Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tutorial: Casting Resin

Want to preserve that butterfly you found in summer forever?! Or what about that bouquet of spring daisies? Well..there's casting resin for that.

Resin is pretty awesome. You can make jewelry, paperweights, or pretty much anything depending on the shape of the mold you have. It's basically making your own plastic.

I'm just going to warn you's a very stinky process so make sure you do this in a well ventilated area! You really don't wanna inhale these fumes..haha.

You will need:

- canister of clear casting resin
- plastic measuring cups
- popsicle sticks (for stirring and mixing)
- single use paintbrush
- casting resin catalyst
- casting dyes
- newspaper or drop cloth (it gets messy)
- objects you want to embed
- casting mold

First you want to lay out your newspaper or drop cloth in the area you will be working because the stuff gets really messy and you don't want to ruin your lovely surface with sticky stinky resin.

Next take your mold. Fill the mold with water and then pour the water into one of the measuring cups. This will tell you how much resin you will need to fill the mold.

Then measure the amount of resin and pour it into the measuring cup. If you want to do multiple layers in your mold, you can measure in sections.

If you want to color your resin, add a few drops of dye. Usually the packaging will tell you how much to add, but I usually add from 3 to 5 drops depending on how much resin I have and how intense I want the pigment to be. Then stir your resin until the color is well blended.

Now you want to add your catalyst. It is recommended to add about 10 drops of catalyst per ounce. But be careful because too much catalyst will cause it to heat too quickly and crack, and not enough catalyst will result in a sticky resin. Mix the catalyst well.

Then you can pour your resin mixture into the mold. Let the mixture sit until it reaches a gel-like consistency when tapping with a popsicle stick or gently tipping the mold. It must reach this consistency before placing objects on top of it or adding the next layer, otherwise the layers might mix or the objects will sink into the layer.

Once it reaches the gel consistency, you can add your objects you want to embed. I used some sea shells, which have ridges and uneven surfaces. I painted them with a little bit of resin before adding them to the mold to prevent air bubbles from forming underneath them. Then you can place them gently in your mold.

You can create multiple layers with multiple objects and colors. I like to play around a bit.

Finally, you create the last layer of resin the same way you made every other layer, and you pour it on top until the mold is filled. When the top layer is completely hardened, you can pop out your resin and your creation is complete!

I've made multiple paperweights and jewelry charms..these make really great gifts!

My most recent creation is beach themed..embedded with seashells and the last layer contains beach sand.

It has three layers, the first layer has blue resin and seashells, the second has blue resin and a beach umbrella and the last has sand and yellow resin.

The back of the paperweight, containing sand. You can also glue a piece of felt to the back of your paperweight.

The front beach scene!

Also..this is my 100th post! Yaaay for Hearts of Trees having 100 posts!

I remember when I started this thing in 2009 so I could share my thoughts, inspiration and art with the world and I'm excited to keep sharing!

Thanks everyone! <3

Saturday, February 11, 2012


The other night Angie and I were lounging around like couch legumes and watching TV after eating a ton of food and this show about a store in the east village called "Obscura" came on. We were so fascinated by it that we sat watching it for over 2 hours..or maybe we were just too lazy to get up but basically it was really really interesting.

The store is kinda like an antique store, but they also sell mummified animals and old medical supplies and whatever weird stuff you can possibly think of. We also found a few of the customers pretty entertaining..haha.

Here's their website and we hope to visit soon:

So today I was kinda inspired by that show in a way to go explore this abandoned farm with my fellow adventurer Cynthia. We had been there before but this time I was looking for a few items in particular..especially something interesting to send my package exchange partner since this month's theme is vintage.

After basically getting attacked by a crazy goose and coming out caked in cobwebs..I collected these items:

A labeled glass medicine bottle..

Another labeled glass medicine bottle..this one filled with effervescent potassium and lithium tablets.

A labeled glass bottle filled with seeds..even though it's labeled silver nitrate.

An old matchbook from a hotel

And a crazy looking persian cat plate along with a crazy cat photo frame.

The Mysterious Red Velvet

My 7yr old sister asked me today what red velvet was made terms of the dessert. Being the weirdo big sister that I am..I told her it was blood mixed with chocolate. She gagged and said "ewwww" and then I told her it was just chocolate colored with red. Have you ever heard someone say they don't like chocolate but they like red velvet? Well that's a big ole lie because they are the same flavor! friend Angie found this recipe originally by Paula Deen for red velvet cake cookies. Gooey chewy red velvet cookies. Absolute heaven. And it's almost Valentine's why not make them?!

Here's the ingredients you will need:

- 1/2 cup of butter (room temperature)
- 8oz of cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 box of red velvet cake mix
- confectioner's sugar for dusting

First I creamed the butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer. Then I added in the egg and the vanilla and mixed it until it was well blended. Next I mixed in the cake mix until it became a creamy doughy texture.

I then put my dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

I preheated my oven to 350 degrees farenheit.

After the dough was done chilling, I removed it from the fridge and rolled it into tablespoon sized balls, rolled them in the confectioner's sugar and placed them on an ungreased cookie sheet.

I baked them for about 12 minutes and they came out kinda cakey but delicious and chewy.

So happy valentine's day everyone! Spreading so much love!! :)