Years ago I stenciled a sailboat and an anchor onto shirts for Ruby and Miles. I wanted to make updated shirts for them one day so I ended up moving onto the boat with a stamp carving kit and some fabric paint. I planned to carve an anchor onto my stamp so that I could print onto fabric and notecards over and over again. A sailor friend of mine was expecting a little boy and so the inspiration and count down began.
Tucker sent an email to Rocna. Yes, yes, my anchor stamp had to be The Anchor Of My Dreams. They sent a .pdf of the anchor and with that artwork I began carving my stamp. I used a Speedball Speedy Stamp kit. The material is soft, smooth, and very easy to carve. My very first stamp turned out just the way I wanted it to.
Then came my order from Dharma Trading Company. I needed a few shirts for the baby ideas, several for my kids, dresses for Ruby, a pack of bandanas for the kids to dye, shirts for Tucker and I, then I added dresses for another gift….well, I kept adding to my order and even ordered a second time. I stayed up late and mixed dye and blended colors and added more until I had every color I could dream up stacked all over my little counter. I loosely followed the methods in the book Color By Accident and used low water immersion to color my piles of white things. I couldn’t dump the dye straight down my drain so I didn’t want to have too much to carry up to the marina bathrooms. Over the course of several days I had Ziplock bags and yogurt containers filled with colorful clothes. I needed a dock cart to carry my stash up to the marina bathrooms for rinsing. It was fast and fun to rinse three sinks at a time and next thing I knew the whole lot of them were coming out of the washer and dryer. It turns out I still didn’t get my fill so I brought all the dyes and dishes and bags to my friend Jennifer’s house for another day of dyeing. We even included six kids in the process and all of the little ones left with bandannas colored any way they wished.
Freezer paper stenciling came next. Custom boat stencils for Convivia and our friend’s boat were cut using line drawings found on sailboatdata.com. Freezer paper is cut easily with an Xacto knife and sticks well, but not permanently, to fabric when you iron it on. It makes for a very easy and accurate stencil. I used Versatex fabric paint to paint the shirts.
After stencils came iron on printer paper. I couldn’t resist ironing on a little local chart for a baby gown and a tee for Miles. Tucker printed out a “Southbound 2011” and added that to his Convivia tee shirt.
Using the same Versatex fabric paint I used a brayer to apply it to my anchor stamp and printed anchor shirts and dresses! My favorites of the whole batch are two semi-matching rocna dresses for two little girls we’ll meet in the fall.
Tucker had posted a sneak preview of my stamp and later of Miles’ Convivia shirt on Facebook recently. I’m sorry to say that I won’t be taking custom orders, after all I have a 2000 thing t0-do list and 74 days to do it all, but I’m hoping to squeeze a few craft materials and some paint somewhere in the depths of the boat and take it all with me. I’m sure it won’t be long before I want to make another round!