First off, I wanted to mention that since I have several new followers that may not know what I look like, I am changing my profile shot for a bit. Hopefully that will make my new friends feel like they know me a bit better.
All that being said, I wanted to show you my first project using Hot Fix Swarovski Rhinestones. In my latest order from Artbeads.com, I decided to get the Bejeweler, an electric tool that makes designing with rhinestones a bit easier. I am not hesitant to use hot tools, such as wood burning or soldering pens, shoot I've even used a torch to make glass beads. This tool is very much like a wood burning pen and was very easy to use.
My main problem with this project was that I spent so much time deciding on what color stones to get, that I based my order on the cost of the stones, trying to get the most for my money. I'll know next time to buy fewer colors but larger stones. I didn't do enough research before I placed my order and was a bit surprised by how small the stones were. Artbeads.com has a learning center with a video that showed me how to place the stones and how to use the heat tool, but I couldn't find anything showing me what size the stones were. Since getting my order, I have found another website that has a really good guide as to how big the stones are and what the abbreviations mean. I now know that SS means stone size and has nothing to do with mm which was what I was thinking.
Here are a few shots of my experience with the hotfix rhinestones. I didn't have a real project in mind, I just wanted to learn to use the tool. I chose a really plain everyday blouse and decided to put some snowflake type designs on the collar points.
First I marked the design using a gel pen - not the best idea kids...
(next time I will use a marker that disappears after a while, but this did OK, I guess)
Then I laid out the crystals on the dots, I used tweezers to pick the little buggars up with and in the process dropped two of them. (At .12 each you don't want to drop too many, because they apparently become invisible when they hit the floor)
On the first one I laid them all out and then got the heat tool and pressed down on each stone...
This was a bit difficult to do and on the other one I tried placing one down and then using the heat gun. This didn't really work that well either and even though the tool has multiple size tips, the stones I chose were too small to pick up with the heat tool and place individually like that.
Since I seldom give up, I persevered and added a green design on the other collar point and added crystal ones down the front. It actually turned out pretty good and I plan on getting some larger stones and dressing it up some more. Actually, if I can figure out how large the iron on designs are, I might go that way the next time.
So here is the finished product...
All in all, this was an interesting project. These crystals are really, really sparklie and if you had a costume or a ball gown to embellish these are most definitely the product to use. If you have little ones that want to jazz something up and they are old enough to use a heat tool, it would be such a fun project, but keep in mind these little stones can get away from you really quickly and you end up needing many more than you might realize at first. For me, I think my next sparklie project will be made with the Swarovski Crystals that you string, I am a beader after all and can somehow keep up with beads better.
In the mean time, put your thinking caps on and maybe you and your BFF can come up with something that needs some sparklie bling. If you do, check out ArtBeads.com. The shipping was so fast I could hardly believe it and the packaging is always cute (tissue paper and stickers) and very secure and they include a card with a project on it.
I hope to start working on yet another new project tomorrow. Not sure what I will get into, but cooler weather is certainly making me think about yarns and crochet hooks and maybe some fiber jewelry. How about you? How does the change of seasons affect your art? Do you tend to want to hibernate and snuggle in or are you invigorated and wildly productive in the winter?
Just remember that whatever your style is, wherever your creativity takes you, you are an artist. In the kitchen, at the computer, putting together everything for school or work each morning, wherever you are...you are ART. I really believe this. I really do.
Have fun and enjoy the weekend!