Saturday, August 31, 2013

My absolute favorite etching project...

My absolute favorite etching project so far is this frame.  I've been making things for a craft show in December, but this may just have to stay at my house.

The frame was found at a local discount store.  It was a piece of framed "art".  I fell in love with the scroll work and decided to risk disassembling it, hoping I could either put vinyl lettering on the reverse side of the glass or etch the front.  It came apart quite easily and was ready to embellish.

Let me tell you, this was not as easy as I thought it would be.  This project has been a good learning experience for me this afternoon.

Here's what I learned--- the hard way of course.

Determine that your frame is deep enough to accommodate a wine cork.

You really can't cut wine corks with a kitchen knife. I tried.  Thinking I might wind up amputating a finger with a chef's knife, I used a band saw to slice off a narrow strip to flatten the back of the corks and make them thin enough to fit between the glass and the paper backing in the frame.

Always, always, be sure that you have the hanger at the top of the frame. Otherwise, you  have to find the tiniest drill bit known to man and reposition it where it should be.

When you're blasting with glass beads, cover the back side of the open frame. It took me at least half an hour to remove all the dust from the etching process that attached itself to the scroll work inside the frame.  After using a dry cloth, paint brush, and a damp cloth, a can of compressed air rescued me.

The font used is Lobster 1.4.  The stencil was cut on my Cameo using Make The Cut software.  The outside dimension of the frame is 9" x 14". I know there's a perfect spot for a piece this size it in my dining area!

Decorating Glass Blocks

 I scored some inexpensive glass blocks from an online ad.  The first one I did, I used vinyl and put a tried and true file on.

It took three tries to get this done!  Whether it was the humidity, the sign of the moon, or the time of the year, nothing was working right.  The first one I applied was so full of air bubbles I thought I'd never get them all worked out.  Then, when the light hit the block just right, you could see the pin holes in the black vinyl.  So, I kept doing it until I got it right!

The nativity scene block was done the same afternoon as the Harley Davidson one.  This one went on so smoothly and it took very little time to get it etched.
 I reverse etched this one.  There's a lot of surface on the block to etch!  These things weigh about five pounds and it was tricky to support it in the blasting cabinet.

 Since I've decided not to drill holes in the blocks and insert lights, I set one up with a votive candle behind it to see just how well the clear letters would show up.  I think this looks better than having a string of lights in the bottom of the block.
Thinking that there would be some people, like myself, that don't burn candles, I etched the surface of the block and applied gold metallic Oracal 651 lettering on one.
The file I used for this is from the Silhouette store.  I even managed to use their studio software to cut these!  Make The Cut is my go-to program to use.

For my Cameo I used Speed 2, Thickness 5, Blade 7 and double cut.  From what I've read online, settings vary quite a bit from machine to machine and the brand of vinyl you're cutting so these may not work well for you.

These are for a craft show coming up in December.  I'll be adding a large bow around the sides and maybe some greenery.  There's not enough room for me to store them in my craft area if I embellish them now.

I still have a few blocks to embellish but I know if I do them all now I'll see something later that I'll want to try and not have one to use.  Now that I've used up all my glass cutting boards, I keep seeing things that are so cute and am wishing I had more to play with!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Smoked Marinated Chicken Breasts With Rosemary

We eat a lot of chicken breasts.  They're easy to fix and don't leave a lot of leftovers in the fridge.  As I looked at the breasts I had planned to fix for our dinner tonight I realized how often I repeat the same old recipes and wanted to do something different with them.

I used a Deni meat tenderizer on them and marinated them in buttermilk for several hours.  The acid in the buttermilk helps make the meat tender and the buttermilk itself keeps the meat moist.

 I baked them at 325° on a rack in my counter top Nesco oven for about 40 minutes then added two sprigs of fresh rosemary from my plant on the patio.  I let them continue to bake another 15 minutes and the aroma from the rosemary filled the house.

While the chicken was baking, DH turned on his Cook Shack electric smoker and added some wood chips.  After the chicken tested over 165°, I removed it from the Nesco and placed it in the smoker.  It smoked about 20 minutes, just enough to give it a nice brown smoked exterior. 

These turned out so well, that I'm adding it to my "chicken repertoire" and we'll definitely be having chicken breasts done this way again in the near future.

Etching On Stainless Steel

DH asked if I'd put a Leupold logo onto his vintage military coffee mug. He's quite a fan of Leupold scopes for his rifles.

 It's my first try at etching stainless steel.  I was surprised that it etched so quickly and well.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm Running Out Of Cutting Boards...

so, this may be the last one I post for a while.  The Dollar Tree has sold out of the boards again.  I think I have done all I need for personal Christmas gifts as well as the December craft show.

This file was shared by Diana Stipps Young on a Facebook page.  I saw a cutting board with it on it and spent about two hours trying to find the file.  Christine Dietz saw my post asking for a link to the file and forwarded it to me.

It was a Silhouette Studio file and it took me several tries to get a good trace on it so I could use Make The Cut software to cut it on my Cameo.

Covered Recipe Box

When it comes to sniffing out a bargain, Shirley has a nose like a blood hound!  I'm not sure if it was last year or the year before that we were in Michael's and she found Paula Deen recipe boxes marked down to less than fifty cents.  Then, we had coupons for a percentage off our total purchase to make them even cheaper!
We bought all they had left, of course, knowing we'd rush home and make something wonderful with them. I put mine on a shelf. And, other than looking at them occasionally, that's where they've been ever since.

Today, it was either come up with some craft project or clean house so I got busy looking for a project!

Carrie shared some Graphic 45 punch out sheets and some of their papers with me.  Most of the punch outs are tags and will work great on Christmas cards, but I thought they'd look pretty cool on the box too, so I used almost an entire sheet.

I knew that cutting an opening so the paper would fit around the closure on the box would be tricky.  I decided to use a black ProMarker and color an area around the closure so that the opening in the paper didn't have to fit perfectly.  A Stampin' Up Word Window punch was a good size for the opening and made it simple to slip the paper over the closure.

This project is really "outside the box" for me!  Not sure what the heck I'm going to do with it now that it's completed, but it kept me busy so I could avoid housework, so I guess it's already served its purpose!

Western Themed Beer Sign

The font I used is Figaro.  The horseshoe. cow skull and lariat images are on the Old West cartridge.  Since this is a shadowbox frame, I used 2 to 4 layers of pop dots on the images for depth.

Realizing that the bottom margins was too big, I added a strand of barbed wire thanks to a suggestion on the Old Cricut Community FB page!  Now it looks more finished.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Crafting

 Another glass cutting board embellished with gold metallic Oracal 651 vinyl.
WalMart has two sizes of square glass plates that are very inexpensive.  I used a couple of images from Cricut cartridges and cut the stencil with my Cameo to etch this one.

It's very difficult to get good photos of glass.  It seems that no matter how I position the item, I still get glare.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Concord Crush In Color papers by Stampin' Up were used for the card front.  I colored a clip art image and punched it out with a 2" punch.

Mixed Media Windmill Card

The windmill is a clip art image that I found online.  I saved it as a jpg image, imported it into MGI Photosuite and changed the color and opacity of the clip art image.  This made the windmill  look as if it's shrouded in fog.

The trees in the background were done with a partially inked Stampin' Up stamp.  I actually had to mix ink colors to get the look I wanted.

I trimmed down the sentiment stamp, removed the swirls around the quote and stamped it with the ink pad that I mixed ink colors on and wound up with a monochromatic card that I really like.

Hello Kitty Mug

My granddaughter asked me to make something with Hello Kitty on it for a co-worker's daughter.  From start to finish, this took about 30 minutes with Make the Cut software and my sandblasting cabinet.

It takes longer to remove the vinyl stencil than it does to do the etching!

When she asked me to do this, I was only working with vinyl.  Now that I've learned to etch glass, this is totally permanent and can be run through the dishwasher which makes it much more practical.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Candles Card

The candles are pieces of paper straws.  The hearts were done with a Martha Stewart punch.  I printed the sentiment on my computer.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Zero Calorie Pizza Supreme Card

 Patty Bennett is a Stampin' Up demonstrator from California.  She designed this card and featured it on her blog  Patty's Stampin Spot.    It was just too cute not to make!

The pizza slice was cut with my Cameo.  The toppings were done with various sizes and shapes of EK Success punches.

Testing and Reviewing Square 1 Masterpiece Adhesive Fabric

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Shawn Mosch from Crafty Chics
You may also know Shawn from  MyCutSearch, a site I rely on to help locate images on my Cricut cartridges.  She wanted to know if I would try using a new craft product called Square 1 Masterpiece in a project and write a review.   I was pretty hesitant to accept the offer.  Most things I see from design teams are pretty elaborate and, let's face it, I named my blog "Nothin' Fancy" for a reason!

It took me several days to decide how to use the Square 1 product.  I wanted to not only showcase the material, but I also wanted to test how it cut and how easily it would transfer onto a surface.

The design I chose for my test is from the Cricut cartridge Lyrical Letters.  Because the area I had to work with was relatively small, I knew it would be a wonderful test for intricate cuts.  Using my Cameo and Make The Cut software, I cut the design using the settings that work well for me when I cut vinyl.

The Square 1 Masterpiece cut cleanly and weeded easily.  Essentially it's an adhesive backed fabric. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the surface is.  Since it's fabric, I anticipated it having a much rougher texture. 

You can go here to find out all the details about the product: Square 1 Masterpiece website

This link will take you to Square 1 Masterpiece Facebook page.  There you will find photos of projects and can ask questions about using their product.

Like vinyl, Square 1 is on a paper backing and can be cut with a die cutting machine. Their website says that you do not have to use transfer paper since the fabric isn't stretchy.  I did use transfer paper for two reasons: 1.  It helps me to position the cut out and, 2. the design I chose to cut was quite lacy and flexible.  If I had cut a solid shape, I wouldn't have needed the transfer paper at all.

The Square 1 adhered easily onto the shiny surface of the charger plate.  The matte finish of the Square 1 makes it really stand out on the glossy surface.

I used metallic gold Oracal 651 vinyl for the words and snowflakes.  Then I embellished the tree shape with red Stickles and a pre-made red satin bow.

Make The Cut software makes it super simple to curve text.  You just place a circle the size you want on your mat, type in your text and drag it into the circle.  Voila`!  It's there.  You may want to manipulate the letters a bit depending on the font you choose.

I added snowflakes from Paper Trimmings, Accent Essentials, and Winter Lace Cricut cartridges.  They were traced and cut on my Cameo with Make The Cut software.

The font I used is Lobster Two.

So, would I recommend Square 1?  Yes, I definitely would.  It cuts cleanly, transfers easily and the adhesive on it is repositionable, which makes it safe to use on painted walls.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Good Enough To Eat Card

The clip art images of the chocolates I used look very realistic.  If you glance at the card, you'd think you could pick one off and eat it!  They look as if they're sitting on a plate with a scalloped rim.

Flower Shadow Card

This entire card looks grey.  The card base is actually a pale pink cardstock, I printed the sentiment in grey ink, stamped the flowers with grey ink and then stamped it again on some grey polka dotted paper and cut it out.  Then I pop dotted it over the stamped images.

Another Cutting Board

My Facebook friend, Robin Goens, thought this would be an appropriate saying for my personal cutting board.  I can't imagine why!  LOL!  I'll probably tweak it a little and add something below the words.  Or, I'll rearrange the wording so there's not so much open space.

The font used is Alako Bold.  I used clip art images to trace the wine bottle and glass in Make The Cut.

I went back and added the grapes to fill up the space.  This one is much better.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Melting Popsicle Card

I'm glad I saw a card online that inspired me to get out the Martha Stewart Drippy Goo punch.  About the only thing I can ever think to use that punch for is Halloween cards.  But, it made a perfect "melting" border for this one!

The popsicles were cut in Make The Cut.  The base is two basic shapes welded together.  Even the tear drop is a basic shape in that particular software.

The card base is kraft paper and I added some white pen stitching along the outer edges.

Tart and Tangy Card

The Tart and Tangy stamp set was the first one I bought from Stampin' Up.  Recently I saw some cards using it online and made several of these.

The orange and leaf were cut with my Cameo, inked and pop dotted for dimension.  I printed the sentiment and attached it with a brad.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wine Group Tonight

Thank heavens for the Dollar Tree!  The wine group meets at my house tonight and if the Dollar Tree ever goes out of business, I don't know what I'll do for table decorations and favors.

Shirley and I were walking through the store and I saw these casino themed items and had to have them for tonight's gathering. 

 Not visible in the photos are the cardboard cutouts of slot machines on the walls, a banner matching the plates and napkins, and some metallic spirals with playing cards hanging from the ceiling.

Everyone gets a bling necklace with dollar signs on it.

I cut the dice with my Cameo and added two Royal flush hands onto the centerpiece.

The wine glass has vinyl letters on it - "rough day, easy day, don't even ask".  I made one for each of the group.  

Not my photo--found online

I wanted some kind of gambling themed appetizer for the table.  Shirley found this online and shared it with me.  So, I have a dice made from cream cheese and black olives in the fridge. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Duck Dynasty Beer Stein

The black diamond grit was working great to etch glass but it makes too much dust.  Even with the cabinet connected to the central vac system in the shop, dust would still fly out when I'd open the lid to check the etching.

Some people on the air erasing Facebook page suggested using glass beads.  I went back to Tractor Supply and bought a 50# barrel of those and this is the first project I've etched with it.  It's a much smoother etch because the beads are much smaller than the black diamond grit particles. And, the dust level is much better.

It seems that Duck Dynasty is quite a popular show.  So, I thought something with their logo on it would be good for the craft show.  One side of the stein says "happy, happy, happy" and the other side has the Duck Commander emblem.

 It's hard to get a good photo of glass without having glare.
I had to modify the Duck Commander emblem and eliminate a few of the really tiny shapes.  It still turned out great though!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happy Fall Card

A fast card done with some clip art, Stampin' Up punch, and some Cuttlebug dies.

Black Butterfly Card

Getting back into the swing of card making again.  Just a quick stamped image, colored with Promarkers and embellished with a bow.  The mat underneath is white cardstock covered with some Tim Holtz newsprint tissue paper.  Renee Wayland and I fell in love with it at Scraptopia and shared the roll.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I will get back to making cards...

There haven't been any new cards posted for a few days.  I've been playing with my latest craft acquisition--a sandblasting cabinet--and decorating glass cutting boards with vinyl. 

I will get back to making cards within the next few days and post them on here. 

Doing the sandblasting and vinyl work has been a welcome change from working with paper.  The majority of items I want to do for the December craft show are complete.  As soon as I get the  rest of the glass mugs etched, I'll switch back to paper crafting and it will be business as usual.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dinner Choices Cutting Board

I will have to add some flourishes or other small details to the cutting boards I've posted these last few days.  The lettering looks good, but they need a little extra detail on them since they're for a craft show.

3 Meals A Day Cutting Board

I saw this saying online and thought it would be a fun one to use on a cutting board.

Just Add Bacon Cutting Board

This one came from an idea Diana Collander shared on the Old Cricut Community Facebook page.
She sent me the file and by the time I got mine done, I was seriously wishing I'd just used it!  Somehow, I "forgot" to check the orientation of the word "bacon" in the pig and cut it upside down!

Thanks, Diana, for the inspiration--you know I love me some bacon!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Another Round Glass Cutting Board

I like this one better with the blue lettering.

Square Glass Cutting Board

Although this looks yellow in the photo, it's actually metallic gold Oracal 651 vinyl.  I traced the wording and used an image from a Cricut cartridge for the vines.

Round Glass Cutting Board

My friend Shirley saw the skull wearing the chef's hat online.  I traced it in Make the cut and added the lettering.  

Another Glass Cutting Board

I used Antigoni, Alako-bold  and Cornerston fonts for this one.

The utensils are from a file done by Shirley, aka Okieladybug, Thompson.

The glass cutting board is 8" square.  I found these at the Dollar Tree and Dollar General Store.

The craft show isn't until December, so by then my items will be finished and ready to display!

Glass Cutting Board With Vinyl Lettering

I used Alako-bold font for the words  "Mom's" and "Diner" and Antigoni  font for the words "open 24 hours".  This is another project for the craft show in December.

This is an 8" square cutting board with acrylic bumpers on the back side so the design has to be cut small enough to fit inside the bumpers.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Etched Pint Mason Jar Mugs

 These are my first attempts at sandblasting on glass using outdoor grade vinyl as a stencil.

I used Make The Cut software and my Cameo to cut the stencils.  The font is Alako-Bold.
 Deer clip art image. Traced and cut with MTC.
 Another deer clip art image.
 The font is Antigoni.

Front of jar
 This jar is etched both front and back.  The font is Alako-Bold.  I used the Oklahoma image from the 50 States Cricut cartridge.
Back of Country Girl jar

 Another deer head clip art image.

 Antigoni font with an etched oval.
 The crown was a free SVG file; the font is Alako-bold.
Front of OU mug

Back of OU mug

Front of OSU mug

Back of OSU mug

Design on back of ECU and Ada mug
 The ECU and ADA mugs are etched on both sides.
I used Yearbook Solid font for the Ada and ECU mugs along with a clip art paw print.