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Friday, 19 July 2013

Is it 'foam' or 'sponge' ?

Hi everyone
Today it's a little 'breezy' - a welcome addition to the lovely sunshine. Every day I think the sun will go but not today !!! Wonderful.

It's Die Cut Friday again and readers will know we are well into looking at creative options for foam or sponge beads (I keep interchanging the words). It's also day 3 of reporting and although Ive had lots of ideas ....... very few are proving successful. My list of treatments include paint, heat, carved, 'penned' and sliced (several ways) as well as 'winding'. I have some more ideas for later today - so there are more to go. As mentioned yesterday, Im writing up the ideas into a little book and its attracted some interest from folk asking for a copy. I will probably produce a few for the shop.

My efforts yesterday include this 'winded' bead - Ive used a fine gold thread doubled over for this one. There are more options for this technique and lots of other threads. I will definitely keep going on this one and try out many threads. The core bead idea (for inner structure) is light and a good form for this technique

There is an option for completely covering the bead with a thread but a thicker thread would work better on that idea. Unfortunately, this approach takes lots of thread (of this type) and time.

My next experiment is simply slicing the thicker beads (both into 3) I chose the large round and large square for this one. I think these sizes offer more flexibility. I will make up some jewellery ideas using these sliced beads perhaps with some other beads. I think they will work well. I like the rougher sides and 'lentil' bead style look of the sliced round bead.
My third adapted bead is using polymer clay - on this one Ive simply covered it. Again, using the foam bead as a core.

In the raw sponge form, it's quite difficult to cover - it doesn't stick well and when warm it tends to part company with the core. However, with a bit of practice and putting in the fridge for 5 mins a well formed shape (for filling) can be made and this has given me some good ideas for further experiments. Ive not taken enough time to make a well covered shell but the photos give an idea. With more time and effort I think a reasonable 'vessel' could be produced. The only question is .... Is it too big for jewellery purposes ? On balance, I think for a statement piece - it's just OK.

If the shell was even and smooth, I think it would be good. Will keep trying with this. I like the idea of baking and painting inside - for hanging on a chain or long necklace ? I haven't tried baking yet - I think the sponge would just stay there inside. I think it would be OK as it's so light - even if it was enclosed. Another experiment required !

Now, back to Die Cut Friday. Ive tried to tie in the foam bead thing here and have come up with a little idea for kids. Either, for a card sticker or a perhaps a cake topper ?
The dies used for this little project are these 4 dies - 2 per character. The ideas need an adapter with a sidekick (more details about die cutting can be found way back on the blog if you are not sure what this means).

Ive got a few more of these characters and think they would look well on a birthday card for a child. The sponge beads work great as a very light, raised platforms for giving the 3D effect. These dies are in 2 main cuts per character with lots of options for little details in different colours on the top layer. The idea is to layer to get depth from the final image. The sponge beads is very good for this use and because the colours are bright, the idea of seeing the sponge is OK and adds to the image. I will definitely use the idea.

Well that's it for this week. It's last day of school term and almost 'winding down time' for me too. I will blog every few days in the holidays while we are at home, so keep calling in. Im hoping to have my new work spaces completed and ready for work soon - so will report on that. I will also keep going with the sponge beads - they are extremely durable !!!! (in more ways than one). My research so far is still driving me on ...... I know there is something out there for the sponge/ foam bead 'wow' factor !!!!

Have a great weekend.

Bye for now.