Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sassy Smart Chokers

I have the two funnest designs to share with you.

These necklaces are going to be fun to wear this summer.

They feature artwork from Lisa's Altered Art, a favorite Etsy shop.

The John Bead Corp bezels are lined with rhinestone chain and filled with resin.
The chokers also feature Gutermann glass beads.

This post written, designed and photographed by Carmi Cimicata.
Please do not repost any part of it without permission.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Miniature Orange Upside Down Cake - With UV Resin

The cutest cake ever!  
Plus, I made this without stepping into the kitchen!

I have been sharing my happy discovery of 
L Bell Japanese resin kits while in Hawaii for work.  
You can read more about that in the original post.

These were the samples in the Ben Franklin Hawaii store 
that made me want to create a tiny bakery in my studio.

The kits are just as cute as the final project.

I won't show you all the steps.  I followed their instructions and made layer after layer of resin, taking 3-5 minutes between cures in the UV lamp.

I did learn something new.  I need to add less pigment if I want to see through the layers better.  Next time I will definitely make my colored resin more transparent.

This is better than actual baking!

I honestly wish I had all the kits to make all these miniature desserts.  
Sadly, my luggage was already loaded down.

I do have quite a few more projects to make though! 
Come back soon.

This post written, designed and photographed by Carmi Cimicata. 
Please do not repost any part of it without permission.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Trends We Noticed - May 2017

This is our monthly update to our extended Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) family; a more focused lens directed on what is topical and trending.

Each month I ask a group made up of designers, educators, authors and others to share their observations of trends that relate to our industry. I assemble the content and share it via my blog and through the CHA membership email.    

Here are our latest observations:

“I continue to notice lots of unusual patterns being placed side by side to create even more unusual patterns.  Yellow and green is being shown together. The fall will see the return of the cheetah and big cat pattern, but in smaller shapes that just highlight solid colours. I also see a movement to bring back iconic superhero clothes.  Expect to see lots of corsets influenced by the Wonder Woman franchise along with bigger metal bracelets.  Fashion is still deconstructing the classic shirt and jacket.  Haute couture collars that begin as outrageous wings of fabric will settle down into slightly bigger shapes for the mainstream buyer.”
Carmi Cimicata
Social Media Manager for John Bead Corp. and

“Big jewelry, especially flashy earrings.  I'm seeing this on all age ranges of women, regardless of hairstyles or what they are wearing.  It seems that bold is in!”
Katherine Swift
Owner, Resin Obsession, LLC

“Denim is huge right now in the fashion world and embroidery has been trending over the past year so now we're seeing the two combined on clothing and accessories. Shops are featuring embroidered denim on the sleeves and collars of jackets and especially on jeans. It's a beautiful embellished look that you can achieve if you do it yourself.”
Kelly Panacci
Art Licensor and Founder of Kelly Panacci Inc.

“We are seeing jungle animals everywhere! African Safari themes also remain popular and so fun with strong geometric patterns in everything from clothing, to housewares, to crafting supplies. Bold jewel tone colors are also still strong, and they always come into their own in Summer.”
Laura J Weed
Graphics, Social Media & Website Coordinator

"Succulents, the trend continues with no signs of slowing, from paper to felt to jewelry and absolutely stunning cakes. Greens of every shade make it into the succulent palette and a variety of sizes from those used in terrariums to large party decor! "
Debra Quartermain
Design & Social Media
2017 Chair AFCI Designer Section

“Anything unicorn is creating even more magic this year in craft, party, fashion and home design. From Narwhals to uni anything, it's huge right now. Let's not forget the boho vibes of llamas, elephants and giraffes.
Boho is back with more bold tassels and pom poms, which are gracing the home and fashion scene. Pillows, purses, shoes, it's on everything.
Finally don't forget the sassy and sweet cactus. This prickly icon has a strong presence at several shows this year and is making its round across the web.”
Lisa Kettell
Chief Designer for LK Designs

"Tea bag art!!!"
Here are some of my favorites:

Roberta Birbaum
President, AFCI Canada
Artist/Instructor/Dealer at Powertex  
Owner/Founder at Decorables

Sunday, May 21, 2017

L Bell UV Resin Swan Kit

I don't believe I have ever completed a resin project like this in under an hour.
In fact, it might have only taken 30 minutes.  I spent twice as long typing up this blog post!

This beautiful swan is ready to wear (almost instantly) because I used UV resin.

In my last post I told you about the L Bell Japanese resin department I visited in the Ben Franklin store in Honolulu, Hawaii.  I purchased several resin kits and today was my first chance to play with this new material.  

The instructions are in both Japanese and English.

Everything is so beautifully packaged in the most adorable plastic envelopes and even a reusable jar for the dried flowers.

They have even printed onto clear film words and images you can cut and place.

The resin is a UV resin.  
This means you need a UV lamp if you are in a hurry or sunshine (if you can stand the waiting) to cure your peice.  Cure time for this resin in a UV lamp is 3-5 minutes.  
Sunshine can take up to 30 minutes.

Naturally, I have a UV lamp!

Step One: Add some resin to the swan mold.  I filled my mold half way with resin.
You have to remember that the bottom of the mold will become the top, so you are working backwards. 

Step Two: I placed my flowers and inclusions into the resin gently.

Step Three:  I shook some glitter over everything.

Step Four:  Place this half filled mold into your UV lamp for 3-5 minutes.

Step Five:  When the first resin pour is cured you can trim away part of the dried flower.  
They are sticking out higher than my mold so I cut them back.

Step Six:  Add another pour of resin to fill the mold to the rim.  Place in UV lamp for 3-5 minutes.

Step Seven:  Carefully demold your swan.  I did notice a few areas were a little sticky.  More than likely the lamp did not have the time to get right to the bottom.  Not an issue because I added a glazing layer to the top of my piece.  By that I mean I brushed an even layer of fresh resin over the entire surface.

Step Eight:  Cover the surface of your new resin swan with a glaze layer of UK resin.  
Place swan back into UV lamp for final cure.

You can't really take a great picture of a UV lamp in operation.  
Here is my swan with the final glaze layer curing.

Step Nine:  Decide how you want to use the swan.  The kit comes with a screw eye and key chain, but I am not sure yet how I want to wear it, so I'll leave that step until I am ready to use it.

This was a fabulous project.

The only thing I am worried about is that I only bought one bottle of the UV resin....and I am pretty sure I am going to need a gallon.

This post written, designed and photographed by Carmi Cimicata. 
Please do not repost any part of it without permission.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

L Bell Japanese Resin

While on a trip for work I had the great luck to visit a Ben Franklin store in Hawaii that had an entire section dedicated to resin from Japan.

I have seen some of these kits online in Etsy stores but have never seen everything all at once.

L Bell has several types of resin.  They have the classic crystal clear resin that takes 24-48 hours to cure and they also have a very popular UV resin.

Their molds are classically cute!

What I loved about the department was all the finished samples on display.

They also have numerous colorants.

The combination of colour, resin and inclusions is positively delightful.

They have a fantastic collection of kits.

If you see something you like, there is probably a kit available to make it.

These were some of my favorites.

Key chains or pendants...they are so adorable.

L Bell has created many unique projects.

Their inclusions are just the right size for resin work.

Isn't this a great gift idea?

More ideas than you could ever believe.

There is no way you can scroll through this post 
without being inspired.

It was truly one of my best resin explorations.

I love it all.

I did come home with quite a few keepsakes!  
This is a limited edition set of molds.

I am also looking forward to working in a few of these adorable frames.

Bezels I have, but some of the small ones were just perfect for these projects.

The jewelry ideas are gorgeous.

Flowers are a staple in these samples.

It was worth the trip to Hawaii to have shopped here!

This post written, designed and photographed by Carmi Cimicata. 
Please do not repost any part of it without permission.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ceramic Bezels with a USArtQuest Prills Frame!

Work has kept me away from my resin table.

I am so happy to have completed a unique new project to share with you.

These ceramic pieces have a frame made out of a new product!

My project began when I received this super collection from USArtQuest.
I have been using their products for over a decade.

What caught my attention was a new collection they named Prills.
"Prills are natural, non-toxic hole-less beads. Use Prills for all arts and crafts, Hot Melt Craft, Mosaic Work, Jewelry Making, Resin Accents and textural additions for all type so paint and pastes.  Adhere Prills with any clear drying adhesive or tape.  They provide interesting effects and inclusions for paper arts, as holiday and all occasion embellishments, and for accents in snow, and for vintage-look projects."

I have been trying to figure out what to do with these odd, shallow ceramic frames for a few weeks.
I picked them up at an antique market and knew I would pour resin into them.  But I wanted to do more.  I decided to pull out some paper and tissue imagery and glued them into the shallow opening.

One of my bezels I just added a dried leave to.
Then I matched my imagery with Prills from the Rock and Roll collection.

A line of glue around the edge was what I started with.

Then I dumped in a whole pile of Prills.

Happily, they only clung to the glue and created these unique new frame edges.
The excess Prills I just dumped back into the tray.
I took a little time with a toothpick to move around any beads that might have stuck to a spot I didn't want them to.

I am working in a plastic tray that has a closable mouth.  I can pour all the excess beads back into the jar quickly.  I have had the tray for years, so I can not recall who I purchased it from.

When my Prills frames were dry I was ready to pour in the resin.
Before I did however, I decided to add a tiny blue pearl necklace to my Madonna
by picking up individual blue Prills and gluing them in place.
I used Resin Obsession Super Clear Resin to fill my bezels and to create my glassy finish.

My resin cured beautifully and because it seeped into the Prills frame they are now permanently adhered into place.

All USArtQuest products.

This post written, designed and photographed by Carmi Cimicata. 
Please do not repost any part of it without permission.