Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Containers, Part I / Buttons and Beads


  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!
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,