Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Deflecto Blog Hop and Giveaway

Designer Crafts Connection members were challenged for a second time this month to create with a cube organizer and a frame from deflecto.  Each of us received the following:


I love doodling with markers, so I spent time on the frame.  I'm loving all the adult coloring books in the stores and thought I could do something similar that would be easy to share with everyone.  Since the frame has a black border, I came up with a "mock" chalkboard.  Here it is....


I created the 5" x 7" artwork in a Word doc then printed it out.  (You can find a copy of what I used in the "Images for Personal Use" tab here on my blog, but you can use any image, or design.) To center the wording inside the frame, I placed the frame, front side down on top of the paper, drew around the outside of the frame, then cut it out.


The next step is to place the artwork in the frame then trace over the design with a white marker.


Since the frame is acrylic and you'll be drawing on the front of the frame, you'll need to use markers that will work on the slick surface.  ZIG® Painty, Elmer's Painter® or Sharpie® markers are an excellent choice, but for this project I used Bistro Chalk Marker™s from Marvy Uchida.  They work well and if I mess up I can start over - always a good thing.  Painty and Sharpie are oil based and can be removed from glass or ceramic with something like nail polish remover, but not acrylic; at least in my experience.


Step 1 is to trace over the letters and the design with white then use colors to create doodly type designs inside the letters.  They were simply dots, lines, swirls and zig zag.  You can find lots of ideas for chalk style lettering on Pinterest if you get stuck.


Step 2 is to remove your design sheet and replace it with a 6" x 8" piece of black cardstock. Now your design is really going to stand out.  I added some dots on the corners, then free handed some white curly q's around the black border.


Did you notice how the markers fit perfectly inside the cube storage!  I didn't decorate the cube this time.... I like to see what's inside the drawers and I plan to purchase more to stack together.  I have so many things spread all over my craft room that I can use them for!

Don't forget to enter our giveaway!  You can win your own organizer and frame.  All you have to do is comment on as many designer blogs as you like, "like" the deflecto Facebook page then enter using the Rafflecopter widget that is on the DCC blog @ www.designercraftsconnection.blogspot.com.  It's part of the DCC webring, so if you "hop forward" (using the blue logo in my sidebar) to see what everyone else has created, you'll easily find it.  That's it for now... enjoy!  Y'all come back now..........

Yours truly,
Julie :)

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Back to School Selfie

School supplies are in the bag - pens, pencils, notebooks and more, but let's not forget the all important mirror for the school locker, so you can see yourself"ie" as others see you....


The custom design was etched on this mirror with etchall® etching creme. As you know, I love this product for etching.  It's easy to use, doesn't have a nasty smell AND it's reusable!    So here we go.

The mirror was 6" square, so I created a square shape for my digital die cutting machine then wrote the word "Selfie" and added a hashtag about half an inch from the top.  I also added small stars down each side using a Dingbat font.  TIP:  You could also create the design in 3 strips; one for the top and one for each side.

I cut the design from etchall etchmask™ which is a self adhesive vinyl.  After cutting, I removed the excess etchmask from around the square.


Cover the etchmask with transfer paper then carefully remove the vinyl from the backing sheet.  TIP: Some designers prefer to remove the back sheet at the same time.  For me, it depends on how intricate the design is. It works the same either way.


With the top edge aligned with the top of the mirror, carefully place on the mirror then remove the transfer paper.


Starting at one corner of the mirror, use a pick tool to gently remove the etchmask from around your design.  The mirror will now look like this.  The areas around the etchmask will be etched, so make sure your design is firmly on the surface.


Now it's time to etch:  Pour a large pile of creme onto the center of the mirror.  Don't be afraid to use a lot; it's re-usable so after you've finished this step, the creme will be scooped back into its container.  NOTE: Read directions on the container thoroughly!  You may also notice that after a time your etching creme will change color from creamy white to caramel to dark brown.  This change in color does not effect the chemical etching action.  


Use a sponge brush to lightly spread the etching creme over all the open areas of your design.  Use a light touch to push the creme around - we are not "painting" the creme on.  Think of it as icing a cake.  An offset plastic palette knife works well too.


Let the creme sit for 15 minutes, then scrape as much as you can back into the container.  Rinse thoroughly then buff dry with a soft cloth.  Hang in a place where you can see your "selfie" every day.  Be true to yourself "ie" -  BeYou tiful today - inside and out!


Enjoy!  Y'all come back now!

Yours truly,
Julie :)

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

ETI - Environmental Technology Product Blog Hop

The heat is on this month -  literally!  It's hot enough outside to fry an egg on the sidewalk here in Texas! Should cool down to about 100˚ in the next day or so if we're lucky...

Things are hotting up inside too.  DCC has not one, but TWO blog hops this month. The first is with  products from ETI - Enviromental Technology, Inc.  I received a package of EnviroTex® Jewelry Clay and a package of EnviroTex® Jewelry Resin to work with.  I haven't worked with either product before so I thought I'd try my hand at a simple jewelry piece first.  I have some really great moulds from Katy Sue Designs that will be just perfect for the project I have in mind.  They are actually designed for cake decorating, but these are silicone moulds and can be used for other crafty projects too!

Anyway, this is my very first jewelry clay project!
 

It was inspired by this necklace I've had since 1954.  I don't wear it any more, but I still love it.  It was quite a popular style in those days.  I remember my grandmother wearing a brooch with the same little flowers.
 


As I said, I haven't worked with jewelry clay before, so I carefully read thru the instructions that came in the package.

Step 1 - Roll equal parts of components A an B together.  Don't forget to wear gloves!


Step 2 - Mix thoroughly then roll into a ball.  Push the ball firmly into the mould.

 

Step 3 - Carefully remove the clay from the mould. You can bend the mould to make it easy.


Step 4 - Let the clay dry for about 2 hrs then trim the excess clay from around the edge of the flower with a craft knife. Add a "jewel" to the center.  The clay will act as the glue.


Step 5 - To make the leaves, mix a second ball of clay using equal parts of components A and B. Press flat. Using the Katy Sue Designs Impress™ tool, cut tiny leaves from the clay. Add lines with the tip of a tiny, flat head screwdriver.



Step 6 - Let the clay pieces dry overnight then paint with your choice of craft paint. (You could also use nail polish for a nice shiny look.)

Step 7 - While the clay is drying prepare the necklace.  I had an old, antique looking medallion with tiny pearls around the edge. I added a pearl drop at the bottom and a long pearl chain at the top with jump rings. To finish I glued the tiny leaves and finally the flower in place.  The medallion is only 1" diameter, so you can imagine how small my clay pieces are. 


And here's the finished necklace again:


We know you'll be excited to try the jewelry clay too so we're having a giveaway! All you have to do to enter is comment on the blogs in the hop. You'll receive points for each comment, so the more you comment, the more chances you have to win.  The winner will be selected next Friday, August 21st via Rafflecopter.  Just look at the cool stuff the winner will receive....!  You can hop thru DCC member blogs using the blue DCC logo "hop forward" button in the sidebar of each blog and you can also see more projects to comment on on the DCC blog...

 



Good luck!

Yours truly,
Julie :)

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Etched Glass Seashell Frame

Sand, sea, sun and seashells - all the ingredients of perfect summer memories captured forever in this photograph and frame....


 My sister took this awesome photo of our grand children at the beach this summer. It's definitely one of my favorites and needed a special frame.
 
This is what I used:
etchall® Glass & Mirror Etching Creme
etchall® etch mask and transfer paper
Pik tool
Squeegee
Sponge brush
Double Glass frame
    *etchall® products for me to use were provided by B&B products.

Note:  Before starting the project, remove the pieces of glass from the frame and wash each piece thoroughly.

1. I drew artwork for the shells and starfish then re-sized and arranged them to create the border design to etch on the double glass frame.  I then uploaded my design to Cricut Design Space and cut the design from etch mask on the Cricut Explore.  The glass size was 8" x 10" so I sized the cut line round the edge of the design to measure 7" x 9". 


2.  After cutting, remove the outer border from around the edge then cover the etch mask with transfer paper.


3.  Remove the etch mask and transfer paper from the Cricut mat, then remove the backing sheet from the back of the etch mask.  Center the etchmask on the glass. There will be a 1/2" border of glass around the etch mask on all 4 sides.  Press securely in place with a squeegee, or old credit card. 


4.  Remove the transfer paper from the top of the etchmask then, using the pick tool, remove etch mask from the design areas to be etched. Set the transfer paper aside to use later; do not discard.

5.  Weed all areas around the edge of the etch mask.



When weeding make sure to pull the etch mask from the center of the piece, not the edge.



6.  Place strips of transfer paper around the edge of the etch mask to protect the exposed glass edge.


7.  Pour etching creme onto the center of the etch mask then spread thickly over the design areas around the edge. 




8.  Leave for 15 minutes.  etchall is re-usable, so scrape the creme back into the container.  Further instructions are available on each container and at www.etchall.com

9.  Thoroughly rinse the remainder of the creme from the glass, then remove the etch mask and transfer paper.  Use a scraper if necessary to remove any remaining small pieces. Dry the glass.

10.  Assemble:  Place the etched piece of glass in the frame then the wooden spacer.  Attach the photo to the center of the second piece of glass then place it in the frame at the back on top of the spacer.  Cover with a solid piece of cardstock (I used dark blue) then secure with the frame tabs to finish. 

I enjoy creating my own designs to etch, but there are lots of stencil designs available at www.etchall.com as well as your local arts & crafts retail store.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now......

Yours truly,
Julie :)

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING!

 



 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Christmas Crafts!

Christmas is coming!  In 155 days!  Are you ready?  I never am.  Each year I tell myself I should start earlier and be more organized, but it hasn't worked yet.......  This year I'm getting an early start by participating in a Christmas in July blog hop with the Robin's Nest and Smoothfoam..


I received Smoothfoam shapes and product from the Robin's Nest for their Christmas in July blog hop with DCC members. Our challenge was to create something fun. 

 

 and this is what I made.... 


Okay, I admit, this isn't quick, but it is pretty easy and it's different.  I love LED lights and my goal was to create something that would light up our home for the holidays.

There's also a giveaway, so if you'd like to win some Robin's Nest and Smoothfoam product and get a head start on your holiday decorating, all you have to do is comment on the participating blogs  - one entry per comment, so the more you comment, the more chances you have to win!

These are the products I used:
Large Smoothfoam Snowflake
6" Smoothfoam Disc
Christmas papers and DewDrops from Robin's Nest
PLUS
Tacky glue
Paper glue
Clear crystal glitter
Craft Knife and/or sharp paring knife
Paper Trimmer
Stylus
Versa Tool (Walnut Hollow)
Battery operated string of 20 LED mini lights

1. Coat the top surface of the snowflake with glue, then sprinkle with glitter.  Set aside to dry.
2. Mark 20 dots about 1" apart around the disc about 1/2" from the edge then use the tip of the blade holder in the heat tool to make holes in the ring for the lights.

 

Quickly push the tip straight up and down and work on a tempered glass surface. The tip will not go all the way thru the disc, so turn the disc over and open up the holes from the opposite side.


3. Cut a 4" circle from the center of the disc to create a ring, 1" wide.  Use a slow up and down motion when cutting for a smooth cut edge. Use a regular craft knife, hot wire foam cutter, or the knife blade in the Versa Tool. This is a HOT knife so use with extreme caution. Tip: A fabric softener sheet is great for cleaning up small crumbs of Smoothfoam on your work surface after cutting.

 

4. Glue a 1" wide strip of card stock around the outside of the ring.  Tip: Use a rubber band to hold in place until the glue is dry.
5. Glue dew drops on top of the ring to decorate.  Let dry.


Make a Rosette for the center:
1. Score a 4" wide strip from 12" card stock at 1" intervals. Tip: I use my paper trimmer and score along the cutting channel with a stylus.


2. Cut the strip in half to create two, 2" x 12" strips.  Accordion fold each strip then glue the ends together to create a circle.

 

3. Squish the folds together and push down in the center to flatten. Glue a 1.25"circle of card stock over the center on each side of the rosette to secure. Decorate the circle on one side with dew drops, or a star shape.  This is double sided paper, so you can display either side.


  

Assemble:
1. Push each LED bulb into a hole in the ring from the back.  If the hole is a little large and the bulb doesn't fit snugly, shim with a small strip of card stock inside the hole. To keep the wire straight, leave 4 or 5 holes between each bulb.

 

2. Secure the ring to the center of the snowflake, making sure the wire and battery holder/switch are at the back of the snowflake.  Smoothfoam is very dense, so I secured the ring by pushing quilt pins diagonally thru the inside of the ring into the snowflake.

 

The holder can be left loose at the back, or you can glue half a 6" disposable plate at the back to create a pocket to hold it in place.  It's important to be able to reach the switch to turn the lights on and off if there isn't a timer setting. 


3. Push the rosette into the center of the ring to finish.

 
Look for more projects from DCC designer members by hopping thru our webring using the blue DCC logo in the sidebar on our blogs.  You can also see a full selection of projects from The Robin's Nest design team on the DCC blog and the Robin's Nest blog.  Enjoy! Y'all come back now........ 

Yours truly,
Julie :)

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON CRAFTING!