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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2010-03-26, 5:27pm
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CelesteK CelesteK is offline
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Default butterflies on lentils

So I'm still trying to make butterflies on lentil beads. My success ratio is very low. Yesterday I tried to make butterflies on light teal lentils. I layered EDP over periwinkle and finished up with dots on the tips in lemon yellow and pea green. I love those colors together, but the butterflies leave a lot to be desired. Oh, the butterfly body is black. It seems that less is more and I need to make the dots smaller. I have a bunch on my Facebook wall. If anyone has any suggestions of how to make these better I would be delighted. I love them when they turn out, but there doesn't seem to be any reason that I can determine of why sometimes they work and most times they don't. More practice, practice, practice. I'm just trying to find the direction to go in to get more to turn out. I'm thinking maybe a stiffer opaque as the base butterfly color, but I haven't yet figured out which opaques are stiffer than the others. I also like to use glass that reacts so that I can get that grey outline.

Celeste
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  #2  
Old 2010-03-27, 3:00am
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Can you post pics, since I (and maybe some others) don't have access to your facebook page?
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  #3  
Old 2010-03-27, 10:01am
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I would, but it is still technically beyond me to post pics on LE. I only recently figured out how to post them to facebook. I may have to start figuring it out because these butterflies are making me crazy (crazier?). I thought I had my wall set up so that anyone could see my wall photos on facebook, but maybe I don't. I'm on as Celeste Kemmerer

Celeste
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  #4  
Old 2010-03-27, 1:10pm
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Facebook totally confuses me ... I can't figure out who can see me, who can't, who I can see, and how to get out of farmville! It's much easier and a whole lot simpler here!

See the "go advanced" under your quick reply, click that then you go to a page where you can upload a picture - you have to make sure it's not too big. and then click the link and it inserts it into the message here.

Then anyone who visits can see your picture!
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  #5  
Old 2010-03-27, 3:53pm
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See, that's what I'm afraid of--I don't know how to make sure the picture isn't too big, but if it really is that easy I'll try it one of these days. And then I'll be posting pics all the time...

Celeste
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  #6  
Old 2010-03-29, 7:40am
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Celeste, you can resize, crop etc pics in a free photo-manipulation program called "Gimp"
http://www.gimp.org/downloads/
There are tutorials available on using the program too: http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/

Basically, for forum use, you don't want your pic wider than 600 pixels (72 dpi resolution for on-screen) I tend to make my pics 500x500 pixels for forum posting (hrm, I'm thinking I should make up a tutorial for this...) Hope that helps
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  #7  
Old 2010-03-29, 8:39am
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Hi Celeste-

I have found that the CIM opaques are much stiffer than the Moretti or the Vetrofond. I use them all the time for melted in dots on top of the Moretti/Vetro colors and they retain a nice crisp outline (they don;t bleed), plus the turquoises will react with the "special" colors and ivories too!

Good luck, I've never tried to make butterflies- would love to see some pics! Laura
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  #8  
Old 2010-03-29, 6:15pm
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My picture is already on the computer at work, so tomorrow I'll go in early and try to get it on the LE site. It's also posted on my facebook.

Celeste
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  #9  
Old 2010-03-30, 7:43am
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I think I put a picture on this--we'll see...

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  #10  
Old 2010-03-30, 7:44am
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OK, these are my pathetic butterflies. The one on the bottom right is the closest to what I'm working toward.

Celeste
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  #11  
Old 2010-03-30, 9:45am
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Well, this is what I'd do

-base bead
-add four dots - not too near the middle, bottom dots smaller than the top
-with a brass flat tool, heat each dot and then flatten it
-add your top or transparent color to each flattened dot.
-melt those - on at a time - in JUST ENOUGH for the top color to round out, and flatten again (DO NOT melt in completely)
------while you are flattening this time, you can push in toward the center slightly if you need to to get the dots where you need them
-now, heat the outer edge of one stacked dot, and pull to the edge. For the top wing, I'd pull straight out and then pull up at the end to get the shape good. If the shape was pretty good to start with, I'd just pull at 45.
-repeat for the bottom

Add the body with a black stringer, and melt in only enough to prevent it from coming off the glass.


Don't forget to heat the back.

This is one of those "controlled" heat exercises. Too much will melt things in too fast and give you blobby-ness.

For more realism, the head is not connected to the wings, nor is the abdomen.
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Last edited by LyndaJ; 2010-03-30 at 9:47am.
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  #12  
Old 2010-03-30, 12:33pm
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Can I use my graphite marver? I don't have a brass one yet. Thank you, Lynda. I will try that. I was using two dots for the top wings and then trying to get them to melt together. I also think I was raking from too far in on the dots and just want to rake the very tips. So I need to make the middle portion thinner and the body a bit longer. I'm on a hot head, so nothing melts quickly...

Celeste
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  #13  
Old 2010-03-30, 1:30pm
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I've been on a hothead for several years too Celeste, and thought that raised designs like flowers (though I've never tried the kind of butterflies you are making) were the most difficult things for me. Finally I realised that the hothead was actually "too hot" - or rather the flame was too broad and I had to work further out (really often to the side of the torch) to avoid melting details while I was working on adding more details. I was interested to read a post by Lea Zilke recently saying that she liked Bullseye for her raised floral designs because it is stiffer and holds up better for raised surface designs. Now there's a tip from an EXPERT!! The other thing I've learned when trying to make creased flowers a la Kandice Seeber et al, I need to make my base opaque dot smaller relative to the transparent top layer. Don't know if any of this is relative to your butterflies. You might also think creatively about gathering some found tools that you can use to push glass around - different butter knives from a thrift store, or beg old tools off your dentist (sort of takes the edge off of a dental visit).

I just looked at the butterflies again and was wondering if you might want to try one where you are pulling the wing towards the body rather than outwards. You could always also pull a tip at the wing tip later.
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Last edited by Vicki B.; 2010-03-30 at 1:36pm.
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  #14  
Old 2010-03-30, 7:43pm
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Yes, that is exactly my frustration with the hot head. It is difficult to get good control because of the width of the flame. I've started to work on the edge of the flame. I might need to try to pull the dots inward. The body has been going on last. The more suggestions the better. I'm not using any transparent color on the butterfly itself yet. The transparent is my base bead because it is stiffer and I have trouble not pulling too much glass when I rake. I have a bunch more of these on Facebook that I will have to post here, some of which actually look quite nice. The ones that turned out the best used a base of ivory or lemon yellow and top dots of turquoise--or dark sky blue. That way I also get the reaction line, so I have more colors for my effort.

Celeste
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