Friday, March 30, 2012

Delphi Online Art Glass Festival

Each year Delphi Glass hosts an art glass festival in Michigan.  But for those of us that cannot get away to attend, they have created an online festival for people to share their glass creations.  I have created this necklace for the online festival.  It is made by etching silver dichroic glass and then fusing the eched pieces to black base glass.  Silver plated earring bails were then attached so that the pieces could be connected.  Fine silver chain was used to create the final asymetric necklace.

For more information on the online festival - go to
There is still time to enter but you'll need to hurry!  Entry period ends 3/31/12.

To vote for this piece (please!) go directly to this entry:  You can vote once per computer...thru April 15th.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Art Glitter DIY Bangle

Chunky bracelets are the new MUST HAVE statement accessories.  DIY Bangles produces great blank wooden bangle bracelets in a variety of sizes and styles.  These bracelets are so much fun to decorate; paint them, stone them, stamp on them, decoupage them, wrap them…..the possibilities are endless. 

For this bracelet, I am using various widths of redline double face tape, and Art Glitter to produce a dazzling striped bangle bracelet.

You will need:  DIY Bangle blank, Fast Finish Decoupage, Red Line Tape in various widths, 3 Colors of Art Glitter Ultra Fine Opaque Glitter (I used True Red, Pumpkin and Old Gold), soft brush, scissors, paint brushes, Luminarte Polished Pigment or acrylic paint.

Begin by mixing about 2 tablespoons of Fast Finish Decoupage with Pigment or Acrylic paint.  For this bracelet I used Luminarte Polished Pigment color Yellow Rose.  If you don’t have this available, use a little bit of acrylic paint to give the Decoupage the desired color.  Brush the mixture on the bracelet working from side to side rather than around the circumference.  Once the outside is dry, paint a coat on the inside of the bracelet; smoothing any drips or brush lines.  This finish dries fairly quickly and non-tacky which is important when working with glitter. 
Once your bracelet is completely dry, begin taping stripes of redline tape around the bracelet.  Start with a nice straight edge at one side of the bracelet.  Press the tape down and snip the tape at the opposite side with your scissors.  Smooth the tape down around the curve of the bracelet with your fingers.  Mix the widths of the stripes and butt some of the stripes up next to each other, for others leave spaces for the wood to show thru. 

Now for the fun part…..Pour the three shades of glitter into three separate pastry liners or cupcake liners.  (This is a great way to use up the leftover Sponge Bob cupcake liners that your child has outgrown.)  Remove the red plastic from one of the strips and roll the bracelet into one color of glitter.  Be sure to roll it from side to side to completely coat the exposed tape.  Use your soft brush to brush the excess glitter back into the liner.  (A make-up blush brush works well for this.)  Move to the next stripe and roll the bracelet into another color.  (Note that in this picture, there are only 3 tape sections.  I got a little over anxious to see what the glitter was going  to look like and hadn't done the rest of the taping yet.) 

Repeat until all the tape stripes are covered in glitter.  Brush all excess glitter off the bracelet.  Finish with a coat of Fast Finish Decoupage (without pigment or paint) 
Product Sources:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Upcycled CD Butterfly Suncatcher

I have accumulated tons of used CD's over the years and have recently found that they can be cut with my Sizzix Big Shot and metal die cutters. For this project I'm using Tim Holtz butterfly die cutter.

You will need: 2 used CD's, Sizzix Big Shot with cutting plates and platform, Tim Holts Movers and Shapers butterfly die with metal cutting tray, Scissors (not your best pair), crystals (I used Connie Crystals), crimp beads, clear beading wire, glue, metal ring or key ring. Optional: Vintaj metal embossing folder, crimp bead covers.

Begin by cutting your CD's in quarters. Place the metal cutting tray on one of the cutting plates. Put the butterfly die - cutter side up in the metal tray with the CD on top so that the butterfly is completely covered by the CD. Top with the second cutting plate. Run it thru the Sizzix. It's THAT EASY! This should pop the butterfly out of the CD. You will want to do half your butterflies with the shiny side of the CD up, and half with the back side up so that when you put them back to back, they match. The die is not exactly symmetrical. The butterflies look great as they are, but for some added interest, I have embossed half of them in my Vintaj metal embossing folder. Other embossing folders will work to give the butterflies texture, but this folder actually has a butterfly that is the same size as the ones you've cut.

If you cut carefully you will end up with 8 butterflies. I only used 6 in my sun catcher, but you could use all 8. Pair the butterflies so that when they are back-to-back they match perfectly. Then lay them on your work surface spaced approximately the distance you'd like them spaced. Run your bead wire thru the crystal that you will have at the bottom. Then bring both ends thru a crimp bead and crimp to hold the base bead in place. Bring both ends of the wire thru a second crimp bead and crimp it in place about 1/2" above the first crimp bead. Then string a crystal bead, followed by another crimp bead and crimp in place. Thread another crimp bead on and crimp it in place so there is room for a butterfly between the last crimp bead and this one; mine are about 1 3/4" apart. Follow with another crystal and another crimp bead. Repeat this pattern for as many butterfly pairs as you are using so that there is a crimp-crystal-crimp - butterfly - crimp-crystal-crimp pattern. Once all the crimp beads and crystals are in place, add crimp cover beads if desired. Now simply lay the wire and beads down - positioning them across the butterflies. Angle the butterflies at different angles so that they are not all straight up and down. A small piece of tape is helpful to hold the wire in place across the butterflies. Add glue (I use E600) to the butterfly; a little on the wire and a small amount on the 4 wing sections is plenty. Then place the other butterfly from this pair on top, making sure the shiny side is facing out on both butterflies. Attach a ring at the top to hang.

The butterflies and crystals will sparkle and reflect a rainbow of colors. Hang it from your rear-view mirror, in your garden, in your home - anywhere you'd like a little rainbow of light.

Product sources:
Butterfly Die:
Connie Crystals:
Vintaj Embossing folder:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Etching with stamps on Dichroic Glass

I love etching designs in dichroic glass. There are a number of methods doing this, but my favorite has always been to draw my designs on with a black sharpie, and then use Armor Etch to etch the glass. The sharpie works as a resist and the dichroic coating is removed everywhere that is not covered by the marker. Not long ago, I found another fun way to do the etching using rubber stamps and Stazon Metallic ink. I use the copper, because it seams a little thicker and tackier then the silver and gold.

You will need - a piece of dichroic glass (I like to work on clear dichoric so that I can watch the etching process from the back.), a rubber stamp, copper Stazon ink (and pad), Armor Etch etching cream, broad paint brush, rubber gloves, rubbing alcohol.

Wipe the glass down with rubbing alcohol to be sure it is free from residue. Press the rubber stamp into the ink pad and be sure the stamp is evenly coated with ink. Then carefully stamp the design onto the dichroic glass. Stamping on glass can be a little tricky, as the stamp wants to slide around if you do not come straight down and straight back up. But the nice thing is that if you don't get it right the first time, you can wipe it off with a little rubbing alcohol and try again.

Once you are happy with your stamp(s), let the stamps dry for 5 to 10 minutes.

Now for the fun part.......Put on your rubber gloves to protect your fingers from the etching cream. Holding the glass piece from the edges, brush a thick coat of the etching cream over the entire surface of the glass. Different dichroic colors etch at different speeds so it takes a little practice to get the timing right, but if you are working with clear glass it makes it a lot easier to judge when it is ready to rinse. Periodically hold the glass so that you can see the back side. You will see your design emerge and the etched area will become white. Tip the glass to different angles so that you can be sure that all the areas you want etched have turned white. If there is an iridescent sheen, it is not done yet. Once you feel it is ready, run the piece under clear water and remove all of the etching cream. The copper ink will probably come off at this point too, but if not use a little rubbing alcohol to remove it. Your dichroic design will be revealed.

You now have a lovely etched design to finish into a project. The pendant above was finished by fusing the dichroic glass to a piece of black base glass. For those without access to a kiln, I am working on a non-fired version of this....stay tuned.

New Blog - new Adventure....

I am currently working on moving my blog posts from Creating the Hive to blogspot. I'm not sure how this is going to work....please bear with my while I learn the ins and outs of the new location.

Here are the old posts: