Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, America!

This is the time of year we celebrate our independence. What says America better than a red, white and blue sign to greet your guests at the door and tiny reminders of our freedom scattered throughout your home? These great chalkboards can become the centerpiece of your decorating with just a few pieces of bright chalk and about 10 minutes of your time. Don't worry if you can't draw it perfectly. Remember my motto: If it's perfect, it's not handmade.

The best thing about these chalkboards are that with the swipe of a paper towel and maybe a little bit of water, you have fresh slate to start all over for your next celebration. Mine were purchased as you see them, but you could achieve the same results with a piece of plywood or masonite and a can of chalk paint. Pop your handmade board into an inexpensive frame, and you have a great designer look.

Be sure to click on the Designer Crafts Connection at left to hop through and see other designers' ideas for celebrations.

Strong colored chalk or pastels

Write your message on the boards. To achieve the large letters/numbers, such as the 4, break a piece of the chalk to the width you want your letter, then draw with the side to create equal lines. Don't worry if all the solid area isn't filled in. That makes it charming.

Be sure you say the pledge to our flag and sing a verse or two of God Bless America or your favorite patriotic song, and always remember that freedom isn't free. It was bought and continues today because of our brave men and women who serve our country and also the families of these soldiers who carry on at home while their loved ones are on the other side of the earth. We owe them a debt that can't be paid.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better....

...we have a giveaway! If you're as excited as I am about etchall® Reusable Glass and Mirror Etching Creme, you'll love this message from the blog of Julie McGuffee. (which I am shamelessly reusing!).

Etchall Giveaway!

Have you seen all the etched projects designed by Designer Crafts Connection (DCC) members?  Are YOU itching to etch?  Then here's a newsflash for you:  Hop thru the DCC webring and comment on the projects.  Each time you comment you'll be entered to win the same etchall® kit that the designers worked with - the more you comment, the more chances you'll have to win.  (US & Canada addresses only.)

You have until midnight, June 23rd!  

Just click on the Designer Crafts Connection button to hop through the blog posts and leave a comment.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

I think I'm in love...

I have always wanted to learn to etch glass. There are so many possibilities for home and office decor that I believe I could write a book about it. There's only one problem: I have always hated the mess, odor and possible side-effects of the etching creams I've used in the past, so I haven't played with it very much.

Well, those days have ended, my friends. My first project with B&B Etching Products, Inc.'s etchallTM  Reusable Glass Mirror Etching Creme  turned out so good that nothing made of glass is safe at my house. I want to etch every surface, which  is made less expensive than the older versions of etching cream because it is reusable. It says so right on the label and it's true. I was able to return 90 percent of the used cream to the bottle for future projects.

I used a stencil, which I created with a punch and etchmaskTM vinyl, for my first etchallTM project. I am very pleased with the results. You could also use a stencil cut with an electronic cutter or one cut from a die. Pre-cut stencils could be applied with repositionable adhesive, but most are too sturdy to fit a curve.

This piece is designed for a summer party table decoration. I had originally planned to use it as a votive holder, but once it was etched, I couldn't resists filling it with water and floating a freshly picked gardenia in the center. Doesn't the etched surface look just like a chilled glass of water? Makes me cooler just thinking looking at it.

Gardenia's were my grandmother's favorite flower, and I have finally grown a bush that is almost as large as the one she had in her yard. Of course, it probably wasn't more than 48" tall, but I was looking at it with my five-year-old eyes from a different viewpoint than I do today. My gardenia bush is loaded down with blooms, and the fragrance is heavenly. Maybe we'll have a little summer evening dinner on the deck tonight in honor of my grandmother, gardenias and etchallTM, the best etching cream I've ever seen.

Click on the Designer Crafts Connection button at left to go to other designers' blogs to see how they've used this great product.

Here's how I made it:

glass bowl or glass pedestal bowl
etchallTM Reusable Glass and Mirror Etching Creme(B&B Etching Products, Inc.)
etchmaskTM Vinyl (B&B Etching Products, Inc.)
Craft knife (Westcott)
Border punch (EKSuccess Brands TM)
Flat brush
Only a minimum of supplies is needed for etching with etchall TM..

1. Punch etchmask vinyl with border punch and apply it to the glass surface

TIP:  It's easier to make several small pieces and place them on the glass, rather than one long strip, which can end up being a stuck-together mess.

2. Using a small flat brush, apply the etching cream to the glass. Be sure the surface is covered entirely. Work in sections so you don't have to worry about any dripping. Allow the creme to set 15-20 minutes.

3. Scrape off the excess creme and return it to the bottle. Under running water, wash the remaining creme off, then remove the stencil.

That's it. I made this in about 45 minutes, 30 of which was waiting time. Now. if you'll excuse me, I need to go to the garage and rescue that box of glass items I was going to place in a yard sale.

I received etchallTM Reusable Glass and Mirror Etching Creme and etchmaskTM vinly from B&B Etching Probuts, Inc., the Westcott Craft knife from Westcott and the border punch from EKSuccess BrandsTM