Everyone knows I don't like to iron. My family doesn't even bother to ask. When my son was little and had to wear the occasional button-down shirt, I would iron only the parts that showed when his shirt was tucked in.
So why am I suddenly ironing, of all things, paper towels?
When I started dyeing fabric, I realized how many paper towels I use in a day as I caught myself throwing one after another after another into the trash. Not only did I feel guilty about the waste, but I'm a hopeless clutter-but, since that crazy little artist voice in my head is constantly sayiing, "hey, what if you . . . " Consequently, I started throwing used paper towels into a bag in my studio. If there's no kitchen towel handy after I wash my hands and I use a paper towel, it goes into the bag; if I eat dinner and barely use my paper-towel napkin, it goes into the bag; if I wipe up paint or put paper towels under dripping fabric, they go into my bag. I don't really worry about mixing or matching colors, since the surprise combinations can be pretty cool.
Every once in a while I'll pull a few out of the bag and use them to mop up paint, or I'll pour the last few drops of ink or watered-down paint out of a spray bottle onto them, or I'll wipe my brushes on them. Then I throw them back into the bag.
Some days I'm just in a mood to do something different and I can't face any of my ongoing projects. Yesterday was like that, so I pulled out those paper towels. I separated them into 3 stacks: those that needed color, or more color went back into the bag; those that looked perfect just the way they were, with variegations of several colors were ironed to smooth them out, then went into the "finished" stack.
And those that had plenty of color, but needed some embellishment, went into my craft room, where I stamped on them, wrote and drew on them with gel pens, squirted them with water and added more transparent paint, and just in general played. I've added pics of the finished pieces.
Now I just have to figure out what to do with them! I'll probably make journal covers with them. If nothing else, they'll serve as wonderful inspiration for trying to recreate them on fabric!