Thursday, 31 December 2009

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda - Happy New Year

I'd just like to wish you all a very happy,
healthy and creative 2010 - or,
as we say in Wales -


I'll drink a toast to you all at midnight. Chink chink.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Perfectly clear

I signed up for a swap called 'perfectly clear', where I had to make an item which incorporated a clear element. I made a votive 'shade' by stamping on 2 pieces of acetate with several shades of Brilliance ink. I used acetate recycled from Christmas card packaging, but you could also use transparencies suitable for lazer printers, the acetate just needs to be either reasonably heatproof or stiff enough to stay clear of the candle flame.

I used 4 eyelets to hold the acetate pieces together. I included a clear tealight/votive candle holder, which can take either a real candle or one of the small battery operated votive candles.

It does have a wintry theme, and makes snowflake patterns all over the wall - maybe my swap partner will like it enough to bring it out each Christmas!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Green & gold Friendly Plastic mask

My step daughter asked me if I could make a mask similar to the one I had made for my daughter:

but in greens.

A mask takes between 3 and 4 sticks of Friendly Plastic, so I checked my stash and found 2 iridescent green sticks and 2 gold. I cut one of the gold sticks in half and then cut each half lengthwise into 7 strips. I did the same with one of the green strips.

I have a paper mache mask form, which I covered in aluminium foil, so that the Friendly Plastic wouldn't stick to it.

I then set my melting pot to 140 degrees and filled it with water. I dropped a gold strip into the water, coloured side down, and after about 10 seconds I fished it out (using a wooden handled pointy tool), and laid it onto the mask form. I repeated with all my gold strips, until I had my mask base. I pressed the pointy tool into each joint as I worked, the joints are what holds the mask together and I wanted them to be as strong as possible.

I topped up the water, and repeated the process using the green strips, overlapping and joining onto the gold strips as I went.

Next, I put a green strip onto a piece of non stick craft sheet and heated it with my craft gun until soft. I pushed a cutter into the Friendly Plastic then dropped the craft sheet, plastic and cutter into a bowl of cold water. After 10 seconds I took it all out, removed the cutter, peeled the plastic off the craft sheet and used sharp scissors to separate the shape I had cut out from the plastic. I repeated with the green and gold until I had 6-8 shapes of each colour.

I heated the centre of the mask with my heat gun, just enough to make it tacky, then laid a shape at top centre, and continued heating until I could see the shape was soft. I pushed into the shape with the end of the pointy tool - this gave a 'crease' down the 'petal' and also pushed the shape firmly into the layer below, making a strong joint.

I repeated with more heat and more shapes until the mask was finished. You need to be careful not to apply too much heat at once, or the mask will melt so much that it loses definition and oozes off the foil...

Once happy with the mask, I left it to cool on the mask form for an hour or so, then just popped it off.

All it needs now is elastic!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Stampbord triptych

Trizzy sent me a stampbord triptych a couple of months ago, and I loved the idea, so I made this one to give as a Christmas present.

I took two of the 2 x 1 inch pieces, drenched with water and zapped with a hot heat gun until they bubbled.

I used fluid chalk inks to colour the bubbled pieces and a 2 x 2 inch piece, then stamped images using Chapel Road stamps and Stazon ink.

I scraped and scratched here and there, but you can hardly tell as when I added a layer of glossy accents to seal it and give it a shine, the ink dissolved just enough that the scratches disappeared!

Finally, I added tiny hinges, and coloured the edges and hinges with a brown Sharpie pen.

Copper & agate brooch

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I had some 16 gauge copper wire to play with, and decided to make a brooch as a Christmas gift. I had an agate heart which had a pre-drilled hole of about the right size, so threaded that onto the wire. I used round nosed pliers to bend the wire into the shapes I wanted, then used a chasing hammer to flatten all the bends, which stiffens the piece so that it holds its shape.

I hammered and flattened the end into a point, and used much finer wire to wrap around the bottom of the brooch to hold the last curve of the wire in place. Thankfully the recipient likes it!



Please note that I assert myself as the creator of all art on this site (unless I credit another artist) and retain copyright of all artwork posted on this site