Categories
Blog Tutorial

Handmade Gift DIY – Wood Plaque Photo Transfer

IMG_1489

 
 

My mom knows that she is probably going to get some kind of handmade gift from her artist daughter for just about every occasion and she is fine with it. But i won’t give gifts that aren’t useful and/or memorable. Believe me, there are a lot of weird and random craft ideas out there that I would never give as a gift. This project passes the “great gift” test with flying colors.

 

It’s a very easy project, unfortunately, you will most likely have to make a trip to the craft store before you start. Unless you are an artist, it is doubtful you have gel medium on hand, and nobody I’ve ever met keeps a supply of blank wooden plaques hanging around. But if you are anything like me, you are at the craft store at least once a week (who am I kidding, I am there almost daily). No need to use your good art supplies on this one. The regular brand of gel medium available at the craft store is great for this.

red scorpio mothers day craft

red scorpio mothers day craft

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also you will need a laser print or photo copy of the photo you are transferring. Ink jet prints will not work. When you print your image, do not forget to reverse it so that when it’s transferred onto the plaque it’s the right way. This is especially important if your image includes lettering, or is a photo of your childhood home which you are giving to your mother as a gift.

red scorpio mothers day craft

 

 

 

 

Trim the image to fit the plaque. Paint both the printed image and the plaque with a nice, even coating of gel medium. Carefully lay the image face down on the plaque, making sure there are no bubbles, and smooth it down. Try not to press the paper over the edge of the plaque, and wipe up any gel medium that oozes over the edge. That stuff dries as hard as plastic and is a real pain to get off without marring the edges of your image. Let it dry completely.

red scorpio mothers day craftred scorpio mothers day craft

 

Once it’s dry, soak the paper well with water and let it set for a minute, then rub the paper off with your fingers, rinsing occasionally. PRO TIP: don’t let the paper go down the drain. Just like magic, the image will be transferred onto the wood. After it dries, you will notice that there is still some paper left and you’ll have to wet it and rub it some more. You’ll probably have to do this a few times before all of the paper is gone. Tiny bits of the image will get rubbed off too, but it just adds to the hand-made coolness of the project.

 

red scorpio mothers day craftred scorpio mothers day craft

red scorpio mothers day craft

 

 

 

 

 

I finished this one with a couple of eye screws and some wire i had on hand, and it looks gorgeous. Mom is going to love it!

 

red scorpio mothers day craft

Categories
Blog Tutorial

Fun and Easy Crackle Finish Technique

Everyone is getting their Easter craft on right about now and I’ve seen some pretty cool thing. My crafty hero, Mark Montano, posted a tutorial for these adorable “Matryoshka” eggs.  I have also seen a couple of tutorials for crackle finish eggs using a special crackle finish medium. I am super 90s so crackle finish is near and dear to me. When we bought our house in ’98, we painted our bedroom with a crackle finish. Ralph Lauren had just come out with a line of fancy faux finish paints like Suede and River Rock and Crackle Finish for about $40 a gallon. Yikes! Regular paint was like ten bucks a gallon way back then, but we wanted our first home to be super fancy so we went for it. Our room is still painted blood red crackle finish over a grey base coat and because it’s still the 90s in my heart, I love it.

But you don’t really need special paint to get to get this look. All you need is white glue. Regular old Elmer’s.

Here’s how:

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

Flower pots and crackle finish are a match made in heaven. If you plan to actually put a plant in your pot, i recommend sealing it with a couple coats of latex paint. Acrylic will also work, but ould house paint is perfect for this. Paint on two coats of the base color and let it dry. The top color needs to be a little on the thin side. Not watery, but thin enough that it will spread very easily. I would say the consistency should be like ranch dressing. Also, the paint brushes you use are important. I would recommend a stiff brush for applying the glue and a soft fluffy brush for the top coat. The base coat doesn’t matter.

 

Alright, you ready? You have to work kind of fast, so squirt a good amount of glue onto your project. You need a thick even coat, but not like dripping off.

redscorpiomade crackle finish

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

Then immediately float the top coat on over the glue. I don’t know if that’s a real painting term but I mean gently apply it over the glue, do not put any pressure on the brush. You don’t want to blend the two layers. Wait and watch as the cracks materialize before your very eyes.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

See? So simple! I bet you will be crackling your little hearts out now. Let me know how it works for you in the comments.

Categories
Blog Tutorial

“Leaves of Gratitude” Centerpiece – Craft Tutorial

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the US, and it’s my favorite Holiday. It combines many of the things I love: eating comfort foods, being thankful, and taking naps on the couch. Also, I am in love with leftovers, and Thanksgiving pretty much rules at that. Remember Ross’ sandwich? You know you are winning at leftovers when the best show ever writes a whole episode about it. 

 

[Tweet “Thanksgiving is pretty much unscathed by commercialism, although that is a losing battle.”]

Cheesy handmade decorations are still acceptable, encouraged even, and sometimes, very cool. That is the case with this easy and family friendly centerpiece craft, “Leaves of Gratitude”.

 

I wanted to make something that wasn’t complicated, because this time of the year is bananas for makers, but that would look really nice on the Thanksgiving table, and I wanted it to be interactive, but all the messy stuff could be done beforehand.

 

To make this craft, you need colorful paper, white glue, and bamboo skewers. First, I downloaded a free leaf template from the internet. It is, of course, possible to draw your own leaf, but I needed 26 identical leaves, and that’s just too hard to draw. At least, for me it is. I made a sheet of leaf outlines in Keynote. You could also use Powerpoint or Illustrator or something similar to do this step. If you don’t have a program like that, or don’t know how to do such a thing, you are going to have to trace your leaves by hand. Sorry!

 

printed leaves

 

 

Cut out your leaves. This is the hardest part, really. Unless you have to trace them by hand, then that is the hardest part. Still, it’s not rocket science. Because you are going to glue two leaves back to back, take a minute to match them up for the best fit.

 

matched leaves

 

Apply a little bit of glue at each point, and a lot of glue in the middle where you’re going to stick the skewer.

 

leaf and glue

 

Make a leaf sandwich.

 

leaf sandwich

 

When your family arrives on Thanksgiving day, ask them to take a leaf and write on it what they are grateful for, then display the leaves of gratitude on your table.

 

 

gratitude inscription

 

I used some glass pebbles to help the leaves stand up, but if you don’t happen to have them, they aren’t super necessary. I really wanted to use dried beans, because I thought that would look cool, but I didn’t have any.

 

 

leaf bouquet

 

I can’t wait to take this sentimental centerpiece to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner next week. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone writes on their leaves.

Have a wonderful week and a very happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

Categories
Blog

The Peculiar Thrill of Waiting Until the Last Minute

“If you wait til the last minute, it only takes a minute” ~ K.S.

 

Back in early April, I accepted a DIY challenge from Jenna of promoanalyzer.com. It’s pretty cool. Jenna sends you some promo swag,you get all crazy crafty with it, and then share your results. And I, as you must know by now, am always up for a challenge. So Jenna sent the bag o’swag to me with a deadline of May 30. Of course I made the deadline. I’m not a flake. The DIY challenge was #1 on the schedule for May 29th and it got done. A day early, even.

 

Why did I wait til the last minute? Well, I am still riding the roller coaster that I hopped on back in April when I traveled to San Francisco to be a part of Tara Gentiles’s boot camp at CreativeLive. I am still assimilating to the new world which Tara has opened up to me. So much good stuff. Right after that came the Arts Festival, where I only had a month to prepare because they forgot to notify me of my acceptance. (Side note: sometimes you gotta read the signs.)

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

Also, I was slightly over-scheduled, common among entrepreneurs who have to make hay while the sun shines. I had three deadlines on the same day: the DIY challenge; my San Diego Fair entry; and my daughter’s 25th birthday party. The Fair entry was a piece of cake, since my collection of vintage travel bars was ready to go. Mainly because a logistics failure prevented me from entering them the year prior and they’d been cleaned up, wrapped up, and sitting in a box for the past twelve months just waiting for their chance to be on display and, hopefully, win a ribbon.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

 

In the midst of this, something very unexpected threw off my whole schedule. For several days, my life was solely focused on this top priority (and for now secret) surprise. Luckily, the disruption didn’t last long and I was able to get back on track.

Pretty much. I knew I had to turn something in to Jenna by the 30th, so I scheduled completing the challenge in my planner as the top priority for the 29th and outlined the process in my “Big Project Planner”, so even though I still had no what I was going to make, I had a plan laid out. That way, I wouldn’t forget to do stuff like take pictures of each step. Thankfully, when I opened up the bag that day, I somehow had a bunch of cool ideas, and I had a blast making the projects. I sent Jenna the pictures & the copy as promised, one day before the deadline. Winning!

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

Then there was the party. I love to throw rad parties, and I have a few hugely popular “party food” recipes in my arsenal. But my daughter is a vegetarian and my family has some picky eaters. And most of my rad party food is meat-centric. So that was rough. But the biggest problem was that I hadn’t properly planned. Not sure how it happened, but the day before the party I realized I hadn’t written out a plan and as a result, there wasn’t going to be enough food. Luckily, it was not too late to meet with my team (husband and son), make a plan and act. The party was a success, I got lots of compliments on the menu and, most importantly, the birthday girl had a lovely time.

 

red scorpio party Collage

 

The moral of the story is to make plans. Even if you think you got it figured out. Even if you’ve done it so many times, it’s a no brainer. Even if the plan is just “Do this, then this, then this” on a scrap of paper you stick on the fridge.

And also, some of the best work is done at the last minute.

If you don’t already have a copy of my “Big Project Planner”, get one now by signing up below. 

Categories
Blog Tutorial

Terra Cotta Pot Makeover

Are you ready to spring forward? Not me. Setting the clock ahead an hour is not my favorite thing. But what choice do I have? I guess I’ll just embrace the change, and prepare for Spring with this easy as pie way to spruce up a flower-pot. Prepare to be amazed.

 

Spring is just around the corner, and I know it can’t get here fast enough for my East coast friends. When you are surrounded by a blanket of white, it’s nice to have a happy little houseplant or pot of herbs on a sunny windowsill to brighten your day. This simple faux finish tutorial will show you how to paint a plain pot to match your decor.

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
Super Simple Fancy Faux Finish

 

Pro Tip: If you are planning on potting a plant directly in the flower pot (and not using a plastic pot as a liner), prime it first with latex paint. This will seal the pot and prevent the terra cotta pot from absorbing moisture and damaging the painted finish. If you are making the “Family Tree Centerpiece” from my book, Handmade Gifts That Don’t Suck, there’s no need to prime the pot.

 

 

You will need:

♥ White glue

♥ Craft paint, thinned to the consistency of ranch dressing

♥ Pot, as described above

♥ Two paint brushes

 

Brush on a generous coat of regular old white school glue onto the pot. Then, immediately apply a coat of craft paint over the glue with a very soft brush. Don’t blend the paint with the glue, but just float it on top. Watch and wait as the magic happens right before your very eyes. Let it dry completely before putting a plant into it, but if you’re making the centerpiece from Handmade Gifts That Don’t Suck it should be good to go as soon as it’s dry to the touch.

Check out the video:

 

 

 

Categories
Blog Goals

What To Do When it All Falls Apart

First of all, let’s take a step back and acknowledge that it rarely ever all falls apart. It feels that way sometimes, but usually it’s just a tiny part that falls apart.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
super secret project

 

 

I have been working on an amazing secret project that involves a lot of stuff I am not super pro at, so major fails are a daily occurrence. Confession: I fail at stuff I am really good at all the time. So, you know, failing at stuff I have less experience with is actually a little easier to take.

 

filming some stuff
more secrets

 

 

But the sheer volume of setbacks is bogging me down. My enthusiasm has not diminished, thank goodness. Even though every night I collapse into bed quite spent, sometimes with very little to show for my entire day’s work, by the morning I am anxious to get into the studio and start back at it. The time I have wasted is annoying the hell out of me though. I have already missed one self-imposed and ridiculously ambitious deadline.

A little hint: it involves video. I know nothing about making videos. It’s harder than you might think.

 

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
mostly successful!

 

For example, here is a short video of glass cutting that I shot, only I had accidentally hit “time-lapse” instead of “video”. I was pretty irritated when I realized that. I was so nailing the glass cutting! Grrr. I did eventually get over it. Kind of. Thinking about it right now is pissing me off all over again, but it is what it is. It is not at all what I wanted, but it’s actually kind of cool.

 

 

 

[Tweet “When it all falls apart, try to remember that it is mostly together and press on.”] Usually, just a slight adjustment will get everything back on track.

 

 

 

Categories
Blog

Handmade Valentine’s Day Card. Awwww!

I have been writing so much lately about goal setting, people are probably thinking “Uh, hey when are you going back to writing about handmade stuff?”

Right now.

 

What a great week. I have been crafting my little heart out over here in Redscorpioland, and how appropriate since it is going to be Valentine’s Day very soon.

 

Back when I was a kid, a long long time ago, we had the lamest Valentine’s Day cards available to us. Hearts and stuff, with the most eye-roll inducing puns. No superheroes, and no candy. Or even worse, conversation hearts. Did you know they are made of bone meal and earwig honey? Gross.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
I’d rather starve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a big deal nowadays though. And a great time for kids are parents to get together and make some simple & cute handmade cards. My kids do not pass out Valentine’s to their classmates at community college, but I still make a handmade card for my sweetie almost every year.

 

This is the card I made for him this year. (He walked by my work table and saw me making it so the surprise is already blown. Hello, Dear.)

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
Happy Valentines Day!

 

I call this technique ‘faux linocut’ and it works great for making a special card for your sweetheart, or 30 cards for the whole class.

It’s super easy & kid friendly because it doesn’t require any cutting. The hardest part is remembering that everything you do to the stamp must be in reverse so it prints properly.  I should say that is the hardest step for me. It helps to pre-sketch or print your design in reverse and then copy or trace it onto the stamp. Then your brain doesn’t need to try to reverse the image, just copy what’s on your sketch. Yes, I had to do that.

 

Yes, I did have to write GnR backwards and copy it.
Yes, I did have to write GnR backwards and copy it.

 

All you need is “fun foam” or craft foam (preferably the self stick kind. That saves you the step of gluing the foam to the base and the time it takes for the glue to dry), and a rigid base. We happened to have some nice wood squares about 3″x3″ and one inch thick. Anything about that size that is smooth and rigid will do.

 

Just a wood block and some craft foam
Just a wood block and some craft foam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a pencil or a dried up ballpoint pen, draw your design into the foam. As you can see in the picture below, I have a dried up ballpoint dedicated to embossing. I take it very seriously. Wherever you draw, the foam will compress leaving a permanent groove. Be very careful drawing the design because once the foam is mashed down by the pencil, it will not bounce back. There’s no erasing with this project.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
First Attempt

 

When you are happy with your design, use a wide brush to apply a light layer of craft paint to a paper plate, or plastic tray or something similar and tap your stamp in it til it’s evenly coated.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
Tray of Paint

  

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
Juiced up stamp

 

Carefully stamp your custom design onto your card. Blammo.

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.
Awwww

 

 

This is a perfect example of my favorite kind of craft; one that is so simple and yet you could get very creative and make it super complex and elaborate. And they are reusable, just wipe clean after stamping! 

 

Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.Red Scorpio creates bold unique statement jewelry. 100% Handmade by richelle shadoan. Beaded bracelets and necklaces make perfect gifts for the woman in your life who has everything. How to be awesome. Step out of your comfort zone. Live an artful life. Dare to be awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my favorite way to make cards. Here’s an anniversary card I made using this technique.

 

Categories
Week in Review

That Feeling When You Get It Done ~ Week in Review

 

My normal process for Week in Review posts starts with going through my photos and planner and putting it together. This week I was so focused on getting stuff done that I didn’t take very many pictures. Luckily, I have a lot of notes to refer to. And some video.

 

 

 

IMG_0238

 

This stuffed animal taxidermy is technically not from this past week, but I didn’t blog about it last week and I really think it deserves a mention. This is my new obsession. I will make one of these this year. It’s already in the planner.

 

This little darling hung in the restroom at the warehouse where I attended my first ever crafty Meet-Up. It was my first Meet-Up ever, so I have zero frame of reference, but it was not what I expected. I couldn’t talk anyone into going with me so I had to go alone No big deal, but the two girls who ended up sharing my table weren’t very talkative and I am. So the three of us crafted in relative silence until they left finished up without saying goodbye. It was not nearly as fun as the Social Sketch hosted by Courtney Cerruti and the Pooping Rabbit I attended in San Francisco in November.

 

 

 

 I was kind of stoked with my project though.

 

 

IMG_0283

 

Then, on Tuesday I checked every item on my to-do list.   What an awesome feeling. That doesn’t happen every day. It didn’t happen today, I know that.

 

 

IMG_0260

 

This happened. If you don’t know who Mark Montano is, what’s wrong with you? Just kidding. If you do know who Mark Montano is, and you also know that he is my crafty hero, then you know how much this means to me. And I got the shot of it. Bonus.

 

This week, I did a bunch of cleaning and a ton of crafting. It was so wonderful after such a long stretch of “admin” duties. I have a whole new series of images for some fresh and super sassy new bracelets. And I practiced making some tutorial videos. Here’s a sneak peek into my ‘studio’.

 

filming some stuff
filming some stuff

 

I am sure that the key to my productive week has been using my planner. Not just using it, but getting in a routine of writing in it and referring to it. I am pretty good about writing in my planner every night. I can’t even sleep if I don’t have a list for the next day, because I will just keep thinking of what needs to be done, over and over. So the list was a habit. Working the plan was another story. I get distracted fairly easily so it is not uncommon for me to work all day and yet cross nothing off of the list. The past couple of weeks, I have been vigilant about consulting the list.

Only do stuff that is on the list. And it really helped.

 

Stick to the List!
Stick to the List!

 

Speaking of planners, my friend Cara created a delightful series of videos which help you get the very most from your planner. These three adorable tutorials will show you how to create a planner that is uniquely yours. After all, the best planner system is the one that helps you get stuff done.

Please click here to check out her charming video series!

 

 

 

If you still haven’t checked out my goal-fulfillment system, please give it a try and let me know what you think.

Free Day Planner Download

 

 

 

 

Categories
Goals

How to Make Those Resolutions Stick

It’s time, people. We’ve all made our resolutions and now we have to figure out how to follow through. Here are a couple of tips to boost success. I don’t have pictures that illustrate these ideas so I just used some pretty photos from my gallery. I think it works.

 

1) Make sure it is something you really want. Life is too short to take on projects with no passion. Only set you really want to fulfill.

howtoNYres1

 

2) Tell the world. Nowadays it is so easy to broadcast your intentions, and that helps keep you accountable. And accountability is key for goal fulfillment.

 

A little too much perspective.
A little too much perspective.

 

3) Have a plan. One of my resolutions is to keep up on the laundry. What? I just told you to make sure your resolution is something you want to do and I for sure do not want to do laundry. Or it would be done by now. I do however want to reap the benefits of having my laundry done and put away versus piled up all over my house.

“Keep up on laundry” sounds so easy and doable, and for sure, it is not rocket science. But it is more complicated than breathing in and out, so it requires some thought and planning. Same with “Exercise more”, “Drink more water”, “Be more mindful”. How will I make this happen? One load every day? Once a week, all laundry, all day? I am still working this plan out so I will let you know.

 

Rainy day on Bourbon St.
Rainy day on Bourbon St.

 

4) Be realistic. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T. Don’t set yourself up for failure. You are not going to become fluent in Spanish this year unless you move to Mexico and don’t have a choice. Sorry to have to break it to you. You can set a goal to “Take a Spanish Class”, or “Learn 10 Helpful Phrases in Spanish”.

 

Beautiful downtown San Diego, from the bridge
Beautiful downtown San Diego, from the bridge

 

5) Make it enjoyable. I always like to put some fun challenges on my list, and that is totally legit. Last year I set a goal to enter a project into the SD County Fair, and I actually won a ribbon. This year I want to sing Karaoke.

 

Sparkly ring
Sparkly ring

 

6) Things change, your intentions may change, and that is ok. It is important to set goals. It is just as important to know what goals are worth your time. You’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.

Tweet: Move forward and make progress. That is the point. via @redscorpiomade  Move forward and make progress. That is the point.

 

 

 

Categories
Blog

Flashback Friday ~ If You Are Going to Craft, Do It Right

Finishing up some orders so they will get where they are going in time for Christmas. I still have a lot of nice jewelry in my shop if you are looking for a neat and different gift for the spicy lady in your life. Greg has some calendars which are pretty spectacular too. Or maybe you will make your own gifts this year. That is awesome. Whatever you do, please read this flashback from March first. You will be glad you did.

 

I do crafty stuff all the time, but often forget to photograph my projects and take notes so I can blog my creations. I am getting better, though. However, I would rather not blog than to post a craft idea that is untested or doomed to failure. I also will not post craft ideas that are lame or ugly. I read a variety of craft blogs and some of the crap that gets posted is embarrassing. A lot of it is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve seen some DIYs that are D-I-no thanks.

some cool earrings I made
some cool earrings I made

Not trying to be a hater, I just don’t think you’re doing anyone a favor by posting a crap craft idea just so you have something to post.

 

Case in point: A blogger who I recently began following posted some ideas for Valentines day and one idea was a photo coaster. I was intrigued so I clicked the link for instructions. Basically, buy a coaster size wooden plaque blank, paint the edges and then Mod Podge a photo onto the top. Now I am not criticizing this idea because it is too easy. Some of the best ideas are the simplest. I am criticizing the horrid technique.

 

WiR 1017145
I made this lovely necklace too

First off, the author doesn’t specify that you need to use a laser copy for this project. You simply cannot use ink jet prints to decoupage. The decoupage medium instantly causes the inks to run and bleed. You must use a laser print or photocopy.

Second, this blogger instructs you to seal the coaster with 2 coats of Mod Podge. Nope. You could seal it with fifty coats of Mod Podge and as soon as you set your wet glass on it would be ruined. Mod Podge is not a sealer or a finish, even though the label says it is. Trust me, I know from experience. Mod Podge glossy will stay tacky-ish almost indefinitely. Even if you never set a glass on these coasters, if you stacked them they would bond together after a very short time.

 

Sparkly ring
I make these for fun

This is not a Mod Podge hate fest, I myself use it almost daily, but any crafter who tells you to seal a project with Mod Podge is wrong, frankly. There, I said it. You must use some sort of finish over Mod Podge to properly finish it. Even the folks at Mod Podge will advise you to use sealer.

 

 

Mod Podge now comes in a dozen “flavors” now, so last time I was at the craft store I checked them out. I was curious whether Mod Podge’s Outdoor formula would work for a project I was creating. Upon reading the instructions I learned that it would need to cure for FOUR WEEKS before being placed outside. Does that seem reasonable? Not to me. Go buy a can of clear coat for a buck or two at Home Depot and properly seal your project so that it will last a lifetime. You owe it to your crafts and to the special people you make them for.

 

IMG_5322
I stenciled this shirt and blogged about it

 

Here are a few links for some handmade coasters on which you can actually set a drink: