Screen Printing Saturdays with Square Club

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On a recent Saturday morning, the sun was shining and I found myself skipping along to the East End of town to take part in a screen printing workshop. After my recent bird/ snake creation (and I use that word loosely) at the Crafternoon, you’d be quite entitled to think it would be a while before getting stuck into something so hands-on again – but actually, I was feeling keen to redeem myself and participate in something that I had a little experience in!

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I hadn’t attempted screen printing since studying art (and that was…well, let’s just say it was over a decade ago and leave it at that, yeah?) but I remember really enjoying the process. I also love being able to customise things and make them my own – so screen printing is a pretty handy skill to brush up on in my book!

So, when I heard about Square Club’s 3 hour workshop held at their Shapes Of Things studio, I was all ears and couldn’t wait to revisit my high school art days.

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Situated next to Glasgow’s famous WEST brewery, the Shapes Of Things studio is a bright, cheerful space with massive windows and lots of room to get creative. It was the perfect setting for our class which, as well as having fellow bloggers, also had a few regular attendees to keep us right.

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Our workshop was taught by fashion and print designer Jamie Bruski Tetsill. Jamie’s work has featured in the likes of Elle, Vogue and Dazed and Confused and he has also shown at London Fashion Week – so I knew right away we’d be in good hands! Jamie started off by explaining a bit about the company, which can be tailored to individuals and groups regardless of their level of experience. He then took us through different stations of the workshop, explaining how they fitted into each stage of the process.

We had the option to create t-shirts or tote bags and all supplies were provided by Square Club, so you really can turn up empty-handed! I opted to make a t-shirt with a simple text print and started to prepare my art work. Multiple materials were provided, giving us a chance to experiment with different styles and decide on which we liked best. I created my base text on the computer and used ink afterwards to make it bolder.

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Next, I prepared my screen by affixing the design to it. It was then subject to high exposure in a custom-built device in order to transfer the design onto the screen itself. The process is a little like darkroom photography – timing is EVERYTHING!

After some washing and drying, my screen was ready to use! At this point, I inexplicably ended-up with textile dyes all over my hands (even though I was nowhere near the dye and pigment station…you must admit that is a skill in itself) but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, right?

I attached the fabric to the print bed, stretching it out and keeping it firmly in place.

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The next part took longer than expected – selecting which colours to use! With so many vibrant colours in the studio, I found it a little hard to narrow down. Since I was printing onto white fabric, I opted for yellow and blue dyes and marbled them together. Using the squeegee, my prepped screen and the dye I had picked out, I then printed the design directly onto my t-shirt!

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I decided to create a slogan tee inspired by one of my favourite meals – ’cause I’m all about that brunch!

3 hours might sound like an awfully long time, but trust me, the morning totally flew in and after the final print and fixing actions, our pieces were finished and ready to wear! Everyone was super happy with their creations and the thing that I enjoyed most about the class was the positive and encouraging atmosphere. By breaking the process into stages, it was easy and fun to learn how to bring our designs to life.

You can find out more about Shapes Of Things, Square Club and how to take part in their workshops here. What will you design?

With sunshine and squeegees,

Miss West End Girl x

 

All photos by Gary at Trouble WIth Film 

With thanks to Shapes Of Things

 

Cake and Crafting Tips at Hillary’s Crafternoon

Crafting 2Recently, I spent a very cheery Sunday afternoon in the vintage-style tea rooms of The Butterfly and the Pig on Bath Street, enjoying scrumptious cake, laughing (at times, to tears) with my friends and tackling a couple of new craft projects. The occasion was Hillary’s Crafternoon and what made the event even better was that it happened to fall on International Women’s Day. I can’t think of a better day to get creative in a room with 30 other babes, can you?

Did you know that March is also International Craft Month? Talk about timing! If you’ve been reading here for a while, you’ll know that I’m ALWAYS game for a bit of DIY action! From screen-printing customisation, to creating accessories from scratch, I am a firm believer that if you can pick up some new skills, and have a giggle with your girlfriends in the process, it is time well spent.

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Sitting amongst the grandfather clock, original furniture and mismatched crockery, I felt instantly at home at The Butterfly and the Pig and was super happy to see so many of my favourite local ladies – and a few new faces too.

Hosted by Joe Blogs Network and The Crafty Hen, we were taken through two tutorials using materials provided by Hillary’s Blinds. Our first project was to produce a cover jacket for a blogging essential – the trusty notebook! I selected a geometric charcoal pattern which kind of reminded me of the Overlook Hotel from The Shining – if you can remember the infamous ‘hallway scene’ you might know why…

As we got stuck in with our pins, it quickly became apparent that we needed a swear jar at our table! Ouch! Soon though, our book covers were coming together.

I added embellishments with one of my favourite pieces of crafting kit – the hot glue gun! I was starting to wish I’d just glued the whole thing but what would be the fun in that? Pinning our fingers every few seconds was the kind of bonding experience that you can’t get anywhere else! Besides, I was feeling quite proud of my wee notebook, and in true Girl Gang style, we made matching ones – perfect for scribbling plans for world domination, dontcha think?

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After a quick pit stop for cake (Red Velvet of course!), we moved onto our next project – the bird plush. Ah, the bird. Well, everybody’s heard about my bird! I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure what went wrong (in my head I can kinda hear Kimmy cackling “EVERYTHING!” in my head!), but when it got to the point that one of the really kind girls from The Crafty Hen asked me if I’d “rather make a wee snake instead”, I pretty much knew that it was game over. Oh dear!

What can I say? I may not have been able to knock up a soft toy bird (which was “affectionately” nicknamed FRANKENPARROT by the table…), but I like to think I brought a little laughter to the party to make up for it!

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At the event I was able to build on my crafting skills and see where I (ahem) still needed improvement. Here are a few crafting tips that I picked up from Hillary’s Crafternoon:

Be imaginative – it’s fun to experiment and see what colours and patterns work. What’s the worst that could happen?

Take your time – if it’s a new project, it’s worth going at a sensible pace so you don’t miss a step.

Keep lots of materials handy – we had oodles of material, ribbons, buttons and equipment which made the whole process easier and super fun.

Craft with friends – I wouldn’t have had anywhere near as much fun that day if I was by myself!

If it doesn’t turn out as expected, say it’s abstract – or a snake. Whatever.

I had an awesome time at The Butterfly and the Pig, celebrating all things crafty with some of the finest females I know! Now I want YOU to share some of your DIY stories with me! Got any crafting tips? What do you love to create?

With pins and needles,

Miss West End Girl x

 

With huge thanks to Joe Blogs Network, The Crafty Hen, Hillary’s Blinds and The Butterfly and the Pig 

 

Oh, 2014! You’ve Been Swell…

ten tipsIt’s the last day of 2014 – can you believe it?! It’s been a pretty huge year, filled with changes, surprise projects and plenty of adventures.

I am so grateful that you’ve been stopping by and spending time here, so couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the end of an awesome 12 months than by sharing some of my favourite blog posts (and your favourites too, by the looks of things!) from 2014. 

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Get comfy, grab a cup of tea (or champagne – it IS New Year, after all!) and let’s dive in…

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Advice, thoughts and feel good vibes

This year I’ve posted a fair amount of advice columns, and shared some of my thoughts. As most of you will know by now, I tend to walk on the sunny side of the street and like to share my positive outlook here. It really makes my day when I get an email out of the blue to say that my blog has cheered someone up or been of help in some way, so thank you for taking the time to give me such lovely feedback!

Here are some top picks of these posts:

29 Life Lessons I Learned by 29 

Today is Awesome: Ten Mood-Lifting Tips for Those Sucky Days

Blogging On the Go 

How I Enjoyed Buying a Home – And How You Can, Too! 

Creating Awesome Content: My Do’s and Dont’s

Crushing The Myths: What Being a Tattooed Girl Means to Me

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Girl about Glasgow, Tips and Reviews

I love to share places to hang out, eat and shop in Glasgow with you – they may be old favourites or new to me! Either way, they deserve to be shouted from the rooftops.

This year I’ve enjoyed being your unofficial tour guide to the city (and some of you have even come to visit and put these tips into practice!), so here are a few posts worth mentioning:

Where to Have Afternoon Tea in Glasgow

Romantic Glasgow: 10 City Date Ideas 

Fork n’ Roll with Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow 

Where To Go Record Shopping in Glasgow 

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DIY’s, How-To’s and Getting Crafty

2014 was the year that I got very hands-on! From customizing clothes, to baking and feeling inspired – it was brilliant to push myself a wee bit further and see what I could do. It’s also much more fun when you get creative with friends!

These were some of my favourites from this year:

DIY Fashion: How to Make a Vintage-Style Hat

The Great Blogger Bake Off 

DIY: How to Make an Inspiration Board

Stitches and Sequins with Love Your Clothes 

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Fashion and Personal Style

It wouldn’t be a yearly round-up without a small fashion parade, right? This year I was lucky enough to discover some rad new designers, collaborate with a few babes and generally have a grand old time pretending my life is a changing room montage from a teen movie.

If you want to imagine Right Said Fred’s kitsch hit I’m Too Sexy or David Bowie’s Fashion as you click through these, I won’t judge you…

Sixties Sci-fi Dreams

Channelling My Inner Lydia Deetz at Kelvingrove 

Denim on Date Night 

Highland Fling

Flamingos WIth a Side of Ice Cream! 

Green Is The New Black 

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Travels and International Gallivanting

From far north, to France and Florida…this year I have had more adventures and excursions than ever before. For example, we went to Manchester at VERY short notice to see Prince (I still get goosebumps!), we spent Gary’s 30th birthday at the happiest place on earth. We had a few jaunts to London and we even made time to go to Paris right after we bought a new home.

Here are a few of my favourite photo diaries from this year:

Paris Through Rose-Tinted Glasses 

Florida Fun

Aviemore Adventures

Manchester Memories 

London Calling 

Awesome Content

Miscellaneous Fun! 

AKA The Best of The Rest! These are the posts that don’t really fit into the above categories, but are still worth mentioning. This year I really seen a change in myself, as my confidence and love for writing grew. I’ve met some wonderful people and had some unique and excellent experiences – and most of all, I’ve loved sharing every detail here.

I’ve picked a few that I couldn’t bear to leave out:

Step Away From The Auto Setting! Photography Adventures with Toast Of The Town

Fashion Revolution Day 

Cushions, Cake and…Chickens? Ideal Home Show Scotland 2014

Spring Into Your Skin with LUSH Cosmetics

The Halloween Girl Gang Project  

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Phew! I hope you’ve enjoyed revisiting the best of the last 12 months as much as I have! 2014, you’ve been magical. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

I’ll be sharing my top tips on how to make the most of 2015 on Friday, so be sure to hop on over at the end of the week to find out more! Until then, have a safe, sparkling New Year and I’ll see ya on the other side…

Endless love,

Miss West End Girl x