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It has been a wild and incredibly busy week. I have spent most of my days up in my shop, working on cutting my wood orders. It is difficult to call it 'work' because I do enjoy doing what I do so much. With the release of Lynne Andrew's Noah's Ark series last week, there has been a huge rush to purchase the wood pieces from me. Along with this have been our regular orders and all the other business tasks. I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined being in such a wonderful and productive place for our business. I am so grateful.
In order to keep my sanity and not get burned out in the process, I have been adhering to a strict limit of my time in the shop. I have been closing things up at 6 pm (or thereabouts) and I have allowed myself the evenings to be 'free' to do as I please. After all - I get up pretty early and start answering emails and doing paperwork early - not to mention this blog - and I am smart enough to realize that if I spend every waking hour pushing myself hard, it won't be long before I either get sick or tired of doing it. I have to have some down time, too. I have made this apparent to those who see me online and I have sent messages to my customers who ordered that I am doing my best and it may take a little longer than the usual 1-2 days for me to ship things out. Everyone so far has been wonderfully understanding and hasn't had a problem with it. Sometimes just hearing the words (or reading them) from people makes all the difference in the world. Instead of feeling tense and pressure about the influx of orders, I feel happy and thrilled. That is how it should be.
With that said, after a day in the shop yesterday, I spent my evening 'playing'. When Keith went to the "postie" (my word for mail) I had received one of my shipments that I ordered of alcohol ink. I was beyond excited! Last week I was looking for some German Glass Glitter in black for some new Halloween designs and to use when I paint the designs from Amy Mogish's upcoming Halloween Ornament Club. (You can read about that HERE. It is going to be AMAZING!)
I have done several projects now with Amy, providing the wood pieces for her adorable painting projects, and it has been a lovely relationship. For Christmas this past season, she sent me this beautiful "Glitter House" (which is much like the German "Putz Glitter Houses". Google them if you want to know more!)
When I saw the house, I knew that it would fit just beautifully with my skating pond scene that I have set up on my sideboard for the winter:
What I noticed most about this charming piece was the incredible shine of the glitter that Amy used:
The sparkle was amazing and it was not like anything I have ever seen. (And you know how I love sparkle!)
I asked Amy and she said that it was German Glass Glitter. She said it came in colors and she used black for her Halloween ornaments for the upcoming club. I knew I had to have some.
I began my search online and found that it was very expensive. A small package (about a tablespoon) ranged in price from about $6 US to about $15. And that was prior to shipping to Canada! I am not a cheap person, but I know I would be using LOTS of this for subsequent projects so I kept up the search. (Yes - that is what I do in my time off!)
Amy had told me that she used FloraCraft Diamond Dust for the clear on my house and I also looked for that. I found a sizable jar (14 oz) on Amazon.ca for about $16 CDN with free shipping. (It is also on Amazon.com for those in the States)
I received it very quickly and it is truly beautiful. It is fine shards of glass. "Flakes", if you will.
The shine is awesome! I was thrilled with it, but me being me, I wanted it in COLORS. So I kept searching. . .
In my internet travels, I came across a photo of someone using Alcohol Ink to 'dye' the glass glitter. I researched further and found a video of her doing just that. I had questions about it, though, as the video was very brief. So I looked up Alcohol Ink and came across the Pinata brand by Jacquard.
They had a nice sampler "Exciter Pack" on Amazon.ca and I jumped in and bought it. I am still waiting for it now, but after I ordered, I remembered that Dharma Trading out of California carries Jacquard products and I checked to see. They do carry the FULL LINE of "Pinata" inks! and the Exciter Pack that I bought the day before was about half the cost of what I paid! (Live and learn!) But I decided to order up on the colors that were not included in the "Exciter Pack" and they arrived yesterday. (I am still waiting for the Black, but it should be here any day!)
They had a light orange color that they called "Tangerine" and I tried that first. I put some of the glass flakes in a glass bowl. (NOTE: This is GLASS - It is NOT for using with kids and you need to be very careful with it. It is for decorations that are to be respected and not "played with" or handled, as the glass can 'bite' you if you get it on your hands. Do not use near kids or pets and keep it tucked away. Use COMMON SENSE!)
I added a couple of drops of the Tangerine ink and stirred it around with a fork. At first, it stuck to the drops, but the fork broke the pieces apart and distributed the color evenly after a couple of minutes. On the video, the girl used a ziploc bag, but I felt the static in the bag would make the glass stick and hard to get out. I like the bowl better. I liked the white bowl, too because I could really see the color and also when I cleaned I was sure that none was left in it.
The result was stunning!
I made some in Chili Pepper red next with the same beautiful result.
Finally, I tried the Metallic Silver to see if the metallic would dull the glass.
I am thrilled to say it looked like Mercury Glass almost, similar to a mirror. This will be a wonderful addition to my creative arsenal!
The shine is simply amazing:
I wish that the pictures did it justice. I can't wait to try them on real projects!
I posted this on a painting page and there were several questions from the girls. I am going to do further testing to see how this works in practical application. It was late when I finished up and I promised a post about the process this morning. Amy says she uses clear-drying white craft glue to adhere her glass to her houses and ornaments. I will try that with a couple of common brands. I also suggest that the glitter is applied OVER varnish and that you do NOT varnish over it. I never varnish over my glitter, anyway. I would think it would dull the beautiful shine that sets the glass glitter apart from the plastic stuff.
I am also going to see how it works with different bases, although I think that dried acrylic sealer wouldn't pose any type of issues at all. The Alcohol ink does reconstitute using alcohol. So that will be avoided in order to avoid running. Again - common sense prevails.
Any tests that you all have tried is also welcome. I promise to explore this subject further. But for now, I am THRILLED that I have found a very economical solution to colored glass glitter! I think it has lots of promise.
That is all for today. I am going to be packing up orders all day and called in the reserves (Keith's mom!) to help me.
I hope you all have a wonderful day and a great weekend. Enjoy it to the fullest and have lots of fun! :)
Happy Friday to you all!
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