Sunday, December 30, 2007

I posted a LONG post about the tee-shirts, but you'll have to page past the Christmas post to find it....I loaded it before Christmas but just now published it....I didn't realize they keep the date that you actually type it....

Monday, December 24, 2007

How's this for a quick post! Just back from Keith and Denise's - a good time was had by all! I'm not going to do a play-by-play - these are pretty self-explanatory:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Karen's Finally Being "Crafty"!!

I've loaded this entry and saved it to be published after Christmas day...since a couple of the people likely to read this blog are the recipients of my "craftiness".

Somehow, I got this idea that I wanted to learn to tie-dye....latent "hippie-ness" - I don't know.

So, I logged onto YouTube and looked at some videos...seemed simple enough. So here we go - this is a REALLY long blog entry!

First, you take all-cotton shirts and rinse them in a sodium carbonate solution - this is not baking soda - it's actually the pH-UP chemical they use in pools. Also called soda-ash. Regardless, it supposedly makes the dye more permanent.

So here we go with wet, cotton shirts:

The videos all say to "do your own thing, experiment"... so these ladies shirts were just folded up for a "striped" effect.
Then you put rubber bands on at whatever intervals you'd like the stripes.
Now for the cool tee-shirts...again, starting with soda-ash damp shirts, you pinch an area in the middle where you want the "swirl" to start
Then you start walking around the table, keeping your grip on the same exact spot...this got me dizzy!
Keep walking around (yup, it has to be a small table for this!)
You "help" it coil up like this in the end
Then you pull rubber bands on in several places to keep it don't have to worry about how many bands - the dye will get past the bands. The neat effect is in the folds themselves.
So here are bunches of shirts all tied up..there were a few that were off-white (they didn't turn out as bright).
On to the dying is jars of "reactive" dye (not RIT) - it is supposedly more permanent...we'll see....
To make the "swirl" effect, you just start with, well, a swirl!
And you keep on "swirl-ing"!
You need to be careful about which colors you put beside each other. Putting orange next to purple was not a pretty thing (turns kindof brown...not exactly the effect you're typically looking for...)
Here are a bunch of the dyed shirts. You leave them tied for a couple of hours.
Then you start washing them out with a hose

Pull apart and keep rinsing (you don't want the colors to bleed at this point)
Here's a different style....
Different effect....
Much rinsing....
And more rinsing....

OK, now to the next "crafty" phase....what to do with all those shirts!! Screen Printing!!!

As you know, we're heading to BVI again in May 2008 with Sharon/Buddy, Dick/Lindy and Pat/Diane.... I thought it would be cool to have some "custom" shirts to give them for Christmas. Onward!

I had done a batch of screen print tee-shirts for the boys many years ago when they were in the middle school quiz bowl...two years in a row if I recall correctly. I had borrowed all the "stuff" from their Scout-master. Since we're not active in Scouts anymore, I figured I'd better purchase my own "stuff"....

It's a pretty simple, but messy I am putting the photo-reactive paste on the new blank screen. This has to dry in a completely dark environment. I put it in a big box in the closet.

For the pattern, I captured a cool outline of a sailboat and just made a little .jpg file with the words "BVI 2008" in bold letters below. Nice and simple.

Next, I made a transparency of the .jpg file. Now it's ready to be "exposed" on the prepared screen. So, I set up a lamp hanging above the screen, placed the transparency (in reverse) on the screen, and exposed for a half hour or so. The green photo-sensitive coating gets "exposed" - while the area under the black outline does not. When the exposure is complete, you just take the screen to the sink and wash away the "unexposed" area - leaving the outline free of material. Sounds complicated but it's really not.

Here's the finished screen - (the red area is some screen filler that I ended up having to use after the fact because my photo-reactive "stuff" wasn't exactly right....anyway.....)

Here I'm getting ready to swipe the black ink across the screen for the first time....just a few swipes pressed down steady on the tee shirt does the trick!
Here's what the tee shirt ends up looking like
Here's a whole bunch of them spread out to dry
OK, so Duane and the boys unanimously voted the the emblem was much too it was literally back to the drawing board...

Same process - I just enlarged the emblem significantly and decided that white ink might be a better, cheerful effect.
Here was a test swipe on a paper to make sure the ink was getting through the screen without ruining a shirt!
Here is the final result - I think they're cool....and I'm done being "crafty" for a while!!

It's a dreary winter day today....the "boys" are all at work and I'm just doing some house-cleaning. Nothing spectacular, just normal laundry, etc.

We have some great neighbors - Barney and Jackie (if you recall they host the Thanksgiving weekend "Brunswick Stew Bash" every year) brought by this lovely table centerpiece. She makes them a little different each year with items from the woods around her house. Cool! The feathers are from wild turkeys in the area - (Is using feathers discarded "voluntarily" by a bird OK by vegan standards??)

We're pretty much ready for Christmas - the boys are getting exactly what they asked for - Richard gave me a link to order a particular speaker for his card....easy but impersonal! Robert wanted to have his trumpet repaired - so he took it by a shop in Raleigh - he had several dents and dings - but wants it to be pristine for next year. Of course, I've got them a few little other items to open on Christmas day....I'll eventually cut that back also, I suppose!

Duane and I are giving each other a "trip" to Tunica, Mississippi the day after Christmas. Assuming the weather is good, we'll fly over (it's 4.5 hours - pretty much the limit of a full tank of avgas in our plane!) If the weather is not good, we'll stay home 'til it is good!

I'm going to show you what the guest room looks like right now - Robert moved back in for the winter break.....looks like old times!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Every year we throw a nice evening party for the airport staff. We did that on Friday - It appeared everyone had a nice time. It's the only time we have everyone in one spot including all the spouses.

I give them all a "goodie bag" when they leave - just treats like the famous "nutcake" and usually some sort of alcoholic liquid. Sometimes I include my "garbage cookies" although this year I was lazy....

They usually give me an assortment of goodies also - yesterday I enjoyed some of it while I was reading the Sunday paper:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Once again, nothing much to report....lazy weekend. Beautiful weather!! I'm in shorts right now - 80 degrees - and a week of forecast record warm temps.

Saturday morning the sun came out and I sat on the deck cracking more of my pecans. Duane came out and took over the "cracker". He would give me a bowl cracked and I would pick out the nuts.

By the end, my thumbs were sore from pulling the cracked shells. Fun though, but glad it's done! Used a few, but most of them went in ziploc bags to the freezer. Will be handy in a week or two when Christmas baking starts.

Sunday we planned to go down to the boat, but ended up getting a late start....just flew over to Asheboro and went out for a leisurely lunch....pleasant but not too exciting.