Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Dying Pearls Tutorial

I have been meaning to post this for at least 8 months!!!! And by popular demand I am now getting to it!!!! Thanks to Bec.. for the heads up & the questions regarding the process today.. Thanks again to Bec for being my Motivation!!! It's all about sharing great ideas!!! And getting it out there for all to use!!!!

How it all came about....
In our PaperANGEL team meetings we are asked to help out every now and then with the make-n-take sessions... Weather it be to do a short demo of so
mething, help instruct the make-n-take tables... Sometimes we get the easy way out and Liz comes up with the idea... and others (the brave ones- like Bec!!!) come up with their own!!! AMAZING... Some of us give a few minute spiel on classes that have worked or that we are creating... It is a wonderful thing to belong to a team that involves the individual... I believe it makes for a greater feeling of ownership and pride in each member of our team..

Because they are VALUED!!! ... Also I happen to think is only fair we each take turns... As we have so many lovely wonderful talented demonstrators.. Who individually are so ingenious!!! And it takes a little pressure off Liz... so she can enjoy some of the meetings too!!! ;)

Anyway... I have strayed a little... back to the story...

I was STRESSED (a little).... I knew MY TURN would come.. soon... arghhhhh.... RUN HIDE!!!

And well... Do you ever get the feeling that you really have nothing to teach all these wonderfully talented demonstrators??? ... (sounds a little like the Ladies that demoed on main stage at convention!! I feel their pain.. even if it is only in front of 20... I have had a glimmer.. Demoing in front of 450 talented demonstrators... ARGHHHH... I will be running fast... and hiding!!!.. if ever I am asked to do something big like that)... Well that was me... so I did the normal thing in preparation for my inevitable turn... Chewed my nails a bit... I stressed a bit... Researched a bit... and felt like nothing was happening.. I was drawing a total blank... for quite some time...

Then; magically one day a memory from my childhood POPPED into my head... (Thank goodness)

My Mum was a Costume Jewellery Designer and I remembered that she used to dye pearls... With that memory I wondered if I could dye our pearls from our pretties kit? . After all I was getting a bit board with the white and cream pearls.. as lovely as they are.. well I just wanted a change.... you know colour my world... with colour!!! So I did some experimenting...

Then when I thought I had it... I told a couple of people.. and B4 you knew it Liz asked me to take part in one of PaperANGELS make-n-take sessions in our meting... Of course this may have had something to do with my total secrecy in 'the process'.... I wanted to keep it to myself.. I wanted it to be FRESH... NEW and INSPIRING... When I finally unveiled 'The Secret'... (Can you tell I like DRAMA??? Suspense is a great thing.. It makes life exciting.. and surprising.... hehe.. and... I get a bit of a kick out of being a tiny bit evil!!!)

Anyway... I am so grateful for an ingenious Mother!!! Who not only still inspires me even though she passed away when I was 18... but also that she taught me well to "HAVE A GO"....

Muwah (*blows kiss skyward) I Love you Mum...

Damm it now I am crying.... as mum would say.. "You big B.... sook!!! "

Ok so.... on with the tute...

Materials needed..
Pretties Kit.. (of course....), re-inker, microwaveable small cup, paper towels, rubber glove, small funnel, Microwave & pliers or tweezers.



I find egg cups, small par fee bowls or tea light candle cups are the best... The smaller the better as you will use less ink.

First you take the pearls out that you would like to colour..... and... place them in your (microwaveable) cup...


Squeeze in some of your chosen re-inker... enough to totally submerge the pearls... (note:- you do need to choose from our stronger colours... Light ones are not pigmented enough to change the pearls...)


Place cup with pearls in microwave for 10 seconds... being sure that it does not bubble over..

(It gets very messy when it boils over!!!)
Be sure to keep listening all the time to ensure it does not bubble & crack too muc
h because you can blister the pearl.. What you want to achieve is for the resin to expand enough to let in some of the colour... Heat is a great way to expand resin and make it more porous...


* You may want to repeat that process once or twice more.. If it bubbles and cracks you need to stop the microwave even if time is not up.. .. allow it to cool a little.. one or 2 mins.. and then put it back in for the remaining of that 10 seconds...

Lay out a paper towel with a plastic bag underneath.. or put p
aper towel on the sink so that if it soaks through the towel the clean up is easier...


Take glass with peals out of the microwave.. (it may be hot... so you may need a oven mitt or a tea towel... Protect those CRAFTY hands they are precious!!!) Allow the pearls to cool in the dye.. You can do it over night or it can be for 10 mins.. this all depends on how the ink takes to the pearl... All colours are different in this process.. so ‘trial and error’ is needed...

While they are cooling you can remove the dropper part in your re-inker and poor the remaining ink back into your container using a funnel... (The heating process will not change the colour... However it will make the consistency a little thicker... but I find that that does not matter.. so far I have not noticed changes in the re-inkers ability to re-ink my stamp pads.. If you were worried about it changing the integrity of your re-inker….. perhaps buy one or two darker re-inkers and dedicate them to your pearl dying... OR add a few drops of water)



When cool take your tweezers or pliers... and remove the pearls from the cup.... (a rubber glove comes in handy for this process.. because you can make a mess dropping the pearl back in the cup..)... Place the pearls on the paper towelling... then dab the excess colour off.. you can also rinse it under water.. both will work...


And whalah.. you have a dyed pearl... As you can see it is a subtle difference...Due to the fact that our re-inkers are water based... (if you want stronger colours you could try using fabric dye.. but that is not Stampin Up stuff....; )


I've only put this in the microwave for 10 seconds and allowed it to cool for maybe 10 mins......

The first two pearls are our cream and white ones from our pretties kit.. the one I am pointing to is the Chocolate Chip died one..


Now if the colour is not dark enough you can repeat the process one or two times more.. It may make a difference... again it is all 'trial and error..'.

* If you do not have a microwave.. You may achieve the same result using a baya-maire set up...

Have some boiling water in a saucepan with the cup and pearls in the water...

You need to boil the water so it is bubbling well...

Then you need to boil the pearl in the cup for at least 20 mins.. you may need to top up the water in that 20 mins as the water will turn into steam and will evaporate... do not let it boil dry.. as you will wreck your pearl... burn the bottom of your saucepan... and may (touch wood that it never happens) burn the house down!!! I do not want to be responsible for that!!! Sooooooooo PLEASE keep a close eye on it...!!!



And here is the finished product..attached to my card that I whipped up for this tute tonight...



This is the techniques card I taught in our PaperANGELS meeting all those many months ago.. with some left over and experimental pearls that I have dyed....


As you can see I BOILED the pink ones a bit too much...They blistered... . (Trial and ERROR)... I used Rose Red re-inker... Then the full round pearls at back close to the card I have used Elegant Eggplant.. again you can do it a couple of times to get it darker... and I think (from my really BAD memory) the one on the card was Night of Navy re-inker.... the 2 in the front that got too much light from my cameras flash are the Chocolate Chip ones I just dyed...


Enjoy Experimenting... xxxx


Ps... Oh yeah and the Demonstrator who told us about her pearl dying 'accident' or rather dicovery... Some people have mentioned that they can't remember how she did it... (sorry I can not for the life of me remember her name!!! I took so many notes in her class too!!! How BAD is that??) How she said she achieved it was to leave the pearl in the reinker for a week or so... and it came out a supprise colour... not much like the inker she left it in..

3 comments:

  1. You're so crafty Urshie! Very talented indeed :)

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  2. Thanks love..
    "Crafty" in oh so many ways!!! hehe...

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  3. Annette McMillian a Stampin Up Demo from Canberra just informed me that the demonstrator from Convention was Alison Charlton... Thanks enjoy experimenting!!!

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