Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wish you were here! Charm Swap July 2010

Once again, Michelle Cummings  is hosting a charm swap.  This time, the theme is "Wish you were here!"  Participants were invited to create a charm of a favorite travel spot and accompany it with a postcard created about the same location.   Predictable me, I could not stop myself from picking up the theme of my favorite destination - Thailand.  

The base of my charm is a 7/8ths inch wooden circle.  After using my Dremel drill to pre-drill a tiny hole in each charm and adding an eye screw, I sealed the wood with Modge Podge.  

Settling on a Buddha image for one side and a saffron orange and blue Thai design for the other, I sealed each printed sheet of images - again using Modge Podge, then punched them out.  I mounted one image on each side of the wooden disc, then used gold glitter glue to embellish both.  Wooden edges were painted gold using an acrylic paint marker. 

Once everything was dry, I mixed an epoxy resin and poured it on one side of the charm. This was not as easy as I had hoped....maybe wearing my weaker set of reading glasses was part of the problem.  The resin looked good, but was quite thick and did not spread itself all the way to the edge of the charm.  I ended up using a toothpick to move it around for better coverage.

In the end, I decided to try dipping the entire charm into resin to coat both sides.  It created a bit of a mess.  I could have better prepared my workspace by having more newspapers so excess resin could drip without getting on other things.  As the charms dried, I saw that this method drained away much of the thickness I had hoped to create with the resin.  Also, each charm had a little "blip" of hardened resin at the bottom where the liquid dripped.  Taking advantage of this, I topped each hardened drop with more gold glitter glue, creating a shape that is quite common to Thai style decorative elements. 

The postcard I created to go with each charm began with a vintage image of the Temple of Dawn, a giant chedi in Bangkok, said to be the place where time began.  The back side of the postcard included Thai script and images taken from ephemera in my Thai collection.  To age the postcard, I rubbed the edges with Colorbox Cat Eye chalk in browns and sepia colors.

I was pleased with how the charms turned out, although next time, I will take more time and find more patience when using resin. It clearly takes a steady hand to create quality work. 

This charm swap was a great chance to try new skills and practice old ones.  What fun!  Thanks Michelle!  I can hardly wait to see charms created by the othe participants!!


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