Heat Embossing Workshop

I always love learning new skills, and one I have always wanted to give a try is heat embossing. I signed up for this workshop literally as soon as it was released in the workshop booklet, I was just so excited to do it!

To start the workshop, Katie talked through different the different products she had, and the different samples she had made and how they were done.

We started by simply giving heat embossing a go. We started by using a watermark stamp, then using coloured emboss powder over it and heating it up with a heat gun. The two owls didn’t turn out too well, but they were only my first go so I didn’t exactly know what I was doing. We then used coloured pigment stamp ink then a clear emboss powder over the top. This meant that the colour of the stamp would shine through and make the embossing looked coloured.

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After that, we gave the coloured ink and clear embossing a go. However, this time we used watercolour over the top of them. I used my favourite pens for this, ecoline pens. Because the embossing created a cover over the ink, the watercolour just washed over it and creates a nice background.

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Katie then showed us an even cooler technique. We used a black dye stamp pad to stamp a design down, then we used alcohol based markers, like promarkers or copics, to colour in the design. We then used an embossing pen over the top and sprinkled clear embossing powder over to cover it. I loved this technique and loved using the ecolines over the top to create lots of colour.

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After we had learned all the differnt techniques, we had a go at creating cards and embellishing them with our embossing ideas. I started out a bit slow, but once I finished my first I started to get into it a bit more. My favourite is the crown card, I used my favourite technique on this one and it came out really well.

I loved this workshop, and definitly bought lots of bits from work to give it a go at home.

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Mixed Media Sculpture Workshop

On Friday, I went on a sculpture workshop at work run by Lois Cordelia. I had singed up for this workshop ages ago, literally right after she did her first one at work. I saw what the students were doing last time and how much fun they were having and just thought about how much I would love to do it!

To start off, Lois talked through all her sculptures she had brought with her, and how she had made them. She also taked through the different bits and bots she had with her they she puts in her sculptures.

To start, we each had a pack of wire that’s to be used as the base of our models. This wire was super flexible so was perfect to make kinds of shapes. Lois suggested that we start trying to make a stick man. Here are the start of the legs on my stick man.

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I continued with the rest of the wire until I got my little man. It was suggested to twist the wire to make it stronger, so I wrapped the wire all around the model to keep its shape. The second picture is my finished stick man.

As I finished my stick man early, I started on another model. I thought I would try and go for something different so I tried to make a mermaid. I found it a little tricky to get the tail shape right, but I just tried to experiment and see what I liked. I liked this shape because looked like she was sitting down.

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After both the models were done, I moved on to creating a hook for the back of my stickman. I used a pipecleaner to wrap it around the body and create a loop at the back so she could be hung up.

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I then moved onto the mod rock part of it. We cut up lots of strips of the plaster then had a tub of what to dip the plaster in, then wrapped in around the wire to get the desired shape. My original idea of this model was going to be a girl ina dress. However, the more I worked on this one, the more the idea changed. After I covered the whole of it in plaster, I started to make a skirt shape out of tin foil. I used shorter pieces of tin foil, then made it longer the more it was reinforced. I wanted the skirt to stand out so tin foil then plaster over the top was the best to use.

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I let my stickman dry and moved onto my mermaid. I did the same thing as the stickman and started to build up the plaster to get the shape I wanted. I wanted to give this one more of a rough texture so I added in some pipecleaners and some pompoms. I wrapped some more plaster over some of the pipecleaners and pompoms to make it look like bits are growing on her. I then started to add in some paint with the plaster. I liked how Lois did this because gives it a more natural look.

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I moved back onto the stickman again. I reinforced the skirt again, then realised that it would look perfect with some wings. I twisted some pipecleaners together then plastered them onto the back. I loved these wings and thought they made my model look like a fairy. This is how I had to leave her because I had to leave her as we ran out of time.

 

September Product of the Month – Fimo Clay

For my September PotM, I decided to do Fimo. I did a workshop on fimo at the end of august, so fimo was fresh on my mind at the time. As my workshop was all about making fuit canes, I thought this could be my example was the board. I had to think of a way of displaying the fruits so they could be on show, and came up with the idea to stick them on drawing pins, that way they have a use too! However, I did get carried away and make way too many pins because they are so much fun to make.

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Fimo Fruit How-to

For my fimo workshop, I made a print out on how to make fruit canes. As They thought it was quite helpful, I post it here incase anyone else wants to give it a go.

  1. Start by selecting colours for your fruit –
  2. For the oranges I used: tangerine, translucent orange, and white. For the limes I used: apple green, green lime, and white.

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2. Choose the lighter orange colour for the orange segments. Roll it out into a circle shape.

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3. Roll out a thin piece of white fimo.

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4. Cut the circle shape in half, being carefully not to lose the shape of the circle too much.

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5. Place the flat edge of the orange segment onto  the white, cut round the white to fit the shape of the orange piece. Do the same with the other orange segment.

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6. After both pieces have been done, cut the segments in half again and repeat step 5 with the white fimo.

7. Repeat step 4 and half again until you have 8 segments with white surrounding all but the outer edge.

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8. Push all the segments together to create the orange shape.

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9. Roll out another long piece of white fimo.

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10. Place the orange on its side and roll it up over the white fimo, cut it to fit at the same time.

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11. Keep doing this until the whole outer edge is surrounded by white fimo.

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12. Roll out a long strip of the colour of the outer edge of the fruit.

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13. Do the same as the white fimo in step 10, and roll up the fimo to fit the outer edge of the fruit.

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14. Now your fimo is starting to look like a fruit!

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15. Start to roll out your fruit into a cane. Start out  very slow and gentle to get in into the right shape. Don’t worry about the ends of the fruit as they will be cut off.

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16. Keep rolling out the cane to make it longer and smaller.

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  17. Once your happy with the size, carefully cut it in half to see your end result. when cutting, do it very slowly, and roll the cane at the same time of cutting it to make sure it doesn’t lose it’s shape too much.

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18. And you now have your fruit cane ready to be cut! The best way to cut the cane is to bake it in the oven first, then cut it when it comes out to have the perfect fruit shape.

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Cutting and Baking

19. You can either cut your fruit before you bake it, then bake it in lots of little slices. Or you can bake the bake the cane as it is, then cut it up afterwards.

20. If cutting before you bake, you need to harden up the cane to make sure you don’t squish it or lose it’s shape. I put mine in the fridge for a little bit for it to harden up, then I cut it into slices ready for the oven.

21. Put it in the oven at 110 degrees and for 30  minutes for it to harden up nicely.

22. When I bake mine, I covered up the clay with clingfilm, to protect the clay from the heat. I also made a little zigzag tray to put canes in so that they would keep their shape when baking.

Fimo Fruit Workshop

On Wednesday, I held a workshop to at Tindalls on how to make fimo fruit canes. I used to make canes when I was younger, but I haven’t done it in years so I had to have a little practice on how to do it.

To prepare for the workshop, I made a little selection of fruits to show in the workshop. I also picked out a nice range of fimo colours for the workshop, I thought that if people wanted to make proper fruit then they could, or they could use whatever colours they want.

To start, I demonstrated how to make a fruit cane, and the students followed along with me. I also made a how-to sheet so if they got lost they could read it, or they could take it at the end of the workshop so they can make them at home. We started by making a simple fruit cane, so they could get the idea of how to do it. Then once they got the hang of it, they could experiment with colours and pattens to make what they like. The first cane started out slow, but it was just because they were just getting the hang of it. The hardest part was probably the rolling and cutting. It takes a bit of practice to work out how to get the rolling motion, but everyone did really well and ended up with some really good fimo pieces.

So my fimo fruits, I started by making a blood orange style fruit. I did a pink and yellow inside then a red rind. And for my second cane, I wanted to experiment with something different. I did an alternating yellow and orange segments, a green inside seperating them, and a red rind again. I was really happy with the bright colours of these and couldn’t wait to bake them. I also put some of these on some drawing pins so I can use them like the other fruits.

 

Mixed Media Sewing Workshop

On Wednesday, I ran a workshop on sewing. However, it wasn’t a typical sewing workshop, it was using watercolour paper instead of fabric. As this is a art shop rather than a sewing shop I thought this would bring in the products in the shop more.

I started by collecting all kinds of bits and pieces that could be used in the workshop. For the background of the pieces I like to use watercolour pens. My favourite being the ecoline pens. I think they make really nice backgrounds because they blend really well with water and I feel they are a lot less effort than watercolour paints. I also picked out a wide range of embroidery threads to used for the sewing. I chose I wide range of colours so people were waiting around if someone had the colour they want. I then picked out a range of embellishments, like buttons, ribbon, and felt.

The workshop was more of a playabout, rather than teaching, so everyone got on a had a go at making their own sewing pieces.

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In the end, everyone came out with a completely different pieces, each in their own style.

 

Iris Folding Workshop

On Wednesday, I held a little workshop on iris folding. I have known this craft for a long time and realised that people probably don’t know about it or what it is, so I thought it would be a good idea to run a workshop in it. It’s super easy to make once you get the hang of it so I thought it would be perfect for people to learn on a workshop.

To start the workshop, I talked through the process of iris folding. I showed the different cards and templates that I had, and I let them choose a few of their own to start. I also got out my own examples to show them what they could look like. The pastel flower one was made for my summer workshops board for the store, and the ice cream was from my product of the month for patterned papers.

The workshop started out a little slow, while people were getting the hang of what to do and how to get the end result. I think the trickiest bit is starting it off, because you have to work out what colours you want where and how they start off. You also can’t see what it looks like until it’s finished because the template covers it, but it feels like a big reveal at the end after it’s finished then.

The day before I had cut out loads of iris folding strips in all different colours to use in the workshop. However, when we got half way through we ran out and I had to cut a load more out. The good thing is I know that if I run another workshop in iris folding, that I need to cut out more paper than I ever thought I would need.

I was really impressed with the end results and was really happy that everyone enjoyed it and each got to take a handmade card home. I also photocopied a selection of templates so they could take some home, and hopefully continue on the hobby.

I even got a little bit of time to make my own one with whatever colours I could get my hands on.

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