Friday, November 30, 2012

Experiments...always a good way to discover cool new techniques!

The other day, my daughter asked me to do a resin pour on a little project she had going. I ended up with a lot of resin left over, so I grabbed all sorts of odds and ends I had laying around and started experimenting with wire, tissue, foil, vintage catalogue pages, beads and jewelry findings. Anything with an edge that I could pour the resin into. The picture below is a collection of all my new little "charms" that I will eventually use in my jewelry projects.
Towards the end, when the resin was starting to get too thick to pour, I mixed in some pearl-ex pigment powders and found out it makes a really cool, faux enamel look! The little red, green and blue are the ones with the pigment mixed in. For me, this is a great discovery! Now I won't have to waste any extra resin, because with the pigments mixed in, you don't have to worry about getting any bubbles out. Ordinarily, for a clear, topcoat pour, you have a fairly short working time to be able to use a torch and release bubbles so its perfectly clear. This new discovery has got me thinking about all sorts of new ideas!
The night I did this, I couldn't sleep a wink because my brain wouldn't stop spewing ideas that I want to try. I hate it when that happens, but I also love it, because it opens up the floodgates for all sorts of renewed inspiration.
So if you are stuck in a rut, or creatively blocked, or just need a change, try something new that you haven't tried before with your existing art supplies!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Make your own texture stamps using a flip flop!

A few days ago I posted a really cool video on my Facebook page about using different kinds of foam you might all ready have at make stamps for your mixed media work or paper craft projects. If after reading this you want to see the video you can see it  HERE.

I decided to see how we'll it worked and was pleasantly surprised! Here are some samples of the stamps I made, by cutting up an old flip flop.

Here is what you will need for this project:
A foam flip flop ( you can buy them at the dollar store)
A heat gun
A variety of objects from around the house to use for impressions ( I used jewelry findings, my daughters plastic headbands, beads etc...
Scissors or a craft knife
A heat safe surface

1. Cut your foam flip flop into squares, rectangles, or whatever shapes you like.
2. Lay out your object(s) that you want to use for your impressions in an arrangement that will fit your foam piece
3. On a heat resistant surface, use your heat gun to heat the surface of your foam ( keep heat gun moving and hold about an inch or 2 above the foam). Heat for approx. 20 to 30 seconds...don't burn your foam!
4. Quickly take the heated side of your foam shape and press it down on to your chosen object(s). Press hard with even pressure for about 10 seconds. You should now have an impression embedded in to your foam...yay!
5. Now test your image with a stamp pad or paint on to paper or fabric. If you don't like the image you get, simply reheat the foam and try again! You can reuse your foam pieces over and over again, because the heat gun will return the foam to its original flat surface!

And that's it! Five easy steps to making your own stamps! Here are some ideas for using them in your art...

---Make your own decorative papers to use in collage work.
---Use fabric paint and stamps to create unique fabric prints to use in your quilting or sewing projects.
---Use your new stamps to create beautiful backgrounds for art journals, ATC's, paintings etcetera...
---Create fun gift tags and cards.
---Make your own patterned gift wrap.
---Create fun borders around stationary or frames.

I hope you have as much fun with this as I did!

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