Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Playing Catch-up

I go bookmaking classes every Monday evening , local to where I live. It's run by a really nice lady from New Zealand, Annalise. She has 15 years experience in making and binding books and is one talented lady. She teaches from home and the atmosphere and environment is relaxed and friendly. It's a small group with just 5 of us ladies attending - my sis-in-law - Uzma, 2 of my friends - Amanda & Lyn and another lady whom we've become friends with through this class - Terry. Well, on the drive to class this Monday evening I noticed the most glorious sunset and being the habitual photographer that I am, I just had to capture it. Really I could've bathed in the spectacular beauty of it all. Nothing moves me more than a glorious sunset and the serenity of a full moon.

Each week we make a different style of book (sometimes a particular book has a lengthier method of making and so spreads over 2wks). This week we tackled an A5 size book with cardboard cover and 8 signatures inside, with pages of plain white paper. The binding was a longstitch/chain stitch binding, whereby the pages are secured together by a running chain stitch at the top and bottom and in between there are 2 rows of double long stitch. I used a variegated thread to make the stitch more visible and effective.

Later that night when I was admiring my handiwork (big head that I am!) - I realized that it was too plain for my liking so I jazzed it up a little - well a lot really! I had this picture of a mermaid on a greeting card sent to me by my good friend Chantal and I thought it would look right at home on the cover of this book, so I laid it on some purple and white angel hair and then heated that onto some blue iridescent paper and stuck that to the cover. I then peeled off some vellum script and positioned that on top and finally embellished some plastic iridescent shells on the four corners of the picture. The end result was very pleasing if I say so myself! :-D (well to me anyway!)


Yesterday I met up with a few of my mosaic buddies (Amanda, Lyn, Cathy and Sharon) at Cathy's home and we had a day of camaraderie and crafting - is there any other better day! We were having a resin casting day, whereby we put tiny objects into greased moulds and then poured acrylic resin into it to set. But that's all in a nutshell - allow me to elaborate..........

Cathy and Sharon had had experince of doing this before so we had enough help and guidance on hand. Also just to add, whenever we have these kinda days we all bring some food to the table to share - which just adds to the camaraderie of the day. So, step one was deciding upon the moulds we'd use (that in itself is a laborious process but fun nonetheless). Amanda is a hoarder of very useful stuff and over the years had amassed a huge collection of packaging from cakes, biscuits, chocolates, fruit and other foodstuffs and it was these plastic innards of the contents that were going to be particularly useful to us.

We'd also come prepared with what I can only describe as a veritable feast of "bits" - little scraps, beads, shards, shells, lichen, dead insects, dried flowers, sequins, glass, mesh, string, paper, metal... infact anything that cold be embedded into resin and would fit into these moulds. Cathy, like the "hostess with the mostess" that she is, had displayed a selection of all the little resin pieces she'd made before, for us to see and to get an idea of what certain mould shapes would produce and the effects you'd get using different types of material - so that really inspired us and got our creative juices flowing.

After deciding upon the moulds we were going to use and greasing them liberaly with liquid vaseline (to stop the acrylic resin from sticking permanently to the moulds), we then began the fun bit of choosing from the huge array of goodies set out before us that we were going to put into our moulds. This is the bit where you can go as wild as you want - but aahh... therein lies the danger, as sometimes, the "less is more" approach gives better results . But, as "Yours Truly" doesn't know the meaning of "less" and is by quite extremes "more" I'll just leave it to your imagination as to what I filled my moulds with! :-D
Well, the above pic shows you exactly what I put in there but the end result will be blingier - believe me! Filling the moulds with all the lovely lovely bits took quite a while and Lyn, being the perfectionist that she is, was "talking her way through it" like she often does when she gets deeply absorbed in a project - it's very endearing to hear her - "Was this too much?" "did this go with that?" "does this look right?" "does my bum look big in this?" - no, no, she didn't really say that, I just couldn't resist throwing that last remark in:-D. Anyway she managed to fill all her moulds in the end. Amanda nearly died of shock as she was concentrating so hard on what she was doing and Cathy's cat George put his paw through the window and swiped playfully at Amanda's neck - she jumped and screamed with fright and we all burst out laughing when we realised what had happened.

By now it was time for lunch and we'd really worked up an appetite and Cathy had laid everything out so nicely on the table. There were quiches, salad, aubergine pasta, coleslaw and yummy choices for dessert. After that gastronomical delight we were ready and full of energy for the final stage in our resin casting.

The resin was a two part mix and had to be mixed together according to the ratio on the box and we had to wear gloves as the stuff is so incredibly sticky. Once the resin was ready we carefully poured a little into each of our moulds, just enough to cover the tops of the all the things inside. We had to be very careful at this stage as sometimes certain items in the mould would float to the top and we had to prod them back down again. That was it. After this all we had to do was wait 24hrs for it to set completely and then pop them out of the moulds to see the end result.

Well, since I have to wait for my resin pieces to dry so do the rest of you. I'll display my results for you all here in my next posting - so stay tuned folks!

4 comments: said...

Hi Lubna!! Oh, youa re up to so much true goooodnessss!!! And that sunset!! And making fun things... Perfection!! I am so glad I stopped in! ;)

Lubna said...

Hi Vanessa
Thank you for dropping in. I'm glad you liked what you saw and I hope you'll drop by often. Your kind comments are much appreciated!
Lubna :-D

Maureen said...

What a wonderful day you must have had with your resin casting - maureen x

Lubna said...

Hi Maureen
Yes I had a great day and it was so enjoyable. I realise I haven't posted a pic of the finished result but I will do that shortly.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, I really appreciate it :-D