Friday, April 16, 2010

Varnishing tips... And, uh, where the heck have I been!?

Hey, all! I just thought I'd get on here and update just a bit and explain why I haven't been posting anything lately!

In a word, I've been BUSY. Here's some of it:

-I have two kids. And a husband. And my husband and I really love each other and like spending time together. So there's that pesky family that really takes up most of my time.
-I've been teaching a lot more at JoAnn lately. People are actually taking my classes! Yay!
-I've been potty training my younger son with much success and very few horror stories which I won't share because, you know. Ick. Although my day is frequently punctuated now by the ever interesting quest for the underwear which always begins with the running of the little streaker.
-I've gotten involved in, which is like Facebook for knitters and crocheters. And I'm actually using up a lot of my stash yarn now because I'm finding great patterns specifically for my yarns thanks to Ravelry's huge pattern database.
-I have a new business opportunity. I'm selling metal buttons, fine silver stitch markers, and polymer clay shawl pins at Tempe Yarn and Fiber. Exciting!!! But I'm also busy making a million things and not blogging about it as much.

Overall, it's all good stuff. Hopefully soon I can post about the shawl pins I've been making.

And... for the VARNISHING TIPS!!

I discovered this while varnishing a shawl pin. I use a super cheap water based varnish that I buy out of the acrylic paint section at JoAnn--it's called Duraclear, if I'm not mistaken. I squeeze a bit of the gloss varnish out onto my surface and dip a paper towel into it. I then proceed to build up very, very thin layers of varnish on my clay, wiping it almost completely off each time. After four or five coats, on the last coat, while little streak marks are still visible and the varnish isn't quite dry, I lightly buff the surface with the paper towel to remove the marks, then let it dry. This leaves a virtually flawless surface, and looks really quite natural! Like, it's not a big, glaring plastic coating. It honestly looks like it was buffed. This was an exciting discovery for certain techniques I'm using in the shawl pins that really can't be sanded.

I've also picked up some Renaissance wax for my copper and brass buttons and am looking forward to trying it on my clay. If anyone out there has used Renaissance wax for clay and had success or horror, let me know.

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