Friday, February 26, 2016

About Water-slide Decals

Last fall I started working with water slide decals. I experimented with a garden sign and then went on to make some Christmas plates and candles.  I put it away for a while but started up again last week and  since then, I've made several minis that turned out really well, others that turned out so-so and still others that I was very disappointed with.

 I know that many of you have used decals for a long time so most of this you probably already know about, but first time users may find this helpful.

Decals worked great on painted wood and fairly good on plates.  But when you put decals on plates, you have to remember that you're putting a flat object, the decal, on an object that has a shape or contour to it, like a raised rim of a plate.  This will cause a little tuck at the edge of the plate.  I was able to work it out and think it folded back over onto itself.  If it did, I can't find the tuck anywhere.

Decals also worked very well on unpainted and un-sanded wood.  Here are the decals as they came off the computer and onto the decal paper. I will be putting these in my nautical shop.

And here's how they turned out on bare wood.  They were very faint but once on the wood, the grain showed through.  The blue one is questionable but over all I was happy.  Gave the appearance of rustic, worn wood.

While trying to make stained glass, the decals were very faint.  The second picture shows how it looked when put on clear plastic. I had to take picture on a blue background just so it would show up.

This next picture didn't turn out very well but I was able to fix this by gluing 2 layers of tissue paper behind it.  Looks a lot better "in person".

I was very disappointed with the candles. When I put a white poinsettia on a red and green candles, the decals disappeared.  Then I put a red poinsettia on a white candle and it turned out good. Until I find out what went wrong with the white poinsettias, it looks like I stick to red.

By the way,  I used Testors decal paper and bonder (I think the bonder is the same thing as a sealer or fixative but not sure.)  It does come as a kit but for some reason, I purchase the paper and bonder separately.

Now for a few tips.

I printed the pictures I wanted on a "hard copy" using regular computer paper and a  word processor. That allowed me to resize, copy, and delete.  I know full size decal paper is available but this particular paper only came in 8 1/2" wide and 5  1/2" long.  Only 1/2 of your hard copy will print.

 Reduce your margins.  My default setting for margins is 1".  I was able to change this temporarily to 1/2".  Saving that 1" allowed me to add one more print at the end of each row.

When you think it's dry, it probably not. Except for the wood, I was able to move the decals around nearly 10 minutes after I thought they were dry.

Well, I hope this post may have helped someone.  I still have a few things I want to experiment with
but for now, I'm going on to some other things.  Not done with decals yet, just taking a break. 

Before I go, I wanted to let you about 2 blogs I came across a few days ago and began following. Stop by and take a look.  I think you'll like what you see.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fairy Garden

Hello everyone! I hope all is well. Now that I'm back to minis after taking nearly a month off, all is well for me.

I was cleaning up my craft room a few days ago and came across a terrarium that I bought at a garage sale last fall. I decided it was about time to display all my fairy furniture that I have collected throughout the years.
The base is made out of wood and the acrylic panels are removable but the top is made out of a very heavy metal, almost like cast iron, It is painted a greenish color and highlighted in gold. 
        And these are the things I put in it.:


These next pictures aren't the best (we all know I'm not a very good photographer) but they will give you an idea on how things turned out.

I was very pleased with it and consider this project done.

And now, may I introduce you to Packie?  She is a mini Alpaca, my newest acquisition and only the second mini animal I have. She is about 3 1/2" tall, very close to scale and made out of alpaca fur.
When my sister came for Christmas this year, one of the places we visited was an  Alpaca Ranch.  They look like a small version of llamas but much cuter.  

This ranch is owned by a husband a wife team and they breed alpacas to sell and show.  We were allowed into the maternity ward that had 5 moms, 5 babies and 2 mothers-to be.                                                                                                                                                               

These alpacas didn't spit but would not allow themselves to be petted.  They have no natural defense against predators so whenever they see something ( like a friendly human hand) coming towards their head or neck, they jump away. But as you can see from the next photo, they like bright and shinny things like the zipper on my sister's purse and right in the mouth it goes.
Afterward we went into the gift shop and the woman gave me a demonstration on how she spun their hair into skeins and how she uses the fur for felting. All in all, a very fun trip.

So, what is everyone else working on?  Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you're up to.  As for myself, I will be working on my nautical shop.  This will probably take a long time because I'll have to make just about everything I want to put in it.

So til next time, take care!