January 20, 2011

Gifts from the past: Printed Shirt and Oven Mitts

Hah, these gifts from the past posts were supposed to happen before xmas, not a month after! Oh, me… Anyway, I grouped a couple of gifts I made using printing on fabric.  This is a freezer paper stencil printed shirt I made for my dad, on a thrifted long sleeved tee:

dad's shirt

I just freehand drew everything on the freezer paper, using google image search for reference pictures to draw from, cut it all out, and printed it on with screen printing ink.  Easy and fun project!  (Super basic kid-friendly freezer paper stenciling tutorial here, and super elaborate semi-photo-realistic stenciling tutorial here!)

dad's shirt

And this was a totally different kind of printed gift – my brother Matt is super into both cooking/baking and computer coding, so I printed a binary message on some oven mitts with stamps:

binary oven mitts

When I made these, I was in California at my parents’ house for the holidays and didn’t have access to my supplies or shops (or car), so I got what I could with the resources I had – these basic mitts which had square quilting to help with the stamped grid design, and a weird typewriter style set of number/alphabet stamps.  (Couldn’t get just 1 and 0 stamps, so I had to buy a whole alphabet set!)  And then I used fabric paint for the ink… I used the leftover fabric paint to teach my brothers how to freezer paper stencil (oh look, callback to the above project) and they all made awesome t-shirts!  I used the internets to translate a message into binary, then painstakingly stamped each 1 and 0 into the correct spots to spell it out.  I’m pretty sure it says “I like to bake bread.”

djstencil.jpg bensshirtback.jpg

These are a couple more printed gifts that I already blogged years ago, but they fit with the theme so there they are again!

I really am going to try to blog more, have lots planned, it’s just hard getting into the flow of it.  Lots going on around here! Fun stuff! You’ll hear about it all soon enough!

Filed under: clothing,gifts,printing — leethal @ 1:20 am

May 19, 2009

craftstylish celebration month tutorials and more

oh hello there world. i’ve been so out of everything lately, it’s been a weird last couple of weeks.  pete had a semi-emergency surgery a week ago and has been home recovering since, so i’ve been working less than usual, and things like blog-reading and twitter-following almost not at all, so i’m pretty detached.  we’ve been watching lots of tv shows (the wire, party down, x-files for nerd nostalgia…) and movies and i’ve been knitting away on cuffs and brainstorming/planning some future projects.  so, speaking of cuffs, you may remember that several weeks ago i said i’d hopefully have them done in a week-ish… well yeah, that was crazy of me to think that could happen, first of all, and then i got slowed down by other things, but now i’m finally on my way to hopefully releasing the whole thing by this weekend, for real.


one thing that distracted me a bit was finding out that craftstylish has decided to go in another direction (or something) starting at the end of the month and none of us bloggers will be doing tutorials anymore.  which means a couple of things for you, dear do stuff! readers… i’ll have more time to work on my blog/website, now that all those hours per week are freed up, and if i have any fun tutorial ideas now i can post them here instead of there, so hopefully do stuff! content will be more frequent and more exciting!!  (for me, it means a less fun thing – scrambling to figure out ways to scrape rent money together, which has led to some quality brainstorming time and i’m sure will all be for the best in the long run because now i have some plans i’m super excited about!)

fabric CD case

so, my last 3 craftstylish tutorials… out of order because this one – fabric cd cases – is my favorite!  i’d originally planned for this project to be for mother’s day, which is what mine was made for, and then show my wedding case as another example, until i realized at the last minute that it would be posted after mother’s day! so i wrote it up focusing on the wedding angle (so lucky i had that wedding case to show!) and just mentioned that it could be for other purposes, even though that’s so silly because of course it could be used for anything/anyone – any gift occasion or for yourself, as well as for music or video cds/dvds instead of photo discs. duh. but, you know, it’s wedding month, so i had to steer it in that direction.

fabric CD case fabric CD case

for my mom’s gift, i filled that case with music cds because she has a new-ish job which has her driving up to several hours a day all over southern california, and no ipod hook-up in her car.  oh and also, my mom has great taste in music, so i knew i could give her a bunch of my favorite cds and she’d love them!

fabric CD case fabric CD case

the case is completely hand-sewn, with a hand-knit i-cord tie.  i really (surprisingly) enjoyed hand-sewing this project – now i want to do more sewing by hand!  i get so frustrated with my cheap sewing machine so often, i love that hand-sewing puts myself in control, like with knitting!

monogrammed napkins monogrammed napkins

last night, my last tutorial post went up: monogrammed napkins with recycled sheets. i love working with thrifted sheets, all the great patterns and colors! i had a hard time thinking of wedding projects, so this is a simple one, but i love how they look!

recycled greeting cards

before those 2, i started off celebration month with greeting cards made from recycled materials.

recycled greeting cards recycled greeting cards

basic concept, but i was happy to show how easy it is to print on grocery bag paper, something i love to do, and also to make custom envelopes with recycled paper.

recycled greeting cards recycled greeting cards

i had fun decorating my different card examples (one for mother’s day, one for graduation, and one thank you) and i took way too many photos and had to cut it down tons for the post. so these are some that i couldn’t fit in…

recycled greeting cards recycled greeting cards

recycled greeting cards recycled greeting cards

so that’s it for now.  hey, if you’re free tomorrow evening and live in portland, my wool jewelry class still has ten spots as of right now, at the albina library (ne pdx).  it’s free, i provide the supplies, all you need to do is register, should be fun! oh oh i just thought of one other thing i can show you!  check out the hat i knit for pearl for her 1st birthday!  recycled cotton, so soft!

pearl's 1st birthday hat pearl's 1st birthday hat

Filed under: craftstylish,hats,knitting,personal,printing,tutorials — leethal @ 12:57 pm

January 2, 2009

holiday adventures, 2008

ok this is going to be a mostly personal post, but there are a few craft projects thrown in to keep it fun.  these last couple of weeks have been totally nutso, so i have quite a bit to catch up on.  i’ll try to speed through stuff, but there’s a lot i wanted to share, so i’m sure this will be a pretty long post…  here i go…

so i left portland on dec. 17th – this is what the city looked like on the way to the airport that day:

12/17 snowy streets

it had been snowing off and on since sunday the 14th, but was scheduled to stop soon…  so off i went to southern california to hang with my family in the sun and a little not-too-cold rain.  i took some neat photos out the plane window above the storm clouds…

above the oregon clouds above the oregon clouds

oh yeah and i was sick.  just barely starting to get a cold, i could feel it in my throat.  well, at the house, my mom and brother ben (who is temporarily living there) were both sick, so as soon as i joined them it hit me full force.  i spent that thursday, friday, saturday on the couch with my mom and lots of kleenex doing pretty much nothing.  feeling too crappy to knit sucks hardcore.  by sunday i was much better, but it never left completely, still – it’s the neverending cold!  not cool.

on sunday we got my brother paul from riverside and brought him home.  then on monday spud died.  it was extremely sad, but we all knew he was crazy super old and shouldn’t have even lived as long as he did.  he had a super happy life and was the sweetest dog ever, and i’m really thankful i got to see him and i did a little photoshoot with him 2 days earlier…

spud06 spud03

then what happened was that everyone kind of decided to not be too sad about it because we are never all home together and we wanted to enjoy our time together, so we went on with our holiday days and had a super good time.  matt (3rd brother) came home from la on tuesday evening, so all 4 of us kids were at the house together for almost 2 whole days – we hadn’t been together for more than just dinner since probably the xmas before i moved to portland, and even that was less than a full day.  so it was awesome.  we stayed up crazy super late watching bad movies and being silly.  i wish my whole family would just move up here, then i wouldn’t have to miss them so much!

the highlight of the whole time was that we crafted together!!  it was so unexpected!  when paul came home on sunday, he mentioned something about wanting a shirt that said something, and i said something like, i could show you how to make one, not thinking he would actually want to.  but he did!  and so did ben, and they kept bringing it up!  so on tuesday night when matt came home, we bought some shirts and freezer paper and they got working on their designs.  all three of them made superrad shirts and were so into it, they made more after i left and took freezer paper with them to make more!

matt + paul carving

that’s matt and paul hard at work carving their stencils.  and these are their designs… ben did a mos def cd cover that he sketched into a stencil, and then he added his blog name to the side later; matt did t-rex from dinosaur comics; and paul did the positive and negative versions of ride a bike:

bensshirt matt's shirt

paulsshirt paulssecondshirt

as soon as the shirts were dry, they had to model…


they are beyond silly.  that one below on the right is their 90’s band pose, or something…

boysinshirts22 boysinshirts18

if you want to laugh at them (or with them), there are tons more shots on my flickr.   moving on… some other crafty things – i made mitts for both my mom and matt, but different kinds.  recycled sweater ninja mitts for my mom, with hand-dyed yarn stitching, and binary-printed oven mitts for matt, a computer nerd who likes to bake bread.  (i didn’t make the oven mitts, just printed them.)

mom's mitts binary oven mitts

and speaking of gifts, i sure got some awesome ones!  i’m so lucky to have such amazing loved ones!  i finally have a couple elizabeth zimmerman books (i was horrible not to have already had them, i know!) and i’m so excited about every single book i got, i love books!  some of these (hookorama, diy screenprinting, diy: the rise of lo-fi culture, and the slingshot) were gotten with xmas money from in other words on ne killingsworth – we all went there to shop because i’d read they need some extra support right now.  it’s an amazing store, i definitely recommend checking it out and buying lots of stuff there!  they are the last surviving non-profit feminist bookstore in the country, so we need to help them continue to survive!  i also got a superrad camera wallet, and pete’s parents and uncle all found great stuff too!

xmas gifts - fiber arts xmas gifts - diy-y

and i/we got some great cooking stuff, since we’re getting more good veggies and trying to cook/eat healthier and stuff, and i guess we’ve been mentioning it to everyone.  my parents and grandma gave us the veganomicon (yay!!) and a new (huge) frying pan and spoon/spatula set, and pete’s family gave us a veggie chopper thing (so awesome!), measuring cup/spoon set, cutting boards, and a personalized signed copy of vegan a go-go!

xmas gifts - cooking

and then to finish my holiday adventures story, as you know if you live in portland, i got back on xmas day to this:

12/26 snowy streets

well that was the next day, since i got back after dark.  i got into the airport around 8, so because of the driving conditions, we had xmas dinner with pete’s family at the airport!  it was surprisingly great – we ate at stanford’s, where i got a homemade veggie burger with smoked gouda and roasted veggies, probably the best veggie burger i’ve ever had!  oh and, my family had our xmas dinner on xmas eve since i was leaving the next day (our traditional spaghetti dinner) so the airport dinner didn’t really feel like it was xmas.

12/26 snowy streets 12/26 snowy streets

then the next day was kind of supposed to be our xmas day with pete’s family, but we ended up driving around for most of the day in snow traffic in search of a shovel (which were sold out everywhere, of course) so we could park in front of our apartment.  it was quite a day.  but once that part was over, we finally got inside and opened presents, and had a third holiday dinner, this one made by pete and me!  pizza with mac n cheese, hashbrowns, and cashews, bean and cheese taquitos, and couscous with veggies!  our kind of dinner!!

pete’s parents stayed in town until the 31st, and took us out to amazing portland breakfasts every morning!  portland is such a breakfast town, and we rarely go out ourselves because we’re not morning people, so it was a fabulous holiday gift to be taken out to all our favorite spots!  in case you’re curious, we ate breakfast at: old wives tales (e burnside), jam (se hawthorne), vita cafe (ne alberta), cricket cafe (se belmont), and juniors (se 12th).  i highly recommend every one of them!  i discovered that my new favorite thing is a scramble with hashbrowns, veggie sausage, and veggie gravy.

oh and then, to finish the whole holiday season, new years eve was super fun.  star came over and we played bad movie bingo and drank hot buttered rum and girly juice cocktails with orange vodka.  we played to sisterhood of the traveling pants, which was definitely bad, but not quite ideal for bingo and way too long; and crank, which was, hmmmm, yeah probably the worst movie ever.  the role of women in this movie was to decorate a poolside, sit inside balls and act as ornaments in a fancy hotel, and start to be raped on the sidewalk but then decide it’s hot and be into it.  great for bingo though!  anti-feminism was marked on the bingo card like negative minutes into it.

then on new years day pete and i watched the entire second season of 30 rock!  spread throughout the day, of course, mixed up with some scrabble.  30 rock is so good. so good. i can’t even express. i love it so much.

so that was my rollercoaster ride of a holiday.  now that i’m all up to date here, i’ll be bringing you some fun project posts and other good stuff soon, hopefully.  i have so much catching up to do!  happy new year!!

Filed under: books,personal,photos,portland stuff,printing — leethal @ 9:06 pm

December 11, 2008

craftstylish tutorials and other updatey stuff

polaroid christopher walken print

once again, i’ve fallen a bit behind in letting you know about my craftstylish tutorials… yesterday was my semi-photorealistic 3-shade freezer paper stencil how-to!  this is a pretty crazy project – the result of having an idea pop into my head one day and then going for it.  the tutorial uses the christopher walken stencil, because it’s guy gift week over at craftstylish, but i especially love the polaroid camera print!  (it’s this camera)

print blurred carving stencil

it looks more photorealistic when it’s a bit blurred.

me wearing shirt finished close-up

and then on saturday there was my custom embellished shirt project – i love this one!  i used printing, machine top-stitching, and i changed the buttons, and then i talked about other ways to embellish a shirt, like applique and embroidery.

close-up on me finished shirt

the point of this project is to inspire you to embellish a shirt in a personal, customized way for yourself or your giftee, rather than to give you a step by step tutorial so you can make exactly what i made.


and lastly, my custom clock tutorial shows you how to take apart an old clock and install your own photograph, or whatever you want.  i gave that one to my mom for her birthday and she loved it – proof that it’s a great gift to make!!

trilliumyarn12.jpg trilliumyarn04.jpg

in other news, the trillium etsy shop now has 5 of my knit kits up!  including two of my absolute favorites.  if you have a hard time finding the kits, they are listed in the gifts section.

this month is going by SO fast i can’t even believe it.  two craft shows done, only one to go.  the 100th monkey show last weekend went pretty well – it was a different kind of feel, being at night with live music and more of a party mood.  the artists stood around in front of our stuff instead of sitting behind our tables, and the whole thing kind of made me more socially awkward than usual (and i am usually pretty awkward, by the way).  i’m afraid sometimes my awkwardness comes off as maybe rudeness or unfriendlyness, but really it’s just that i’ve always been so shy and these shows are extremely stressful for me.

and speaking of stress, i’m looking forward to going to visit my family in california for a week, i think it’s just the escape i need.  there is a ton of really exciting stuff happening or soon to be happening, but the more excitement in my life, the more stress.  i’m hoping to get this free knitting pattern i’m working on done in california, plus maybe finish up some knitting projects that have been sitting around for months, and maybe even read a book!  crazy!

November 21, 2008

new new new stuff!

respect the needles. tame the yarn. photoboothshirt1.jpg

new shirt design(s) in the shop!! respect the needles, tame the yarn! yeah!  on the clothing page of the shop, you have to scroll down below all the block printed shirts, down to the screen printed section, where you’ll find seven of that one and five new baller shirts!  this is my favorite new one that i really want to keep for myself:

shirt351.jpg shirt352.jpg

i was doing a lot of experimenting with multi-colored screen printing, and this one turned out amazing – unfortunately, the photos really don’t capture how it looks.  there’s a thin white outline around the blue print, making it pop in a really nice way on the soft green background.  here are a couple more:

shirt321.jpg shirt361.jpg

and the reason i said design(s)?  i re-carved the baller stencil so it doesn’t have the big solid center in the ball.  what do you think?

baller-stencil.jpg shirt301.jpg

and a couple more of those:

shirt271.jpg shirt292.jpg

if you like either of the designs, but none of the sizes/colors of shirts i have, there are custom shirt blanks on the bottom of the clothing page, and i have about ten more that i hope to have up tomorrow.  (i charge $20 for a custom screen printed shirt – just email me about the details of what you want.)

in other news… i got a new computer!  wooo!  it’s SO much faster than my 4.5 yr old powerbook!  and photo booth is way too much silly fun…

photoboothme16.jpg photoboothbanzo1.jpg

photoboothbanzo7.jpg photoboothme4.jpg

Filed under: clothing,leethal store,personal,photos,printing — leethal @ 3:06 am

November 15, 2008

big leethal shop update!

most of my friday was spent updating the leethal shop, and it’s finally done!  tons of new printed shirts are in, a bunch of new shirt blanks for custom print jobs, and lots of new colored vinyl bowls!  some of my favorites:

shirt131.jpg shirt171.jpg

shirt231.jpg shirt181.jpg

rbowlc736.jpg rbowlc727.jpg

rbowlc729.jpg rbowlc730.jpg

and this new hat!

hat031.jpg hat032.jpg

i would love feedback on the shirts (and everything else) so i know which designs i should focus on, what styles/colors/sizes i should look for when thrifting, etc.  i made sure to get bigger women’s sizes for this batch, so my variety is a bit better now…

oh yeah, i almost forgot! crafty wonderland on sunday went well, i had a huge space!  i got to display all my shirts on my clothing rack (yay ikea!) and all my accessories and everything on my shelves, and still plenty of room for my yarn and my photography…


wonderland2.jpg wonderland1.jpg

i didn’t sell tons, since it was still a bit far away from holiday gifting time and i’m guessing people are saving up for that time of year, but i did sell these two shirts that never had a chance to been seen in the shop:

mixershirt.jpg plaidshirtcloseup.jpg plaidshirt.jpg

so far, the button-down styles seem to be the most popular, so i’ll plan on doing more of those for my next batch.

oh, one more thing, and i’d love feedback on this too… for my next stenciled screen printing design (which is what the “i’m a baller” is), i’m thinking of doing “respect the needles, tame the yarn” on shirts. yeah?

Filed under: clothing,hats,leethal store,printing — leethal @ 1:20 am

November 2, 2008

yay, you voted! high five!! here’s a pdf for you!

update: this offer is over now, but see this post for info about the hat pattern!

are excited to vote?  i think most of you do stuff! blog readers probably already are, but, if not so much, i want to get you more excited!

pdf cover dandelion and hat

to everyone and anyone – if you comment here or email me (leethalkoala at yahoo dot com) with some kind of proof that you voted (link to a photo of yourself with “i voted!” sticker, for example) i will send you this pdf!  (see bottom of post for more details.)

the pdf includes: pattern for this knit flared hat!

flared hat

the dandelion stencil design up top, and this alpaca applique design:

yellow alpaca applique zebra print alpaca applique

and for non-crafters, this thank you card to print out on cardstock paper:

thank you card

and, contributed by pete, a page about mac and cheese with some fun “recipes”

mac and cheese

some extra info and linkage to go along with the pdf……

my flared hat example is made with 2 strands of malabrigo merino worsted held together.  the hat is very fitted, to the point of maybe being a bit too small, but i haven’t blocked it yet.  if you want a bigger, floppy hat, this pattern will work great for that style by using fatter yarn (or 3 or 4 strands of worsted).  the hat pattern uses size us 11 double pointed needles.

the appliqué page has minimal instructions, recommending steam-a-seam just because that’s what i used.  i didn’t elaborate further because full instructions are on the fusible web packaging. there is a fantastic detailed appliqué tutorial here, which includes machine sewing around the edges too (which would be pretty tricky with my alpaca, but i’d love to see pictures if anyone does it).  there are more how-to’s around the web, including videos (just do some quick googling).

for my appliqué examples, i did one at 100% print size, with the nose/mouth piece, the same way it prints out.  the zebra print one is flipped (mirror image) of the way it prints, at 50% size, with no nose/mouth piece.  yay alpacas!

the dandelion stencil was made by taking a photo of the print i did from the original hand-drawn stencil, and adjusting to get a black+white image.  so, the lines are a little textured (wavy), but it’s meant to trace/cut onto freezer paper, so that shouldn’t matter.  (you can find a fabulous f-p stencil tutorial over at neither hip nor funky!)  you can print the stencil out any size you want and use it for something besides freezer paper printing if you want – i’d love to see what you do with it!

the thank you card is a drawing i did by tracing this photo and parts of this photo.  it’s designed on the pdf to print out on cardstock, fit to 8.5’x11′ paper size, for a card that folds in half to measure about 6.25’x4.25′.  you can color it if you want to!

pete’s mac and cheese page is full of meal ideas and fun facts.  i didn’t want this pdf to appeal only to crafty voters!

i am happy to give this pdf to absolutely anyone who voted and wants it, regardless of who/what you choose to vote for, but i won’t hide the fact that i really hope you don’t vote for mccain.  just sayin’…

for oregon voters (and any others states that are weird like us and do mail-in only) – i can’t figure out any kind of proof you can give if you’ve already mailed it in.  if you haven’t already dropped it in the mailbox, you can send me a picture of the filled/sealed envelope or something like that, but if you’ve mailed it, i’ll have to take your word for it.  i am very trusting and won’t doubt anyone who claims to have voted without photographic proof, but seriously, that would be way lame of anyone to lie about it.  seriously.

and this is completely free of charge, i did it just out of inspiration (hey, speaking of inspiration, check out the event my brother ben put together down in so-cal!) but if you are overcome with the need to contribute a little something for the time i put into this, i’m throwing a donate button down there.

and hey, one more thing if you got this far – i wasn’t able to get this done and posted until super last-minute as you can see, so if you have a blog i would reeeeally appreciate it if you mentioned this!  feel free to use any of my images, copy/paste text, whatever, as long as you link to this post.  thanks!!

update: to everyone who linked over to this post and hasn’t seen the rest of the blog – there is a more info post after this one, with details about what you can do if you’re not in the US, or under 18, and more.
Filed under: general crafts,hats,printing,random stuff,recipes — leethal @ 7:54 pm

September 25, 2008

leethal clothing!! wooooo!

whew, it’s up! my brand new leethal store clothing page!! so far you’ll find 12 printed shirts, plus 6 blank shirts and 1 skirt for custom printing! i plan to soon add lots more blanks so you can get the prints you want on the shirt/skirt you want!


every item has a hand-printed “made new by leethal” tag and the original brand logo x-ed out!!

shirt033.jpg shirt093.jpg

here are some of my favorites!

shirt061.jpg shirt081.jpg

and some more! there are many shirts for guys and for kids!!

shirt031.jpg shirt071.jpg

there are lots of details about the clothing, custom ordering, etc on the side bar of the clothing store page. i’m so excited to be branching out into this area; you know how much fun i had doing all those printed shirts for my brothers and for pete! i hope some of you are excited too, i’d love for this to be popular!

ooh ooh and also, because i’m getting all the original shirts at the goodwill bins (at around $1.50 per pound), and since i’m printing a bunch at a time to keep my work time per shirt somewhat low, i’m selling them pretty darn cheap! finished shirts are only $12 each, and custom orders are $16 each!

in celebration of this new leethal category, i’ll be throwing in some fun little extra stuff with all orders (not just clothing) in the next few weeks! (like: buttons, fun greeting cards, maybe samples of yarn, stitch markers, etc…)

also, many thanks to robyn and holly for the spam plugin suggestion! i’ve plugged it in and switched it back so you won’t have to register to comment, so comment away!

Filed under: clothing,leethal store,printing — leethal @ 8:23 pm

September 20, 2008

starting to get caught up

you know how it’s hard to get back into work mode when you’ve been away for a few days? well it’s a heck of a lot harder when you’ve got an adorable (sneaky, mischievous) kitten in your workplace! my parents came into town monday afternoon and left thursday night so while they were here a took a computer vacation, checking only my email in case of anything urgent. no google reader (still haven’t caught up on those blog posts!), no twitter, sorry if i haven’t replied to an email or comment yet… and now yesterday and today have been spent sloooowly playing catchup, mostly just doing what’s absolutely necessary and being lazy with the kitty for way too much of my time. when she’s playing i have to watch her so she doesn’t get into trouble, and when she’s sleeping she makes me sleepy! so, not much work has been getting done around here!

so i don’t have my new leethal shirts up in the shop yet, hopefully by tomorrow night or monday morning, we’ll see… but to give you a sneak peek, here are the 2 shirts i sold at iron artist last weekend:

soldshirt1.jpg soldshirt2.jpg

iron artist went well! i didn’t get to see the event at all, being around the corner, facing the wrong way, but i saw tons of fun costumes. i sold a good variety of stuff and got lots of feedback on the shirts – telling me that i should definitely pursue that further! and i plan to have a custom shirt order system so you get the print you want with your size and color choice. of course, they will all be printed on recycled shirts, so there won’t be infinite size/color options. but i’ll have lots of choices eventually once i stock up, hooray for the bins!

i think i’m gonna do some future posts about fun portland touristy spots – i went to several of them with my parents and found some really cool stuff! the oregon historical society museum was super interesting and right now they have a puppet exhibit that was way fun, and we toured the submarine at omsi, and drove out along the gorge, and more…. it’s fun to play tourist for a few days in your own town, i recommend it!

parents with puppets columbia river gorge

we also went out for breakfast all three mornings, oh man i love portland breakfasts, and saw a movie at the kennedy school, and went thrifting for a table and chairs for our kitchen! and spent lots of time at home playing with the kitty of course!

oh, by the way, her name is garbanzo! wanna see more kitty shots? ok!

garbanzo2.jpg garbanzo3.jpg

garbanzo5.jpg garbanzo8.jpg

sorry for the excess, i just can’t help it!

onto other things… susan let me know the other day about this obama knit hat pattern by Lise Gervais, available for free on portland-based sewer-sewist’s obama craft project site! i don’t mean to get political on my blog, but i just have to say how i love all the craft-world stuff going on with this election. as soon as we got registered in oregon (it took us awhile to get around to it, oops) i put up the nikki mcclure vote poster in our front window, yay! and susan is hosting an obama postcard writing party next friday at tandem coffeehouse on division (across the street from the obama headquarters), with her gocco!

ok i have lots of other stuff to blog about, but it’ll all come in future posts… for now, i need to work on some job blogging. and i need to go say hi to someone who just woke up from a little catnap! stretchy kitty!

Filed under: personal,portland stuff,printing — leethal @ 6:56 pm

September 8, 2008

how to make freezer paper stencil prints with scissors!

first, thank you everybody for all the supernice comments on my last post and my engagement flickr picture and stuff! in case anyone else is curious, yes i probably will make my wedding dress, or at least recon a vintage dress in some way. it will be a crafty occasion i’m sure!

kid friendly freezer paper printing 10

so, remember the shirt i was wearing in my sweatshirt skirt post? wanna know how to print it? i meant to show you awhile ago, because it’s a kid-friendly project so it would have been good for summertime, but now it can be for back-to-school clothes instead. first i’ll give a little background story…

back at the beginning of august i taught a freezer paper stencil class at the 100th monkey studio, and i taught the only way i’d ever done it – with x-acto knives to carve the stencils. there was a young girl in the class who’d never used one before, but wanted to try, so i taught her how, and she did a fantastic job! check it out:

student's print student's print

but, i felt the need to give extra supervision for safety (it would have been horrible if she had cut herself!) and luckily it was a small class, so i could watch her most of the time. i was scheduled to teach the same project for the studio’s girls empowerment camp the following week though, and i knew i’d have to come up with some non x-acto options. i thought of the first method when i saw the studio’s huge assortment of paper punches! the woman working there tried out this idea at that first class, with the leaf print, and then i did more playing with punches with my circle skirt… (that tutorial was blogged on threadbanger)

student's punched print freezer paper stenciling - punch method

but i didn’t want the empowered girls to be limited to the punch shapes, so i played around with scissors stencil cutting. and without further ado, here’s the tutorial!

cut (or rip) a piece of freezer paper (must be freezer paper – with wax on one side only) to cover the area you want to print on. draw one or more simple shapes that you’ll be able to cut out with scissors, on the paper side.

kid friendly freezer paper printing 1 kid friendly freezer paper printing 2

my design was inspired by lotta jansdotter, from her book lotta prints:

lotta's skirts

now cut out your shapes carefully, making minimal cuts to get to the shapes and between shapes. be sure not to accidentally cut out anything that shouldn’t be cut out (hope that makes sense).

kid friendly freezer paper printing 3

now iron the stencil onto your fabric (wax side down, iron on high heat), starting with the center, carefully working your way out to the edges…

kid friendly freezer paper printing 4 kid friendly freezer paper printing 5

make sure you iron the cut parts down so they are touching, so you don’t end up with stenciled lines connecting the shapes.

kid friendly freezer paper printing 6

now paint in the stencils by dabbing in up+down motions around the outlines. if you paint side-to-side you risk painting under the stencil and getting paint in the parts where the cut edges are touching.

kid friendly freezer paper printing 7 kid friendly freezer paper printing 8

once you’re done painting, you can pretty much peel off the stencil whenever you want – i usually wait 5-10 minutes; i know some people wait till it dries completely, but i’m way too impatient for that!

kid friendly freezer paper printing 9

tah dah!

freezer paper printed shirt freezer paper printed shirt

and proof that this is a projects kids can do! (with adult help with the iron, of course!)

kid's print kid's prints

those are by 3 of my girl’s empowerment camp students. the dog is based on her real-life dog, hence the insistence on black paint, and for the cats, they painted on faces after the paint dried. i think the girls all loved the project! so if anyone has kids with boring back-to-school clothes that need some personalizing, i hope this helps! or, if you’re an adult who has a hard time with an x-acto knife, this is a super easy no-knife method, and great for simple, lotta-esque designs!!

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,printing,tutorials — leethal @ 6:01 pm

August 31, 2008

new patches and kits in the shop!

first real quick, if you’re in the portland area, i just want to let you know my zine is restocked at powell’s on hawthorne (it had been sold out for a long time, and is still out downtown), newly stocked at guapo comics, and still stocked at q is for choir. in case anyone local wants to take a look… (of course, if you’re not local, you can just buy it through me)

leethal recycled fabric coffee patch! leethal recycled fabric tea patch! leethal recycled fabric beer patch!

i just added about 15 new clock kits (scroll to the bottom of the page) and a bunch of new patches! wooooo! here is my blog post about both my patches and clock kits from the time of the first batches. and here’s what the clock kit mini-zines look like:

clock kit zines

and a few of my favorite new clock faces:

leethal clock kit! leethal clock kit! leethal clock kit!

as for the patches, i made a top-stitched version of each different design, including the ones at the top, and these:

leethal recycled fabric tape recorders patch! leethal recycled fabric shoot patch!

i made a bunch of new “i’m a baller” patches too, but they sold out at the zine symposium! i’ll try to make more soon! all clock kits and patches are assorted recycled fabrics, printed by me with my hand-carved linoleum blocks.

also new in the shop, 2 different overdyed merino bracelet kits! the one that’s just called “overdyed brown” is dyed with bits of green and blue, which only shows up in short spots, making a cool subtly-variegated brown yarn. the dark red is the same original brown merino, overdyed with lots of red, making a nice deep solid red yarn.

knit bracelet kit - overdyed brown merino knit bracelet kit - dark red merino

the other 2 bracelet kits, which are variegated yarn, normally cost more because of the multi-colors, but i’ve put them on sale for the same as the others because i have a bunch of them and want to make room for new colors. they are a bulkier weight wool blend, one dyed pastelish shades of blue, green, and bits of orange, and the other is shades of purples and (purpleish) red.

variegated knit bracelet kit variegated knit bracelet kit

(because those are older kits, the buttons are hiding underneath the yarn, so you’ll be surprised!)

ok that’s all for now, but there will be more shop news tomorrow, and hopefully another tutorial very soon!!

Filed under: leethal store,portland stuff,printing,yarn — leethal @ 6:31 pm

August 1, 2008

stenciling class tomorrow!

oops i forgot to post this earlier in the week like i meant to, but you should still be able to join the class last minute. just wanted to remind anyone who might be interested that i’m teaching a freezer paper stencil class at the 100th monkey studio tomorrow (saturday) from 2-4. i just stenciled onto this old skirt today for one last practice/sample before the class:

dandelion dandelion stencil

it’s a skirt i’ve had forever and used to wear all the time in college, but i haven’t worn it for years because it’s not quite my style anymore i guess. but it’s super duper comfy, so hopefully now that it’s printed on i’ll want to wear it more…

Filed under: portland stuff,printing — leethal @ 8:16 pm

July 27, 2008

blocks, banjos, and metal!


for pete’s birthday i carved these two music recording gear lino blocks and printed a bunch of shirts – 7 to be exact. 4 with those and 3 banjo shirts, including this one which is actually embroidered, not printed, that i posted about on threadbanger a few days ago. wanna see them all? ok!

pete's tape recorders shirt pete's mixing board shirt

pete's mixing board bottom shirt pete's mixing board bottom shirt pete's tape recorder t-shirt

pete's banjo circle shirt pete's banjo t-shirt
pete's embroidered banjo patched shirt banjo patch close up

block printing is so much fun! i definitely plan to do much more in the near future!

oh oh and my other bday present to pete was soo super nerdytastic! i made him a website! metalheadpete.com! it’s still very much work in progress… i just built the site template kind of, and then we’ll change/add stuff as we get to it. the music sample mp3s are all many years old – his new stuff can be found on the myspace page for now; it’s all incomplete, but still fun to hear. (don’t be scared by the word “metal” – it’s a very experimental kind of mixed genres music that i don’t know how to describe, but there’s no growling vocals or anything, at least not in the new stuff.) he’ll probably put up cds for sale on the music page in the future, so if you like what you hear, you might want to subscribe to his blog!

one last totally random thing, since i’m on the subject of music… yesterday i was hanging out with star and scott and lauren and this question was asked: “if you could see any 3 people/bands play live, living or dead (or any 3 shows), who would they be?” so, i think mine are: the velvet underground with nico in ny when andy warhol was their manager, karen dalton + bob dylan + friends at a greenwich village coffeeshop in the early/mid 60’s, and the beatles apple rooftop show (last live show ever), but that last one is kind of tied with john+yoko post-beatles instead. i would list elliott smith if i hadn’t been lucky enough to have seen him once live, even if it wasn’t the best show to see him play (sunset street fair, so short set, huge crowd, not-great sound, etc). what are your picks??

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,lots of links,music,printing,threadbanger — leethal @ 12:28 pm

July 9, 2008

turning boring shirts into superawesome custom shirts!

i’ve been having some fun with printing! two of my brothers had birthdays in the last month, so i got them plain thifted shirts onto which i custom printed some of their favorite things… first, for ben, the dj basketball player (birthday+graduation so 2 shirts):

djstencil.jpg bensshirtback.jpg bensbballshirt.jpg

the scratching and the bball are freezer paper stencils made by me, the headphones is a stencil i bought super cheap a long time ago. (see basketball closeup here for a better angle.)

and then for paul, the folk musician, i thought about making a bob dylan stencil, but decided it would be a bit too challenging because of his hair… so i carved a banjo block print and did this:

paulsshirt1.jpg paulsshirt3.jpg

i had so much fun with the block printed shirt that yesterday i made a couple for myself!

my shirts

if you want to try out some printing now, i did a threadbanger roundup awhile back with links to tutorials on every different fabric printing technique i know of. and a couple weeks ago i picked up lotta jansdotter’s new printing book – so inspiring! i recommend checking that out for ideas with tons of different methods, from potato printing to screens.


and, if you are in the portland area, i will be teaching a class on freezer paper stenciling at the 100th monkey studio! on august 2nd i’ll be teaching how to make a stencil, and print both the positive and negative images. i think it’ll be a great class for teenagers who might be new to crafty things, so if you know anyone who might be interested be sure to let them know!

Filed under: general crafts,portland stuff,printing — leethal @ 11:16 am
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