I first came across Little Windows through the marvellous resin jewelry video tutorials by Fran Valera, the highly creative artisan and owner.  She has many innovative resin products as well as inspiring tutorials on her site.  I picked a selection of my favorites in this past post - Really Cool Photo Resin Jewelry Tutorials.

Coloring resin is possible with dyes.  I have come across tips on using artist crayon shavings. Liquid color agents like acrylic paints are not recommended as they could affect the polymerization of 2 part epoxy resin. So Little Windows now offers gorgeous resin films - superior to using dyes because they do not cloud over embedded objects nor do they bleed.  I received sample packs of jewel tones and the lighter tints.

As you can see from the snowflake pendants I made above, these resin films really help make beautiful resin pieces with colorful backgrounds. The pendant on the top right was the only one created without resin film - the snowflake rests on a sprinkle infused resin bed.  Different look as the snowflake element was not as sharply demarcated.

The snowflake jewelry tutorial will be out later this week. The resin films are quite thin and light.  I found they scratched easily but that did not appear to make any different when used in casting.  Static cling was an issue at this time of year. But the dust was easily removed using a Swiffer duster.

I found I could get away with cutting out small shapes using small punches but cutting out larger pieces really needs Fran's suggestion of sandwiching the film with some scrap paper folded in half. Otherwise the punch distorts the resin film and doesn't cut it properly.

Resin jewelry making requires patience more than anything else. So rushing just introduces errors (Who me?).  Fortunately mistakes can be recovered in the early stages by removing the film and wiping away the unpolymerized resin with paper towels soaked in isopropanol (rubbing alcohol from the drugstore)..

I also received a spiral rachet or spring drill for review.  This is a new item for Little Windows. While the electric drill is very fast, many people prefer to use manual drills for better control when making holes (for jump rings etc) in softer materials like resin.  My review comparing this drill with a simple hand drill on different materials will appear later this week.

I also bought a few items from Little Windows. The doming trays are excellent.  They do a great job of supporting pieces during the doming process.  I used to use wax paper before. Any accidental spills tend to flow into the spaces between the pegs.  As you can see below, I had a resin tsunami at one point!

While resin spills can be sort of removed using a wooden skewer before they set, they can also be left as they are.  What I should have bought was the silicone doming tray shown below.  Nothing really sticks to silicone so spills can be popped out later.

Little Windows' Silicone Doming Tray

Keeping molds and bezels level is crucial when casting resin.  My bezels were best placed with the hanging loop off the edge of the tray - this was no different from me putting them like so on a wooden block or box.  But for other bezels, the hanging loops might drop down inbetween the doming pegs so they can be placed anywhere else. 

I was also impressed with the resusable molds I bought from Little Windows.  I used the medium set for some of my snowflake pendants. The molds are precoated with release agent so the casted discs were easily removable.  If you use regular molds, you will need a spray on release agent. The alternative is to buy silicone molds which does not need any release agent.

I did not buy any 2 part epoxy resin from Little Windows.  That's because I already had some on hand. Most if not all brands of good 2 part epoxy resin give a crystal clear finish when you combine the two parts together and it polymerizes to a hard substance.  The problem is with the shelf life of the hardener portion (B).  As you can see below, my Ice Resin B solution (on the right) had gone quite yellow because it was old. So when combined, the mixture was also yellow and not useable.  The brand on the right was fresher. While its B solution was slightly yellow, it was still fine to use as the resulting mixture was clear.

Little Window's resin brand is very different from any I have encountered before. Instead of the usual 1:1 mix, the proportion is 2:1 of A:B.  Fran says the shelf life is 3x longer.  What is especially useful is the ability to buy just the part B if it yellows with age. I have never encountered such a cost saving option before. Since I don't do resin jewelry that often, this is of great interest to me.

Little Windows Resin Hardener Replacement

Check out Fran's fun resin film blog post and watch the video.  I used it as a guide and added more tips for my full snowflake jewelry tutorial. I didn't buy her beautiful special films for the dichroic look but used something else instead.  Can you guess what it is?

If you'd like to win  $50 worth of resin jewelry making supplies from Little Windows, please make a comment below.  Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.  

Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is for US and Canadian readers only.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday,  January 5, 2015 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM