When All Else Fails FORGET the Instructions

By now you’ve read several informative posts on various image transfer techniques and some of the trials and tribulations related to the different processes. Hopefully you’ve been inspired to try some of them yourself. I know it sure has helped me overcome my transfer phobia, and I now have oodles of tips and tricks to help me on my way.

Our little “challenge” was inspired by a book called Image Transfer Workshop: Mixed Media Techniques For Successful Transfers by Darlene Olivia McElroy & Sandra Duran Wilson, which Glenda of TwoCoolTexans reviewed for us not too long ago. Included in this very informative book were a few techniques that some us felt begged debate inasmuch as calling them true “image transfers”. One of these techniques is called Homemade Inkjet Fabric (found on page 38). As for myself, my interest quickly waned from debating the issue, to realizing that for those of us on very limited budgets, this technique might prove quite useful. I’ve been infatuated with the idea of fusing paper and fabric, and the integration of different textiles in my mixed media work. However, fabric sheets marketed for use in printers, like many artist supplies, can be quite costly. This technique just may help me realize a new endeavor, as well as save my pocketbook from further abuse.

Excitedly, I quickly gathered the noted supplies: natural fabric, freezer paper, iron, etc. I decided to use images scanned from old Needlework magazines from the 1920s, since I had in mind a “seamstress” type theme for another upcoming challenge. Using Gimp, I reduced, edited for color and saturation, then imported all the images into one 8x10 inch file. I test printed on plain paper, and decided I was ready to go. Following the directions, I cut my fabric and freezer paper to just under the standard 8 ½ x 11 inches while I let my iron heat on the suggested medium setting. Fully gung-ho now, I placed my fabric over the shiny side of the freezer paper, put my pressing sheet over that, and ironed... and ironed... and ironed. The edges and corners of the fabric just would not adhere to the freezer paper as well as it did in the center. I removed my thin pressing sheet and ironed directly on top of the fabric. This seemed to work!



Well, as you can see by this first photo, it didn’t. As the fabric/freezer paper cooled down from the ironing, it curled. In addition, the fabric corners came apart from the freezer paper. Even manually feeding it through my printer didn’t help the situation. As you can see, the sheet curled and caught as it was run through the printer.

Okay, so I’m a very headstrong, stubborn, and some say my-own-worst-enemy sort of gal. I just tried over. I re cut fabric, freezer paper, and went to ironing. This time, I forgo the pressing sheet altogether and ironed directly on top of the fabric. And I ironed. And ironed. And ironed some more. As soon as I was done, I placed a heavy book on top of the little “sandwich” so it would cool flat. Again I manually fed it through the printer. Again, warped corners and an inky mess:



Now, the book suggests taping the corners of the fabric/freezer paper, but I’ll be darned if I’ll run that through my new printer. There just has to be way, I told myself. There’s certainly a will, third time a charm, and all that. I set to cutting more fabric and freezer paper. This time, I cut the pieces much larger, approximately 10 x 12 inches on the fabric, and the freezer paper about an inch smaller on all sides. I left my fabric face down on my ironing board, laid the freezer paper shiny side down on top of that, and ironed directly on the paper. Low and behold, the fusing began almost immediately, even the corners and edges. Again I let it cool under a book. However, not wanting to go through the hassle of cleaning my printer yet again, nor ruining more fabric, I hesitated. Then I spied a can of light spray adhesive. Aha! I cut through both the fabric and the freezer paper using a straight edge and a brand new blade bringing it down to just under 8 ½ x 11 inches. I flipped over my little sandwich, lightly sprayed the freezer paper side, then adhered it to a piece of copy paper using my brayer to run out any air bubbles. As you can see, the firm adhesion of fabric to freezer paper, backed by a bit of rigidity from the copy paper produced a nice clean image.



Very happy girl indeed. My intentions are now to cut out the images, fray the sides, and utilize them along with old patterns and sewer’s notions on tags I plan to swap. Here’s hoping those come along with far fewer mishaps. My advice after this frustrating experiment: sometimes when all else fails, disregard the instructions and follow your own inclinations. After all, art is an act of discovery and only through trial and error are those discoveries realized.

Transfer Challenge Results

Well, it is the 31st. All entries for the Melange transfer challenge are due today!
Several of our members wrote up their results and already showed us their pieces.

Amazing. I think everyone did something different and all of the results are just amazing. This was really really a fun challenge. I will draw a name from the particpants on the 3d to win the book. It's a great book, you will really enjoy it.

Everyone, please put the place where we can view either your process or just your final result in the "comments" section under this blog post. Be sure to write what type of paper you used, what type of ink and the substrate that you transferred onto. I think that would help a lot of people. Even I have never seen some of the ways that you creative artists used your different mediums.

I hope everyone had a good time. We even have some visitors who joined in and I will be posting their work tommorrow for all to see.

If you can't hot link, not to worry, I will do it for you.

Glenda

Try a Mod Podge Transfer!

I couldn't believe it! I tried every liquid and glue in my home mixed with every type of paper in my studio, and nothing was working. I was experimenting with transfers. Then one amazing combination worked!

An ink jet print on glossy photo paper + cotton cloth + Mod Podge (gloss)

First I printed a small picture in dark colors on my HP ink jet printer onto Burlington glossy photo paper. (I also tried Kodak glossy photo paper and it worked too.) Then I spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on a piece of cotton cloth using the side of a plastic card (my old library card.) Be sure to make the Mod Podge area larger than the picture you plan to transfer. Lay the picture glossy side down onto the Mod Podge. Gently press it into the Mod Podge. No need to rub hard or burnish.

Here's the important part. Do not walk away or let it dry. Stay right there and press the picture gently into the Mod Podge again. You will see immediately that a dark edge will appear around the picture. (see my photo below.) This tells you the transfer is beginning.

In about 30 - 45 seconds, lift the corner of the picture to see if the transfer is starting. The film of color on the photo paper will loosen and come off onto the cloth in one single piece of film-like transfer, so you want to be careful to loosen all four corners. Then gently lift off the photo paper and the transfer is complete. On one transfer I actually slide the paper off to the side without disturbing the transfer.
You can see the reverse of the dancer on the photo paper to the left of the transfer above. The transfer will appear to sit on top of the fabric, rather than be down in the fabric fibers. After you let your transfer dry, it will be different from any other type of transfer. It may have tiny wrinkles or imperfectons, or appear glossy. If you want a more matte look, carefully brush on a layer of matte gel.
These four little photos are Mod Podge transfers too. You can see the wrinkles in some of them. The clown is one of the first Mod Podge transfers I made. Don't be afraid to experiment!
Have Fun!!
MidwestieLady
Linda B.

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ ABUNDANCE


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Brenda Lynn the prompt for this week's challenge is ABUNDANCE. Create a piece of mixed media art using that word as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Kathy Maximo is our featured artist with this wonderful interpretation of ABUNDANCE. Thanks so much, Kathy!

Image © Kathy Maximo

My Experiments With PhotoTransfers On Glass


This was an idea that I had when I was experimenting with different ways to do collage transfers . I had a stack of very old clear glass slides that was sitting around and I thought I would try to transfer an image on them . I laser copied some old photos and applied Golden gel medium to the front with my fingers and then let it set up for an hour or two and the peeled off the paper . Rubbing off the paper with a wet finger GENTLY , on the first one of the family I rushed and starting to rub off parts of the image too . I thought it was ruined so I tossed it aside .....today I thought to pick it and see what would happen if I put a piece of paper behind it ........ I liked the way it looked so I glued it down with gel to the back of the glass . The second one I let set up and dry longer that the first , only because I was out of the house and I couldn't mess with it . This one I had only gelled part of the copy . I thought it would look neat with silver behind it like an old Daguerreotype so I painted some water color paper with silver paint , let it dry and then gelled it onto the glass . Kind of spooky image ..... almost like and image in a tarnished mirror . I plan on using the family one on an altered book front , edging it with some type of vintage trim .... we shall see what I do with the Soldier .

type of copies

I used copies from our copier machine at home. Just a run of the mill copy machine but I put the ink slide all the way over to the darkest copy I could get. Hope that helps.

Here are the rest of the photos



my last pictures.

My simple image transfer






Simple image transfer technique by Linda Donnelly ldphotography

I decided to try doing an image transfer but my first couple of tries were failures So I turned to the place where I seem to be able to learn many craft techniques, Youtube. I came across this video called , Range ; Claudine Hellmuth, Adirondack paint image transfer.

I had just purchased some of the metallic acrylics from Ranger so it seemed to be a good idea. I followed the instructions. I used a copper paint and two different images to transfer. They worked out great. I put a clear cover over the transfers and add some embellishments.

Here are the instructions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9mL5hk6ieQ

The second transfer: I did the second transfer with Omni-Gel. I painted the background of the tag. Then I painted the tag with the omni gel and put the copy down on it and let it dry. Then I soaked the tag in the sink filled with water. I gently rolled away the paper to reveal the image. I got a little to excited and rolled a bit off the sides of the tags. When the image dried I covered the tag with Inkssentials Crackle accents and let it dry. I added a gold ribbon to the tag and this is it.

Neither method was hard. I think I liked the paint transfer image the best.

Tips on Image Transfers with Inkjet Printers

I have been a member of the group of artists frustrated by unsuccessful photo image transfers. It's been very hit and miss for me and mostly *miss*. But I think I've finally conquered one method using an inkjet printer and the final result, left, will be listed in my etsy shop Whyte this weekend. This was actually a second transfer from the same original inkjet image.

Our Melange team member, Glenda Bailey, swears by the Purell (yep the hand sanitizer!) method. When using Purell I think it is very important to use the PhotoWorks satin photo paper manufactured by Paris Business Products and found at some CVS, Target and Wal-Mart stores. I could only find it in my area at CVS. Attempts using other types of photo paper, Kodak for one, were not very successful for me.

The basics are very easily acquired, outside of the photo paper. I am a firm believer now that one does not need to own a fancysmancy photo printer, which was a real concern when I kept getting the *misses* instead of the hits in my effort. We have an HP Deskjet 1120C in our home office; it prints b/w and color with 2 cartridges. I mention this because more elaborate and expensive printers have a cartridge for each color. The cartridges themselves can get pretty pricey on those. So I had to make this work! Not in the market for one of the more expensive printers at this time! When printing out the image, I recommend changing your printer paper settings to premium, photo or whatever settings your brand recommends for photo printing. Mine says "HP premium photo paper" and automatically sets my printer to "BEST". Also REMEMBER!! If your image will have any words, you will have to set your photo editing program or your printer to reverse or mirror image because you will be transferring in reverse when you turn the actual image onto your substrate.

The other items needed are your substrates or what you are transferring the image to, and that appears to be limitless as long as it is not liquid! I used a gesso'd matt board and also used bleached cotton muslin. I've used paint brushes to apply the Purell, but I like the foam brush the best. Glenda advises NOT to apply with your finger because your skin absorbs the Purell like a sponge, not a good thing in this case. You also need something to burnish the back of the image to complete the transfer. I've used a bone folder, my finger and a spoon and have the best luck with my finger and a spoon. And be sure you are working on a hard surface, and I lay pieces of scrap paper under the substrate to catch any bleed through.

I 've read instructions to apply the gel directly to the photo image. That never worked for me. My inkjet inks are water soluble, therefore I had a mess before I even tried to transfer the image onto the substrate. I've only been successful applying the medium to the substrate you are transferring to.

I start by putting a good pump squirt of Purell directly on the foam brush and swipe it onto the substrate. I did not let it soak in long, but have read to let it sit about 2-3 minutes. My attempts worked fine without letting the Purell sit, but add that in case you need to try that in your experimentation. Be sure you cover enough of the substrate to pick up the image you wish to transfer; I did not go close enough to the bottom of the matt board and therefore the running cats from the image didn't make it to my treasure in the end!

Lay the image upside down onto the Purell covered substrate. Use your finger, spoon or whatever burnishing tool you prefer and rub the back of the photo image. Be very careful the image itself does not move or it will smear very easily. I use two hands, just didn't here because at the time I was demo leader and photographer, hubby was not to be found at that particular moment. One of the trials and errors in the transfer process is learning the amount of pressure needed. That's why I like using my finger first, it just seems to let me "feel" what might be happening....if I have too much medium or not enough. Once the transfer starts working, then I feel more comfortable going with the spoon.

Hubby joined me (gratefully) because I needed him to photograph this next important step 'cause I needed two hands. You are allowed (yayyyy!!) to check on the progress of your transfer, as long as you are careful not to move the actual photo image around. If you peek and see you have some areas that did not transfer well (very typical) try burnishing the area a bit more. If the image still does not transfer you are allowed to add some more medium, and I did so several times. Just be sure you go light handed and apply to the substrate, not the photo image itself.

This is a scan of 2 of the 3 images I was able to transfer from the same photo image print of the man in the moon. The 2nd, and really the best image is on my Halloween pillow shown above. The fact I was able to get 3 good images off of one image was quite an accomplishment. The only difference from any other attempt I've tried at the transfers was on the recommendation of my son, an amateur photographer, graphic artist and Photoshop guru, I changed the print setting in my Photoshop Elements to CMYK (instead of RGB) before I printed out the image using PSE and my inkjet printer. As long as yellow is one of your ink colors, you can use CMYK. Can I tell you what is so special about that? Nopie, nopie. My son is a man of few words. I googled CMYK and did a little research. Still can't tell you why that might work or not. But as with all trials and errors, one has to try any and all things until one hits upon the most successful method for oneself.

Don't give up, if you have some boo boos, save them, you can paint over them and use your *canvas* for another artwork. I've used bits and pieces of disasters in other mixed media artwork, you can end up with some fascinating messes of color! LOL! Happy transfers! Click on any image to get zoom.

---Pat May, aka whyte

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ FLIGHT


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Linda B. aka "Midwestie Lady" the prompt for this week's challenge is FLIGHT. Create a piece of mixed media art using that word as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Chrisy is our featured artist with this wonderful interpretation of FLIGHT. Thanks so much!

"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ USE YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE IN YOUR ART


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Glenda Bailey the prompt for this week's challenge is USE YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE IN YOUR ART. Create a piece of mixed media art using that quote as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Studio 27 is our featured artist with this wonderful interpretation using her favorite quote. Thanks so much!

Image © Studio 27

Make a Transfer Challenge

Okay, hopefully, everyone who bought the new book on transfers has gotten theirs by now. And, if you didn't purchase the book, hey.....here is a blog and the blog author has done a wonderful job of listing tons of methods to try. http://www.mixed-media-artist.com/2009/04/image-transfer-methods.html

You don't have to do any specific kind of transfer, you don't have to be a member of the Melange team, you don't even have to "finish" your piece into a mixed media or other project--just submit the transfer onto the substrate, you don't have to do a new piece, drag out an old one. We don't care; we just want to encourage everyone to try something new, revisit something old.

Get your creative thoughts flowing. Everyone who joins in will be eligible to win a copy of the new offering in art books called "Book Art: Handcrafting Artists' Books" by Dorothy Simpson Krause. It's a wonderful book and has tons of techniques for not only making books, but doing the artwork for the covers and the inside pages also. I will do a drawing for the winner of the book.

Due date is August 31st. On or about that date, put your piece on your blog and link it back to the "comments" section here in a new post that I will put up on the 31st. Just say something like "I used soft gel medium and an inkjet print", or "I used a laser print and acetone". You don't have to go into detail unless you just want to.

If you don't have a blog, no problem. Put your piece on your website or on Flickr and let me know where it is. Convo me at my shop TwoCoolTexans.

So, think transfers. Have fun!!!!

"The ETSY street team "Melange" is having a WEEKEND DEAL of 15% off everything, excluding shipping. Melange is a group of Mixed Media Artists, many of who have been published. Each shop may also have additional sales of their own. The following is a list of active, participating Melange members who are participating in the WEEKEND DEAL from August 7th, through the 9th.

After the item is purchased and paid for, a refund will be issued for the total discount via Pay Pal or other methods in which the payment was made. It is currently not possible to make the adjustments at payment time.

Every shop has their own set of policies in place, so please make yourself familiar with each new shop.

We hope you enjoy "Melange" as much we do!"

















"Mix It Up with Melange" Challenge ~ ARCHETYPE


Welcome...everyone is invited to join in the challenge. You do not have to be on the team or an Etsy seller to create a piece of art with the week's theme and show it on this blog.

Thanks to Renee Gandy the prompt for this week's challenge is ARCHETYPE. Create a piece of mixed media art using that word as inspiration. When you are finished follow these simple rules:

1) Post your finished piece on your blog, website, Flickr page, Etsy or elsewhere INCLUDING a link back to the Melange Team blog.

2) Comment to this blog post INCLUDING the link to where we can find your beautiful piece.

3) Please link to a static page

(What’s a static page? An example of a static link is http://www.melange.com/ticket/2009/04/22/mix-it-up-challenge/, whereas an example of a link to the main website is http://www.melange.com)

4) Come back often to check out all the terrific work that will be submitted. :)

Thanks for joining in the fun !

(Here is a great tutorial on CREATING HOT LINKS)

Meikoningin is our featured artist with this wonderful interpretation of ARCHETYPE. Thanks so much!

Image © Meikoningin

WEEKEND SALE-PARTICIPATING MELANGE TEAM MEMBERS

Sorry to shout!!! But the Melange team is having our first team SALE this weekend. For participating members, please check out the "comments" section under this post.

The sale will run 8/7 - 8/9 and will be 15% off all shop items, excluding shipping charges. The refund will be made to your PayPal account upon notification of payment by the buyer. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I know I am ready.

Again, see below in the comments section for participating shops.