April 13, 2016

I've been busy

While at my local Wal-Mart store, I found this silicone ice tray.
 I picked up to practice casting resin in it, just because it was made of silicone. When filled only a quater of the way, they made excellent tiles. I turned the first casting into pendants.

I think I may be able to cast my souvenir pennies/dimes from Disneyland in these and make "blocks" out of them. I'd then use those blocks to build the iconic Disneyland castle! A large and time consuming project but one that I think will be worth the effort. A much more dramatic display piece for my pressed coins. I can even add the photographs taken with the characters into it as "windows" in the castle. I'm going to have to pick up a few more of these ice cube trays to cut down the casting times at least. Assembly of the castle is another project in itself. Since we plan on going again for Halloween, I have to make sure to take enough coins to get the newest ones.

 I ordered a Disney mold from one of the Facebook forums I frequent. Originally I was going to make pendants or keychains out of these. I have to remember one of the golden rules of resin casting: Be patient. This mold is shaped to create a dome in itself. I forced the pictures in prior to the dome setting rigid and ended up with air bubbles in most of the pieces.

 This one was the worst of them. At least I learned my lesson. My sphere mold I made with window silicone is finally wearing out. It lasted for about twenty castings. Not too bad considering that the silicone tube cost $4 and I still have over half of it left to make more molds.

I finally took my first run at putting real flowers in resin. I think because the mold is so old, that a small amount of the tint from the flower petals seeped and ended up coloring the resin. I thought they were dried enough,but unfortunately they still needed another day or two to dry.

The second attempt left it very cloudy. I'm hoping that dipping it in more resin maybe clear up the haziness, but I honestly don't think it will make a difference. There was a lot of bubbles in the resin when I poured because it was cold when I mixed it.

 This little vaporeon in a bowl is part of my monthly Pintrest Challenge. This was a secondary attempt. I was working with clay and it triggers my asthma when it bakes, I made as many clay items as possible to bake it all together. This one is still missing it's flowers but it's mostly done.

February 24, 2016

Shuttle me away!...

I picked up some large bobbins while shopping at JoAnn's one week.
I was wanting a shuttle that would hold more thread thus reducing the amount of ends I would have to hide on my tatting projects. I tried "making" them fit my Aerolit shuttle and that poor thing snapped in half. Then I tried a metal bobbing shuttle and it was warped out of shape so bad I had to throw it away. The idea then came to make a housing for these bobbins out of clay and cast a mold for it to make it out of resin later. Let's just say, I wasted a lot of clay. Ironically, it was a broken Christmas ornament ball and another Pintrest roaming session that paved the way to a housing for these bobbins.

This ornament gave me enough blades to make 4 shuttles. The instructions (once again vague) just says to glue the bobbin in between the blades. Okay...first try..

These broke apart as soon as I started trying to wind the shuttle up with thread. Then I tried E6000 glue and that was even worse. I could not salvage those pieces. I was getting upset, I needed a strong bonding agent. Duh, resin! I used UV curing resin because I wanted to see if this would work better.

 One problem I encountered quickly was the forming of a large air bubble under the center post. I solved this problem by filling in the center with some more resin and then tilting the shuttle from side to side until the air bubble was pushed out.
Now attaching the other side was going to be a challenge on its own. The first one I just cut above the bobbin hole and dripped the resin in and cured it that way. This left it looking kind of ugly, so I added a sticker and domed that with more resin.
 This size on these compared to other shuttles I already own.

One thing I love about it, it's small shape. That's also one of it's downsides. It can be too small and I want to throw it when I tat with faster speed. To try to fix this problem, I cut the blades longer and that helped out a lot.

This one is much more comfortable in my hand. However, when I hold the shuttle closer to the tips, it feels like it's going to collapse. The ends snap back to themselves, so it's not a fear of them becoming sprung out. The center bobbin is large enough to give a solid base to hold onto it. Also, since this is a thin plastic material that was used, it will melt with high temperatures. I tried using a hot glue gun and the glue melted the blades. It may be a better idea to cut the blades, make them a bit thicker and mold that shape. Then they can be cast out of full resin and hold up to the temperature variations. I wasn't planning on selling these, the instructions are pretty simple to do. Then I realized that these bobbins may be a limited supply thing, I did pick them up on clearance. I made a short video and posted that to YouTube, but maybe I should make a few of these for sale. Let's see how they hold up before I do that.

Fishes and sticks

 Those hollow shells I made I put to use. Using polymer clay, I made a few goldfish in different sizes. I already had plans to make them into pendants, so shaping the fish was random.
 I saw a tutorial on Youtube for a mini fish pond and since I made so many extra fishes I decided to make one myself. Going outside and finding small pebbles to use seemed like too much of a bother so I made pebbles using some more clay.

 It was all a waiting game for the resin to cure. I ended up putting the fish upside down in the round mold but in the end, it turned out okay.

 While on Pintrest,

I found a tutorial-ish on how to make knitting needles out of resin and a McDonald's food straw. I don't knit, but I thought they'd make cool hair sticks. On tutorial-ish I mean that the basic steps were given. But no tips on how to get the yarn to stay in place or if you have to seal the yarn prior..yeah people new to resin working may find this frustrating and get a bunch of failures. Well, I used regular straws and the new cc7000 resin. My results:
The first stick has glow in the dark glitter/powder in it. The resin and this mix did not play nice. It is super floppy and bendy. The second stick is with less of the glow in the dark powder, but still bendy. The third was just some gold flakes mixed with the clear resin. The fourth was again the powder mixed resin but a thicker straw. The final one a mix of the glow in the dark powder, flakes and clear resin. My main problem was air bubbles. It is incredibly hard to get them out of the straws. I think I'm going to have to warm my resin more prior to mixing to help discourage them from forming.
The second attempted run making this, I used eyeshadows and the gold flakes to color. These came out much better.

I put them to the test and unfortunately, the broke after two uses. My hair is very thick, so to get them to go through, I put a lot of pressure on the sticks. My future sister suggested using a Boba drink straw. After picking up a few extra I got to say, those straws are super thick! Maybe too thick but I'm willing to give them a try anyways.