Thursday, October 1, 2015

Halloween Lantern

It's almost Halloween so I've been working on a special treat and also have a few etching tricks to share.


This is a simple lantern I found on sale at Walmart. The four glass sides are removable, so I created a design for each side.  (Yes, that's a photo I took of the Blood Moon from our back yard in the background. I layered the photo of the lantern on top in Photoshop.)

I also used the following supplies:

etchall® reusable etching crème
etchall® etchmask and transfer paper
Pik Tool (for weeding)
Squeegee tool to spread creme and scrape back into container

I uploaded each design then cut the stencils with my Cricut Explore and etchall® etchmask

Cut the designs: I cut the two larger designs, Haunted House and Gnarled Tree from one sheet of etchmask and the Spider Web, Jack O'Lanterns, Crow and Ghosts from a second sheet.  

     TIP: Draw a black border around the design the same size as the surface you want to etch to help with placement.  For example. Each piece of glass measured 4" x 8", so I used this size for my image. I created the border around the edge of the image, then positioned the design inside the border. When the design is cut, the border will also be cut around it.

Transfer the Design:  Cut a 4' x8" piece of etchmask transfer paper, the same size as the design, remove the backing sheet then place the transfer paper on top of the design with edges aligned with the border. Press firmly in place with the squeegee.  Carefully remove the cut stencil; the backing sheet will remain on the cutting mat.  This is an easy technique to use for small designs.

Etching the Design. Place the stencil on the glass.  Press firmly in place with the squeegee.  Remove the transfer paper then use the pik tool to carefully remove the areas of the design to be etched.  Make sure all the edges of the glass are covered - use extra pieces of etchmask or the transfer paper.  Cover the areas to be etched with a liberal amount of etching crème.  Let sit for 15 minutes, then scrape the etching crème back into the container. Rinse thoroughly then remove the stencil and discard. Dry the glass with a soft cloth. 

For more detailed instructions and step outs for this process, refer to this earlier post here or check out the video on the etchall website.

Now here's the "trick" I promised to share.  I wanted the ghosts to appear as if they were flying out of the haunted house, so instead of making them part of the house design, I cut a separate stencil and etched the ghosts on the back of the glass.  As you can see, the bottom part of the ghost overlaps the top of the house since each design is etched on a different side of the glass.


To help with placement of the ghost designs, I removed the stencil from around the design with the transfer paper leaving the ghosts on the backing sheet.  The ghosts can be used on another project later.


With the etched side of the glass facing upward, position the piece of glass on top of the stencil. Turn the glass over, remove the transfer paper, cover the glass around the stencil, then etch the ghosts.

I etched a crow on the back of the glass etched with the gnarled tree in the same way. 

The spider web was etched at the top of the third piece of glass and the Jack O'Lanterns on the fourth. These pieces were then placed on opposite sides of the lantern.

I really love designing and etching the designs on to glass. It's a great way to upcycle so many glass pieces.  Etchall is my product of choice for many reasons, the first being that it's re-usable. It has no unpleasant odor and I like the creamy consistency which produces an even etch.  When using this product for the first time, read the directions on the container and check out the etchall website for more tips, techniques and lots of inspiration.  Happy etching...... Y'all come back....

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oly*Fun - Halloween Blog Hop

Designer Crafts Connection members are hopping again with product from Fairfield World.  It's a busy time of year, so here's a project you can make in 30 minutes, or less.

You'll need:
12" x 12" pillow form
 Oly*Fun Craft Pack - white
Joy embroidered 3D letters B O O
Joy embroidered 3D number 8
Krylon Glowz (Optional)
Tacky Tape and/or Lo-temp Glue Gun
2 small black buttons

1. Place the pillow at the center of a  20" x 28" piece of Oly*Fun.  Wrap as if you were wrapping a gift.  Glue ends in place at the back.

2. Tear 28" x 3" wide strips of Oly-fun. Wrap around the pillow in layers then overlap and glue ends together at the back.  


Note: Oly-fun is hard to tear.  Make a snip with scissors to start, then tear slowly.

3. Spray with glow in the dark spray, if using your pillow as a decorative accent outside.

4. Remove the backing from each letter to expose the adhesive then attach to the pillow. It isn't necessary to iron in place since this project is for decorative purposes only.

5. Place a small, black button behind each opening in the number 8, then place horizontally behind one of the layers for eyes.

Place your finished pillow either indoors, or outdoors and enjoy!

For more fun projects hop thru the DCC webring via the blue logo in each member's sidebar, then check the DCC blog for even more inspiration!

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Preserving Memories

I've had a camera since I was 11 yrs old and have been taking photos ever since. I also kept them in a photograph album.  This was in the 50's before "scrapbooking" was invented and became a billion dollar business.  If you sense a note of sarcasm, you'd be correct.  I never understood what all the fuss was about when it came to scrapbooking.  I'd been doing it since the 1950's.  Of course it wasn't commercialized back then.  We didn't have any of the supplies and embellishments available to us now, but we could still be pretty creative.  My dad was a scrapbooker too.  I have his album from when he was in the RAF in the 1940's. He journaled and even painted on his pages! Its what we did.....

A few years ago, Fiskars issued a challenge and asked designers to create ways to display our photos using supplies found around the house.  Here are my projects:

Can you identify all the things I used?  Check back in a few days and I'll list everything for you. Let's see how many you found.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now...............

Yours truly,
Julie :)


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 @  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 :)


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 :)


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 :)