Tag Archives: stamps

rubyfish rejects

Not really rejects, more…skimming off the top.  You might recall that despite opening our Rubyfish etsy shop, Sophie and I occasionally have a hard time putting the things we make up for sale. We have a tendency to, um, keep half of what we make, snatching it away before it can be listed.  One might think we don’t make much, but really, we’re just greedy.  I thought I’d post a few pictures of items that didn’t make it to the shop…

Here’s a moss green tank with a black lotus stamp that I snagged.

Omg!  My hands are on backwards!  On, no, wait a minute: it’s just reverse namaste.  Plus the little turquoise bracelet Sophie made me for Mother’s Day.  I love this tank, v-neck, super light weight, extra long.

Oh, look at this gorgeous sunflower dress:

We were inspire by a friend’s skirt, but when we were making it, we thought we had totally messed it up—and then it came out great!  That, by the way, is a classic tie-dye experience. We have definite plans to recreate this one for Rubyfish and have been considering some stamp options.  Maybe a grass hopper somewhere along the hem?

Here is a spiral tie-dye we did special request for a family member.  Hi David!  We were trying to match your blue-green eyes…

Here is another use of our lotus stamp.  This shirt was actually Luc’s design.  “I want the fuschia to come up to here on the arms [carefully saws at upper arm] and a fuschia lotus on a black chest.  Can you do that?”

Sophie says, “Yes!”

We’ve really got to make more things and add to our inventory, but it’s so hard to let them go…

sophie’s twilight forest dress

Sophie and I walk Henry through our bit of forest every night.  Lately, the fireflies have been out.  It’s quite magical.  The other day Sophie got inspired to make a twilight firefly dress.  And so we did.

Here is her first design drawing.

The crayon colors are her plan for the dress.  The writing is me, putting down some ideas for dye colors to achieve the result she wants.  We also talked about how to fold/scrunch the dress to get a tree-like effect in the dye pattern.

Then we got out a white dress blank, soaked it in soda ash, made up squirt bottles of dye, scrunched and folded the wet dress, and applied the colors.

Here is the dyed dress:

Next, we started thinking about stamps.  On our next Henry walk, we picked several examples of ferns.  We did rubbings and tracings and drawings from these, until we came up with two designs we liked.  Then we transferred these onto carving block, and carved them out.

Here is Sophie doing some carving.  This kind of block is super-soft.  Very safe for little fingers—you aren’t likely to slip and poke your eye out.

Here are the three final stamps we made for our twilight forest dress.

Isn’t the firefly stamp cute?  Sophie drew the design for that, and I carved it.  It can take dozens of drawings before we pick one we like, but this one came pretty quickly. Here are some of Sophie’s trial drawings and a few test stamps:

Once the stamps are done, we mixed up fabric paint, did some practice runs, and got to stamping.  After we put on the initial stamp pattern, we go back in with a brush and add other colors, such as the gold on the firefly’s bum, or clean up an image if it didn’t come out as clearly as we would like.

Here is the final Twilight Forest dress:

Sophie was very pleased with how it came out!

I think we plan to put this dress up for sale in our Rubyfish shop.  Any thoughts on how much we should charge?  I need to get our tech department (we’ve outsourced it to India) (not) to list it, plus do a post here to announce our grand opening.  We just have a few things to sell, no big plans for world domination through an international fashion empire.  Mostly it’s just fun to make things together.

Art is everywhere!

rubyfish swims slowly upstream

Some of you may recall that Sophie, 7, and I have had plans to open an Etsy shop named Rubyfish where we will sell some of our hand-dyed, hand-stamped, hand-painted clothes. It may seem as though nothing has happened with that, but no. We have been busily (sort of) working behind the scenes, getting ready for a grand opening. No really, we have! We have our logo, our header, we have our federal tax ID number, and we have been dyeing stuff like crazy. Such little worker bees we are!

However. We keep deciding to, ahem, keep our goodies. Like the hot pink “love” panties (stamped with a red heart and hand-painted “love” in white) that I pocketed, or the black so-called “ninja pants” (gold hand-carved stamp of “dragon” in ancient Chinese) that Sophie started wearing. Or the olive dyed, super soft tank-top with a cool black hand-carved lotus stamp on the upper back (I claimed that one). Or the dyed turquoise t-shirt with a stamped and hand-painted green-and-gold dragonfly on the chest (Sophie snagged that the other day, and I can’t blame her, she looks terrific in it). I would take pictures of all these lovelies for you, but they are all in the wash. Because we can’t stop wearing them.

I mentioned this to Sophie this morning and she shrugged and said, “Well, at least it means we like our own art.”

That kid is so smart.

pirate panty prototype process

A while back I went looking for a pair of panties that had a pirate skull and crossbones on them and I couldn’t find the right pair.  So Sophie and I decided to make some.  And maybe sell them on Etsy.  Because…why not?  Anyway, we’ve become connoisseurs of skull and crossbones now, and have drawn hundreds of them.  Here is our table after an afternoon spent drawing and carving pirates.

It takes a lot of pirate drawings to find one you really like!  We finally went with this one that Sophie drew:

See the ‘yar’ underneath?  Hee hee.

Here is the stamp used on a pair of panties.  We stamped with Lumiere fabric paint and hand painted on the gold tooth.

That flower looking thing is another stamp.  I carved that one, a kind of henna lotus design.  Maybe for a tank top?

It is remarkably fun to wear a pair of pirate panties.  Even if the day is wearing on me, I know that underneath, I’m a take no prisoners kind of gal!  Yo ho ho!  Give me some rum!  And every time I go to pee, I see them and they make me laugh.

We’ve also done a pair of cupcake panties that say ‘bite me.’  I need to get some pictures of those.