Sunday, October 5, 2014

new screens and some decals too

Simple silkscreens and decals, ready to use!

 Such a loverly night for a moondance...
6" dish. 

8 x 10 tile
A Quick Study Guide to the Human Heart.


 Oscar Wilde, le pauvre!(portrait from vintage zine)

5" x 5" tile, silkscreened with glaze

Monday, January 27, 2014

BOOKmaking and BOSSKuts

Sorry to be gone so long! So many obsessions :~)
Papermaking of course - and now, making Things from paper.
Who knew BOOKS were so much fun?  wheew. yes, pictures, ok:


I needed to create some raised surfaces too; and so *HURRAH* finally sat down and learned how to use the BOSSKUT Gazelle. This is a digital die-cutter - think, cricut - but you can create your own images instead of being restricted to their cartridges. Hello, vector!

OK so now I have a big drawer full of cutouts. Great for embossed surfaces, tooling tin and paper, stencils...

and excellent to cut intricate shapes in opaque papers/plastics to use with photo-sensitive techniques, as with EZphoto screen and other emulsion films...diazo, Yudu...

Ceramic - decals and screenprinting

DECALS are water slide transfers. They must be run on laser printers, using toner with iron oxide.The fired color will range from sepia to dark chocolate.
Unlike lazertran, the paper is very compatible with laser printers, won't fuse or melt. The weight is similar to good photo paper.
We had some curious fails at first, where some designs simply burned off. This, we discovered, was because  not all laser printer inks contain iron oxide these days. Who knew?  HP seems to be reliable.
------------
Decal paper is available in bulk from BelDecal or in small packs from http://www.northwoodstudios.us/decal_page1.html, where you will also find a basic tutorial.

This is uncoated waterslide paper and requires a cover coat. We've had good experience using clear coat spray from auto paint departments, using 3 serious coats. The first one should be light, or the print may bleed a bit. Once it's sealed with that first coat you can hit it with a couple heavier coats.

 **LET IT DRY in between coats.  It's a learning curve; if you think it's ready, snip a small piece to test in warm water. It should slide off intact. If it starts to break up, or is too fragile to handle without breakage, spray another coat.

 After firing, you can use overglaze to add more color.  Some underglazes work also, but we find they are more difficult to work with for details. Great for borders, though!


SCREENPRINTING!    We tested underglazes on fired glazed ware, and found that some of our older underglazes fire matte on top of the glaze. Duncan CONCEPTS underglazes seem to contain enough frit to fire nicely glossy so they don't require a clear glaze overcoat. (YAY ! one less step)  Of course, you might find a matt design interesting, so feel free to experiment!


Steampunk rider/ Wabi Sabi 


The onglaze paints are usually mixed with a little oil, so screens are harder to clean up. Use a gentle cleaner and work from the back of the screen to minimize stress on the emulsion.
Goccogrrl screen cleaner is great for this too - http://www.northwoodstudios.us/misc.html

Underglazes are waterbased and screens are easier to clean.Gentle stream of tepid water, sponge, a little detergent; dry flat on lint-free surface.






Photographing shiny ware is crazy-hard!  and I would kinda rather spend more time painting..
but (ever-hopefully, she says) will post more soon.

FUN FUN FUN - go have some!

xoxo judy

Friday, June 14, 2013

The paper-maker's swap - Notes from Holland
Andrea wrote some nice blog notes on our paper maker's sample exchange.
 
  Her blog (above link) and her website  atelier28 ~ etching gallery display some of her work,
 AND describe techniques and process. Atelier28 is also on Facebook, of course...and has an etsy shop.      
 Exquisite prints, paintings, etchings and paper collage pieces, oh my! Need inspiration? Check it out!

Happy Creative Hours. Remember ~ Dream and DO.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Resist fire results, and a screenprinting test

resist with underglaze and clear glaze

18" ceramic platter, resist painted turquoise and white

SO
this is what came out of the kiln!


Details?
 CONE  04 Diamond clear glaze over very old Turquoise duncan underglaze.

















The color in the closeup image seems closer to the actual turquoise,
and also shows the sponged texture a little better, as well as what
 I think is a nice roughness of some of the edges.















AND now for some screen printing experiments! 

Let's try underglaze on top of a pre-glazed tile. 
PART ONE, three steps ~   
                                                                                                                          

First I misted the tile very lightly with water
and smoothed the screen down with a cloth
to adhere it closely.
Use an absorbent lint-free cloth to remove any extra moisture to minimize the glaze bleeding.

This is a RISO thermofax 70 mesh screen.
In our screen image gallery we offer 100 mesh for paper prints which also work with finely milled glazes BUT recommend 70 mesh for glazes and slip.
 You can also email us an image for a custom screen design!
  http://www.northwoodstudios.us/screen_making_services.html

Please let us know if you are ordering for ceramic work.





The glaze used here was straight out of the bottle

For the purpose of this test and considering that the design will only be a background image, the thin glaze was ok.
For better resolution, using a thicker body glaze is better.  (More on that later)

 

squeegee away! 

Big screens like this 8 x 10 require some care in keeping the screen in close contact with the tile surface.






and here is the unfired result:












Can't wait to get a load done and fill the kiln again :~)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 In case this interests you please visit some of our gallery pages for ready made screens you can try with your own glazes.  Small screens are $5.00 Since we are as excited as you to see what you come up with, we ship promptly via Priority Mail Flat Rate or First Class as you choose.   Or stop by if you're in the neighborhood. We are usually here :~)

Friday, May 17, 2013

resist painting on bisque

Clean the bisqueware well and let dry thoroughly.
Draw or trace your design. I used a 2HB pencil, very lightly.  Carbon paper is fine too.

Fill in the drawing with resist: here we used a latex-ammonia emulsion that is sold for watercolor painting resist.
 Next we sponge painted the entire surface with a turquoise underglaze tapping out from very thick in the center and under the big flower to a lighter dapple moving towards the edges.
Looks pretty funky at this stage!
Once the layers of underglaze dried thoroughly, we removed the resist using a thin wooden skewer to prevent scratching.  The stiff coat of underglaze sometimes wants to chip along the edges as the latex is peeled off, so in some spots I chose to use a razor knife to cut a clean line.
This platter is 16" wide which is too big for me to dip it into the clear glaze so I sponged on 3 coats of clear. This is what it looked like with the first coat; after the third it was entirely opaque.

Once this was thoroughly dry I turned the platter over onto a big clean felt and gave the underside several coats of clear glaze.
and once that dried? Ready for the kiln!

XO.j

Monday, May 13, 2013

dragonflies and the king of swamplandia

We went for a first swim in the quarry this weekend :)
The weather was warm and the water was cold, which was just as it should be, so we stayed a little too long & soaked up too much sun, requiring aloe applications on our return. Well, on our skin actually.

The dragonflies at the quarry come in all sizes and are a delight to watch as they zig and zag and flit and spiral
tracing unexpected invisible calligraphy.  Each dragonfly has distinctive markings that resemble iconic Japanese crests, under the wing attachment. I think they are samurai groups, defending the world against the hordes of mosquitoes.
Stained concrete casting, my molds. 12" x 12"

We live in Gainesville, aka gator ville...great college sports!  Real gators abound also, even right on campus in beautiful Lake Alice.  
Fortunately for us, there are no gators in the quarry! The water is constantly refreshed by the aquifer, it's not connected to other bodies of water for easy access, and for the most part, the banks are steep. 
  Not good gator conditions. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


PICTURES OF THE WORKS COMING soon


*AS SOON AS
WE FINISH 
FRAMING
and commentary will be posted too.  
The narratives develop as I work and these things had a lot to tell me.

Friday, April 12, 2013

SOLAR POWER SILKSCREENs

"EZ photo screen making"

SOLAR POWER SILKSCREENS

  • DIY magic screen making is like flowers:
    just add water and sun.
    works poifickly on fabric, ceramics,
    wood, paper.
    silkscreened dragonflies with fabricmate color pen detailing

    no great investment in materials or tools!



Whether you make arts and crafts for a living or for fun,
screen printing introduces a whole new world of surface design. 
 
A silkscreen can do anything a rubber stamp or a cut-out stencil can do - and much more. You have the freedom to create your own stencils with either your own drawings or from your choice of clip art images and designs.
You can use your screens with dyes, etching paste, textile paint, oil based paints, ceramic glazes, ceramic and glass paints, latex enamels, acrylics. You can use your screens to print on:
  • Fabric... quilt squares, banners or layer upon layer complex cloth, or yardage to sew.
  • Clothes... vests, scarves, kimonos, kids clothes, t-shirts
  • Ceramics... tiles, cups, bowls, plates and sculpture
  • Glass... etching paste or paint for bottles, glasses, plates, and windows
  • Wood... boxes, trays, chests, tables and chairs
  • Paper... personalized greeting cards, memory albums, journals covers, art collages and hand printed papers
  • Walls... borders, and accents
  • Metal... signs, instrument panels, sculpture
A rubber stamp can’t be made into any image you want in 15 minutes, if at all. Neither will it stamp around a curve or work with those lush interference acrylic paints. A rubber stamp won’t do very well on glass, or ceramics, metal or furniture. They are rarely as large as 8 ½” by 11” and can be rather expensive.
A cut-out stencil won’t do an “o” or any shape with a middle. Unless you’re very good at it, you won’t be able to cut a design to your own satisfaction in fifteen minutes.

Screenprints  do all of this and more. 
Check it out:  http://www.northwoodstudios.us/tutorialezphotoscreen.html

MAKE ART       NOT WAR 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


WAKE UP It's SPRING!


A little dance in your day draws the creative to and through you.
Feeling frozen? Start moving with the Beloved's gentle guide, Gabrielle Roth.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Small Screen Gallery is up!


We are rolling out our line of versatile ready to print silkscreens!
Have a taste ~
 SmallScreenGallery.


Create beautiful highly detailed painted designs on fabric, wood, glass and other surfaces.

You just need a squeegee and the appropriate ink or glaze, etching cream...


it's as easy as stencilling, or easier...
watch the youtube video from Plaid: applying a design to a glass box

(*Move over Martha, we were here first! 

AND of course,  we can make custom designs for you ...
http://www.northwoodstudios.us/screen_making_services.html

Happy Bunny Days!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Containers, Part I / Buttons and Beads

C O N T A I N E R

  It's a fine line between clutter and stash.

I love all my lovely little collections.  Beads Buttons Shells Hardware Softwear Stamps Toys Wishes Blessings & Other Found Objects...  The clutter thing? perhaps  nnnnnnnooooooooooottttttttttt   so much.
Step One:   Get Ready!   
Review the  stash.
How about this cute little jam jar?   A darling thing, kind of little tea-pot  lovely  shape,
    Just Right for Small Useful Things... but it needs some dress-up before it's ready for the show.
 Now Let's forage in the button and bead collection.
hm, several strands of pre-strung beads in black and silver... too small for easy stitching, and the strand isn't strong enough to hold up on its own.  Black/silver, black/white.  Round jar shape.  AHA  yin-yang symbol!

 Step Two:  Get it together! 
Materials & Tools
  • Small clean jar with lid
  • Glue: Aleene’s OK to Wash It, or similar waterproof quick & clear-drying adhesive
  • Buttons - coordinating colors the same as the depth of the lid
  • Beads - two colors of pre strung seed beads.
  •    For the lid shown, we used about 24” lengths each
  •    of silver and black.
  • A coin or button to mark the curve of the design
  • scissors, skewer or large needle to manipulate the beads/buttons

* Optional: Spray paint the lid before working. For this project, that's not really necessary - nothing shows!

Quick-drying WaterProof Glue:
A GOOD Thing!
1.   RUN A BEAD OF GLUE
around the outside edge of the lid.
and place the buttons in position.
Work just a third section at a time
so you can hold the buttons briefly
   while the glue sets enough to hold the weight.
....................


            

Use a toothpick or small skewer
to help position the elements
and to hold them in place.
When you have finished the
full circle of the edge, let it dry well.


here we go! Run a thin bead of glue around the upper edge, close to the buttons.
A nice bead of glue! No worries -  it dries clear.
Lay the string of seed beads around into it and tidy the circle with your excellent skewer tool.  Take a little cleanup and organizing break   I mean to say,       LET IT DRY!

When the bead line is dry, apply another line of glue and lay in the button border. 
*You may want to work in sections again; the wider line will dry quickly and placing the buttons takes a little longer than the string of beads.


TA DA! -------    Ready for the fun part?

Mark the center with a sharpie.  Place your uber-professional circle-making tool halfway over it on one edge to trace the perfect curve: first on one edge, then the reverse. 




We painted the design in with black and white. This isn't quite necessary on this version
but hey we felt like painting.  er, should I make up some more professional excuse?  ... I thought not...;- We always feel like painting.

OK!  NOW!  More glue, more bead-string wrap. Starting with the point of one of the paisleys, go all the way around the edge, then back along the curving center line with the black beads.
Use the skewer to tuck in the curves so everyt'ing is copacetically inclined.


  • Take a minute here.  clean up glue bits and let it dry. Snip any hanging threads.
Paint one side of the paisley with a nice base of glue. Starting again at the point of the paisley, drop the line of seed beads down and tease it with the skewer to line up nicely along the already-glued line.
 I began with the outer circumference and down along the "S" shape.
At the point,  give the string a little bit of slack. With the tip of your skewer - or even a blunt needle - hold the line at the turning point while you bring the thread up around close again to the line you just laid.

That's the only tricky bit, and turns out it's not as hard as it might sound! At the end of the last lap, lift the string straight up, holding the center with your pointy tool, and slide the last few beads up and off leaving a short tail of thread.   

This is a good time to let it dry again briefly. Start your cleanup. Or start the 2nd color!

String bead is so much easier to use than individual beads!   We use a little tail of the thread to hang over the edge.
We recommend using a bit of masking tape to anchor the starting end while you lay the bead-string into position. Also, making a flag or lock with a bit of tape will keep the string from exploding all over the floor should you chance to drop the string. Not sayin' that's what happened, mind you, just saying...

Repeat the second color as per the first, starting at the opposite point. Use the skewer to tuck the end beads into position. Slide the extras off, and let the glue set before you trim the extra threads.              
ahem.Scissors all seemed too huge for the process, so we used a lighter. Later. 
Away from anything flammable.            *Kids: do not do this.  Moms: we told them not to. 

TA DA!  SHINY!  USEFUL!              :~)  xoxo Judy

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Good morning from chilly cloudy Florida. (North Central is so different from sunny St. Pete! ) Winter is time for indoor scaled, non-toxic activities. Last winter, we obsessed with gel plate printing, using screen inks for fabric, which worked well on almost everything. Too fun! Wow!

In the process, we researched and tested a number of gelatins. Who knew there were so many grades? and ended up with a large bag of our favorite, a 'high bloom' clear version that holds up well for longer than most, and can be re melted/cast a few times.

We posted a How2 here: www.creativeartscafe.net/gelatinPrintTutorial: and offered a couple of workshops that even people with no experience made bright beautiful prints - and plenty of them! Silly us, we didn'tphoto the group but we did take some pix of the results - some of them are in our class description, here: www.creativeartscafe.net/MonotypeWorkshop1 at the bottom of the page.

For the workshops, we created a DIY take home kit...and ended up with extras, which have just been posted here -www.creativeartscafe.net/GelatinPlatePrinting_discountSupplies if you'd like to try this without venturing outside ***:~)Hooray for the Post Office, delivers to your door***


Happy Cold Weather Creating!
Love and Kisses,
Judy

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nice clear micromacrame tutorial! 
 What a great use for my stash of embroidery threads and random bead/button collection! 

With thanks to Sherri Stokey,  the Queen of Micro-macrame.

More and even more beautiful work available to view (& buy!)
 in her etsy shop
 www.KnotJustMacrame.etsy.com

and on her Blog: www.KnotJustMacrame.com



Got beads?

xo Judy

Friday, December 7, 2012

PaperCast Winter Fest

Paper cast  samplers

We use our own molds to cast seed-embedded papers. 

These are great for making  holiday gift cards!


*Check our blog archives for the how-to hands on papercasting,
 or look online at www.creativeartscafe.net  in the tutorials drop-down ...   
       Better yet, come over and make some at the cafe with us. 
GUT JUL!    4.5" x 6"

"Noel noel noel, Noel Sing we clear..."  2.2" text box, 3.25" casting

Noel carving detail

NEOLITHIC REINDEER


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Open House


Please visit the webpage for more details or for online shopping:

www.creativeartscafe.net/holiday1.html

Carving, casting and mold making, mixed media, fine arts illustration, mural and faux painting. Concrete, paper, clay, wax, chocolate...what do you want to make? Dream and Do! 



View Map in a larger window

Friday, November 30, 2012

Announcing  

Our first annual holiday show and sale December 7 - 9. That's next weekend!

New holiday cards, gift tags and boxes will be up online by Tuesday on the website ( er, that's www.creativeartscafe.net ) aong with fibre arts  jewelry, collage illustration painting and sculpts

Arrive early and create your own tags, cards or bookmarks. Emboss, print, stamp, sponge and flock !
 *  RSVP to us if possible so we will know how many cookies to bake.

Also, anyone who brings gloves, socks, or a warm hat for the local shelter will be treated to a surprise freebie.

 Friends, please consider this a great gift buying opportunity & start your shopping motors. Check the website often for updates!
Supporting small business has a great ripple effect ~ please share this with anyone you wish.  cause we are thinking, a Ca$h Fla$h Mob would be most helpful...


Happy holiday hunting!
Judy

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

!Brrring me a Pump Kin!

I MISS having gigantic pumpkins to carve. And little ones too.  
S i g h ....even a big gourd would be good.

Monday, June 6, 2011

101 BRILLIANT things to do with coffee filters

I promise not to do this often, really I promise to post some more fun stuff soon but meanwhile check it out -  bet there are some ideas you'll use too! (and watch for the next 101: WD40. <3)
    *Note- don't try to use the same filter for all these things. Especially not #6 & #13, or # 16 & #17.
Not that you would, I'm just saying...*
1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make great spatter-catchers.
2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome... Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.
3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.
4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.
7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.
8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.
9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.   !?
10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.
13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. It soaks out all the grease.
14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."

15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.
17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18. Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.
19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies.
21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a plastic baggie until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book..

25. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

!Instant Happy Notes! Plantable seed cards

Easy and quick to make
Delightful to give or recieve
all kinds of Instant Happy!
Dancing Butterflies


Create unique cards or gift tags for any occasion. 

I used up the backs of random cards in my paper-stash. It's a great way to cull your stash to good purpose! Shown are about 3" x 3".

We used  seed-embedded butterflies, dragonflies or hearts because they all fold neatly along a center line and pop off the page. And? Because we love the idea of gifting a garden!
Alternatively, outline and cut simple shapes from glossy magazines. They won't be plantable but they will be bright and delightful. The glossy contrasting texture really POPs...and your image choice may, also.

 Materials:
*CARDSTOCK.  great with construction paper. or cull your paperfiles. Size may vary, depending on what you are starting with. Use up scrap papers from other projects!We recycled the blank back page of not-so-wonderful experimental cards, or those that were torn up for other collage pieces or had their fronts-only used for postcards.

*GLUE  Use any fabric or paper glue. We love white glue and don't mind that it doesn't set instantly.

*PEN   Recommend felt tip or sharpy (Strong and colorful, dot's why.)   Draw the antennae and the wandering flight path

*BIFOLD PAPERCUT - (No, not that kind of paper cut,ew.)We used the seed-embedded die cuts .
They come with little planting labels to put inside your card or attach to the back face. Non-seed paper works too; the plantable part is just a fun bonus.
If you are making your own flying pop-offs, DO create a more eye-catching design by working with a strong contrast of COLOR and  TEXTURE between the card stock and the embellishment. Er, embellishments. See "Warning" below.

Method:
1. Cut your cardstock to size.   If you don't have die-cuts, now is the time to cut some.

2.   Score a center fold line on your cardstock, using a ruler and bone folder for precision.
     If you want to make gift tags instead of folding cards, simply cut instead of score so you end up with 2 flat cards. Use a hole punch in one corner for attaching a ribbon later.  In either case,  once this step is done, set the complete pile to one side of your work area in easy reach.

3. Use the ruler and bone folder to score TWO fold lines, 1/8" apart, down the center of each pop-off, and fold the wingtips up towards each other along the fold lines. Set this stack to the other side of your work area.

           Keep the glue, the pen, and the bone folder handy.  OK to lose the ruler now ;)

4. Take one folder, one pen, one pop-off.
  Position the popoff  where you like it on the card, then pen the antennae and flight path in line with it. 
  Flip the pop-off over and on the underside, draw a bead of glue down the center. Set it back in position on your card, lined up.
   Press firmly/gently down this line with the bone folder to ensure good contact, then set aside to dry.

5. Repeat Step 4 until you run out of materials, space and/or time. 
 <VOICE of MOM  "Make at least ten, since you've gone to all the trouble of setting things up!"
 You can continue to embellish these in any way you like. Add decorative collage elements to use up your tiny scraps - fabric, paper, beads, ribbon
...a word of WARNING here. AHEM...
I have a couple of transparent egg cartons full of these kindza small decorative bits, making it way too handy. Too handy because once you get into decorating each card, you start having way too much fun for this to qualify as Instant anymore. You can too easily lose a whole afternoon, to the amusement (or annoyance) of your near and dear.          Just saying.
 
ttfn! 

The Post Office will be closing soon, and I also want to get more painting time on the folding screen. (Next post...)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pysanky for Eoster


Prepared jars of egg dye, sitting on the familiar metal tray known to the industry as a "Cookie Sheet".
It doesn't really look much like a cookie, does it, nor a sheet... Oh well,there it is. We highly recommend keeping several of these multi-purpose trays available at all times.

We haven't played with egg dyes for ages, so decided to keep it simple. Following one of the simpler patterns, we chose four basic colors:
Yellow, Green,Orange, and Deep Red.
Pour 1.25 cups of boiling water over the dye powder, then add a Tablespoon of white vinegar. Exception that proves the rule ~ ORANGE.  And that strangeness with orange continued...
Good idea to do this right over the tray, since the dye (did we mention yet) is vibrant and rather insistently persistent. Wash splashes promptly.

We recommend that you use a short candle, set close to the wax and the working egg. This minimizes reaching. Which minimizes the chances of catching your beaded sleeves on fire...&/or getting more wax on the work surface than on y'egg...also makes it easier to keep the KITSKY hot and the wax nice and liquid-y.
Those kitskies, oh my! Like tiny batik tools - !eee, doll-ized tjap or tjanting! and they come in different spout sizes marked by different colors marking the handles.

 There are patterns in books and online for the million and one traditional motifs. Many come with the dye sequence, too. Keep a page near for reference while you work.

Grateful for Rubber bands ~  L'attitude. & L'ongitude.
For nice clean lines that meet on the other side of the globe, use a rubber band and trace the line lightly with a pencil. Light lines basically disappear by the end of the process.  Use them as pattern lines or reference, as you develop the design.
Take your time heating the tool in the column of hot air just above the flame. Then touch the lip of the little kitsky cup to the edge of the wax block. If the metal tool is hot, the wax will immediately liquify and run clear as water to fill the cup. Write On!  It's amazing how much coverage one tiny cup of liquid was gives.
Common Problems /Solutions 
If your wax line starts to skip:
1. You needs a wax refill.  **!LEAST LIKELY!**
2. You need to reheat the tool so the wax will flow better.   **PROBABLE**
3. If  #2 doesn't work and the cup is full of wax, you may need to take a hot needle and run it through the tiny spout several times. The spout clogs up over time with the tiny soot particles - the black wax marks on your beeswax, blotting paper, and sadly, on your egg if you are over-heating the kitsky. **Most Probable, esp. w/ older tools or novice users**

If you are getting blobs instead of lines, it's also probably from overheating. When the tool is very hot and you bump it against the wax to fill the cup, wax likes to form on the outside of the cup too. And on the spout, and on the handle. And then it starts to melt. It will flow down following the line of least resistance gaily leaping off  the tip of the kitsky spout and landing in a blob in some particularly delicate spot on your design. ALAS, poor you, there is no way to easily remove this blot on your record! Consider it another opportunity to get creative. Make another flower...think how gay a PolkaDot egg will look...





 OK! Enough fooling around. Put the tool down. White is not really the most fun. Put it into the dyebath! It's really quite quick. We found 45 to 120 seconds gives a rich bright color.
We also found that this rich bright color is difficult to remove from skin and cuticles. We advise at least one latex-protected hand because no matter how many spoons and egg lifters you have handy, you're going to end up Using Your Doigts.  (If you're me. Maybe if you're you, also. We are curious about this whole hands on thing. Would like a grant, please, to do the full study.)

Remove egg from dye bath and let it air dry while you work on the next one. You can also pat it dry gently with tissue. Or be doubly creative and use a square of previously batiked silk. Did we mention, the colors are gem-like? So, add the next layer of wax design. Then pop it into the green dye bath.  The whole thing will now appear to be green with wax-colored lines, which are often quite black.
We assumed Orange would come after yellow, and that if we put it in Green first and then Orange, the mix would give a russet or even browner tint. Kel Shock, mes amis; the Orange Dye, that wierd non-vinegar mix, seemed to eat the green off the shell - except of course, where it was protected by the overwax.  See in Sharon's, below, where the little leaves are green? At one point, the whole egg was green. Swear!
Anyhow, repeat as needed, wax dye dry wax dye dry
and the finale? Holding your egg near the candle (remember the little heat chimney above the flame), gently tissue off the melting wax as it warms and liquiefies.
This is the moment of magic for me. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH~ those transformative moments...
From lumpy little buddy into glowing colors. Don't take my word for it; try this at home!

Correct sequence of colors

A cautionary tale ~
Sharon lived in the Ukraine for a couple of years and brought back - among many other fabulous treasures - some beautiful kitskies, which lay unused in the cupboard for more than a decade. She finally tried em out last week. Thoughtfully took home some dyes. Has not stopped since.  Fortunately for her, she has chickens to provide her with plentyeggs.  Unfortunately for the rest of her family, she has chickens to provide plentyeggs...
:~) Above, her first egg






 We will try to carve time for more notes and pix on this really fun project. We are DEFINITELY doing them for the next winter holidays...already have the little gold hangy things.  Plus more notes to share, like on what to do with the ones that crack midstream.  Which creams remove the stains.

OH before we go, here's just One More Thing.

OUR SCIENCE EXPERIMENT
Me & Miss S. wanted to see if the color would be deeper if we left it in overnight. 
The good news? Yes! Emerald Green is deeper. 
The perhaps not-so-good news? Weird Orange did not eat it as cleanly, and we have now an unusual vintage toned egg. We're giving it a 24 hour waiting period, to decide if we meant to do this.