Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.


September 25, 2008

Stencil-along: end of week 2



I'm sure that last week, I made wild claims about doing test runs on calico and such-like, but I got a bit excited (and frankly, started to run out of time) so I jumped in feet-first. Here we are at the end of week two of the freezer paper stencil-along and here is my first stencil: a shiny cement mixer on a red poly-cotton. Bet no-one else thought to do one of those!

In fact, from a bit of blog reading that I have been doing today, I know that there are no other cement mixers. But there are some fantastic stencil ideas. Do go and have a look (see the sidebar for other people who are stencilling).

I made the stencil while sitting with Argy and Bargy at the sandpit outside, so I used little scissors to do the cutting. On the whole the scissors worked quite well, but I can see that for beautiful clean, straight lines, you really need to use a craft knife, mat and ruler. Or perhaps just be a little more co-ordinated than I am?

Although I really loved making the stencil and using the shiny Speedball brand screen printing ink, this first go was really a bit of a dud.

Everything was going swimmingly until I fused the freezer paper and there was a modicum of water in the iron. Yep, before I could catch it, a teensy puff of steam came out and that was that. More Ramsay-level swearing. The paper refused to fuse in parts - mostly the thin strips on the body of the mixer. If that happens there is absolutely no chance of redemption. Game over.

I knew with unfused paper the stencilling would be dodgy, but I decided to press on regardless. The ink did get under the stencil in places, but I guess it isn't too bad. It dried, then set pretty evenly (apart from a few stray blobs) and has subsequently hot-washed and tumble-dried (for my extreme-durability test) really well.

I won't win any prizes for this attempt, but I think the print will be ok for a cushion that Argy has requested. And gosh it was fun! You've got to try it.

Goals for the next week
The cement mixer image is OK for a first attempt, but a bit on the ... ahem ... basic side, shall we say? I'd love to come up with a really funky image. But I know there are all sorts of clever things that I need to learn about preparing a funky stencil image. I'm just not sure what those things are yet. I don't know, what I don't know.

So before working out my goals for next week, I'm going to do a little bit of reading. Then, as they say, I'll keep you posted. I do, however, have a sneaking suspicion that next stop will be a shiny digger stencil ...

16 comments:

  1. Gosh, mind reader: I'm letting ym first stencil attempt dry as I type this. It didn;t fuse either, and I pressed on regardless (pun intended). It's a tiny bit rough, but I'm sure it will do. Will be posting soon on Taccolina.

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  2. Great job so far...I'm impressed!

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  3. Golly, if your cement mixer is "basic" then my designs are positively cave paintings! Love the mixer - I know two boys who are going to love wearing those on their shirts.

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  4. Sheeeeesh! I am so dragging the chain.. I better get cracking this weekend. I have to find a dealer of freezer paper in my 'hood..

    I love your first attempt, I think it looks great - it is definitely headed to be a hit with the boys!

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  5. That looks fabulous! The best stencil a boy could hope for...

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  6. A great start, HB!

    I remember having trouble with runny paint bleeding a little under the freezer paper, so watch out for that, too.

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  7. I think it looks very cute and my toddler would just love it!

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  8. Stenciling for boys! I asked Max what he wanted on his shirt & he immediately answered "DIGGER". I've been trying to finalise the design (with oh so subtle reminders 50 times a day!)

    I'll be posting my first stencil tonight - not the digger yet, it's still proving a bit tricky. Based on the amount of paper I ordered the kids will be wearing stenciled t-shirts until they are 35!

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  9. You are awsome sharing your info. I am waiting for my paper to arrive then I have some ideas .

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  10. That's some nice stencil work.

    And I'm a big fan of the washer/dryer run for the complete robust testing of fabric/clothes. I also believe if it does not survive the dishwasher it does not belong in our house.

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  11. It looks great! Well done (i don't dare...)

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  12. glad yr making all the mistakes, I will know how to do it after your attempts!!!

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  13. Concrete mixer, coooooooool! My Bug has just started taking an interest in them too.

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  14. I have a GIRL here who'd love a cement mixer stencil, too!! SHe goes for Thomas the Tank Engine merchandise in shops before she looks at anything girly.

    I think your first experiment was a success - a useful image and a few lessons learned. Good one.

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  15. Loving it - that cement mixer is great

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  16. I had to laugh when I read this post because I have a digger obsessed nephew and have just promised to make him an 'I love diggers' T-shirt. Now I just have to come up with my design ; )

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