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Jen Gagne's art journal I keep a separate journal for personal stuff. Visit: [http://jengagne.livejournal.com/]

Below are 15 entries, after skipping 50 most recent ones in the "Jen Gagne's art journal" journal:

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May 16th, 2006
01:28 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Le printeur est aux repaire.
As you might've gathered from various comments and postscripts on my previous entry, I found a local place certified by Epson to fix my printer for only $200. She said they've only seen one unfixable printer before -- and that one, they replaced even though it was out of warranty. Should take under ten business days, to boot.

Of course, I had to warn them that the printer also had damage I did NOT want them to fix -- namely, the parts I'd deliberately ripped out of the printer with pliers and wirecutters in order to let it print canvas more easily. ;) So there's notes all over the task order explaining it. Hee hee. Wonder what the person who actually does the fix will think?

If they repair too much, I can always disembowel it again. (See, this is why I wonder if my printer was EVER in warranty...)

So, I feel good about this. Awesome. This is so much better than replacing it with an equivalent printer or downgrading.

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May 14th, 2006
08:47 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

... and the agony of defeat.

Witness the horror. (Click to zoom.)
That, my friends, is a piece of my printer. You know. The wide-format printer I use to make ALL my artwork?... the one that cost me an entire paycheck?... and both the warranty and the extended warranty I bought are expired?

It's been having feed issues lately, then today, MAJOR feed issues... and just now, it finally managed to run a piece of paper all the way through. And on top of that crumpled piece of paper was this little plastic bit-o-printer. Unfortunately, the printer is not running any better now that it's barfed up this piece.

I'll look into repairs, but I'm wondering if it's worth repairing. Maybe I should just get a new printer. The equivalent wide-format these days is not nearly as expensive as this one was, and would be under warranty again.

Both the "repair" and "replace" thoughts are giving me a pounding headache, though, which is a novelty since I hardly ever get headaches... well, I had one two weeks ago, but none in the five years before that...

Edited to add: With a day's perspective, I must remind myself that at least my now-dead printer wasn't brand new. Getting that many years of performance out of a printer is really not bad, considering how much media I cranked through it during that period of time.

Edited to add again: I could get my original printer fixed for a flat rate of $199 locally, reportedly. Hrrrrmmmm.

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12:09 pm
[jengagne]

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Success! Cat bag #8 turned out nicely.

If at first you don't succeed, try seven more times? Once again, thanks to missmonstermel for the toothy inside-bag-lid inspiration, and for chatting with me. :)

Click each pic to zoom.

Here are the stats:

  • 8x8 inches, not including the ears.
  • Thin, long strap so I can wear it from my shoulder across to my hip.
  • Fabric is cotton twill, treated to ensure the ink won't run in water. It should be hand-washable. (I will test how tough it is in that regard by tossing Bag #7 in with our next load of dark laundry.)
  • Fully lined with black broadcloth, fusible sheet joining the fabric layers. That gives the fabric a nice solid texture, and should add some extra water resistance to protect the contents.
  • Black double-fold bias tape zigzagged onto all the edges for added strength.

I love the lil' paws, though I might make them a tad bigger next time. :D I'm still debating whether I want to continue printing the tongue on, or whether it should be a separate flappy piece. Getting the bias tape around that tight turn might be somewhat challenging.

Overall though, I feel good about this incarnation of the cat bag, good enough that I could see myself making more of them. In terms of selling them, I can deal with the material cost... thing is, it took at least two hours to print, treat, fuse, cut, and sew. Ooergh. I just can't imagine many people paying more than $50 for a bag, though. Hrmmmmmm.

I'm keeping this one, but I'll continue pondering price while I make a few more. Advice appreciated! Now... sleep. zz.

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May 11th, 2006
08:19 am
[jengagne]

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EEEEE MUTANT CAT BAG!
Click pic to zoom.
Click pic to zoom.

My first twill-based cat bag. He came out rather mutated -- the lid doesn't really fit right and sewing through the zillion layers at the top edge didn't work well.

Overall though, it was very "baggish" with a nice crunchable texture, so I think this path is still promising. This is definitely a pattern problem, so a little revision should fix that.

I also have some pattern modifications in mind that should make this easier to sew... maybe all one piece except for the ears? That'd result in fewer layers in that key spot.

Of course, I'm also thinking this would be easier to sew if it were a little bigger than 8x8 inches... But, this roll of fabric is 8.5 inches wide, so I have to work it out at this size. Eh well, whatever I come up with should scale upward easily if I still want to make a 12x12 one later.

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May 10th, 2006
05:26 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Cat plush #2, sewn and stuffed.
Click pic to zoom.
Click pic to zoom.
Click pic to zoom.
Click pic to zoom.

The double-sided design makes me think, "It keeps the hot side hot, and the cool side cool!" With the fleece lining, this looks a lot less lumpy than the other one.

Still, I don't like how it folds across the eyes... maybe that's just inevitable with the change in volume from the face vs. the ears? Ehn. I can move the face down more, I suppose. I'll also move the claws upward so they're more visible from the front.

There's definitely a charm to having a cat-shaped stuffed pillow like this -- it makes it much more like a plushie or a real stuffed animal, like a kid might carry around.

That said, I do plan to make some that are more like rectangular or square throw-pillows. I dearly love putting art in squares, after all...and my ACEOs are rectangular. I'd basically make a removable, washable pillow sham with my image on the front.

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04:58 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Conclusions from test printing on ColorTextiles and Dharma fabric samples, Epson 2200 inkjet
I was hoping to have some sample inkjet prints on fabric scanned by now, but my scanner is still on the blink. At least you can see the great photos of printed fabric in my other posts.

So, I'll just summarize my results here in text...Results blah blah blah!Collapse )

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May 4th, 2006
09:57 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Cat plush pillow test #2, inkjet-printed fabric.

Click pic to zoom.
Click pic to zoom.

I haven't sewn these two sides together yet but they're 13x16 inches each beforehand. They'll lose a few inches to depth once they become 3-D. I'm pretty sure this new, taller pattern will work out nicely, but we'll see how it looks when it's done. The paws might be too low or too high... I can move them if need be.

As I mentioned yesterday, I decided to make the flipside cat clash nicely. Their tails are different, too. I used the fleece interfacing -- we'll see how that pans out once I sew and stuff these guys.

Read more...Collapse )

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May 3rd, 2006
08:54 pm
[jengagne]

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Cat plush (pillow?) from inkjet-printed fabric.

Click pic to zoom.
Click pic to zoom.

To give you a sense of scale, he's about a foot across. The other side is the same, just reversed. For future versions, I'll probably make the flipside cat a clashy opposing color scheme instead of matching the front.

The fabric is a little stiff because of the spray I used -- this is generic cotton, not the fancy ColorTextiles stuff -- and so it's folding more than I'd hoped around the ears and on his rump. even though I gave the curves the typical tiny cuts inside to encourage them to be smoother.

I also worry about the spray making it more flammable than it would normally be... not good if this ends up as a toy for a kid. Yeah, the CT fabric is looking better and better on a lot of fronts...

But overall, not bad, eh? The color density is about as good as I can expect. Cyans and greens always seem a little weak (or maybe just don't contrast much?) on this printer, which is why I tried these colors first.

When the new CT fabric comes it'll be softer since I won't have to spray it. I'll also use some fleece interfacing, which should reinforce the ears nicely. So I think the next one won't have that foldy-seams problem.

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05:20 pm
[jengagne]

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Testing aftertreatments for inkjet printing on fabric, and more on ColorTextiles.
As a text-intensive follow up to my previous post, I've continued the testing on the Dharma Trading Company fabric samples. I'll have pictures sometime soon, really! Read more...Collapse )

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April 27th, 2006
02:18 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Testing on ColorTextiles and Dharma fabric samples, Epson 2200 Ultrachrome inkjet
Here are my first observations after testing my Epson 2200 printer with Ultrachrome ink on ColorTextiles and Dharma Trading Company fabric samples. No scans yet, alas. Read more...Collapse )

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April 25th, 2006
11:18 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Canvas bags aren't gonna work after all.
Although I was really happy with how the canvas bag the other day turned out visually, it still needed gussets so it could hold some volume, rather than being an 8x8 inch rigid flat folio.

Well, that ain't happening -- there's no way I can cram it far enough under a sewing machine foot to do a three-point corner... much less TWO three-point corners within two inches of each other for the bottom corners. That's especially true since once creased, this canvas I'm using doesn't want to go back to being flat again (another strike against it). And last but not least, I still worry about the image getting scuffed off of the canvas.

I also tried a silkpainting variation, but I'm bad at it or it's just not precise enough for what I'm trying to do... I tried a few experiments but I won't bother documenting them further here since they were abysmal failures. :D So. No fleece, no canvas, no silkpainting. Time to go with Plan D.

Plan D is to use digitally printed non-canvas fabric, like silk or cotton. I can buy fabric that's been prepped for printing, but even official "inkjet fabric" doesn't actually hold dye well if it gets wet.

Edited: Whoops, it turns out that supposedly steaming is only necessary for DYE-based inkjet inks. Mine uses pigment-based inks. So, I edited out all the stuff I wrote before about steamsetting. I'm investigating post-printing treatments to keep it sealed into the fabric even if it's washed, though.

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April 23rd, 2006
11:32 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Cat bag, take two! Canvas experiment.

Ahhh, this time it went SO much better... easier, too. I used canvas this time, and since it's printed digitally, that means I can adjust all the colors to customize. Whee! I sprayed the canvas for water resistance. It's lined with fused broadcloth... edges and strap are double fold bias tape which I stole from my Mom (thanks Mom!)

It's not completely perfect, but I'll keep working on new iterations. Because the canvas is stiff and it's only 8 inches square, there's not a lot of room inside to actually put stuff. For my next attempt, I'll add triangular gussets on either side and a rectangular bottom.

I decided to just print the tail and tongue on -- having them hang loose would just make them scuff quicker because they'd always be in the way. I think it looks good, although I plan to reduce the tongue's drop shadow.

Click each for a closer view.
Click to zoom Click to zoom Click to zoom

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April 21st, 2006
11:18 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

The cat's out of the bag!

This kitty purse is made of fleece. All the colors are appliqued. Lined with red to match the mouth. Inspired by my artwork and by missmonstermel, who has making ubercool fleece bags down to a science!

I think it turned out great, but it took SOOO long to make, I don't think I'll do it again. :/ I spent my one mostly-conscious evening last week working on it... hours and hours.

Maybe I can come up with a different way to make the colors, like silkpainting or screenprinting onto the fleece or digital canvas or... something. I'll keep tinkering with it. I'd really like to make these more easily, since a few friends have already said they want one. :D

The fleece is so nice and fuzzy though... plus it doesn't fray. Maybe I can use fusible fleece or web or something to at least make the teeth easier... hmmmm.

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09:56 pm
[jengagne]

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Jasper bead hairstick with sterling silver wire.

I made this last night... love how it turned out!

Hamster setup. Snuggle-lumpykinses!

Sorry for the blur. I'll get better pics if I ever decide to sell these, of course. :D

In other art news, I've started posting art cards on eBay again, and I'm making some pirate maps meanwhile since they're all gone.

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05:33 pm
[jengagne]

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