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WARNING: Terrible Pictures – it was raining outside, so the artificial light I had to use and the camera flash made everything look gross.

My baby brother turned 21 last week which is slightly horrifying.*

(*) I don’t know why, but nothing makes me go “Holy crap, time is flying by!” like my brother having a birthday. It doesn’t feel like twenty-one years have passed since he was just this tiny person that came home from the hospital one day and stole all my thunder (I console myself with the fact that, at the time, I was WAY CUTER THAN HIM).

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YOU CAN’T COMPETE WITH MY BLONDE AFRO BABY.

ANYWAY, despite all this I love him to pieces, so I always try to give him an awesome birthday present. This is pretty simple, but I’m quite happy with how it turned out. I think my stenciling is getting better.

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He’s kind of stoic, so it’s hard to tell, but I think he was touched that I made him something.

Detail Shot:
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Sorry for the lack of action shot. He fell asleep pretty much immediately after present opening because he’d been moving his girlfriend into their new apartment the day before and was exhausted.

Stencil: Stencilry

Note from the Blogger: I’m sorry I haven’t updated in ages. I have been trying unsuccessfully to post this entry for three or four days now because WordPress was being a butt. Hopefully it was worth the wait.

Remember that bleach stencil t-shirt I made that turned out less than stellar?

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I managed to turn it into something I’ll actually wear! I’d been meaning to try this tutorial for awhile and I thought that the variegated coloring caused by the bleach, when cut into strips, would have a really neat effect here.

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And I was right! Isn’t it nice when that happens?

I worked well, but for some reason my strips didn’t fold really fold in on themselves, they just stretched and got raggedy on the cut edges. I actually like it though, it gives it a much more rough, organic feel.

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Unfortunately, it’s warming up around here, meaning I won’t get many more chances to wear it until the fall. That’s not so bad though, I’m just glad it turned out. 🙂

Sometimes, despite our best efforts our crafts just don’t work out. This was one of those times.

While I was stenciling robots and sunglasses with freezer paper and fabric paint, I decided I was also going to try out bleach stenciling. The plan was to cut a heart out of freezer paper, iron it on, and then spray bleach around it so the heart would be in the negative.

Here is an artist’s rendering of what was supposed to happen:

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And here is what actually happened:

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As you can probably tell, I used the wrong kind of spray bottle. Not only did it get completely out of control, it also bled under the freezer paper. The lesson here kids is that when bleach stenciling you should use the spray bottles you find next to the travel-sized shampoo, not the ones next to the household cleaners.

Don’t you worry about me though. I have a plan for this thing.

These are the very first shirts I’ve ever stenciled. It was, um, a learning experience.

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The sunglasses shirt actually turned out the best, which surprised me because it was my practice stencil. I picked it out just because I knew it would be easy to cut, to sort of ease myself into stencil making. Apparently there’s some truth to the saying “Keep It Simple Stupid”.

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As you can see, it’s cracking a little bit, but I don’t really mind.

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Poor robot. His heart is black because it’s cold and metallic and cannot feel love. Also he is slightly off-center which is going to bug the crap out of me.

And he looks wonky when I wear it because, well…boobs.

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This one turned out okay, but I really should have done it on a shirt that wasn’t so dark (and, y’know, made sure it was centered (seriously, it’s going to make me crazy, oh my god)).

Stencils: Stencilry
Materials: $4 Wal-Mart tees, freezer paper, and good ol’ cheap-ola Tulip fabric paint.