March TIF

Do you remember the scene in The Wizard of Oz where the old house has been tossed and turned by the cyclone and dropped out of the sky, and Dorothy is standing in the dingy, black and white and grey weatherbeaten, worn-out house, and she opens the door and there is Oz, in gorgeous Technicolor?

That is spring.

At least, that is what spring can feel like.

Don’t mistake me – spring hasn’t made it to Ontario yet. We still have snowbanks along the driveway, and our composter is frozen solid, and there is snow in the forecast again for the next few days.

But in a few weeks, it will be here.

That is what I was thinking of in doing this TIF piece for March. As I wrote in an earlier post, one of the first signs of spring is when the winter aconite shows up. These are very tiny, bright yellow flowers, which suddenly pop out and are very vivid against the background of dead grass and last year’s leaves.

Here’s my piece:

I printed a b&w photo of dead leaves using the instructions I found here. I then added some flowers – some buds, some in full bloom – using french knots, oyster stitch, chain stitch, and fly stitch. The flowers don’t particularly look like winter aconite, but they do capture that bright, intense yellow that jumps out through the dirty brown, drab late winter landscape.

If I were spending more time working on this I would add some texture to the leaves – possibly running stitch and outline stitches, to emphasize the layers of leaves. But as this was an experiment for me (and I probably won’t get to do much more before the end of the month), I’m happy the way it is.

This was the first time I’d tried printing on fabric, and I was surprised at how easy it was. I ironed the fabric with freezer paper, ran it through the laser printer, and then let it sit for an hour or so before peeling off the paper.

One question – the instructions I used didn’t specify how to fix the image. I’m not sure if that is the correct term – maybe I mean stabilize? What I mean is, how do I keep the image from smearing or wearing off, or is that an inevitable problem with laser printers, as opposed to inkjet? Can someone advise me what to do?


One response to “March TIF

  1. This is gorgeous! And a terrific interpretation of the theme. Can’t help re the laser printing as I only use inkjet but hopefully someone else will be able to!

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