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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Solutions for Resin-Related Issues

They say invention is the mother of necessity, and I couldn't agree more.  I think as crafters, we tend to come up with unique ways of correcting project mistakes so we don't have to toss out our project only to have to start over again.  I've run across some of issues when working with resin that I'd like to share with you, and also, solutions to those issues.

PROBLEM:  The metal bezel has an attached pendant bail that causes the pendant to rest at a slant.  This results in uneven coverage of resin during the curing process.

SOLUTION:  After filling the bezel with resin, set the bezel on an elevated surface with the bail hanging off of the side of the surface.  My favorite elevated surface for this situation are wood flooring samples.  These are not very big - mine are about 6" by 8" in size - but they can accommodate lots of bezels in a small amount of space.  To make good use of my space, I also perch the bezels on top of domino game pieces and place those pieces on top of the flooring samples, as well.   The flooring samples can be acquired at no cost from various internet sites.  I requested my samples online many years ago, and I still use them on a regular basis.  Google "wood flooring samples free" to find companies who will provide you with free samples at your request.

PROBLEM:  Dust, dog hair, mosquitoes (and other things) end up on a project that has not fully cured.

SOLUTION:  I have encountered this on a couple of occasions.  Unfortunately, once the hair, dust or mosquito has settled onto curing resin, the problem usually cannot be corrected with causing additional damage to the piece.  I nip this problem in the bud before it ever has a chance to occur now.  Once all of the resin has been poured, I place a narrow storage box over the items, and I don't remove this until the projects have cured (about 72 hours.)   The one I use these days is a Sterilite storage box.  It fits perfectly over two of my wood flooring pieces (as described above).  Plus, because they are see-through, I can check on my work without having to disturb anything.

PROBLEM: Metal bezel was too small and/or leaked, causing overflow of resin onto back of project.

SOLUTION:  This occurred for me recently when I made some resin pendants.  I didn't discover the leak until the next day.  I let the resin cure for several days before I attempted correction of the problem.  Attempting to correct the problem before the resin cured would result in fingerprints and damage to the front of the design.

Once the resin cured, I trimmed off the excess (cured) overflow from the sides and bottom of the bezel with old, sharp scissors.  Using a coarse grit sandpaper, I sanded off the back of the metal bezel until all of the resin was gone.  I was surprised at how quickly the resin was removed.  Within minutes, my pendant looked like nothing had ever happened to it.

PROBLEM:  While gluing embellishments on a cured resin bezel, glue dripped onto the resin, destroying the shiny finish.

SOLUTION:  Wipe off as much of the glue as possible.  Brush a thin layer of fresh resin over the top of the item and let it cure for several days.   When a thin layer of resin won't correct the problem, it may be necessary to pour a thicker layer of resin over the project.  I recently had something like this occur when I was gluing rhinestones to the outer edge of a pendant.  I normally use an industrial strength glue (E-6000) to attach embellishments to many of my jewelry designs.  The glue had seeped out onto the resin, so I had to pour a new layer of resin over the top of the pendant.

This was a problem, as well,  because the pendant was already filled with resin.  The rhinestones I had already attached stood at a height slightly higher then the resin; the rhinestones have gaps in between them, which would result in any newly poured resin seeping out the sides.

To alleviate this from happening, I took clear packing tape and adhered it around the entire outside of the bezel. I pressed the packing tape firmly to the sides with my fingers, ensuring that the tape held onto the outer edges of the bezel.  Once this is completed, you'll have something that resembles a tortilla bowl for a taco salad.  The tops of the tape will be curvy and quite tall.   Pour a new thin layer of resin into the bezel.  Because the tape is securely attached to the outer edges of the bezel, there should be no leakage of resin.  The tape will keep the resin in its place.  Allow the resin to cure for several days and remove the tape.  Your pendant should look as good as new.

PROBLEM:  Resin got on my bare hands and I can't wash it off.

SOLUTION:  I hate when this happens.  Yes, I admit I don't always use gloves when making resin projects.  I need to have the ability to "feel" what I am doing and the gloves tend to get in the way.  Thankfully, there is a product on the market that is wonderful for removing resin from hands.  It's called  Fast Orange Hand Cleaner by Permatex.  My husband - who is a crafty guy himself - uses this frequently to remove paint, etc. from his hands.  I "borrowed" it one day after I couldn't remove resin residue from my hands - and it worked like a charm.  Just rub it over your hands, rinse, wash hands again with soap and the residue is gone!  I also use this product after working with polymer clay.  It's great for getting stubborn colors - like red and pink - out of my hands.

Well, there you have it.  I hope the tips above will help if you have experience similar resin-related issues.  As always, happy creating!  :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Industrial Chic Blog Hop - Words to Live By Book Necklace

In my previous blog post, I told you about the Industrial Chic Blog Hop I am participating in this month, and I also showed you the goodies I was given to make into art.  I ended up using 2 of the 3 packages of supplies I received and this is what I created:

This is my "Words to Live By" mini book necklace.  I removed the pages of ephemera contained within the Industrial Chic metal tag pendant and replaced these with handmade pages made with beautiful religious images and quotes from Catholic saints.  I added a metal lace filigree finding to the bottom of the book, along with some decorative ribbon-yarn and small cross charms.  An image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was affixed to a domino and attached to the front of the pendant.  The necklace is comprised of 2 Industrial Chic charms, along with black pearls and crystals beaded rosary-style to complete the look.

Full view of necklace.

Side view of pendant.

Another side view of pendant.

One of the book pages; this one features the Virgin Mary with her parents and a quote from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

This page features St. Elizabeth of Hungary feeding the poor along with a quote from St. Gregory Nazianzen.

This page features Jesus and a young girl accompanied by a St. Faustina quote about forgiveness.

Detail view.

I want to thank the folks at Industrial Chic for inviting me to participate in this blog hop and for my free goodies.  I really enjoyed the challenge of creating from the supplies I was given.  I can't wait to see what the other participants came up with.  Be sure to check out my previous post for the list of participants and links to their respective blogs.
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