Lace for Your Jewelry: Resin Pendant Tutorial

Resin can be a fun hobby or business for the crafty miseducated diva in all of us. The possibilities are endless, allow your creativity to run wild and create pieces that are quite unique and fun. With some initial prepping steps, you can suspend just about any material in resin.

In this basic tutorial I will be casting jewelry pieces with resin, but you can use resin for whatever else you would like to make like paperweights, coasters, soap dishes and many other things. There are even many different types of resin that can be used, for different types of desired uses.

I myself use a two part casting resin that is pretty user friendly. I am a novice at resin, just learning as I go and getting better each time. Its fun and I thought I would share some basic tips and give crafty divas something new to try…cause like me I know with all this creativity you have inside of you, you always want to try something new. So this is something for you gals who are aching for a new creative outlet.

I chose to cast fabric for the purpose of this tutorial. I have played with sprinkles, glitter, and candy before. So I thought I would try something new, so here goes….

resin

Supplies

  • Easy Cast Resin
  • 2 Plastic Cups
  • 2 Stir Sticks
  • Wax Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Resin Molds
  • Fabric of choice
  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Timer

Before hand I prepped my pieces of fabric by cutting them a little smaller than mold shape, and sealed them off with mod podge, or you can use an acrylic sealer if desired.

Instructions

    1. Take a plastic cup and pour in 1 oz. of resin, then pour in 1oz. of the hardener in the same cup, so you end up with 2 oz. total. (Easy Cast has a ratio of 1:1)

    2. Take one of the stir sticks and gently mix the concoction, make sure not to whip as it causes air bubbles. Scrape the sides periodically and mix well for 2 minutes. The mixture will look cloudy at first but this will clear up after resin and hardener are mixed together thoroughly.

    3. Take this mixture and gently pour into your other clean plastic cup. Stir gently again for 1 minute this time. The mixture at this point should be clearer than before.

    4. Set mixture aside for 5 minutes, so the resin can self-degas. Take this time to clean up a bit and get your mold and fabric piece(s) ready.

    5. When ready, pour a little bit of resin into each mold, about a quarter full.

    6. Then place cut fabric, right side down into resin. You can use a toothpick to position and press fabric. This will also help remove any air pockets trapped underneath the fabric that can caused some bubbles.

    7. Then this is where you will need to practice some patience…let the piece(s) rest overnight or for several hours until cured. You can check if it is cured with a toothpick, this way no fingerprints will be left behind.

What I covered in this tutorial are the basics, but you can get more creative by adding different layers. Below are photos of some layer pieces I created, I hope you find them inspiring.

After your pendants are cured, you can jazz them up by drilling holes, adding jump rings, gluing on bails, posts, brooch settings, what ever you like, let your imagination run wild, its all up to you! Your end result will be beautiful and unique pieces.

A great source of reference and inspiration of mine is a book that I turned to when first approaching resin after multiple searches on Google, a book called “The Art of Resin Jewelry” by Sherri Haab. In this book she goes over in detail all different types of techniques with resin, like the so fun and yummy candy jewelry.

Athina’s Creations

See more in my shop here.

Originally published on 12/08/2009.

Wear the World: Rose Wholesale

rose

So recently a rad clothing store by the name of Rose Wholesale with inexpensive wholesale prices asked me if I would review or model a few of their clothes. I of course said I’d be willing to give them a look if they could pick out something they thought was fitting to me (their stock size is ENORMOUS and I got lost in eyecandyland). They sent me a galaxy mini dress and a gradient cotton candy, fuzzy sweater. I love both items and have worn them at least a dozen times with no issues, wear or tear. The products, although inexpensive, hold up well in the wash and during normal activities (I still haven’t worn them during a marathon swim and will not be doing so because I am not a marathon swimmer!). I would highly recommend their shop to anyone looking for some unique and special items to cute-ify their wardrobe this spring at a very affordable price. My Mistereducated even has a sweater from there (several years old!) and will be doing a review from a man’s point of view as well.

All in all I’d have to say they have a great selection for both male and female and no matter what your style is you can find something to wet your tastebuds! I’m also wearing contacts by Pinky Paradise whom I will be reviewing next by vlog and my accessories are by Sanrio and my partner in crime’s brand, Sugar Junkie, whom we will be doing a feature on in the coming weeks! Stay tuned and stay cute this spring whether you marathon swim or sit and read your favorite book under a cherry tree!

IMG_9711

rose

rose2

sj

If you have a company or product you think we would love, apply to be reviewed.

Japanese Magazine Clippings: Neon and Kawaii KERA

In the old skool blogging days Wednesdays were MAGAZINE CLIP days because I’m always collecting them and oogling them but only share my favorite parts with you or else I’d flood the blog with them. In this KERA from the end of last year I cannot get enough of the fashion. I find that as I’ve aged now KERA is my style.. the style is dark but neon and super cute. Colorful hair, big eyelashes and perfect bangs.

clipskera

009

cute

neon

couple

Tea Talk With ‘Maqaroon’ Maven Joanna

joanna

Joanna is a Miseducated Eyecandy Girl through and through! Not only is she obviously adorable but she is a talented and successful business woman who owns and runs her own company filled with cuteness called Maqaroon. She creates jewelry, accessories and art inspired by Japanese fashion and unisex-friendly kawaii. She even blogs on her website and features female bloggers (most recently myself, so honored beyond belief) she feels drawn too in her super sweet, kawaii colorful and unique style of illustration. I am very happy to get a chance to chat with her and to share a bit of her world with all of you.

When did you start focusing on art and design as a hobby or passion and why?
I first discovered manga style when I was 8. I was in a tiny stationery shop in Beijing and found a Sailor Moon card showing all the characters wearing evening gowns. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen and became obsessed with wanting to draw like that! I was a very geeky teenager and loved video games, animes and RPGs so drawing fanart fit perfectly into that scene.

When and why did you decide to take it online?
I became very involved in the online manga community (Deviantart, Animexx, Livejournal) during high school because it was a great place to post work, get feedback and stay motivated. During university I learned enough to create a portfolio website and several years after that, after working as a web-designer, I finally had enough experience to design and set up my own online shop.

What is most challenging about starting a business on and offline?
The hardest offline part was finding the right third party contacts who help your business work. These include web developers, event organisers, couriers, photographers, printers, bloggers, financial/tax advisers and countless suppliers in Europe and Asia. Each one involves a financial gamble and you only know if that pays off after you receive the product or service. I invested (or wasted) a lot of money in the process but unfortunately there’s no way around the process as each business is unique and you need to try out everything to find what works for you.

The biggest online challenge is maintaining a constant presence on all your social media, including coming up with relevant, unique and interesting content for each platform and meaningfully interacting with other people. This is a full-time job for most companies, but if you’re doing everything alone then you have to fit it in around all other tasks! I have utmost respect for bloggers/vloggers who manage to post every few days as editing content is so much more time-consuming than anyone could imagine.

What would you tell an artist starting out marketing and selling their work online?
Start with as low quantities of each product as possible, then participate in craft fairs/pop-up markets where you sell a lot in a short space of time. Once you discover what people like to buy, go and design a batch of new things based on the bestselling product or theme. Then repeat with another event, and keep streamlining your products based on sales.

I have to emphasise participating in offline events because I found this was the best way to get a lot of feedback in the shortest space of time. When you first start out, online sales can be incredibly slow so it might take months if not years to get an idea of product popularity and you don’t want to wait that long! Once you know what sells, it will automatically drive your sales up both online and off.

Another good tip for any online shop is to choose light, flat products which are cheap to ship and not easily breakable. And always keep a very close eye on profit margins. I made an early mistake of offering keyrings and items with very small margins (e.g. 2-3 dollars). If I ended up miscalculating shipping by a tiny amount, or having to replace the parcel if it got lost then I would have negated that sale or even made a loss.

Lastly, don’t worry about comparing yourself with other brands or businesses. Just like how people make their lives look shinier on Facebook, a lot of brands may present a successful façade but that’s no reflection on how well they’re actually doing. Some companies simply buy fake Facebook and Twitter followers, others plough tons of loaned money into their start-up but are actually in debt. From talking to many people behind the scenes, I learned that many small businesses that are professionally represented at trade shows are still only being done part-time, and the owner(s) still rely on other sources of income.

So in short, don’t doubt yourself if it appears like everyone else is more successful. Even if you’re selling a few handmade items a month, you could still be making more profit than a shiny start-up with several employees that’s actually being funded by investors or a bank loan. The only thing to focus on is how your business is performing compared to itself, and work on steadily increasing sales. If it does become stuck, then try to change direction, products or audience until you discover what works.

What inspired your brand?
The original inspiration was my overwhelming love for Japanese street fashion. Ever since university, I’d been fascinated by street style and collected a huge amount of research through books, magazines, blogs and two trips to Tokyo. I wanted to create an illustrated resource for all those styles, both for myself and for others so people can see at a glance what the typical characteristics of each one are. This image is actually from the cover of a book pitch but I never heard back from the publisher, so I re-used many of the character designs!

The inspiration behind Maqaroon’s jewellery is a blend of Japanese “sweets deco” scene with classical European design. I live in Vienna, Austria which is a very traditional and baroque city. There are horse drawn carriages all over the streets and people take black tie ball season extremely seriously. There are also tiny boutiques everywhere selling amazingly delicate necklaces and bracelets made out of precious metal and diamonds.

So considering the two big influences in my life, I imagined Maqaroon to be a classy re-design of kawaii style. I wanted to create things that are very cute, but would still fit into an elegant wardrobe or upmarket occasion.

maqaroon_kaffeebohne

Where do you find inspiration when you feel exhausted?
I really value spending time with my friends, family and boyfriend. I think when you’re in the presence of people you care about, your mind unblocks easily letting ideas and inspiration flow. I definitely believe in ‘leisure investment’ for creative people i.e. prioritising things which make you happy in order to produce higher quality of ideas/art, which in turn generates more sales. I also love yoga and find it’s an excellent way to reboot you mind & body when you’re stressed.

What is your favorite work to do these days?
I like simple hands-on work the most, which includes making jewellery, gluing boxes, packaging products. This is what I missed most when working as a freelance designer/illustrator because I’d spend 10 hours a day in front of the computer. I developed bad neck and shoulder pain as result so that was another reason I decided to change careers. Now I really relish evenings where I can just sit in front of the TV and make things with my hands, almost like back in school!

Do you craft your own jewelry and if so do you have a glimpse into your workspace or studio? How does the space work for you?
I design my jewellery on computer and then have the raw components (necklace/bracelet chains, earring bases) manufactured in gold-plated stainless steel. Then I make additional elements such as resin clay macaron shells by hand and assemble everything in my studio.

Unfortunately I have a really small apartment so I usually work on my dining table or coffee table and have to take out and clear up all the supplies before and after. This is also why I don’t have any workspace photos as it looks quite messy and uninspiring :P. Though I’m in the process of moving in with my boyfriend and will have a studio room just for myself so I’m really excited about that!

I’ll finally also have space for a larger computer and plan to start making videos and craft tutorials on my YouTube channel.

Do you use inspiration boards or have any to show?
Yep, I’ve been using WeHeartIt long before Pinterest came out so I still keep everything here!

lifestyle10

lifestyle4

food5

food4

Favorites
Drink: Starbucks Iced Chai Soy Latte
Food: Japanese Chicken Katsu Curry
TV Show: Girls
Book: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Song: Everything by Michael Buble
3 words to describe yourself: Fun, Hyperactive, Artsy

What do you feel you communicate within your work?
I really want people to be happy when they look at it. I try to show all the creativity and happiness that still exists in the world through all the styles that young people choose to express themselves in. In addition, I believe strongly in diversity, tolerance and respect. This is why I decided to use animals instead of humans in Maqaroon, as it makes the issue of race and gender less contrived but still visibly present.

In terms of product and pricing, I’m a big believer in making good design accessible to many people. Graphic design is making things for the masses, whereas art is for the elite. Obviously having been a designer all these years, I don’t consider my work ‘artisanal’ or ‘special’ in any way and therefore don’t want to price it as such.
In this sense, I want Maqaroon to be a beautiful but fun and down-to-earth brand. If it were a person it’d be like that fabulously glam friend who you can always rely on as well! I didn’t want the brand to feel like an expensive, aloof and snobby girl who you sort of aspire to but feel you have to act slightly fake to be accepted in their clique.

Where do you plan to go next with your work/brand?
I plan to concentrate on jewellery and work on expanding the range to include delicate choker necklaces, bracelets and possibly rings. My dream would be to be stocked in stores that I love to shop at myself (like Topshop or ASOS). I’m also hoping to increase the non-sales side of the brand with a Youtube craft channel and more collaborations/portraits with bloggers!

Why does the “maqaroon” have a mustache?
Hehee this actually has an explanation behind it! I had two rules from the very start of the brand, which is that Maqaroon should not appear too childish and that it should lean towards being unisex. The risk with any kawaii brand is that it’s extremely easy to slide into using loads of pinks, creams, strawberries and flowers. I wanted Maqaroon to be cute but not over-the-top frilly and feminine.

So I decided on a neutral green as the main branding color, with virtually all backgrounds kept in white. When I was designing the logo I tried out loads of different facial expressions. I realised a typical kawaii mouth made it look too childish so I decided to use a moustache to show that the macaron is an adult male (this sentence is starting to sound a bit ridiculous XD). This again reinforces the unisex aspect, and not making it overtly girly.

maqaroon

Lastly, are you Miseducated and why?
Yes definitely. Miseducated is about non-conformity, creativity and inspiring readers to follow their dreams, express themselves and live their best life. Too many people lose sight of these values when chasing after superficial things or trying to live up to other people’s expectations.

Growing up, I was always eager to please and would try to do everything right at school. I believed that you need to get good grades, get a degree, get a good job and somehow life would reward you. I spent many years doing different jobs and even though the experience was really valuable, I felt slightly disillusioned. I was working crazy hours yet barely making enough money to cover my living costs.

As it happened, in 2010 I became very ill and took several months to recover. During that time I had a serious think about my priorities and my conclusion was that I wanted a career with unlimited creative freedom, lots of leisure time and the potential for a much higher income. So here I am, three years later and doing what I’ve always dreamed of. There’s still a long way to go but I’ve never felt happier and more fulfilled!

maqaroon_kirschbluetekette

Mood Board: Lock my Heart and Never Part

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Mew for Today because I really was going through a painfully overwhelming period in my life that I am slowly navigating out of. I am happier and healthier than I have ever been before and I owe it to my one true love, spirituality and sobriety. Thankfully as more time goes on I have started feeling very much inspired and overwhelmed with ideas again and I would love to share some eye candy that is oh-so-Miseducated and catching my attention on tumblr tonight…

tumblr_mticqyJLh11qznydjo1_500

tumblr_mr0m30rVX41ql9mmco1_500

tumblr_m8e6a9P3WB1qh718qo1_500

tumblr_mo9lfsHzrG1rn025zo1_500

tumblr_mpypxhGBkk1qhbn7lo1_500

tumblr_mqlhauGjqh1qkqto6o1_500

tumblr_mqnf4lJibH1sykp2uo1_500

tumblr_mslphqYfto1ql9mmco1_500

tumblr_msusklnFoZ1ql16b5o1_500

tumblr_mmpgfpzXhc1qbpvc0o1_500

Strawberry Switchblade Sings My Soul

shades

One band I cherished since a child (much like Bowie but more relatable on a sensitive and misunderstood girl level) and never outgrew is Strawberry Switchblade. I formed a cherished online friendship with Rose McDowall in the late 90s and grew to understand her in a more personal way as the creative soul she is. In grade school I created a very cute, pink and polkadot website devoted to the band visuals and audio decadence, I had musical appreciation websites for Strawberry Switchblade, No Doubt, Veruca Salt and Shampoo (my all-time favorite bands), to which I thought why not create features here as I’ve been meaning to do for years.

Rose is as magical as her music is. She and Jill Bryson wove visual gumdrops for my eyes to munch on obsessively and still inspire me heavily to this day. Miseducated’s first layout and many layouts thereafter were created while blasting Strawberry Switchblade songs over and over (and I mean OVER AND OVER). When I met my very best friend Kimi online in 1997 it was like the magical world they wove, a world of polkadots and acid-like colors dripping with cute psychedelia, came to life in our relationship. As a troubled child I often felt Kimi was the one person in the world who understood me, who would always be there (she’s still there). Our song was “Since Yesterday” by Strawberry Switchblade. When she calls even today that song rings out to let me know it’s my soul mate calling.

If you’ve never heard of Strawberry Switchblade and don’t appreciate the delicious 80s whirlwind of drum machines and their unique electronic music filled with happy, depressed, in love, best friend adoring, memory mourning troubled girl lyrics then you might not enjoy it but I honestly, yes with a big bias, cannot imagine how anyone could not want to dance, twirl in daisies and sing to their music. When I listen now it transports me back to memories from childhood, the good and bad, middle and high school filled with love, loss and raves, as well as today the love I still have for my very best friend Kimi, my cherubic three year old daughter and my boyfriend who is, at last, my love dream come true. Step back in time and many of the photos in the gallery below were posters on my wall and locker. Can you get enough?

Strawberry+Switchblade+-+Let+Her+Go+-+SHAPED+PICTURE+DISC-38689

Many who know me well see the photos and instantly understand why I was so odd as a child (or even as an adult!) with my polkadot dresses and big, offensive, neon bows. I stood out like a miniature pop star in a small town school and many thought it was hilarious at my expense. I still get it to this day if I visit the town, people look at me like I’m an obviously lost alien. Hell it even happens in the city I reside in occasionally, I only seem to not be an eye sore in southern California on my many summer visits to stay with Kimi and in Tokyo, Japan of course.. but never really here, and so I know Strawberry Switchblade is singing my woes in a way that I will always understand. When you find a band like that you rarely let them go, who would want to? I’m still ready to dive into their “Deep Water” and never return.

Fashion. Cut to the left! Cut to the right!

The video and marketing direction behind these fashion and beauty product videos by Juicy Couture is enough to make my heart hurt and my eyes bleed rainbows, glitter and grime. Take in the visual splendor with me and feel inspired to live a life as art. I can never get enough of their saccharine sweet, colorful, serendipitous and opulent campaigns that have always been right up my alley (cat).

Behind the Scenes

Geometric Collages, Crystals and Neon Tribal Art

You might have noticed some familiar yet new styles being tossed around while we continue to be inspired by the aesthetics of the 1980s in all areas of art and design. A few of my current visual obsessions are geometric collages, all forms of crystal shards and neon tribal art. The use of triangles, prisms and neon color addictively draws me in like no other. It’s almost like my brain has been carefully drained and the contents put on display for my complete decadent delight. The use of these styles in design both with artwork and with jewelry/fashion is a delightful rainbow of eye candy, a complete visual orgasmic experience that I find I urn for again and again. I never tire of watching previous styles of expression become revamped and recreated by contemporary artists and designers. Thus, I decided to feature some of their works and designs and my own prints have finally been being re-added to our shop.

I suppose my obsession with neon light, color transitions and geometric collage dates back to my 80s childhood. I’ve had a lifelong obsession with crystals and as a young child I often carefully selected and cleansed my own crystals mainly for visual enjoyment and perhaps also a bit of the health, energetic and spiritual benefits they provide. The current interest designers have with crystals and working them into their jewelry and artwork is exciting for me to say the least. I’ve gotten quite an impressive new collection of crystal jewelry that would have put my former youthful self at shame. I’ve even been both cleansing and moon soaking crystals that will soon be for sale in our shop as pretty pendants for you to adore. So let’s step back to take in the clusters of deliciousness and enjoy the visual adventure that our eyes and spirits are able to enjoy.

Emily Hoy

Kris Tate

Nutcase Fashion

Angel Aura Quartz

Angel Aura Quartz is quartz that is permanently treated by fusing platinum and/or silver crystals with heat and vacuum to give it its gorgeous angelic coloring. Mystical lore counts it a stone of high spiritual energy. It is said that it is very helpful to the aura which it can protect, balance, cleanse and bring an energetic health. Angel Aura Quartz Crystals act to stimulate and clear all of the Chakra Energy Centers.

Intuitive sources say Angel Aura Quartz helps bring one into the higher realms in meditation, facilitating conscious contact with angels, spirit guides and inner realm teachers. It is said to assist one in communing with Angels, accessing the Akashic records, channeling higher knowledge, remembering past lives and gaining insight into one’s spiritual mission in this lifetime. ~ Celestial Lights

Cat Ladies Are So Vogue Right Now

The mize-en-scenes in this May 2008 photoshoot for Vogue Italia by Miles Alderidge (who I also found out shares my love for the photographic beauty of a toxic cigarette) make me foam at the mouth. It makes me excited that so many artists continue to be as inspired by cats and their beauty as I am. I used to be made into such an outcast because my art was focused on cats and would often hear both unintelligent and negative comments about them and the assumed shortcomings of their personalities. Today cats are in Vogue, on jewelry, on clothes and in your home stealing your internets.