Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Beauty of Paradise Vase & Candle Holder - DIY Video


This week's WCK All-Star Designer Summer Series episode features one of my projects.  I designed this mixed-media Beauty of Paradise Vase & Candle Holder with products from Makin's Clay®, etchall®, DecoArt®, Loew-Cornell™, Beacon Adhesives™, Sizzix®, and Smoothfoam™






Friday, August 21, 2015

Customized Ribbon with Craft Attitude™

This week in my Cindi's Simple Solutions article for When Creativity Knocks, I'm sharing how I used Craft Attitude™ to create customized ribbon to match our newly redone master bedroom accessories!  Find the instructions here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

“STAY STRONG” Rhinoceros/Hercules Beetle Key Chain - ETI Blog Hop


“STAY STRONG” RHINOCEROS/HERCULES BEETLE 
RESIN KEY CHAIN 

This month, the Designer Craft Connection is holding an Environmental Technologies, Inc. - ETI - Blog Hop. Be sure to follow through the DCC link in the column on the right to see what other unique projects the participating designers are sharing.    

ETI is also offering a great Rafflecopter give-away package - enter below.  Readers have to comment on one or more blogs to enter. The more comments you post, the better chance you have to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jared Padalecki, star of the TV series Supernatural, has gotten a lot of press lately for his honesty and support of others who are suffering with anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, etc.  His message of ALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING (#alwayskeepfighting) is growing in popularity.  Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for STAY STRONG Jared Padalecki are growing in numbers as fans flock to support both Jared, and his message.  I think it's a 
wonderful thing when a celebrity chooses to share their own personal fight with depression and anxiety with the world in hopes of helping others.   I think Jared’s message has touched me in particular because in the past few months my own family faced a very frightening situation that drove home the importance of learning the signs of depression, always watching for those signs in those you love, and if you see any signs, or if they reach out to you for help - pay attention - help them in any way you possibly can.  Depression is a REAL illness, no one is immune, it can strike ANYONE of ANY AGE, and can lead to unimaginable circumstances if left untreated.  We were given a second chance, but not every family is that lucky.  

I made this key chain as a reminder of the importance of the message STAY STRONG.  To me, this Rhinoceros/Hercules Beetle is a symbol of strength - because he looks fierce, and his name itself brings to mind an animal of incredible strength.   When I first found him, (and yes, I know he’s a male because I Googled it to find out what exactly he WAS when I found him), he was a beautiful shade of pale blue/green/gray, much like the one in this photo I found on the National Wildlife Federation website when I was trying to find out more about this impressive insect.  Unfortunately, his beautiful shell seems to have had some reaction to the resin itself and darkened to almost black, but even without his color he is still an amazing example of natures diversity.   I hope the recipient will carry him with his keys in pride and will always remember to STAY STRONG himself. 

Materials:

ETI - Clear EasyCast® Resin
      - MC Poly Mold 2" x 1 1/2" x 1" deep
      - Mold Release Spray 
ImpressArt™ Newsprint Metal Stamp Set, Hammer, Steel Block 
MercArt® Pewter Sheet 
Rhinocerus/Hercules beetle (no beetles were harmed in the creation of this project - this big guy was found in our yard when he had already crossed the rainbow bridge - always let insects dry thoroughly, this guy was placed in a safe place and left to dry for about 3 weeks, before attempting to seal in resin
DecoArt® Americana® Multi-Surface Satin™ acrylic paint - Black Tie 
Paper towel
Small disposable paintbrush 
Emery board

Instructions:

Stamp “STAY STRONG” onto pewter sheet, trim around verse.  Apply black acrylic paint over stamped area, being sure paint gets into impressed letters.  Wipe with paper towel to remove paint from surface, allowing it to remain in stamped areas.  Let dry. 

Mix very small amount (I mixed about 1 tsp total) Clear Casting Resin according to manufacturer instructions. 

Use disposable paint brush to coat stamped metal piece, front and back, set aside to cure. 

Use disposable paint brush to coat beetle top an bottom.  Set aside to cure. 

When beetle and stamped metal are thoroughly dry, it’s time to immerse them into a block of resin.  



Begin by spraying the small rectangular mold with mold release spray.

Mix enough resin to fill your mold to about 1/3 full.  



Pour resin into mold. 

Carefully insert beetle, top down (the bottom of the 
mold will be the top of the finished piece).  Let
cure. 



Mix enough resin to fill your mold the remainder of the way. 

Carefully insert metal verse, face down (the bottom of the mold will be the top of the finished piece), adjacent to the beetle.  

Carefully pour in resin over metal piece and covering beetle.  Set aside to cure.  

When fully cured, remove from mold.  (This was a bit of a challenge for me - but after trying the "freezer" trick twice - place in the freezer then remove - and with a bit of "strong" persuasion, the resin released from the mold.) 

Lightly sand edges on top and bottom to remove any sharp edges.   I like to use emery boards for this type of delicate sanding as they are easy to hold and you can see exactly where you are sanding. 


Use a drill to make a hole large enough for metal bead chain through one end of the rectangle.  Insert bead chain, add keys and close bead chain.  That’s it!  Your keychain is now a permanent reminder to STAY STRONG to matter what the circumstances may be! 
A Permanent Reminder to Stay Strong - and Always Keep Fighting! 



Thursday, August 6, 2015

"BEAUTY" Etched Mirror Dresser Tray featuring etchall® Products


"Beauty is how you feel inside and it reflects in your eyes.” - Sophia Loren  

A friend of ours recently gave me this mirrored dresser tray that belonged to his mother after she passed away.   It was pretty the way it was, but to me it called out for some etched enhancements!   This lovely quote from beauty icon Sophia Loren just seemed like the perfect choice.

I also have to tell you that this project was a test of my patience….  I had a bit of an “etchatrosphy” and had to try to think of a creative solution - but sometimes mistakes lead the way to an even better finished project! 


Materials:

Mirrored dresser tray 
etchall® - Etching Cream 
              - Designer Tip Kit 
DecoArt® Frost Gloss Enamels - Green 
Plaid® - Martha Stewart Crafts® Adhesive Silkscreens - Bodoni Alphabet 
            - Martha Stewart Crafts® Fair Isle Dots Adhesive Stencils
Loew-Cornell® Simply Art™ Brushes 
Ruler 

Instructions: 

Use ruler to align Bodoni alphabet lettering to spell out BEAUTY on mirror.  
Use Designer Tip Kit to apply etchall® to the open spaces on the lettering silkscreens.  Let set 15 minutes.  Rinse clean, carefully removing silkscreens.  

This is where the “etchastrophy” came in - As you can see in the step-out pictures, I had used small alphabet stencils to spell out the remainder of the quote along the bottom edge of the mirror.  However, I didn’t have enough letters so I had left spaces for the missing letters.  Well, I goofed.  The spaces I left were no where near large enough for the lettering I had to add.  So….. on to plan B.    

Use 1/2” brush to apply etchall® around entire outer edge of mirror.  

Let set 15 minutes, carefully return cream from edge of tray to bottle.  Rinse mirror clean. 

Hand write the remainder of the verse  onto lined paper, cut out.  Use as a guide when using the Designer Tip Kit to write out the remainder of the quote beneath the word BEAUTY.  Let set 15 minutes and rinse clean. 

Working in small sections and allowing to dry between each application, using small leaves
stencil from Fair Isle Dots set, use small paintbrush to apply Green Frost Gloss Enamels around edge of tray at edge of etched area. 


Choose another small dotted image/line stencil from Fair Isle Dots set, use paintbrush to apply Green Frost Gloss Enamels beneath the word “BEAUTY”.  



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Watercolor Watermelon Luncheon Plate

This week in my Cindi's Simple Solutions project on When Creativity Knocks I am sharing this colorful plate which is perfect for
a summertime lunch on the patio - Find the full instructions on how I used DecoArt® Gloss Enamels to create this project here.

Neater than Socks on a Chicken Tag

Jimbo Lojik™ stamps just make you smile.  They are great for everyday cards and projects - The instructions for this tag I designed with BurlapFabric.com burlap an Clearsnap inks are here on the KellyCraft™  blog today.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Back to School Crafting with the Designer Craft Connection Blog Hop

It's the first Monday of the month and that means it's time for another Designer Craft Connection blog hop!  This month our theme was Back to School - Crafting with School Supplies.  I created this monogrammed mini notebook and index card holder with matching mechanical pencil.  You can find my full instructions on how I created this project with Makin's Clay®, Beacon Adhesives, and The Buckle Boutique Self-Adhesive Rhinestone Sheets here at the Makin's Clay® blog.

Be sure to follow the DCC link in the column on the right to see what  other crafty back to school projects the participating Designers are sharing this month!