Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rock-A-Bye Babies Mixed Media Tutorial

Mixed media assemblage is not something I do often and is a little out of my comfort zone but when I found a rusty old trowel that was partially covered in plaster at the thrift store,
I couldn't resist the urge to alter it!


Resin (I used ICE Resin® )
mica sheet
old rusty notched trowel that has some plaster crusted on it
sheet music
photo copy of poem
birch bark
photocopied graphics of birds and eggs (I found mind at the Graphics Fairy)
2 screws
brown ink pad
hot glue


  1. Tear sheet music to fit onto the trowel. Tear around the bird and egg graphics and the poem. Lightly rub each piece with brown ink to age them.
  2.  Mix the resin according to the package instructions. Use a small piece of sponge or a sponge brush to cover the bird and egg graphic with the resin. Apply some resin to the trowel and cover with the sheet music and another coat of resin. Let the resin cure.
  3. Drill two holes into the mica. Sandwich the poem between the bark and mica. Add glue to each screw and insert them into the holes in the mica with the screws ends poking through the bark to secure the layers together.
  4. Bundle the twigs into a circle with some ends extending wildly outward from the center and secure with wire.
  5. Hot glue the twigs into place on the trowel along with the bird and egg graphics. Glue moss to fill in gaps and to cover the glue.

Happy Creating!


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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Photo Paperweight Tutorial

Make personalized paperweights
from inexpensive glass ashtrays!

Glass ashtrays are usually around $1 or less at the thrift stores,
are fairly heavy and make great personalized paper weights!

Materials and Tools
Glass ashtrays
Tissue paper
Photos or copies of originals
Modge Podge
Resin and containers to mix it in (I used ICE Resin®)
Small paint brush for applying the Modge Podge


  1. Turn the ashtray upside down. Print and cut your photo to fit inside the recessed area of the ashtray. Use Modge Podge to glue in place. Let dry. Apply a layer of Modge Podge on top of the photo to seal it. Let dry.
  2. Pour a layer of resin to cover the photo. Let cure.
  3. Print lettering of your choice onto tissue paper. Trim as close to the lettering as possible. (The resin will cause the tissue paper to become fairly transparent but I don’t recommend putting it over the faces because it will cloud the image a little).
  4. Use a tiny bit of resin to apply the tissue lettering into place (It would be best to do this step when you are mixing resin for another project since you’ll need so little). Let cure.
  5. Pour resin to fill. Let cure.
  6. Optional: Depending on the style of the ashtray, print out lettering and use Modge Podge to apply to the inside rim of the ashtray or across the bottom. If applying paper to the bottom, you will need to back it with a lightweight cardboard to prevent in from tearing.


  1. Shop garage sales and thrift stores for glass ashtrays. Look for ones that have a slight recessed area on the bottom that will work well to hold the resin.
  2. To print on tissue paper – Tape the tissue paper to a regular piece of printer paper so it will not get caught up in the printer.

Happy Creating!


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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Downton Abbey Style Hat Band and Flower

I know there are a bazillion tutorials out there on how to make flowers but I'd like to show you how I made this one and also the hat band.

Hat - Mine is black felt with a small bow on the side. 
Synthetic sheer fabric - Mine is a thrifted sheer curtain with embroidered designs. 
Eyelash yarn 
Candle and a match to light it 
Corsage pins 
Stapler - Yes, I sewing here....I was in a hurry! (Sewing it would probably be a better option if you have time.)

Step 1 - Cut a strip of fabric that is long enough to fit around the hat. I made the strip wide enough that it could have some gathers once applied to the hat. Also cut several circles in various sizes - I used seven for my flower. The circles do not need to be perfectly round. They do need to be slightly larger than you want the finished flower because they will shrink when heated over the candle.

Step 2 - Heat the edges of the strip and the circles over the lit candle. Be careful not to hold the fabric too closely or too long over the flame as it does melt quickly and will make holes. (My flower ended up with a couple of holes but they're tiny and I thought it added to the vintage look.)

Once done melting the edges, each layer of the flower should look like this.

Step 3 - To give each flower layer more character, carefully heat and melt it throughout the center area.

Once done they should look something like this. (There's the tiny hole I mentioned before.)

Step 4 - Cut five strips of the eyelash yarn about two or three inches wider than the largest flower layer.

Step 5 - Place four yarn strips between two of the largest flower layers.

Step 6 - Staple at the center making sure to catch the yarn.

Step 7 - Add the remaining flower layers. Crunch up the remaining piece of yarn and place at the center of the layers. Holding everything in place, staple through all the layers to secure.

Step 8 - Overlap the ends of the fabric strip and staple to secure.

Step 9 - Place the band around the hat. I tucked it under the bow.

Step 10 - Make some pleats in the fabric and secure in a few places on the hat with corsage pins.

Step 11 - Use three corsage pins to secure the flower into place over the stapled area of the band.

A couple more views of the hat.


Happy Creating!


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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shabby Chic Cuff - video and written tutorial

Tools Used –
Spellbinders Grand Calibur die cutting machine
Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Fifteen (2nd smallest in set)
Sewing Machine
Small hand drill or rotary drill
Pliers: round-nose
Wire cutters
Textured stamp
Bone folder

Products Used –
ICE Resin®
2 small pieces of Art Mechanique cream sheer ribbon
Fusible interfacing (sew-in will work)
Crocheted flower
Brown thread
Vintage ear ring with faux pearls
Copper sheet: 34 gauge
Snaps and snap setting tool
Fingernail buffing stick or very fine sandpaper
Liver of sulfer solution
Epoxy glue

1. Use the die to cut and emboss a square from the copper sheet.

2. Lay the square on the stamp and rub with the bone folder to create texture.

3. Soak the square in a warm liver of sulfer solution until it is very dark. Remove and rinse with cold water. Lightly sand with the nail buffing stick to remove some of the dark patina.

4. Cut the back off the earring. If the earring has a dangle and is removable, remove it.
5. Glue the earring at the center of the flower. Let cure.
6. Mix the resin according to the package directions. Cover the front side of the square with resin and place the flower centered on it. Drip a little more resin onto the piece to cover the flower. Let it cure according to the package directions.

7. If the earring dangle was removed, replace it.
8. Tear two pieces of muslin to 2 1/8” wide and to your wrist size plus about 2”. Cut a piece of interfacing that is just a little smaller than the muslin. Iron the interfacing to one muslin piece.

9. Lay the second muslin piece on top of the other with the interfacing sandwiched between the two pieces of muslin. Sew a zigzag stitch around the edges twice. Sew two lines of gathering stitches down the center of the cuff.

10. Pull the threads to gather the cuff to fit your wrist, (remember to allow enough overlap for the snaps). Tie the threads off to secure.

11. Follow the manufacturers directions to apply two snaps to the cuff.

12. Drill a hole at the center of each side of the square.

13. Thread a ribbon through the holes. Trim the ribbon tails to extend to within about ½” of the snaps.
14. Center the square onto the cuff and sew a zigzag and straight stitch down the center of each ribbon tail.

15. Thread a piece of ribbon under the ribbon on the cuff to one side of the square where it is not sewn down; tie it in a knot and trim.

Finished Cuff

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Video Tutorial - How To Create A Transparent Layer For Resin Projects

I'm excited to say that my very first online technique based video for the ICE Resin® Creative Team is up and running!

Creating a Transparent Layer with Kathy Thompson from ICE Resin Creative Team on Vimeo. 

I’ve created this quick video to show you how to make a transparent layer by printing an image directly onto ordinary tissue paper. The image will appear to float above the background layer adding depth and interest to almost any resin project.

All you will need is some ordinary tissue paper, a printer and some ICE Resin®, of course!

1. This technique works best if you choose a black and white image to print onto the tissue paper and layer it over a light background.
2. This same technique could also be accomplished by stamping onto the tissue with permanent ink.

Here is a peek at the finished pendant.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoy the video!


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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hook and Eye Clasp - Basic Wire Working Technique Series

Why use a handcrafted hook and eye clasp over a ready made clasp?
It will add much more interest to your design and give that extra unique quality that transforms it into a piece of wearable art.

Tools and Supplies:
Chain-nose pliers
Round-nose pliers
Stepped forming pliers
Flush cutters (one side of the cutters are flush and make a straight cut, the other side makes a "V" cut)
Small jewelers file
Steel bench block (or something solid to hammer on)
Wire: I've used 16 gauge copper for my photos. I suggest you begin with copper; it's malleable which makes it easy to work with and it's inexpensive.

The picture above shows two pairs of chain-nose pliers, round-nose pliers, and flush cutters. Below is what stepped forming pliers look like.

A note before I start the tutorial: 
In my photos I did not leave the looped end that will attach to the chain open. If you are going to use a jump ring to attach the clasp then you can go ahead and close the loops as I did in the photos. If you choose to attach it directly to a fused chain link then you will need to leave the loop end open (see "Links: Beaded and Crazy" to see how to connect loops).

Hook Clasp

Hammer one end of an 8" wire to flatten it.

Place the round-nose pliers at the tip of the flattened area.

Curl the wire around the pliers.

Your piece should look like this.

Place the base of the round-nose pliers on the wire above the curl (how far up will determine how long the clasp will be).

Use your fingers to bend the wire back towards
the underside of the curl.

Place the chain-nose pliers on the wire and make a 90 degree bend.

Make a wrapped loop (click here to refer to my earlier tutorial on wrapped loops). Trim the wire and file the end smooth.

Hammer to add texture and strength.
(Hammering metal work hardens it and helps it to keep its shape.)
Your finished hook clasp should look like this.


Eye Clasp

Make a wrapped loop  at one end of an 8" wire (click here to refer to my earlier tutorial on wrapped loops). Place the stepped forming pliers on the wire (each tier is a different diameter - use the tier that will make the size of loop you desire).

Wind each wire tail until they meet and fill the space
between the loops. Trim ends and file to smooth them.

Hammer the loops to add texture and strength.
Your finished eye clasp should look like this.

The finished hook and eye clasp set should look like this.

Here are a few examples of where I have used handmade hook and eye clasps in my designs. Notice that sometimes I just use the hook part and use to a large handmade jump ring for the eye part and sometimes I added a bead to the clasps.


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