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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 / 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?
3  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.
4  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?
5  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?
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / What's in a Name? Importance of Shop Names/Personal Advice? on: July 07, 2012 01:10:30 AM
I've seen a plethora of different shop names on Etsy, from sentence-long puns to the humble name of the shop owner. I've always wondered, however, how much bearing these names actually have on the success of the shop.

I've been trying to come up with a shop name, but every time I do, I worry that the name is too pretentious, or too difficult to remember, or a number of other problems.

So what do you think? Why did you name your shop what you did, and how important do you find shop names?
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Making a clean slice of wood without damaging bark on: June 24, 2012 12:07:46 AM
Thought it was simple enough. Turns out, not so much.

Went out into the woods to collect some fairly freshly fallen small branches - about 1-1.5cm diameter each, of many different species of trees - to cut into simple wood slices for post earrings and beads, ala something like this, and through some twist of fate, they were left to then bake in my car in full sun for a day and a half, leaving them amply dry.

On day three I took a handsaw to them, only to find that the saw nearly instantly ripped the bark off of the branch, and the tooth of the saw left a nasty jagged pattern that all but eliminated the natural rings of the branch and left the whole thing looking like a miniature cork.

I'm clearly no woodworker - I'm a botany student, and a pretty poor one at that. Does anyone with more experience have any advice for making a simple, clean cut that won't damage the ring of the tree or the bark? Clearly species of tree is pretty important, but I'm not sure I really have the formula for freshness of wood/drying either.
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Non-drill based way to make "rustic" twig-based beads? on: June 18, 2012 02:00:05 AM
First post here - frequent lurker before I actually made an account, and finally decided to suck it up as of a few days ago, and make one.

I wanted to know if anyone knew of a practical way to make rough, twig-based wooden beads in a way that does not involve drills or other large machinery. Something along these lines:

http://www.firemountaingems.com/details.asp?pn=H203142GS

While I have access to a drill, I would much prefer a more natural way of creating holes in the wood that doesn't involve laboring over a very loud piece of machinery in my current communal living.
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