amandajocrafts

January 10, 2013

On Etching Glass.

I’ve been so excited to share this for awhile now, but I’ve had to wait because this was a Christmas gift. I saw this glass etching awhile ago on Pinterest, and I decided to give it a real shot for presents this year!

If you’re looking for something crafty, unique, and useful, with a nice, personal touch, then this is the project for you!

Just FYI, I used this tutorial as a baseline for my project; however, I do not have a fancy Cricut cutter, so my tutorial is a little bit different. If you have a Cricut cutter, head on over to the original tutorial, but if you don’t, stick here with me!

Materials:

  • The glass to etch (I used Kinetic glasslock containers on Amazon). They worked really well, but note that the dimensions listed on Amazon aren’t accurate, so they were smaller than I thought! When they say 30 oz, they mean the container’s weight, not what it holds.
  • Etching cream. I bought mine from Michael’s (a Martha Stewart brand) but a friend of mine used Armour Etch and that also worked great. Just be sure you’re buying an etching cream, not just something that’s going to sit on the surface of the glass.
  • Brush (that you don’t mind throwing away). My etching cream actually came with one.
  • Clear contact paper. I also got this from Michael’s–one roll lasted me for 16 different containers, so don’t worry about it not being enough! Clear is useful for tracing, which we’ll get to later.
  • X-acto knife. I started with scissors and an epic fail. Spending the couple bucks for the X-acto knife is worth it!
  • Latex gloves.
  • A computer and printer.

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How-To:

1) On the computer, open Microsoft Word (or any other program with different font options) and type in what you eventually want on the glass). Size it so it’s the size you want on the glass, and print it out.

last name

2) Put this piece of paper behind your contact paper and trace it, so that the words are now on the contact paper. It’s going to be a little hard to see, but you’re just getting it down on the contact paper so that you know where you’re going to cut.

3) Cut out the letters on the contact paper. (This is going to take some time; be patient!)

There are a couple things you need to remember when doing this:

  • Using the example above, anything black is what is getting cut out. That means that you don’t want a bunch of cut marks on the part in white, because the etching cream might get through it.
  • If you have letters that have closed circles in them (A, B, D, O, etc.) you need to keep those tiny pieces. In the example above, that font allows for the “a” and “e” to just be completely filled in, but most fonts don’t do that. By keeping those little circles, you can get the letters more accurate.

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When you’re finished cutting it out, set the cut-out aside for a moment. Also, if you’re doing more than one glass piece, I would recommend cutting everything out first, and then etching everything together.

4) Clean off the piece of glass with soap and water, and dry it well. This will help the contact paper stick better.

5) Carefully take off the backing of the contact paper and place the stencil on your glass. Be sure that all bubbles are smoothed over and that the contact paper is completely sealed flush onto the glass. Any sneaky bubbles or loose edges will let the etching cream get underneath.

6) (Put your gloves on.) Brush the etching cream on the glass. Obviously, you don’t have to be exact here (that’s why the contact paper is there!) so just make sure to get the exposed glass that you want etched.

7) Leave the etching cream on for 15-20. If you pay attention, you can actually watch the cream kind of slide off the contact paper and head toward the glass part.

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8) (Put your gloves on.) Rinse off the etching cream under water. This works best if you use a gloved finger and wipe at the cream, making sure that when it comes off the glass, it ends up down the drain, and not just on another part of the glass. Once all the etching cream is off, peel off the contact paper, and rinse again for good measure.

Voila–you now have a lovely, etched piece of glassware!

Also, you can always put something in the glassware to add an extra touch. For my inlaws to be, I bought dishtowels on Etsy. For the office, I put cookies in ūüôā

January 8, 2013

On A Favorite Things Party.

As promised, here are the details from the best ever favorite things party!

I am very blessed to be part of a group of seven friends who are so very dear to me. We’ve all been friends since high school, and through college, and now the “real world,” we’ve really stayed close. We thought having a favorite things party with all of us would be the perfect way to celebrate Christmas!

Our party has a Christmas theme to it, from the wrapping paper and gift bags to the decorations. We made a corner of the room into the food and gift area. In order to make it look particularly festive, we wrapped the card table with wrapping paper, wrapped the frames (which normally have pictures of the Rat Pack!) with wrapping paper, and hung Christmas bulbs from the ceiling.

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The gift table got a festive streamer on the front of it.

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At the fireplace, we hung tissue paper balls on either side, and (the piece de resistance!) a “Merry Christmas” banner my friend Keri made. Doesn’t it look so professional! (and adorable!)

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We all brought our favorite appitizers and desserts. Six layer dip, queso dip, cookies, brownies, devil’s food cupcakes, and mozzarella sticks. A vast majority of this got eaten!

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To start off the night, we played the Favorite Things Game. It’s just like Scattegories–you have a list of favorite things to fill in. Then, you go around and see what everyone had for an answer. If you had the same thing as someone else, you cross it off. The person with the most “unique” answers (answers that no one else had) at the end of the game wins!

fav things

(I can tell you, this took a long time to play–we kept getting distracted by everyone’s favorite things! And then, when we got to the book question, we spent a half hour talking about good books we should all read ūüôā )

Then, for the best part of the night–our Favorite Things! We had seven people, and we each brought 3 $10 gifts, so we each got three gifts. To pick, we wrote our name on a piece of paper three times and put them all in a cup. Once they were all in there, we each drew out three pieces of paper, and we received gifts from those people.

Here is a list of what everyone’s favorite things were:

  • Hanging out with all of us: this was a goody box with things we all loved to do together! It included a coupon code for a free RedBox movie, an old-fashioned Coke bottle, a mini-bottle of wine, a travel game (either Apples to Apples or Uno), and M&Ms.
  • Staying warm! This one was a gift bag full of super cozy Old Navy fuzzy socks, and a pair of fuzzy slippers, as well!
  • Staying warm, again! Yes, two girls had the same favorite thing–we really are quite alike! This one had a mug (either dogs, cats, or birds on it, because she loves animals), a pair of socks, and her favorite tea.
  • Nail Care Kit, and then some: This one embodied quite a few different favorite things! It was her favorite nail polish brand in one of her favorite colors (OPI, dark purple), with a buffer block (4 different sides to the block, for filing, buffing, shining, etc.), and cotton balls. It came in a wine glass (because she likes drinking wine), which had a quote from J.K. Rowling on it in puffy paint: “The stories we love best live in us forever.”
  • Cake Pop Maker: This one is pretty self-explanatory ūüôā but for backstory, the girl who brought it is a fantastic baker, and she loves making us fun treats!
  • Wine Glass: She loves drinking wine, wearing shoes, and the color pink…so the wine glass had a pair of pink shoes painted on it! Pretty perfect combo here!
  • Writer’s Essential’s Kit: Yes, you guessed it, this one was mine :). I finally picked what I wanted to do! (Click here if you want to see what other things I was considering.) This one had a pen, a mini-notebook (courtesy of¬†skeldesign on Etsy) and a mug (because you need a hot beverage to write your best!). On each mug, I wrote a different quote about books using a paint pen that you bake to make it stay on. (Look for the tutorial soon!)

Here are all our favorite things together:

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What a wonderful night, and what wonderful friends!

December 17, 2012

On a Crafty Weekend!

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 11:36 am

I got my craft on this weekend!

First, after a stalled-out Etsy shop (slow times happen to me at the weirdest times!), I got two orders in two days! The first was a pair of fingerless gloves, which are always fun to make.

The other was for a custom kitten! Not just any kitten though–there’s a bit of a story behind this one. Apparently, there is (or was) an online game called “Glitch.” The developers are taking the game down, and someone was interested in having a crocheted version of the cat character from this game, called “Heli Kitteh.” They showed me a screen shot from the game of the kitten, and I got to work! The recipient loved it, and I already got another order for it!

Also, I can’t post pics yet because I also did this craft for some relatives who have not received it yet (don’t want to spoil the surprise!) but I did 10 gifts for everyone at my office, AND baked cookies for them! Due to a miscommunication with the notes on my cookie recipe, I misjudged how many cookies the recipe would make, and instead of getting 160, like I expected, I got 260 cookies! (Needless to say, there are a LOT in the freezer now!) All of that took up most of the weekend, but it was certainly worth it–I love my workplace and everybody I work with, so I was more than happy to share the joy!

Finally, I wrapped all the finace’s gifts! He has a nice little pile under our tree now :).

Have you been crafty this weekend?

December 13, 2012

On DIY Mania…Post-Christmas.

Let’s all just start by admitting that Pinterest is addictive.

Helpful, yes. Interesting, yes. A fantastic way to share things with my best friends regarding style, wedding, and clothing ideas, even though they’re states away? Yes.

However, it also awakens a (not so latent) need to always be creative. I want to make everything. And so the DIY Pinterest board began.

Since it’s Christmastime and I certainly won’t have the time for myself before the big day comes along (let’s ignore the fact that I go back to school in January, and therefore probably won’t have time after Christmas, anyway), I have a little¬†list of DIY projects for myself once¬†the¬†new year begins. (And side note, 2013, really? Where has the time gone? In my head, when I calculate years that have passed, I¬†still always assume it’s 2000 for some reason.¬†2013 just sounds strange…like we’re all in a sci-fi movie….which is making me want to watch Firefly…getting off track now, I know.)

So, here’s my DIY list for the new year:

Crochet Hook Holder

This really does not look that hard, although there was no attached tutorial in the pin I found. I have a sewing machine, seems like you buy some material, a little lace, and go to town! (Ask me if I feel this way when I actually attempt it. My sewing machine and I do not always see eye-to-eye.)

Knitted Lace Socks

(Pattern here.)

I have had these on my pinboard…well…just about since I got a Pinterest account. I actually took a step forward and bought the yarn for them the last time I was at Michael’s, but with the push to add items in my Etsy shop for Christmas, I just haven’t gotten around to working on something for myself. (In that respect, my scarf hat is still right where it was when I last blogged about it, as well. I know…it’s going to be spring before I get my act together. The fiance keeps telling me I have to actually do something for myself for a change. Gotta get around to that :))

Canvas Shoes

These just look really cool. Another Etsy blogger, the awesome Vivid Please, supplied a tutorial for these awhile back, and darned if I just haven’t gotten around to it. I will in the new year, I swear!

Mason Jar Herb Garden

 

I’d like to do a variation on this. My fiance and I get a lot of tea in the really pretty tins you see at Trader Joe’s and Giant Eagle Market District, and I won’t let him just throw the tins away because they’re so cute! (Yes, I have a cute clutter problem.) I think this would be a great way to reuse them, and a great alternative to having them sitting on a table somewhere, because we are just out of room!

Well, that’s my list for now :). I’m trying to keep it manageable so I’ll actually get to it! If you want to check out everything else I’ve been thinking of, come on over to my Pinterest DIY board.

Do you have any DIY lined up?

December 5, 2012

On Prepping for a Favorite Things Party.

Yes, like Oprah ūüôā

As I mentioned in my last post about the Harry Potter party, my friends really like being crafty. We routinely have themed parties, and when we all lived in the same state, we’d scrapbook together often. This year for Christmas, we decided a favorite things party would be the perfect twist on the traditional grab bag and we could have lots of fun in the process :).

In short, a favorite things party is where you bring your favorite things! For us, we chose to bring 3 $10 favorite things (as in, we bought/made three of the same gift, spending about $10 on each one). We’ll pull names out of a hat to see who gets who’s gifts.

I had a smidgen of trouble coming up with my favorite thing. These are my oldest, dearest friends (we’ll be celebrating our deccenial friendaversary this year…..long story) and so nothing I pick would really be a surprise. In addition, although I was supposed to bring MY favorite thing, I certainly wanted the recipients to enjoy it, as well! And, of course, I wanted to be cute and crafty.

However, I ended up deciding on something I’m really excited about, and you’ll get to see it after our favorite things party! For now, here’s some things I ended up NOT picking…just in case you’re looking for ideas yourself!

1) A book.

(I nixed this because I wanted to be more creative, but reading is certainly one of my favorite things!)

– Book (Perhaps The Night Circus?)

– Bookmark

2) Pamper Your Hands

– Nail polish.

– Hand lotion. My favorite scent is Bath and Body Works’ “Twilight Woods”:

– Nail file

3) Crocheting

(Had to nix this because the coupon for a tutorial wouldn’t have been effective, as I live states away from the rest of my friends at the moment!)

– Yarn

–¬†Crochet Stitch Markers

– Coupon for crochet lessons from your truly

4) Pittsburgh

(My home town. Need I say more?)

– I didn’t have the details of this one quite figured out, but I thought perhaps a mug and ornament that both had the city skyline (or the Steelers!) on them.

5) Organization Lover

– Made a DIY to-do frame, using the tutorial here:

– A 2013 calendar, with photos of my friends and me in it.

6) My Friends

(Cheesy, but they’re my favorite, too!)

– A 3 4×6 opening frame with pictures of us inside through the years of our friendship.

Have you ever done a favorite things party? What would be your favorite thing?

December 3, 2012

On a Harry Potter Party.

I have an excellently phenomal group of close friends, and we love having parties together. In fact, this Christmas we’re jumping on the good old bandwagon and having a “favorite things” party. Later this week, I’ll let you in on what favorite things I didn’t pick (don’t want to ruin the surprise!), and in January, I’ll fill you in on the whole party, but for now, I want to backtrack to our last themed party.

For one of my friend’s birthday last year, we had a Harry Potter themed party. I started everyone out with a button:
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The button was also the Sorting: the back of each button said what house you belonged to.

Our appetizers were Broomsticks, Anti-Dementor Medicine, and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans:

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We had some delicious (grown-up) Butterbeer, as well (cream flavored pinnacle vodka, cream soda, butterscotch snapps, and then a little scoop of vanilla ice cream for foam). For meals, we had garlic broomsticks (Pilsbury cresent rolls un-rolled and shaped into brooksticks), chicken, and Yorkshire Pudding.

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For dessert, we offered Snitches (yes, the wings are Fritos :)):

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Here’s the whole spread (with Gryffindor colors, naturally!):

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And, to top it off, there were lots of owls (balloons) presiding over the party!
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With Harry Potter films in the background, and great friends, you just can’t go wrong!

Are you having any themed parties this holiday season?

October 26, 2012

On Hooded Scarf Update #2.

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 11:52 am

I’ve made a lot more progress on the hooded scarf since the last update, but I still have a bit to go!

I only have one or two more go-rounds with the pattern (which is 16 rows) before I can finish up that second pocket. Then, it’s (theoretically) easy breezy from there on our–it’s just the hood part!

I’d better get cracking, though, and not let all my big Etsy ideas keep me from working on this–the weather isn’t going to stay nice for long!

(Of you’re looking for the original post with the pattern for the hooded scarf, check it out here!)

October 22, 2012

On A Granny Squares Update.

After lots and lots of bus rides to and from work, I’ve got all the granny squares I need for the blanket! (If you’re curious as to its inception, read here.)

I’m not making this to keep; instead, I intend to list it on my Etsy shop as a young boy’s blanket. It’s just the perfect size–at 6 squares wide by 10 squares long, it should be the perfect durable, run-around blanket for any boy!

As you can see by the picture, I didn’t have the chance this weekend to begin connecting them (something I haven’t actually ever done before…so it should be interesting!) I did, however, lay them all out how I wanted them (I was going for an eclectic feel, rather than a definitive “blue, green, white, blue, green, white”) and labeled them to make connecting a little easier.

I also took a trip to Michael’s and purchased some green yarn (kind of a muted army green color) to connect them all. It was harder to decide on a connecting color than I had anticipated, but I think the green will bring it all together.

I’m so excited to get them connected (!), but I suspect that it’s not going to be finished until after school finishes for the semester. Just not enough hours in the day! However, I’m really hoping to have it in the shop well before Christmas so it can be the perfect present for a young boy!

October 17, 2012

On Birthday Cake.

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 11:21 am

As promised, for (nearly) Wordless Wednesday, my homemade by awesome fiance birthday cake from last week! (Chocolate cake with vanilla caramel Bailey’s icing. YUM.)

And all lit up:

October 9, 2012

On Pattern Hunting.

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 4:35 pm

Okay, my crafty folks!

Does anyone know of a knitting pattern that looks like this sweater from Bloomingdale’s?

Yes, in the end, it would probably just be simpler and cheaper to spend the money, but there’s something so rewarding about making it yourself ūüôā

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