Declutter :: Etchall Tea Cannister

 "You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." -- C.S. Lewis

"You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." -- C.S. Lewis

I like to end my days with a bit of ritual.  At 4pm I tend to have tea with a savory treat.  It holds me over until dinner and is an excellent way of winding down my day.  But after living in England a few years, I developed a preference for loose tea and make myself a fresh cuppa with either English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Apricot or Apple / Cinnamon pending on my mood.  I needed to tidy up my collection of teas. They were in little bags tucked into a drawer. I bought a selection of jars with clamp lids that fit on my spice rack.  I used Etchall crème to etch the ingredients onto the jar.  As English Breakfast was too long for the jar, so I went by TEA.  Earl Grey is just EARL.  Apricot is AAA.  You get the idea.  These jars are perfect for anything you may purchase in bulk and are easy to mark with Etchall.  

You will Need:

Etchall creme
mini roll of Duck Tape
Vinyl letters
Plastic spoon
Plastic Knife or small squeegee
Alcohol
cotton balls
paper towels
plastic trash bag
Xacto knife

Let's Create:

Clean the surface of the glass with alcohol. This removes fingerprints and other oils from the surface of the glass. 

Mask off the rectangle using DuckTape. Use the back of a spoon to push the tape securely into place.  Reclean the interior of the rectangle with alcohol.  Apply the letters. Push them firmly into place with the back of the spoon.

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Lay the jar down.  Mine are rectangular, so they don't roll around. Apply a small scoop of the crème over the surface of the masked area.  Run the squeegee or plastic knife over the surface to make it even and in each tight angle.  You want the letters fully covered with a thick layer.

Wait 15 minutes for the magic to work.  Use the squeegee to scoop up the excess and return to the jar. It can be reused! Waste not, want not! Wipe off what remains with a paper towel. Try not smear any onto the rest of the glass. 

Use the Xacto knife to help remove the letters.  Remove the tape. And rinse off the jar.  I had no tape residue. If you have some, use nail polish remover to take it off. Hand wash and allow to air dry. This is due to the metal clamp and plastic ring aren't really dishwasher safe. 

Check out the Etchall website for my project ideas, be sure to sign up for their newsletter! 

 

A few tips and tricks:

I obtained my letters from an office supply store. The craft stores tend to carry paper letters, which won't block the crème.  The bottles were obtained at Michaels. The letters at Office Depot.  I also tested the lettering and blocking on an upcycled test jar to perfect my technique.  It's now my sugar container. 🙂

** I received free supplies from Etchall to create this post.  

 

 

 

 

Declutter :: Desktop Caddy

 I'm at my best in a messy, middle-of-the-road muddle. -- Harold Wilson

I'm at my best in a messy, middle-of-the-road muddle. -- Harold Wilson

As anyone who knows me will attest, my desk looks like an archeological site. It’s time to get organized and this mail caddy is a perfect start.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam 12″ x 12″ sheet
Smoothfoam 3/4″ balls (4)
Aleene’s Decoupage
Aleene’s Paper Glaze
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
DecoArt Americana acrylic paint – Antique Gold
23″ length of 1/2″ wide ribbon
Buttons
Newspaper (I used a vintage Farmer’s Almanac)
Sponge brush
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Ruler
Craft knife
Scissors
toothpicks

1.  Measure and cut 5 pieces of Smoothfoam – 3 pieces at 4″ x 6″ (base and two sides of the caddy) and 2 pieces at 4″ x 5-1/4″ (two opposite sides)

2.  To assemble the caddy box, add a line of hot glue along the 6″ side of the base piece and press the 6″ inch side of another 4″ x 6″ piece at right angle to the base.  Do the same on the opposite side of the box.  Add a line of hot glue to all three sides of one open end and press one of the 4″ x 5-1/4″ pieces into place.  Do the same on the opposite side.  You should have an open box.

3.  Decoupage newspaper or book paper across the surface of the box, inside and out, using the decoupage glue and a sponge brush.  I poured a little of the glue into an old plastic container to make it easy to use.  My caddy was decoupaged with pages from a 150 year-old Farmer’s Almanac I had picked up at a flea market. Allow to dry.

4.  With a clean sponge brush, brush on a layer of the paper glaze across the entire surface of the box (except not the bottom). Allow to dry thoroughly.

5.  Stick a toothpick into each ball to use as a handle for painting the ball. Use a scrap of the Smoothfoam sheet to stick the toothpicks into, to allow the balls to dry.  Apply 2 coats of paint, allowing it to dry thoroughly between each coat.

6.  To add the balls to the bottom of the box as feet, measure 1/2″ in on each corner of the bottom and make a little mark.  Add a dot of hot glue at each X and adhere the feet into place.

7.  Cut the ends of your ribbon at an angle to prevent fraying.  Use Tacky Glue along the top rim of your caddy and adhere the ribbon into place. Allow to dry.

8.  Use hot glue to embellish the rim of the caddy with buttons.

Note: I received payment in cash and materials from Smoothfoam to create this post.

Christmas Card Photo Cube

 Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us - a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead. David Cameron

Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us - a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.
David Cameron

The holidays have come and gone and now it is time to tidy up after the festivities. I never know what to do with all the Christmas cards, especially those with photos of family and friends. It just doesn’t seem right to toss or even recycle the photos. A Smoothfoam photo cube is the perfect solution. This way I can see the images year ’round on the bookshelves within my office.

You will need:
Christmas card photos of family and friends
3″ Smoothfoam cube
Washi tape
Paper trimmer, ruler
Scissors (look for non-stick blades)
Tacky glue
Sequins and sequin pins
Ball head pins

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Trim your stash of holiday photo cards to 2.75″ squares. Choose your favorite five (no photo for the bottom).

Center and glue each photo to one side and the top of the cube; allow to dry.

Frame the photos on each side with 3″ lengths of washi tape, folded over the edges of the cube.

Pick up a sequin cup, face up, with a sequin pin and push one into each corner of the cube.

On the bottom of the cube, push a ball-head pin into each corner, angled slightly toward the center of the cube, to act as feet for the photo cube.

Kitchen Inspiration :: Organize and Declutter

 "If you can organize your kitchen, you can organize your life." -- Louis Parrish

"If you can organize your kitchen, you can organize your life." -- Louis Parrish

I find these words immensely encouraging.  I am determined to organize and remodel my kitchen and henceeverything else will fall into place.  Right?!   Frankly, I amaze myself that I've been able to function with such disorder.  

But there is hope, check out this handy kitchen caddy.  Isn't it fabulous!

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I'm in awe of those who organize with flair. These ideas from Real Simple look doable, even for me.  

One thing missing from my kitchen is a dishwasher.  I generally find I don't need one with our small household, but when I'm canning fruits and veggies in the summer, a dishwasher especially one with a sterilizing function would be nice.  As my kitchen is rather small and awkward, one that fits under under the sink would prove handy.  The dishwasher is a full 24" wide, but it obviously requires that you have a shallower sink.  So, if I head in this
direction I won't be able to have one of those lovely deep farmhouse sinks, but I would eliminate clutter problem. An alternative is a slim 18" model that would fit in the space of one cabinet.  Of course, with this model I'd still have to figure out how to organize the nightmare under the sink....