Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lookie what Livvie made for her Grandan!

I have no idea why it is that I am perpetually unprepared for people's birthdays. It's not that I don't know ahead of time that they're coming up, that I should make a card, or get a gift or do something -anything- in preparation, but somehow I'm all the time rushing around at the last minute.

Yesterday was no exception as we prepared for my father's birthday. I had asked Liv the week before what she wanted to give her Grandan. Her response was a handmade t-shirt with a rocket and saturn painted on it.

This was my first time I used freezer paper stenciling and I am sooo hooked! It was easy to trace through so I was able to reproduce the exact shapes that Liv drew in her concept picture. The waxy back of the freezer paper ironed down to seal the edges of the stencil so we got nice, crisp lines (for the most part).
It turned out reall pretty awesome if I say so myself. I am lovin' that funky rocket and the wonky Saturn rings!

And like any post-crafting analysis, I'll follow my bragging with a list of all the things that didn't go quite so well.

1. Timing. Last minute crafting with a child is sooo stressful! I should learn not to do this to myself? We didn't even have time to wrap it. We took it to my sister's house still wet and let it dry during dinner.

2. Stingy with the freezer paper. Because freezer paper is so expensive??? I have no idea what I was thinking. I left enough a deep enough margin if I were doing the painting, but children don't have the concentration or fine motor control to keep things in the lines as well. There were several places with paint drips or brush slips that could have been prevented if I had left more freezer paper around the images.

3. Dark t-shirt. The navy made an awesome background for the space scene, but it also showed off alllll of those paint drips.

4. Melty freezer paper. Somehow I transfered some of the waxy stuff from the back of the freezer paper to the plate of my iron, which then burned and transferred to the t-shirt. The navy blue shirt. So it looks like someone wiped their snot above the sun. Luckily it seemed to chip off pretty easily - it should wash out.

5. Cheapy paint. Back in the day when stenciling was all the 1980's rage, we used cheapy craft paint on t-shirts all the time with great results. But it seems that the manufacturers have been watering down the paints since then. My textile paints worked great, but I only had two or three colors of them. The others were watery and runny. They seeped under edge of the freezer paper on the Saturn rings, and they took coats and coats and coats and still didn't cover. I finally gave up and put a base coat of white textile paint, and then covered it with a second coat of cheapy craft paint in the color I wanted.

And yet, in spite of all the self-wrought challenges, it DIDN'T turn out to be a craft fail. Quite the opposite. I'm proud of how Liv and I worked together to create her design on a shirt for her Grandan.

Oh, and in case you were wondering... My father LOVED his shirt!



elizabeth @ twelvecrafts said...

Wow! I thought I was the only one who waits until the last minute. Every time a brithday rolls around I promise myself I'm not going to wait until the last minute . . . then the day arrives and I'm scrambling like crazy! Your daughter did a great job on the shirt. Any grandparent would be proud to wear that!

Denise Felton said...

Well, of COURSE he loved it. How could he not? It's completely fabulous. And you and Livvie are crafting goddesses, last-minute or not.

Anastasia said...

Sounds and looks like a great idea for a gift!