Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Playing With Clip Art

Filed under: Beading - Confessions of a Chantraphile — folkcat at 5:38 pm on Monday, November 28, 2005

For starters, I’m pleased to say that I finally got the 1″ punch I needed to make creating the circles to insert in the bottle cap charms easier. Hooray!


1″ Paper Punch – Massive Time Saver

Before picking this up, I was spending a lot of time with a circle template, an extra-fine point Sharpie, and a pair of scissors. I’d place the 1″ hole in the template over the magazine or catalog image I wanted, trace it with the Sharpie, then use scissors to cut out the circles as carefully as I could.

Talk about slow. Even if I did it assembly-line fashion – go through the stack of magazines, mark all the circles I wanted, then go through all the stacks and cut everything out – it’s a tedious, fussy, pathetic process.

Now that I have the 1″ punch (purchased at A. C. Moore with a significant coupon), I feel less compelled to have all my possible circles pre-cut. It’s so much easier now to punch out the image I want at the time I’m making the charms that I’m likely to just keep the stack of mags and catalogs stored for when I’m ready to work, then punch as I go.

Experiments with Scrounged Components and Glossy Accents

I wrote a short while ago about how the Craft Goddesses divvied up some decorative “bead” curtains from Target to use as scrounged beading components. The plastic pieces were all molded directly onto the hanging strings, making them not really “beads”. Still, we Goddesses saw potential.

My first experiment is with one of the larger plastic rings. I kept them with the string passing through the hole in the middle, not knowing what I might do with them.

I started by taking some of the clip-art that CG Judith gave us for our bottle cap charms, specifically a little brown moth. I chose these moths because they were completely symmetrical – if I placed them back to back, they’d match perfectly. I cut out two of them, and used the Glossy Accents clear adhesive and glaze to coat each little moth out to the edges of the design.

Cut-Out Moths with Glossy Accents Coating

Glossy, Domed Moths

The Glossy Accents gave the moths a clear, raised coating. It did curl the wings a bit, but these can be gently bent into place before the product completely cures. Just don’t stick your fingers in the wet adhesive, you’ll leave a mark you can’t get out.

Paper Moth Glued Onto String

Moth Glued Onto String in Component

I glued the two moths together, sandwiching the string in the middle of the plastic ring along the length of their bodies. I used the same Glossy Accents as the adhesive that I had used to coat the wings.

Paper Moth Pivots on String

Pivoting Moths

As you can see, the little moth will pivot on the string. The string is taut, and the moth doesn’t really swing free, but it can move.

I went into this experiment with no plans for how to use this piece. The full intent was to try this particular technique and see what happened. Now that I’ve got it, I could consider using this as a focal point on a necklace, with loops of beads attaching to either side of the ring above the moths. Or I could add beads to the ring to accent the whole thing, and hang it as an ornament.

No telling what I’ll do with it, really. It may even just live in my samples drawer to remind me of what’s possible.

Coming Soon

I’m starting to think of making a bottle-cap charms bracelet with a Christmas theme. I’ve got plenty of images from the catalogs already, and I have un-used bottle caps in Christmas-y green and gold already. For a red accent, I’m eyeing my empty prescription bottles from the Target Pharmacy – they’re a lovely, seasonal, transparent red. And I’ve got some metallic-finish glass beads in crayon-bright colors that would make great dangles.

Of course, you’ll see pictures when I have some to show!

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