Friday, August 30, 2013

Easy Batik!

Recently I tried out a modern technique for doing batik-- traditionally, batik (a method of decorative coloring for fabric) has been done using hot wax to form areas that will be resisted by dye.  With the modern technique, washable clear gel school glue is used instead of wax.

I used a brush to apply the glue to the two pieces of fabric I used; that was because my glue cap was broken, and I wasn't able to squeeze glue out through the cap-- but either way can work fine.

Here is a photo from the beginning of making an owl picture. You may not be able to see the owl design but it is there!  I painted it on with clear glue and let it dry thoroughly before starting to paint.  Acrylic paint is used, as it is permanent after it dries.  Here is one eye.

And here is the entire painted owl . . . as you can see from the print left on the cardboard that was underneath, quite a bit of paint will seep through-- so you need to have something under the cloth to absorb this, then move the cloth off so it doesn't stick to this blotting material as it dries.  The fabric used was thin white cotton.

I also made a heart, on muslin--

Gluing, letting glue dry, and painting are the first three steps.  Next, you need to let the paint completely dry, and then soak the cloth in water for about 20 minutes.

This dissolves the glue, and here is the result:

After the wet fabric dries, you can use it for sewing, wearing (if you use a piece of clothing), or as decorative art; I found that when I attached the batik pieces to the glass of a sunny window, the shining light made the details of the resist areas even more evident.

By the way, did you know that just one country is known as a hub for creating batik art?  It is Java, in Indonesia-- although batik had been known to be used in China and Japan as early as the 6th century A.D., it  didn't continue to be used very much in these countries.  On the island of Java, it has been continually used for many centuries up to the present-- and was further developed by the Dutch when it was a Dutch colony.   

Through Dutch and English traders, batik was introduced to Africa.  Batik is a popular form of design today in many countries, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, China, Azerbaijan, India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, and Singapore.

Would you like to try it?  Maybe I will experiment with the traditional wax method sometime-- the cracks that occur in wax can give a certain special effect; but this clear glue technique was very easy to do, and I think it gave good results.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Don't worry there's still time to CATCH THE OMNIBUS . . .

Get ready, get set . . . it's here!  The iHomeschool Network 2013 Omnibus, with 91 ebooks is at a website near you . . . August 20 - 25.

Gentle Shepherd's large ebook (141 different printable work pages) for preschool penmanship pages-- Easy Peasy Penmanship, is a part of this Omnibus.

All 91 books are available for download for only $25.

Come take a look at the ebook list HERE.

This special collection of encouragement, curriculum, and forms and tips comes through iHomeschool Network.  

The sale will run from 12:00 am ET Tuesday, August 20 to 11:50 pm ET, Sunday, August 25.

For more information, go to the Omnibus Info Page on Gentle Shepherd's website:

(Please note-- As of 9/26/13 this offer has expired.)

An Omnibus is on its way . . .

Coming Soon!  An omnibus near you!

No, it's not a bus . . . but it does carry a lot . . .

"Omnibus: a book containing reprints of a number of works --
French, from Latin, for all, dative plural of omnis, a combining form meaning “all'.” 

This omnibus is a collection of works by homeschooling authors-- all in PDF ebook format, so they can easily be used on e-readers OR on your home computer.

There are curriculum printables, inspirational articles, helpful forms and ideas; a total of 91 ebooks, altogether valued at over $590.

I Homeschool Network is providing this omnibus, to offer an inexpensive way to help with beginning-of-schoolyear needs.

The entire collection of ebooks is only $25, and it will be available starting at 12:00 am ET on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 and ending at 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, August 25, 2013.

Tomorrow morning I'll put up a link to the list of books, and more info about purchasing.

Gentle Shepherd is offering Easy Peasy Penmanship as a part of this omnibus.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Texture Hunt

Do you ever wonder what to use in doing crayon rubbings?  I have usually put this art project on hold just because I'm not sure what else to use, besides coins and leaves and tombstones . . .

But recently, I decided to brainstorm and then try out some different textured items, as an experiment.

Here are some of the items that I found work really well when put beneath a piece of paper, to do crayon rubbings:

1-  paper cut-outs

Normal paper thickness works fine.  You can cut out letters, numbers, shapes of objects or animals or people, etc.

2- stencils

From cardstock or thin plastic-- these can be ready-made, or you can cut your own.  Large lids made of soft plastic (yogurt container lids, raisin cannister lids, etc.) work well for making stencils.  This is the same as the paper cut-outs idea, except that these are sturdier.

3-  rick-rack, ribbon, and lace

Rick-rack comes in many sizes, and makes an interesting pattern when used in a rubbing. Ribbons will make a long rectangular shape (they can be cut to different rectangle lengths). When using lace, small details are likely to be lost when doing a rubbing, so it's best to use laces with large holes.

4-  pipe cleaners

These can be bent to make different shapes such as a spiral, ocean waves, geometric shapes.

5-  pieces of leather

Leather lacing can be used, or leather that is cut into certain shapes.

6-  yarn or string

Using small thicknesses will result in a more definite line in the rubbing, so it's better to use baby yarn than regular yarn, and kite string instead of thicker string.

7-  rubberbands

You can use these to add circle or oval shapes to your rubbing picture.

8-  metal washers, coins

Washers will give you a round "donut" shape, and coins will also give you some interesting pictures (whatever raised design is on the coin).  For washers, thinner is better.

9-  pieces of hard plastic that have definite textures

You will most likely need to cut apart a plastic item, so you can use certain textured parts.
Some examples: one side of a plastic berry basket, or of a plastic organizer tray that has a pattern of slots on the side.

10- toothpicks and popsicle sticks

These could be arranged to make a design, or used with other objects.  They make straight lines.

Something NOT to use: 
One item that I found did not work well was buttons; they tended to slip under the paper while doing the rubbing (whereas metal washers and coins would stay put).

Here's a completed crayon rubbing picture.  Tree stencils, circle stencil, lace, and rickrack were used-- the rabbit, and details on sun and trees were added by drawing after the rubbing was finished.

What have you used for rubbings?  Do you have some more ideas to add to the ones here?