Archive for the ‘Eye Candy’ Category

Chalkboard Wall, 2

Posted: August 17, 2010 in Eye Candy, Hand Candy

Painting the magnetic paint in the middle of the soon-to-be wall blackboard. Three coats, not too careful on the edges, since it was going to go behind and under the blackboard paint


Painting soooplies, natch.


Painting the tape over with the primer, so that the chalkboard paint doesn’t leak underneath and screw up my hopefully straight wall.


Tada! Chalkboard wall, complete with almost straight edges, narwhale, mermaid and magnetic-held paper sail! (I should say, the photo makes the left-hand edge look oddly curved, but it really isn’t. It’s totally straight).


Busy adding fishies to my sea menagerie!



Chalkboard Wall!

Posted: August 14, 2010 in Eye Candy, Hand Candy

Yeah, I’m nesting. Big time. Big, big, big time. I’m painting and prepping and playing and buying used furniture and running around my place naked yelling, “Mine, mine, mine!”

There’s something to be said for having total autonomy and control over your home space, for making it do everything you want it to do (without reason, of course, if I had my way, I’d find a way to have a ginormous, get-in-able water feature in my living room, complete with water fall and fishes. Ooh, and maybe a turtle!).

Be that as it may, I’m building it the way that I can, to make it mine. And of those make-it-mine projects has included painting a magnetic chalkboard wall. I can’t remember now where I got the idea. The Interwebs, I’m sure. But I do know that I used this blog post to help me ease my “Oh my god, I can’t paint a straight line to save my f-ing life jitters.” And it totally worked.

So here’s what I learned about making a magnetic chalkboard wall:

  • Don’t go with the spray-in chalkboard stuff. Buy the paintable kind.
  • The magnetic paint stinks, stains, and isn’t very strong. If you still decide you want it, go slow, careful and thin. Paint at least three coats and plan on buying some seriously strong magnets.
  • Don’t think this is going to be done in a day. Three coats of magnet, plus two coats of chalkboard, plus curing time equaled about a week for me. I was going insane with the waitings.

So, here’s how:

  1. Prime or clean your space. It’s better if you choose a space that’s not super bumpy because you do want to write on your wall after all. Or you can sand down the bumps.
  2. Mark off your desired spot with wide chalkboard tape. Use a level! This is huge. Just… trust me. Then, paint over the edges of the tape with your original wall color so that the chalkboard paint won’t leak through. Let it dry.
  3. Paint your magnet paint. Thin coats are best. Be sure to stir-stir-stir while you go, so that all the metallic bits don’t sink to the bottom. Let dry at least 30 minutes between each coat. I did three total, just to be sure.
  4. Paint your chalkboard paint. Let it dry at least four hours between coats. Once you’ve painted your last coat, give it a few minutes to set, then peel your tape off slowly (if you do it too soon, it will leak and you’ll have little spots of paint on your line).
  5. Your chalkboard needs at least three days to cure. Then, rub the flat side of the chalk all over the board. I mean all over. Then wipe it clean with your eraser. Note: This will make a serious, serious mess. Don’t wear your contacts (all that chalk dust is bad-bad, says the Voice of Experience. Owie). Open the windows. Have your vacuum at the ready. Keep the two- and four-legged kids away.
  6. Now you can play! I bought sidewalk chalk (it’s big, but it has nice fine points for writing and they come in lots and lots of colors!) and a felt eraser. You can also clean your chalkboard fully with a little bit of white vinegar and water (mostly dry, though, as liquid is bad for the blackboard stuff).

Pictures to come of the new house baby as soon as I get home to take some! Stay tuned!

Chalking your walls, one color at a time, s.


Making the screen under the light. Of course, I couldn’t have asked for anything better when it comes to an image. Yah for old typewriters!


Washing out the ink from the screen. Cool and ew.


The end result: Totebag with Typewriter. I am a happy, happy girl!

So, I learned a lot in the class. I actually believe that once I am no longer gimping around, I will be able to make the t-shirts that I want to make. Which is saying a lot from a one-day class. I’m very much looking forward to trying my hand at the task, and having fun t-shirts to wear (and share) this summer. Once I get a chance to do those, I’ll be adding to this lesson, of course, and showing the follow-up results!

Spreading your ink, one stroke at a time!


Screenprinting guru, Andy Cane (yes, that’s his real name), teaches us how to make our screen printing frame at The 100th Monkey Studio. It’s as hard as it looks (although, to be honest, I didn’t attempt it, as you can see my crutches from last week’s “lesson” resting in the background).


I’ve always loved the idea of screenprinting my own shirts. It’s one of those art skills that would produce something meaningful, fun and, most importantly, wearable. The wearable bit is important, not surprisingly. My favorite kinds of art are the ones that go places with me, that I can show off anywhere and everywhere, that I can share with friends, family, students, people on the street.

I don’t want to go blow-by-blow with the how-to of this (and I’m not willing to wax eloquent — or, I suppose in this case, print eloquent, because I’ve done that the past few weeks with Letting Go and Ankle Breaking, and honestly I’m exhausted of emotional stuff, so I’ll stick to the concrete here) , but suffice to say that it’s both harder and easier than I expected.

The hard part? Making your own screens and other equipment (yes, you can buy them, but they’re pretty expensive. Making them is oh-so-cheaper).  Also, making the actual image on the mesh, which requires a test to figure out exactly how long you need to leave it under the light in order to make the proper exposure (like a photograph).

The easy part? Actually printing. Granted, it goes a lot easier when you have a friend (or better yet, a screenprinting expert) talking you through it and holding pieces parts. But still, I was impressed with how easy everything came together.

Tomorrow, I’ll show off the mesh part itself, and, of course, the final result (which was a tote bag, with the coolest ever print on it!).

Breaking bones and brains, one week at a time, s.


The rubber hose goes in the hole… or the doggy gets it. There are more technical terms for all the tools and equipment you see here, but mostly it was a lot of sweat and a few cuts from the plastic knife.


Making a screen is easier in pairs. But not much easier, truly.