Smooth On Feature: Sorta-Clear Series

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Nicole and I have had the opportunity to play and use a lot of the Smooth On products through the years.  We have had great experiences with them and so I want to share some of the products they have and what they can do for you and your crafting.

Today’s feature is on the Sorta-Clear Series.

SORTA-Clear™ Series rubbers are premium water white translucent silicone rubbers (platinum catalyst) which cure at room
temperature with negligible shrinkage. SORTA-Clear™ silicones are ideal for making prototype, jewelry or other molds of any configuration where model visibility is important (i.e. extracting a model from the mold via cutting). Materials such as urethane, epoxy or polyester resins can then be cast
into SORTA-Clear™ silicone without application of a release agent.

Want to see how it works?  Smooth On has a tutorial on how to create a one piece silicone mold using Sorta Clear® 12.


DIY: Valentines Day Ornaments

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a couple small tutorials for you for making some Valentine’s day ornaments. I think that it’s a neat idea to have a little “tree” where you can hang themed ornaments. Now we’re not talking a Christmas tree. I mean branches gathered into a vase to give you a bare tree. My mother always has done those and I just love the idea of themeing those trees to the season. So here are a couple wee tutorials that are super cute and pretty easy to dress up the trees.

This first one is from Dozi Design and you can find the original tutorial here, as this will be a condensed version of it.  Basically you will need some coloured construction paper of your choice, and you will need to cut a 4″ x 4″ circular spiral – you can also make different sizes for different flower sizes.

You’ll need to cut out your spiral and then begin rolling it up to look like a rose starting from the outside, rolling to the middle, and then gluing it closed. Just make sure you’ve left enough room in the centre for it to be popped onto a branch.

The second tutorial is from Some the Wiser and the original tutorial can be found here. In this tutorial, you will be using a corn starch glue to mould some yarn ornaments. You will need yarn of your choice of colour cut into 12 inch pieces, heart shaped cookie cutters in the sizes of your choice, parchment paper and ribbon. You’ll also need to make a corn starch glue which is done by combining 1/4c of cornstarch with 1/2c of water and some glitter of your choice. Combine the cornstarch and water in a saucepan and stir until smooth. Heat over medium heat, constantly stirring until it’s thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, stir in 1-2 tbsp of glitter and allow it to cool enough so it’s cool to the touch. If the glue becomes too thick, just add water a tsp at a time until it is easier to work with.

Lay your cookie cutters on parchment, and when your glue is warm, rather than hot, coat a piece of yarn with the glue. pull the yarn through your fingers to remove any large clumps and then arrange your yarn in the cookie cutters. Keep adding gluey yarn to the heart until it’s the thickness you’re looking for.

Add more glitter,and then remove your heart mould. Repeat until you have as many hearts as will fit on your parchment paper (that’s on a cookie sheet). Place in a warm oven (150 degrees F) for 2-3 hours until the hearts are hard. Remove from the cookie sheet, let them cool, then string them up to decorate with ribbon.

Hope you enjoyed these quick and easy ornament tutorials.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Bathroom Cleanliness — The Homemade Way

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I don’t know about you guys but nothing makes me happier that a spic-n-span bathroom. Over the last year, I have been endeavoring to be completely cruelty-free and as natural as possible in all my product usage. Alas, almost all of the highly rated and well-known cleaning products are not cruelty-free and are also choke full of chemicals. So I started researching and found some store-sold alternatives (Method and Seventh Generation are good options). But then, I started wondering if, like my bath salts, could I make cleaning products out of more natural ingredients? And guess what? I CAN! And so can you!

One of my favorite sites to research and find recipes to try is The Soap Queen. (Seriously, check out this site. It is super useful and tons of fun!) I found two recipes off this site to assist in creating a sparkling clean loo. The first is for a Natural Soap Scum Cleaner.

Ingredients:

  • Three 8 oz Bail Jars
  • 18 oz Baking Soda
  • 3 heaping Tbsp Pumice
  • 6 oz Epsom Salt
  • 2 mL Lemongrass Essential Oil
  • 5 mL Fir Needle Essential Oil

Directions:

*Add baking soda and Epsom salt to large mixing container. (Sift baking soda to unclump). Then add pumice and mix ingredients with a spoon or your hands. Add lemongrass and fir needle essential oils and mix thoroughly to combine. Transfer the mixture to the bail jars. Before use, test a bit on a hidden part of your shower to make sure it won’t scratch the surface.*

Next up is a Fizzy Toiler Freshener. No one likes having to scrub a toilet and these homemade tablets are a quick way to give your whole bathroom a boost of freshness.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sodium bicarbonate
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • Witch Hazel (in a spray bottle)
  • 12 mL Lemon essential oil
  • 6 mL Peppermint essential oil (2nd distilled)
  • Spiral Flower Wax Tart Mold

Directions:

*Add baking soda and citric acid to a large bowl. If lumpy, break apart with your fingers or sift. Then add 12 mL lemon essential oil and 6 mL peppermint essential oil, 2nd distillation. Using gloved hands, mix the essential oils into the dry ingredients. The moisture level of the mixture is important; it should be wet enough that a handful of the squeezed powder will hold shape. Spritz with witch hazel if you need a bit more moisture but be careful with how much. Too much of the witch hazel will ruin the fizziness of your tabs.

Press the mixture into your molds and leave overnight. To use, simply drop one into your toilet bowl and let fizz, then flush.*

And finally, there is a recipe for the Best Homemade Bathroom Cleaner Ever, brought to you by The Wellness Mama. This is also a paste, however, the baking soda and vinegar make it highly effective. (Seriously, guys. There is no better cleaning product than baking soda. There is a reason our grandmothers all used it for, like, everything.)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup liquid castille soap (I recommend Dr. Bronner’s, it really is the best)
  • 25 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar (optional)

Directions:

*Mix baking soda, washing soda, and liquid castille soap in medium-sized container until it’s pasty and mushy. Add essential oils and mix thoroughly. If you choose to add the vinegar, be aware that the soda will make it fizz a little. It’ll stop so don’t freak out. Then, to use, just scoop a little out with a sponge and scrub away!*

As with anything that you use essential or carrier oils in, you’ll want to store your products in either dark glass or opaque containers (steel spray bottles are good also). This will keep them from growing mold or bacteria or going rancid. Make sure you are also storing these items in a cool, dry space.

We all love a clean, sparkling and fresh-scented bathroom; even those of you out there with boys in the house can achieve this with no chemicals to harm your loved ones.

Happy Cleaning, Crafters!

~Scribe Sarah~


A Beautiful Light in the Darkness

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Happy Sunday, all!

I know I promised a tutorial this week but that is going to have to wait! I have found a new artist that I must bring immediately to your attention! This passed week I was introduced to Brittany Cox AKA Britt the Badger and I am simply blown away by her creations. Brittany makes paper cut “dreamboxes” out of what appears to be magic and rainbows.

It feels like you just walked into this secret fairy hidey hole.

Seriously, though, her very intricate scenes come to life through custom LED light setups hidden behind layers and layers of laser cut paper in surprisingly small (for all the detail she achieves) shadow boxes.

Just look at the depth (pun intended)!

The part I am especially in awe of is her artistic vision when it comes to those layers. These pieces are not just beautiful in the dark.

 

She draws and plots out each of the images and then figures out how many layers and what goes in each one plus the lighting effects (which she also wires herself). She also does original paintings and drawings of equal beauty.

The watercolors here just make the cuts pop so well.

So if you would like one of these absolutely gorgeous pieces for yourself (or commission a custom piece), Britt can be found on her website, Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you would like to watch one of these emerge step by step, you can follow her on Twitch under brittthebadger.

Next week, I will attempt the tutorial, I promise!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


DIY Valentine’s Day Wreath

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Valentine’s Day is just one day that doesn’t get a lot of decorating opportunities around the home since it isn’t one where we really decorate the outsides of our homes. Where we like to keep things classy, I love to see a little touch of holiday decor around this gloomy time of year. So for today I have a really neat tutorial for making a heart shaped wreath out of dyed coffee filters, so not only is it pretty and fluffy, it’s also cost effective and the materials are easy to find. The original tutorial can be found here from Bye Bye Soccer Mom.

There’s some materials and tools you’ll need: A large piece of cardboard (think old boxes), a utility knife, pencil, a medium glass or plastic container for the dye bath, a Phillips head screwdriver, needlenose pliers, a package of 8-12 basket style coffee filters, some red poster paint or watercolour, a craft brush, ribbon or yarn for hanging and some strong tape.

Your first step is to prep your dye-bath.  Fill your bowl with water about 1 inch deep and dip your brush in red paint. Rinse it in the dye bath water. Divide your package of coffee filters into a few separate batches (they can be stacked in the batches, but you don’t want to do them all at once) and place them upside down in the dye bath, and then remove them immediately for a nice ombre.

Load your wet brush with a little paint and touch up the edges of the still damp filters so that there will be more pronounced colour on the edges. Put the batches of filters somewhere to dry for at least several hours, or overnight if you can.

Using the knife, cut out your heart shape on the cardboard (you can use an outline shape or a solid shape, as you prefer), and poke holes with the screwdriver about 1.5 inches apart, all over your base. You can use the pencil to mark where you’d like them.

With your pliers, widen each hole to about one quarter of an inch in diameter to make it easier to put the filters into them. You can also skip this step and use hot glue instead, it just depends on your preference. Separate your dry filters and make flowers by pinching the middle and twisting.

Feed these flowers through the holes in your cardboard.

Continue this step until you’ve filled in all the holes, and you’re done! Attach a piece of ribbon if you’d like to hang it or you can have it resting on a bookshelf.

Where red or pink is beautiful for Valentine’s day, keep in mind you can do other colours and other shapes. You could add glitter, or whatever else you can think of.

Happy crafting!

~Megan