Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scrapbookers Can Etch Too - Etched Glass Mugs

I continue to work on my creativity, and since this is a year to frugally gift, I decided to try my hand at etching some glass mugs for my parents. Many of my sisters on the Cricut messageboard have been doing glass etching for awhile and I was intrigued. Last month, my interest was peaked again when I went to visit my aunt and uncle's new store The Caribbean Experience at Barnaby Street Shoppes (at Bell Mar Shops) in Surprise, AZ. While there, I visited the store, B & B Etching Products, of a lovely lady named Barb who was offering "make and takes" using her Etch-All Etching cream. Both my son and I etched a cute little hummingbird on a glass tile. The process was much easier than I thought it was.

So a week or two ago, I went back and purchased her kit which included the etching cream, a tool to use for weeding, a stencil of the hummingbird, and explicit directions on how to do the etching. I also purchased a pack of her Etchmask Stencil Vinyl which came packaged with the needed transfer sheets. I visited Dollar Tree and purchased two of the glass mugs for $1 each.

I used my Cricut to cut out the stencils. It took me a minute to figure out what to do with the transfer paper and how to put the stencil on the glass, but once I remembered I was good to go. After cutting the vinyl, I weeded it, and then put the transfer paper on top of the vinyl. I removed the backing from the vinyl and then placed the vinyl (with its transfer paper) on the glass mug. I removed the transfer paper and then I was ready to use the etching cream. What you see below is the result. If you are interested in my observations and what I learned, you will find those below my pics.

I was very pleased with the way these turned out and the quality of the etching. I did realize the following though:
  1. I had trouble seeing where the designs were going to fall on the glass and so they ended up being placed too low and in one case, slightly crooked. My thinking was that if I left a wide margin all the way around the stencil, then there would be less covering needed of the parts I didn't want etched. I should have trimmed the stencils to about 1/2" to 1" all the way around so that placement would have been easier.
  2. Barb suggested that when etching on a curved surface that one should use white contact paper to put around the stencil to make a sort of well to catch the etching cream as it dripped a little. I decided to use blue painters tape instead which worked okay, but the contact paper would have done a better job of catching the drips. While the cream was setting, I had to be mindful of the dripping and often had to wipe away cream as it dripped towards areas that I didn't want etched.
  3. My designs probably could have been made a little smaller.
I enjoyed doing this much more than I thought I would and may end up becoming a "mad etch artist!" With my Cricut to cut stencils, the sky is the limit! Thanks for looking and Happy New Year to all of my followers!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Scraps of Color Kwanzaa Giveaway

One of my favorite websites, Scraps of Color is doing a FABULOUS weeklong Kwanzaa Giveaway.  You can check it out right here. Check in each day because you won't know what the challenge is or the prize.  You've got to play to win.  Please note: all prizes will be mailed at the end of the giveaway, because each day you enter you could win and I just want to send 1 package to each winner!  Also, due to the cost of shipping, this giveaway is limited to US & Canada Residents only.)  

BONUS!!!  Create a card, layout or altered project with Kwanzaa as your inspiration/subject and be entered to win an additional prize!  That's right at the end of the week someone will win a wonderful prize just for getting crafty!  Just share a link to your creation below and you are entered.  Entries must be shared by Saturday, January 1, 2011 11:59pm eastern time.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

Make Time for Peace and Relaxation - Pat and Cali Card

I can't believe it's been so long since I've updated my blog. But then, I guess it would make sense since it's been about that long since I've done any kind of papercrafting. Finally though, I sat down to complete a request that my aunt made to me in August. Some of you may remember me going on and on about a class called "52 Card Pick-Up" over at BigPictureClasses (formerly In this blog entry, I shared some of the techniques I had learned. One of them involved placing a photo with high contrast into a Word document, converting it to black and white, and then adjusting the contrast to create this kind of retro Andy Warhol look. I sent a picture of the original project to my dear aunty and she fell in love with it requesting approximately 25 note cards made with the same picture. That request was made in August. I FINALLY finished the cards during Thanksgiving weekend and you can see a couple of pics below. Life (and the need for printer ink cartridges) basically got in the way. I hate it when that happens. Sometimes it's just stuff you have to do and other times when there's no stuff to do, the mojo's not there. I've missed my mojo and have to constantly remind myself that I must make time to do those things that restore peace and relaxation to my life, like papercrafting. So that's the lesson for today...if you really do enjoy papercrafting, make time for it, everyday if possible. You don't have to devote hours and hours at a time. Sometimes, all that's needed is a 30-minute session to remove the stress of the day and get those creative juices flowing. Hope I take my own advice! Thanks for looking!