Showing posts from December, 2015

Getting Started with Alcohol Inks

Some of my most popular projects posted to the blog have been alcohol ink projects . I've been playing around with them for several years now (and completed dozens of projects on all types of surfaces) and feel fairly confident that I can share some advice for folks who are considering trying them out for the first time. So what are alcohol inks? They are alcohol based dyes that can be used to dye any number of different surfaces but often work best on smooth/nonporous surfaces (like glass, metal, plastic, glossy paint, etc...). The ink is a lot like the ink used in permanent markers (think Sharpies). It's permanent once it dries as long as it doesn't come in contact with alcohol based liquids (though just like permanent markers, some very smooth surfaces like high gloss ceramic, can smear even once dry). Alcohol Inks are often stamped or dripped onto surfaces and can create a translucent stained glass effect when used on clear surfaces (like glass and plastic

Floral Christmas Centerpiece

Happy Christmas Week! Here's wishing you all a great week of wrapping, baking, crafting, packing, preparation for the holidays. This week I made a fairly quick project out of a floral arrangement that was given to me a few Christmases ago but was not really my taste and starting to fall apart a bit. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of what it looked like before. I was a bit excited to tear the thing apart. I grabbed any floral accessories that I had that might fit a Christmas arrangement and piled them on the table with the parts from the original arrangement. It used to be all blue and green, but I ditched most of the blue and any of the overly rustic looking greenery and replaced it with some red roses and ornaments.  I replaced the floral foam with some fresh foam, stuck some of the tall pieces in the back and then trimmed the 3 roses to be different heights and stuck them in the foam...then it was just putting the pieces back in until I liked t

Dremel Engraved Plastic Ornaments

There's a post floating around with plastic  ornaments engraved with a dremel . They are beautiful. These--are not. For starters, she managed to find plastic ornaments that are white underneath. All of the ones I had in my stash were made of gray plastic. I also only have one engraving tip size for my dremel--but I figured I'd give it a whirl.  It's really hard to get anything resembling a smooth line. The dremel wants to shoot right off of the ornament. After ruining a couple red ones, I was left with some small gold and silver balls. I opted for a quick starburst/asterisk design as I thought I could manage it given how excitable the dremel was on the surface of the ornament. The starburst was easy enough and would probably look good no matter what color the plastic is underneath the paint. Just be sure to work on a covered surface to catch all the little paint/plastic filings. Clearly this is one of those "as seen on pinterest" projects that is w

Retro Christmas Pin Refashion

This week is finals week at the school I teach at, so I'm just sharing a really quick project before I get back to grading finals. This summer my Grandma past away. She had lots of costume jewelry--especially pins and broaches. This beauty was one of the unclaimed after everyone took whatever they wanted. Now, I like a bit of Christmas kitsch as much as the next gal, but it was a bit over the top--I mean the charms hanging off the wreath are bigger than the wreath--but I could tell it wouldn't be hard to fix it. The dangly bits on this pin were just attached with jump rings, so all I needed was a pliers. I pulled each of the rings attaching the charms to the wreath apart and now I have one wreath pin and 3 charms. The charms on their own are kind of cute, and I can't wait to find a new purpose for them, but for now I have this lovely retro wreath pin. It went from kitschy to almost understated (if there was such a thing in a Christmas pin). I can't wa