Saturday, June 15, 2013

Designer Craft Connection Manufacturer Challenge - EtchAll

Another opportunity presented its self, when Julie McGuffee announced a new challenge.  This time I would call myself a "true novice".  The product we were to use is one that I had been aware of and interested in, but never took or had the chance to try.

I started out small and made some mistakes.  That's how we learn, right?  I would have to say, I'm really liking this and can see using this product in the future.  For the few small projects I experimented with, it gave me the urge to want to learn and try more complicated and creative ways to use "etchall®".  Practice makes perfect! I'm a far cry from perfect.

First I used a jar that was purchased for the purpose of making my own "sprouting" container.  I had to also refashion the lid to hold screening for rinsing and draining.  I die-cut letters from the vinyl that we received to spell out "SPROUTS".  Applied the cutouts to the jar in a random pattern and followed the instructions for etchall®.

I moved on to some blue glassware.  Again I die-cut two different shaped stars from the vinyl.  Each glass had four stars applied to them.  Here I worked on a large glass and smaller glass in steps, by applying two stars to each glass, following the etching process and then repeating once again to add two more star patterns.  I now think I would do this process differently.  (NOTE: because I wanted to experiment on various pieces and I had limited vinyl for stencils, and zero knowledge of what else I could use, I did this application in steps.  I think it would have been better to do all four stars at once.)
I also found because of the shape of the glasses, it is important to mask off any portion of the piece so if the creme does drip it does not etch in unwanted areas.  So now with stars etched on these blue glasses, I am making a "red, white and blue" serving tray to hold the star etched glasses for summer gatherings.

The next simple project was to add a bit of decoration to plain glass float frames.  I was given a gift for my birthday, hand made by a friend.  He is a carpenter by trade, but has become interested in making unique wooden pieces of all shapes and sizes.  The frame holder was made from a vertical slice of wood with a groove to hold the float frames.  I took a rectangle of the vinyl and cut the four sides with decorative scissors, then applied the etchall® to form a border on each piece of glass.

Each piece of glass that is around the house I am looking at for potential etching possibilities.  I was ready to throw a Yankee Candle jar into recycling and had an "Ah-Hah" moment.  It is the next piece that will get some etching, along with a few others.

Now that I have been able to do a little experimenting I will be looking for other pieces to etch.  I have several old windows that have been waiting to be repurposed - I'm considering some different options now.  There are small side windows around the front door that have been begging for something and maybe some mirrors - etching is what they need.  BUT, I need a little, no, lots more practice!

Thanks to Julie for organizing this and to Barbara Bosler, from B & B Etching Products for being so generous in supplying each of us with product and this opportunity.  I hope to become more then a novice with practice.

NOTE:  I apologize for my photos, another area of being a novice, plus having serious issues with my camera.  May have to look into a new one very soon. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Designer Craft Connection June Entry - Happiness is....

This month's blog theme, "happiness is...", could be completed in so many different ways.  Today, for me, it would have to be - "happiness is sharing time with friends".

This morning our small group of quilters gathered here for brunch and chatting.  It was a delightful gathering, filled with yummy food and the sharing of ideas.

There was "show and tell" as always.  We bring and share finished projects and even works in progress.  Two of the quilters are taking a class at an area store, working on a very ambitious project that will take a year to complete.  Some of our group decided to work on making a "friendship quilt".  We discussed our plan and how we will each make a certain number of quilt blocks and share them.  They will become a "friendship quilt", with each of us finishing our individual quilts in any way we desire later on this year.  (A good project for our midwestern winters.)

Each of my quilting friends were given a flower brooch that I made this past week-end. I found fabric among my scraps for both the flower and leaves. Then I used the  large size, Clover Kanzashi Flower Maker and some buttons from my stash to create a small gift for each.

The flowers became part of my simple table setting for brunch.  Each became part of a napkin ring.  I used a wired jute  ribbon and wrapped it around each napkin, then pinned the flower over the ribbon.
The flatware was included with the napkin at each setting.

The table runner is another project that we all made last year in a variety of fabrics.  Another easy project to make for yourself or to share as a gift.  This one is perfect for summer with watermelon slices.

So I could also say that happiness is sharing a little creativity with friends too!