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!

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!





Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Faux Weathered Beach Wood Frame DIY Video


In this episode of my series Behind These Eyes on When Creativity Knocks, I'm sharing an easy technique to create the effect of faux weathered beach wood using Activa® Activ*Clay™ and DecoArt® Americana® Acrylic paints.


Find the complete materials list below. 


Activa® Activ*Clay™
Canvas (or chipboard or wood) frame 
DecoArt® Americana® Acrylics - Baby Blue, Zinc, Snow White, Salmon, Blue Harbor 
DecoArt® Metallic Lustre™ - Iced Expresso
JudiKins™ Seahorse Rubber Stamp
Beacon Mixed Media Glue®
Makin's® Clay Roller
Makin's Professional® Clay Tools - Texture (wire brush) tip 
Coarse paintbrushes
Kraft knife
Clay blades 
Ruler
Parchment paper, paper towels