A fun earring bail idea!

Hello friends! I love Sunday nights, the house is clean, backpacks are ready for school in the morning and so are the brand new band instruments my twins will be playing. There is nothing like the sweet sounds  of musicality coming from two enthusiastic children who have never had one lesson. Did you know how loud a saxophone is? Really, do you? In all honestly I cam very excited for them, my other daughter is playing flute and the teacher told her that her job over the weekend was to get it to make sound…well she scored an A+ on that task!  I played flute in 5th grade and I can see my mother’s curse came true, I have daughters who act just like me, twins even.

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Tonight I wanted to share a simple way to make bails for your jewelry that are both decorative and inexpensive. For these sea glass embedded resin earrings I needed a way to attach them to ear wires without being gaudy. The glue on bails I like for opaque pendants showed through the resin in a bad way so I needed to make something that is pretty if it is seen.  I took a 10″ piece of 20 gauge wire and made a spiral on one end to glue it to the bail and a simple loop on the other end to attach to an ear-wire.  The earrings below also had beads in the resin and I used a wrapped loop…a poorly done wrapped loop…I’m showing you this because I really think a simple loop is the way to go LOL!

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To help me make a decent spiral I inserted the end of the wire into the hole in one of my large wire jig pegs and pressed the peg to the jig white I wound the wire around. I saw this tutorial from beadaholique that explains it perfectly. I hope you have a lovely evening and til next time happy crafting!

Glitter Cosmos Earrings and Display cards!

Hello Friends! I might as well call this an “inspired by pintrest” project because that is where I got the idea, I had seen lots of glitter resin jewelry being pinned and I really wanted to try it. Here are some of my first pieces:

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Then I got creative! I grabbed my silver, turquoise and purple glitter from Papermart (only 99 cents a tube too!) and some silver dry tempera. Dry tempera is a children’s craft item, you mix the powder with water to make washable paint for kids. I wanted to see if I could color resin with dry tempera and yay! It worked! Best of all it doesn’t add any moisture to the resin so it cures well! I love how it looks like outer space, hence the name “Cosmos Earrings”.

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I will also show you how to make the fun mesh window display cards in the video.  This is a great beginner resin project so don’t be scared, give it a try!

I really love wearing my fab new earrings!

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You can find all of the fabulous supplies I used and more at Papermart. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

My neck hurts…

…and it’s probably because I wore this heavy necklace the last two days:

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Usually when I make a chunky necklace I mix in some acrylic beads to cut down on the weight but I had these gorgeous foil glass beads that I wanted to use and I like the repetition of them all together so I threw caution to the wind. The flower focal drop I made from resin, it was an ugly speckled white because my white paint I colored the resin with did not mix well so I painted it green. I enjoy olive green because it seems to flatter so many skin tones.

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I call it elegant steampunk…and heavy…really freaking heavy…

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It’s still pretty though, but I think I will only wear it for short amounts of time and not all day again.  That’s all for today! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Green with Envy! Faux Jade with Resin!

Howdy friends! I hope everyone in the states is enjoying a nice Labor Day, I am hoping the weather clears up so we can take the kids to the fair, I think it will, positive thinking right? The other day I was playing with a bunch of the resin pieces I had previously cast. I really liked the green frame I made in the Martha Stewart Mold and wanted to make a pendant with it. I did not want to drill holes so I tried some wire wrapping:

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I have to say that wire wrapping resin is much easier than wrapping glass or stone, it has a bit more grab to it. I also wrapped the earrings:

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I used 20 gauge copper wire for the weight bearing wraps and accented it with a lighter 24 gauge wire for interest. I made the top loop of the pendant 2 wraps thick for added strength.

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To get the jade appearance I added a pea sized dab of light green Liquitex heavy body paint to 1 oz of resin and a small scoop of gold pearl ex. Add this to the resin before the catalyst so you have time to mix before it hardens. If using polyester resin as I did add an extra drop or 2 of catalyst to compensate for the moisture in the paint.  After you unmold it file off any rough spots or overfill with a nail file. Dust with peal ex if desired. Follow up with a coat of water-based clear sealer like Future Floor Wax or Mod Podge and let dry before making the jewelry.  The sealer will bring back the shine lost when you sanded the edges and lock in the extra peal-ex.  Also, sometime polyester resin remains tacky on the side exposed to the air so the sealer will remedy that as well. The three dark green beads directly under the frame were made by recycling stained glass remnants and working them with the torch! I love recycling! Just a note, if you are lamp-working with stained glass remnants do not mix them with the Italian rods because they have a different EOE.

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I really like the effect of the colored resin to mimic stone. It is really fun to work with and it gives you new options for the clay molds you have hanging around. If you have any questions please leave a comment and til next time happy crafting!

Turn your “Buts” into “What ifs” and your “If onlys” into “Why nots?”

Howdy friends! Today I am talking about excuses. You know, when you want to do something but you talk yourself out of it. For instance “I want to scrapbook but I don’t have the space” of “If only I had the time and energy to create…I guess I’ll watch TV instead.” But wait! Try this: “Hey! What if I clear off the coffee table and make a couple of layouts while I watch my favorite TV show!” and “Why not put all the supplies I need in a tote or basket and I can bring it to the living room with me and put it in the closet when I am done!” Now, look at that, you have turned an excuse into a solution.

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I was so afraid to use the resin that I bought. I kept coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t. This green frame was one of my first experiments and it turned out great, I’m so glad I tried it!

The other day I was enjoying a cup of joe on the front porch when I was absolutely disgusted by the crud on my railing and ballasts. I thought “if only I had a power washer, I would have this clean in a  jiffy” but I changed it to “Why not get a pail of warm soapy water and wipe down the rails and mop the floor. The girls can help and we will be done in 20 minutes!” Well, it took a bit longer than that but not much and once you get started (which is the hardest part of any project) it goes pretty quickly.

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More of my first resin experiments. I actually had a lot of dangles on this necklace but I changed my mind and took them off and left only these. See, you can change your mind and undo stuff, just because you make something with a supply it doesn’t mean you can’t undo it if you change your mind.

I can understand making excuses to get out of something you don’t like but why do we make excuses to get out of doing things we love? Maybe we feel guilty spending time on ourselves, or maybe we are afraid of making a mistake, doing something wrong or wasting precious supplies. Newsflash: You will make mistakes, if you don’t you are not learning. You don’t even need to be good at something to enjoy the process, for instance I am an awful singer yet I love to sing. You are worth spending time on! Maybe you are afraid of making a mess in a shared space. Why not pull together the supplies for a small project that can easily be tucked away in a box while it is in progress like a jewelry project, cross stitch or watercolor card.

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Experimentation is good for the soul! Dive in! I love my first glitter pendants too!

My point is stop making excuses! The next time you catch yourself saying “but” , “if only” or “I wish” stop and say “what if…”, “I will…” and “Why not…”  no one else is going to make you be creative (well, except me, I’ll give you a kick in the pants!) except yourself. Don’t discourage yourself before you start. Pick something you want to do and DO IT! So, if you are feeling inspired I want you to leave a comment and tell me what you are going to make next, don’t be shy, the act of telling someone and writing it down will help you achieve it! Please let e know when you finish your creation too as I would love to see it. You are worth it! Now, go make something! Til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Short, Sweet & Silent!

Howdy friends! It is Wednesday (OK Tuesday night in the USA!) and time for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday! It is also the first day of school so I will have hours of uninterrupted creative time in my studio! woohoo! Of course I shouldn’t say that out loud or I might jinx myself hahaha! So yesterday I glued bails on some of the sea glass embedded pendents that I made. I rolled up some old book pages in some too, it is fun to see what words are prominent in the pendants, the pages came from old Edger Allen Poe books! I did some wire wrapping on some when I thought a regular bail was too boring.

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Yep, a big mess! I hope to get more resin poured today, I wanted to try embedding fibers, buttons, glitter and letter beads in some pendants. I hope it turns out to be a sunny, dry day so I can cure some resin outside. I found that putting it in bright hot sun with a clear Rubbermaid tote over it for a dome works really well. I think it traps the heat and helps it cure. Plus I can keep most of the stink outside! That’s it for me today, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY Paint Drying Rack! {and more resin adventures!}

Happy Monday folks! It looks like today is going to be sunny and hot, a perfect day for the beach…or to play with resin some more…or better yet both! I can make some resin stuff and escape the fumes and the temptation to bother it as it cures LOL! this weekend I used up the last of the big pint can of resin i bought and you know what? I really enjoyed the process of learning about it, so much so in fact I took my 50% off coupon to ACmoore yesterday and bought the even bigger quart can of it LOL! I was going to try the epoxy kind but they were sold out at both craft stores and I was not letting the 50% off coupon go to waste:) I learned something new this weekend about polyester resin, well several things actually but before we get into that I wanted to show you the drying rack I built for holding glazed or painted objects:

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The photo is self explanatory but basically I took 2 scraps of foam-core and glued them together then inserted sewing pins every 3/4″ or so. I think I might make one with the pins closer together to hold jewelry parts too! Maybe I’ll make a video but you’re pretty bright so I’m sure you get the gist. 😀

EDIT: I decided I wanted a board with the pins closer together for glazing jewelry components so I made a video, enjoy!

Resin Tip #25 Always use Mold Release!

While making my sea glass paper weights above I was impatient and did not prep the soap molds I used with mold release. Now there is a chance that the molds were the wrong kind of plastic but every kind of plastic I have used before have worked (even candy molds!) with mold release. The downside is that you have to plan ahead of time and spray the molds and let them dry, I’m not big on planning  so since I had 2 of that particular soap mold I through caution to the wind…

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Yep, bad idea.

Resin Tip #26: Use a heat gun to remove the stuck on plastic mold from your resin.

I was not about to let my resin paper weights go in the trash just yet so I cut apart the plastic mold and tried to bread the plastic off, not happening. So I grabbed my heat gun and heated the plastic and peeled it off. By the way I had the door open and 3 fans on during this unwise fume fest. I was able to pull most of the plastic off BUT the was still some bits of plastic stuck to the edges so I began sanding, first with a rough paper to remove the plastic then with a finer sponge to polish it. Please use a dust mask or respirator if you do this. That removed the plastic but let my paperweights dull and lifeless. We can’t have that now can we? so I grabbed my trusty Future Floor Wax with Pledge Shine (which has never seen a floor BTW) and gave them a shiny new glaze. It worked, dried rock hard and quickly! Yay! I needed to glaze all sides so did the bottom first, placed it on my drying rack and glazed the top and sides. After seeing how well that worked I glazed my green jewelry pieces from the other day. It got rid of the slightly tackiness of the ones done in silicone and it made the bits I had to file and smooth on the circle pendants disappear. It made my grimy fingerprints go away too and left shiny goodness in their place! Huh, I wonder how that stuff works on floors?

I also learned that larger pieces cast quicker with polyester resin. It was a dry 75 degree day when I made the paper weights and other items (I made sea glass embedded pendants and charms for earrings) and after pouring I took the molds outside and put them in the sun and covered them with a clear plastic tote. The paperweights were hot in the molds before I even went out and they were cured in a few hours while the pendants were still a bit tacky. The heat is key I think because you have to use 3 times the amount of hardener in the 1/8″ thick items as the 3/4″ items and each layer if resin requires less hardener if you are layering stuff. I also learned that you can color resin with dye reinkers for transparent items or acrylic paint for an opaque look. I have lots of both so that saves me money on specialty colorants!

I hope you found today’s post useful. Even if you never want to try resin after reading my adventure at least you can make a nifty paint drying rack for other projects like Christmas ornaments or tole painting projects.  Well, I am off to the beach today, maybe I can find some more sea glass or other treasures to bring back. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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