Tuesday
Dec302014

De-Cluttering is Almost Done and I'm Incredibly Tired

I'm several steps closer to start re-decorating!

After another day of 12 hours of physical work (moving furniture, going through clothes, books, craft supplies and more) finally we have piles of garbage and donations in the living room and only what we are keeping in the office/studio and the photography/sewing room.  Once we get rid of everything that is currently taking over the living room, then we will go through our movies, cds, etc. to completely minimize.  The reorganization and cleaning will take place on Thursday and Friday because I work tomorrow.

Now that I see how much crap had been taking up space in my life, I feel lighter and free to start the rest of my life and the new year. After a couple of years of extraordinary opportunities at work and developing and reinventing myself in a new field in my free time,it was time to reinvent my house too.  

I'm excited to have a chance to make my spaces my own and only keep things I need or use (and some old clothes with great fabric made it into the sewing area to try up-cycling into whatever I think of next) and possibly be able to find things when I need them because they are in reach as opposed to buried somewhere in a dark closet behind boxes of old linens Blake's mom gave us.

Hurray!

 

Monday
Dec292014

5 Geektastic DIY Projects

Today has been De-Cluttering Day 1.  Here's to hoping that it won't take more than 2 days!  I'm wiped and unable to write anything too long, but I still have something great:

I have been coming across some great geeky crafts on some fabulous blogs and I compiled some of my favourites for you lovely people. 

5.  These very cute dino hooks from DecoArt's blog:

Yeah, came across these while looking for some more DecoArt Metallic Lustre colours...

4. This badass  steampunk nerf gun by Cation Designs on Instructables

 

This is not that hard to make at all!

3. These brilliant welcome mats by Our Nerd Home:

They look so store-bought too!

2. This ingenious Star Wars Cake by CementTruck:

 

1. These gorgeous Doctor Who "Something Blue" TARDIS Wedding Shoes by Doodlecraft:

I need to try and make a pair of my own!

Now, that you're feeling geeky and crafty, which one would you want to try out?  How would you adapt it to your tastes?  

Sunday
Dec282014

A Review: DecoArt Metallic Lustre vs. Inka Gold Metallic Rub vs Mica Powders

 

 

You may have come across these (above) in a craft stores and wondered about which brand to invest in or if they are compatible with your particular craft.  I wondered the same thing.  Until I tried these finishes, Pearl-Ex mica powders were what I used to accent  polymer clay pieces, but when trying to be specific about which parts of a piece to accent, mica powders proved too messy.  Plus, mica powders call for the use of a dust mask- not always comfortable when you are making big batches (I'm talking about localized face-sweat people).  That is why I was always on the lookout for an alternative and I was glad when I found some!

These are some of the items I have tried to use the above products with:


 

The first brand I tried was the Viva Decor Inka Metallic Rub.  I bought the lava red one on clearance about 6-8 months ago and Michaels Canada no longer carries them.  I initially tried it on some unbaked clay and found that it adhered to the clay pretty well and stayed on after being baked.  That being said once it dried, it didn't stay the bright red colour that you see in the jar.  It worked pretty well as an accent on some glitter red Premo, as seen below.  

What I loved immediately:

•  Dries super fast.

•  Stays where you apply unlike powders that spill into crevices if you're not VERY careful.

•  Works well with polymer clay and unstained wood, but definitely requires sealing.

What I didn't love:

•  Changed colour pretty drastically when it dried and didn't look as metallic as it did in the jar.

•  Went mouldy! Yup, that's right, there was mold when I just opened it today - I carefully removed and obviously discarded the portion with the mold, but am still quite surprised that happened).

 

Premo Glitter Red polymer clay with Lava red Inka Gold Metallic Rub, sealed with glossy Varathane

 

More recently I found DecoArt Metallic Lustre :

Premo polymer clay in gold and silver with DecoArt Metallic Lustre Wax in gold rush and silver spark

And I fell in love with it (and now that I know I can purchase it online from DecoArt directly in 14 different colours, I'm going to have the hardest time not buying them all)!  

Why?

• Dries very very fast

• It works wonders on polymer clay and wood.

• The colour stays the same as it dries and is very metallic.

•  You can buff it to make it even shinier

• Don't have to seal it, it's pretty darn durable, but you should for jewelry or other items that will be handled more often.

Why not:

• I don't know if it goes mouldy, time will tell.

• Can't find any other reasons.

This is how it looks on unpainted wood:

Raw craft wood circle (from Michaels) painted with DecoArt Metallic Lustre in silver spark, accented with gold rush

Well, if these are so great why would you bother with mica powders at all you might ask:

The pastes are not a replacement for mica powders in some cases.

• If you work with textured clay and you want to get in the nooks and crannies, you will still be better off using mica powders.

• Also, if you want translucent coverage so that you can see the clay underneath, mica powders will work and these will not (at least not without adding water).

I use both products on different projects now and have used them in combination too.  Mica powders do not work on wood or metal, unless you mix them with other mediums, therefore the pastes are a bit more versatile if you have to pick between the two.

The DecoArt Metallic Lustre is my new obsession!

I would love to hear your thoughts and questions.  Have you used these with polymer clay or any other projects?  What did you think?  Would you like me to try other colours to review?

 

Saturday
Dec272014

A Very Delightful Visit to Michaels, Work in Progress and Other Stories...

As mentioned yesterday, I had a nice Michaels visit yesterday and they had an additional 25% off coupon for one day only, so I got some great items:  

Lots of new acrylic paint - some are metallic and are going to look great on the boxes I got. I want to design some new boxes for jewelry or dice, hence the wooden boxes. Finally got a great new work surface: The We R Memory Keepers Precision Glass Cutting Mat and can tell you even after one use, that it's worth every penny. Super happy to have a work surface that is big enough, I can cut on, easy to clean and non-stick!  I also bought a little drawer unit to start my second studio (yup I have two rooms of craft tools and supplies, the one room needs to be cleaned and tidied before it can be called a studio though).  

When I got home, I realized that my purchases would give me something to blog about.  For example, I made my first "test" notepad and it turned out pretty good (used the Tacky Glue in the photo).  I will be making a second, much prettier version to show you very soon.  After the notepad, I wanted to try out my wonderful new work surface (see last paragraph) and I have been thinking about a golden snitch inspired necklace; therefore, that's exactly what I decided to make:

 

Although it's still in the prototype phase, I'm quite happy with what I made.  I will be posting images of this necklace as soon as I have it ready for Etsy, but just wanted to share what I really love about this piece: my interpretation of the golden snitch rocks and the metallic lustre accents made possible with the Metallic Lustre Wax by DecoArt.  That made me realize that I should write a review of this great product and show you how I have used it- it really deserves its own post, but a quick summary for the moment:

• So far I'm super pleased with results I had both on wood and on polymer clay.

• I only have silver and gold colours at the moment because not all colours are easy to find in Canada (or they are ridiculously over-priced).

• I want to try them all, especially the black shimmer,

• A review is definitely on the way!


 

Thanks for reading!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday
Dec262014

30-Day Blogging Challenge Day 11: The Imitation Game is...

Yesterday, after opening our presents, we decided to go see a movie. With so many great movies out right now, it was a hard choice, yet the only one we could all agree on was the Imitation game and I'm very glad it was. 

We went, we saw and we really enjoyed.   Benedict Cumberbatch was amazing and once again proved his abilities. Even though Alan Turing was such a close character to Sherlock (a genius who lacks social skills), Cumberbatch was able to convince me completely that he was Turing and in the end I was crying because of the emotions his brilliant acting awakened in me.  Keira Knightley- as a refreshingly down-to-earth character - also was a great choice for her role and won my heart.

As with any movie based on a true story, this movie is not a completely accurate retelling of what we now know happened during the war (then again who knows how much of what we are told is ever the truth), but the plot was engaging, at times funny or even thrilling.  If you are a Sherlock fan (which I definitely am), you will love it without a doubt.  If you haven't seen Sherlock (because if you have and haven't liked it, you'll probably just hate this movie), you are still very likely to enjoy this grown up and engaging story of a chapter of our history and how the world defeated Hitler.

Have you seen this movie yet? What did you think?

P.S:  This was another off-topic post, I'm aware, but I had to go spend my Michaels gift card, and you know how Michaels can suck you in for hours... Plus movies and TV shows are source of inspiration for me. :)