Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Red Aventurine



Red Aventurine represents Creativity, Prosperity, and Practical Enthusiasm, and here we have some hair combs wrapped in Red Aventurine Nuggets, featuring the special Grip-Tuth® design that holds your hair quite securely. Available in 82mm (3 1/4 inch), 70mm (2 3/4inch), and 40mm (1 5/8 inch) size combs at http://www.etsy.com/shop/EightSusquehanna

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Follow-Up on AMAZING Two-Part Epoxy Resin

Greetings, friends! I'm following up on my experience with the AMAZING 2-part Epoxy Resin, as promised. I actually made a little video about it:



I tried the little silicone jar mold again, with mixed results. The base of the jar came out better, in terms of the threads where the lid screws on. I got a solid pour there, with good strong threads, although I need to sand and polish around the base of the jar. But when I poured the lid for this second jar, even tough I "pushed" the resin down into the mold with a sharp instrument, it turned out even worse than the first one. In this second jar, I mixed Alumilite Gold Metallic Powder into the resin. The ratio on that with this particular resin is 1:1:1 - one part resin, one part hardener, and one part metallic powder, as recommended by Alumilite. Please wear a dust mask when using this material, as it is an extremely fine powder, and you don't need to be breathing it!

Then I made some 10mm Cube Beads in transparent teal, and some of those with Ice Resin Opal flakes. I had sanded the teal beads when I made the video, but still needed to polish them.

Then I dusted some of the metallic gold powder into the silicone cube bead mold and made some metallic-finish beads. If you can dust your mold with that powder, you get an amazing metallic finish, using much less of the powder - economical! That metallic powder is SO FINE it sticks to everything, but cleans up quite readily with alcohol pads. After that, I made some more cube beads with a touch of opaque white resin colorant, which resulted in kind of a milk-glass effect, shown later in the video.

I show the results of doming some polymer clay cabochons I had made, using the "Mica Shift" technique. These thin, doming-type applications are where the AMAZING 2-Part Epoxy Resin is really at its best. It is a thicker resin, more suitable for thinner applications, like doming (as for jewelry and accessory making) or, say, for coating a table or countertop.

I also experimented with a Pearlex powder in a color called "Interference Blue." Oh my goodness, what an effect that gives! I can't wait to do another project with that!

I had gotten a silicone pyramid mold and, when I got through pouring the little jar, had some of the gold resin left over, so I poured it into the pyramid mold. 24 hours later, I mixed up some more resin, stirred a little of the interference blue Pearlex powder into it, and filled the pyramid mold to the top. The result is utterly captivating, as the interference blue in the resin peeks and flashes like moonstone. It's a really stunning effect. I an REALLY eager to try some more pieces with Interference Pearlex powders!

I also had a silicone crystal mold, and cast a couple of pieces in it, both of which were full of tiny bubbles.

AMAZING Two-Part Epoxy Resin does EXTREMELY well in shallow applications, such as doming cabochons or jewelry bezels, or coating tables or countertops, but since it's so thick, it isn't really the best choice for casting deeper pieces, because, baby, it does hold on to those little bubbles - unless, of course, you want those little bubbles in your work. I think the bubbles aren't so evident in the pyramid because the Interference Pearlex Powder obscures them.

As the experiment continues, I have ordered some Resin Obsession Super Clear Resin, which is a thinner resin, more suitable for casting deeper or larger pieces. I will report on that after it comes in and I've had a chance to give it a try.

Thanks for watching and reading. Links to the products I used and mentioned are listed below. See you next time!

One inch silicone jar mold: https://amzn.to/2OqdTsG  Dust Mask: https://amzn.to/2ykl0IZ
Alumilite Gold Metallic Powder: https://amzn.to/2Qgf37c
Alcohol pads: https://amzn.to/2P1sPKX  Silicone cube bead mold: https://amzn.to/2xPSkYN  Ice Resin Opals: https://amzn.to/2IqBd3U  Wet/dry sandpaper: https://amzn.to/2NTfDv1  Butane Cooking Torch: https://amzn.to/2IxlOiB  Butane Fuel (for the cooking torch): https://amzn.to/2OnbuPu  Premo Polymer Clay: https://amzn.to/2OZFgXr  Unmounted Texture Stamp: https://amzn.to/2IsARcZ  Pearlex Interference Blue Powder: https://amzn.to/2P1i62O  Amazing 2-part Epoxy Resin : https://amzn.to/2QmY6Iy  3-sided silicone pyramid mold: https://amzn.to/2QmSI8d  
Silicone Crystal Mold: https://amzn.to/2C14f96
Alcohol Ink: https://amzn.to/2ykQeQa
Resin Obsession transparent color pigment: https://amzn.to/2zHdOsj  Resin Obsession opaque white color pigment: https://amzn.to/2DJVItM
Resin Obsession Super Clear Resin: https://amzn.to/2pHxo1T

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Resin Experiments Follow-Up

My little jar had tiny air bubbles throughout. They aren't hideous - they actually look like little sparkles. You have to look for them, but they're there. So I thought next time I try that, I'd use an actual casting resin, rather than a doming resin. I'm still experimenting and looking for the perfect casting resin for that type of project.


AMAZING 2-Part Epoxy Casting Resin, 8-oz. kit
This two-part clear coating and casting resin is easy to use.
It's great for small items and pieces less than 3/8" thick and excellent for doming bezels or polymer clay pendants and medallions. However, it’s just thick enough that if you use this for cast items thicker or deeper than the recommended 3/8 inch, you are likely to notice tiny air bubbles in your finished product.

You use it like this:
Combine equal parts of Part A and Part B, as measured out in your mixing cups. I find it helpful to mark the increments I want to pour to with a magic marker, like so: (whoops, I forgot to get that picture! Will edit and add that photo tomorrow when the light is better!)

Stir slowly and gently for 2 to 3 minutes, so as to avoid introducing too many air bubbles into your resin. A popsicle stick is perfect for this. I recommend you use the plain wooden popsicle sticks and not the brightly colored dyed ones unless you're okay with some of that color transferring into your resin. 
Plain wooden popsicle sticks

Once combined, you have up to 30 minutes working time, so allow the mixed resin to rest 5 to 10 minutes in order to release air bubbles before pouring onto your piece or into your mold. 

Once you’ve poured your resin, watch for air bubbles to emerge on the surface of your resin. When those appear (and they will!) there are a few ways to deal with them:
  1. You can blow on them gently with your mouth. I've heard it’s the carbon dioxide in your breath that pops the bubbles.
  2. You can blow on them gently with a drinking straw. This concentrates the breath (and CO2), and is a little more effective than simply blowing on them.  
  3. You can use a flame, like from a long-neck lighter or a cooking torch, to EVER SO LIGHTLY AND QUICKLY brush the tip of the flame across the resin surface. There's a link to a video below that shows this technique. You'll want to see how it's done before attempting this method, as it is easy to get carried away with the flame and cause a fire hazard.
Pieces can generally be de-molded in 18 to 24 hours, but will still be what I call "tender" - they may feel firm, but you can accidentally imprint or damage the surface of the resin even though it seems hard - so allow the finished piece to cure a good 48 hours before any sanding, polishing, drilling, or other rough handling.

Use a release agent when using a non-silicone mold for resin casting.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Ice Resin Experiment




Here's what I did today
The last time I did a resin project, I was using a workspace out in the garage. It's a perfectly nice workspace, but apparently it had been longer than I realized since I'd been out there. 
A couple of reasons for that - one, I've been negotiating with my hip for comfort and mobility. Unfortunately, it's been a rather demanding and hard-to-please hip. And while my garage space is a very nice creative space, it isn't quite the friendliest place for a sore and difficult hip to hang out. Secondly, Mother Nature got mixed up and sent us Tuscon's summer this year (we're in Fort Worth). So many days over 100, days in the one hundred teens - It was pretty rugged. I'm certainly grateful for air conditioning. That said, I know I didn't make any work-days in the garage this year, and it may have been a bit longer than I realized. 

I recently had occasion to make some shifts and do some rearranging in the house and, in the process, opened up a creative space right here inside (yay!). So today I went out to the garage to collect some resin-project materials to do a project. 

When I'm working with Ice Resin, I often prop the bottles upside-down in plastic cups (one for the resin, and a second one for the hardener) so the material, which is pretty thick, will already be at the "top" of the bottle and ready to pour into my measuring cup. Otherwise, since it is so thick and moves so slowly, it can be a drag to wait for it to come out of the bottle. I have no idea when was the last time I did a resin project, but I know for sure it was before summer, so those bottles stood upside down like that all summer, and then some. 

Ordinarily it wouldn't be an issue. They've got their lids on, and the material has always stayed in the bottles, no problem. But in this summer's heat, something expanded - the air above them?  the resin itself? maybe both - and both the resin and the hardener had seeped out into their respective holding cups.
Resin seeped out of the bottle into the cup
Not the end of the world, but messy, for sure. So Big Lesson Number One is, if you're going to store your resin bottles upside down, you better be using them pretty regularly so they don't have time to make a mess that you'll have to clean up before you start your next project. Big Lesson Number Two is, don't leave them out in the garage during summer, where the heat makes everything expand, guaranteeing that your resin bottles will leak!

Having gotten that all put back in order, I was eager to proceed with some new materials and molds that I recently acquired I will include links to everything at the end of this blog post.

Following is the order of operations for today's projects:

Using Ice Resin, I poured 7.5 ml Ice Resin into a measuring container, and mixed in 1 drop Transparent Teal Resin Colorant into the resin, according to product instructions. 

Then I added 7.5 ml Ice Resin hardener and stirred 2 minutes; then let it rest 5 min, again, according to product instructions.
I blew emerging bubbles off the surface of the resting resin as they came up. 
Then I poured the base of the Round Trinket Box first (very slowly and carefully, so the resin can seep down the sides and release the air bubbles from there), and then the lid to the round storage box.
I still had a bit of resin left, so I poured 3 Cube Beads

With still a bit of resin left after that, I mixed in some Ice Resin Crystal Opals into the remaining resin, and poured the last 3 cube beads.
Ever little bit I would blow emerging air bubbles off the resin surfaces. 

I noticed several 2-3mm air bubbles that worked their way up from the sides of the round box mold, and found these amazingly resistant to being popped with a tool. I was able to pop them with the corner of an alcohol wipe, which I keep at my work station for cleanup. (As soon as I retrieved my torch, those bubbles stopped appearing!) Next time I make this piece, I will have some kind of slender tool, like a toothpick or a needle tool to work down the sides of the mold and help facilitate the resin in, and the air out. 

I swept the torch flame over all resin surfaces, popping all those tiny air bubbles. I'm checking it about every 20-30 minutes, and right now everything looks as smooth as glass.

All those pieces need to sit at least twelve hours, so I'll post again (with pictures, of course!) once I've unmolded them. See you then!

Supply Links:
Ice Resinhttps://amzn.to/2zpsLiL 
Transparent Teal Resin Colorant - https://amzn.to/2QYQ0H8 
Measuring cups https://amzn.to/2DqS9Zk 
Stir Sticks - https://amzn.to/2xHaTh6 
Silicone Round Trinket Box Mold - https://amzn.to/2zoEgXF
Cube Bead Mold - https://amzn.to/2xxZ51v 
Ice Resin Crystals - https://amzn.to/2DokP53 
Needle Tool - https://amzn.to/2zpLXg4 
Alcohol Wipes - https://amzn.to/2xB2pbY
Torch - https://amzn.to/2xxDNRC 
Torch Fuel - https://amzn.to/2zpqcNo 
Non-Stick Silicone Craft Mat -  https://amzn.to/2xzqqAq 
Latex-Free Disposable Gloves - https://amzn.to/2DnLKy7 

           

 

     

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Amazon Business


I just learned about Amazon Business. 
What is Amazon Business?
If you work at a job, you know that job uses supplies. And you know that somebody has to buy those supplies. Maybe there is a designated person who goes out to the office supply store or the wholesale store, or maybe orders things online. And if it's a small company, the process can really take up a significant part of that person's work week. If you're a very small business, like I am, going for supplies can really eat into your productivity. Even if you "just" run a home office, it sure is nice to have a more convenient way to get the supplies you need.
Well guess what? Amazon Business is changing the way companies buy supplies. 
As I mentioned, for most small businesses (and even some pretty good-sized businesses), buying supplies can be time-consuming and frustrating. Finding the best product at the best price with the most convenient payment terms can be a challenge, especially when you have other tasks that need to be completed. Amazon Business is an awesome solution, bringing big benefits to businesses of all sizes and industries. 
So check it out - click the picture there, where it says "Learn More," to learn more about it. I'm pretty sure you'll be glad you did.
You're welcome 😉

Saturday, September 15, 2018

New Stainless Steel Pieces

7 1/2 in. Solid Stainless Steel Figaro Chain Bracelet lead-free, Nickel-free



24 in. Solid Stainless Steel Necklace lead-free, Nickel-free, un-plated
Very nice, high quality solid Stainless Steel bracelet and necklace chains. These are 304 Stainless Steel, are lead-free, nickel-free, and un-plated, so they are both a great choice for those with metal allergies. 
This steel resists rust, corrosion, tarnish, and oxidation, too, so the natural steel finish will remain beautiful for years to come.


The chain in these pieces drape beautifully. Each one is classy enough to be an understated formal accessory for man or woman, while being macho enough for the absolute toughest guy you know.

7 1/2 inch length bracelet
24 inch length neck chain

Click either photo to be taken directly to the item for more information.

More sizes coming soon.

Thanks for looking!




Thursday, August 16, 2018

Quick Stretchy Bracelet How-to (Refresher)



A very informal, quick refresher on making stretchy bracelets.
(There is an introductory narrative section before the video begins at :52)

Here is a list of the supplies mentioned in the video. You can, of course, get your supplies wherever you like, but it does help me if you purchase from these Amazon Affiliate links 😉

.5mm stretchy cord: https://amzn.to/2OJNF0F  
Collapsible eye beading needle: https://amzn.to/2vPaIAd  
E6000 Glue: https://amzn.to/2Mu9Avo 

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