It seems like ages since I've posted, and that's mainly because it has been ages. The blocks are all carved, the flags have been printed and hemmed and I'm ready to do a little hand embellishment and string them onto a cord. I also picked up some wooden beads to intersperse. These definitely are not your traditional Buddhist Prayer Flags - they have mutated into Sharri's Version Prayer Flags. I hope they will work the same way and the blessings will still waft their way along the wings of the wind.
Printing went very well. They were printed with black etching ink with quite a bit of gold metallic powder and transparent base mixed together. I printed them exactly as you would on paper with the fabric laid on the block using a registration jig so I could get things where they belonged. If I had laid the block onto the fabric as the Tibetan printers do I would have had totally blind registration and I seem to have enough trouble when I can see what I'm doing. Then I used a rubber blanket and zipped them through the etching press. Clive says he has a Tee Shirt printed with letterpress ink and it has lasted for years, and come to think of it, I have a sweatshirt in the same condition. However, it has not hung out in the rain and sun for any of those years, so this could be a different game. We'll see!
As soon as I get these babies strung they are going either into the garage or outside where I can spray them with a UV protector. It must be highly toxic stuff because they tell you to do this outside. Guess I will wear my respirator mask when I do that... it has a haute couture look, if you're a bug.
A friend had some flags in her garden and they gradually disappeared. She had no idea where they were going. One day a squirrel nest fell from a tree and there were her flags, they had been shredded into nesting material. We are wondering if I spray them with Varathane if that would deter the squirrels. Yet another thing to try. We will be ready for our totally random and uncontrolled lab trials in a day or two. So far there isn't any hurry for the UV trials as it is cloudy, rainy, with sudden flashes of sunlight between showers, and very much April in our corner of the map.
The flowering trees are blooming and the bulbs are signalling that Spring is on its way. We are swamped (literally) with daffodils of every persuasion, fritelaria (not sure how you spell any of these) and bergonia. I hope you gardeners will recognize these phonetically and correct my spelling! However they are spelled they are uplifting and gorgeous. And, hopefully, flags will be performing the same miracle shortly.