Since it would be the last "official" meet, I wanted to make it special.
As I've mentioned before, I started thinking about what I'd do for the shirts months before the meet. One of the ideas I'd had was to make small versions of all of the graphics and put those all on a shirt. Then I had a most brilliant idea. A photomosaic designed using the photos everyone has taken through the years and sent to me, the same photos I used for making the annual videos. I wasn't sure if this would work, but it sounded like a great idea.
Okay, a photomosaic, but of what? I needed a design. I spent hours searching Disney clipart and finally decided on this:
Now I had to make it a little more in keeping with our "pinwheel" characters. So, I took my old original pinwheel shape
I colored it in and added it to Mickey's hand.
Okay, I'm happy with this graphic. Now, to make the mosaic. I'd searched the interwebs for photo mosaic software, downloaded them, tested them and finally settled on AndreaMosaic. I spent the money and licensed it, in case I ever wanted to use it for commercial purposes. Then I had to get all of the photos in one place. I ended up with over eight thousand to choose from. I had to weed out the blurry ones and had to make sure they were all in the right orientation (profile or landscape). This took days and much frustration since there were a few that no matter what I did (once I'd found the originals), I couldn't get the orientation right. I couldn't use all of them because you'd never be able to see what the pictures were, size was a consideration. This was going to go on a shirt, after all. Testing it with different profiles and sizes, I finally settled on one.
There are over eighteen hundred photos in that picture. And it worked on a test shirt. This was at the beginning of the summer. Well, I liked it so much, I did some research and found a place to get posters of this graphic, posters that were affordable. Yeah, we're strapped for money, but this will be the last meet and we wanted to make it special. I went with Best of Maine Corp and I had the best customer service, Hy was incredibly helpful from start to finish. I highly recommend his company.
Because the pictures were so small on the shirts (another reason for the posters), Brian jokingly said we should give magnifying glasses away with each one. You don't joke with me about some things. I started the search at Amazon. Then ended up on eBay where I found the same little widget for a lot less. Of course, it was going to take longer to get here, but I had plenty of time. It was a keychain with a plastic gizmo that had four uses. A whistle, a thermometer, a compass and *drum roll* a magnifying glass. Obviously, I had to make those special, too. I used number beads (another online purchase) and I had some Disney beads we'd gotten a while ago. Disney ears and Disney gloves. I taught myself some remedial macrame and made enough of these for everyone there.
Every keychain was just a little bit different. This is one of them:
Next up was the buttons. I used my little Mickey graphic on top of a photo of Sleeping Beauty's Castle:
After the button was assembled and made, I added a little pinwheel that originally was on a long toothpick (it was a cupcake decoration) and attached it to the button. And it's a working pinwheel, which I thought was kind of cool.
Okay, so keychains are made, posters are made, buttons are made, now I need something to carry it all in. I know! Canvas bags! Here are photos of the original graphic, the graphic on a bag, a little special glitter painting I did on the bags and a pile of bags.
Oh, and a mousepad.
Then, there were the shirts. I'd already tested the graphic for the back (first image below) so I knew it would work. As far as putting the transfers on the shirts, the backs were a piece of cake.
After I printed out the transfers, I wanted to make sure they'd be as perfect as possible to use. I let them dry for over twenty four hours.
All I had to do with the back transfers was trim around the edge, cut as much white off as possible. The front was a different story.
Once I had all of the front transfers trimmed up, I was ready to get to work. Hot work. September in Southern California is hot and dry. I started early in the day and had the doors open and fans going. The press heated things up even more.
The first press.
Now I had to place the foil on the pinwheel using a special tape formulated for high heat.
Once the foil was in place, it was pressed with a large sheet of paper coated in silicone. Then it was time to peel the mylar and tape off of the foil. You can see the mylar curled up in the center right. The mylar is called a "carrier" because the foil is "carried" on it. Most transfers have some sort of carrier that's peeled off. I have some little dental instruments my dental hygienist gave me with sharp ends that help pick the tape and carrier off of the fabric.
Once that's done, it's time for another press, to make sure the foil adheres to the fabric. This time it's covered with a teflon sheet that helps keep the shirt from scorching.
The finished front. Half of the shirts had blue backed pinwheels, the other half had red backed pinwheels. (In other words, the colors were switched.)
And here's the shirt in person. Brian is the model, pictures taken at the Disneyland Resort.
So, that's it for the October stuff. I think I did a pretty good job.
Oh, when Hy sent my posters, there was a problem with one of them. To make up for this, he sent me a replacement poster, as well as two HUGE posters. Brian framed one and it's on the wall in the living room, a wall that at some point will become a Disney wall. The kitty on the spinalator below the poster iscdf Mario.