"Shrink Plastic Gears"

This weeks TT is the last of the Steam Punk theme. So I thought I'd show you what I'm working on for the current swap I'm hosting. At the last sizzix whse sale, I picked up some black shrink plastic and some Tim Holtz dies! Perfect for this project! The less detail on the die, the less your shrink plastic will curl up and get stuck.
To get started you will need:
  1. a gold leafing pen
  2. paper towel
  3. nail file
  4. bamboo skewer
  5. patterned embossing folders
  6. die cutting machine
  7. dark colored shrink plastic
  8. old baking sheet
  9. parchment paper or slip mat
  10. hand held heat gun
  11. I used Gadget Gears and the key hole from Hardware Findings.
Begin by running the shrink plastic through your machine using the die of choice. DO NOT double up on the shrink plastic as you would paper as it will not separate. It ends up being a waste of your shrink plastic. Trust me.
If you are using shapes that have cut outs like the gears, it's best to shrink the plastic by hand with a heat tool. The oven technique (on back of package) is only good for solid shapes. You can do your project on a heat safe area in the kitchen or if you like to sit (like me), protect your table with heat pads or a folded beach towel. Use a cookie sheet that you keep on hand just for crafts.
Run your shapes through your machine in emboss folders.
If you plan to use the gold leafing pen on the finished piece, you'll want to sand the shapes before shrinking. This goes for embossed shapes or unembossed.
By using parchment paper or a slip mat on your baking sheet, your pieces will not stick as they shrink. Using the skewer helps keep the shape from skittering all over the place while shrinking. Use a slow motion when holding the heat gun over the piece. A fast motion encourages "fly aways". Always start at the top and work your way down. Don't panic. Just when you think your piece will not uncurl, it does.
I experimented with bird cages and key shapes. But the detail was so precise that the shapes kept sticking to each other or curling up and not uncurling like a more solid shape might.
Here you can see the before and after of the gears.
And the key holes.
To achieve the aged gold effect, I dabbed the shrunk shapes with a bit of the gold leafing pen and quickly rubbed off the gold color with the paper towel. The color is accented by the emboss folder I used before shrinking.
So there you have it. I hope you have enjoyed this months TT! Please visit all the previous Steam Punk themed posts for this month, found on the right side bar. ---------> The more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win ALL of the projects I made from this month's Tuesday Tutorials! These included. :)
( Please leave your e-mail address in comments or make sure your blog sign in is not private, If I can't reach you easily...you can't win)


My first Soldered bottle!

Today I happily made my first (of many to come) soldered bottles!
I just love it!
If you have wondered about soldering and want to learn, you must take a class with Vicky!
She is wonderfully patient and so knowledgeable.
I am eager to go back for other idea's! :)

Have a wonderful weekend!


Safari Mini Book

This weeks theme for The Robins Nest is "Safari". I used their line of wild animal print papers to create a fun mini book!

The base of the book was a plain ascending scalloped chipboard album that I found at Michaels craft store. I traced the blank chipboard onto the safari papers and carefully cut out using precision scissors. I recommend to use precision scissors for detailed cutting as they are easier to maneuver around the shape or design you want.

I cut up some cake mix boxes to make additional pages. After adhering the patterned papers to my chip boards, I used black ink to distress the edges.

Assorted dew drops helped add some dimension and a little flair.

Safari Clippies and glittered journal cards also helped complete the theme.

See more of the Robins Nest idea's including fun Video tutorials here on their blog!


Valentine Corsage Swap

Last month I participated in a Sweet Goodness Swap. The theme was a Valentine Corsage. This is what I made to send. All made completely by hand including "dusting" the roses with vintage glitter.
I wanted to make something special for my partner Tami, something to cheer her up as she is battling cancer.
And here is what she sent me. Yummy peppermint candy's,
A cute ceramic baker bear,
a heart magnet and a special bracelet she created with inspirational words.
I hope for her the speediest recovery!


Beading "Organization"

If you truly love to make SteamPunk inspired ornaments or other types of jewelry, the only way you'll be successful is through organization. All my jewelry making supplies are sorted into these compartment boxes. The top box holds my findings, bails, clasp, chains, ring and hair clip blanks.

The bottom box holds my pendants, lost earrings, old jewelry for remakes, and vintage inspired beads.
I have whole compartment boxes for each color scheme. Here in the blue box, is a assortment of vintage glass, ceramic and costume jewelry beads. On the right side where you see a larger compartment, I use that space for the "plastic" beads.
This box is still in the works. I'm using it for warm colors. But this could change as I "sort" more of my stash... ;)
"Pink" is \probably my favorite box. The left side is all my plastic pink beads, great for a last minute little girl Crown. A majority of the other beads are from taken from old jewelry when I made this Bracelet.
Just some bezels and trinkets for future soldering projects. Now that I'm into soldering, I think I'm going to need a bigger box! :)
Here is my wire wrapping box. In here I store all my birds nest pendants, wire wrapped rings, mini crowns, little odd ball crafts. Some are for fun, some to keep on hand for a surprise gift or for custom orders.
More goodies to solder and make into SteamPunk treasures. If you sort your items clearly, you'll have a better mind for creating later.
These are not all my beads. The seed beads are the hardest to store because they are so tiny and scatter easily. I save little canisters and tubes just for them, and then keep them in a hand held scrapbook tote. I would love to hear your idea's in how you store your SteamPunk and jewelry making supplies!


Easy as 1 2 3 - Roasted Salmon

We love Salmon.
So much in fact we eat it every other week.
Sale or not.
Not only is it good for you, but it tastes Wonderful! Hot or cold.
Easy as 1 2 3, here is how to roast Salmon.
Preheat oven to 450*
Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Lay your salmon on the sheet. (I buy ours pre-boned)
If the Salmon is two long, cut it in half and place it as I did here.

Sprinkle your Salmon with coarse kosher salt.
As much or as little as you like.
Sometimes I put extra near the tail so it can crisp up in the baking for a salty snack.

Roast until opaque throughout. About 15 minutes.
If you are not sure, pull sheet out of oven
and use a fork to break apart salmon to check for completion.
Feel free to put sheet back in oven a for a couple minutes longer.
When done, turn off oven and pull out baking sheet.
Serve with salad or eat alone.
I like to also put tartar sauce on top, store bought or homemade.
Here is my personal recipe, easy to make in a pinch!
1 Cup mayo
2 Tablespoons dill relish
1 teaspoon sugar
a couple of grinds of fresh pepper
Juice of one lime
Combine all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Refrigerate for at least a 1/2 hour.
  • Enjoy!


Happy St. Patricks Day Kid Crafts Pin!

I hope you are having a nice St. Patrick's Day! We have friends visiting from Texas this week and to celebrate, we are having a bonfire BBQ at the beach later Tonight. That's one of the perks of living in Southern California, unless it's raining, every day is a "beach" day!
Tomorrow I'll be making the traditional St. Patrick's Day meal for my family- Corned beef, baked carrots, cabbage and Irish soda bread.

Don't you just love these clovers?
I picked them up at Trader Joes last year and re-potted them in the garden!

I love how clever this cake is with the foil wrapped chocolate coins in the center! But boy, that's a lot of black frosting to digest. Don't you agree? I Once used a ton of black frosting to make a "road" for a car themed cake. I think the next time I'll air brush the cake. Seems easier. :)

So how do you like the Shamrock pin Dyllan is holding in the top photo?
I used Green Glitter Chipboard from The Robins Nest.
To make this pin, you will need the following...super easy!
Favorite heart punch, - (mine is a scalloped heart by Fiskars)
Circle craft punch (smaller than all the hearts combined) and sturdy paper.
Tacky glue, gold ribbon, pin backings.

Punch 3 hearts per shamrock, use leftover glittered card stock to make the stems.
Punch as many circle backings as needed and add a generous amount of glue to each circle. Place the stem on the circle. Press down for a few seconds. Add a little glue to the stem part on the circle. Place the first heart in the center of the circle so the bottom of the heart touches the bottom of the circle. Then add the other two hearts on each side, pressing firmly each heart for at least ten seconds each. Put aside to set while you work on the other shamrocks.

Going back to your first shamrock, add just a touch of glue to the back of the stem and press down the center of the ribbon for a few seconds. Then flip over and tie a tight bow. Flip over again and add some glue to the center of the circle. Open your pin up and place in the center of the glue. Add a little more glue if desired and spread with a tooth pick or your finger so the glue is even. Put aside to cure completely.

Please visit The Robins Nest for other fun craft idea's!
May the "Luck" of the Irish be with you Today!


No Radiation... ?

Inspired by this easy Dill pickle recipe, I picked up some pickling spices. And it was not until just recently when I was eating a tangerine in the kitchen and absent mindfully reading this spice pack as it rested on a rack with the other spices I use often...that I saw the words...No Radiation...in the upper left corner.

Should I be worried?
The package says they are out of San Diego, Ca


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