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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Re: dont know what to do. (need gift ideas for boyfriend) on: December 13, 2007 11:11:58 AM
You can try making him a guitar strap. I make them regularly, they aren't that hard.

If you wanted to, you best bet might be to go to a music shop and get a cheap basic strap made of black webbing (this should be less than $10). This way you have all the hardware included and you don't need to cut your own tabs. Then you can just embellish it as you'd like, recover it with fabric, paint your own patches and sew them on, etc.

There are tons of guitar pick crafts out there... including a really great one I remember about two picks on top of each other that slid apart to reveal a photo inside... it was like a locket, and that could be a really sweet personal gift, but I can't find the link now. Sad

Good luck to you!

2  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Altoid Tin Themed Swap Gallery on: February 24, 2006 11:32:00 PM
Received my tin from Invisible Castle today and I luuuuuv!

She chose my purple theme and sent me a beautiful purple tin with tons of goregous handmade jewelry and little bitties inside!!! I'll be sure and edit the post to include a photo when I get another sec, just wanted to say THANKS in public!

By the way, I have photos of what I sent out, just waiting on Invisiblecastle and albarinos to confirm receipt and I'll post them. Wanted to let you guys know you don't have to take new pics unless you want to.

3  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Altoid tin theme swap (Signups CLOSED; sendout 2/21) on: February 23, 2006 04:00:21 AM
I sent mine out to Invisiblecastle and albarinos yesterday, just hadn't had a chance to msg you guys yet. My internet seems to go off every time it's even a little stormy, so it's havoc right now. But yes, ladies, they are on the way.  Grin
4  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Altoid tin theme swap (Signups 2/2 to 2/9; sendout 2/21) on: February 07, 2006 10:28:11 AM
Waiting to see if I'm approved. I don't know my post count, but it should be around 15, I'll get it up to official standards after I poke around today.

As for how to paint these guys, I have made some tins in the past from those Camel special flavors cigarette tins. They're the same material and all as the altoids, have enamel on them already, etc. Anyways, I sand em off (FYI - don't use paint stripper, it'll rust the tins - doh!) and prime them then either decoupage and seal seal seal or just paint them with heat curable paint. Liquitex makes a series called "Glossies" that can be heat cured in your home oven! I've had great success with those paints.  The Glossies line is made for painting on metal and glass, so maybe all more brands of glass paints have these properties that can be heat set?

Looking forward to getting a partner!

5  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 9 ENTRIES / Re: on: February 06, 2006 04:41:08 AM
Wow! I'm taken aback by the stark beauty of your doll.  You put so much time and thought into her!

I love her face, and I love the way you depicted her fears like they were crawling all over the skin, which is exactly the way it feels to be afraid. And then I saw the hole and thought "Oh no! So sad!" but then it's a hole not because something's missing but to allow a something wonderful inside to get out.

It makes me a little tear-y eyed (in a good way!) to look at her. Just really moving - thank you!
6  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Re: I did a photo emulsion silkscreen & I have some light spots... on: February 06, 2006 04:20:50 AM
I think I know what that is. I used to have those before I just bit the $10 and bought an emulsion spreader.

What happened with me was that I had this otherwise smooth and even coat of emulsion but there were these sort of ploppy drops of emulsion here and there too (like a little spot of dripped paint) where a bit may have pooled up or got dribbled on. I guess the little drops don't actually harden all the way through when you're exposing. It sort of makes a hard candy shell with a chewy uncooked center if you will, and then the whole little drop just washes off when you spray out.  I also had some of those little buggers make it through the spray out process and then come open when I was pulling a print, the squeegee just sort of broke em open.

If this is the case with your little spots, just try to be extra careful that your emulsion coat is smooth and even. It doesn't have to be a super thick coat, just a consistent thin coating. A couple extra passes with a dry squeegee should eliminate those spots, or you can buy an emulsion spreader. It's like a little trough with a roller bar in it that spreads a uniform coat across the screen in one pass. Pretty cheap, and they save a bit of trouble and mess.

But like Caradee said, little holes are easy to cover up. You can also use screen filler (it may have come in your kit if you bought a kit). For a temporary fix you can always just tape over it on the bottom side of the screen (not the part you're squeegeeing) with masking tape. It will keep the ink from passing through any hole-y spots. I try to save taping for heat of the moment fixes when I'm already in the midst of printing and I notice something. Otherwise, it's easy and permanent just to fill em in with emulsion or filler.

Please post pics of your print! And if you want a more accurate diagnosis, you can post a pic of the screen too.

7  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Best beginner screen kit for ~$100? on: February 06, 2006 04:07:04 AM
Oh yeah, Lowes should have em. Everywhere has em. You sound like me (I live in the South too), constantly trying to find these items for crafty applications at everyday stores! But the flood bulbs are really easy to find. I bought myself a 3-pack at the Target along with 2 of those cheap silver dome workshop lamps that clip on.  The dome really helps reflect the light out and onto the screen, although flood bulbs are usuallly coated on the side to direct the light out of the bottom of the bulb and not the sides. The bulbs I got are 120W floods; I didn't want to use anything much higher than the lamps are rated for.

Something that took me forever to figure out was exposure times. If I'm doing two screens at once they lie side by side with a lamp over each, so they sort of share this larger, more spread out lightsource. When the light is placed 14" away it takes 20-25 minutes to expose two screens. If I'm only doing one and using both lamps, it only takes 15-20 minutes. I don't know how long it would take with just one lamp.

Anyhoo, my first couple of tries were bad runs due to strange exposures. One wasn't cooked enough so it just all washed out. The next got burnt to a crisp and wouldn't wash out. As silly as it sounds, I had to keep a sort of journal and record the distance of the lightsource and the exposure times used on different projects, always adjusting until I got it just right where it washes out correctly and easily. Hopefully if you're using the same or similar  materials this can save you a bit of time as a jumping off point.

Good luck!!!  Smiley
8  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Best beginner screen kit for ~$100? on: January 29, 2006 05:56:05 AM
I agree with Toy on this one - it's a great project and good for people who want to learn the *principle* behind screenprinting, but the Mod Podge thing is not something you'd want to make a habit of.  It's really easy to learn to print, and if it makes you feel more comfortable that you have all you need to get started, just buy a kit. I started with a kit, but then had to spend more money getting new screen fabric and different paints.  But while learning, I knew I had everything I neeeded to get started.

To answer scissorchic - I buy my loose screen fabric from Dick Blick or Mister Art, just depends on what else I'm ordering. It's under $10 per yard, and you can get quite a few screens out of a yard.  It's sold at my local art supply, but it's something like $9 a FOOT there, so I'd rather buy it online.
9  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Re: silkscreening on metal - what ink? on: January 23, 2006 04:59:26 PM
It's not a very definitive answer, but I'm about to screen some metal CD tins this week and I'm going to try the Liquitex Acrylics Glossies paint.  It's thicker than regular craft paint so it should bleed through the screen well and it can be heat cured in a home oven "for a hard, ceramic-like finish" so maybe it won't scrape off so easily. I'll let you know how it goes!
10  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Printing White On Black? on: January 23, 2006 04:48:00 PM
I just found Speedball's opaque line of inks at Dick Blick (http://www.dickblick.com/zz432/33/). They may not be new, for all I know they've been around for years, but these are formulated to print on dark colors and they're all atleast slightly metallic.

I just got the silver and the white and have been using them both to good success. The silver looks kind of gray with fine-line designs, but I think a big blocky design with a lot of ink surface would look great. The white is kind of pearly but it gives pretty good coverage on dark colors. I never tried the regular Speedball white so I don't know how it compares, but I kind of like a little sparkle in the ink.
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