Welcome to my NEW BLOG!

For many years my projects could be found at my previous blog - www.fatcatcreations.blogspot.com. Since my business has evolved and is now known as Cindi McGee - Behind These Eyes™ instead of Cindi Bisson - Fat Cat Creations - I thought this was the perfect time to launch a new blog. Since I've been on this creative journey for over 16 years - I have a LOT of project links out there in cyberworld! If you are looking for a particular project you have found on Pinterest, Facebook, FaveCrafts, HomeTalk, Twitter, etc. and the link is not working for you, please feel free to email me at cdjb11@yahoo.com and I'll be sure to get you the new link to the instructions. Have a creative day and remember to DARE TO BE DIFFERENT!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Twice Textured Earrings



I recently shared that I had an article in the Fall issue of The Polymer Arts Magazine!  This issue is packed with amazing texture ideas!  My article highlights some unique ways to add texture to your projects, but the sample projects featured do not have tutorials.  I thought it would be fun to share some of the tutorials themselves. 

These “twice textured” earrings are just one of the many options I’ve explored.  I chose two shades of clay with autumn tones as I thought the colors paired well with the somewhat “organic” feel of the combination of textures.  You could use any colors of clay, any shape, etc. and the same texturing techniques for a totally different effect.

Materials: 

Makin’s Clay® - Merlot, Straw 
Makin’s® Clay Cutters - Rectangles
Clay roller 
Sisal rope 
Aluminum foil 
Krylon® 14K Gold Leafing Pen 
DecoArt® Metallic Lustre® - Gold Rush
Gold jump rings, beads, French earring wires 
Jewelry pliers

Instructions:

Roll Merlot and Straw clay to a little less than 1/4” thick.

Use largest rectangular clay cutter from 3 piece set to cut two rectangles from Merlot clay. 

Gently crumple ball of aluminum foil and use to gently impress texture onto the rectangles. 

Place sisal rope onto sheet of Straw clay and slowly roll, while applying pressure, to transfer texture to the clay.  The result is a great, texture with an organic feel, and an unexpected diamond pattern.

Use medium rectangular cutter from 3 piece set to cut two rectangles from sisal rope textured clay. 


Apply Krylon gold leafing pen to outside edges of each rectangle.  When leafing pen is dry, place the Straw pieces centered over the Merlot pieces.  

Make a small hole in the Merlot rectangles at the top center for jump rings. 
Let dry 24 hours. 

Add jump ring, one gold bead, and French wire to each earring  

I decided I wanted to ad a bit more gold accent to the sisal texture, so I used my fingertip to apply a very light touch of Gold Rush DecoArt® Metallic Lustre to the surface of each piece. 


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Witches' Brew Etched Wine Glass


The time for all things spooky is fast approaching!  Create your own etched glass “witches’ brew” glass for lemonade, juice, soda, or even “spirits,” and have a little fun this Halloween season!    It’s easy with etchall®! 

Materials:

etchall® Reposition/Re-Use Stencil Spray
etchall® Etching Creme 
etchall® Squeegee 
etchall® Resist Gel 
ethcall® etchmask®
Alphabet stencils 
DecoArt® Frost Gloss Enamels™ - Green
Large wine glass - mine has a smoked glass stem & base and came from Dollar Tree
Permanent black marker 
Scissors 
Sea sponge 
Disposable paper/newspaper 

Instructions:


Cut individual letter stencils from large sheet of mylar alphabet stencils.  

Flip them over so the back side of each letter is facing upward on a disposable paper surface outside.  Hold the can of etchall® Reposition/Re-Use Stencil Spray 8-12 inches from the stencils.  Apply a light even coat of spray to each letter.  Let dry until tacky.  


Wash and dry large wine glass.  

Apply letter stencils, one letter at a time, to top area of glass and use permanent marker to fill in the lettering through each letter. 

Simply peel the stencil off the glass and set aside for later use.  Continue until you have spelled out “Witches’ Brew”.

The etchall® Reposition/Re-Use Stencil Spray allows you to easily adhere stencils to many surfaces, even curved surfaces like a glass or vase.   

Trace each letter with etchall® Restist Gel.  Let dry until clear.  




 

Cut a strip of etchmask with a wavey, curved edge.  Apply the etchmask beneath the lettering as shown.


Use squeegee to apply a thick coat of etchall® Creme to the area above the etchmask®, over the lettering.

Let set 15 minutes.   

Use squeegee to return creme to bottle for later use.  Wash glass to remove remaining cream.  While you are washing, the resist gel lettering, along with the marker, will release from the surface of the glass.

Remove etchmask.   Let glass dry thoroughly.   




Use sea sponge to lightly sponge the area beneath  the etching with Green Frost Gloss Enamels™.   Bake according to manufacturer instructions to permanently set paint.  

Fill with your favorite “witches’ brew” and have a bit of fun this Halloween season! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Surprising Surface Textures - The Polymer Arts Magazine


I am so excited to share that for the first time I have an article featured in The Polymer Arts Magazine!  It is truly an honor to be featured alongside some of the top names in the polymer clay industry.   I am sharing a variety of "surprising surface textures" which can be used to enhance your polymer clay projects.  Subscribe to receive print copies of this magazine, or choose to view digital editions, here on The Polymer Arts website.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

BOO! & Meow Too! - Etchall® Etched Dessert Stand



Even though it's only August, Autumn is popping up in all the retail stores and it's the perfect time to begin creating decorative projects for Fall, and for my favorite holiday of all - Halloween!!

I'm not sure what it is that makes me love Halloween so much - perhaps it just goes hand in hand with my love of scary movies & Stephen King books, my love of creating home made costumes, or the fact that when you dress up as something scary, or even silly, it gives you a chance to step outside yourself just a bit even for a short time.  Join the fun, be silly, have fun - act like a kid again no matter what your age!  And yes.... eat lots of chocolate too!

I created this etched dessert stand to hold Halloween sugar cookies I'll soon be baking, but it would also be perfect for creepy cupcakes, or even to display a round cake with some fun, spooky decorations.   By masking out the black cats and lettering, the shiny black surface of the plate makes them stand out against the etched, matte background.

Since I admit I'm a bit of a creative "mad scientist", I decided to try etching this project in an unexpected way - rather than use etchall® creme - I used etchall® dip n' etch, which is normally not used for etching things like plates....   cue the bubbling beakers & test tubes and creepy music......

Materials: 

  • etchall® dip n' etch  OR etchall® etching creme
  • etchall® etchmask Stencil ComboPak
  • etchall® Swivel Knife or craft knife
  • Black ceramic plate & bowl - Dollar Tree 
  • Electronic die cutting machine to cut spooky cats (or you can use any Halloween themed stencils, or you can trace a printed image and cut it out from etchmask)
  • BOO! Stencil (or you can use the electronic die cutting machine to cut your lettering, or you can trace a printed image and cut it out from etchmask)
  • Beacon Power-Tac™ Adhesive
  • Paper towels 
  • Large round plastic container or bowl - large enough to hold the plate over when finished etching.... 
  • Protective gloves 
Instructions:

If using an electronic die cutting machine, find desired copyright free clip art images from the internet and resize to about 2" x 2".  I used two different spooky cat images.   Cut 3 of each cat from sheet of etchmask.  


Remove cats from backing and mount to outer edges of surface of the plate - alternating between cats, and spacing as equally as possible.  (You could measure with a ruler to ensure they are evenly spaced.... but we mad scientists prefer to "eyeball" things....) 


Place the BOO! stencil onto a scrap piece of etchmask.  Trace lettering.  Use swivel knife (or craft knife..... my awesome swivel knife seems to be lost in the laboratory right now....) to carefully cut around lettering, leaving the backing in place.   Remove etchmask from around the lettering. 



Place transfer sheet over the lettering and press to adhere.  Lift lettering from backing paper, place onto center of plate and press to transfer to plate.  Using the transfer paper ensures your lettering remains perfectly aligned.  



Now is when things got a bit weird...... I could have applied etching creme to the surface of the plate. But, I wanted to try an experiment.  If you want to go the less messy, easier to do route - and still have great results, use the etchall® creme! 

Do the next step over something you don't care gets messed up just in case - I use a well worn cutting mat for things like this....  Put on protective gloves.   Place a layer of paper towels over the protective surface.   Place the plate in the center of the paper towels.   CAREFULLY and SLOWLY pour the dip n' etch into the plate all the way to the top rim.   Let set 15 minutes. 
Wearing the protective gloves, and still working over the protective surface, CAREFULLY lift up the plate and pour the dip n' etch into the wide plastic bowl.  It is easier to do this over a bowl larger than the plate, in case of drips and potential spillage.   It also made it easier to return the dip n' etch to the bottle itself as the plastic was more pliable and had deeper sides.   Dip n' etch can be re-used, so don't skip this step...
Rinse the plate to clean thoroughly.  Remove etchmask.  

To create the raised dessert stand, apply Beacon Power-Tac adhesive around the bottom rim of the bowl. I left my bowl shiny to accent the shiny black cats and lettering on the plate. Place the etched plate centered over the bowl and let dry.    





Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rocks Full of Happiness


By now almost everyone has heard of the growing popularity of painting rocks and leaving them for others in random places to find and brighten their day.  People of all ages, and all skill levels are participating.  Some choose to keep their found treasure, others re-hide them for others to have the fun of finding. Even well known artists are sharing videos and tutorials - like this one from Mark Montano.  People are creating rocks labled with their home town and leaving them around the country when they travel.   But, the most fun of all is when you see the effect of those rocks first hand.   In our “weekend” community, Lake Royale, Beth Styers recently started a Facebook group for rock sharing called LR Rocks.  It has exploded!  So many people are sharing the rocks they create, the rocks they find left by the “Rock Fairy”, sharing photos of happy kids who have found a special rock, etc.   They are having rock painting parties.  One community member even put a large container of unpainted rocks by her home for the painters to re-stock their supplies!   

Today, as I was finishing this article, our youngest son called me to ask if I’d heard of the painted rocks trend here in the town we live in, and said he had found a "Rosewood Rock" today at work!   He said it’s the second one that had been left there.  There was a recent article in the Raleigh newspaper about the Raleigh Rocks initiative.  So I can say with certainty that here in NC, this is one positive trend that is spreading
It is truly inspiring to see how something as simple as a colorful rock can bring such joy to people of ALL ages, and bring a community together.   It’s nice to see that in a time of chaos in our world, people can still find some happiness in the little things!   

 



Ana Araujo recently shared a quick When Creativity Knocks video showing a very simple way to dot paint rocks.  You can find her video here.

My mind is whirling with places where these simple, basically free, acts of creative kindness could really bloom to their full potential and brighten the days of those who may really need it, like elderly care facilities, children's hospitals, etc.
But most of all, I encourage you to join in and just have fun with it - there is no wrong or right way to paint your rocks - just do what you like and share them to make someone smile today.  

Here are just a few examples of some of the creative rocks being shared in our community! 


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Faux Aged Pewter Seashell Necklace - Polymer Clay Universe Magazine


I've got a project tutorial featured in the August issue of Polymer Clay Universe digital magazine.  This is an easy to re-create necklace made with Sculpey® Premo! polymer clay and Makin's® tools.   There are so many amazing things in this month's issue!   
Join the Universe and learn something new today!