I simply cannot believe that it is already a week since I had immersed myself into the Thyme Graphics retreat. I had the most awesome weekend and learned so much in three and a half days that absolutely whizzed by way too quickly. We made five projects and got to try techniques I would never even have thought of! Honestly, my crafting style is now changed forever and my beautiful Silver Bullet machine is my new best friend in the craft room.
So here goes….. It all started on Friday afternoon. We settled in to the Thyme classroom. Some of us took our own machines and some used machines supplied by Thyme. I chose to take mine because all machines have their own little foibles and personalities. My machine always had this little thing that the blade never ended up in the same place when I cut a shape so I would have to snip a tiny bit with scissors. I thought it was one of my settings and hoped to resolve it at the retreat. Not only was it resolved by Dawn simply looking at one of my cuts but she helped me realised that I had been doing something wrong in all the years I had owned my machine! Such a simple thing solved within a few seconds. I could have jumped for joy!!
The first project was an engraved acrylic pendant!
I honestly didn’t even know my Silver Bullet was capable of this!! Superb don’t you think?
The next morning we made an early start and made a ‘print and cut’ project. We also foiled which is something I had done before but not as successfully. Needless to say that as soon as I got back home after the retreat, all the foiling equipment came out from the back of the cupboard ready for use.
Next we made the beautiful advent calendar. This includes the actual designing of it so that we are able to place the images behind the windows. It’s all clever stuff!
In the evening we made a start on a tyvek wallet. Another material and technique absolutely new to me. Tyvek is an extremely durable, printable, un-tearable and lightweight material which feels rather like paper. My daughter says that her company use Tyvek envelopes. It’s amazing stuff and cuts beautifully with the Silver Bullet. The design of this is genius!
There’s even a slot in the top of the wallet (apologies for the poor photo) for your paper money. Honestly, the design of this is so clever. We used needle and thread to stitch around the edges which was easy because tiny holes which were incorporated into the design and cut out on our machines meant that needlework was a breeze.
Finally on Sunday morning, we started work on glass-etching! ‘What’s that?’ I hear you say. Glass etching? On the Silver Bullet? That’s what I thought too but actually this was really clever. So the machine was used to cut out a stencil in vinyl which was then used to protect the glass before adding a special cream which would ‘eat’ into the glass giving it the opaqueness that you see on decorated glass vases etc. It is SOOOO clever! Another new technique and the potential for so many fantastic projects. We also used an airbrush to add colour to our designs. Here’s the finished result….
Just how cool are these? When they are filled with some bath salts and tied with a ribbon, what a lovely gift they will be!
On Monday, we had a colouring get together organised by Lucy which was great fun although I was tired so just watched in awe at the expert colouring done by Erin and Lucy. It seems I have a lot of practising to do but it was so much fun to watch. Erin coloured an A4 image from a colouring book. So the image was large – not something I would attempt. It was a character with a good deal of hair to colour. Oh my, you should have seen it. Was so amazing! Lucy finished the most beautiful witchy card. It’s fantastic to see it all done live.
After that, it was time to go home. I came back with my head buzzing and dying to get my machine set back up in the craft room and start playing! By Tuesday I was ready to roll and have created a couple of cards since I got back which I will share next time. I’m having fun playing although I have to keep in mind I have an office to run and a house to look after too!
I honestly can’t thank Dawn and her team enough. It was a wonderful retreat and so highly recommended for anyone who wants to either give the Silver Bullet a try or hone their skills on their own machine. Dawn’s husband deserves a special mention. He fetches, carries, gives lifts, organises, cooks and provides all weekend. A true gent!. The helpers; Lucy, Gaz and Pete were stars. They shared their knowledge, experience, time and advice so freely which I think is amazing and generous. Dawn’s designs and videos which we brought home on a memory stick are incredible – clear and concise and I know if I have any questions, I only have to ask.
What a weekend it was! I’m definitely booking onto the next one – that’s for sure!!
Have a fabulous week. Supposed to be really warm here in the UK – it’s the middle of October!!! What on earth is going on?!