Friday, 24 June 2011

Fluxe vs Amazing Glaze, a Comparison Guest Blog

Seeing as my list of things to do just keeps growing, I thought I should hand over a review of Fluxe and Amazing Glaze to the uber-crafty Vicky from Tynemouth Collectables, she's always trying out new products and methods so I thought I would ask her if she would do this for me - luckily she agreed, and these are her findings.  Thank you so much, Vicky!!

Judikins Fluxe vs Amazing Glaze – Get Set to be A-Glazed!

When asked if I would be guest blogger for Jasmin I was quite flattered and more than keen to help her work out the difference between Judikins Fluxe Enamelling Resin and their Amazing Glaze Embossing Glaze. By all intents and purposes, when researching the two on the good ole internet it is very hard to differentiate between them.

OK, Amazing Glaze is designed to be used with embossing powders and the likes for making a glaze on all sorts of paper and card surfaces – ideal for cardmakers and scrapbookers alike.

Fluxe is described as an “enamelling” resin and can be used on a wide variety of surfaces including metal and glass. I therefore would have expected Fluxe to appeal more to my uses in making jewellery and filling small metal trays or pateras. So I was surprised to find in one of the “projects” featured on Judikins website, they were filling their trays with Amazing Glaze? Hmm…the confusion abounds!! I had no choice but to do a test and compare results!! 

Firstly I drew a 1” circle around two images that I was going to use and cut them out, making sure I removed the part with the pen line. I then lined the inside of the tray with Mod Podge, placed each disc of paper on top, gently pressed it down to remove any bubbles and smooth the paper.

I then gave it a second coating of Mod Podge. This both glues the paper in place and seals the paper to prevent any of the inks from running. After leaving the trays to dry, I lined them up and put a small amount of an old embossing powder I had, to add some sparkle and put along side it a small heart shaped charm so that I could play with how easy it is to move items around and to add an extra dimension to the pendants. I dipped the tray in to the pot of Amazing Glaze, levelled it flat and then filled the second tray with the Fluxe. 

Having two small dogs and a flight of stairs to contend with when carrying these trays from my crafting area to our grill/oven, I decided health and safety was more important and set to work with my heat gun. (Please be aware, if you pile the powder high, a heat gun will blow the top layer of glaze across your table!) 

Both powders melt in the same way and have the appearance of melting sugar. As the top layer melts, it rolls away to the sides, exposing the powder underneath until all has been melted. When the glaze is still soft, you can move around any little charms or embellishments you used until you are happy.

I used a pair of bent nose pliers, but a pair of tweezers would do the same job. Be Careful not to touch the pendant with your fingers as it will still be very hot. I had to refill the trays an extra three times to fill the tray to the top, so this is brilliant to give you the opportunity to add different embellishments in different layers. Should your tweezers get stuck in the resin, or if your charm or embellishment gets stuck in the wrong position, you can reheat the resin until soft and move the item accordingly.

Leave your pendant to cool for a few minutes and Hey Presto! You have your perfectly set, hardened, ready to wear pendant! Attach a necklace and away you go!

But that still hasn’t answered my question about the main difference between the two? It’s tough. They have the same consistency, they melt the same and they set the same. Initially they look the same so in all honesty, I don’t see a whole lot of difference. The picture below shows the two trays side by side. The one on the right is made using Amazing Glaze, the one on the left with Fluxe. I find that the Amazing Glaze has perhaps a slightly clearer appearance to the Fluxe.

Amazing Glaze is a bit more forgiving when wiping off any melted glaze from the tray, whereas the Fluxe was a lot more stubborn. I left both trays overnight before writing this post and have discovered that the Amazing Glaze seems to have turned slightly darker.

Compare the two again below, sitting atop the original paper. The Amazing Glaze is somewhat darker than the Fluxe.  

All in all, both glazes are easy to use, non-toxic and suitable for anyone able to use a heat gun.  They can both be melted at 130oC in a toaster oven – though I have not tried this so cannot advise, but I hear that you don’t get the problem of the powder blowing away then.

The glazes will be perfect for those projects that I want to look a bit more weathered, maybe using an antiqued vintage setting, so I think I will definitely be playing some more with the glazes.  Which is better?  It all depends on your needs and what effect you wish to gain.

Happy experimenting!   

New in the Shop! The Jasmin Studio Crafts Grab Bag

This week we welcome the arrival of the Jasmin Studio Crafts Grab Bag.  This product has been in the pipeline for a little while now - partly because of my mission to get the whole world to give jewellery-making a go, but also because of an innate need to try to make the craft more affordable.

I am only too aware of the mounting costs of starting out in making jewellery...   there are findings, tools, pretty beads...  And if you want to sell your jewellery, there are even more costs involved in packaging, insurance, website…  The list goes on.  

And let's not forget the fact that this is one of the most addictive crafts you can devote your hard earned money to, so in all likelihood your wish list keeps growing and growing...   Experience talking here.

So hopefully this is where this little grab bag will come in useful as it offers great value for any intrepid jewellery maker who likes a surprise.  There will be findings, trays, charms, glass, necklaces and various other bits included – however this is a surprise bag so you just don’t know what you’re going to get!  The only things that won’t be included are glues, glazes and sealants, but outside of that, you will receive several fabulous things!

There should be enough materials in one bag to be able to make at least 10 projects, though some may need additional findings (such as jump rings or clasps) to complete them, and some will probably need a bit of lateral thinking – we will grab a handful of glass from a mixed bucket so it might or might not fit the pendant trays you will get!  Told you it was going to be a surprise!

I hope this will inspire you to try out new methods in your jewellery making.  So you have a tray but no glass?  Consider using resins, glazes, polymer clay, or glued embellishments.  Have glass but no tray?  Think about using a bail, or gluing the glass onto a ring, or a hair clip.  

If you’re in an adventurous mood and fancy a change from the norm that won’t break the bank? give this bag a try – its contents might just surprise you!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Purple Alert! Diamond Glaze Stocks Diminishing!!

**Edit:  As of July 19th, DG is back in stock!!**

A few worry-filled days since we heard from the UK distributor of Diamond Glaze that there is no Diamond Glaze to be had!  All run out!!!  And we were lucky to grab the very last box!  As we all know it's our most popular glue product so we only have a handful of 60ml bottles in stock.  We hear that the new supply of Diamond Glaze is being bottled up as I type so hopefully there won't be anything to panic about.

But what if it does run out just before your very important craft fair??  What are you supposed to do?!?

First off relax - there are options.  Consider different sized bottles, from the large 296ml one to the giant 532ml refill bottle.  That's nearly a pint of Diamond Glaze!

Another option you may not have considered, and which I personally think is brilliant, is DG3.  There will be a better introduction to DG3 in the near future, but I love love love it.  I see it as the next generation of the original Diamond Glaze and it can be used in exactly the same way but it does more in that it can also be used layered, to fill bezels, just like a resin. It seems to have less bubbles than the original DG too and it dries beautifully clear.  

DG3, ready to save the world of craft

The bottles cost more at £9.50, but you do get a bigger bottle at 120ml which is exactly twice the size of the standard Diamond Glaze, so ml for ml (or fl oz for fl oz if you're imperially inclined) it actually works out cheaper.

So if the worst comes to the worst, don't panic, there are options!

Monday, 20 June 2011

What's Your Colour?

This month we welcome this gorgeous rainbow of resin flower happiness!  It can now rain all it likes because it's all colourful over at Jasmin Studio Towers!!


Find them all in the shop!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Bright Idea - A Blackboard Pendant

Super easy to make and a cute way to wear your own message.  These pendants use the new wooden tiles available in the shop, backed by a pendant tray and simply hung from a chain.

Here's how I did it.  Gather your supplies - here we have 25mm round wooden tiles, 25mm pendant trays, blackboard paint, paintbrush, E6000 glue, and of course, chalk!

This stuff is thick and gooey and quite smelly - make sure you cover all surfaces well!

Simply cover your tiles with a good few coats of the paint.  Blackboard paint generally covers well but a few coats will show less of the grain through.  Ok, I skimped and only did one!  I was in a hurry!

When it is completely dry, you can glue it to your choice of tray - here I have used a round silver plated tray.  I find E6000 glue is ideal for this as it will hold fast, or you can use any superglue type of adhesive that you may have at home.

When that is dry, you can hang it from your favourite chain.  I have added a little ribbon and a little felt heart rubber to this one.  Finally, use a sharpened chalk (use sandpaper to get a fine point on your chalk) to draw your message, package simply in a cellophane bag with a teeny bit of chalk and give freely!  

With a tiny bit of supervision (especially around the paint and the glue) you can easily let your kids make them as original gifts for their teachers now that the end of year is almost here.  Let them state proudly "here you go Miss, I made this one for you!"

Friends' Makes - Tynemouth Collectables

When I set off on this little adventure at the start of the year, I was excited to find out that there were people out there who agreed with me that glass tile jewellery is a really satisfying way to present your favourite art.  And soon I was talking to all sorts of wonderful crafters and jewellery makers - every one of them an artist in a different way.  There has been one person whom I have been talking to since the very beginning and who is quickly becoming a good friend - although we have never met in person!  Her name is Vicky, she runs Tynemouth Collectables, a jewellery business, and makes beautiful pieces using some of the items from my shop, as well as some carefully sourced papers and images.  Look at this beauty:


And this striking image on the bag hanger:

Vicky was also the person who sent me that stunning pendant she had made earlier in the year, which I'm still wearing!

She is a devoted crafter and a talented artist - and now I have discovered that she has the patience to put up with my ranting when my life gets hairy! 
Vicky has big plans for her business and I am in no doubt that her own adventure into jewellery making will be a successful one.  I know she is now diversifying into steampunkery, so keep an eye on her website

Mirror Mirror...

Very excited about the arrival of these mirrors - will you just look at them!

Isn't that beautiful?  The paper is one of my Chiyogamis, and we are going to be selling these mirrors together with the gorgeous epoxy sticker that allows you to achieve a professional finish very easily.  I can see myself making these with photos for Christmas (I'm becoming obsessed with Christmas planning, I know).

And look, you get not one but two mirrors inside:

And isn't this a lovely, unexpected bonus - a beautifully engraved underside.  

They are available in the shop for only £3 individually or buy more and get them for less.  Bargain!