Teahouses to teapots

I made a little teapot (it was one of a couple of things that was shown on Create and Craft way back – my teeny tiny claim to fame!) some time ago but since I’ve fallen in love with  the CR print and cut function since then and I’ve been giving everything a makeover.

I’m still perfecting the technique of taking the cut layer from Illustrator, turning it white or off, and pasting into Photoshop and using brushes to decorate specific elements before pasting it back into Illustrator for cutting with the CR.  I was nearly there with the teapot I did below  although alignments of some things isn’t spot on and I couldn’t tell from the outline where to ‘stamp’ on the spout so it looks a bit bare. But I  have now got it sussed and it’s just joy!

The possibilities are exciting and I can’t wait to get some A3 paper in to work with something bigger. They’re dinky and cute but I do want to use them to put fruit tea sachets in as stocking fillers so they need to be scaled up. I took pictures of them ‘clean’ then sponged the edges a bit to see how that looked. I like both.

See what you think:

This is the teapot next to a standard tea bag – you can see the small one is a bit small to do anything useful with!

Come and see my etchings…

A quick update  (Nov 27) on the jar etching I started. It’s going great. I decorated a tall jar last night and have three more like it to do and 4 small ones.

Finally got cracking on some Christmas makes that have been earmarked for some time now. I’ve bought a few Killner jars as  presents;  they’re very useful but without decoration and something nice inside, they’re dull boys to be giving. I plucked up courage to try out glass etching. This is something I’ve put off for some time thinking  it was messy or difficult but it really isn’t.  There are pictures below showing the basic stages.

There’s no limit to decorating glassware. Text, patterns… anything you fancy. Jar one is going to be filled with Roses so the word ‘Sweet’ does the trick for the decoration.  (I was going to use the word ‘sweeties’ but that imposes  limits on what the jar would be appropriate for once the sweets were eaten. ‘Sweet’ is a little more generic).

I started by measuring the area that I wanted to etch then typed out the word ‘Sweet’ to fit in that area. I put a rectangle around the text then cut it from some vinyl on the CR.  The mask was stuck down onto the jar and burnished well to make sure the vinyl didn’t have any wrinkles to let the etching cream leech under.

Next,  I put down some tin foil to catch any drips and gave the text a coating of cream. It goes on very easily and isn’t runny at all. Take care not to go over the edge of the black rectangle and keep the cream on the text and mask only. You don’t want any stray blobs or smears on the rest of the jar. This is left for 15 minutes. It looks very  like melted chocolate so I would say don’t do this while young children are around  as they might be tempted to touch or  taste it.

When the 15 minutes is up, scrape off the cream and get as much as you can back in the bottle to be used again, then rinse the rest off under the tap.

Peel off the vinyl and you are left with your etching!

The photo doesn’t do it justice  – it was a mare of a photo to take as I had to use flash (no daylight when I took this pic) then had problems with glare and then had to faff around with a filter and…. meh! You know how it is.

I’m just waiting for a batch of salt dough hearts to dry (painted and now varnished) to tie around the top of the jar with a gift tag.  Hopefully, they will be dry by tomorrow.

I’m amazed it’s so easy and can see lots of opportunities to personalise all sorts of things. I hope this encourages you to have a go as well. Thank you for looking.

Canned Heat!

I dusted down an old favourite and blinged it up. It’s definitely not Christmassy so what possessed me, I do not know.

It’s my old mate the watering can. I created it in 2008? Maybe earlier – I’d have to check the date on the original file. I saw it recently in the Do Crafts magazine – not credited to me – just ‘from on the internet’…  maybe saw the cut out template on SplitCoastStampers.  I gave it away to a couple of places.

But I saw it used on another site and they acknowldged me! Lovely!

Visit: http://pink-blossom-creations.blogspot.com/2011/05/has-it-really-been-that-long.html

I’ve called it Canned Heat cos I have been listening to Jamiroqai (sp?) and like that track and somehow, it kind of fits. Anyhow, I’ve given it a make-over. I’ve included the butterfly on top as well.  Hope you like them and enjoy. The GSD is below. Right click and Save Link To…. your machine.

Canned Heat (€ 3)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Thought it’s about time I got a move on and made some cards. I fell in love with the  Pure Innocence digi stamp range and bought a couple. I did promise myself that I wouldn’t buy any more stamps – I was beginning to feel I’d end up like those people on Extreme American Hoarders  if I didn’t stop! Well, these are digi stamps so they’re fine! Virtual space is OK!

Lots of things are on the go.  I want to finish painting the salt dough hearts made last week so they will be ready to use as decoarations.

My two cakes are marzipanned and I’ll probably ice them sometime in the beginning of December.  My friend and I are on a cake decorating course at a local college so am going to see what I can do with my cakes this year. Apart from eat them, of course! I don’t seem to have a chocolate G -spot like most women. But I do like rich fruit cake – and Christmas pudding. I could skip the dinner and go straight to the pud. With cream or custard. Mmmm-mmmm!

My partner always claimed that he didn’t like rich fruit cake but he loves mine. Is mine particularly great? Well, it is a Delia recipe so can’t go wrong there. You can find the recipe on the BBC website, btw. But, all in all, nice fruit cakes taste like lots of other nice fruit cakes. So why love mine?  It turns out his mum must have had the same ideas about fruit cake as my mum did:

Rule 1: Any and all burned currants or fruit MUST be left on the cake for consumption. They will be hidden by a layer of marzipan and coated, like nuclear waste, in a concrete casing of rock hard icing and, therefore, will not be visible. That means you won’t have the option of removing them before you eat. By the time you realise you’re gagging on nasty, you have a mouth that looks like the inside of an incinerator and would just make a completely disgusting spectacle of yourself if you tried to remove it.

Rule 2: Follow the recommended cooking time, then some, just in case any moisture or ‘yield’ is left in the cake. Always thinking ahead and planning for a shortage of breeze blocks, here. These cakes have so many uses.

Rule 3: Never, ever, EVER add glycerine to royal icing. When icing has the consistency of  the armoured plating of a rapid deployment tank it will last much longer and still be around the following Christmas. Should war be declared between times, build yourself a air raid shelter with it.

My aunt told me that my mum made a cake for my gran and unbeknownst to her, gran threw it all out for the birds. Rumour has it that slabs of cake were used as stepping stones to her outside toilet for many years.

So, for many years, my partner thought all rich fruit cake was like that! Mystery explained.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

More Print and Cut…

Can you tell I’ve re-discovered the Print and Cut function? I forgot how much fun it is! I doodled the little picture, scanned it in and turned it into a PS brush. The puffy box is a standard template you can get from loads of sites on the net – either to hand cut (see SplitCoastStampers) or other places for the .GSD. I digi-stamped it then P and C’d it and it’s a perfect size for a little birthday something.

Enough P and C – for the moment. I must get round to finishing that windmill… and the salt dough hearts. They’re half painted but need the other side doing… then they have to dry… then they have to be varnished and that means making sure I have things covered so that I don’t get the varnish everywhere… gah! I don’t like mess.

I don’t know what it is about the salt dough mixture but my cat went yampy for it! He must have thought I was making something wonderful cos he kept shouting and bruuing at me for it. I let him have a smell close up – that usually does the trick – he has a sniff then realises that it really isn’t something nice to eat and loses interest – but no! He wanted to lick it! I had to whip the bowl back quick not only is the dough full of salt, it also has wallpaper paste in. The boy is mad!

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