Monday, 13 September 2010

Marbling paper and lots of other simple background techniques

Gosh, I have been so busy lately, very little time for blogging even tho I know it should take precedence. After all, isn't one of the golden rules that you should post regularly!

I have actually been quite busy with crafty things and this is a little bit of a catch-up (again!!!!)

First thing is that I am finally investing a little time in writing some Squidoo Lenses. If you haven't come across these before don't panic. they are simply single page web sites designed to put across a particular piece of information. they can be short or long depending on the subject and how much you have to say.

Some time ago I wrote about how I came across ACEO paintings and what they were. This led to a series on making , collecting and selling ACEO's. However, I never got around to completing the latter because I found ATC's and became quite addicted to  swapping.

One or two more lenses followed but I am now creating a series for beginners, people new to the mixed media scene. The first was a simple tutorial showing the making of a collaged ATC. this has been followed by a lens on simple techniques for making unique backgrounds and another for making marbled papers using shaving foam. I enjoy developing the tutorials and it makes me think about what I am doing and how to improve my art.

It has been a couple of years since I started making ATC's and although I am happy to try anything for a challenge, I am beginning to feel that I am in something of a rut. hence the look at what and how I am doing things. I see lots of references to products which have been developed to aid the crafter/artist but am most happy using discarded bits and pieces and images which often require work on them ( e.g. digital editing) before printing. And I do get most of my images off the web. recently I have tried digital collages, which I enjoyed but it begins to get a little same-y. Although that is not to denigrate the great art that I see created by this method. My "rusty bucket" is another way of looking for another way forward and I have been making larger collages and painting over a collage prepared as an initial step.

Still feeling that I need to develop however, doing the same thing too often is fine but does not equate with satisfying my artistic tendancies. But thinking abouot it I felt like this about painting at one stage, and now it is just another stirng to my bow. So maybe I should stop thinking and get creating

thanks for getting this far, hope to be back soon.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Exploding ovens

or rather exploding oven doors: just had to get this off my chest

I had to replace an element in our oven, and decided that it was a little worse for wear. We decided to give it a good clean.

We had bought a cleaner called OVEN PRIDE, some time ago and decided to try it out. On the box we read, " Caution, this product actually works". Looked good. One evening I applied the gel to the inside of the oven, the racks and the glass door. Leaving the gel on the surfaces overnight as the instructions said this was a good idea.

Next morning, I cleaned up the residue and was pleasantly surprised that the stuff had actually done what it said on the box.

At lunchtime I turned on the oven, ready for my wife to use and left her in the kitchen. Very shortly there was a shout from the kitchen, " you had better come and see this". The inner glass door which I had just cleaned, had virtually exploded and now lay on the floor of the oven in hundreds of pieces. The sodium hydroxide gel had obviously affected the glass in some way, probably affecting the chemical structure of the glass. It had certainly lost its ability to resist the heat of the oven.

I emailed the suppliers of the product and one of their staff, a Ms Hilda Tabas, very obligingly told me they had changed the packaging since I purchased it and now did not recommend it for tempered glass. No doubt they had had many similar, previous complaints. She did not even offer any apologies for waht her product had done. But then I guess that is the way with customer services today.

BTW the glass door panel cost me £52 to replace, I doubt very much that I will be using any similar products again in case the new door panel gets splashed and the same thing happens.