September 12, 2007

Addition to Plastic Bag Bead Making Description

I added a step to the description of the bead making process. This step is done just prior to rolling the bead in the Franklin Opals.

The beads tend to be thicker in the center as they melt, so I used a second knitting needle to gently push the thinner ends toward the middle while holding the bead in front of my heat gun. Then I rolled the beads across the clean sheet of paper again to smooth them out. This makes for a more uniform shape. If you're going for the irregular look, skip this step.

Faux End of the Day Glass Beads

I learned about "End of the Day" glass from my grandmother. She had an "End of the Day" glass basket that eveyone in the family loved. "End of Day" glass refers to glassware made by glassworkers at the end of the day, often on their own time. It used up the leftover molten glass and was usually a mixture of many colors. The beads I made tonight reminded me of this glass.

These beads are made using a method very similar to that used in the Plastic Bag Bead post. Here's how I did it.

1. Start with very light weight, clear plastic, like the plastic bag from your newspaper or a dry cleaning bag.

2. Cut a strip about three inches wide and twelve inches long and fold it in half lengthwise.

3. Cut a ten inch piece of multi-colored "Fun Fur" (eyelash yard) and place it between the two layers of plastic.

4. Wrap this around a knitting needle or skewer and heat it with a heat gun. Because of the polyester content in the Fun Fur, it melts and becomes one with the plastic during the heating process. The beads tend to be thicker in the center as they melt, so I use a second knitting needle to gently push the ends toward the middle while holding the bead in front of my heat gun.

5. While still hot, roll it in Franklin Opals and heat until the Opals melt. Repeat this step several times until there is a thick coat of Opals all over the bead. Be sure to keep turning the bead while melting or the Opals will drip off. In this way, this process is similar to making glass beads. Continue turning as the bead cools.

Here's one I embellished.

This bead was wire wrapped and finished off with seed and bugle beads and a charm. I think it has "Geo Deco Thingie" written all over it!

September 11, 2007

More Bag Beads

For all the beads described in this post, I used the same process for creating the bead as described in the Plastic Bag Bead post.

Tarkine Opal

Slogan Strip with Franklin Opals

If you click on the slogan you can see the strip that is cut from the Archivers bag. The bag is translucent, not clear and without color. I put an orange strip of paper behind it in an attempt to make the translucent strip show up in the scan.

This is the bead resulting from shrinking the strip cut from the Archiver's bag with the slogan written on it. It looks rather like a pearl.

Alcohol Ink with Plastic Bag Strip

I applied Wild Plum and Stream alcohol ink to a portion of a translucent plastic bag, as show below. I cut this into strips about half of an inch wide and about twelve inches long.

The beads resulting from this application are a little like amethyst. It's difficult to tell from the scan, but they are square, albeit, primitive squares.

Plastic Bag Beads

On one of the Yahoo groups I read there was a discussion about beads made out of plastic bags. I thought I'd give it a try. I had a bag with the Archiver's logo on it, so I cut the logo into strips. This way I wouldn't have to color the beads after melting them.

I wrapped the strips around a knitting needle and heated them with my heat gun. Then I rolled them on a piece of clean paper on my table top to smooth them out. The beads tend to be thicker in the center as they melt, so I used a second knitting needle to gently push the thinner ends toward the middle while holding the bead in front of my heat gun. Then I rolled the beads across the clean sheet of paper again to smooth them out. This makes for a more uniform shape. If you're going for the irregular look, skip this rolling step.

I heated again and rolled them in Franklin Opals. A final heating to melt the opals and the beads below were the result.

Because I used the colored part of the plastic bag and I didn't have to paint the beads, I also didn't have to seal them. The Opals took care of that.

Another fun project.

September 10, 2007

Metallic Popcorn Paper

On this example of painted popcorn paper, I rubbed metallic paste over the texture. I used Ruby Rub 'n Buff, followed by Patina Rub 'n Buff, followed again by Ruby. When dry I buffed to a shine, which doesn't show in the scan. This is very shiny and vibrant in real life. I like how it worked on the popcorn paper.

Stamping in Popcorn Paper

I stamped in some popcorn paper while the texture spray was still wet. Here are the results.

Both backgrounds were stamped with the same DeNami flower stamp. Either one could be used for a background for an ATC. The red one doesn't show the pattern of the flower stamp very well. It was painted with red metallic acrylic paint. Then I used my finger to dry-rub it with black acrylic glaze. For the white one, I rubbed the black acrylic glaze directly on the popcorn texture without any undercoat.

I think there are better mediums for stamping in texture, like modeling paste. I don't think I'll do this again with the popcorn paper technique.

September 7, 2007

Happy Accident

I meant to duplicate the "popcorn paper" technique using mat board, but I goofed. It turned out to be one of those happy accidents.

I started by spraying a deep red scrap of mat board with the texture spray described earlier. In the last project I covered the chipboard completely so that no chipboard showed through. This time I sprayed more sparsely and left mat board showing through.

Since the Twinkling H20's floated on the top when the chipboard was completely covered, I thought with some of the mat board showing through I might get a nice sparkly effect. Wrong! The Twinks completely saturated the top layer of the mat board and dried disappointingly flat. For some unknown reason, I started rubbing the surface with my finger while it was still damp. The top layer began to roll up and peel off, revealing the next layer with just a touch of color left. Interesting effect, but the picture is dark, so you have to click on it to look at the larger version to see what I mean.

One look at the resulting surface and I knew it was going to take Radiant Rains very nicely. I used Sky Blue and Periwinkle. (I get mine from After Midnight.) The rough edges resulting from rolling off part of the mat board's surface layer actually gave the piece a marbled effect.

Once I got the color saturation I liked I decided to add a little webbing spray on top.

Here's the finished piece photographed in the sun on an angle, in a desparate attempt to get the shimmer to show up.

If I do this again, I'd change the process in the following ways. First, I'd skip the texture spray altogether because most of it rolled off when I removed so much of the surface layer. Second, I'd probably wet the top layer of the mat board with inexpensive watercolor paint rather than Twinks since none of the glimmer showed up in that early stage. Third, I'd use a different color of webbing spray. White was all I had on hand. I might even try Golden Clear Tar Gel mixed with Luminarte Primary Elements to get the webbing effect.

I love learning from happy accidents.

September 6, 2007

Popcorn Paper

I decided to play with unconventional supplies again. I was wandering around in my local Lowes in the paint department when I stumbled on the stuff that is used to repair the "popcorn" texture in ceilings. "Surely I can use that in my art," I thought.

The base of my "Popcorn Paper" is actually chipboard, not paper. I used the chipboard that comes folded into my husband's laundered shirts. It's similar in thickness to a cereal box, maybe a little heavier. Here's how I did mine.

1. Spray the chipboard with the ceiling texture goup. You'll find it at any home or hardware store. It dries in about 30 minutes.

Here's what it looks like after it dries. It was late in the evening so this photograph was taken with ambient light. The blue is a result of my florescent bulbs. It's actually very, very white.

2. When dry, spray with black spray paint.

3. Highlight with burgundy and cream spray paint. I added Twinkling H20's to one corner (lower left), but they floated on top of the spray paint layer. It doesn't show up well in the photograph. If that's a look you like, go for it.

4. Finally, I added layers of pigment ink and blended them with my finger. Click on the finished photograph to get a better look at the texture.

This was fun.