Honeymoon Fund Jar

My sister is getting married this weekend. The bartenders’ gratuity is already figured into the cost of the reception, so she thought it would be fun to collect donations to her honeymoon trip (in Australia!) at the bar. So I made her this jar … I was, of course, finishing it at the last minute, so I just took quick pics with my phone, but it was a fun project filled with tecniques and I wanted to share them with you …

I started with a Gordon Food Services’ pickle jar … I threw out the lid, cleaned the jar and got ready to etch the glass.

I wanted the jar to last beyond the reception. Since my sister is always traveling, I thought it would be nice for her to be able to remove the wedding stuff and keep it as a change jar for whatever trip she is planning in the future. So, I decided to etch a monogrammed heart on the front.

I cut out both a heart and a monogrammed S from etchall® etchmask using my Cricut. etchmask is a sticky vinyl … personally, I find it works much better for etching than a traditional vinyl since it is thicker, sticks better and doesn’t stretch as easily as vinyl does.

My sister likes things simple, so after I applied both the heart and the monogram, I trimmed off the fancy swirlies on the letter with a craft knife.

After making sure all of the edges were tight, I added my leftover pieces of etchmask to the edges of the design to make sure I didn’t etch anything I didn’t mean to.

Then, I applied a thick, even layer of etchall® etching crème to the design and let it sit for 15 minutes. I scraped the crème off and put it back in the bottle (it’s reusable) and then washed the jar with soap and water, removed the stencil and washed it again.

The metal tags are from Art C. My husband used sandpaper to remove the sharp edges and then stamped the words Honeymoon Fund into one of them (they are a pretty thick steel and I wasn’t hammering hard enough). I then used a fine-pointed Sharpie to make the letters dark and prominent.

Since the wedding colors are University of Michigan blue and gold, I used the chipped sapphire Distress Crayon to color the heart and the word love. I used my finger to smooth out the color on the heart … I love the streaking effect it gave.

I used a sticker and label set from Tim Holtz to add their wedding date. I tied gold ribbon to the top of the jar and used jump rings to adhere each of the tags.

Since the banquet hall is pretty dark, I figured the tags can sort of layer over each other and the etching on the jar during the reception and then she can remove the tags and ribbon and just have the jar with her new last initial monogrammed for later.

The entire project, because I already had most of the supplies on hand, was® inexpensive. The only thing I purchased were the tags, which were on sale at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts for $2.39 each — and they come three to a pack, so I have quite a few left for additional projects. Oh, and I figured it was bad luck to give a tip jar without any money in it, so I threw in a few $1 bills to get them started.

Deer Under Glass

deer_candy_spiegel5This is one of those projects that just evolved … I had no intentions of making it, but somehow, it just sort of happened.

I started with new plastic deer from Tim Holtz. I painted each one with a healthy layer of Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive and then coated them in a variety of glitters … this one a microfine glitter from Art Glitter.

deer_candy_spiegelI then pulled out a Melissa Frances cloche I had … I painted the base white and then glued the deer and a pink tree to the top. I poured a bit of “snow” into the glass and glued the glass to the base. Then, I added a bit of vintage glitter to the edge.

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For the bottom, I filled an old crystal salt shaker that was long missing its top with glitter and snow and glued it to the bottom.

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And added a bit of ribbon as a final touch.

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It adds a beautifully vintage charm … maybe next year we will have a pink Christmas?

A Deer for Christmas

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Since I was a little girl, I often dreamed of having an old-fashioned cabin with a deer hanging above the fireplace. That dream has changed a bit, but it has never gone away. I still love taxidermy and would welcome many creatures into my home.

Then, it became “hip” to hang white porcelain deer on the wall. Of course, I was in love with the idea. My husband, on the other hand, hated the idea. Since I want us both to be happy and comfortable at home, I backed off of my idea.

But this year, I decided I was going to do something to make me happy — regardless of what he thought.

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I bought an inexpensive paper-mache deer head and spray-painted it.

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Then I painted the antlers with Designer Dries Clear Adhesive and then coated it with Distress Glitter Dust. It created a bit of a mess, but it was easy. Besides, everyone needs to sparkle during the holidays!

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Mounting the deer was a bit of a challenge, but we finally decided to use Command Strips and they seem to be holding.

I love how it turned out. It looks really great hanging in the living room. Great enough that I might leave it up after the holidays for a bit of bling all through the winter.

Dance Like No One Is Watching

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So, I found this little mirror in the clearance section at Michael’s one day and knew it would be perfect for an etchall® etching creme project.

And it is!

My problem is photographing it … I tried inside, outside, in light, little light … nothing would work. I wasn’t going to share this project, because I couldn’t photograph it, but it was so fun to make — and, I think, perfect for a little girl’s room, bathroom or foyer — that I decided to share my horrible photos, but fun techniques with you.
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I started by designing the quote on my tablet using Cricut’s Design Space app. Then I used the Cricut to cut out the words using etchall® etchmask.

Next, I adhered the  etchall® etchmask transfer sheet to the surface so I could pick up the little dots in the “e” and other letters.

etchall_mirror_candy_spiegel2I then pulled the etchmask off of the Cricut mat and placed it on the mirror.

Then, I coated the surface with etchall® and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, I scraped up the etchall® and placed it back into the bottle for another time. I rinsed off the mirror, removed the etchmask and gave it a final cleaning and it was done!

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It really is crisp and clear, but I couldn’t get the letters to not reflect in the photo — unless I focused on something in the mirror and then you couldn’t see the letters. So, trust me when I say it is perfect and crystal clear in person!

 

Commissioned Art

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For years, I have been looking for a special piece of artwork for my living room wall. I fell in love with a huge canvas photo in an art gallery and dreamed I would someday take a picture and have it mounted. So far, that hasn’t happened and I was anxious to get something on the wall. So, I decided to commission myself to make a piece of art.
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I started with a large, 6-pane window I bought at Green Door Studio. I washed it up, but left the white paint just as it was.

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I added metallic silver paint to the majority of the window.

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Next I added a bit of blue paint here and there …

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And then some brown. Then I went over the top of the entire window with a semi-gloss glaze mixed with brown paint. Then I was ready to decorate …

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I used a Wendy Vecchi Studio 490 rubber stamp to add some text to two of the corners. Archival Ink works well — I heated it just to be sure.

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Then I went over the top with Texture Paste on a stencil.

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I added a bit of paint over the top …

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I used the same techniques in the opposite corner, but I added Lake Superior rocks and a bit of birch bark to that corner.

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In the center of the panes, I used a stencil to add a compass with Archival Ink.

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Then I added the photos behind the glass. I used Mini Glue Dots because I wanted to be able to change them out. I don’t like that the dots show in some places, but I really wanted the photos behind the old glass.

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I also added a few tags, some wood pieces and more rocks to various spots on the window.

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At the bottom, I added a piece of driftwood from the beach, along with a few more rocks.

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I also added a charm from Tim Holtz.

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I love how my window came out. I hope I’ve inspired you to make art of your own!

Etched & Altered Frame

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I receive lots of comments about my etched art, so I decided to teach it!

In this class, we will alter an 8″x10″ wooden picture frame with acrylic paint and alcohol. Then, we’ll add the word “beautiful” to the glass with etchall® etching creme.

This class is offered at Green Door Studio in Brighton on Friday, Aug. 12 at 11 a.m. You must register for this class so I have enough frames. Click here for details.

Hope to see you there!

Etched Shadowbox

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I created this shadowbox to showcase our new love of rock hunting. I included a map of the area (although it ended up getting mostly covered up), some of the rocks we collected and photos from our vacation. But this idea would work with any theme — memories from a wedding, birthday celebration, anniversary or any special event. And, with etchall etching creme, you could include names, dates and other things on the front glass. For my piece, I used the word “found”. Here’s how I did it …

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I started with a shadowbox from a big box store.

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I adhered a map of the area to the base of the shadowbox. I used glaze and paint to calm down the bright colors a bit.

Then, I used stencils, pastes and inks to create the background. I added photos and rocks and then put the shadowbox back together.

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I took a piece of etchall etch mask and used my Big Shot to die cut the word “found” from a Tim Holtz die. Etch mask is stronger than the vinyl sold for electronic cutting machines, which means it doesn’t tear and is easier to work with. But, I used a Thinlits die and it cut like butter!

After pulling out the word from the etch mask, I peeled off the backing and stuck it to the glass. Then, I carefully replaced the inside of the o, d and f. I used the etchall Squeegee to make sure everything was well adhered and to remove any air bubbles.

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I taped off the edges and poured on the etchall etching creme. Then, I set a timer for 15 minutes and walked away.

When I came back, I scraped the etchall etching creme back into the container (it’s reusable!) and then wiped away any residue and removed the mask and tape.

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I love how the word seems to float because it is on the front of the glass and the other elements are at the back of the shadowbox.

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This is the perfect way to remember our trip rock hunting!