Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lampworking 101

So my father got interested in lampworking this summer when we went to an outdoor craft show in Oregon City. He purchased a Nortel minor torch and some glass from a guy he found on craigslist and later on purchased a kiln. I made my first beads when we were camping on the sound up in Washington. I don't have them here right now and they aren't much but we had so much fun with them we set up the torch outside on the back deck a couple of times. My dad also went ahead and found an oxygen concentrator so we wouldn't have to be constantly purchasing tanks. Well I come back to Corvallis and I'm reading online about lampworking on a really great forum lampwork etc... drooling over peoples beautiful work and reading assorted tutorials. So now I'm really craving getting more torch time in and I think huh I wonder if the craft center for the school has the facilities for lampworking. I check the little pamphlet and sure enough they do! So I sign Derek and myself up right away so we can play. Oddly enough all throughout undergrad I never even thought of doing anything at the craft center. Silly me now that I've been I want to do so many things it's not even funny. Anyway took the class at the beginning of November and I'm already wanting to do more. Gotta sign up for some open torch sessions soon. After all that's part of the reason we paid the craft center fee is to be able to do some more. :P It's interesting to play on a MAPP gas torch vs. a oxygen propane one. I'll post pictures of Derek's first beads and the ones I created soon. We got to play with millifori and I got to try frit for the first time. Wahoo for yet another hobby.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pet Sympathy

Sympathy cards are some of the hardest ones for me to make and pet sympathy cards are even harder. I know there is the rainbow bridge poem but I don't really have a stamp that seems to fit that quite right and some of the others seem....almost too human which sounds strange but it's true. I get quite a few requests to make pet sympathy cards probably because I'm in vet school and everyone has multiple animals and often they take on ones that have pre-existing conditions that may not have as long to live. This card was made for one of our awesome dean's office staff. The cat was done with gold pearl-ex and I used the Tsukineko glue pad. I have to say I'm not super thrilled with that pad for glitter but it works pretty well for mica powder. The sympathy stamp is actually ones stamp that I used a marker to color to selectively stamp and my stamp-a-ma-jig to get the positioning just right. Then it seemed bare so I added the paw prints, gold cord, and brads. All in all it's not the best card in the world but I got it done so my class could sign it and get it to her right away I really wish a company would make a pet sympathy set a generic cat and dog that are cute but not too cute perhaps some wings that you could mask on maybe the rainbow bridge poem and a rainbow that seems appropriate. I think that would be an awesome set if it was done right and I know I would get it right away. Oh well until then I'll just have to be creative.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Gamsol Toolbox

So I've seen the question of how to store Gamsol odorless mineral spirits several times now on a couple of message boards and I kept thinking that it would be easiest just to show what the container that I have looks like so I went and grabbed it and took some pictures. Then I figured while I was at it I might as well show some of the other stuff that I personally use. So here are my essential Gamsol tools. ;) The container is from Michael's and it has a nice sponge top and when you depress the little button with your stump it wets it quite nicely and the excess is caught by the sponge. It has a nice screw on cap as you can see in the photo of all the stuff and so far I haven't had any problems with it and it travels around with me to Portland and back to Corvallis so I think it's pretty darn durable. The funky not pencil thing is a stump or tortillion I think the creative mark ones are the best and it's best to get the ones that are kind of solid paper material not just the wound up paper. I have lots for all the different colors and as you can see I've marked them with my pencils I find it's easier to do that then having to switch and sand in between each color. I did that for quite some time but I think it's better to have a few. Then you can see I have a little hand held sharpener and a nail file for sanding off the color when I say switch from a light purple to a dark purple. Last of all I have my new baby the case that is pictured here it's from Dick Blick and I really really like it. I've got slightly over 120 of the pencils in there and my white plastic eraser the clicky type. I just got it earlier in the term and I think it will make it a million times easier to move my pencils around. I figure if it's easier to move them around then I will use them more. We shall see if that's true or not. ;P

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Halloween and Christmas

So here are two Halloween cards and one Christmas card. Confused? The very top Cinderella card was for a friend to give as a thank you. Someone bought her little girl a Cinderella costume with all the extras wand shoes etc... Raduse from SCS was kind and sent me some images so I could whip a card up really fast. Nothing super special but I thought it turned out ok. Just whipped out the cuttlebug and did some swirls and then rubbed a silver brillance pad over the top to get the nice sheen. The second with the spider that actually isn't a spider if you count the number of legs was more or less a case because I got the idea for the web from SCS (splitcoaststampers) the card itself is elegant eggplant which is hard to see in the photos. All of my Halloween cards were super late because I was dealing with a sick kitty and vet school craziness but I sent them out anyway. The Christmas card is a super simple one that my mom and I whipped up so she could have something for a stamping club. We pre-embossed the reindeer and plan to have the ladies sponge on the color themselves. I think if you put the colors on the card stock and then emboss over the top you get a slightly better white which I prefer but this will work better with the 10-15 minute time limit. I liked how it turned out so well that these may become the Christmas cards for this year. :) Well I've got to get back to studying for large and small animal medicine.