Friendships and roadtrips …

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It started with a simple email received from Red Lead, a stamp store in St. Louis, Mo. It was an advertisement for upcoming classes and one in particular caught my attention – “Metalology.” I’m heavy into anything altered and distressed so a workshop titled “Metalology” I just couldn’t pass up! I was ready to sign up right then and there.

I figured I was due for a roadtrip and it could fun hitting scrapbook and stamp stores along the way. Unfortunately by the time I made my decision to go the class had already sold out. I was really bummed! But then, by chance, I heard another class date was being offered. I wasted no time in registering that night and jumped on line and paid my fee. I was in and so was my friend. We were so excited – a roadtrip with just the girls and we could stop at any scrapbook and stamp stores we could find AND the antique malls!

She drove, I navigated along with the GPS – we both kept an eye out for signs of antique malls and other interesting places to visit. Unfortunately several scrapbook stores we had mapped out were no longer in business but we found some really cool stuff at the antique malls along the way – vintage buttons and lace, old school readers and ledgers.

We arrived at our hotel with no problems and rested up for our six-hour class happening the next day at Red Lead. We were really looking forward to our “Metalology” class and learning to do photo transfers onto metal. The instructor was knowledgeable and the group of students very friendly and sociable. I’ve never had much luck with photo transfers and so I really appreciated that we repeatedly attempted photo transfers throughout the day. It is true that practice-makes-perfect. My final transfer of the day was undecidedly my best!

I discovered the trick to successful photo transfers is applying the right amount of gel medium (we used Claudine Hellmuths’ matte medium), a good burnishing technique, the right amount of drying time and enough moisture in the end for removing the paper. I used family photos printed out on photo paper that I then took to Staples for a toner copy. I had some copies in black-and-white and others in sepia. I prefer the sepia, but it’s just my personal preference. There needs to be a really good contrast in the photos otherwise it may just all run together and be hard to differentiate objects in the photo. If done correctly these photo transfers onto metal can look like antique tin types. Give it a try and have fun!