Goodwill Vase

I am a frequent shopper at Goodwill. It is the perfect place to find things to alter and you all know how I love to alter.

This little jar has been at my local Goodwill for several weeks. Each time I walk by, I want to buy it, but I never know what to do with it.

I finally decided to buy two of them to try a painting technique I wanted to use on larger jars. That experiment did not go so well. Let’s just say, this little jar’s friend will spend his days in the garbage dump.

I was totally frustrated when my husband suggested enameling the jar. Thinking the jar would shatter under the intense heat, I said no, but then decided to try it anyway. I figured the worse that could happen would be a mess to clean up and a trip to the ER.

First, I wrapped a bit of Tissue Tape by Tim Holtz (masking tape would work as well) around the lip of the vase to mark off an area and then coated it liberally with Piccolo Enamel Powder Adhesive and then with a layer of 24K Gold Enamel Powder.

The glass didn’t break, so I kept going — coating the entire jar with Enchanted Aubergine.


This is the point I remembered to take a photo … you can see it was just a clear jar. I have about 1/3 of it coated at this point.



I went very slowly — doing a section and then allowing it to cool completely before doing the next section. I used scissors to hold it after a while, because the entire jar heats up each time you heat a small space.



And this is how it looked when it was done. I decided to redo a bit of the gold along the top, since I wrecked some of it trying to hang onto the vase.

I love how the different-sized particles stuck to certain areas of the vase. It makes it very interesting.

Then, I decided to add some Piccolo decor to the top. I coated them with Cool-Set Enamel in white. Because they are cut very intricately with a laser, I was able to mold the compressed chipboard Piccolo around the vase.

Here is a closer look at the Piccolo pieces. (These are from Card Decor Set 1, if you are interested in buying them).

And here is my finished vase. My husband said it reminded him of art glass and that’s the biggest compliment I can get!




So Much To Be Thankful For

Sometimes life is tough. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity that surrounds us. So, it is important to keep reminding ourselves what is the most important.

In my life, I am thankful that I have two beautiful children who are happy and healthy and starting their own adult lives.

I am also incredibly thankful for my amazing husband who does everything humanly possible to make me smile — even if it means telling bad jokes or doing silly dances — things he would probably deny if questioned.

To help keep me focused on the positive and important things in life, I created this 8×10 canvas to hang in my home. (click on the photos for a larger view)

I created the background with Glimmer Mists in oranges and yellows.

The paper is Authentique’s new Thankful line.

I used dies from Tim Holtz/Sizzix to cut out the leaves, then added a bit of Distress Ink and molded them with my fingers to be dimensional.

Then, I added a few acorns, cut out from the paper, and topped them with Distress Stickles. They give a soft sparkle without it being in-your-face bling.

The word Thankful is cut out with my Cricut and the smaller words are cut with a Lifestyle Crafts die.

The globe is from Globecraft Memories. I ran the frame through an embossing folder and then coated it with enamel powder. I made the family photo sepia toned to match.

For the final touch, I added a few Piccolos — tiny, laser cut pieces made from compressed chipboard — and coated them with enamel powder. I love the elegance they provide.


What are you thankful for?




Merry Christmas Card

It may be the beginning of Autumn, but I’m feeling a lot like Christmas.

I decided this is the perfect time to get started making Christmas cards.

This year, I have a special project I am doing in conjunction with Capture A Memory. I am creating holiday cards using only items the store has in stock. Then, I am putting the cards, a recipe to make them, and all of the products needed to create them in a special section in the store. Think of it as one-stop-card shopping. I think it will be fun for both me and the customers and I am excited to get started.

Naturally, with my brain that easily gets overloaded, I left the new stamps and papers I purchased to make some of the cards at the store last Thursday. Then, my husband offered to go with me to the store on Sunday to pick up the items and run a few errands. We were almost to the store when I realized I didn’t bring my keys and since the store isn’t open on Sunday, I wasn’t getting anything!

So the project is already behind schedule, but I despite all of my issues, I did manage to create one card this weekend …

Supplies: Authentique papers, Vintage Photo Distress Ink, Festive Berries Distress Ink, stamp by Stampers Anonymous, die cut by Lifestyle Crafts, Wreath by Globecraft Memories, Mossy Glen Enamel Powder, Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paints, Glastique, and a little gold cord.

Most of the items are available at Capture A Memory in Flint Township. The Globecraft Memories products (Wreath, Mossy Glen, Enamel Powder Adhesive and Glastique) can be purchased through the new link on the right side of my blog. Easy, easy!

If you choose to make your own version of this card, please send me a link or jpeg and I’ll share it with everyone!

Thanks for reading …


Technique: Piccolo Enamel Powders

It’s Back!

After a brief hiatus for the summer, Technique Thursday returns today with a brand-new product: Piccolo Accents, Charms and Enamel Powders.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you have seen me use them a lot. I cannot help myself. They are made in Michigan and the US, the owners of the company are amazing people and, most importantly, they are quick and easy to use, yet provide a huge impact on a project.

Piccolo Accents & Charms are laser-cut images made from compressed chipboard (or bookboard). Bookboard is stronger and thinner than chipboard, so you can get the look without so much bulk. Once coated with Glastique, a clear, glossy adhesive that will not yellow over time, they can be used as jewelry, like you see here …

Piccolo Enamel Powders come in a variety of colors — all sorts of metals, as well as some unique color combinations. They work like embossing powders, but the results are very different. Enamel Powders provide the look of metal or enamel, complete with dimension.

The enamel powders work great on Piccolo pieces, obviously, but you can also use them on chipboard, Grungeboard and metal.

In this picture, I coated the Grungeboard hinges, and the washer at the bottom, as well as the tiny gears with enamel powders.

I wanted to show you how easy it is to create your own metal looks, so I made a video.

You can watch it here ….

If you want to try out Piccolo Enamel Powders and make a Piccolo piece for yourself, stop by Capture A Memory in Flint Township today from 2-6 p.m. I’ll show you how easy it is — for free! Hope to see you there.



Sunset Shores Retreat

I apologize for being MIA this past week … I’ve been working on Globecraft Memories’ new website, having a shed (a.k.a. kitchen pantry) constructed and picking and preserving more food from the garden. It seems like time has totally slipped away from me — I haven’t even unpacked, yet!

My trip to Sunset Shores was amazing. In fact, I enjoyed the retreat, complete with classes taught by Linda Neff, more than when I just take my own things to crop. The fun factor — three days with the girls — and the amazing food was still there, but it was so much more relaxing to have each day already planned with projects. When I returned, I felt like I had been gone for weeks, rather than just a couple of days.

Here is Linda hard at work …

Here is one of the projects we made … it is made from a DIY Ornament and enamel powders by Globecraft Memories, clip art, moss and Art Glitter.

You can see the inside of the globe better in this photo …

Click here to see Linda’s version in progress …

We also did a quick make-n-take with a charm set from Globecraft Memories. These Piccolo parts are enameled and then coated in Glastique. It was very late when we did these and in my sleepiness, I did not choose the best colors of enamel powders, so the inside set of gears are a mess, but the other parts are awesome when covered in Glastique.

We also made a mini album, which I will show as soon as I add photos to it, and a window, which I will showcase tomorrow.

Despite being busy the whole time, I did manage to stop and smell the flowers …


Capture diamonds glistening on the water …

Take in an amazing sunset …

And get my feet wet …

Finally, here is a little teaser of our windows …

From left: Sandy, Lynnette, Faith, Me, Diane, Cathy and Lori showing off our windows.







Non-Stick Craft Sheet Storage

I cannot live without my Non-Stick Craft Sheet. It is a tool I use on almost every project I do, one I require in most of my classes and one I put on the must-have list for new croppers.

The sheet can be used as a palate for paint or a protective surface when working with ink or heat. And, it wipes clean every time.

The only problem is that it is made with glass and if you fold or bend it, it will eventually break down. So, I carry mine in the box it came in, which is fine, but not very attractive.

Another student in a class I took recently had this incredible case for her Non-Stick Craft Sheet. I fell in love with it and she gave me permission to take the idea and run with it. So, I’ve created my own version and plan to teach it as a class.

In this class, we’ll use Graphic 45 paper, bits and pieces from the Ideaology line by Tim Holtz, Piccolo pieces and enamel powder by Globecraft Memories, May Arts ribbon, Grungepaper, dies by Tim Holtz and Lifestyle Crafts, Distress Ink and more.

The class is set for Aug. 30 from 6-7 p.m. at Capture a Memory in Flint Township. Call the store to register … I look forward to helping you create your storage tube.

CHA Sneak Peek

Normally, when I discover a sneak peek for a new release at CHA, it is because I stumbled across it on someone else’s blog or Facebook page. But this time, I am privileged to help break the news and share that peek with everyone!

Globecraft Memories, a Michigan-based company, has come up with one of the most innovative ideas I have seen in a while. (OK. I may be a bit biased because I absolutely LOVE this company and all of their products, but I still think you will agree that it these are cool.)

ORNAMENTS!!! Made from compressed chipboard (think thinner and stronger than the traditional stuff), they come with Piccolo pieces built-in or empty and ready for whatever photos or embellishment you want. They have a front globe and a back globe. You can leave the globes clear or you can paint them, airbrush them, cover them with paper or whatever you desire. None of the pieces are attached, so they are easy to paint, embellish or enamel before assembling them.

These are just a few of the ones I have made so far, but the snowman is flocked and I used a napkin to cover the back of the globe. The front ring (officially the retaining ring) was embossed with a Cuttlebug folder and then enameled in Vintage Silver by Globecraft Memories.

I attempted a new technique on the ring of this one, which didn’t work too well, but the tree was so cool, I’ve decided to keep it. The tree is flocked and then I cut up a tiny garland to create the beads. The star is enameled with 24K Gold and the little birds are Piccolo pieces (coming soon to a website near you) that I painted and then coated with Glastique (also made by Globecraft)

For this one, I covered the background with Bazzill Basics Paper that had been inked with Distress Ink. I painted Santa black and then covered him with Glastique. I printed the letters on my computer, inked them with Distress Ink and then attached them inside the globe. The frame was embossed with a Tim Holtz folder, then enameled with Vintage Copper. I added a few pieces of ribbon (the light one was dyed to match with Perfect Pearls Mists and Distress Ink to match) from my stash. He’s a bit dark, but I love him anyhow …

These are just a few of the images that will be released. There is also a lighthouse, a snowflake, a Christmas candle, a child sledding and many more. AND, there is a whole line of Halloween ones as well, which I have seen, but not played with yet.

I cannot wait until these are officially released and I can start buying them … I think they will be gifts for everyone this year!


It started with a little inspiration …

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary.

It is a special, and somewhat serious, day for us as we both celebrate our love for each other and remember the most important vow we have ever taken. My husband usually gets me a gift and a card and sometimes flowers. There is often great meaning behind everything he gets for me — yes, he actually looks up what the color of roses mean and what gifts are traditional on specific years. He really does put a lot of thought into it.

Anyhow, I wanted to make him something that let him know how special he is to me. Although CHA products slowed me down and I did not complete the project until yesterday evening, it did not diminish the thought behind the gift.

So, it all began with a little inspiration … this time in the form of some stickers from K & Co.

Although the stickers never actually ended up on my project, I pulled my colors and thoughts from them.

I used the Grand Rectangle Globeframe from Globecraft Memories as the base of my project, but I wanted to include more than just a photo, so I modified it a bit … Here is what I created:

(click on the photo for a larger view)

Basically, I took the back of the frame and the bottom mat and hinged them together. It looks like this inside …

The little “story” I wrote to go inside is filled with references to shipping and sailing. I used Distress Ink to tone down the white of the paper. The lighthouse paper is really old. I’m not sure who made it. The hearts are Piccolo parts I pulled out of card decor set and then enameled with Vintage Copper.

Here’s a look at how the hinges work …

I didn’t have any hinges, so I made these using the Tiny Tags & Tabs die from Tim Holtz/Sizzix. I cut them out of Grungepaper, since it is stronger and allows some flexibility.

Then, I used Piccolo Enamel Powders to cover the Grungepaper. I used Vintage Silver and then a hint of Mossy Glen to replicate algae in the water. I added a few brads so they would look more industrial and less like office supplies.

Now for the front …

The main background is created by applying layers and layers of Distress Stain in several colors: Chipped Sapphire, Broken China, Tumbled Glass, Peeled Paint and Picket Fence. I used spritzes of water and a heat gun and kept going until I thought it looked like the water. Then I spritzed a homemade mix of Perfect Pearls (Gold & Salty Ocean Reinker) in a few spots because sometimes water sparkles.

I wanted to add a fishing net, but I haven’t been able to locate one, so I improvised with the Chicken Wire Crafters Workshop template. I used the Piccolo Enamel Powder Adhesive through the template and then applied Vintage Copper Enamel Powder. It’s shiny, but I think it gives the feeling of a net.

The top mat I wanted to look like a ship, so I embossed it with a Tim Holtz/Sizzix bubble folder and then coated it with Vintage Silver Enamel Powder. Next, I added some Archival ink in black, did a little scraping with my fingernail and a bit of sanding, then some more powder and more ink until I got the look I was going for.

The middle layer, which I attached with Pop Dots, was painted black and then coated with a 50/50 mix of Glastique and water so it was a bit shiny — like the paint used in ships.

I added a few metal hardware parts (stolen from my husband’s tool box) and a metal star from a Bo Bunny accessory set that I thought resembled a starfish. The smaller gear is another Piccolo part, enameled in Temple Stone.

I added a couple more Piccolo gears (one in Brownstone) and a compass sticker (the only thing used from that pack of K & Co. stickers that inspired me) to the bottom corner. The keyhole was needed to balance the project, even though it has nothing to do with a ship. It’s from that same pack of accessories from Bo Bunny. I did add a bit of twine to it, since there is always rope on a ship.

And, my sense of humor forced me to add the little fish in the bottom corner. It, too, is a Piccolo part (enameled in 24K) as is the seaweed next to it (Mossy Glenn). I love to add a cute or unexpected element and what was better than a fish?

To tie it in, I enameled a brass washer (also stolen from my husband) in Vintage Silver to serve as a port-hole. I must warn you, if you enamel metal, be extremely careful when you touch it. It heats up and, depending on the metal, may take a long time to cool — 30 minutes after I heated this washer, it was still warm.

Enjoy the day on or off the water!

A 25-cent box

I picked up a plain little heart-shaped box at a yard sale a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what I would do with it, but I thought it was cute and it was only 25 cents, so I bought it. Although I expected it to take up residence in my to-alter-some-day box, I found myself inspired and here’s what it became …

It started with Bazzill Basics Paper. This black and white paper is thinner than most scrapbook papers, but thicker than tissue paper and it takes ink well. I took a sheet and colored it with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink from the new spring collection. Then, I used Matte Glastique like a decoupage medium and adhered it to the box. It worked well because the paper was thin enough to go around the corners and indents.

Once covered, I decided the box was too bright, so I went over it with Vintage Photo and Walnut Distress Inks in places to make it look well loved.

I wanted to add ribbon, but nothing I had matched, so I inked up bright white ribbon and adhered that, as well. I am loving Globecraft Memories’ Matte Glastique. It is a thin, white glue that dries clear, but it seems to hold everything — including thick, decorative ribbon on the side of a box.

Then came the embellishments. I used a couple of sets from Globecraft Memories’ Piccolo Decor line. These are compressed chipboard pieces that are laser cut. When adding their enamel powders, they look like metal.

Isn’t it amazing?!

I inked the twine, too, to calm it down a bit.

Not bad for a 25-cent box, eh?


Sprinkle a Little Fairy Dust

Today, I wanted to share this adorable card I made. I used Flower Fairy stamps that I finally found — although I have been looking for them for over a year. I must admit I was a little disappointed in the stamps. While they are adorable, the packaging shows much more detail in the faces. I believe that you should get what you see, especially since the paper wraps all the way around the stamps, so you cannot look at them at all.

But, once I got over that disappointment, I did have fun coloring the images in with Copic markers. I then used a bit of Distress Ink to soften the white paper, added some background papers, a few other stamps from the set and some Piccolo pieces from Globecraft Memories. I also added a bit of their glitter, which is completely different from other glitters I have seen. The pieces vary in size and are round, rather than square. The sparkle is really unique.

I hope you enjoy a little fairy dust of your own!