Friday, August 29, 2008

"When Creativity Knocks" and the Bandanna Technique!

Hello, Everyone! Sorry I've been remiss in posting. A lot is going on in my life that I will be able to talk about shortly. I've been busy, busy, busy!

At the Winter CHA Show, when I was still with Ranger, I taped a segment of "When Creativity Knocks", an online craft show hosted by my dear friend, Ana Araujo and her daughter, Megan. Check out the link! There's a bunch of techniques, including using the Ink Blending Tool and Adirondack(r) Pigment Inks and Inkssentials(tm) White Opaque Pen to create Bandanna Memory Glass(tm) Jewelry.

Make sure to sign up on the site and check out the other tapings. When you sign up, they'll update you when there's another, new video up. I really think that Ana and Megan have such a great idea for their show, so be sure to show your support!

I honestly cannot believe that it is the Labor Day Weekend? Where did the summer go? I'm really looking forward to my next "chapter" and I promise I'll update you soon!

Bandanna Hugs,


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Stepping up with a "Faux Enamel" Step Out!

Hello, Everyone! I've been busy working on samples, reading and some organizing. Little by little! I cannot believe that it is August. Where does the time go? There have been some people that have asked me about working with the Streuter Gluefoil(tm). I figured it was time to do a step out...a how to! These are so darn addictive to create.

The Basic Supplies
Gluefoil™, Copper,
Streuter Technologies
Grungeboard™ Plain and Mixed Minis, Tim Holtz™ Ideaology
Craft Iron (B68SP), Clover
Precision File Set (MET-643), Basic Grey™
Cuttlebug™ and Dies, 2 x 2 Hearts (37-1213), Provo Craft
Dual Tip Stylus Detail Tip (56067097), Fiskars
Adirondack® Acrylic Paint Dabber, Ranger
Glue Stick
High Gloss Acrylic Varnish,
Niji Waterbrush, Yasutomo

First start out by creating a template for the Amate Studios Pendant Tray. I've been making them with Grungeboard(tm)-they are easier to save, sand and create the most accurate template for additional designs. Mark the top of the template. For the design, I used the smallest of the hearts dies and ran it through the Cuttlebug(tm). It's important to note that Grungeboard is not the "ideal" material to run through the Cuttlebug. It can be done, with smaller pieces, but if trying to run Grungeboard through an Embossing Folder that is the size of the Embossing Folder, you are taking a chance. Just warning you! I also love to use the Grungeboard Mixed Minis that are already the perfect size for these pendants. You'll see that I used the smallest crown and after snipping off an area of the heart, so that the crown will sit flush against the heart. Glue the pieces onto the base with a glue stick.

Cut a piece of Gluefoil just a smidge bigger than the base, the dull side (which is the glue side) facing against the design. The next step is also important-when working with Gluefoil, it's important to use a craft iron-whether it's the Clover Craft Iron or Mini Iron, not a Heat Tool. The iron plate will heat the glue and also help to adhere the foil down evenly. Initially press the iron down (don't move it back and forth) and allow it to heat. Remove the iron and press down onto the heated area with a towel (don't use your hand on the heated metal!). When cool enough to touch, move your finger around to press down the foil so you see the basic outline. Use the large side of a Detail Stylus to outline the design, followed by the smaller end of the stylus. It's better to do this as noted to avoid poking a hole (believe me, if you think you can start with the smaller end of the detail stylus, I warned you!).Go back to using the iron to adhere the "background" portion of the foil down; with the design having been outlined with the stylus, it's easier to get into the nooks and crannies of the design with the pointed end of iron. Follow by adding design to the background of the design as well as with the design itself. This is the fun of using the Grungeboard and foil together, because they both have "give" so that the designs can be further embellished. Dots, squiggles, cross-hatchings...use your imagination! You may think that these are a lot of instructions, but if you know me, I like to give you as much info as I can so that you really understand all the "fine tuning" that will result in your having success in your creations. Also remember that you are working with small pieces, so it goes quite fast! Now the persnickety part. Use a medium and fine grit file (I've been having fun with the Basic Grey file set) on the edges of the design, ironing around the edges again as needed. The key is to make sure the edges are completely adhered down. Filing helps that happen.

Now's the fun part. If you want to just create an "antiqued" look, coat the entire surface with Pitch Black Paint Dabber. Allow to dry for a few minutes, then wipe off with a damp towel, just leaving enough paint in the grooves, etc. that you've created. If using the copper Gluefoil, cover with Pool Paint Dabber; when rubbed off it will create a patina-like effect. What I did for this sample was paint in using a Waterbrush. Just paint it in and allow to dry.

I then very lightly sanded with a fine grit sandpaper, then painted the heart back in so that did not have the entire design looking "distressed."I found that the Liquitex Acrylic varnish works easily and well. I've only used the High Gloss at the moment, but will get around to trying the matte. I like to paint on two layers, making sure it is dry between layers. Glue it in with either a heavy duty glue or Gluefilm(tm), which works extremely well into the metal pendant tray.

When finished, have fun by placing it on a beaded necklace or a simple chain. I call these "faux enamel", and it's fun to make admirers of your jewelry wonder "how did you do that!?"

This technique is similar to what is done with the bangles and some Bind-it-all Covers that I created with Teresa Collins Designs. The key is patience and enjoy where the creativity takes you!