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Little Windows Resin How-to and Review – Part 2

Well hello there life! How are you doing? Oh, yea, pretty busy there, eh? Yes, I should know! You’ve been keeping me from getting the second part of this blog post up!

**My sincerest apologies for life getting in the way.**

So here is Part 2 of the Little Windows Resin How-to and Review. You can read the first part here: Little Windows Resin How-to and Review: Part 1

Now that my charms have set in the mold for 12 hours, it’s time to remove them!

**NOTE** one of the first things I like to do is give a light touch to each piece, just to make sure they are fully dry. On my last batch, I had one piece that took 18 hours to become mostly dry – I unmolded it and it was hard, but I was able to put a hole in it and sand it without any damage to the piece.

1. The molds are flexible. Take each end (the long way, and twist them away from each other. You should hear some cracking sound – it’s OK! It’s just the charm separating from the mold!

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Twisting the mold

2. Turn the mold over and begin smacking it on the table (open side down)¬†until the charms come out. Sometimes it will take a light tap, sometimes a little harder. Your pieces should be solid and have a little give to them. You do NOT want to push the charm out of the mold with your finger, or it can mess up your charm, becasue they are still soft at this point. If your pieces won’t come out of the mold, try sticking them in the freezer for a couple minutes, then twist the mold and smack it again.

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3. Put a hole in it! I used the hand drill sold by Little Windows to do this – if you have something similar, that should work (it may be best to do test pieces first – but if your ordering the resin, the hand drill really isn’t that expensive to add to your order). **NOTE** be sure you have a protective covering on your work surface! I actually have two sheets of cork board (the kind you hang on your wall) as a barrier so I don’t accidentally drill through my kitchen table ūüôā

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4. When you drill all the way through, turn the drill the opposite way to get it back out. There will be a few left over shavings on each side of the piece, but they can easily be wiped/cut away.

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5. Once the hole has been drilled, I like to give the back a light sanding to give it a nice finished edge. Some times, there can be areas of thin resin that stick up higher than the overall piece – these can usually be cut with a scissor or sanded away (I’m sorry I don’t have a picture). I used a very fine grit of sandpaper (I believe 1500 grit) and rub the piece in a circle 20-40 times. I usually keep turning the piece to get an even sanding on each side.¬† There will be a white powder all over the piece (and your fingers), but this easily wipes away with a paper towel.

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Wipe the piece gently with a paper towel to remove the sanded resin.

6. I used some ice pick bails I got on Etsy here to hold the charms. Start by opening the bail up, then attached it to the charm in front first, then close it in the back (a pair of jewelry making pliers works good for this step). As the charm is still a little soft, it will give a little and the bail may squeeze into the charm. I like to make sure that mine are secure enough so the bails don’t come out by themselves.

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There you have it! A completed charm! I also bought some wine glass hoops from this shop on Etsy to make them into wine glass charms (not shown).

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Have I mentioned that I LOVE this product?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I do. I really do!

*~ Tips & Tricks ~*

After doing a few batches, here are a few extra tips I have that may help you out with yours:

  • Think about what you have going on for the day, or also the next day, to determine when you should start. My batch, using all 4 of the small molds, probably took about¬†3-4 hours, not including the 12 hour drying time, of course ūüôā Generally, mixing, molding, and removing bubbles took at least an hour. Once *dry*, removing from the mold, drilling, sanding, and adding bails took a couple hours. Since it’s harder for me to determine what time at night my charms will be done, I generally start them at night, and come back and do the unmolding in the morning.
  • For the 4 small molds, I ended up using 40ml of Part A and 20ml of Part B. This will *just* fit in the blue mixing cup. I also added a little time (30 seconds to a minute or more)¬†to the mixing/setting up time because I was making such a large batch – that is a suggestion from the creator, Fran (and could also be why I had that last piece not dry right away on my last batch). This amount filled the circle and square molds to the top, and filled the rectangle and oval molds almost to the top. I didn’t have to scrape the mixing cup to get enough resin – I could have, but I didn’t feel the need to.
  • When you are not working with your hardener, keep it in the fridge. If your house gets too warm, the hardener will turn yellow, and, unless you want yellow pieces, you won’t be able to use it.
  • If it’s summer time, then¬† you shouldn’t have a problem with the temperature of your house (unless it is too hot, then you may want to wait until it cools down). If it is fall, like it is here now in Michigan, our heat is turned on for the winter, but we like to keep it around 68 to save on our energy bills. Per directions of the resin, your room temperature should be above 70 degrees when working with the product. On a day that I’m going to be making charms, I will turn our heat up to 72 and keep it there until I unmold the last charms (i’ll turn it on Friday night or Saturday morning and leave it there until Sunday afternoon/evening). I really do believe this step does help, because I forgot to do this one time, and most of the charms were fine, but I did have a few that had dried completely on the outside, but never dried on the inside. Sometimes it’s just best to follow the instructions!
  • Keep checking back here for more tips and tricks – I may add more as I make more charms with this product!

Happy Crafting!

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Little Windows Resin How-to and Review – Part 1

Here’s another how-to manual for all of you – this time, it’s for Little Windows Resin.

I just have to start by saying how much I LOVE this stuff! I have always wanted to try putting some of my quilled items in resin, but a combination of living in Michigan and not having an indoor (warm) space to do normal (toxic fumy kind) of resin, I was on the lookout for something that just *might* work.

After some googling, I found Little Windows! It claimed to be low odor and non toxic, and I looked at some other blog reviews, so I thought “hey, I’ll try it out just to see what happens!”

These websites could not have been more true! It really is low odor, I would call it no odor, because it really doesn’t smell AT ALL! After using it the first time, I got on the website to send a comment of how much I loved it. I totally didn’t expect to get a response from Fran,¬†the actual creator of the product! She absolutely loved my use of the resin, she asked me to take some photos and send them to her to include on her newsletter! I was flattered! Honestly, I really can’t say enough about this product, so here goes the tutorial!

Little Windows Resin How-to

I started first by covering my workspace with wax paper. I usually would do this in my studio, but since there’s no air conditioning there, and it’s 90* outside, the dining room table it is! Here are all of the supplies:

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Shown here is the 12 ounce resin set, which comes with a large bottle of Resin, a medium bottle of Hardener, 3 large mixing cups (blue), a dozen small mixing cups (clear), and 6 mixing wands. I have also purchased the small mold set, as shown above. This set contains 4 molds, circle (8 charms), oval (6 charms), square (8 charms) and rectangle (6 charms). I would say these molds are approximately 1/4″ deep. They come in a box with a clear lid that you can use when casting your molds to keep them from getting dust on them. Other items you will need¬†is a pair of tweezers (optional), a hand drill (or a way to pierce a hole through the charm), embellishments, some paper towels or napkins, and a timer (I used my phone).

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First, figure out how much resin you will need. Resin is mixed in a 2:1 ratio of Resin to hardener. One batch of 10ml resin and 5ml will fill one of the molds. As I am planning to fill all 4 molds, I’m going to triple the recipe (30 ml resin and 15 ml hardener). It is a good idea¬†to look at the markings on the side of the cup before you begin to pour, as the numbers tend to disappear once you start pouring. *Update: I ended up having to make a small batch for the 4th mold, so if doing all 4 molds, quadruple your recipe to 40ml resin and 20 ml hardener – this will fill up to the top of the blue mixing cup.

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Cup filled with resin

Fill the cup up to the proper line with the resin first. The resin is thick, and slightly cloudy when you pour. When you are finished pouring, wipe the excess liquid off of the resin container with paper towel and put the lid back on.

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IMPORTAINT STEP!

Add the hardener next, making sure to go to the proper measuring line. The hardener is much thinner than the resin, and is clear. When you add it to the resin, it will stay to the top; see in the picture that the bottom is frosted, and the top is clear. When you are finished pouring, wipe the excess liquid off the hardener bottle with the paper towel and put the lid back on. *NOTE: the hardener likes to be kept cool, or it can turn yellow. I am planning to keep mine in the fridge, so when your done using it, be sure to keep it in a cool, dark place.

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See how the liquid in the bottom is frosted (resin), but the liquid at the top is clear(hardner)?

Next, use one of the stirring wands to stir the resin and hardener together for 2 1/2 minutes. When speaking with Fran, she said that when making a larger batch, I may want to stir it for 3 minutes, just to make sure that it all got mixed together, so that’s what I did. You want to be sure that you stir very gently, as this process will inevitably create bubbles – the harder you stir, the more bubbles you will create. When you start stirring, the resin and hardener will being to swirl together; you want to make sure there are no more swirls when the timer is up, so be sure to gently scrape the sides and bottoms of the cup to make sure everything is mixed together well.

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Resin and hardner swirling together.

Once your timer goes off, wipe any access resin off your wand onto the side of the cup, and let the resin rest for 5 minutes. Since I made a larger batch, Fran suggested to let it rest for 6 minutes, so that’s what I did. As I was not in my studio, and my dog is roaming around, I decided to cover up my cup while it was resting just to help ensure that no dust got into the cup. You don’t have to cover it, but you can if you want to.

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Now that the resin is mixed, you can pour it into the mold. Start with one mold, and fill each cavity about halfway. Work with only one mold at a time (to make sure you have enough to complete that mold so you don’t have to make more while it’s setting). When you pick up the cup, try to squeeze the end you will be pouring from, to make more of a point to pour the resin into the mold – this is easier with the smaller cups, but it does help some.

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Begin by sliding your embellishments into the mold from the side – this helps to keep too many bubbles from forming while your putting them in. These molds are developed so if you were inserting a picture here, you can slide it in right-side up. I wanted my charms to have the rounded edges of the bottom of the mold, so I put my embellishments in upside-down. More ways to add embellishments can be found on the Little windows Blog.

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When all of your embellishments are added, you can pour resin on top as much as you need. If you add too much to one cavity, try to add a little less to the next one (more on why will be in the next step). In the picture above, I added way too much to the one on the right, second from the front (it’s doming above the edge), so the row in the front has a little less resin in it.

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If you pour too much resin in one cavity, use the wand to scoop it up and put it in another cavity. You may have noticed in the previous photo that some of my roses were sticking up out of the resin. Since I am using the bottom, as the top (and my roses are in upside-down), this is technically the back, and sometimes they may be slightly taller than cavity, so it is OK by me if they stick out a little bit.

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Removing bubbles

When you are finished filling your mold, put it under the doming lid and move on to filling up the next using the same process. Now on to my light bulbs.

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Final pieces under doming tray.

Same process, but these ones always give me a substantial amount of bubbles before they sit – I have a feeling it’s because it is quilling and it does have “holes” in it when you put it in the resin. That’s OK, we’ll get them out! Once all of your molds are set, cover them with the lid (and box bottom if needed) and set the timer for 10 minutes. This allows any bubbles that may have formed to rise to the surface.

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When 10 minutes is up, start with the first mold you poured and look at it to see if there are any bubbles that need to be removed. Using your mixing wand, scoop the bubble out with the tip – sometimes the bubbles will pop, and sometimes you will pull them out. Wipe the access resin¬†off your wand onto a paper towel and continue on, being sure to turn the mold around each direction to make sure you got out all the bubbles. The above picture isn’t from my first mold, but it had a better set of bubbles to photograph! If you end up moving stuff around and create more bubbles that are in the bottom, go ahead and cover it, and let it set for another 10 minutes to let them raise to the top again(again, something I love about this product is that you have a lot of time to work with it). Generally speaking, you have about¬†30 minutes¬†to work with the product, so if you have to let it sit for bubbles more than once, that is fine, just don’t keep coming to it too much.

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Scoop out the bubbles!

Once you are satisfied with your embellishment placement, and all the bubbles are out, cover all of your molds and let them sit for 12 hours. Put a sign up like I did if you have to. Now go about your day, or go to bed if you set them at night.

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That’s it for now. Since I’m writing this while i’m still in the midst of my 12 hours, the Part 2 of this post will be how to remove the charms from the mold, drilling a hole in them, and sanding the edges. I hope you have liked this tutorial so far – be looking for the next steps in the next couple of days.

**Update**

Part two is now here: Little Windows Resin How-to and Review: Part 2

Happy Crafting!

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Quick Tip – Sealing Projects

When you need to seal a quilled creation, you don’t really want it to lay flat when sealing, or it may stick. It will also take longer to do as you only have access to one side at a time.

My way of sealing is to use an Indian beading loom to hang my items on. I received this one from my mother-in-law (thinking I could do bead looming as a craft, since I’m crafty), so it didn’t cost me anything. Just add some thread, and string your items up to be sprayed!IMG_2084 IMG_2083

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Inventory of the Papers

Whelp, I finally bit the bullet and made an inventory spreadsheet of all my paper.

It looks a little something like this…

Inventory

I made columns to keep track of the color family, the name, item number, and size of each of the colors. I did some cusomized cell highligting in the color family for 2 reasons: 1) so I can sort by the field and look at just the colors in that area, and 2) When I add a new color and type in the color name, it will automaticall change the color of the cell to the color I chose (typing red will give it a red background, green will give green, and so on).

I also have a column for the strips that I have on hand, but just don’t have the time to update that tonight. My list will get a LOT longer when i do that, as I know I have more in my binders than I do on hand. I probably will just update that list once a month – that will help tell me when I need to get more paper.

So, what is my inspiration for doing all this somewhat spur of the moment? Whimsiquills is having a 20% off sale until June 30 ūüôā

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Paper Twirlies Team Challenge – May 2012

The challenge has been issued. I accepted.

As posted on the Paper Twirlies Blog, a challenge to quill a project insipired by a creation from another Etsy artist.

Inspiration for this challenge is a quilt by Clothscapes, specifically this listing: http://www.etsy.com/listing/76639721/organic-quilt-modern-geometric-rainbow

We were able to use any picture as inspiration, and any aspect of the picture as inspiration.

Here is what I came up with:

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My inspiration for this piece was the white color of the quilt – I used textured cardstock to make the boxes to replicate stitching. I was also drawn to the square shape, as well as the varying colors in the quilt. I don’t have a name for¬†my yet, and I’m still debating if they¬†should be attached together as one piece, or left as individual pieces. However, this has to be one of¬†my most favorite projects¬†so far ūüôā

I started first by cutting and putting together my beveld frames using my Silhouette Cameo. I had purchased this project, made by Lori Whitlock (a VERY talented graphic designer/project creator Рseriously go check out her stuff), for another project, but inspiration struck to use it here.

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Next, I chose strips of varying colors in the same color family. Each box, with exception to orange, has 6 different colors in it. I used 1 strip of each color, tore them into 3″ lengths, and glued them back into two (very long) strips. The first strip was colored from lightest to darkest, and the second strip was also lightest to darkest, but I started in the middle of the colors to allow for more variance when I began twiling my paper. Each strip ended up being approximately 5′ long.

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I then used the beehive technique to curl my strips together.

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When I tried to put all of these curls into the frame, it just wouldn’t stay, because the bevel didn’t give the curls a high enough edge to stay in place.¬†In order to fix this, I had to make a¬†square¬†outline the same size as the hole in the frame to put the quilling in first, and then transfer it to the frame. I made mine out of white 1/4″ quilling paper, as I had that handy at the time, and yes, I did use safety pins as guides, as I was too lazy/excited to get this project done that I couldn’t go upstairs to the attic to get my pins ūüôā

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When all of the curls were put into place, and I had finished doing small adjustments, I glued all of the curls to each other, but made sure not to glue anything to the white frame.

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Once the curls had dried, I removed the white outline, spread some glue into the bottom of the frame, and placed my quilling inside the frame.

As this was my first craft challenge, I can honestly stay I am very pleased with the results! I can’t wait to do one again!

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The Beehive – New Quilling Technique

So in the wonderful world of Pinterest, I came across a beautiful quilled flower, this one posted below, actually:

purple beehive brooch

What caught my eye most was the pattern within the pettals – it’s no where NEAR anything I had ever seen quilled before. I was in love instantly, and went on a mad hunt to find out what it was.

It is a new technique called “beehive”, created¬†by a creative Indonesian quiller named¬†Susan, over on her blog Susan Quilling.¬†I also realized a short while later that it was mentioned in the most recent issue of Quill America, with them listing a link to this blog: http://quillingmesoftlee.blogspot.com/

So, between doing the laundry, the dishes, making lunch, and tearing apart my entire closet so DH could get in the attic to see why the roof is leaking, I decided that i just HAD to try out this technique, and this is how I did it.

Upon doing some research on youtube of some video tutorials, I figured that the outide shape size that I wanted to use would be a strip around 22-24″ long, and was wrapped around a ruler 2″ wide.

I started out by choosing the colors I wanted to use. I chose 5 colors of my Lake City colors: Fuchsia, Sunset Red, Melon, Yellow, and Spring Green. I wanted the outine shape to fade from one color to the next, so I divided 22″ by 5 for the colors I was using, and tore a 4 1/2″ strip of each color.

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I then glued them together in the order I chose to make one long strip.

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Next, I used my quilling comb to wrap the paper for the outline shape. I wapped around pegs 1 and 12. Note: If you are using multiple colors like I did, it may be best to keep the last strip at a longer length so you can end it at the top to help hide the seam. I didn’t think of that :o)

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Once I had wrapped my shape around the quilling comb, I took it off and formed it into the shape I wanted, a teardrop.

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For the inside shape, I wanted to have fun with colors, so I started by tearing up the rest of my strip of paper into 2″ strips. I ended up with 9 pieces in each color.

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I then glued the pieces together to form a long strip, approximately 39″. To pump up to color fun for my filling, I made 2 strips like this, each around 39″, and decided to curl them together.

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I lined both piece together, and started quilling about an inch down from the end of the strips, until the end was in the curl. I then moved down again about another inch and curled again, until I had one long strip of curls! I decided to end my strip when I had used about 20″ of my original 39″ strip.

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I then stuffed all of my curls into my outline shape. Note: stuff your shape on a flat surface and don’t pick it up while stuffing, or your quills will fall out.

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Lastly, I glued between where any of the curls touched the outline piece or another curl: This helps to keep everything in place.

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Ta Da! I used the other half of my 39″ strip to fill another piece. I think I’ll seal these and make them into earrings to sell in my Etsy shop.

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What do you think about this new technique? Are you going to try it?

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