Saturday, March 22, 2008

Adhesives, glue and other sticky stuff ...

As a horselover as a child, certain adults thought it would be helpful to inform me that dead horses got sent to the glue factory. The upshot of this was when I was starting school, when we had to glue and paste, I would become distraught at the sight of the Clag bottle and immediately burst into tears. My teacher would make up flour and water paste for me to use instead. It wasn't till I was in my teens that I found out this little myth was just adult humour.

I will not use this space here to discuss the rendering of animal parts into glue. In fact these days, I am not sure those of us in the West use rendered animal parts as glue, but use a petro chemical by product or something.

My first choice in adhesives are double sided cassette tapes. These are usually well made and not overly expensive and by and large do the job required. If I need something stronger, I use a clear liquid glue. Other adhesives I like are my sticker machines which are also fun.

I do not like stick glues. Stick glues always dry out and do not adhere after a period of time, usually less that a year. I have used several different brands and have found this to be true of all of them. I like the idea of a stick glue, and they are certainly the most inexpensive, but their longevity is not the best. When I want something stuck, unless I use repositionable tape, then I want it stuck forever.

When cutting an item that has been glued or even a glue tape with a removeable backing, first coat your scissors with versamark liquid from a stamp pad or pen. The versamark is easily removed later by wiping with a baby wipe.

I am sceptical about the "acid free" status of glues. What would be in a glue that made it acidic in the first place?

Will update soon ...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Taking the time ...

When you see something like the Wedding Album below, or other finished pieces of work, you have to realise that there has been much time spent in doing the item. I am talking years. You cannot just sit down one morning and say "I am going to make xxx". I cannot make a saddle, nor for that matter a bridle - I understand the concepts behind making them and as a horselover I would love to be able to - but apart from not having the tools to do so, I do not have the skills either. And it is the gaining of the skills in the first place that you require in order to make anything worthwhile.

The Album came about because I spent almost one or two nights per week for a year going to classes at a scrapbook shop learning the basics. I have books and magazines that I have used articles from, to experiment with various products to suppliment what I learnt at the scrapbooking shop. I have taken the money and invested it in the finest tools so that I have both the tools and skill to do this. But having said that, one of the skills that an artist has to have is a sense of colour.

When I first came up with the idea of the Album, knowing Kylie's dress was going to be blue, I had thought of matching the colour and using plain blue paper and stamping it and embellishing it in other ways, but still with the pieces torn and placed on each side of the pages. It was my daughter (who has also done much as I have with scrapbooking and paper arts) who suggested the yellow for the matting. Again it too is a different yellow from the frangipani flower centres too. But these colours work. They work because they are a whole. They go with the pictures, they are very modern and they are very beautiful. They are whole.

Each page is made from a single piece of card stock, cut to 12 inches by 11 1/2 inches. The extra half inch on the edge of the page is for the binding combs. So each page had to be moved in by this half inch. The back of this half inch border is re-inforced by another strip of cardstock so that when the album is open, there is enough strength at the hole for it not to tear. So in effect what has happened is that I have designed the pages for 11 1/2 inches by 11 1/2 inches.

I took the time to have the pictures developed in a lab rather than print them out on photo stock paper myself. My printing skills in this area are not the best, and as I know this, to do the album justice, the extra money I spent doing this has resulted in beautiful pictures.

Overall, it has been a fairly expensive project - it was a gift to the bride as a wedding present. Kylie is a lovely lady and she has married her dream beau, I thought she deserved something special to remember her special day. I could offer to make this album because I knew I had the skills, knowledge and tools to do it justice. Serendipity helps too, because I was looking for other papers when I discovered those lovely papers that I ended up using.