Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Permaculture analysis applied to social network

I finished a piece for submitting to a show this weekend, and I've been catching up on chores and reading. Since it's spring here in the PNW, I've been doing some gardening and thinking about what I want to do differently. This led me to where I found the article I've put a link for at the end. It's about using the permaculture concepts of areas and zones to analyze your urban (or in my case suburban) environment with an eye to understanding energy use and interactions with other social entities. There are great sketches and a nice example from the author with links to things that he found helpful in changing his life to consume less energy and be more locally oriented without feeling deprived.

One of the things I'm looking for is what others have already figured out about how to cut fossil fuel dependency and to relocalize without moving to a farm and homesteading. (Not that I would mind that, but my technology oriented husband might have a few objections.) This looks like a good tool for figuring out what needs to be changed. If you know of others, please post a comment and tell me about them.

Check out

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Inkjet printing on fabric - stabilizing options

I've been working with printing pictures on fabric as part of my new direction for my art. One of the issues in doing this is stabilizing the fabric so it will feed smoothly through the printer. I've traditionally used freezer paper, ironed to the back of the fabric, but this has always had a certain failure rate due to lack of adhesion of the fabric, the printer head ruffling the edges of the fabric, and just a tendency to slipping. Now that I'm doing photos rather than just some clip art, and I'm using the photo setting on my printer, these tendencies to problems have gotten worse. Someone on the inkjet transfer yahoo group suggested full size labels instead. So, I tried them out. They certainly feed better, but there's a tendency to distort the fabric when the label is peeled off. I also found a noticeable adhesive residue on the silk that was printed with the full size label.

Below are 2 images of pieces done each way. The top fabric in each picture was ironed to freezer paper. The bottom fabric was printed using the full size label.

This is the fabric straight out of the printer with the stabilizers still attached. Notice the darker edges on the freezer paper one which is where the fabric crumbled somewhat.

This second shot is after removing the stabilizers. Notice the curling on the one done with the full size label. I fixed this problem somewhat with some ironing but you should keep in mind that ironing too soon after printing can degrade the image.

Next time, I'll be trying printing on fabric with wonder-under as a stabilizer as I usually fuse it anyway...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Organic honey, or what about free-range bees?

Have I mentioned lately? I get an environmental news email from them regularly and I love them. They’re amusing, informative and local to Seattle. So, the last week of February, when I was getting ready to do some baking, and wanted to use honey instead of sugar, I ended up writing a letter to their advice columnist. It got published the next week, so I share the link with you.