to squeeze him more.
  And that is what I wanted to share with everyone.  I don't know that his behaviour has changed, after all, he is still a normal three year old boy, but mine has.  Simply by squeezing him more, I feel closer to him. It may be in my head, but I feel heaps more positive about him, about myself, and about us as a team.
  So if anyone out there is struggling with a child, give it a go.  It can't hurt ;)

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Hi everyone!  I have not been doing much, except more sea creatures.  I went for the Weedy Seadragon (Seymour and Audrey, naturally) over their flambouyant cousin the Leafy Seadragon.  It must be my second-born nature.
I have been appreciating the last quiet few days before Big S begins school, and I have been holding my breath and thinking about his friends in far north Queensland who will have to get through a massive cyclone first. 
Thinking about you all.
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