Friday, February 21, 2014

The First Weekly Doodle! (408)

This week I read a post on Kerry's blog about blogging. Very meta, right? It made me realize that whether or it's a blog post, or a workout, or a painting, I have the hardest time with actually starting things. So I made this doodle. (It's on a Post-It note. No judging.) I plan to keep having weekly doodle posts, as well as reminding myself not to stress so much about starting new things. Because, frankly, I often end up loving them once I'm in.

Doodle from week #408

Don't believe me? Fine. Here's a list.

1999: Marching band - Definitely changed my life for the awesomer (yes that's a word).
2003: Varsity tennis - I sucked at it, but we had a good time regardless.
2005: Intramural indoor soccer - You can bounce the ball off the walls? Fun!
2007: Driving - I had my license, but didn't start liking to drive until I bought my own car.
2010: Guacamole - I'm eternally grateful to Justin for convincing me to try this wonder-food.
2012: Conventions/Cosplay: Made steampunk outfits and went to MARCON and had a blast.
2014: Ultimate frisbee: I don't love it yet, but it's growing on me and based on past precedent, I just might someday. ;)

Have you ever been reluctant to try something and ended up loving it? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, February 17, 2014

DIY: Fangirl T-shirts

Once upon a time, there was a semi-angsty college kid who had finally begun to develop her own taste in music. One of the very first albums she fell hard for was Fall Out Boy's "From Under The Cork Tree" sometime during her sophomore/junior year of college. As you may have guessed, that college kid was me and that love continues to this day. (Fun fact: if you Google my name and Fall Out Boy, you'll find the article where I was randomly called by my college newspaper while listening to that album.)

As you know (or don't know because you don't care) Fall Out Boy went on hiatus in 2009 and I was sad that I never got to see them in concert. But then they got back together last year AND were coming to Columbus. So much fangirling! Luckily for me, in the meantime I had rekindled some college friendships, one of which was just as excited about the Fall Out Boy reunion as me. Somewhere in the midst of totally freaking out about the new album, we decided to make our own FOB t-shirts to wear to the concert.

I guesstimated how big these should be and free-handed them onto freezer paper.

Using much research (read: Pinterest) we decided to try both the freezer-paper/spray-with-bleach as well as the write-with-a-bleach-pen techniques. We wrote lyrics from The Phoenix "change you like a remix" and "raise you like a phoenix" on the fronts of our shirts, and used the freezer paper to make bigger letters for the album/tour name on the backs.

This is my pal Bre, getting ready to iron her letters down.

As it turns out, writing with bleach pens is not something I would recommend if you like precision. The flow is hard to control and unless you use VERRRY thin lines, your words will bleed together. Or where your letters cross back over themselves, like in my "k" below. Or if it globs out too fast, because there is no undoing bleach. We also did a little spraying on the front to make it look similar to the backs.

Cursive was maybe not the best choice, but I have to say I still like it even with the blurs.

Ironing on the freezer paper actually worked pretty well. If you were doing something really intricate, it might blur your lines a bit, but with our big block letters, the edges came out surprisingly crisp. However, I would also recommend going easy on the bleach spraying. At first, it will look like it's not doing anything, but it will eventually get there so be patient. If you want to bleach it all around, get close and spray right at the shirt. If you want a more splattered look, stay back a little ways and sort of spray over the shirt so the bleach falls like a nice, toxic rain.

Here they are, after the bleach did its job and we took off the letters.

Once the bleach had done as much work as we wanted it to, we carefully peeled off the letters and rinse our shirts in cold water in the sink to get most of the extra bleach off. Then we just washed them like normal (but not with anything else you might not want residual bleach on, obviously.) And then after all that, we ended up running late the day of the concert, so Bre didn't have time to change into her shirt, and I forgot to take a picture of me wearing mine, so I got you this shot from the concert instead. It was so awesome: they played most of my favorite songs from all their albums, and I could not be happier that I got to go.

So fun. So loud. So much sitting in the parking garage after. So worth it.

These shirts were actually pretty fun to make, and as soon as I have another reason to make a t-shirt, you can bet I will be doing this again. I knew that my black shirt would bleach to that rusty color, but I actually like that Bre's fuchsia shirt went pink with bleach, so I'll probably experiment with other colors too. So what do you guys think? Want to DIY some sweet band t-shirts?