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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Finally got mushrooms in resin (image chunky) on: June 17, 2013 09:01:10 PM


So, after having asked about how I would go about doing this, I finally sort of kind of got it to work.

So far, I have found mushrooms to be the most difficult thing to get into resin, and I was not prepared for it; whereas moss and pinecones and other found trinkets like that do not rot nor wither (moss is desiccation resistant, meaning it can never truly wilt), mushrooms, especially the delicate field mushrooms I was using, like to wither away to nothing in a few hours.

So after mixing the resin, before pouring anything into the mold, I had to first submerge the mushroom cap into the mixed resin, hold it down with the stirring stick just below the surface, blowing gently into the gills with a straw, trying to coax the air out of them. After getting enough of the air out of them that they weren't as aggressively buoyant, I put the now saturated mushrooms into the mold, trying not to trap too much air underneath them (a bit was inevitable), knock the caps off, or destroy the already distressed gills.

I poured about half the total volume of the mold in the mold, and then babysat the mushrooms a bit to make sure that they weren't touching the edges too much (if they press themselves against the edges, like they seem to like to do, the resin around that spot becomes too thin and will eventually break, leaving the mushroom exposed to rapidly decompose).

I waited about three hours - can't wait too long or the mushrooms will begin to wilt - before pouring the rest of the resin into the mold to cure completely.

I'm going to wait it out and see how they react after a few days, and make sure they don't still find a way to wither inside of the pendant, but for now at least, I'm pumped I even got them in there, after five attempts.
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Resin help - getting a buoyant object to stay down? on: June 12, 2013 01:43:44 AM
Thank you for all the help everyone. I've tried it again, and was slightly more successful, but apparently two layers was not enough, and I still woke up the next day to find the mushroom caps poking up out of the surface. I guess I was too hasty again.

It really just comes down to a fight between the drying time of the resin, and the rapid decomposition of the tender little mushrooms. Ah well, I'll get the hang of it eventually.

At least I now have a metric ton of throwaway pendants for me to experiment with.

Edit:: Wanted to say that I have finally had some partial success, after five attempts, and wanted to share the process.

The mushrooms I use have to be fresh, like pick them, bring them inside and immediately start mixing the resin. I'm not sure if that's the case for all variety of fungi but the type I'm using (Panaeolus foenisecii or "Common Field Mushroom") decomposes so quickly that this has to be the case.

I mixed the resin in the smallest possible container I could find, in this case a small plastic dixie cup with the top half cut off. After mixing the resin, I submerge the caps of the mushrooms I'll be using in the resin, hold it down with the stirring stick, and gently coax out some of the air from the gills by blowing into slowly with a straw. Once the mushroom is a little less buoyant I pull it out, put it in the mold, drizzle a little less than half the volume of the mold's worth of the resin on top of them, then let them rest (after messing with them to get some of the air out from under the caps with more straw blowing). After about three hours, heaven willing the mushrooms haven't rotted to a depressed state, I pour the rest on and let it cure. After it's cured properly and popped out of the mold, in most cases I have to use a toothpick to add a very thin layer to the back of the mold, and let it cure another 24 hours.

They still seem to find a way to collect a few air bubbles around the top of the cap, and they still seem to want to shrivel and compress a little bit within the resin, but for now, at least, they're in there.
3  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Re: DIY "punk" thrift/upcycled clothing ideas? on: June 10, 2013 02:02:13 AM
Haha JuBee I feel the same way skulking around on Tumblr. People tend to love to post the coolest looking models and I just think "Wow I wish I could afford that... or fit into that..."
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Resin help - getting a buoyant object to stay down? on: June 10, 2013 01:38:20 AM
So I've been dabbling in epoxy resin pendants lately, using silicone resin molds and putting things like living moss and pine cones and other little living trinkets in there.

The only thing so far that has alluded me are mushrooms. I've tried twice now to put mushrooms in the molds, but the things are so damn buoyant they just instantly float to the surface, causing them to burst open after it's dry and, inevitably, decompose inside the pendant.

My first attempt, I tried putting a lubricated tuperware lid on top of the molds, but that only served to create a lot of excess resin on the backs of the molds which, when peeled off, just destroyed the mushroom caps within. Second attempt, I tried to soak them in resin before hand, gently moving them around to try and get the air bubbles out of the gills, but it didn't really help.

So my plan C, is to fill the mold only half up, let the mushroom cap "float" on top of that for two hours or so, until it's no longer a liquid, then fill the rest of the mold up, effectively letting the resin cure in two separate parts.

Anyone have any experience with that, who could tell me how that might work out? Anyone have a better idea to help me keep the little mushroom caps down?
5  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / DIY "punk" thrift/upcycled clothing ideas? on: June 06, 2013 11:28:57 PM
So it's high time I fill up my wardrobe with something usable and a little more unique than four long-sleeve shirts of the exact same cut. I desperately am in need of some brainstorming help.
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: A Little Etsy Performance Anxiety! on: November 03, 2012 11:40:38 PM
There's really nothing to worry about. As you said, if your stuff doesn't sell it's no skin off your back. Maybe take a look at your tags to make sure they're pertinent, and look at your little statistics page to see how people are getting to your page.

I think the biggest thing I ever worry about is missing an order, or shipping it in poor packaging, or shipping it late.

Remember that if your stuff isn't selling, it doesn't necessarily mean your products are undesirable; there's a lot of factors that go into whether or not your products are selling, so don't ever let sales effect your self confidence in your artistic abilities.

Once your shop is up its just a matter of letting it sit while you continue to make the crafts you love.
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Etsy gift cards... how popular do you think they'll be? on: November 01, 2012 06:42:41 PM
So since I started my shop I have resisted using the built-in Direct Checkout payment option provided by Etsy; in comparison to the simplicity of my already existing Paypal, the service seemed a little convoluted, and I couldn't trust it.

Now, however, Etsy has begun to sell gift cards - great for any of us who'd love to receive one of those for upcoming Christmas, but potentially hazardous to any of us who are still begrudgingly hanging on to Paypal as our main form of payment.

Do you think these gift cards will really catch on? Are they reason enough in and of themselves to allow the Direct Checkout on one's shop, or will they be something that no one really uses?
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Best place to buy hemp cord? on: September 30, 2012 12:42:31 AM
As I figure most of the macrame addicts hang out in this corned of craftster (if there are any of us out there), this is likely the best place to ask.

Has anyone found a spectacular place online to buy hemp string? I've searched every jewelry supply and/or home and garden supply store I could think of on many occasions in the past, but have never been able to find anything but the sort of over-priced bundles you'd find at Wal-Mart or your run-of-the-mill craft store.

I've found that the best supplies are usually found in places you wouldn't think to look. That being said, has anyone found any really good places to buy hemp cord in bulk online?
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: Celebrate your etsy milestones! (First sale, your stuff on the main page, etc!) on: August 11, 2012 06:23:32 PM
Made my first sale today! After only a few days of the  shop's existence.

Here is the  remainder of our celebratory pizza (also I didn't feel like cooking):

10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: The (new) Etsy critique thread! on: August 05, 2012 03:30:31 PM
So I just opened up my first etsy shop, and, as a result, am understandably nervous about how well I've managed to scrape it together.

I was wondering if anyone might be able to give it a swift look-through (it's very small at the moment) and let me know if there's anything I should clean up, right off the bat?

How is the banner? I made it myself, but it's not exactly my proudest work.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/MossoftheWoods

---------------

Hello!  I, apparently, need some critique and/or help.  I've developed these dolls which I think are pretty cool, but I have yet to sell even one.  I admit right now my shop is kind of barren, so I suppose this critique is mostly for the Gossamer Girls themselves.  I do Etsy search ads and I write photostories about my models on my blog.  Should I just work on adding more stuff to the shop?  Maybe more premade dolls?  Do my dolls secretly suck and need to be reworked?  I have also thought about putting them in the Waldorf section, although they are not Waldorf dolls.  They are a similar size and price and seem to be similar in philosophy.

Cayora, I think your dolls are very charming. However, I think one of the main things hindering their success might be the fact that they are such a big-ticket item.

As a buyer, I would be a little reticent to put down $100 on a doll from a seller that I, frankly, couldn't quite judge the reputation of.

Your doll clothes, however, are not only equally as beautiful, but also reasonably priced. Many people already have dolls or models that they'd love some charming and even custom-ordered clothes for. If I were in your position, I would focus on selling more of those for now, and begin to sell a few more big-budget dolls once you've got a reasonable stock and seller reputation.

When you're photographing the doll clothes, you could also consider finding a doll "mannequin", or some other display model to put the clothing on that is made of an entirely different material as the clothes, in order for buyers to be able to see, right away, that it is the clothes you're selling - I think it would really make them stand out in an etsy search. Honestly, when I first looked at your doll clothes, I didn't actually immediately realize that it was the shawl you were selling, and not the doll itself, until I looked at the description. Of course, if I had read it more thoroughly I would have figured that out, but I think most buyers don't really do that.
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