Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friendly Plastic Experiments with Jones Tones aka mylar backed foils

I bought these foils a few months ago to try them on my Friendly Plastic sticks. I am about 99% sure this is THE foil that is used on the surface of the friendly plastic I buy. Ages and ages ago I came across this foil in a card shop. They were selling it as a way to embellish cards - just write on the foil and it would transfer to the paper. I think I bought it but never tried it.

I went on the hunt for this stuff just after Christmas and came
across it as Jones Tones Foil. When I saw it in the card shop
this wasn't what it was called.

My supplier had several colours so I ordered one of everything they had. Ah the joys of Christmas money. Today I did a few experiments with it. The only info I could find online was how to use it with polymer clay: roll out the clay, lay the foil on top, dull side down, then burnish it onto the surface. Rub fast and hard to create heat and then rip it off the surface like a band aid. Well I figured if I heated the friendly plastic that would activate/adhere the foil to it so that's what I tried. I got my heat gun and warmed the plastic up until it got really sticky then laid the foil onto it.

I then rubbed it to make contact on the whole stick. I then took the heat gun and aimed it over it for a count of ten along the length of the stick and then I let the whole thing cool down before I removed the mylar backing. I did rip fast most times but not always. I don't think it matters as much with the friendly plastic as it really seems to bond.

What dawned on me was when I was adding the foil over top of the existing foil, I would get a broken pattern. I actually found this very intriguing. It makes the surface more sophisticated adding depth and interest.

When I placed the foil on the back of the plastic, the side without the foil, pretty much the whole sheet stuck and I then had a new sheet of plastic with both sides having colour.

This too is interesting to me.

My next experiment will be trying to add patterning with the foil to another existing colour. For example, adding silver stripes to royal blue friendly plastic. Or gold hologram dots to green friendly plastic. I'm also wondering if I can add the foil to my work after I've already cooked up my design. Could I add the hologram pattern to a finished design and then take it off so it leaves a dusting of colour behind? I used to inset hologram sheets into friendly plastic ages ago and I remember them losing their patterning under the heat. They were really sensitive so I am curious to see how they hold up in the oven. Anyway I'll know soon enough, as will you dear reader. As will you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hilson Marketplace: Artisan and Community Sale

It's spring cleaning/garage sale season. And after years of not sorting sand clearing things out, I have decided to release some of my treasures into the waiting arms of.... you perhaps?

I'm doing my first garage sale and thought I'd try it with a bunch of other folks doing the same thing. So far I have some books, a tent, a foot massager warm bath thingy that was great when I worked retail on my feet for hours and hours, quite a bit of gardening related items. I love to garden but where I live now it's really heart-breaking. Too many critters, not enough sun, zealous landlords that cut stuff down. It's too much of a battle for me so I am selling my tabletop grow lights, complete with replacement bulbs and trays. Also a balcony planter new in box. A Santa ceramic dish new in box. A kitty cat fountain new in box. Two twirly Christmas light trees new in box.

And various odds and ends.

Artists collect weird stuff.

Here's where I will be:

Hilson Marketplace: Artisan & Community Sale

Presented by: Hilson Avenue Public School

This annual community sale brings together artisans and community members to sell art, crafts and basement treasures. There will be a café/BBQ, children's activities and a silent auction. All proceeds will support Hilson Avenue elementary students.

Dates: April 24, 2010
On: 9 am to 1 pm
Cost: Free Event
At: Hilson Avenue Public School
407 Hilson Avenue

Monday, April 05, 2010

Alcohol Ink + Friendly Plastic test = success.

There was a time that you could get flat yellow friendly plastic.
Happy were the fairy wands, bee stripes and bright yellow suns I made from it.
Alas, I have only bits and pieces of it that I covet, saving them for use in a special project designated to happen "some day". Friendly plastic never had a metallic yellow to my knowledge. Why? I have no idea. Yellow must be hard to get right or must be unstable or something. Yellow, being a primary colour, would seem to be a colour you would expect to find in a friendly plastic artist's toolkit. It just ain't so. One day I was lamenting this fact to someone who had a solution for me. Make my own yellow.



An aside here: I am a friendly plastic purist. I have never been interested in trying to make my plastic look like glass or marble or whatever. I want it to be shiny happy plastic. It's what it is and I love it that way. I have never sought to change it ever so taking this advice was tough for me. But I love yellow and I need yellow and now I need brown too so I may as well change and adapt. As a human being this is what we've done for millenia and so I convinced myself that it would be okay.

So I set out on a search for Alcohol Ink.
Alcohol Ink faq here

I tracked it down at my local stamping supply shop, Heather's Stamping Haven, (here's her website, and her blog), and was thrilled to discover many colours. I kept myself to the plan (always tough) and purchased Lemonade to try to make yellow and upon consultation, Ginger to create brown. Sad to say but brown is another friendly plastic colour that's come and gone! BROWN?! yep. When I saw gold cobra go, well that was sad, but to think metallic brown would go too? It's still a mystery to me about the foils on the surface of fp (more on this in later posts as I may have found something to do about that as well!) but you have to cope with what you've got or innovate and I am innovating.

I opened the bottle and let the liquid land on the surface. The ink has a long needle-like nozzle/nose and I pushed it all around my plastic with the side of the nozzle while it was wet, and then if there was a spot where I thought there should be more I put more. I waited until it dried then tried to rub it off with my finger. A little came off so I let it dry longer. We're talking a couple of minutes. Nothing more. I chose flat metallic white as my base and the yellow really showed. I tried some yellow on a piece of orange copper and it made it a yellowy-orange. I liked it but it didn't change it enough for me for what I wanted to make this time round. But being able to slightly alter colours and get variations is very important to some of my plans for fp. Next I did the same process with Ginger on flat metallic white. I did get a good brown. Yay!

And for my first try I made these things with my altered whites...

Yellow Easter Chick

Pin and Earrings

Monkey Juggler Pin

So the colour seemed permanent on the plastic before I cooked it up in the toaster oven. After it baked I tried to rub it off again and it didn't budge. I'm not sure how it will do over time. I don't know if the colour will fade or flake or what. I was using sharpie markers on friendly plastic ages ago and when I first wrote on the surface it seemed great. Permanent. But overtime it faded to a purpley tone and it sort of spread out, it diffused within the plastic somehow and so the writing that seemed so legible when I first made it turned fuzzy and faded. We'll see what happens to the ink as time goes by. So far, so good. The heat of the oven didn't obviously change it.

Now the only thing is the plastic breaks white. Like the foil, the ink sits on the surface and when disturbed the plastic's main colour shows through. It's not necessarily bad, or anything, you just have to figure out how to use it to its best advantage. I suspect with the ink I could brush it into the cracks/seams where I find the white especially distracting. I am sure it would work and IF THAT WORKS... well. It never ends, one idea leads to the next, and it's why I am glad to be making fp things again.

Carp Easter Market - temperature 31C!

I woke up on Saturday and saw this sign of spring. This little bird was about all that said "spring" that day. The bright neon red sun that rose in my rear view mirror as I headed west to Carp looked more like one of the glorious mid-summer sunsets I have seen sitting on my favourite rock at Britannia Beach than an early spring morning sunrise.

It was spectacular.

No pics as I was driving with both hands.

The crowds were happy as they walked the market site. The summery weather made everyone relaxed and at ease, unless you started thinking about how weird it was but never mind that!

Let's enjoy the day for what it is. It could have just as easily been a snowstorm, or freezing rain. The market vendors were mostly in the agricultural hall, a few signed on to be outdoors (they really threw the dice and got lucky!) and a few of us, (myself included), were in the market building's rotunda.

Long shadows of a bright summer sun in early spring. Sandals. No socks.

Main gate to the site of the Carp Farmers' Market

Mural painted on the side of the agricultural building commemorating the Carp Fair, held every September.

During set-up the sun shone brightly putting everyone in a great mood. Here's the market building with its gorgeous new signage. I was in this location for the Easter market.

My space inside was small and sort of round. I had a minimal display here. My regular market booth will have three walls which will be full of friendly plastic things, paintings and mirrors.

Here is the Carp Farmers' Market calendar for 2010.

We open May 8th for the regular season. The hours are 8am to 1pm every Saturday.

My table top of paintings.

A fine selection of friendly plastic, some old favorites and some new designs. I have re-discovered my medium in getting ready for this show. More on that later.

Entitled "Love" this little painting is my current favorite.

I adore his toothy grin. He is more caressing the boat than crushing it, though, like when a cat licks you and then suddenly sinks his teeth into your flesh, you never really know what this green guy will do.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Saturday April 3rd, 8am to 2pm, Carp Easter Market & my market return :)

Hi. I know I've been a little quiet lately.

Lots of stuff going on. I wrapped up my first two classes for the City of Ottawa: Paint Your Pet's Portrait and Drawing and Painting for Beginners.

I have to say that these classes were a joy and I weekly fell in love with my students and with their bravery! I am not an easy teacher; I challenge my students but there is no way you are going to dedicate 10 weeks of evenings over the course of a winter to dabble here and there. I do hope they continue to pursue their art. every one of them had something special going on in their work. And on a personal note I discovered that I can teach. It's something I'd been wondering so good for me too.

Lately I've been making things, (market things), as I will be re-joining the warm and inviting Carp Market fold officially on Saturday April 3rd, 2010 for the Carp Farmers' Market Easter Market.

We start at 8am and go until 2pm. It's going to be some wild weather, and I'm not talking snowstorm more like sunburn weather. They're calling for 27C and that's so odd I don't even know what to add to that.
I'll just let the facts stand without comment.
And how you some pictures tomorrow when the event is over.

So if you are looking for something to do on a summery Easter weekend, drop by the Carp Farmers' Market and say hello. I'd appreciate it.


In February, Franklin cheered for the Olympic home team and then he wore his Team Canada jersey to cheer the men's hockey team on to GOLD!

In March, he was Irish...

In April, he's giving out candy with the Easter Bunny.