• Live Life Inspired. Dream With Possibility! Donna Downey
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Adore Candle Holder

This was a fun project!  Ever made your own “glass glitter”?  Great for working out frustrations, lol!

After Christmas I purchased some clearance gold ball ornaments.  The super cheap kind that I think ended up costing about $.75 for a package of 24 mini’s (about 1.5″ diameter, I think).  To set up for this, I took an old wooden kitchen cutting board (this is going to mangle it, so don’t use your good one!)  You could also use just a sheet of scrap wood.  Grab some protective eyewear as well!

I put a few baubles at a time (remove the metal hanger part) into a ziploc baggie (you’ll go through several of these as well) and just started pounding on it with a hammer to break them up.  Every so often, add more baubles and as the baggie gets too beat up to be sure you’re containing all the tiny shards, switch to a new one.  Keep hammering until the shards are a size to your liking (you’ll have a mixture ranging from the shards down to dust all mixed together).  I store mine in an old Prima bottle and it’s so pretty!

Now, for the candle holder itself, I grabbed a little votive holder from the dollar store (you can get these cheap ones just about anywhere from your local craft store to dollar stores to department stores).  I used Helmar’s Professional Acid Free Glue – which is a white glue that sets clear.  Holding the candle holder from the inside, SMOTHER the outside in this glue.  You want a thick coating that isn’t running down the glass though.  Then just start adding the glitter, pressing it in and working with it to be sure it’s not “melting” down the side.  At this point, it honestly looks like crud.  The white glue WILL take a few days to completely dry to clear because it’s on so thick and being covered with the glitter doesn’t allow air to get to it quickly.  Patience!  I set mine on its bottom, then a few hours later smooshed things back into place that had run a bit and flipped it over.  Repeat this until it’s no longer sliding around on the glass and then just wait for it to finish drying to clear (you can see this by looking through the inside).

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To finish it off, I found this velvet ribbon with slider from EK (an older line – can’t remember if it was that family line or the Rebecca Sower line).  It was originally self-adhesive, but of course I used some more of the Helmar to be sure it was going to stick to this bumpy surface.  I also pre-bent the curve into the slider before attaching it.  That’s it!

This looks awesome with a light in it.  I use those little battery operated tealight candles in anything I’m not sure I can wash out if candle wax drips.  It looks even better in a little grouping of candles with the light from the other candles flickering off of this one!

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Love is All You Need Magnet

This was a quick little project that pretty much just came from the need to play with the Basic Grey Bittersweet line some more.  😉  I used a chipboard heart from Making Memories and covered it with the striped paper.  Then the hearts and quote are both stickers I layered and then edged with Distress Stickles (Ranger).  The dots around the edges are more Distress Stickles.  Added 3 small button magnets to the back using Helmar’s 450 Quick Dry Glue and voila – instant love for my fridge.

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Bittersweet Hearts Canvas

Ready for the late Valentine’s Day flurry?  I know.  You usually get the bulk of my holiday items right after the holiday, lol, but it’s because they’ve been in Scrapbook News + Review magazine and I can’t post them here until the month following the issue debut!  This is a 16″x20″ canvas I did using the new Basic Grey Bittersweet collection and a couple of fun techniques.  Oh!  And I’ve also got another Valentine project (a small dollar store frame) up at the Helmar DT blog today – be sure to check that one out for another fun technique!

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Let’s start with the canvas itself.  I knew the effect I wanted, but on a canvas this size, knew I didn’t have enough Glimmer Mists or even the right shade to make this work.  So I made my own spray.  I took a spray bottle (actually it was the one I was using to spray the cat when he did something bad so now I need to get a new one for that purpose, lol) and mixed several shades of Lumiere paint (Jacquard), Pearl Ex (Jacquard), walnut ink crystals (to tone it down when it was a bit too bright) and water.  I couldn’t begin to tell you how much of what colors because I looked like a mad scientist – add a bit of this and a lot of that – until I got it to spray the way I wanted.  Then I layered it onto the canvas.  The first couple of layers I sprayed then wiped with a soft cloth (first one direction then the other, alternating as each layer dried) then started letting some of the droplets remain so it didn’t look so precise.

Then there was the issue of the hearts.  I do have a heart punch somewhere, but only about a 1″ size and I wanted a much bigger one.  So I looked for one.  For a week or two.  In every store within an hour of here.  LSS’s, craft stores – NO ONE had a heart punch in anything over about an inch.  A month before Valentine’s Day.  I was livid, lol!  When I was a distribution buyer, I always made sure we had those in stock well in advance of the holiday so that when the stores began prepping for Valentine’s Day we’d have them ready for them (so I had them in stock back in early December).  Well apparently with the influx of diecutting machines (which I’ve still never broken down and bought), no one carries much in the way of punches anymore – even basics like a heart.  Sooooo, I dug out my old trusty Coluzzle.  Yea, I’m old school, lol!  And proceeded to cut almost 200 hearts out of each sheet out of the Bittersweet pack (I still have a TON of this paper left too – just no full sheets).  Then I used Scribbles to outline the edges of every single heart with a clear glitter to get a subtle sparkle.  I usually don’t spend this kind of time on projects, but this one took several days to complete.

I finished up by tracing one of the 8″ Making Memories chipboard hearts from a couple of years ago (watch for the heart itself to show up as a magnet I made) onto the canvas and began layering the hearts into a heart shape.  I built up layers using Helmar Liquid Scrap Dots.  These are so cool!  I used an entire tube of them on this but just couldn’t stop myself from layering them higher and higher, lol!  They do take some time to dry so I could only do a few layers at a time then would have to stop to allow them to dry so that I didn’t inadvertently flatten them when I pressed on the next layer.  But it was addictive, lol, and I loved watching it take shape as the layers built up!

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Catching up – Love Blocks

Wow.  I keep sitting down to blog and just can’t seem to get it done, lol!  Re-discovered Twittering though, lol, so if you REALLY want to know what’s happening in the oh-so-exciting life of Jenna, you’re welcome to follow me!  I’m michaelcsmommyj on there, since I can’t for the life of me figure out how to put one of those cute little feeds in my sidebar (WordPress has issues with different kinds of code being put on their blogs – apparently the version I tried wasn’t well liked…).  🙂

Meanwhile, I have all kinds of things I need to get caught up on here!  Some projects that I can share (hehe, and some I can’t!), news, several weeks worth of Shout Outs, lol!

So let’s start with a project I made for the Helmar Adhesives DT.  Have I mentioned how much I love their adhesives?  I’m waiting for our DT coordinator to send out new boxes of everything I’ve already run out of, lol!  This started out as just four little unfinished 1.5″ wood blocks (Lara’s Crafts).

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I painted all the edges pink (Making Memories) then trimmed the Basic Grey paper to fit.  I used the Helmar Professional Acid Free Glue to adhere the papers to the wood – this really works well for this purpose and dries fast so you can keep moving right along!  I used the Helmar 450 Quick Dry Adhesive to attach the letters.  The letters are actually old L’il Davis Designs clay letters.  They were originally gold and silver but I dabbed on some of the Making Memories paint then added some glitter (Art Institute Glitter) over the top of the wet paint.

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I spritzed some Prima flowers (using flowers to mimic leaves as well) lightly with Glimmer Mists and attached them and the rhinestone centers (Westrim) with the Helmar 450 Quick Dry Adhesive as well.

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The final step was to use Swarovski beads (Cousin Corp) and Helmar Gemstone Glue to build up the final tower.  It makes a nice little decor item for a tabletop.  🙂

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Christmas Tree Frame

This was a fun frame to make.  I used the $1 wood frame from Michael’s (of course, lol), and really wanted to show off the Basic Grey paper, simply because I like it.  Of course, it needed some bling though.

I love, love LOVE the Making Memories glitter glaze.  I’ve come across people time and time again who are disappointed in it and every single time, it’s because they are assuming it will work like paint.  And it won’t!  Same with the pearl (also fabulous), gold and silver glazes.  These should be used the same way you would a glaze for your walls in your home.  They are meant to highlight your base color in some way, not to BE the main color.  Use these with a sponge, bubble wrap, a rag, any of the techniques you would on your walls!  Personally, my usual choice is a wet (not dripping, but definitely more than damp – especially with the glitter glaze) makeup sponge.  You’ll find these glazes to be very thick, so the water makes them “spread” easier.  I put a bit onto a piece of wax paper or some other nonstick disposable surface (product packaging works nicely as well) and tap off my excess before moving to my project.  You can keep adding more as needed, but once it’s on there, if you use too much, there’s not much chance of fixing it.  Usually I pounce it on, but for this frame, I rubbed it on in a vertical direction so it gave more of a streaked look that isn’t terribly evident in the photo.  I also rubbed the glitter glaze on (with a wet finger – my favorite applicator tool!) to some felt flowers and added some glitter brads (Making Memories) to the centers.

The next fun thing I used was Fantasy Snow from Delta.  This is a very textural product but kind of a pain to work with.  It needs to be applied with something like a palette knife (if you do not own one of these, a popsicle stick will work, but seriously – go to the craft store and get a palette knife anyways – you can pick up a plastic one for about a buck and it’s worth it to have on hand for various things!) and while it’s wet, getting it to stick WHERE you want it can be frustrating.   Once it’s dry, however, it’s rock solid and shimmers like crazy from the mica inclusions.

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Christmas Frame

This was another simple frame.  I used the basic $1 wooden frame from Michael’s and added paper and a tag from a Hot Off the Press 8×8 Christmas pad.  Something to note, 8×8 fits these frames almost perfectly.  You still have to trim, but with the exception of the middle cutout, you’ll get almost the entire design onto your frame!  I dressed up the design a bit (this page was fairly “complete”) using Glossy Accents (Ranger), Scribbles (Duncan), and some acrylic domes from Tulip (Duncan) to create the tree on the bottom right.

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Paper Snowflake Ornament

I tried several traditional paper folding patterns this year and this one is from an old Finnish design.  I’ve also seen it referred to as Scandanavian so while I’m unsure where it actually originated, it’s been around a looooong time.  I used the instructions I found here.   While the design was easier than I expected, the one tip I’d like to mention is to use a good adhesive.  My old faithful go-to Glue Dots do NOT perform well for this type of project.  I ended up having to use liquid adhesives and paper clipping them to hold while drying.   So it ended up taking quite a while as I’d glue and clip a few sections, leave it to dry, come back and glue and clip a few more…  Anyways, after it was all done, I added a few embellishments just to make it a little more original.  The paper I used (must be double-sided) was from Imaginisce and was pre-glittered.  For embellishments, I used grungeboard snowflakes (Tim Holtz for Advantus) and a rhinestone from Westrim.
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