Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Some Kind of Magic

Woohoo! My MagicStamp moldable foam stamps came yesterday. I've been waiting about a month for these things and, boy, am I excited. In just a while, I'm gonna whip out my heat gun and run around the house looking for things to imprint my stamps with. But first, I must locate the fire extinguishers and make sure they are at the ready. I do hope that these stamps are as amazing as I was lead to believe.

I am rather frightened of the heat gun. It has been sitting in its box for the past nine years. We purchased it when my husband was going to remove white paint from our baseboards to match them to the rest of the dark woodwork in the house. He managed to remove about 10 feet of paint. Then I had the nerve to suggest that the house was too dark for me and that I would like all of the woodwork to be white. I would never have done this if some of the woodwork hadn't already been painted. In the end, it was a good idea.

I have purchased a few new art tools lately. I am trying out some new fabric paint. ProFab I think it is called, from Pro Chemical and Dye. Large bottles -- much larger than the Jacquard Neopaque I have been using for years. I will need to find some space to store these new, large bottles. This paint seems to work much differently than the Neopaque. When using Neopaque, the color is brighter when wet & mellows out when it dries. Not so with the ProFab --- much brighter when it dries. I'm sure there are many artists out there that experiment thoroughly before applying any new product to their artwork. I am impatient. I tried the paint on a teeny sample, then did some stamping on my newest piece -- after it had been "finished." Foolhardy! Yet I loved the results.

It is time for other new products and experiments, yet I fear doing it all on my own. I would love it if some of you blogging artists would let me know what tools and products are your favorites. I'm looking to buy several new things.

1. Fabric paints and easy to use dyes. I am somewhat on the careless side and don't need to be working with any toxic materials. Hence my fear of the heat gun.

2. Sewing maching needles -- I've been using Singer needles forever & have had too many break lately. The last one broke during some speedy sewing and struck me 1/2" from my eye.

3. Sewing machine -- I have only used bottom of the line machines so far. Looking to move up (somewhat). My current machine will not let me do any freehand quilting. I have to drag out my primitive Kenmore for that.

4. Photograpy equipment & lighting. I would like to photograph my own work & would like to locate the best equipment for the job.

5. Compact stereo system.

What are your favorite art-making supplies?


Unknown said...

Hi Kim, I have a few suggestions for you. (1) I use and LOVE Tsunkineko inks. I learned how to use them in a class with Lura Schwarz-Smith. I used to use acrylic paints, but I didn't like the texture it left on the surface. It takes a while to master the use of the inks, but once you get it they are fabulous.
(2) I learned a long time ago that Singer needles are a hair bit longer than standard sewing machine needles and are only intended for use in Singer machines. I use Schmetz needles exclusively (saw that you are using the Microtex-excellent!) and mostly use the Topstitch and Microtex. DO NOT use Universal - they have a ball point tip - not good for sewing on the tightly woven cotton fabrics that most of us use.
(3) Sewing machines: I learned on my mom's ancient Kenmore and then inherited an old Necchi. When my husband heard me swearing while trying to learn free motion quilting years ago, he sweetly purchase me my first Bernina - a 160. I used that baby for years and years and never had a cross word. Last year I bought a Janome 1600 because I wanted a heavy duty, FAST, straight-stitch machine for free motion quilting. This year I upgraded my 160 to an Aurora 430. My advice - think about the features you really want in a machine, test drive several at your local dealers, quiz friends AND DONT PAY FOR FEATURES YOU'LL NEVER USE! :-)
(4) I have a Canon Digital Rebel XT that I use for "professional" photography (i.e. photographing quilts for show entries, my website, etc. But I just picked up a pocket-size Canon that I carry with me all the time for inspirational stuff.
All the above is just my 2 cents. You asked!! Aloha, Dianna

paula said...

i didn't respond earlier because ive been working like a dawg (taxi thang) and i dont do quilt stuff
but if you want an answer from me, my favorite art making supplies are scrap metal....
sharpie pens, industrial pens (artline pen markers) go on rust and everything without coming off, dick blick paints, golden paint supplies, and the rest are tools and nuts and bolts.
i would love a compact sterio too, where did you say the benefactor lives?
as far as the best photography stuff...last year i finally broke down and bought a manfrotto tripod and love it. i dont have an slr camera (i'm afraid it would be such a steep learning curve I would be post humously learning), i use my olympus 8080 8 meg and love it too.

Kim Hambric said...

Dianna and Paula, thanks so much for your responses. Sometimes I feel that I live in the middle of nowhere & have no one around to discuss these things with. I need to try to find a place that deals in sewing machines. The only game in town that I know of is that nasty big box fabric store & I prefer never to go there again.

Definitely time to do some research & I'd much rather be making things.