Monday, 30 May 2011

Tieta Loves Cheese - A Tutorial on Magnets

My Tieta Carme loves her cheese.  Tieta, is Catalan for an auntie, a familiar form derived from the word 'tia' (aunt), connoting that she is someone that you are quite close to.   I am.

It was always a family ritual that when any one of us went away somewhere far from home we would bring back a souvenir for everyone, and she got either cheese or make up, but usually cheese.  Even when I was quite small and used to come to London as an unaccompanied minor with my red Iberia bib bag with all my worldly paperwork stuffed into it, I remember going back with a selection of British cheeses for her...   In those days when I was the souvenir recipient I was much keener to get the odd airport toy or sheet of stickers myself, but now I have moved to the cheese side, and I totally get her.  

I recently discovered that there's a universe full of people out there who collect vintage French or Swiss cheese labels for fun.  Well I jumped onto that bandwagon sooner than you can say reblochon, and found a wonderful seller of quirky graphics, Harmonica Godlfish who had just the images I had in mind. Do check out the shop - it is pretty magical. 

So in honour of my favourite tieta, I made some cheese label magnets to adorn her fridge.

Resizing the images to fit the 25mm trays was a bit of a technical pain in the proverbial, but we got there.  I printed out a sheet full, and cut them to size using a craft punch.  Then I coated the images with a bit of hairspray (here Sainsbury's value range, cheap as chips).  They were laser prints on good thick paper and I was going to be using epoxy resin stickers, so not crazily worried about the inks running here, but still.  One precaution won't hurt.

When dry, I glued the self adhesive epoxy stickers over the top of the images.

I had already cut the images and centering the sticker correctly was nowhere as difficult as I'd envisaged (normally I stick first and then cut the image around the sticker).

Then I ModPodged some blank cabochon settings, and popped the domed images into those, wiping away any excess out of the sides.

Inspect your work.  Be pleased at how pretty it turns out.  My fingers were stained from a previous project, I do normally wash my hands but that black paint proved a nightmare to clean.  Thank the world of science for surgical spirit which removed most of the mess!

I have recently come across some fantastic self-adhesive neodymium magnets, which means they are very strong, but they come with an equally strong sticker that you just peel off and attach to wherever you need.  They will be in the shop shortly. 

And they went onto the backs with a pretty neat finish (unlike every other time I have used glue and made a humongous mess of the backs)

I like the way they click together...

Hey, I'm easily amused.  Even now I can still have great fun with a magnet, much like my five year old does.

Magnets are finished.  I love these so much, I'm going to make a set for myself.  And maybe for all my cheese loving friends, and perhaps for an ex-boss I am still in touch with, whom we used to call 'le grand fromage'.  Apt, methinks. 

But these, these are for tieta.  x


  1. Hello! I am the shop keeper for Harmonica Goldfish and I LOVE what you have done with the cheese labels! I, too, am an avid collector of these and many other tid-bits! (Like vintage milk bottle caps - have you worked with those yet?).

    Thanks for the recommending my shop - you're lovely:)

  2. Hi there, I know you posted this YEARS ago, but I just have to ask about using hairspray to seal your images - I've not heard of this before as I'm pretty new to this (although I have now Googled it), but I was wondering - does the hairspray yellow with time? I have finally managed to ModPodge without smearing my image (ink from a typewriter in this case) but I always always always get tiny dust flecks drying into the MP layer. So frustrating! Do you think hairspray might be my solution? Thanks!

    1. Hi Sheila - difficult to say, I'm afraid, as there are too many variables in using hairspray. The pieces we made still look great, and we know of a number of resin artists who use hairspray as a sealer, however we prefer using ModPodge in that it gives a more solid seal. There are also more specific spray sealers available in art & craft shops that may be more appropriate for your purposes. Or switching tack somehow, would you consider changing the inks instead of the sealant? if you copy the same images on a laser printer you will probably find that the inks no longer run. Hope this helps!


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