Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Words In Resin - Using Peel-Offs

This is my third post about getting words and text to float in resin.  
If you check out Monday and Tuesday you'll get a few more great ideas as well.
 One of the paper crafting items you may not have noticed are these metallic coloured sticker sheets refered to as peel-offs or deco stickers.  There are many types of these sheets featuring corners, borders, flowers and so many other decorative imagery.
For this sample I applied one great sentiment.  The gold words "peel off." They are adhesive backed stickers and attach easily.  They are super sticky!  You have to be sure you are placing them where you want them.  If you have never found these peel offs in your travels I can refer you to a great Canadian source:  Ecstasy Crafts.
Here is my bottle cap filled to the brim with the new Envirotex Jewelry Resin.  Look how fantastic my dome turned out!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Words In Resin - Using Rub-Ons

 Here is a "thank you" bottle cap embellishment!
Yesterday I started this short series on getting text to float in resin.  These are the bottle caps I prepared for my samples.
 You may not know that rub-ons are a great way to add artwork or layers in resin.    Here is my text rubbed onto a layer of resin.
 Like I do with paper, I still protected this layer with mod-podge.  Then I poured the new Envirotex Jewelry Resin into the bottle cap to finish this sample. 
 I wanted to remind you that not all rub-ons are alike!  My first idea was different than what I ended up with.
 I used a different set of rub-ons for my first experiment.
 As you can see, it did not rub onto the surface very well.  Some rub-ons are not very good and lose their transferability if stored too long.
 I used my glue pick up thingy (I never know what this is called) to just erase those rub-ons and started with the new words.
I think "thank you" was a much better sentiment!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Words In Resin - Book Text

 I wanted to share with you a few techniques I use to get text and lettering to float in resin.  I am also continuing to experiment with the new product Environmental Technology Inc. is launching in December: Envirotex Jewelry Resin! 
These are some bottle caps I prepared for my demos.  I placed some pretty paper embedded with dried flowers into the bottom of each cap.  The paper was protected with mod-podge and then I covered this first layer with a thin pour of Jewelry Resin.  I hope you can see that I poured resin into the cap to about the half way point and let that cure.
 One of my favorite creative exercises is to just take a page from an old book (not an important book) and find words or letters that make a sentence or statement.
 I glued these words onto that top layer of resin and protected them with several layers of mod-podge.  Each time I let the glue dry clear before I applied another protective coat. 
Then one last layer of Jewelry Resin was poured over the words and now they look like they are floating in resin!
I am so impressed with the clarity of the new resin!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Vintage Flowers Meet Vintage Component

 This may be the neatest recycling project I have worked on in years!
 It began when I found this dried flower card in an antique postcard market in Paris.  My first thought was "how is this considered an antique?"  The note inside dated it 1982.  And then it hit me.  1982 really does not seem like that long ago...but in fact this is a 30 year old card.  The glue was disintegrating and the flowers were falling off at the slightest touch.
 I wanted to save as many of the flowers as I could.  (This is one of the projects...some of the flowers are going into a bigger piece.)  I had this old bezel setting in my stash.  Because it is open on both sides I wasn't sure how to use it.  So I used a technique I have shown before where I attach tape to one side and then pour in a tiny layer of Envirotex Lite. 
 When the resin cures, you can peel away the tape and it is as though you have a glass bottom.
 Then I selected some of the flowers.  Take a look and see that my new "resin bottom" is very allows me to still work in a deep cavity.
I glued the flowers in place and protected the them with three layers of mod-podge before covering eveything in Envirotex Lite.  
My finished bezel is a new keepsake featuring very old flowers.  
Here's hoping this gets recycled in 30 more years!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

For those of you who are celebrating today enjoy your Thanksgiving!
We'll be back tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Resin Facts - Resin and Food!

Question from a reader:  Do you know if Envirotex Lite is food safe? 

Yes and No.

No, do not use it to make objects that food is cooked or poured into.
Yes, you can use it for serving trays and of course table tops and bar counters.

"Envirotex Lite has been approved for "limited" food contact, that means surfaces such as serving trays, counter, table and bar tops, etc., but not the interior of cups, dishes where food maybe heated or stored."

Oh, and by the way this information applies to ALL epoxy type coatings.  

Envirotex Lite was designed as a coating and was never intended for use with food applications. The fact that so many artisans have found many different ways to use the product is very exciting. ETI encourages you to refer to their Safety Data sheets which are all online  and linked here.   They have worked with a lot of government agencies to ensure that their information is correct and that they meet all regulations.

I updated my plain spoon holder by adding this image and pouring Envirotex Lite over it.  A fast and simple gift idea!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Resin Facts - Resin Does Not Like The Cold!

Question:  I have heard resin does not work in the cold.  Can you tell me why?

The Carmi answer is resin would not join a hockey team.  Hehehe.  

In other words, Envirotex Lite and the ETI line of resins need to be mixed and cured in a warmish room.  Envirotex Lite (and all other two-part epoxies) are reactive compounds that require warm temperatures.  The absence of heat means that they will not cure.  Heat/warmth is the part of the process you control by planning when and where you will be mixing and pouring a batch of resin.
70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius at all time please!   

Warmer is even better and if you ever have the good fortune to mix resin on your back deck on a hot day you’ll see how how much quicker it gels and cures.  When I work indoors in the summer my air conditioner does keep my studio cool.  I always leave my desk lamp on in the spot where my resin is curing…sort of like a lamp over eggs if I wanted to hatch a chicks.  If your studio is really cool, you might let your projects cure in place overnight and then move them to a sunny window for the final phase of the full 48-hour cure.  Your projects will be as hard as glass if you do.  If you have ever had cloudy results or resin that took forever to cure this might be the reason why.  
So, here are my final tips:
70 -80F degrees or 21-26 C is best for mixing, pouring and curing resin projects.
80F or  26C is the maximum.  Any hotter and your results will be mixed.
(These temperatures apply to coating, puttys and clays too.) 

So when you think resin, think warm thoughts.
The scientific answer from the company is much better though.  The issue is crystallization. Due to the purity of EnviroTex resin, a clouding or settling of the resin may occur in extremely cold conditions.  Should this “clouding” occur, place resin (there are two bottles in the kit, one marked resin and one marked hardener) container in hot water until resin clears. Allow resin to return to room temperature (approximately 70 F or 21c) before mixing with EnviroTex hardener.  This condition will only happen on the resin side.  You may need to repeat these steps.

Just like honey.
Crystallization is a natural occurring phenomenon and is not a reflection of the quality of the product.  When you move resin from cold to warm or warm to cold you are shocking it.  It's just like when I put my honey in the fridge.  When I take it out it appears solid and white....but left on the warm counter for a while it returns to it's liquid golden state.  Keep your resin stored indoors in a nice, warm and dry cupboard.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Envirotex Jewelry Resin And Dried Flowers

 In case you missed it, last week I announced that ETI was launching a brand new resin for jewelery artisans!  It will be in Michael's Crafts stores this December.  (I'll keep you posted here on dates and prices.)
I have been working with an advance batch and creating some samples for this blog and the company.  My experiments have been amazing.  
I thought my dried flower artist readers might like to know that it performs spectacularly!
The added UV resistance is so important too.
I made this sample in a wood bezel.  I did three pours.  The first pour covered my vintage paper base and dried flowers.  The second allowed me to add gel marker outlines.  The third pour covered up my paint dots.  Each layer is clear as glass!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Envirotex Jewelry Resin - The Wood And Paper Experiment

 Here is a simple bezel idea that turned out 100 times better that I thought it would.  I have several of these teal wood beads.  Originally they were open in the centre but I glued the Eiffel tower image to the back and then protected the image with three coats of mod podge.
 This was really meant to be an experiment!  
I also added some 3D paint dots and a tiny charm.  As you can see the new Jewelry Resin cured beautifully.
Even more impressive was that the back of my wood bead is so resin staining or seeping!
A little glue, wood and paper.  Now a fantastic resin filled bezel!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Envirotex Jewelry Resin - Experimenting With Layers

I am continuing my tests/experiments with the new Jewelry Resin ETI is launching next month.
It just keeps getting better and better.
Yesterday I raved about the resin's ability to de-bubble itself.
Today I can attest to it's clarity!
 These bezels were made in two pours.  The first sealed the image perfectly.  Then I added some pink gel pen lines in key spots to outline the images.  The second pour is clear, bubble free and magnifies the lines I drew.  These bezels are perfect!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Envirotex Jewelry Resin - First Tutorial!

 Did my resin filled bezel remind you of a girlfriend?
 This is a sneak peak at the packaging for Jewelry Resin!  See the tiny bezel sample?  It is one of many I submitted for the box and features one of my favorite artists!
You can make this bezel and many many more with digital artwork sold by Patty, the artist and owner of Lisa's Altered Art.

Lisa is very generous with her artwork.  She supports anyone making items by hand with her art.  Naturally, she would not want anyone mass producing her work without her permission.  I am so pleased that she is as happy as I am to know that one of her images might appear on the new Jewelry Resin box.
Lisa's Altered Art is available on both Ebay and Etsy.  If you go to her main website you'll find both links.

 It is so easy to make a fun bezel when you buy just one or two of Patty's digital downloads.  I printed a sheet of one inch circles and one inch squares for this tutorial.  See how my Fiskar's one inch punch made cutting these images a breeze?  I have the one inch square punch too!
 If you are new to the blog, you may have missed the posts where I show you how to protect your image from resin staining.  I like to apply three layers of either mod podge or Ultra Seal to my paper letting each application dry completely before applying the next coating.
 Lisa's Altered Art images require no additional embellishment.  The images are on various backgrounds and colours.  You can do a little extra if you would like to though.  I'm an over embellisher and can't leave anything alone.  One thing I do like to add is glitter glue to the edges.
 Sometimes I add three dimensional dots with paint.
 And now and again I include a teeny tiny charm.  A one inch bezel isn't a big surface, but it is amazing what can be added.
 And now the Envirotex Jewelry Resin test.
This new resin has amazing bubble release. Really.  It degases itself.
No more babysitting.  
For those of you who learned how to work with resin from know how I feel about those pesky bubbles.  I have all sorts of tricks for dealing with them.  
But look.  
These are my bezels one minute after I poured in Jewelry Resin.  
Not a bubble.
I feel a little lost.  Suddenly I have nothing to do.
I don't trust any advertisements unless I try it myself.  
This is a picture of my bezels 25 minutes later.  
Still not a bubble.  I am so impressed with Jewelry Resin! 
I hope you enjoyed this first tutorial!
Thank you to Patty at Lisa's Altered Art for your support!