Monday, July 20, 2009

How to Print with a Fish

Fishface 50cm X 50cm

Step 1
First select your fish! It needs to be one that has scales and fins that stick out. Don't let the fishmonger remove the scales. The one I am using is a New Zealand Terakihi which was being disposed of at the supermarket. Poor thing had lost it's tail and was past it's use-by date so couldn't be sold to be eaten. You can't eat it after you have painted it but you can refreeze it to paint again another time.

Step 2
Dry it off with paper towels and put it on some old newspaper.

Step 3
Using fabric paint and a 2 inch housepainting brush, paint the fish upwards towards the head. This forces paint under the scales which gives a better print. Try not to paint too thickly and don't leave brush marks as they will show on your print.

Here Fred has been painted with silver fabric painting ink. Move the fish off the paper you painted it on, onto a clean sheet. Try to make the fins stick up and spread the tail out.

Step 4
Lay fabric on top of the fish and gently smooth the fabric over the body and around the sides, making sure you don't squash down the fins or close the tail up.

Step 5
Peel away fabric. Hopefully you have a good print. You can also print using acrylic paints and tissue paper or other thin flexible paper if you don't want to use fabric .

Step 6
Wait till the ink is dry. Iron the print to set the ink. Hand wash to remove any fish smell.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Making it back!

I'm starting to feel like I am coming back to real life after my enforced home detention (post surgery). I'm still not allowed to lift stuff and can't go back to work just yet but I feel pretty good and its hard not to do too much. But I have been warned that 'overdoing it will result in 'reverse stitching' so I have to be restrained.

So far I have completed a jersey for my 2 year old nephew. It took 2 years to knit the back and 2 days to finish the front and sleeves. Its just as well that I completed it, it fits right now, but maybe not for long. Then I made him a hat from a pattern I found on and then a scarf for me. I'm tied to home at the moment so its great to be able to find free patterns online. There are about a gazillion groups as well that meet through ravelry including some for quilters who also knit.

I've been surfing the internet for large chunks of the day recently so here are some of my favourite sites to have a look at

Robot Walrus

Margarita Sampson

Nigerian letter-scam generator

Pink Penguin

Burning Man festival

Apart from surfing the internet I have been devising some very basic quilt ideas for a chapter of a 'how -to' book being published in New Zealand which will cover things 'your parents and grandparents should have taught you'. The author came to visit and went home with fabric scraps and vliesofix to have a go herself.

One of my quilts is going on holiday to France with the exhibition 'Made in New Zealand' curated by New Zealand Quilter magazine. It is called 'Storm at Sea' and is at the top of this post. The other exciting news is that my son James and I are going to Japan in October as part of a group visiting Sakai which is Wellington's sister city. I am really looking forward to that.

Enough for one post. I have a fish and will print with it and post the instructions here.