I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I consider my birthday to be cursed. It started with the first birthday I can vividly remember… my mother and her best friend crying, as President Kennedy had just been assassinated. I’m not going into a lot of detail, but so many bad things have happened to me and my immediate family, that I basically hold my breath and wait every year for the calendar to flip to November 23rd. I was afraid this year was going to be another horrible day, as my sister is dying of a rare type of infection, but luckily the day passed without incident.
It was a wonderful day. Of course because of covid, I didn’t go anywhere or do anything, but first thing in the morning, I got a phone call from my sister and brother-in-law, both singing a family tradition, “Captain Zoom.” It’s a quirky song that is meant for small children and my Dad always sang it to his two grandsons when they were small, and eventually sang it to all of us on our birthdays. Once he passed away, I took up the mantle and call our family members and sing it to them. It doesn’t matter that I can’t hold a tune….I think the thing that matters is it reminds us of our Father, and that always makes a special birthday memory.
A little later, my girlfriend brought me lunch and we had a nice meal together with balloon (the dogs hated them) and cupcakes for dessert. I got two baskets delivered with different kinds of candies and popcorns, and a pumpkin roll. If you know anything about me, it’s that I love sugar. Sugar is the greatest thing ever invented…and it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Rich made sure I knew there were some dark chocolate pieces in one box, as those are his favorites and not mine. It’s nice to be able to share on my birthday.
My girlfriend got me some really soft pajamas and my sister and brother-in-law got me a gift certificate since they’re 800 miles away.
I got several phone calls from friends and Rich made me a cookie that I absolutely love. It’s called a pistachio macaroon and you can only find them at Mike’s Bakery in Boston. Rich found the recipe and made a batch for me and they were as close to perfect as you can get.
Of course I got cards from friends, and I’ll make sure I share them on a video. It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy, and I can honestly say, yesterday was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. In a year when most things did not go well, my birthday was a welcome exception.
I wanted to show you several ways to use mica powders. You can use them in making candles and soaps, and in the current fad of using resins, you can add mica powders to those as well.
As always, I show you links to products, but recommend you price shop for them as I am not an affiliate of Amazon, and only used their links as it was easiest to find all of the products I used there.
First Project: Making Alcohol Inks: Take 91% alcohol and put into Ranger’s Alcohol Ink Palette link: https://tinyurl.com/y5o8xsj4 Put a small amount of alcohol into one of the wells, then add mica powder and combine with a palette knife. It needs to be relatively runny in texture and can dry out, then be refreshed with Ranger alcohol blending solution link: https://tinyurl.com/y6j64vrr
2nd Metallic Acrylic Paint: Take white acrylic paint and mix w/ some mica powder to your desired color. Any craft acrylic paint will work. You need to use this immediately, as it can’t dry and be re-wet.
3rdMetallic Acrylic Paint: Use Mod Podge (I used outdoor, but you can use whatever you like) and mix with mica powder to desired color. You need to use this immediately (or before it dries.)
4thMetallic Watercolors:Gum Arabic link: https://tinyurl.com/y53jfypk Take dry Gum Arabic and use 1 part to 4 parts mica powder then add water to desired consistency. This, you can re-use if you put it in a container and let it dry out then re-wet later to use.
5thMetallic Texture Paste: Using a white glue or clear Tacky glue (it’s what I had on hand). Put the glue onto a glass or plastic plate. Add enough mica powder to make sure it stays in the stencil and remains raised when dry (A mayo consistency). Use a palette knife to apply this mixture to your stencil, then immediately after, clean the stencil or the glue will ruin it if it dries on it.
6thMetallic Stamping Ink w/ an ink: Using an existing small ink cube, put some mica on top and add some Ink Refresher link: https://tinyurl.com/yxba5hhs and rub the mica into the ink pad, then stamp onto it.
7thMetallic Ink w/ Baby Wipe: Using a folded baby wipe, and a dye based reinker, squirt a few drops reinker onto the baby wipe then put some mica powder on the baby wipe and using a palette knife to combine them, work the two together, then stamp into the baby wipe. I used a Peg Stamp ice cream cone link: https://tinyurl.com/y6pl97hj
8thMetallic Modelling Paste: Using Deco Art Modelling Paste link: https://tinyurl.com/y6hbmtv4and a palette knife on a plate, mix in enough mica powder to the desired color then use on a stencil. Clean palette knife and stencil immediately after use. Gingko Stencil link: https://tinyurl.com/yxvcszt2
9thMetallic Alcohol Spray Ink: Using diy alcohol ink, video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoAMNIVqF-k. Add mica powder into the bottle and shake it until well combined before you put the lid on. After you’ve made it, shake it like a bell rather than up and down, as you’ll clog the tube with mica, and shake before each use.
10thGlitter Double Sided Tape: Put tear tape where you want it on your project, then rub the paper (before removing the backing paper) with your embossing pouch Link: https://tinyurl.com/y4qlw66p or corn starch or baby powder on a brush…wipe the surface to ensure it’s protected, then remove the backing paper from the tear tape and using a brush, wipe the tape until it’s covered.
11th Wipe cardstock with baby powder, then ink a stamp with Versamark ink link: https://tinyurl.com/y3wohjl4 and stamp the paper. Add whatever color mica powder you want on a paint brush and brush over the surface, brushing off excess with another clean brush. Add additional colors as you choose.
12th Embossed image metallic coloring: Run cardstock through your die cutting machine with an embossing folder inside, then pat the raised images with a Versamark ink pad. Using a paint brush, add mica powder to the raised images as desired.
13thMix clear embossing powder w/ mica powder to create your own pearlized embossing powders. Take a tbsp. of clear embossing powder and add mica powder to make a color you like, then combine well. Add the powder to a stamped image w/ Versamark ink then heat set. Don’t combine this powder with any other embossing powders.
14th Metallic Gesso– Add mica powder to gesso to desired color.
15thMulti Matte Medium Stamping: Put a little multi matte medium on a scrap, stamp with a red rubber stamp first into Versamark ink to protect the stamp, then into the Multi Matte Medium and onto your cardstock, then add mica powder to color it. Clean stamp immediately after.
16th Metallic Pearls: make hot glue circles on a craft mat then once glue is cooled, brush mica powder over it. Pull off and use wet glue to add to project
17thMetallic faux wax seal: Squeeze hot glue onto a craft mat large enough for your stamp. Press only red rubber stamps into Versamark ink, then into the hot glue on your mat. Once cooled, brush over with mica powder. Attach to project with wet glue.
I buy a bunch of frames at garage sales during the summer months, then buy ornaments at the Dollar Tree, and I use Christmas papers I’ve had in my stash.
The paper pad I used is DCWV’s Jolly Whimsy Stack.
I recommend using E6000 glue along with hot glue to make sure the ornaments stay attached to the glass of the photo frames. If you only use hot glue, there’s a good chance that the ornament will pop back off if there’s any temperature change (cold to hot, hot to cold.)
I clean the glass of each photo frame, then put the Christmas paper inside the frame, and glue the ornament to the glass on the outside of the frame.
Two of the frames I used, came from the Dollar Tree with a piece of art inside. I used the art for something else and kept the frame.
One of the frames, I used a Christmas tree that I made out of old sheet music. I also added to that frame a sentiment from Spellbinder’s Deer Santa set of stickers.
The kissing owl diamond painting came from Fansells.com and here’s the link to it. I really loved it and thought someone at the assisted living home would love it too..https://tinyurl.com/y3ntqk9a
Outdoor Mod Podge requires that you let the Mod Podge dry 20-30 minutes between coats and then put a sealer on it and let it sit for 28 days and then it’s ready to go outside.
Unfortunately, after following the instructions above, the Mod Podge did not hold up outside.
I don’t like Outdoor Mod Podge because you not only have to let the finished product sit for a month, but you also have to buy an additional product to seal the project and it still doesn’t hold up when placed outside. I emailed the Plaid Company (makers of Mod Podge) to discuss this issue with them, and was sent an email saying they had no one available to help me, as they were closed due to Covid. I emailed them again later in the summer, and I got no email response.
I started a new medication for spinal stenosis in my lower back called Gabapetin that’s supposed to make me sleepy. If I take it at bedtime, I don’t sleep, and can’t wake up 10-12 hours later. So I decided to take it at dinner time so I’d be tired at bedtime, and would be able to wake up at a normal time. It’s working for waking up, but not so much for sleeping. But then again I have so many things whirling around in my head…
My sister is able to have less pain as she’s now on morphine and a fentanyl patch. Today Hospice delivered a hospital bed, as she can’t sleep in a normal position as the infection in her ear caused a lot of swelling in her face and neck.
Covid is on the rise all over the US, and all I keep thinking about is that I should be at my sister’s side.
Rich and I went shopping today, and there were so many people in that store not wearing masks, and I was getting so angry thinking, “do these people without masks think I’m happy about wearing one? or do they just not care about anyone but themselves since obviously the only thing that matters is that these maskless people en so much from all of us, and now it’s taken this from me. Rich and I went shopping today and so many of the people in the store weren’t wearing masks. I wanted to ask them if they thought I was thrilled to be wearing a mask and what gives them the right to choose to put others at risk just because they don’t want to conform, or don’t want the inconvenience or expense. Whatever the reason, if you choose not to wear a mask, please stay away from those of us who do wear them, because we don’t deserve to get Covid simply because you’re bucking the system. People who don’t wear masks are the ones who are helping spread Covid, and because of this virus, I can’t be with my sister when she passes away.
I was sent some lovely cards and gifts from friends/viewers and wanted to share them with all of you..
To make a gift bag, start with very thin paper, newspaper, magazines, maps, or thin scrapbook paper (that’s what I used.) My paper is 12 X 12″ and I left the white border from where it attached to a paper pad in place. I folded the white edged part down about one inch and made sure the folded edge lines up with the edge of the paper to ensure a straight edge. This is the top of our bag. I add glue stick under the 1″ strip to ensure it stays down. Then I made a small mark on the bottom of the paper at (half way across) 6″ and folded the left side to the mark I made and folded it down. Make sure you crease it down well. Then fold the right side over the left fold about 1/2″ so it’s overlapped enough for you to glue it down. Then add glue stick under that small crease to keep it closed.
Now fold the bottom section (the part that doesn’t have paper folded over, as that’s the top) over far enough to create the flat bottom of your bag. This fold also determines how tall your bag is, the bigger the fold, the shorter the bag. Make sure the fold is creased well, then squeeze the sides to line up the center line inside of the bag with the folds in the center of the side pieces and fold these pieces down. Then take the bottom piece and fold it to a little bit past the center line and put glue stick under the two side triangles. Then take the top piece and fold it so it’s about 1/2″ past the end of the other piece you just laid, and put glue under the same triangles and the piece that lays over the other piece in the center of the folds.
Then you’ll take the side of the bag and fold it in so the bottom lines match up with the side fold, crease this well, then do the same on the other side, but don’t glue either of these pieces. Then make marks in the top about 3/4″ from the top and about an 1″ from the side folds and poke a hole for your ribbon. Start the ribbon from inside the bag through one hole then from the outside in on the other hole (on the same side) then tie off the ends or tie the ends together inside the bag. Do the same on the other side making sure the ribbons will be the same length. Push the sides out from the inside and your bag is done. All you need to do now is add a piece of cardboard inside for support. I laid my bag over a piece of cardboard and traced the bottom of the bag, then cut a lot inside the traced line as the inside of the bag is smaller than the outside…then cut out the cardboard and put it in the bottom of the bag.
If you want information from the gourd lady, “Hey Gourdeous”, her name is Debbie Friedstrom and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
To make a bigger bag if you don’t have a bigger piece of paper, take two 12 x 12″ pieces of paper, and facing the same direction, keep the papers together and fold down the 1″ top strip of the papers, making sure the side seam and the side of the strip your folding down, are perfectly lined up. Put glue stick under the 1″ strip on both papers. Then fold the side as short of a fold as possible, as the more paper you fold over, the smaller your bag will be. Glue that piece down. Fold the same side on the other paper the same size fold as the other paper, and glue that down. Put the two pieces facing away from each other and glue the sides down (making sure both tops face the top).
From this point on, the steps are the same as the first bag…take the bottom of the bag and fold up to the size you want the bottom of the bag to be and crease the fold, then squeeze in the two sides to make sure the center of the bottom of the bag is lined up with the side folds and then lay them down and crease them. Then take the bottom piece and fold it up a little above the center line of the bottom and put glue under the side triangles, then take the top piece and fold it about 1/2″ beyond the start of the bottom flap and glue down the two triangles plue the 1/2″ overlap. Next fold in the side of the bag til it lines up with the angle on the bottom and crease it well, and do the same to the other side. Then make holes and put your ribbon in and push out the sides. Make a piece of cardboard for inside the bottom of your bag.
All of the Bearly Art products come with the optional fine tip applicators, except the refill, that’s just the bear shaped bottle filled with glue.
The black tip would be used when you need a lot of glue to come out, and would be more glue than you’d need for paper crafts.
The black tip (with a needle at the tip) is their fine tip applicator, and would be the tip you would use when paper crafting. I find this glue flows easily out of this tip, and that I needed to shake the bottle before using it, as that makes the glue a little thicker, and makes the glue flow in a more consistent fashion.
This is the only fine tip applicator that I found very easy for me to use. I recommend this glue highly for people with hand/wrist issues.
The green tip is used when you want to travel with your bottle, as it closes the opening.
I used the glue on every paper surface I could think of, and the only issue I found, is that when you use it on very thin paper, I still got some waffling in the center of the paper. I didn’t find any waffling near the edges of the paper.
When the glue seeps from under a sentiment, I couldn’t see any shiny finish lingering behind.
The glue holds every surface I used, and holds very quickly. It even held two pieces of plastic backing for diamond paintings and very thick cardboard.
Before closing this glue, you need to burp it like a rubbermaid or tupperware container. You don’t want any glue in the part of the bottle that you screw the tips into, and you can use a tissue or Qtip to get the glue out of the ridge, but I blow on it over a garbage can, so I can be sure there’s no glue left.
You’ll also want to clean your tips when you put them in the storage tube by using the needle provided to take the glue out of the tip by moving the pin in and out of the tip and wiping any glue off of the needle between insertion.
The only small issue I found with this glue is that when you use very thin paper, you might get some small waffles in the center of the paper..Otherwise, this is a great glue. It’s especially great for people with hand/wrist strength issues, as it’s so easy to squeeze out of the fine tip applicator. Additionally, if you live in a cold climate and order this glue, and it freezes in shipment, once it has thawed, it will work perfectly.
We drove to Lake Erie and went for a long ride along the lake with close friends. It was such a beautiful day, 70 degress in November is unheard of here. It was so nice, we rode with the windows down, and then stopped at an antique market to browse around. I don’t know about you, but I hate trying to “browse” while wearing a mask. Every time I look down, somehow the mask ends up in my eyes, making it almost impossible to see. Most masks are too hot for me to wear, and the only ones I can stand are the disposable masks you can find at the Dollar Tree. The rest of the ones I’ve tried either smell weird, even after I wash them, or they’re miserably hot. I’ll probably love the hot ones in January, but right now, they’re just too hot to stand.
On our drive, we went to Geneva on the Lake and looked at the work the state is doing on a section of lakefront where 35 feet of waterfront literally fell into the lake back in February. They’ve brought in a lot of tractor trailer loads of huge rocks to try to stop the erosion. It happened in an area that’s mostly a park, and luckily, this time no homes fell into the lake, unlike in the past, where that’s happened near the area this erosion occurred.
I took my girlfriend her birthday gift in a gift bag I show how to make in a video. I couldn’t believe how simple gift bags are to make, and probably won’t be buying more in the future, now that I can make my own. I made a video to show viewers how simple it is, and hope others give it a whirl.
If you’ve been wondering about my sister’s health, she’s having a lot more pain, and Hospice is increasing her pain medications, but I’ve been able to have very short conversations with her almost every day. It’s a great comfort for me to tell her I love her every day, so if she passes in the night, she’ll know I love her….and she tells me the same. We never told the other we loved each other until we found out how sick my sister is, and I’m so glad we’ve had the chance to share our feelings.
I wanted to share the gifts I got from my friend Katz, as well as the beautiful card she made me.
I followed MayMay’s sizing for the bookmarks by taking an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of cardstock and cutting it to 8 1/4 x 11″ then on the 8 1/4″ length, cut off 2 3/4″ so you have an 11″ strip by 2 3/4″ and you’ll cut it in half at 5 1/2″ so you have two strips of 2 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ long. Then the other piece of cardstock you have left that is 5 1/2″ by 11″ long, cut 2 3/4″ strips off of the 11″ length to get four more bookmarks that are 2 3/4″ wide by 5 1/2″ long.
To make the outer decorated paper layers, I took a piece of cardstock and cut it to 2 1/2″ x 5 1/4″ and lined a ruler on the top 1/2″ from the left side and made a pen mark there then put the ruler to the right side on top 1/2″ from the right side and made a mark there. Then make a mark from the top down the left side 1/2″ from the top and make a mark. Do the same on the right side and then cut from one mark to the other on the left side and do the same to the other side to create a tag. This is your template to make it easier to cut the bookmarks.
I cut a bunch of 2 1/2″ x 5 1/4′ decorated pieces of cardstock and then laid one facing away from another on our template we just made and then holding them tightly snipped off the top edges to make it look like a tag. After cutting a few, I found a faster, simpler way to make the bookmarks….
After cutting the two pieces of decorator paper on the template, I took the center paper that was 2 3/4 x 5 1/2″ and cut 1/8″ off the top and one side to make the center paper 2 5/8″ x 5 3/8″ and used a glue stick to glue one of the decorator papers on it and then trimmed the top edges of the center paper to match the cuts of the front paper….then I glued the second paper onto the back. Then I took a Crop a dile and punched a hole in the top center of the bookmarks, then I set an eyelet in the hole with the Crop a Dile and added matching ribbon by looping it and putting the loop through the front of the eyelet and putting the ribbon ends through the loop and pulling them tight. I added Fray Check to the ribbon ends and put a Glue Dot under the loop in the ribbon to hold it firmly in place.
I’ve been working on some crafts, but haven’t felt very ambitious. My sister’s health is declining, as we knew it would, and I’m not sure how much longer she’ll live. Her husband and son have been very attentive. The first two weeks it didn’t seem like she’d live very long, and then in the third week she rebounded after Hospice changed her pain medication and gave her meds for nausea. It’s been sad to watch, and every day I wonder if this will be the day I get the call that says she’s passed away. I’ve been praying that she doesn’t experience a lot of pain, but it seems the last few days have been really painful for her. I hope for her sake, and for her husband and son, that she doesn’t have to be in pain long term, but it looks like it’s going to be a while.
It snowed here yesterday and for November 2nd (also my sister’s birthday,) it was early to have 3-4 inches of snow. Today, the sun is shining, and we went to vote about 11AM and didn’t have much of a wait…We were the 387th and 388th voters, which is high for our small township. I hope at the end of the day that there is a clear winner, and that this election doesn’t linger. It’s seemed to have gone on for months already and I am SO ready for this to be over for all of our sakes. I hear that large cities are preparing for wide spread rioting after the election results are announced, and I really hope they don’t happen. With Covid and the other issues we’ve faced this year, it seems unlikely that we won’t have rioting though, regardless of the election outcome. I wish our country could unite, but I have no idea what it will take for us to pull together as one.
And with Covid numbers up all over the country, we can’t even agree of how to fight this virus. These are the most difficult times I can remember, and things just seem so hopeless with us having very little to anticipate going forward. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling so defeated.