For the Birds

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Spring is just around the corner and the songbirds are starting to return. Welcome them to your yard with these unique feeders made from thrift-store finds.

I started by collecting some glass pieces at my local Salvation Army and Goodwill stores. I even found the little mice figurine there (I sprayed it with a UV protector so it will not fade in the sun.)

Next, I got to work etching with etchall.

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I used a Cricut to cut out the etchall etchmask and used the etchmask transfer sheets to transfer the images to the plates.

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Then, I used a pick to pull out the pieces where the etchall will go.

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I used painter’s tape to mark off the rest of the plate and then applied etchall. (It gets brown with use.) Apply a thick, even coat for the best etching. Let it sit for 15 minutes, scrape the excess back into the jar (it is reusable!) and then rinse it off and remove the tape and etchmask.

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I used silicone to adhere my pieces of glass together. I let each piece sit for an hour before adhering the next piece.

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I tucked the little mice in one of the pieces.

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Here are the two finished pieces … perfect for the garden.

etchall_birds_candy_spiegel-2 And here is each piece with birdseed … they hold about a cup of seed each. But you could also use it as a bird bath.etchall_birds_candy_spiegel-1

My chickens tried them out and loved them. However, chickens weigh too much to leave these where they can try to roost on them. These are meant for the little songbirds in my yard. I cannot wait for spring to officially arrive so I can put them outside!etchall_birds_candy_spiegel-3Are you ready to make one for the birds in your yard? Visit etchall.com to purchase yours, today … use the code CANDYS and you will get 10% off your entire order! Click here and get etching today!

NOTE: I received compensation for this post.

You Look Marvelous!

My future daughter-in-law loves mirrors — the bigger the better. We have been to dozens of stores looking, but have been unable to find the perfect mirror at the right price. In the meantime, I thought I could alter one a bit so she has something pretty to check her outfit each morning.

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Mirrors, you should know, are rather challenging to photograph, so my chickens helped me out with this one …

I started with an inexpensive (about $15) full-length mirror. It had a bit of a Greek detail to the frame, so I opted for a Greek-inspired flourish from a Cricut cartridge to decorate the top and bottom of the mirror. The process is so simple …

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First, cut the image out on etchmask. This is an adhesive vinyl made by etchall. It is thicker than Cricut’s vinyl, which means it is less likely to tear and the Cricut doesn’t cut all the way through the backing paper, so everything stays together until you take it apart.

I did two images … one for the top and one for the bottom. I reversed and flipped the bottom image before cutting it out.

Next, remove the entire piece of etchmask from the cutting mat and cover with a transfer sheet cut to the same size. (etchmask comes with the transfer sheets, so there is nothing extra to buy!) Carefully remove the backing from the etchmask and adhere it to your surface. The transfer sheet holds it all together for you. Once adhered to the mirror, carefully remove the transfer sheet, as seen in the photo above.

Now, use the etchall Squeegee to work out all of the air bubbles and make sure the vinyl is adhered well.

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Now use a pick or piercing tool to pull out the design. Tip: Start in the center of the image and pull it out from there.

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If your image is too close to the edge, add washi tape, masking tape or painter’s tape. You do not want to get the etchall anywhere else on the glass. Then, use the squeegee to apply a thick, even coat of etchall.

Wait 15 minutes, then scoop up all of the etchall with the squeegee and put it back in the bottle — it is reusable.

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Since this project was so large, I used wet paper towels to clean off the rest of the etchall and then carefully removed the tape and stencils.

Here’s how it turned out …

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Are you ready to decorate a mirror of your own? etchall is ready to help you … use the code CANDYS and you will get 10% off your entire order — including premade stencils if you do not have a Cricut or other electronic cutter. Click here and get etching today!

NOTE: I received compensation for this post.

Throw Back Thursday: A Perfect Bullseye

Here’s a page I did back in 2012 … 

Last summer my husband sold a gun and used the money to buy a crossbow so he could go turkey hunting. He did it for me — I love the taste of wild turkey, but I hate the thought of picking out little pellets from my food. Matt knew with a crossbow, I could enjoy the flavors I love, peacefully.

The day he went to sight it in, I went with him and he let me shoot it a few times. It was the first time I had ever shot anything, so it was a big deal. More importantly, the day quickly became a special moment between husband and wife as we learned something new together.

Naturally, I was eager to scrapbook it and I began it several months ago using mosaic paper (click here for details …) but I got stuck on the title. I wanted something that reflected the importance of the day, but when my searches came up empty, I set the page aside.

Months later, I was airbrushing some flowers and leaves with Copic Sketch Markers. As I was putting away my supplies, I noticed the beautiful pattern created on the scrap paper I was using. The more I looked at it, the more I thought it would make a great background for my bullseye page.

I cut the scrap into a circle and then used my Cricut Gypsy to make the letters in the title a variety of sizes and then weld them together. Placed on a black background, I think the title really sticks out.

What do you think? Have you ever used scraps or leftovers to make something new?

Hannah’s Graduation Open House

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My friend is going through a lot right now. Any one of the things she is experiencing would be enough to break many people. Yet, she is dealing with multiple life-changing events all at once. Honestly, I do not know how she is keeping it all together, but she is. Granted she is exhausted and stressed, but she is still managing to smile.

I would love to be able to help her, but there really is nothing I can do … until now at least … her daughter, Hannah, just graduated from high school and if there is one thing I know how to do, it’s play with paper. So I offered to do the centerpieces and banner for Hannah’s open house.

I had help from a few friends who chipped in with money and supplies to help me out. Hannah wanted a Mardi Gras theme, rather than going with school colors, so I created my version of Mardi Gras!

I started with a banner, made from the Tim Holtz Cabinet Card die and then turned upside down. I cut each piece out of chipboard and paper, so it will be strong enough to handle Mother Nature. I then used the Cricut to cut out the letters of her name in metallic gold and a black shadow. I added a few feathers, the year, buttons and little hats to top it off.
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For the centerpieces, I started with some frappuccino bottles spray-painted in metallic gold. I filled the bottles with sand so they would won’t (hopefully) tip over.

Then, I bought a few digital images from Cricut and made the jester hats, circles and labels. I used a gold paint pen around the edges and on the “bells”. The hats are Jolee’s. I used lollipop sticks for the hats and decorative straws for the others. The sand in the jar holds them in place.

I added a bit of glitter tulle to the jars for a little more festivity.

I also included tons of beads and several boas to go with the centerpieces or for guests and the guest of honor to wear.

Now, I am just hoping for a nice day so we can all celebrate with Hannah and her mom can relax and enjoy the afternoon!

Congratulations, Hannah!

Red, White and Blue Challenge

sign4_candy_spiegelThis month’s challenge at Scrap It Girl is to use red, white and blue while making a card, layout or similar project.

I decided to take advantage of the challenge to make something I have been planning for quite some time — a “vintage” sign.

sign_candy_spiegelI started out with some barn wood from a friend who was demolishing a barn. My husband made a little frame on the back side with scrap wood to make it really strong (the barn wood was 150 years old and was extremely dry and fragile.)

sign_candy_spiegel_2Next, I used Claudine Hellmuth’s Studio Gesso to give it a white-washed look.

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Then, I used painter’s tape to mark lines and painted them with Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paint. I think this is Modern Red. I also added a bit more gesso in places so things there would be crisp white in spots and dull red in others. I wanted it to look like it had been left outside for some time.

sign6_candy_spiegelNext came the lettering. I cut out the letters I wanted to use with my Cricut machine. I used both Doodletype and Street Sign fonts. Then, rather than using the letters, I used the paper they were cut from as a stencil and painted in the letters. I kept my brush dry and dabbed on the paint, like you would when stenciling. I just held the cardstock in place. It was a little challenging around the a, e and o, but I managed to get it.

The est. date is the year we got our first chickens and planted our first garden crops.

sign5_candy_spiegelNow came the personal stuff.

We live in the middle of nowhere, in a small town that never made it into being more than a township, several miles from other small towns and 30 minutes from any city. We have one red light, but the speed limit never drops below 45 mph, so you know how small the town is.

While we are definitely in the country, we live between two lakes, in a neighborhood where the houses are super close together. Although we don’t have lakefront property,   we live in a cottage-size house with cottage-size lots, so we feel like we live on the lake.

On the other hand, we rent the house from my husband’s parents. They also own four vacant lots that go from our house to a wooded area on a dead-end road. They graciously let us garden and keep turkeys on their property, so we are able to call ourselves “farmers.”

We have a huge garden with corn, beets, squashes, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, beans, peas, onions, herbs and more. And, we raise turkeys, meat chickens and hens for laying eggs. This year, we also put in a blueberry patch so next year we can enjoy fresh fruit as well. I freeze veggies to eat over the winter and my husband and mother-in-law can and make pickles. We’re proud of our farming attempts and have even thought of offering some of our naturally grown products at farmers markets.

Our situation is unique. We can walk across the street to go swimming or boating on the lake and we can walk out to our garden to pick dinner. In my mind, it is the best of both worlds!

So, I wanted to show both the nautical and country sides of our life.

sign5_candy_spiegelI started with one of the symbols of country living … a rising sun. Rather than yellow, I used paper from Authentique that features sand dollars. Then, I used a Crafter’s Workshop stencil and gesso to create the dotted rays.

I used Matte Glastique Finishing Glaze from Globecraft & Piccolo to decoupage the paper elements on to the wood. This way, I could work around the contours of the wood and make everything attached permanently.

I prefer Matte Glastique to similar products because it does not leave a tacky finish.

sign3_candy_spiegelI used another sheet of beachside paper from Authentique, along with a die from Cottage Cutz to create the windmill. Rather than decoupage the top of the windmill on, I glued the center and then coated both the front and back of each of the blades with Matte Glastique. Then I bent them out. The Glastique keeps them strong so they will not rip.

sign4_candy_spiegelFinally I added chicken dies, cut from both patterned paper and cardstock with a die from Die-Versions and anchors cut from cardstock with a QuicKutz die. A few pieces of twine (leftover from the stuff used to stake the tomatoes) and I called it done.

What do you think?

Visit ScrapItGirl.com to see what the other designers have created with this challenge and then enter your project to win!

 

 

 

 

So Much To Be Thankful For

Sometimes life is tough. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity that surrounds us. So, it is important to keep reminding ourselves what is the most important.

In my life, I am thankful that I have two beautiful children who are happy and healthy and starting their own adult lives.

I am also incredibly thankful for my amazing husband who does everything humanly possible to make me smile — even if it means telling bad jokes or doing silly dances — things he would probably deny if questioned.

To help keep me focused on the positive and important things in life, I created this 8×10 canvas to hang in my home. (click on the photos for a larger view)

I created the background with Glimmer Mists in oranges and yellows.

The paper is Authentique’s new Thankful line.

I used dies from Tim Holtz/Sizzix to cut out the leaves, then added a bit of Distress Ink and molded them with my fingers to be dimensional.

Then, I added a few acorns, cut out from the paper, and topped them with Distress Stickles. They give a soft sparkle without it being in-your-face bling.

The word Thankful is cut out with my Cricut and the smaller words are cut with a Lifestyle Crafts die.

The globe is from Globecraft Memories. I ran the frame through an embossing folder and then coated it with enamel powder. I made the family photo sepia toned to match.

For the final touch, I added a few Piccolos — tiny, laser cut pieces made from compressed chipboard — and coated them with enamel powder. I love the elegance they provide.

 

What are you thankful for?