Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Spooky Time is Coming!

 It's almost the end of August and while adults are looking for signs of Fall, the kiddos are excited about Halloween and getting their "scare" on! Planning is always good and there's no time like the present to get started. Halloween will be here before you know it!

I'm all about using things I have on hand whenever possible and making something that's quick'n EZ. This little ghost fits the bill and is perfect for the kiddos....  

You'll Need:
  • Gwen Studios Curly Ribbon - White
  • Wiggle Eyes
  • Double stick tape - 1/4"
  • Empty plastic bottle
  • 5" Jute or Cord
  • Scissors

1.  Cut the bottom and the top off the bottle. The bottom piece will be for the head, so rounded ones are better than flat for a ghost.  Set the top aside to use later if desired. 

2.  Press double stick tape around the outside along the cut edge of the bottom piece.

3.  Slowly peel back the top layer of the double stick tape small sections at a time.  Attach one end of 12" lengths of curly ribbon side by side around the edge.

4.  Carefully pierce a hole at the center at the top of the plastic. I used the points of a sharp pair of scissors, but some plastic bottles are much harder, so you may need to use a nail and a hammer to create the hole. Fold the jute in half, knot the ends together then thread the folded end up thru the hole from the inside to create a hanger. A bamboo skewer, or similar is useful to help push it thru.

5.  Fill the plastic top with crumpled white tissue then attach wiggle eyes on the outside with small pieces of double-stick tape. You can also paint the inside white if you have paint on hand.  

6.  Here's a fun bonus idea. I have some  dollar solar lights around the edge of my flower bed. The top can't be covered, but I put 2 layers of double stick tape around the edge and added strips of white ribbon I had on hand and some wiggle eyes.  My solar lights are black, but I think you can get white ones. This is now placed in a hanging basket!  Since I used regular ribbon, it may only be there for a few days, but I thought it looked kinda fun! 

Enjoy and have a safe and happy Halloween!

Yours truly,

Julie 💝


Ribbon used was provided by Gwen Studios and is available online from Walmart and major craft stores.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Upcycle with etchall®!

Don't throw empty perfume and/or cologne bottles away when you can pretty them up with etchall® dip'n etch!  Dip'n etch is a liquid that makes etching glass so EASY.....

You'll Need:
  • etchall® dip'n etch
  • Clear plastic container a little larger than the item you want to etch 
  • Permanent black marker

1. Cut off the top of an empty plastic bottle and set it aside to use as a funnel. 

2. To determine how much dip'n etch liquid you'll need, place your item inside the plastic container. Fill with water up to the area you do not want etched. (I used my new bottle of cologne to photograph this step, since the old one was empty and would float. If you are etching something that would float/bob up, put something heavy on top, or fill with rice for example so it is weighted down.)
I colored the water with food coloring to make the water levels easier for you to see.

3. Remove the item and the water level will sink. Mark the level on the outside of your container with a marker, or tape.

4. Empty the container then dry the inside thoroughly.

5. Fill the container with dip'n etch up to the mark then carefully add the item you want to etch.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes then remove your item. Rinse thoroughly then dry.

6. Etchall etching products are reusable, so using the top of the plastic bottle as a funnel, pour the dip'n etch back into its original container.  How easy is that!!!

7. Decorate if desired. I used a simple piece of ribbon and sand dollar charm for mine.

         I love etched glass... it reminds me of sea glass and I love anything that has to do with the beach and ocean. 

PLEASE REMEMBER- Etching products remove glaze, so....
Do not rinse your etched items over a porcelain sink
Always work on a safe, non glazed surface, or use a mat  
Do not store etching product in cold, or hot areas
Always read directions on container!

        Look for more etched projects - including slate! - using the "search" tab here on my blog. There's also lots of inspiration, tutorials, videos and more on the etchall website.


Yours truly,
Julie 💔


Sunday, June 25, 2023

H+H Trade Show - 2023


            The H+H Americas trade show was held in Chicago this past week at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. This was the location of past summer ACCI/CHA shows and it was good to visit the location again even though the show was quite different.


            H+H is a long established German show held annually in Cologne, which Jean (Kievlan) and I attended in 2000 and 2001 for AccuCut. We demonstrated, and I translated, how a die cut machine and dies worked to create shapes. The Cologne show was quite different and much smaller than the current HIA & ACCI shows we attended here in the US, but full of creativity.  

            This was H+H's second year here in the US and it was well attended with over 200 exhibitors, the majority of which were selling yarn & fabric. There was a handful of companies selling tools and a few general craft companies, but this show was definitely geared to "soft" crafts.  There were companies from New Zealand, Iceland, South Africa, India, Australia, Asia and, of course, the UK. It was good to see companies from Yorkshire selling "wool" (yarn).  I'm a Yorkshire lass and grew up in Bradford which was the world's center of the wool industry until wool slowly took a back seat to synthetic yarns in the 1960's.  My parents and grandparents worked in the wool industry, so I was very familiar with the process.

            For those of you unable to attend, I spent a day at the show simply walking the aisles and taking photos of the booths along the way.  There are a lot! So grab a cuppa tea or a glass of wine, a few snacks, put your feet up and walk the H+H show with me.....  Note: if you'd like more information about a specific exhibitor, look up the H+H Americas website, scroll down and you'll find the exhibitor list there, plus a couple of show highlights videos.  

            Photos are best viewed on your iPad, or laptop.  Enjoy!

One of the "craft" booths with small, laser cut, wood embellishments.

Needle punch art. Looks like tapestry!

Laxtons, another Yorkshire company from Bradford. 140 years old!

That's all folks!

Yours truly,
Julie 💝