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To visit my Etsy shops:

Jewelry - BareMoose

Jewelry Supplies - SecretSolaceSupplies

Crochet - RoseCottageCrochet 


Friday, July 31, 2009

More About Resin & A Message For You

I would like to share a few more resin tips with you.
I also want to let all my awesome followers know that I will not be posting anything new for awhile. I begin training for a new job on Monday. I will be driving 1 1/2 hours - one way - everyday. My training is from 8:30am - 5:30 pm and lasts for 4 weeks. So...I will not have the luxury of working on my blog and hanging out on the Etsy forums.
Please don't give up on me and unfollow!!!
I will be blogging like crazy once I have finished training :)


Resin - Continued:

I was wondering what I would do if I wanted to do a resin project and I didn't have a pendant setting.
This is what I came up with. I coiled up regular craft wire and ended the coil with a loop. I left the loop even with the rest of the coil so the pendant would lay flat. I glued my picture onto the wire with E6000 glue and let it dry.
I spooned the resin on the picture and allowed it to over flow. I was not trying to control the resin at all but on 2 of the coils, the resin stayed right on the picture.
You can see in the picture below, the resin over flowed on the large pendant. If this bothers you, cover the back with a circle of felt.

I made the large and tiny pendant using that great collage I bought from Cachecache
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5529873.
The middle sized pendant was made with one of Cynthia's floral pictures.


This is the front of the large pendant. I deliberately Mod Podged this picture only 1 time. I want you to see the importance of all the Mod Podge steps. The dark halo around the witch (especially by her hat) is staining from the resin. It was all white before the resin was applied.


Once the resin was cured, I used chain nosed pliers to twist the loop into the proper position. This eliminates the need for a jump ring.
So there you have it. A resin pendant without a pendant setting. I know you will come up with a million other ideas!!!

I found these lockets at Michael's. I wanted to see how resin would work in them.
I put photos of Cynthia's min pins in the lockets by repeating all the preparations in the resin tutorial. I very, very carefully filled the picture side of the locket with resin. I literally filled it one drop at a time. If this locket is over filled, it will not close. As you can see, they turned out great.

I also wanted you to see that your photos will work great with resin. I printed these pictures on matte photo paper but glossy photo paper will work great too.
I hope you will make some wonderful resin projects and post them on your blog!!!
If you do, please let me know, I would love to see them.
I will try to visit the Etsy forums for a few minutes each evening over the next 4 weeks. I hope to see you there :)
xoxoxoxoxo







Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Resin Pendant Tutorial

Before I begin this tutorial, I want to share with you where I purchased some of my supplies

I bought the very cute pendant settings from ChristianHaylie
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The awesome Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes Collage is from Herculiz
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The adorable Halloween Collage is from Cachecache
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And the fantastic fireworks and floral pictures are Cynthia's. You can see more of her pictures under the "pictures" heading on this blog.
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For this project you will need:
Resin ( I used Easy Cast )
Mod Podge
Pendant settings
Pictures
Embellishments
Chain, satin cord or pin backs
Jump rings
mixing cups
spoons
measuring spoon
I used these pendant settings on most of my projects. I also used a very tiny pendant setting I just recently purchased. All of the settings can be found here:

I printed out the fantastic collages I bought from my fellow Etsians.
Agatha Christie/Sherlock Holmes http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6470117


Both of these sellers have a lot of wonderful collages!!!
(The collages were too large for my projects so I made them smaller. Since I am not very good at sizing pictures, I made them a little too small. To combat that problem, I used satin cord to line the inside edges of the pendant. The cord covered my size problem and also embellished the pendant.)

Once you have your pictures, coat both sides with Mod Podge. I usually coat the front 3 times, allowing each layer to dry and then repeat for the back.
Once your pictures are dry, cut them out. Coat the inside of your pendant setting with Mod Podge and place your picture in the pendant, allow to dry. Once dry, cover your picture and your pendant (inside) edges with Mod Podge and let dry.
This is how they will look.
I know this seem like a lot of Mod Podging but you will have great results every time. If you miss a tiny spot by skipping some of the Mod Podge steps, you run the risk of your picture being discolored in that spot. Your color may also run.

Now you are ready for the resin.
**Work in a well ventilated area**
**Wear gloves to protect your hands**
**Cover your work surface - lol!!**

I used Easy Cast which is mixed with equal parts resin and catalyst.
I measured the resin into a plastic cup and the catalyst in a separate plastic cup.
There are special resin measuring/mixing cups on the market but I just used what I had. I used an old Tbsp. to measure with (do not use for food after using the spoon for resin) because I needed such a small amount of resin - 3 Tbsp. was plenty. I used regular plastic cups - the red ones in the picture below and regular plastic spoons.
Pour the catalyst into the cup with the resin. Stir for 2 minutes. ( I use my cell phone as a timer. )
After 2 minutes, pour the entire mixture into the cup that the catalyst was in and stir 2 more minutes.
Most people use new cups and spoons for each step in the mixing process. I always use the catalyst cup and spoon for the second mixing. It comes out fine so why waste more cups and spoons?
Once your resin is mixed, use a plastic spoon to fill your pendant settings. Less is more!!! Pour half of the resin you think you need. These settings are very small and it is so easy to over fill. If you need more, add more, but be very careful.
Inspect your pendants. Make sure all areas of the pendant is coated with resin.
At this point you can use a blow dryer or heat gun to gently blow the air bubbles out of the resin. I usually do not have air bubble problems and if I do, I simply blow on the resin. I know not everyone is full of hot air like I am, so use a blow dryer if needed.
Check for air bubbles several times over the next hour - blow when needed.

Cover the pendants with something once you have filled them. As you can see in the picture below, I use whatever I can find.


That's it!!! Allow the pendants to remain where they are, covered, for at least 24 hours. Read your resin package to get the best information on curing time.
Here are some of my finished products.

I used Cynthia's beautiful fireworks pictures for some of the pendants. I think they look great!


Another awesome fireworks picture.

And the last one. I embellished this one with a head pin and a Swarovski Crystal.

Sherlock Holmes - using the collage I purchased from Herculiz

I embellished the pendant on the left with a simple bow using the same cording that I used for the necklace. I embellished the pendant on the right with a cute little key.


















I love Agatha Christie!!! She is my all time favorite fiction writer. I have all of her books and re-read them all the time. I have taken some of these pictures with my matching books.


Evil Under The Sun - I embellished this pendant with one of my polymer clay roses.



A Murder Is Announced - one of my favorite Agatha Christie books. I didn't embellish this one at all. I made it into a pin by simply gluing a pin back on with E6000 glue.




Black Coffee - I embellished this pendant with a tiny key. For some reason, I feel a mystery novel and a skeleton key go well together.



















A very, very cute Halloween image from Cachecache. You can purchase the collage here: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5529873


I embellished this cute pendant by inserting a black bead on a head pin and attaching to the pendant loop.

Halloween will be here before we know it!!!

I want to share my OOPS with you.

I did not inspect some of my pendants as well as I should. Therefore, I had problems with areas on my pendants that were not covered with resin.


Cynthia's super sweet floral picture.

The entire top of this pendant had a tiny space of missing resin. I inserted 3 Swarovski Crystals on a head pin and curled both ends. I glued the crystals to the pendant with E6000 glue.


Another one of Cynthia's stunning floral pictures.

This pendant was missing a tiny bit of resin on the bottom corner. I used E6000 glue to attach a flat backed Swarovski Crystal to cover my mistake.

Sherlock Holmes - I made this one into a pin. It had a tiny speck of lint trapped in the resin. I used a key to embellish the pendant so that it would hide my lint problem. I used jump rings to attach the key to the pendant.

Brilliant Dame Agatha Christie - I over-poured Ms. Christie.

The resin flowed over the side of the pendant well. I attached a charm to cover the spilled resin.

I used a charm that says "JOURNEY" because Agatha takes me on a journey every time I read one of her books. I used head pins to attach the charm - curling up the ends to hold it in place.
I then glued a pin back on the pendant.
Agatha Christie - I used the tiny pendant setting I just received from ChristianHaylie.

You can purchase this tiny treasure here:


I used a key pendant and attached the Agatha Christie charm with a jump ring.

How cute is that!!!!

















For the satin cord necklaces, I used E6000 glue to attach the cord ends into cord caps and squeezed the caps closed. I attached a jump ring and toggle end to each end of the cord.


Resin may seem like a difficult product to use. But...you can see how easy it actually is. Just make sure you follow all the instructions that comes with the resin.

All little mistakes can be covered with embellishments so you don't have to worry about imperfections.


































Friday, July 24, 2009

Audrey's Country Crafts On Etsy


I am thrilled to post my very first feature!!!
I am honored to feature Audrey's Country Crafts http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6272600. She is such a talented and versatile artist!
You will find a variety of beautiful items in her Etsy shop, everything from jewelry to blankets.
She paints, sews, creates beautiful earrings and crafts delightful paper items.
There is no way you can visit her shop and not find the perfect item for yourself or for a gift!!!
Take a look at some of her items:

Like this adorable Rooster Bucket!

And this super sweet Handmade and Painted Heart Stool.

Beautiful Ceramic Bead Earrings.

Hand Painted Flip Flop Jean Blanket.

And this very cute Blue Raggedy Bag!!!
(I guess you can tell I love this!!!)

This is just a small sample of her beautiful items!! You must visit her store to see all of her awesome items!!

Audrey's Country Crafts http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6272600.

I asked Audrey to introduce herself to us:

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Hello. My name is Audrey and I'm addicted to Crafting.I started crafting about 15 years ago. At the time I was a stay-at-home mom with 2 small children. One day I saw an ad in the local paper for a beginner folk art painting class. My husband suggested that I go, as a way to get out of the house one evening a week and talk to other adults. So I joined. I think he's sorry now. LOL After attending the class I was hooked and haven't stopped painting since. Did many small craft shows at the beginning, and have done a few larger ones lately. It's a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. I just keep telling my husband that crafting is my therapy and it's cheaper than a psychiatrist.

Some of my inspiration for my crafts comes from other crafters. For the last 6 years, 5 friends and I would get together every Wed. evening for coffee, painting & inspiration. But my grandma inspires me the most. She lost her eyesight slowly about 35 years ago, but it didn't slow her down. Grandma tried to teach me to knit when I was younger, it's just not my thing. Couldn't manage to even knit a scarf straight. She is now 93.5 years old (1/2 years count at that age), and still knits everyday, making scarves, mittens and slippers for the great-grandchildren. I hope I can still craft when I'm 93!

I've started sewing again. My Grandparents gave each grandchild a sewing machine as a wedding present. It came in handy when the boys were little, boys clothes are pretty easy. No zippers in sweats, sweatshirts or t-shirts. (don't like zippers) I was thrilled when I realized that I could combine sewing and painting by making the jean blankets. They are so much fun to make and paint. It's easy to have each one be unique.

The best thing about crafting is meeting other crafters/artists. It's an amazing community where most everyone is quite willing to share their knowledge and help whenever they can. I love to see what everyone is doing, and learn about them, there art/craft and why they do it. Hopefully I can craft/paint and blog for many more years.

___________________________________________________________________

Thank you for sharing, Audrey!

Thank you also for allowing me to feature your lovely Etsy shop!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Memory Wire Bracelet

Here is the bracelet for Clarissa, the winner of the giveaway. She requested a blue, brown and silver bracelet.
I really hope she likes it!!






Memory Wire Bracelet Giveaway Winner!!

Clarissa from Digital Deacons is the winner of the memory wire bracelet.

She selected brown and blue beads with silver memory wire.

I will post pictures of the bracelet once I have made it.



A big "THANK YOU" to everyone that entered the giveaway and became a follower.



I will hold another giveaway soon!!!

Potpourri Warmer Tutorial


This is a very simple, inexpensive gift.

When you turn on the lights, the warmth releases the potpourri scent.

**Never leave the Potpourri Warmer unattended. Treat it like you would a candle**

What you will need for this project: a jar or vase, potpourri, 20 count Christmas lights, ribbon, flower, rubber band and a doily.

Start by inserting some of the lights into the bottom of the jar. Add some potpourri on top of the lights. Alternate the lights and potpourri.


Layer the lights and potpourri until the jar is full.

Once the jar is as full as you want, place a doily on top of the jar and hold it in place with a rubber band.

Tie a ribbon around the jar on top of the rubber band. Decorate with a flower.

That's it!!!


I am a crocheter so I made the doily.

However, you can purchase a doily and a jar at a thrift store or yard sale.


You can change the Potpourri Warmer by using different embellishments. In this case, the warmer has a country look because I used a paper flower and vintage cotton ribbon.

My personal style is Victorian. When I make a warmer for myself, I embellish with satin ribbon and flowers. I also add a tassel.





Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Giveaway! Memory Wire Bracelet - You Select The Color!

I am going to start a thread on Etsy forums in the promotion section.

I will be looking for new blog followers.

If you become a follower, just comment on this post to be entered in the Memory Wire Bracelet Giveaway. When you leave a comment, please tell me what color bracelet you would select if you are the winner.

I will draw a winner on Friday July 17, 2009. I will convo the winner and also feature the winner on this blog.

Good Luck and Thank You so much for following!!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Molded Candy Tutorial


Making molded candy is very, very easy. Even so, it always gets the most compliments. Everyone is so impressed!
You can spend hours making a special fudge with candy thermometers and temperature control and no one notices the skill and work involved.

What you need for this project - candy melts, lollipop sticks (if you have a lollipop mold), candy molds, a microwave safe bowl, a spoon and something to wrap up your finished product.
**You can purchase candy melts, molds and packaging material at any craft store. I bought my more intricate molds online.**


Pour the candy melts into the microwave safe bowl. Heat the melts according to the package directions. I usually start at 1 minute, stir the melts and continue at 15 second intervals until they are melted. If you heat the candy beyond it's melting point, it will "seize" which is a fancy way of saying "You have burned the candy. Throw it away and start over".


This is what the candy melts will look like once they are melted.


All you do at this point is spoon the melted candy into the mold.

As a long time candy maker, I have learned a few tips:

1. Once you fill the mold cavity, tap the mold on the table. You don't have to be gentle - slap that mold on the table. You need to do this to remove any air bubbles in the candy.

2. If you overfill a mold, don't panic. It really doesn't matter. You can fix it later or leave it like it is.

3. Make sure your mold, bowl and spoon are completely dry. Water and chocolate do not play well together.

That's it. Once the molds are filled, I pop them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. (If you make a lollipop mold, insert the lollipop sticks after tapping the mold to release the air bubbles.)




Here is an example of a simple mold over filled.

Plus, I did not tap the air bubbles out of this one.



You can see that over filling is okay.


You can repair the over flow of chocolate by simply cutting off the excess.

If I over fill a mold for candy I am making for my family, I leave it alone. It just means they get more chocolate!!

You can not fix the air bubbles that were trapped in your candy. It is not very pleasing but, again, if it is for family it won't matter.
This mold makes a candy box. In this case, it is an Easter Bunny but you can purchase box molds in many shapes.


Here is the bunny box un-molded. The mold also comes with tiny carrot cavities you can make and put inside the box. You can also fill the box with small candy like M&M'S.
This is an example of a lollipop mold. In this case, it's a moose (surprise!!) but of course, there are hundreds of different shapes.


The moose lollipop un-molded.


You can package your candy any way you want. I used bags that were made for molded candy. They come with twist ties. I used the twist tie for the bunny box but used a white satin ribbon for the moose lollipop.


I have this huge swan 3D candy mold.

I thought it would be a great centerpiece for Mike and Sam's wedding.

I made the swan using white candy melts. I place the swan on a wooden circle and decorated with flowers and a candle.


The theme of the wedding was double hearts. I tied a bow around the swans neck and attached double heart charms on the ribbon tails.


I attached a wine glass to the board behind the swan and dropped in a white candle.

I was so impressed with this centerpiece!!!

But...we had a slight problem. I needed 18 of these white chocolate swans and the wedding was in the middle of August! No one had a place to store the swans.

Even if I had enough room in my fridge for 18 swans, they could not be stored like that for any length of time. If they were cold stored for longer than a day or two, they would sweat and look terrible once they were placed in room temperature.


So...this is what I ended up making for the centerpieces.

They turned out okay, but they are not as awesome as the chocolate swan!

I made them different colors and with different flowers. This is one of the decorated tables.


However, my molded candy did make an appearance at the wedding!! I made milk, dark and white chocolate hearts. I rubbed the tops with edible gold, placed them in a candy bag decorated with double hearts and placed a charm on the twist ties before sealing.

This is a picture of the basket full of them. I made 200 candy hearts.

(When Mike was about 4 years old, I told him we were going to make molded candy for Christmas. He said he didn't know why anyone would want to make or eat "moldy candy")
This is one of the wedding tables. They put one of the candy hearts at each setting.



This is Mike and Sam. Their first dance as a married couple.


For some reason, they do not look concerned about not having candy swan centerpieces!!

There you have it - molded candy.

Simple, quick and impressive.


You can color your candy by simply pouring different color melts into the different sections of the molds. You can also "paint" your candy once you un-mold it.

But...you can see, even if you just pour a solid color, they look great.

Now, go make some candy!!!!



















Some of the items in my Etsy store. Stop by!!! http://www.baremoose.etsy.com