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.

Artist Trading Cards DIY: Make and Collect

Inspired by the many trading cards of the past, artist trading cards (often called ATCs) are another fun way to trade with a personal flair. I have a feeling that even non-proclaimed-artists should create ATCs — what a cool way to revive aged-pop cultures? I plan to attach bubblegum to mine so let me know if you’d like a bite~

The cards must be 2.5in by 3.5in or 64mm by 89mm (no exceptions ^^). They are also generally made as limited editions (it’s a time to relax and handmake something small and exclusive) and should probably contain your name, theme, contact information and anything else you’d like to include! If they’re part of a series you can also number them, ex. Moon Cats 3/6. It might be a cool idea to use different themes or criteria for each series to keep it fun~ challenge yourself and be creative!

Pattern

ATC envelope pattern.

Swaps & Collecting

ATCs For All Forums
Swap Bot
Altered Art Swap List
Etsy ACEOs

How to Start a Video Blog or Vlog

I reworked this article from a couple of past articles because I decided to give “vlogging” another try!

There have been quite few awesome recommendations for the DO IT OURSELVES feature on Miseducated (suggest to us what you’d like us to both make and share the process of making) and so I decided I would try something I was asked about years ago.. mostly because I’m a bit shy/critical of myself and it’s VERY hard for me to force myself to make a video blog. I’ve done a couple through the years but I’ve deleted or never published most of them.

What I’ve been trying to do is to be as relaxed as I am when I’m writing.. as though I’m just hanging out with my friends and you’re coming along on the sugar trolly.

This first try is my new vlog introduction. It’s not perfect, it’s not even that great but I did check off my long list of basics such as finding a setting (key!), making the intro using an image and the custom theme (I got tired of the animation — maybe later) and having an idea of what I might say (but not scripted and slow!). I tried to put forth the basic tips I’ve collected throughout the internet years when creating this quick and dirty video show introduction. Stay tuned for both my notes and steps to try it yourself!

Notes

1. Theme Visual & Theme Song (or voiceover)
2. Introduction
3. Video Blog
4. End / Bloopers / Goodbye / Theme Close (with a cute animation??)
5. Credits (if needed)

Theme

What do you need to do this? Do you have any friends that compose original music? Can you use music that is free for public use? The possibilities are endless.

Video Editing

Again you can use and get creative with videos of public domain or grab your webcam and record some. You can settle for Quicktime Pro for quick and easy editing such as cutting, copying and pasting clips. If you’re interested in more advanced video editing software you should try Final Cut Pro~ for quick and easy editing I used iMovie.

Content

Of course this depends on what kind of video blog you’re making — if you’re interviewing a guest or featuring an event then obviously you would prepare questions and feature them as much as, if not more than, yourself.

AND if Miseducated has taught you anything it’s to pay attention to your mise-en-scene. Actually pay attention to what’s in the frame. If you’re filming in front of a pile of dirty laundry it probably wont have the same effect as in your local soda-shop or your cute office.

So if you want to start, read the following steps and join me in this fun medium of communication.

STEPS: Try it Yourself!

1. Watch a lot of video blogs.

Check out your friend’s blogs, their friend’s blogs, you favorite model’s blog and more. Surf around Flickr and Youtube and see how other’s carry out their video blogs. Pay attention to the content, length and format. Note what you like and don’t like about them.

2. Create the actual content.

Write down what you plan to talk about, keep it short and to the point so you can freely elaborate on video. Make sure you don’t look like you’re actually reading the notes to yourself; make it spontaneous but don’t get too lengthy. I think the best videos are short and sweet.

3. Practice makes perfect.

Practice in front of the camera. Take long videos, short videos, videos of you talking with your best friend, whatever video ideas you have practice them. Pay attention to how you present yourself in front of the camera and take notes. Re-record re-record re-record.

4. Post your video.

After following all the above steps you may or may not be ready to post your video. Post it anyway. We all have to start somewhere and that only leaves room for improvement.

Don’t worry about getting it right your first video. It will probably be too long, you’ll look like a huge dork, and the guys building a hotel next door will probably take the exact moment you’re recording to use their jackhammer. Whatever.” – Kontrary

Have you given it a try? Are you considering it now? Do you think we should further investigate this form of blogging?

Quilt an Easy Blythe Doll Duvet

pile of squares

This is an easy charm quilt pattern for a beginner. I am COMPLETELY new to quilting. In fact this is my very first quilt so I’ll be learning along with you! Because I am so new I looked at a few patterns, one for a rag quilt, one for a charm quilt and one for a baby quilt, and altered them a bit for my Blythe-sized doll quilt. Remember this is a rag doll quilt so it’s not going to look pristine unless you are a seasoned quilter which I definitely am not. Also be sure to read to the end of this post for things learned upon making this. 😉

cutting the squares
line them up (blurry!)

First cut out 25 1.5 inch wide squares of your chosen fabric(s) and lay them out as you would prefer them to look by your sewing area. If you want a rectangular quilt you’ll need to cut 5 rows of 8 squares = 40 squares.

sewing charms
sewing messily

Next sew 5 rows of 5 squares each with a 1-2 cm seam allowance. After you’ve sewn all of your rows press them and sew them in numerical order to each other (see how messy I sew??).

Next cut out a thin piece of fabric in your desired pattern the size of your quilt and piece them off sides together if you’re quilt stitching. Quilt stitching is the part I don’t understand so after doing extensive research online I found out that there really is no easy way to do it. You can do it yourself or ask a quilter to help you out. You can find a pattern online and follow the pattern by hand or machine. I chose to skip it.

sewing

To give your quilt a more finished look you’ll want to bind the borders with fabric — or make it easy and use thick-ribbon. I’m also new at binding so I decided to skip it this time and sew my quilt to the other panel as though I was making a pillow. I put them right sides together and sewed around the edges leaving a small (2-3 inch) space. Then I turned the blanket right-side out and, because I am not a quilter, sewed a line from one corner to the other making a big X to keep the pieces together.

sew a doll quilt

Things I learned: Next time I’m going to make it 5 squares by 8 squares for a Blythe-bed sized quilt. I didn’t think about how small it would be getting upon sewing it, duh!

Acid Wash Your Own Clothes

This started as a bit of an accident you see.. my husband unknowingly bought me a bleach cleaner recently. I’ve since accidentally bleached my new shirt and the carpet both while obsessively trying to clean our apartment. I got ready to trash the shirt and immediately wondered if there was some way I could salvage it…

All you need is a t-shirt (some other color besides white) and all-purpose spray-on bleach (or if you’re planning ahead use clorox in a spray-bottle).

First lay your t-shirt face up in the bath tub and give it a quick spray (with the bleach) all over; make sure to get some larger drops as well.

Turn the t-shirt over and spray the back in the same fashion.

If you’re dipping it to give it a fade.. pour the bleach into a bucket, dip and hang on the shower curtain to dry.

It will take an hour or so to dry and fully change color but you should see it begin to change immediately.

Viola!
Now feel free to leave it this way or dye it but make sure you do wash it before wearing it!
Try this on other shirts, jeans and jean shorts for an 80s flashback look.


The damage.


Thanks to The Ragged Priest.

Upcycle Your Soda Pop Can: Ashtrays & Catch-Alls

Smoking is a bad habit. It causes cancer and, if smoking indoors, can make you and your entire home smell like an ashtray. However if you’re still a smoker and have an occasional cocktail cigarette/cigar then why not decorate your dirty habit with this kitschy ashtray? Actually these don’t have to be used as ashtrays at all they can be catch-alls and candy dishes if you like!

Instructions


Gather scissors and rinse out a new soda pop can (old ones can be sticky!).


Cut the top of your can off — it doesn’t have to be perfect, these ends will be folded under.


Cut the can into thin strips and fold them flat like a daisy.


Turn the can upside down and wrap one strip left and around the one next to it (see photo).
Continue this all the way around the can.


Viola!

Add More Whimsy Into Your Life

If you’re reading this blog you’ve probably already found lots of ways to include more whimsy into your lifestyle but here are a whole lot more. Most importantly you should enjoy every single day because every day is special. Find ways to make your days special and you have a key for more happiness.

1. Sprinkle your cocoa froth with stars sprinkles.
2. Hide sweet fortunes (found in cookies) in boxes, cabinets and drawers to be found throughout the day.
3. Adorn your walls in whimsical prints from Etsy and local art gatherings.
4. Use cherry icing as chap-stick.
5. Burn a fruity candle and a dessert candle at the same time but different areas of your living room. Feel free to include fizzypop fragrance oil in one room and vanilla in the other. Walk through your home and enjoy the candy aroumas, imagine you’re in a candy store or soda pop shop!
6. Purchase frames, paint them your favorite colors with acrylic and hang them on your walls filled with art and favorite posters and clippings.
7. Dip your finger into a container of cool whip and then stick it into your mouth. Yum!
8. Purchase some sand and a sunlamp.. place the sand in a container large enough for your feet and heat it with the lamp overhead. Feel the warm sand with your hands and stick your toes in it as well!
9. Don’t toss the sand! Add a bit of water and build a sand castle.
10. Tea party! Bake cupcakes, make small sandwiches cut-out with cookie cutters and brew your favorite tea. It doesn’t matter if no one else is able to come, enjoy your tea party! Have daily tea parties.
11. Take a bubble bath with candles and tea. Read in the bath. Relax.
12. Listen to Rockabye Baby Lullaby renditions of your favorite songs while you relax for a nap.
13. Sketch out ideas and images that cheer you up. Add color with pencils or paint. Start going with it and see where you end up.
14. Top your pancakes with ice-cream syrup topping and sprinkles for a cute and sweet dessert.
15. Turn your toast into fairy bread (see below).


Fairy Bread Recipe

  • Toast bread.
  • Spread lightly and evenly with butter.
  • Top heavily with sprinkles.
  • Cut into 4 triangles. (or use cookie cutters if you’re REALLY feeling whimsical!)

Create Your Own Angelic Pretty Hoodie

I saw this in Kera magazine and thought it was so cute I just had to feature it. This tutorial also teaches you to create the perfect bow which can be used for just about anything!

Have an ordinary hoodie you want to transform from boring into cute couture?
I see these hoodies all the time at department stores for inexpensive prices and wish they had a little something more, why not just DIY?

Ribbon Tip

Tie the end of your ribbon to the end of your hoodie’s string after you cut the knot off and pull through.





How to Write a Love Poem

Expressing strong emotions through poetry will never go out of style, and even if it does, who cares? It’s all about making someone feel as special and beautiful as you see them, as they truly are. Want to know a secret? You don’t need to have any kind of talent to write a poem, just say what you feel! The best poems have come about when someone was feeling something intense, especially the adoration for another person. If you don’t know how to begin, here are a few techniques and hints.

Do Some Free-writing

Put a picture of your loved one in front of you, or just sit somewhere where you won’t be disturbed for a while and think about them. Start writing down everything that pops into your head, without worrying
that it sounds silly. It won’t look or sound like a poem yet, and that’s okay—you’re getting your thoughts and feelings down in words. It also helps to get in “the mood” by lighting a few candles and putting on some music (just be sure you don’t subconsciously copy some of the lyrics to “Need You Now” or something!)

Take Your Time

You may or may not write your love poem in one sitting, so take it easy and don’t push yourself. If you rush, it might not sound as good as if you took a couple of days or weeks to let it come to you. Keep a notebook or your phone on you so you jot or type down whatever pops into your head that might sound good. Remember, this is something you will use to impress the one you adore, so take your time!

Find the “Beat”

You don’t need to write a sonnet full of “thees” and “haths” or even something that rhymes. Most poetry does have a “beat”, however, which is what distinguishes it from prose. Read some good love poems to get a feel for the beat of poetry, and all the different ways it can be written. Here is an example to get you started:

“i carry your heart with me” by E. E. Cummings

“i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)”

The lines break it up so that there is a subtle rhythm as you read it. The poet also creates a beat inside the lines, and he repeats the main line of the poem to draw it together at the end. You can also distinguish a brief pause in a line with punctuation.

Here is an example of how a poet writes in rhyme and line-groupings called a “stanza”:

“Love at the lips was touch
As sweet as I could bear;
And once that seemed too much;
I lived on air”

~ From “To Earthward” by Robert Frost

Start experimenting and using some of your best lines from your free-writing and see what you can come up with.

Other Poetic Elements

Use some metaphors, similes, alliterations (All ambitious alligators adore alliterations!) and strong adjectives and verbs to paint a picture with your words. There are many other elements of poetry, such as allegories, personification and allusions. You could also just get literal and say what you feel, straight out! The poetic elements are just different tools to use.

This is just an intro to writing a good love poem—just to let you know that this is something anyone can do if they try. A love poem written from the heart is more valuable than a diamond ring and means so much more.