Friday, December 28, 2012

Breast Cancer bottle tags

I had a special request to do some bottle tags specifically for breast cancer awareness.   Here are the results:
I'm not sure what the event was but anything to bring attention in a unique way to this devastating disease and perhaps honor someone who has passed is a win-win for me.  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A plan of attack

This really isn't a New Year's resolution.  It's something that I've been tossing around in my head for a few months but couldn't do anything about it until after the holidays.  It's my craft room.   It's not functional and a total mess.   Not conducive to creativity.  
The plan goes something like this: 
A) get a bunch of boxes and label according to categories
B) place items from craft room in their boxes
C) move cabinets and furniture to spare room
D) clean
E) move bookcase to far wall
F) install shelving, floor to ceiling on far wall
G) get clear bins and label
F) put items from boxes in to appropriate bins

On the wall with my work table I'll probably head down to IKEA at some point and get some kitchen storage thingies for holding my inks and such but that'll be phase two.

Hopefully by the time I get all of this done, and it'll take a few months to do with work being six days a week, I'll be able to make the most use of the limited time I have in the mornings to be creative. 
So here's the before just to get an idea of what I'm facing.
Wish me luck!

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's not that I haven't done anything...really!

But life has gotten in the way of my creativity and that yanks my chain.  But we do what we have to do and right now, that means helping the hubby out with his business.   At least I get paid though and that means some cash for my hobbies!!!  
Got most of my Christmas cards out and although that's a chore, it's still puts me in a holiday mood.   I had a wonderful time as usual helping at the Weaver's of Orlando holiday sale and it was a success.  Many repeat customers come for the incredible handmade items done by guild members and their relatives.   Not just woven items either.   Crafty people don't tend to stick to just one thing ya know.  I am blown away by the talent every year and next year, I'm going to save up so I can splurge!   
But now I have to turn to other responsibilities and that means posting and projects will continue to be light.  Working six days a week isn't conducive to creating AND once again my craft room is a disaster.   However, I have a plan.  Starting in January I'm going to pull everything out of that room and redo it.  Top to bottom.   Since my time is so limited I must make the spacde more functional so when I can pop in to work, I can find everything I need and have room to work. 
So...until the next posting...Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cutting wine bottles

     I mentioned in a previous post a couple of different methods for cutting wine bottles so I thought I'd take a few minutes to explain what's worked for me.   The one seen on Pinterest involved string and nail polish remover.   This will cut the bottle buy my experience with it wasn't positive.   The bottle never 'cut' where I wanted, it was always too high and didn't leave me enough of the bottle to work with IMO.   The edges were horribly uneven and some bottles just refused to split.  Not sure if it was the thickness of the glass, perhaps the glass making process but it just didn't work.   As with anything working with glass, wood, tools, etc, wear safety glasses.   The chances of something happening may be slim but who wants to take that chance?

     I had more luck with a glass scoring tool.   Here are some things I learned from that.   If you have two large pots that you aren't going to use for cooking then get those.  In one, heat the water to boiling.   While that is going, using the scoring tool exactly like the manufacturer's directions.  You do not want to grind a deep gash in to the bottle but it does need to be a complete score all the way around.  
     Fill the second pot with cold water and add ice to make sure it's really cold.   The difference in temperatures is what causes the bottle to crack at the score line.    Once the water starts to boil you can turn it down a little.   Dunk the bottle in and count to 10.   Quickly remove and put in the ice water.   I guarantee it won't crack the first time.  Keep dunking back and forth.   I honestly didn't think it would work but have patience and keep working.   Most scorers come with a small tool to tap around the inside of the bottle if necessary.   Eventually you will begin to see the crack forming and at some point it will pop off.    My kit came with some sandpaper to smooth off the edges.  

Now it's time to play!!!!   Enjoy. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Dremel and alcohol ink

     A while back I saw something on TV about alcohol inks and became intrigued by the colors.   I found a few packs at Hobby Lobby and since I had a coupon decided to give them a try.   Not having much luck with the string/polish remover method of cutting bottles I also sprung for a scorer while there.   Yes....the string method will cut the bottles but I found that in every case the edges were so uneven that trying to grind them down was just more effort and time wasted than I preferred.   Find one of those scoring tools like the ones that became popular in the 70s and you will have better luck getting not only an even edge but a cut where you want. 
     Now...back to the project.   I have recently become interested in illuminated letters like the ones in medieval Bibles so I wanted to combine that with the wine bottle and alcohol ink.  
First, sketch out your letter on graph paper.  Since my last name begins with an 'A' that's what I went with.   Tape the design to the inside of the wine bottle and with the finest bur trace over the letter.  Then it's a matter of filling in the design with various burs.
     Next grab a can of compressed air (like the kind used to blow off keyboards) and add drops of alcohol ink.   Since this ink dries quickly work fast to move the ink around.   A straw can also be used but I found doing this was a bit fiddly and holding a straw in your mouth for tool long encourages drooling.  (><)
Finally time to make your design pop.   I used Rub 'n Buff paste in gold over the engraved letter, wipe off quickly and taaaaaaaa daaaaaaaaaaaaa!    Add a candle and it looks like stained glass.  

Friday, August 31, 2012

So I get this idea see..

Was in Hobby Lobby a few weeks back and they have these tiny LED/battery operated strings of lights and I got an idea.   What if I took one of the inexpensive shadow frames, wrote something about the night on black paper and put the lights behind it (after poking holes in the paper first of course)?  

This was a fun and quick project.  The only advice is I would try to find a string of lights with fewer lights.  It was a bit fiddly trying to get them all in to place.   The quote is from Galileo "I've been too fond of stars to be afraid of the night."   An advanced version of this would make a lovely nightlight for a small child.  AC current though, batteries can get expensive. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flourishing fun

While I'm at it.... I've been thinking about flourishing again in a big way.  Yesterday and today I decided to try some things I've never tried before, namely some corner work, a swag, and an extended banner.   They aren't perfect but for a first time, I'm fairly pleased.   I think next time I want to do a swag, I'll get a drapey piece of fabric, like a scarf, and hang it up as a model.   It's so hard to imagine how fabric hangs for some reason.  Weird huh?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happy Holidays.....

Seriously, I truly don't like thinking about Christmas when it's 93 outside but I have to work at least a season ahead so there ya go.   I've started the Christmas tags in a big way and have cranked out 15 so far.   Several of them I know I will go back and add 'something' but for now, at least these are in the bag.   Christmas and Hannukah are easy holidays to work on.   Stars, lights, hats, trees, and so on come quickly to mind.  But what do you do for Happy New Years?   Wine bottles and wine glasses?  Maybe '2013' written out in quilled paper?   I am really going to have to put my thinking cap on for that holiday.  

An exciting bit of news.  I'm partnering with Judy Shears to give a little after-meeting class on flourishing, which is a passion of mine.   Judy's been taking Harvest Crittendon's online class (on my TO DO list) and this weekend showed me some of the things she's done.  Just beautiful.  So there's another motivation for me to get busy making things to sell at the holiday sale and whereever else I can.    More money means more classes and calligraphy stuff!   Yays all around.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I have a domain name!!!

On the advice of a good friend, I decided to register a domain name so if I actually have a business in the future, I can have this to operate under.   So...for right's just a registered name with GoDaddy.   And its "".   I like that because much of what I do involves paper but I wanted to leave it open for other things---like the engraving.   Neato keen...I feel like an adult now. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Done with fall holidays

Now on to Christmas and New Year's.   Decided to take it easy the last couple of days.  It's easy to work on this and get burned out.  Hopefully I'll get some Christmas tags done tomorrow though, can't rest too much!   Here are my favs of the latest batch.

and a silver heart flourish with a wee bit of quilling ....