Friday, January 27, 2012

I'll Be Back Soon!

I am heading to the Craft and Hobby show in California today!
I am really looking forward to meeting the Environmental Technology Inc. gang and I'll be teaching two classes to launch our new Jewelry Resin!  It will be the first time I see other people work with it.
I'll have pictures and many posts to share.
Please stay tuned!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jewelry Resin - Altered Book

 I thought I would share a little of my own art today.  I create altered books with resin and usually I use Envirotex Lite.  This book was special because it was yet another experiment with the new Jewelry Resin.
 The book features dried flowers, words and gel pen markings.  I use Ultra-Seal to keep these images looking as though they were just floating in water.
 The book usually directs the theme.
 Home IS where the heart is.
I am still adding to the book.  I have finished the edge with rhinestone.  My resin cured perfect!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jewelry Resin and Bottle Caps Featuring Cari Lopez Art

 A little eye candy to make you smile!
 One of my favorite digital artists is Cari Lopez.  When she sent me a little note saying this new grouping of art was available to buy in her online shop I could not press the pay pal button fast enough!
 When I get her art I happily open it on my screen and start planning what I want to print.
 The other item I discovered was the fantastic collection of bottle caps from Bottle Cap Inc.  They paint both sides of the cap making the inside bezel fabulous to work in!  They are one of the sponsors for our weekend workshops at the Craft and Hobby show in California.  Wait till you see the samples I made for that!
 Because Cari's art is already layered and looks three dimensional...there is not much for me to do!  I added some glitter to the edges after I sealed the paper with Ultra-Seal (yes, you can use mod-podge!)
Aren't they fantastic??  I used our new Jewelry Resin...and you can see how crystal clear it is!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jewelry Resin and More Buttons!

 I thought I would share a few more button ideas with you.  I successfully worked in these plastic buttons earlier this month and did a blog post about them.
These buttons were given to me by John Bead, a bead and jewelry wholesaler who is one of the sponsors of our workshops at the Craft and Hobby show in California this weekend.
 They really are bright and big!
 All I do is seal my paper properly with Ultra-Seal and the Jewelry Resin does the rest!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Creating Metallic Resin

One of our regular blog readers; Diana Brandt asked me about metallic paint colours with resin.  
There are several ways I get metallics on or in my resin.  
If my piece is already cured I use Gilders Paste to add metallic highlights.  
If I want my peices to cure a metallic colour I add colour to the resin in the mixing stage.
The sample above on the left is Envirotex Lite and silver powder and on the right Envirotex Lite and silver acrylic paint.
 When I have a batch of resin mixed I add in my paint.  Just a small dollop.  The acrylic paint I am showing here is very thick.
 The acrylic paint can "break up a little."  See how my cured piece has speckles?  You only see this up close and quite frankly, I like this effect.  Different acrylic paints and different add-in techniques can create different results.
 I prefer to add powdered metallic colours to resin.  These powders are sold by various companies; Pearl Ex and Polished Pigments are my own favorites.
A few reminders.  When you add extra colorant to resin you also add air and and you can effect the cure process.  Be sure to experiment.  I once added way too much powder and my resin cured very soft.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Jewelry Resin - In Vintage Bakers Pan

I can't believe another week is over.
I thought I would wish you a happy weekend while leaving you with some eye candy to look at.
 This is a little tin I was working in this week.  The Jewelry Resin de-gassed itself beautifully but I did check back periodically to see if any air was trapped under the rose.
 It has three layers of Jewelry Resin.
Layer One - Covered the pan bottom and black and silver paint.
Layer Two - The dried rose was covered.
Layer Three - Pink gel marker to highlight parts of the rose.
Next week I'll be showing you Jewelry Resin in buttons!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jewelry Resin - The Bad Sample

This little bezel should have been thrown away.  
Instead, I continue to try and save it.
It began with this sheet of faux rhinestone.  I was not 100% sure what it was made of so I decided to do a small test.  If it was plastic I knew it would dissolve in resin...but thought I would give it a try anyway. 
The sample looked pretty good in the planning stage.
But.  And it might just be me.  
Resin really didn't look good poured over the plastic. 
It did dissolve a good portion of the faux rhinestone shapes and what was left didn't look that interesting.  When I add crystals to resin I make sure they are glass.   
Some days you just need to experiment though.
 So I gathered up some gel pens, made a few dots and markings and did one last glaze of Jewelry Resin over the top and this is what I ended up with.
A sample for my bad sample resin board.
A good sample of resin over glass is here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jewelry Resin and Paper Cupcake Wrappers

Here is a very sweet way to give someone a box of chocolates for Valentines Day.  Instead of a bow, you can use a little cupcake wrapper featuring poured resin and a candy.
 There are so many cupcake wrappers available now.  I turn them inside out so that the colours are now on the inside (where the cupcake would have been.)
I protect the paper from resin staining with a few sprays of acrylic lacquer.  This is not easy to do because the paper is so light the spray moves it around.  I usually spray the wrappers in a small box so I can contain them.

 While I was making my two cupcake items I decided to make a molded heart too.  
Here is a reminder.  Little pieces of candy like this have tiny locations where air can hide.  Ordinarily the Jewelry Resin de-gasses itself...but it can't compensate for rows of air pockets like this...so you need to watch your piece for about 30 minutes and pop those bubbles if you see them.
 I also did something I usually don't do.  I moved one of the candies after it was in the resin for a while....it left a stain which I didn't see until everything had cured.
In the end though, I have a really pretty presentation for my box of chocolate!

Monday, January 16, 2012

EasyCast in Bracelet Molds - THE FINISHING TOUCH

 Here it is.  One last post about the two bracelets I started last week.
They are looking good.
Good I say, not great.  I am not 100% satisfied with my finished project yet.
 Last week we had a lively online support group offering ideas and suggestions for getting my two bracelets finished to a nice high gloss sheen.  I was on the right track, but I needed to see if there were tools at my disposal that might help.  I have a dremel.  When I bought it it came with all sorts of attachments and I knew there was a muslin wheel somewhere in my drawer.
 I also discovered I had a whole bunch of felt wheels.
 Having discussed my high gloss shine dilemma with Carl, my expert contact at ETI, he reminded me that when you work with high speed tools you have to use the lower speed setting so you don't heat up the resin or the wax polisher.  Great tip.  So I started...and sadly, my muslin mini wheel immediately disintegrated.  :(  Clearly it was too old.  
This is the "after photo" and all those tiny threads landed on my shirt.
 So I thought, what the heck, bring out the felt wheels.
The felt did a beautiful job finishing the surface...but it was still dull.  Evenly matte, but not shiny like I wanted.  This was a brilliant experiment for me, because in the past I had shiny items I wished were a little more matte.  The felt wheels are now my new best friends!
 You might like it finished this way.  
A combination of glossy sides and matte finished tops.
 But I need a shine!  I need gloss.  I needed a small coating of Envirotex Lite!
 So I am coating/glazing the top and the bottom with a little Envirotex Lite.  It will take longer I know, since I can only work on one side at a time...but for me, this technique is best.
Oh, and one last tip:  when you glaze resin on resin, sometimes it pulls back from edges or sections.  Be sure to watch your surface and add a little more in any area that might be missed.

Friday, January 13, 2012

EasyCast in Bracelet Molds - Part TWO

Okay!  Whew!
My bracelets are out of the molds and I have sanded away a lot of the rough edges!  
They are starting to look really great!

I now have a tip to share.  It is really important to try not to overfill your molds...like I did in this picture.  Sometimes it is unavoidable I know.  These areas become a lot of work later when you have to sand them away.

My second big tip.  If you really want to learn more about resin I highly recommend Sherri Haab's book/DVD.  She does a great job showing you how to make bracelets!


Sherri taught me how to sand away your rough edges by using a series of fine sandpaper.  I bought mine in the hardware store and used four different grades of sandpaper...from fine to extra fine.  They came as a set.  I also wet my sandpaper and worked in my laundry sink.  This way I did not create any resin dust.

You can see that the areas I sanded are dull now.
My super fine sandpaper did an amazing job...but I still see some scratches.

 Sherri uses carnauba wax as a final polish.  I have already stared this and I can see it filling in all my fine lines.  I need a little more time to finish polishing these pieces to perfection though.  I'll make that step THREE.  By the way, buying carnauba wax out of the standard car waxing season means no sale price.  This big old can was $25!  I couldn't find a small bottle or a smaller can.

Hand polishing will take a little time and some hand strength.  I am coveting a machine to do this work for me.  However, more than likely you don't have a machine...so I need to see if I can get this all shiny and polished with no tools.  (If I was going to make bracelets all the time though...this type of a machine would be in my shopping cart.)