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Faber-Castell product review

2 Mar

Guest Blog Post by Design Team Member Venisa Gallegos

Comments in italics by Deb


Blue Twig Assignment for February

This month, I got several items from Deb to try out including a set of a new kind of cardboard stencils from Faber Castell and some dimensional paint also from Faber Castell.  The set of stencils are simply called Mixed Media Stencils and contains 10 different stencils at a very reasonable price.  There are several sets of stencils and Deb gave me Set 102 to play with.  The metallic paint is called Texture Luxe and comes in Copper, Silver, Gold, and Pearl.  It’s basically an opaque paint designed to work with Stencils and is Permanent.  I’ll say right off the bat I tested it on fabric and washed it and it didn’t wash out. Yay!!! (good to know!)




Figure 1 – Set of Stencils and dimensional paint from Faber Castell


First I’ll talk about the Stencils.  I read that some people first coat the cardboard stencils with a glaze to help them last longer.  I actually did this but after using several stencils I decided it wasn’t worth it because the paint actually did a good job of coating the stencils.  They are also very strong and I had no problem using them over and over again.  (Side note:  Deb actually told me that I didn’t need to coat them with glaze but I had to see for myself.  Guess I could have saved myself some time if I listened to Deb in the first place.)  (Ha Ha – you should always listen to me. At least that is what I always tell my husband. )

What I loved about the set of stencils was that you can get 10 really cool stencils for a very decent price.   So if you didn’t have any stencils and wanted to try them out this is a great investment. (Plus once they are all coated up with paint and paste and stuff, and not really usable as stencils anymore, you can cut them up and use those pieces in your art!)

I spent most of my time using the Texture paint.  It has a very buttery texture and was easy to apply.  I tested it on paper and fabric as you’ll see in the next figure.  On paper it came out very crisp but my first attempt on fabric I had some leakage under the stencil.    You see that my next attempt came out better but I still had some leakage.

GetAttachment firstattemptflowers

Figure 2 – Texture Luxe on Paper and Fabric

On my second attempt I tried to stitch around the petals of the leaves to see if I could make them stand out.

As you can see in Figure 3 the stitching didn’t quite show up that well.  This is the piece I test and you can see that the paint stayed on perfectly.   I decided that the dimensional paint would be good on T-Shirts but that I’d have to make sure I had a stencil that really stayed down on the fabric.  (You may want to try to adhere the stencil down with a temporary spray adhesive like 505.) 




Figure 3 – Second attempt at Texture Luxe on Fabric with a close up of some added stitching 


You’ll see in Figure 4 that when I used a very tight stencil I got a very crisp image with no leakage on fabric so I know it’s possible to do.



Figure 4 – Texture Luxe with Stencil



Figure 5 – Texture Luxe on Hand Dyed Duck Cloth

Finally, I decided to stencil the flowers on some hand dyed duck cloth that I had previously dyes.  I really love how the copper color popped on the fabric as shown in Figure 5.  I’m thinking of leaving this just as it is and either adding it to a collage piece of maybe even sewing it onto a canvas bag.  I will definitely look into using some of the pearl colored metallic paint and add my own color to the paint.  I can see that with this technique I can make some fun pieces to add to other types of art projects.  I also can see getting some more stencil sets because they have such a great variety.


Thanks for another great product review Venisa. I always love seeing what you do with the products. I love the Faber-Castell products, and the stencil sets and Texture Luxe are great! 


Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918



Using Ice Resin

20 Feb

Guest Blog Post by Design Team member Terri Ayers

Comments in italics by Deb


Ice Resin®, according to their website,  “is a Jeweler’s Grade, naturally doming, self-leveling & healing, crystal clear resin. ICE Resin® is a 2-part epoxy resin: Part A is the Resin. It has a slightly blue tint. Part B is the hardener. It has a very slight yellow tint. Part A and Part B must be poured with a one-to-one ratio and mixed gently but thoroughly for ICE Resin® to dry and cure properly. You may wear your jewelry as soon as ICE Resin® is dry to the touch.”


I have been curious to try this product and was delighted to find it in my monthly mystery package to try out from Blue Twig Studio.


ICE Resin® was designed by a jeweler, so it’s primary use is for creating jewelry, but there are many other things that it can be used for. It can by used to paint over paper or tissue paper to give it gloss and strength.  Butterfly or angel wings could be fun to try this with.  There are special molds that the resin can be pored into and little trinkets, found objects and embellishments can be layered into the resin. (there are also new color tints for the resin, so you can add a layer of colored resin if you want)

resin 4

I first did a trial of the product in a few bottle caps.  The first one I glued a piece of scrapbook paper into the bottle cap and then poured in a bit of resin.  The paper was a bit thin and I think the gray inside the cap showed through.  The next cap I filled halfway with resin and poured in some Ranger Distress Glitter Dust (that sounds fun).  It sort of sank in and a smooth sparkly top was the result.

resin 2

I kept the main project simple.  I used an alcohol ink paper sample that I had made in one of Blue Twig’s classes and cut it with a 1” circle punch.  I glued it into a jewelry pendant bezel with matte medium and let it dry.  I took a risk and did not use any fixative over my ink project and it was ok.  The resin didn’t interfere with marring or blurring the image.  I mixed the two parts of the resin together and let it rest 5 minutes and dripped it into the bezel letting it dome over.  There were more bubbles initially and most of them disappeared, but a few remained.  Slower mixing or research to reduce air bubbles may yield perfect results.  I don’t mind the bubbles!

resin 3

I had a few words stamped on a piece of tissue paper and I painted the mixed leftover resin on both sides of the tissue.  It dried and I cut them out.  They could be fun with a mini-eyelet and used to add to jewelry or embellish artwork. (you can use the leftover resin on any painted papers – perfect for gelli prints – and create a nice heavy paper that you can then use with punches or a die cut and create a variety of shapes)


Final notes.  1.  Take care with ventilation, the product has some fumes and is a bit smelly.  2. Slowly mix Part A & B of the resin components to avoid excess air bubbles.  I had fun with this and already have a request for a purple alcohol ink and resin pendant.


Thanks for a great review Terri. I’ve only done a couple things with the Ice Resin, but I found it easy to work with. And now I am inspired to go work with it again. 


Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO 80918




Easy Mixed Media Project

23 Jul

As part of Seth Apter’s Buried Treasure blog project, I am resharing this blog post from last year. Visit Seth’s blog Altered Page to see other buried treasure blog posts.

Blue Twig Studio

We recently created a fun mixed media project for our Arty Party. The Arty Party is a monthly class that is a lot of fun. Every month we do something different and always have a good time being creative. The best part of the Arty Party is that it is a mystery. You don’t get to know what the project is ahead of time. You just show up and then we start playing and creating. Everyone always does an amazing job!

For this project we started with a painted canvas board and set it aside to dry while we worked on the painted papers. (You can also use a cradled canvas.) I used black paint because I like the contrast, but you can use any color you like.


Then we started painting our papers. Just start layering paint. I like to use the scraping method (using an old gift card…

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December ATC Challenge – Winter Wonderland

21 Dec

I am looking forward to seeing what this month’s ATCs look like. I love this theme of Winter Wonderland.

Blue Twig Studio

It is a new month and time for the next ATC challenge. December’s theme is Winter Wonderland. This should be a fun month. There is so many ways to interpret this theme. The winner of the November ATC challenge – Give Thanks – will be posted in a few days. So you do still have time to get me your November ATCs this week. 🙂

It is cold out today with a fresh skiff of snow on the ground, so this theme is appropriate. Luckily today is my day off (although I have a long to-do list) so I don’t have to go out at any particular time and can wait for the sun to come out.


I have to say I’m not a huge fan of winter. I don’t really like being cold (except when I’m having a hot flash), and I don’t like driving on snowy or…

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How do you price your hand-crafted products?

6 Dec

Do you know the correct formula for pricing your hand-crafted products? Do you keep meticulous records of what your costs are? Do you know what your own time is worth? Or do you just guess?

When I was making lots of quilts, I would have people asking all the time if they could buy one. But of course, they are usually thinking they can get it for a similar price as if they went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Target. They are usually astounded by what I say my prices are, and I confess that I have sold products for prices that are much too low (although I do try to at least get my cost of materials out of the deal). But I also haven’t been in the position that what I sell is putting food on my table or paying my bills. I’ve sold hand-crafted items simply because somebody wanted what I had, and I didn’t need it myself. And I know I have given discounts to friends or family when they have purchased items from me (don’t we all do that?). Why does there seem to be so much guilt associated with asking a fair price for your hand-crafted work?

How do you go about pricing the products you make yourself? All of the time and creativity and money and love that goes into those items is of value!  For many artisans, we probably just guess at what our prices should be. Maybe we try to price our items similar to what store-bought items might be (not really the best way), or somebody tells you what they would be willing to pay for the item (really?), or we try to figure out how much money we would like to make (how much is that?). If you are trying to sell as a wholesaler, perhaps the stores you are marketing to are influencing what your prices are (be sure to stand up for yourself!). Or any one of a number of other equally inefficient ways. Perhaps we have tried to read books or articles about it, but have been confused or overwhelmed by all the information (there is a LOT of information out there). Or perhaps we just think that we are artists and all that practical side of the industry is for somebody else to think about. After all, we are Creating and Inventing and Inspiring, and we don’t have time for the nonsense of Paperwork and Business.

I found this article about pricing that I think really spells it all out. It is easy to understand, easy to practice, and explains why! The article is posted on the Oh! Boyd Enterprises website. They create handmade leather purses and accessories, which are quite beautiful. I really loved the article though, and recommend everyone read it and bookmark it for future reference.

There is excellent information about how to figure what your cost of goods number is, what your overhead is, what your time is worth, etc. Everyone should read this!

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