Friday, March 1, 2013

Valentine's Swaps - Stick Pins

I've started the year with a few swaps again with some of the lovely ladies on Scrapping Obsessionz a group for New Zealand and Australian scrappers.

The theme was Valentine's Day and despite not celebrating it this year (bit of a sore point after last year) I still decided to join in the swap as my favourite colour is red and what is more Valentines than red???

We each had to create three stick pins which interpreted our idea of Valentines. As with all my stick pins I wanted to also ensure that they were delivered to the other participants safe and securely, so I also wanted to create Valentine's appropriate packaging.
To package each set of three stick pins in, I cut a heart out of some glittered patterned paper. I originally attempted this with my Fiskars ShapeCutter, but found the paper was so thick (along with the added thickness of being glittered) that I couldn't get a nice cutting line, so in the end I traced the heart shape from my template and cut them out by hand.
On the back I added a modified type of match box. The pins stick into a small folded open ended box at the bottom of the match box. To prevent the pins flipping away from the hearts, I tucked the folded top of the match box in behind a ribbon strip across the back of the heart. From the front it doesn't look like there is anything behind, so it's a nice surprise to turn it around and find all the goodies.
I love this hot vibrant pink colour of the largest bead. I coloured the pin head to match using Adirondack Alcohol Ink in Wild Plum. The secret to doing this and not ending up with alcohol ink all over your hands (and believe me the colour lasts forever, despite vigorous scrubbing) is to add a few drops (I did 6 drops at a time to colour five pins) into the corner of a small plastic bag. I used snack sized zip lock bags.
I dipped each pin head into the alcohol ink filled corner of the bag and swirled it around until the entire pin head was re-coloured. Once coated I stood each pin up in a small piece of foam to dry. I gave each pin about four coats like this to give them a thick, vibrant colour to match the respective beads. Once they were all coloured I then cleaned the stick bit of the pin with Adirondack Alcohol Blending Solution.
Around the main bead of the pink pin, I added two filigree looking bead caps. I then squished these around the bead to cocoon it just using finger tip pressure.
This was the first pin I designed when I started to make them. I wanted to give the look of a heart with an arrow through it... almost like cupid had shot it. I wanted the heart flexible enough to go around the bead, but still be easily discernible as a heart so I used red felt. I traced a mini heart template and cut around the hearts by hand.
After colouring the pin head with Adirondack Alcohol Ink - Watermelon, I threaded the pin through the heart, threaded on the bead and bead cap arrangement, then threaded through the felt heart again to hold everything in place. The felt was enough to hold the beads in place so I didn't add any additional adhesive like I usually would.
The last pin was another simple creation. These I coloured the pin head with a combination of both of the Adirondack Alcohol Inks I had previously used - Wild Plum and Watermelon - in equal quantities.
I attached looped head pins to each side of the heart charm and then wound them around my pliers for a tight coil. I threaded one coil, a flatish sided bead and then the other coil onto the pin so that the heart appears to be backed by the bead, though in reality them are both quite separate.
I really like the simplicity of all three beads in the set. I love the vibrant colours (I'm definitely a colourful character to say the least) and they each have quite a distinctive take on the Valentine's theme.

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