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Love Bites and a little Black Magic

*cheesy grin* I have to say that I am totally loving the names for my new soaps.  I finally had a wakeful, energetic day and got all of the last minute touches done, so now the two soaps have gone live on my site.  *happy dance* Before I upload the pictures I wanted to say that these are the first product pics taken with my new DIY photo tent box and I am tickled!  I still have some more tweaking and definitely a lot of learning to do, but will slowly try to retake pictures of my products.  I played with background patterns, colors, and even scene fillers.  I kept these backgrounds pretty basic to help make the soaps look even more dramatic.  For Love Bites I actually used the back of some Valentine decoration’s packaging.  *laugh* I thought that was rather brilliant myself.  I had a lot of fun trying different backgrounds for Black Magic and ended up using present tissue paper over a piece of construction paper.  I took a plain picture too just to make sure that the new box was actually making a big difference and boy howdy does it!  I did very little editing with these and they were taken with my iPhone!  Yep, I’m a little proud.  lol Without further ado….

A little Black Magic:

Black Magic Soap

Black Magic Soap

Followed up with some Love Bites:

Love Bites Soap

Love Bites Soap

Both soaps are now up and featured on my site too (way bigger pictures than the others *grin*) on my soaps page (just click the red “soaps” there and it’ll take you, or your friend *elbow nudge*,  right to them). It’s amazing how many little details like hyperlinking I can remember when my mind isn’t being pulled a million directions.  *laugh* Anyway, I totally love these soaps.  I wish they turned out a bit darker since they looked like the perfect soft black when I poured the soaps, but being a little paler helps that glitter really catch the eye.  I’m becoming such a glitter fanatic that I might need an intervention.  Never would I have expected that of myself.

I had hoped to work on Malice & Mayhem tonight after making a bunch of lotions, but there’s a storm a’brewin’ according to the pain building in my ankle, so I’m going to chill out on the recliner with the fur babies instead. If you feel like letting me know what you think of the new soaps and brighter/clearer pictures I’d love to hear from you.  Also, feel free to pin it to Pinterest if you really like them or send a friend the link.  *grin* That’s enough shameless attention seeking for tonight, so until next we meet, pamper on.  🙂

DIY Glitter Ornaments

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DIY Glitter Ornament

 

 

I’ve been playing with glitter again and I have to share this with you.  The tutorial is at http://theornamentgirl.com/blog/being-crafty/how-to-make-glitter-christmas-ornaments-diy/ although I will give you a few tips, so it doesn’t take you as many attempts to make the ornament of your dreams.  *grin*  I know that’s a bigger picture than I usually bombard you with, but that’s just how much I love it.

Ornament Prep

Basically you rinse your clear ornament with rubbing alcohol and let dry.  After it’s dry you squirt a little floor finish in it (although there’s some sticker shock, it barely uses any, so that bottle will last almost forever), swish the finish until it coats the entire interior, and pour the excess back into your bottle.  Sprinkle your chosen glitter into the bulb and either shake or swish the glitter until it coats the ornament.  This is where I have a little input.  I never figured out how she had any to “swish”, since the excess liquid was poured back into the bottle, but I covered the hanger hole with a napkin and shook the tarnation out of it.  Super fine glitter didn’t coat very well, so I had to rinse the ornament and start over another day.  When I switched to the other glitter it dawned on me that I should take  a picture, so you could see the glitter (although it’s not an overly descriptive picture, I know lol), but mostly so you can see the bottle of finish in case you get as confused as me when standing in the store and trying to figure out which one to buy.  So, using the slightly less fine glitter things started out well, but after the bottom was coated in glitter I couldn’t seem to get the glitter to move.  I tried all sorts of fun shaking, rattling, and wiggling, but if you end up with a clump at the bottom, don’t worry.  Just add more glitter!  It takes a LOT of glitter.  I went through half of one of those jars of glitter just on the one ornament.  I tried sprinkling the glitter directly into the opening and I also used a paper funnel.  Once I realized that shaking didn’t actually harm anything, despite the tutorial stating that she didn’t like to shake, I stopped trying to funnel the glitter to the spots that I needed to cover.  Just put your glitter in and treat the ornament like a shake weight.  After a few minutes you’ll have a fully coated ornament.  If you still have some blank areas despite having a bunch of loose glitter inside, then the floor finish didn’t coat that section.  It bites, since there’s no fix at this point, but it happened to me in a tiny spot (notice how the top hardly has any glitter?  I didn’t realize that I had failed to swish that finish along the entrance.  I found that the ornament balanced well on the small Dixie cup and it kept it from rolling about spreading the glittery love across my table.  It’s also a handy little stand for the ornament to sit and dry on, and since it won’t roll my cats are leaving it alone.  *grin* The ring from a mason jar works well too to keep the bulb confined, especially if your dog happens to smack paper cups off of tables with his tail like mine.  The only down side is that it’s hard to get pictures of the pretty surface without dark spots or reflections when it’s too cold to have a curtain open for natural lighting.  LOL

Glitter Ornament

Glitter Ornament

 

I hope you give this project a try.  Knowing how to prevent the troubles I ran into this project should take you about fifteen minutes.  In the tutorial she also added stickers and things to hers, so imagine the possibilities.  You could bling it out with some little gems, initial them in puffy paint, or do it in green and paint a fun Grinch-styled face on there.  If you have any problems, feel free to drop me a line.  Otherwise, have fun! 🙂

A Crafty Little Project

I hope you excuse my absence.  I have a really surprising excuse.  I’ve been a victim of mind snatching and in my place a Crafty Cathy has been dabbling.  *grin*  I’m not sure if she’s some previously unknown dual identity or what, but I’ve been having a lot of fun.  LOL 

I stumbled upon a really intriguing pin on Pinterest and it honestly sounded too good to be true, especially after the difficulties I had with the melted crayon pin.  It couldn’t be that easy and, truly, it’s not always.  I’ve had quite a mixture of success and failures, but the best part is that it’s a whole lot of fun and I think I may have finally figured out what’s been going wrong.  As you have probably guessed, that always piques my interest way more than success, so I’ve been a bit obsessed.  *laugh*  The pin (and sister link) lead to the websites: www.lilyshop.com/how-make-colored-mason-jars and www.lilyshop.com/how-make-glitter-mason-jars.  Once I started playing with one I had to explore the sister link, and then my crazy mind had to see if both processes play well together.  *grin*  Basically the first one explains how to “dye” mason jars with mod podge and food coloring.  The second is pretty much the same thing except you substitute glitter for the coloring (and the insanely girly side that hides from my typically morbid and dark usual tendencies can’t resist glitter, so it was pretty much a guarantee that I’d be checking that link out.  Although I totally realize that although the blogger says that it’s dyeing jars, it’s really just dyeing the glue, I’m going to follow in their footsteps, just because it’s a whole lot more consistent when you read my experience and then the blogger’s tutorials.  (Or you can go look now.  I’ll wait.  Unless I spot some glitter.  I can’t be held responsible for any lapses of sanity if that girly part of me spots…Oh!  Look at my new box of pretty glitters….*happy sigh*)  Ahem.  Now that we’re all on the same wave length, let’s continue.  *smile*

 

Here’s where my post is going to get picture heavy.  You take a clean jar (I got totally scandalous and branched out to sanitized spaghetti jars and old business jars…*laugh*) and pour a liberal amount of mod podge inside of it.  The blog advises quite a bit, but I have only needed that much for a family sized spaghetti sauce jar – the mason jars that I used didn’t need that much.  You add a few drops of food coloring, stir it completely into the glue, and then swirl the mixture to coat the entire inside of your jar.  Let it sit and drain for an hour or so, then flip it back over and let it finish air drying.  That’s what the instructions say.  Well….

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When I started I wanted to test if food coloring would be more effective than my soap dyes, since I have them on hand in more colors and they have such vivid tones in comparison.  The compilation of pictures are just that.  The lavender shots don’t actually go with the food coloring.  Honestly I didn’t want to overwhelm you with a bunch of shots that aren’t overly exciting, so I cropped them in with each other.  I wanted to show you the steps though, so if you are nervous while trying this project you can see that everything is progressing normally.  The lavender was a third test, using craft paint, while the pink was soap dye, and there will be a dark purple one you’ll catch a glimpse of, which was actually done with the food coloring.  (Something that the blogger very accurately notes is to not brush or scrape any of the paint mixture onto the glass.  Just swirl it around and let it naturally coat the interior.  Any forced application leaves funky textures and really messes up the look.  That was tested purely by accident, but a great thing to keep in mind if you do this project.  Just be patient and keep swirling!)

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This is what happened with the food coloring.  I retested it to see if there was a flaw in the application or process and realized that I had missed the instruction to turn the jar right side up after an hour or so (this was my first jar), so it had dried upside down, although most ran out and pooled at the opening on my paper plate.  I don’t have a picture of the retest, but it worked fine when the directions are correctly followed.  *grin*  I personally don’t care for the colors I achieved with the food dye, so I was more interested in the other paints.  Now, here’s the coolest part.  If you don’t like your results, fiddle with the coating at the lip of your jar and you can peel the whole shebang out and start over (after rinsing)!  How cool is that?!  So, you’ll understand why I’ve done these a lot of times, but don’t always have the pictures to back the comments up.  *laugh*  The second pic is the dyed glue “skin” which is absurdly fun to squish and stretch.  I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me.  *teasing grin*  It’ll be our secret squishy stress reliever. 

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Now, the above is what happens if you don’t have a consistent heat source and your house is pretty chilly.  It starts out just fine, but then…I have incredibly bad timing and we had snow, freezing rain, and below zero temps, and to top it off our wood stove has been off getting repaired, so the house is chillier than usual.  I had been setting the jars in front of a heater register in the bathroom, since I could close the door and make that the warmest room, so in theory they’d have the best chance at heating.  That would be true if Abby Cat hadn’t decided that she needed some direct heat and laid down between the vent and the jars.  *rolling eyes*  The streaking also happens if the temperature is just right for the thermostat to not kick the heater on for several hours, so the glue just kind of works with gravity and pulls off of the sides.  The blogger noted that she had small bubbles develop from placing them in the oven (by the way, I never found a way to avoid at least a few bubbles, no matter what dye or process I tried.  Gentle stirring of the dye into the mod podge helped to reduce the number, but they developed on their own while I worked the mixture around to coat the interiors.  If you find a way to stop it, please let me know, but I never developed a whole lot of them, like she described with the oven process.  Just a heads up so you don’t think you’ve done something wrong.).  The way that worked best for me was to place the jar and paper plate on the floor and surround them with a heating pad, then top that with a light blanket, so it trapped in the heat.  I swear I need stock in Sunbeam, because I go through so many heating pads every year (it’s one of the few things that really helps me cope with the pain), so I always have a few handy.  For this I used a really long one, although I think a “king” sized one should work just as well.  The most flexible one you have.  After trying a few different heats I found that medium worked the best with mine.  After that first hour or so, once the jars are flipped, I slipped them back into the cocoon (with a bit of wax paper over the lips just because I don’t want to muck up my pad or blanket), and let them keep drying for at least a day.  The worst part about this is that most heating pads have that safety turn off feature, so every two hours I had to go and turn it back on.  When I slept I just left them in the cocoon and they still stayed warmer than most of my house.  *laugh* 

 

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The above is mod podge with super fine iridescent glitter that is rated as safe for cosmetics, which I use in soap.  At first it’s white, but then it dried completely clear and look at all of the pretty sparkles!!  *cheesing*  Yeah, I’ve turned the bend.  They’ll probably be coming to size me for my straight jacket soon…(Something else to note is that no matter what color you’re using, it’s going to look like a pastel at first and won’t be anything like what you’re going for.  I found that 4 drops of actual dye worked great for vibrant colors and about a teaspoon of craft paint was perfect. 

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I had a crafting mishap when I tried to make a pretty glitter covered jar weeks back and decided to dye it to see if it would salvage the disaster, and I happen to love how it turned out.  *grin*  I used Crafter’s Choice (available at Wholesale Supplies Plus, among other online retailers) in Strawberry Red for the dye, while the outside was simply the same iridescent glitter mod podged [I’m not sure if that’s a word, but I’m going with it.] to the exterior in two or three sessions (yeah, looking back that’s a bit extreme, but while it was wet it looked so pretty, so I kept going for it.  *sigh*  Lesson learned.)

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It’s now a permanent fixture on the entertainment center.  Although it didn’t photograph well it looks so cute with an LED tea light at the bottom and the fake flowers on top.  There’s a slight frosted look, plus a delicate shimmer from the glitter.  *happy sigh*

 

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I saved the best for last.  This is the lavender (“lilac”) craft paint example from the collage at the beginning with metallic purple small (not fine) craft glitter mixed in.  I found that the heavier glitter always sunk, but still looks pretty awesome to me.  I swirled like a possessed woman to get enough momentum for the paint to carry some of the glitter toward the top.  *grin*

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This is what really got us all amped up about the lavender one.  Larry came into the room as I was trying out a flickering LED tea light in the jar and said he wanted to try something.  He came back with his color changing glow sticks that he uses when he goes riding at the dunes in Oklahoma (safety measure so others know where your vehicle is at night and so it’s easier to judge where your vehicle ends, since it’s dark as can be in the middle of those dunes and you don’t want to clip someone).  The above pictures were taken in that lavender jar!  I’m not from Jersey, but those are still wicked cool!!  Plain and simple.  I think this would be awesome for a preteen, too.  There are so many glow in the dark craft paints on the market and a ton of different glow sticks, even, so they might not even need a black light.  We sure didn’t use one.  I never outgrew (nor did Larry) my love of glow in the dark things obviously and would have gone ape over this as a teen.  We plan to do some of these jars as luminaries if we get to do a morbid anniversary or Halloween party someday. *crossing fingers*  How awesome would these look in a darkened room with a creeping fog from a bowl of dry ice near them?! 

 

In the end I had several that I tore out, but all in all I loved this project.  As a matter of fact I bought a bottle of extreme glitter craft paint while grocery shopping today, so I’ll share pictures of that attempt soon.  I’m at war with myself over spending the next hour of insomnia watching the new episode of Face Off, which I’ve been eagerly anticipating, or go try out my new paint.  *laugh*  Since I’ve had limited use of my right arm for the past 36 hours from a small mishap I think the season premiere will win out this time.  I really hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my results and experiences, and please share with me your results if you try this.  I’d really love to see your creativity.  Feel free to link in the comments or email me.  It’d totally make my day.  *grin*  In the meantime, pamper on Garth. 

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