My name is Violette Noble and I am an artist who loves to search far and wide for bits and baubles whose origins may not be fully known but are always antique, rare, eclectic or just plain odd.
I use these fantastic finds in all my jewelry designs and each piece is created by me and is entirely unique.
Maybe it's because I've been watching a lot of "period dramas" the last few weeks but I've been thinking a lot about hats...women's especially...and wondering when (and WHY) we stopped wearing them!
One of the thing that amazes me about hats is how endless the variety it! Colors, styles, feathers, materials! I wish we'd start wearing them again!
I suppose there's nothing really stopping any of us from wearing them so why don't we? Do I have the "nerve" or the "confidence" or the HUZTSPA???
Oh well they are sooooooooooo much fun!
Here are some of my fav hats from years past that I've owned. Some I still have, some have been transformed into other works of art and some have been sold. (single tear.....)
These first few photos are of vintage hats I've purchased and re-made....either by cleaning, adding a new band and/or feathers, flowers or whatever strikes me as FUN! Don't you just LOVE the first hat?!?!?! I sold that one right before Easter of this year. The little bird is wearing an antique drawer pull "hat"!
These next ones are my steampunk hats! I bought some GORGEOUS handmade black wool hats (not cheap by the way) and had a great time making top hats for the steampunk crowd! The first photo is how they look before I "have my way" with them!
The next photo shows a hat I made for a wedding! Doesn't he look great??!??!
Just a few more steampunk hats that I had a great time with! (yes that IS a vintage leather belt!)
The next photos are all one hat BUT the customer requested 3 different feathers that would tuck down inside the band for different looks! Which one do you like best! (I LOVE them all but am partial to the pheasant feather!)
These last hats are hats I made from standard hat forms...most of them are mini top hats...which I love...and are held in place with two clips.
I hope you enjoyed this stroll down memory lane!
Send me photos of your favorite hats or hats you wish you owned and I'll post them!
Hopefully you've been enjoying learning a little about working with resin!
Today I'm going to talk a little about layering and adding trinkets!
It's so much fun to layer your piece or add charms and treasures inside your piece!
Here are some pieces I've done this with! I'll take them one by one and explain how I ended up with the finished product!
The above piece started with a vintage house number! I prepared the "collage" of the darling little girl as before (see post from June 8th and June 9th).On this particular piece I glued a tiny porcelain 3-d rose to her hair using E-6000 OR mod podge. You only have to "tack" it in because once the resin dries it won't be going anywhere!
I also painted a little "necklace" using gold acrylic paint and a toothpick making sure it was very dry before I poured the resin.
The little cuckoo clock charm was also snuggled down into the curve of the bottom of the O and if I remember correctly I clipped of the bottom part of the charm and filed it a bit so that it would fit better into the curve. It doesn't have to fit perfectly because the resin will fill in and hide some of the imperfections.
Here's the order in which I prepared this piece.
cut a cardstock backing
using mod podge added a little vintage text
cut out vintage photo and mod podged it on top of the text (cardstock is underneath)
painted her "necklace"
MOUNTED IT INTO THE VINTAGE HOUSE NUMBER
gave the entire thing 2-3 coats of mod podge
THEN added the porcelain rose and the clock charm
Next just mix and pour your resin. (see previous posts)
When you use 3-d objects you need to pay just a little more attention to how you fill the piece. If I can I like to completely encase the charms or trinkets OR at least make sure you coat the entire surface of the trinket with resin. As it settles and dries the image might stick up from the resin just a bit BUT there is still a coating of resin on the entire trinket.
You can get into trouble by not knowing where to allow your resin to go. If you don't cover the entire trinket with it, part of it will be shiny and the other part won't and might look different than you intended. This one was shallow enough AND the trinket was enclosed inside the bezel in a way that I could pour resin over the entire thing and just let the resin go where it wanted to. I hope that makes sense!
Next is an example of 3-d objects added BUT I was careful to only let the resin go up to the edges of the trinket AND NOT ON IT. Look at the photos below and we'll talk a bit about it afterwards!
For this piece I prepared the background as instructed in the above post I and II.
After I made sure the image was sealed with 2 coats of mod podge AND very dry I glued on the crown and the "royal" metal piece that I got from an antique typewriter!
When I poured the resin I was very careful to ONLY let the resin go up to the edges of the typewriter piece and the inside edge of the bezel. Notice that if I had let the resin encase the crown and or the typewriter piece it would have run over the sides. You just have to take each piece as it comes and let the design help you decide what to do! I use a toothpick to guide the resin where I want it to go AND be careful to only put very small amounts in as I go.
Layering is also so much fun and can give your piece even more of a 3-D look. Below is an example of layering:
For this ring I layered my trinkets and parts in between layers of resin!
I fitted the ring with my paper images as instructed in previous posts. Then carefully glued in some tiny watch parts and charms and let that dry. I mixed and poured my resin making sure to only fill the bezel about half full.
I let this dry completely and then glued more trinkets and then filled it up to the top encasing everything.
*******When you first begin it's probably best to let the entire piece dry first BEFORE you pour your 2nd coat of resin. HOWEVER after I got the hang of working with resin I ended up placing the 2nd layer of trinkets into the resin WHEN it was fairly hard BUT still sticky. It's tricky but if you're impatient like me you'll probably end up trying that!
The resin doesn't need to be COMPLETELY dry before you put in your 2nd coat but again...get the hang of it first and then experiment!
Well I think that's enough for today!
We'll talk more tomorrow about what to do when things go HORRIBLY WRONG!
Hope you enjoyed the (long) tutorial yesterday about working with resin!
Here's a little more info!
You can actually use items that have holes in them or are open backed. I'm sure there's a "right" way to do this BUT this is the way I do it and it seems to work.
If you're working with a paper image, mount your image on a piece of fairly heavy cardstock and trim it to the same size as your image. Then as you glue just leave this as your base so that you will have a fairly heavy backing.
******Note...if your image is warped after using mod podge on it just gently bend it back into shape. The mod podge makes it flexible and easy to straighten.
When everything is completely dry I mount my image inside whatever I'm using as a bezel and "tack" it in with a few beads of E-6000. Depending on the piece you might be able to mount it right into the bezel OR you might have to place it on the back side of whatever you're using if it has a lip on the back to mount to. You just have to sort of take each container as they come and be inventive!
The when that's fully dry I fill in any seams, cracks or holes in the back with E-6000 and let that dry. Sometimes it tries to seep thru and you want to make sure you keep the glue in the back only!
Then when you're SURE there aren't any openings in the back just make sure you give your image another good coat of mod podge paying special attention to the outside rim of your image where resin can seep through. (See yesterday's post for complete instructions for using resin)
If the back looks unsightly I just cut a piece to fit on the back from some pretty paper or vintage text and mod podge it on!
Below are a few different things I've used in this way.
Various brass findings
Antique military laundry pin
Vintage brass cabinet label
Wristwatch and pocket watch cases
You'll notice that some of the pieces have little charms or vintage items added. We'll talk more about how to do that tomorrow PLUS what to do when things go wrong!
Working with resin can be sooo much fun! The resin magnifies the image underneath it for a cool effect! Because this post is fairly long I'll intersperse some photos between sections but will put more at the end so I don't interrupt the lesson! (:
I am FAR from being an expert BUT I have learned a few things about working with resin which I'll share in the hopes that others will share their tips too! If you've found an easier or better way to do any of this PLEASE let me know!
I'll share the basics today and then tomorrow some variations etc!
You will need:
bezel (ring base, brooch base, bottlecap etc.)
2 part resin
plastic cups w/ measurements on the side
FLAT pan or FLAT container
foil or plastic work area
fingernail polish remover or acetone
matches or small blow torch
Today we'll just deal with one paper image on the bottom of your bezel, filled with resin.
First cut out your paper image, dry fitting it to make sure it fits perfectly into your bezel. Then using mod podge or another collage medium coat the inside of the bezel and the back side of the image. Watered down Elmer's glue works fine!
Place the image inside the bezel smoothing it with your fingers or a small paintbrush until it's flat. With your paintbrush clean up any beads of glue and after that's dry give it at least 2 coats more to make sure the image is sealed. If you don't make sure all the sides are sealed, the resin will seep in ruining the image. If you're using ink jet images just give the first coat a quick swipe or you will blur the image. the 2nd coat won't matter as much. It will look white but will dry clear.
You can add other things on top of your image....charms, jewels, watch parts etc. but I'll talk more about that tomorrow!
When the paper image inside your bezel is completely dry prepare your resin.
Someone told me that Rio Grande's resin is the exact same thing but I don't know...never tried it. If you have another brand don't worry.....they are all basically the same....Ice Resin is a just a little clearer.
I've also used the next two products with good success.
I work under a light that gets pretty warm because it helps the bubbles dissipate. It also helps if the bottles have been slightly warmed under warm water for a few minutes. Sometimes I forget this step so it's optional.
Wearing rubber gloves and using a cup with measurements on it, pour the EXACT same amount of each of the 2 compounds together. (ie one ounce of the first compound, then another ounce of the second compound making exactly 2 oz) Stir it gently with a popsicle stick....as gently as you can....sort of folding it....not whipping it up. The harder you whip it the more bubbles there will be. Set your timer for 2 minutes and make sure you scrape the sides and bottom to incorporate it all together.
I think it's always best to have several pieces to fill because it goes sooo much further than you think it will!
After mixing it for 2 minutes pour it into another CLEAN container and with a CLEAN popsicle stick gently stir it again for another 2 min. I haven't always done the 2nd mixing BUT if you don't mix it properly and there's some of either compound that isn't mixed it will ruin the whole batch. (I've never ruined a batch that way though...knock on wood!)
After the 2nd mixing leave it in it's container under a light or somewhere warm and leave it alone for 5 minutes. This will help the bubbles to dissipate on their own. Be sure to set your timer!
MAKE sure you have your pieces on a flat surface that you KNOW will not be disturbed for 24 hours OR a flat moveable container WHEN you pour because you will NOT want to move the pieces separately after you've filled them! Sometimes I use a sturdy piece of cardboard that I cover with foil or plastic.
************NOTE BEFORE YOU START MAKE SURE THAT YOUR PIECE IS ALSO LAYING FLAT! Sometimes I used popsicle stick or toothpicks to prop pieces up so they will be laying flat. Sometimes I nestle it onto an old towel or cloth that I don't care about...whatever works to keep the piece completely flat.
Have a layer (or 2) of foil under your pieces, (in the flat pan or flat moveable surface) then CAREFULLY pour the resin into your bezel. Sometimes I even use the popsicle stick and sort of "spoon it in". Especially if it's a tiny area. Some people use clean ketchup containers. If the area to fill is especially tiny OR I need to just put a tiny bit more in I use my toothpick and just put a "toothpick full" in. You might need to guide it into the crevices with your toothpick. Continue filling each piece until you are done. The resin dries so slowly that you can come back and put a bit more in if you wish.
Here's an example of earrings that only needed a couple of toothpicks full!
Now you need to get rid of the bubbles. There are several way to get rid of bubbles.
1) Some people who do a lot of pieces at one time use a small blow torch (the small kind chefs use for creme' brule) and just whisk the flame quickly over their pieces and the bubbles should pop. If they don't you can try and pop them with a toothpick but be careful not to let it run over.
2) You can also (not recommended but of course I don't pay any attention to that!) Take a big deep breath making sure your face is AWAY from the resin and then EXHALE on the piece. Most of the bubbles should leave. The problem with this method is that I always forget and take a big deep breath with my mouth right next to the resin because you usually have to do this several times.....DERRRR!!! Anyway DON'T DO THAT!
3) If you don't want to use a blow torch and you don't want to use your breath to get the bubbles out you can also try and light a match and hold it quickly over the piece and the bubbles should pop. (Sometimes a small black piece of match will fall in...you have plenty of time...just dig it out with a toothpick.)
*****It seems like whatever you do...there's always a few microscopic bubbles. After you've done all you can...don't worry about it!**********
After your pieces are exactly the way you want them, cover them with something making sure to leave them somewhere where no one will disturb them for 24 hours. If you've placed them on a flat pan or sturdy piece of cardboard covered with foil, move them carefully to another safe place. I use a plastic cake dome that I only use for this purpose and cover them to keep the dust off as they dry. Let them dry for 24 hours at least!
I hate to waste the cups with the measurements on them. They're made to be disposable but I still would not rather buy them again and again. I clean them out as best I can with paper towels and then wipe it clean with a cotton ball and acetone. (fingernail polish remover)
OK that's the basics! We'll talk about a lot more tomorrow so come back!~ In the meantime enjoy a few more photos!