Behind the brand – a personal update

As well as a resin artist I am also the mum to three very awesome young men!  2019 has proven to be a huge year for my family.  It has already had its huge highs and a pretty low low.  Here’s a a little bit about it all.  (It’s moments like these that I am so very grateful for my creative space to escape to.)

One of my other hats is “Baseball Mum”.  All of my boys play baseball and all have competed at a very high level representing WA at National and International championships. They play for the love of the game and it is so rewarding to see them strive and work hard to achieve at something no matter the results on the field. They don’t always win but they always learn!

So with this in mind the first high of the year is that my middle son (19 next week) has achieved his ultimate goal and has received a scholarship to attend college in America to play baseball and work towards his physiotherapy degree.  Gosh this has been 10 years in the making and he has consistently worked towards this goal, not always achieving and not always the best player but always giving his all.  We are so very pleased for him and so very proud, but oh this mama’s heart is so sad to see him go!  You raise boys to leave the nest but man I thought he’d be older than 19!  So I am sad and happy at the same time (sad for me and absolutely bursting with happiness for him) which makes for interesting times haha.  He will be coming home for Christmas so I’ll be counting down for that!!

Which brings us to the next event which was a pretty low low.  My youngest son (13) was injured at baseball training one night in February when a miss thrown ball hit him flush on the eye.  This has caused permanent damage to his eyesight (he now has a “Traumatic Macular Hole”) in his right eye and he will be having surgery in July to try to get it back to about 70% vision.  He currently has 30% vision in that eye with a blurry section right in the middle of his vision.  He is the only known 13 year old (or child) in the world to have had this surgery, although it is an extremely common procedure in the 60+ age group for macular degeneration. (As the ball hit him directly on the pupil it has damaged the macular which is the dead centre at the back of the eye in the middle of the retina.)

Wow!  Just like that things sure can change.  But what this has confirmed is that he is an amazing young man, so strong, positive and resilient.  He has never once complained, not once said why me, he has just looked to the future with his positive nature and gotten on with it.  My husband and I learn from him every single day.  He is quite simply amazing!  In fact he is competing in a National baseball tournament next week!  Fearless I tell you! He wanted to pull out so as not to let the team down but the Coach asked him to stay as they could really use his pitching and his positive team player attitude.  His batting and fielding look a little rusty now unfortunately as two eyes are definitely an advantage in tracking a baseball!  His pitching is largely unaffected as it is a different action/process.  He is rocking his high impact protective glasses and loving being part of the team.  So GO NORTH!!  Make sure you’re cheering him on next week!

And then another high!  My eldest son turned 21 this week!  Just wow!  So exciting to watch him grow and mature.  He is a wonderful guy with a true heart of gold.  A loyal, hard working, funny, strong, loving, wonderful young man.  So proud ♥  (And gees I feel old now lol)

So you can see that 2019 has pulled at the heart strings of this mum in so many different ways already!  Not sure how I’ll get through the next half but with my Resinating family having my back and my art to escape to I know I’m in a much better place ♥ Mwah!

 

 

 

 

So – which resin?

Did you know that there are literally HUNDREDS of resin brands and types out there!?  Hundreds!  Want to know why it is so hard to recommend one for you?

What works for me may not work for you!  It’s as simple as that!

The reason for this is that each brand and type of resin has a different ‘personality’.  Each one has different properties and so is more suited to a certain usage.  They may have different purposes or be more suitable for a certain type of application,  or work better in my climate than yours, I might like thin resin you might like thick, or vise versa, you may not want to wait days to move your work or may want one for casting resin pieces.  What you want to use the resin for plays a large part in what properties are suitable to you.  Resin for casting? Art? Homewares? Selling? Playing? Jewellery?  Doming?  All these things seek different qualities.  Price also plays a large point as this is not a cheap exercise.  And cheap resin is often too good to be true giving poor finishes.  And one that I like might not be available in your city.  You may have never even heard of some of them in your country!  See!  So many different factors at play!

I personally have four or five (and often more haha) different resins on the go in my workshop at any one time.  True story! I have used more than 12 different brands, but there are HUNDREDS more brands that I have not used!  I may not have heard of the one that you use, you may not have heard of the ones that I use!  And that’s ok!

And do you know what?! Even if we use the exact same resin we may never get the exact same results!  Because WE also have unique properties that influence our work – and that my friend is simply the COOLEST THING EVER!!!

So get yourself some good PPE (Personal Protective Equipment – absolutely non negotiable), get yourself some resin, have a play and HAVE SOME FUN!

And on that note, I’m off to the workshop to do the same!!!  Woohoo!

Resin classes – an update

After extensive consideration, inner torment and much over-thinking I have concluded that I won’t be holding resin workshops.  I totally understand your excitement to work with resin, believe you me!, but unfortunately some people may have an allergic reaction to using resin and I do not want to take on this risk with my beloved Resinating family.

Resin is a glorious medium to work with but it does need to be fully respected.

If you are keen on doing a resin class there are quite a few being held around Australia, including Perth, with more seemingly to pop up daily.  I am concerned about some of the information being put out there by new resin artists so here are some things to look out for when booking a class:

  • That appropriate P.P.E is provided and used.  P.P.E is Personal Protective Equipment and should ALWAYS include – a respirator (fume and vapour mask), glasses/goggles, nitrile gloves, and an apron.  You can then also tie your hair back (trust me resin is the WORST in hair!!) and wear fitted long sleeves if you wish – make sure they’re not baggy sleeves as they will drag in the resin.  EVERY time you are working with resin you should be appropriately protected.  Resin art is not glamorous lol!
  • That the resin artist is insured and that the insurance covers you attending a workshop.
  • That a quality resin is used.
  • That the room is well ventilated and has access to running water.
  • That no food or drink is consumed during the class.

Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions before booking. Don’t risk your health and your artwork with taking shortcuts.  Use an artist that has been working with resin for a long time as it is a unique medium and the artist needs to be knowledgeable, not a fly by night pop up job.

REMEMBER I am always happy to help you with any questions you may have with regards to working with resin.  I will always try my best to point you in the right direction.  It is a wonderful medium to create with but does need to be respected.

I hope this helps, Marina x

Hello 2019!

Oh 2019 you wonderful thing! I have woken up to this new year feeling excited and inspired!  My heart is full of new ideas… annnnd my head is trying to work out if I can execute them!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and are feeling just as refreshed and ready to jump into 2019 as I am!  Although if your routine is scrambled like mine at this time of year it’s hard enough just knowing what day of the week it is lol!!  But how exciting to have 365 (give or take) fresh starts before us!  I found this quote on New Years Day and it truly resonated with me:

So this year I’m going to try and wake up each morning and think of this very day as the best day ever!  I know some days just can’t be salvaged with a positive mindset lol but I’m sure going to give it a red hot go!  Who’s with me?The start of a new year always begins for me with choosing a “word” or a phrase for the year.  Does anyone else do this?  Normally I just ‘know’ what my word will be as it may have revealed itself towards the end of the last year, but this year has proven a bit more elusive to narrow it down!  And multiple words wasn’t working for me this year.  I think I finally have my chosen one and it does feel right for me on many levels – so inspiring to have a word that resonates!

My Resinating word range includes hand stamped cuff bracelets which are a popular way to wear your mantra – and of course they are fully customisable! I love to wear one with something that is resonating with me at the moment and may swap between a couple that I have ♥ These ones went out last week, it’s just so awesome to think of them inspiring the wearer! Love that!

In January while my son is on school holidays I will be sneaking time to focus on my new ideas and see if I can bring them to fruition.  Oh and my bookwork – there’s always a mountain of that to catch up on lol! I have a couple of personal projects to tackle as well which will push my resin knowledge to the limit so fingers crossed they work well enough!!  At least they’re just for me lol. I’ll also be planning for my year ahead with my very first market in March at the wonderful Perth Upmarket – ooh I can’t wait for this!  Will be so nice to see you all again!

Until next time, take care,
Marina x

Resinating shenanigans – May 2018

Wowie!  I’m finding it hard to believe it’s May already!  Things have certainly been buzzing in the studio this year.  Put the kettle on and I’ll catch you up :)

I’ve been busy creating colourful treasures for markets and wholesale customers ♥ (My boards and salad servers can be found in Flava Gifts unique WA brand gift hampers, as well as a few other sneaky places around Perth – keep your eyes open!). My Perth Upmarket stall is always filled to the brim with brand new creations – just love coming up with new designs and colourways for this event!

My new website shop has proved a hit with many of you purchasing custom gifts for loved ones – engagements, housewarming, weddings (and of course Christmas) are popular occasions.  Have a sticky beak here  So glad that this section is working well for you.

I’ve had fun decluttering my home, focusing mainly on toys now that my baby is 12!  Where on earth did that time go?  Anyway the toy decluttering proved a bit more challenging for this sentimental old mum that I thought!!!!  But I found a compromise that my heart could handle and everything that is left is neat and tidy and packed away at least…put it this way, this future Grandma’s house is going to be the most fun place to visit – or just filled with really old toys lol!!

In all the decluttering I have paid particular attention to my studio – really hubbies workshop (but he lovingly handed it over to me to get my treasures out of the house) and it’s mine to keep all my making bits and market props etc in so I LOVE it! I can create up a storm and then close the door while it all cures – perfect! (Just trying to squish hubbies stuff further into the corner as we speak hehe)  These areas that are shut off from the main house really do become dumping grounds don’t they!  Especially when I would rather be making than cleaning!!  Oh and guess what! I’ve even managed to get all my accounts up to date!  And it’s not quite the end of the financial year either!  Ooh yeah – fist bump!

2018 has seen a very last minute new school for my youngest, and high school to boot!, and this has proved a rewarding transition.  Still a mad baseball mum I’ll be heading off to NSW for the National Little League Championships in June to watch my youngest play.  Eek!  This means I will have to be SUPER organised for my next market which is just 2 weeks after I get back! (June 24th, Perth Upmarket – write it down!) Don’t panic, I’ve started creating and have already got some gorgeous goodies on the workbench for this ♥  Ooh I love this bit!!  Can’t wait to show you!

Well, back to it for me!  Thanks for the cuppa :)  Talk soon

Marina ♥

HELLO TO A NEW YEAR!

Don’t you just LOVE the energy that surrounds the start of a brand new year?!  Everything has that fresh, new year smell to it!

For me it heralds the end to the crazily awesome market season leading up to Christmas and so normally means my house is SCREAMING out to be tidied up and sorted out!  And my studio…well let’s just say that it took me 3 full weeks to sort it out and actually find the floor this time!!  But I do feel that I cannot begin creatively until I have reigned in the chaos!

As I go through these things and slowly get it back in order I can feel my mind shift from cluttered and overwhelmed to the excitement of being back in the creative zone.  As the fog begins to lift on my mind I find that ideas just start to waft through as the haze clears.  I jump from one fresh new idea to another!  I am inspired!  I tweak my website, my listings, my shop fronts as well as check that my packaging and brand are still on the right track!  My notebooks get fuller and fuller!

And I read.  I read every blog post on the small business world I can get my hands on!  I read books devoted to self-improvement or creativity (this year i read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and it was fab!)  I search Pinterest.  I read magazines.  I devour this information.  Then suddenly, I am able to slow down and realise that through all this information one thing is becoming clear.  I am doing ok!!  I may be bumbling along at best at times but overall I am not doing too badly!  My creative passion is as fierce as ever!  My paperwork could be kept in better order (and my washing put away as well as folded!!) but I am juggling all of the balls of a work at home mum – and mostly – managing to keep them in the air!!

DSCN4782So here’s to 2016!  And here’s to us – the almighty #girlbosses out there!  I just know it’s going to be MINTOX!!

DESIGNER IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Resinating-profile

What an honour to be asked to be the Designer in the Spotlight on Madeit!  A little terrifying for an introvert like myself, but I am quite proud to have stepped out of my comfort zone and put myself out there for this!!

You can find the interview here – its a fun read and tells out how I got started with Resinating and a little bit about me! Enjoy!

WHAT IS RESIN?

Ok…so what exactly is resin?  Well it turns out this is a whole lot harder to describe than you would think!

I’ll do my best to briefly outline the basics as I know it – a scientist can give you the insight into the real molecular make-up!

Get ready for your Chemistry 101 lesson!!

“Resin” is a term widely and commonly used to describe a compound that starts in a liquid form and then hardens to a solid, thus mimicking tree resin.

True resin comes from trees.  It is an organic material used in the manufacture of varnishes, food glazing agents and also incense and perfumes (think pine scented products).

Synthetic resins like the ones used for jewellery, crafting and industry have been manufactured to mimic natural plant resins – that is they are viscous (thick + sticky) liquids that are capable of hardening permanently.  They are an inorganic material.

Some common synthetic resins include:

Epoxy resin – to produce small-scale models, jewellery and castings,

Enviro resins or Bio resins are an epoxy resin and are a synthetic resin created using industrial by-products, or waste products, to form another product – thus being environmentally friendly (reduce, reuse, recycle) rather than an organic product as may be implied.  Surfboards, some jewellery and pens are commonly made from this.  A beautiful and awesome way to re-purpose industrial waste.

Polyurethane resin – again to produce small-scale items,

Polyester resin – to commonly produce large-scale plastic objects like furniture, but is also used in bulk jewellery manufacture,

Acrylic resin – to produce products such as Plexiglass,

Silicone resin – to produce a flexible silicone rubber.

So that’s resin in a nutshell…but how does it work?

Basically a thermosetting (heat cured) synthetic resin is mixed with a curing agent (polymerisation catalyst) at room temperature.  (Still with me?) Depending on the products used and ambient temperature curing time can be anything from 5 mins to 3 days for a small object!

Hang on I’ll try again…

To cast an object, a synthetic resin (Part A) is mixed with a curing agent (Part B) and poured into a prepared silicone mould.  Mixing the two parts together causes an exothermic reaction.  This is a chemical reaction to release heat.  In this moment the resin produces extreme heat for a brief period – the resins I use heat up to 110 degrees Celsius – hence the need for properly suited moulds!  Once the curing process is completed the object can be released from the mould and sanded and polished ready for use.

I use epoxy and polyurethane resins to produce my products (polyester resins are just too smelly for me!) and bio resin (where I can – although this is only suited for some items/moulds).  I have a few different product types that I use as the way they have been formulated means they have different properties and uses. Some are for doming, some for casting, some are better for embedding, some are quick set and some take longer to cure!  Playing with the different synthetic resins available and testing their parameters in the studio is a HUGE part of the fun!

So when you ask me “What exactly is resin” and I answer you with “Its closest cousin would be plastic” I’m actually not that far off!!!

(and you, my friend, just moved to the top of the class!)

xx

A RESINATING GIFT GUIDE

Your Christmas shopping is sorted!

We all love to give and receive gifts at Christmastime!  Sometimes the joy of giving surpasses the receiving when the recipient squeals in obvious delight at what you have given!  Choosing something with them in mind shows thought and care, but can be overwhelming at times!  This week my newsletter subscribers received a series of gift guides to help get their Christmas shopping easily sorted!  Cross people off your list with these Resinating ideas…

Gifts for Teachers:

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Gifts for Teachers

At Christmastime it’s so lovely to reward your child’s teacher for a great year of going above and beyond for the entire class.  And what better way than with a pop of colour for their desk!

  • The Pop Planters ($15) are suitable for both male and female teachers (and the plant will survive the holidays!!) and add a lovely splash of colour to their home or school desk;
  • Trinket dishes ($12-15) come in many colours and look great filled with paperclips or small items that help to keep their desk tidy;
  • The floral brooches ($8) are a gorgeous handmade gift at a great price – especially if you have more than one teacher to buy for!
  • And the small bud vases look beautiful filled with a freshly picked flower.

All items available in assorted colours

Whatever you decide to give the teachers in your life this Christmas make sure to include a card handmade by your child – a joy to give and receive!! ♥

Gifts for Tweens and Teens:

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Gifts for Tweens and Teens

Tweens and teenagers are often one of the hardest ages to buy for, but Resinating makes it easy!

Boys:

  • necklaces for cool dudes featuring iconic boy themes – Halo and Minecraft computer games, Star Wars and more (I’ve army men, spiders, and shark teeth galore!) $12.50
  • a skull ornament to adorn their shelf – or use it as a paperweight on their study desk $22
  • hang a cool skull or geek item from their backpack with a Resinating bag tag or three $8.50

Girls:

  • a sparkly suncatcher to hang in their bedroom window or mirror (comes complete with a suction cup hook) $20
  • a Summery bangle or sparkly ring to brighten things up $22/$18
  • a small bud vase for the dandelion flowers from the garden they pick! $18 in an array of gorgeous colours
  • some cute little stud earrings in a WIDE range of colours! $8
  • a skull ornament with a hot pink Mohawk!  What more could you want? $22

See it’s not too hard!  Think funky, cool, geeky or computer themed and you’re on a winner!

Gifts for Stocking Stuffers:

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Gifts for Stocking Stuffers

Stuff their stockings with some fun little bits this Christmas!

  • Badges for their jacket, hat or bag (featuring Lego men, shown, Dr Who or Star Wars) $8
  • Bag tags to hang off their backpacks $8.50 in a HUGE variety of styles – Dinosaurs, robots, letters, Star Wars, Minecraft, Spiderman…and more!
  • Necklaces $12.50 a neverending supply of themes for these too!  Shark teeth, dinosaurs, Halo men, army men, Star Wars, skulls, Lego…these tick all the boxes!
  • Stud earrings in a GORGEOUS range of colours $8

All items available in various colours and themes – just ask!

Kids love all the bits and bobs that fill their stockings on Christmas day!  Buying handmade ensures quirky and different are top of the list!

 

Gifts for Men:

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Gifts for Men

Buying for men does not need to be as tricky as you think!

  • Get the cogs turning with this ‘Blocked’ puzzle – a brain buster puzzle perfect for after dinner fun!  $20
  • An R2D2 paperweight to keep his paperwork organised and his desk looking mighty fine! $22
  • a square resin dish to keep office supplies in $15
  • a set of Dr Who decorations $15
  • a Dr Who or Star Wars keyring – bring out his inner geek – $8.50 (other styles available)

See!  Awesome, cool and fun – just like our men!

Gifts for Neighbours:

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Gifts for Neighbours

They’ve collected your newspaper, brought your bin up when you were sick, watered your plants and let your cat sleep on their outdoor setting!  At Christmas it’s nice to be able to say thanks with a little gift of appreciation.

  • Make some shortbread biscuits and tie a mini heart or star on the packaging (or tape to a box of chocolates or bottle of wine if time is against you!) $8 set of 5
  • Medium decorations $8, including sparkly stars and gingerbread men
  • Large star, in various colours, $15
  • set of 3 Lego men, because … Lego!!  $15 set of 3

Christmas decorations make great gifts as they’re not something extra to find a permanent home for, and each Christmas when the tree and decorations are hauled out they bring memories and smiles as they are discovered and remembered! 

 

So there it is, my Resinating Gift Guide!

Get some ideas?

I hope you got lots of ideas to help you cross people off your list and make your festive season easier!

Remember the most important thing is spending time with the people that we love – the gift is just sugar on top!

Marina x

 

 

ETSY CHRISTMAS POP-UP EVENT

I am so excited to be part of Etsy Australia’s Christmas Pop-up Event to be held in Leederville, Perth from November 7-9th!

Check out this page by Etsy Australia showcasing all the stallholders for the Perth event:

It is going to be an AMAZING event with a festival vibe – great food, entertainment and of course Etsy stalls!! Sounds like Heaven!!