Friday, September 26, 2008

Etched Square Jar

I have been playing occasionally with glass etching over the past year and I was very pleased with how this particular project looked when it was finished. I think the green tint of the glass really helps make the etching stand out. I repeated the same design on each side of the jar, which did require a bit of precision and patience, but overall this was a fairly quick project.

This will be a nice jar for storing buttons, spools of thread or embroidery floss or other sewing notions. Or I could use it in the kitchen for my dried herbs. I could leave the lid off and put potpourri in it or use it as a candle holder.

In what way could/would you use a jar like this?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thank You

A heartfelt thanks to all who came to check out my first tutorial! Thank you for visiting and thank you for the wonderful feedback. And a special thanks to Nydia for promoting my tutorial by linking to it over at her great blog.

Please DO let me know if you try this technique yourself. And if you have pictures you'd like to share of your creations, I'd love to be able to link to them or even post them here, for others to see how easy this is to do!

Happy creating!

Monday, September 22, 2008

How to Make a Stencil~ Cookie Cutter Version

Can't find a pre-made stencil that's the shape you need for your project? Use your favorite cookie cutter to make your own.

  • stencil blanks
  • pencil or pen
  • cookie cutters
  • piece of glass
  • heat tool with stencil/tapered point
A few notes before beginning:
  1. An 8 1/2 x 11 piece of glass from an unused picture frame makes a good sized work surface for this project. For safety's sake, be sure to tape the edges of your piece of glass so there's no chance of cutting yourself.
  2. Stencil blanks can be found at the craft store in the same area with home decor stencils.
  3. Look for heat tools in the wood working and wood burning supply section. There are a variety of heat tools; make sure the one you purchase gets hot enough for creating stencils, it should specify in the description.
Now you're ready to begin. Place your cookie cutter onto the stencil blank and trace around it with your pen or pencil. You may wish to put a sheet of blank paper under the stencil blank for contrast so that you can see your lines more easily as you draw them. Be sure to space your shapes far enough apart so that there will be room to cut them apart, with some room to spare, later.

Next, place your stencil blank on the piece of glass; the glass protects your work surface from being burned when you cut your your stencils with the heat tool. If you are using a blank piece of paper to help you see your pencil lines, place it UNDER the glass, not between the glass and the stencil blank.

Give your heat tool a few minutes to warm up. You may want to practice on a piece of stencil blank to get used to the speed with which you need to work. If you work too slow, you might melt too big of a section; too fast, you may not completely perforate the blank or you may accidentally slip past your reference lines, creating jagged lines.

When you are ready, firmly and carefully follow your pencil lines with the tapered point of the heat tool all the way around your shape. You may find it is easier to pull the tapered point towards your rather than push it away from you.

Turn off your tool and safely set aside. Remove the perforated shapes from your stencil sheet and cut your new stencils off the sheet. Be sure to leave an inch border (or more) around them for stability. Your new stencil is complete, easy as that!

Use your stencil for scrapbooking or art journaling. Or use it to create home decor projects like trinket boxes, seasonal "Welcome" signs, primatives, and more.

Here's how I used mine--

What will you create?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oct '08 Poly Cafe

The October issue of Polymer Cafe magazine is out. I picked it up over the weekend. Polymer Cafe is the only magazine I have found dedicated to all things polymer. It used to be published only quarterly, but went bi-monthly earlier this year, which made me very happy-- more inspiration, more often!

This issue has several different pendant ideas, the most interesting of which is the Double-Walled Pendant by Sophia Lenz. There are also a couple of articles for simple sculptures-- including a silly little one for making slugs-- yes, SLUGS-- by my favorite PC artist, Christi Friesen. Other projects presented are stamped bookmarks and creating the look of lampwork beads with polymer, as well as the results of the True Colors challenge.

I hate to say it, but all in all, I found this issue a bit disappointing. Usually I find several little "gems" that really inspire me in an issue, but nothing really did this time around, even though I did find some of the articles interesting. I think this is the first issue ever where I've felt let down.