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Bottle Cap Magnet/Message Center Craft Class January 13, 2013

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When: THIS Sunday, January 20th at 3:00 pm
Where: Brandon Elementary (Martin Public School) 1619 University Street; Martin, Michigan 49070

Here’s a link for the directions to the school: http://www.martinpublicschools.org/schools/brandonel/directions
Enter through the main entrance on the West side of the building (Elementary entrance). Please park in the parking lot – NOT the loop or the student drop off area.
Classes will be held in the art room. Follow the signs.

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Attendees will craft 6 recycled bottle cap magnets, they will also create a message board made from a cookie sheet.

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What we need from you:

  1. Please register no later than Thursday, January 17th. To register, send us an email at: craftredo@aol.com
  2. Cost for the session is $20 per person. Please bring payment to the craft class.
  3. Feel free to bring your own treats and drinks. No alcoholic beverages, please.
  4. We ask that we keep the session for adults only (no kids please). Teens 13 and up are welcome to attend, but must be accompanied by a paid adult. Feel free to invite friends.
  5. Please arrive on time. Exterior doors will be locked when class begins.

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There will be a table set out if you would like to display a flyer/brochure of what you do. Are you an exercise instructor, writer of a magazine, the head of an organization? Bring a brochure or flyer to display on the table.

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Any questions, feel free to email Katie and Korene at: craftredo@aol.com.

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Next craft session will be Sunday, February 10th. We will be making a Valentine craft. Pictures will be posted soon.

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Capturing Winter – Framed Ice Skates January 5, 2013

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Frames are a great, inexpensive way to showcase just about any item. Any time we are shopping at a resale shop, Goodwill®/Salvation Army® or garage sale our sights are always on the look out for unique picture frames. We prefer frames with bold details and solid construction. So when you’re out and about, keep your eyes peeled for picture frames. Now, grab a can of paint and let’s get going.

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You will need:

  • Frame
  • Set of ice skates (check garage sales, resale shops, Goodwill/Salvation Army, your own basement or garage)
  • Ribbon – a wider ribbon (for main bow) and a coordinating smaller width ribbon (small enough to go through eyelets of skates, this ribbon will replace the shoestrings from the skates)
  • Spray paint
  • Drill
  • Screw and a washer
  • Drop cloth
  • Wood block scraps (optional)
  • Screw eyes and wire (for hanging)
  • Wiping cloth (discarded washcloth, T-shirt, sock, etc)

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Directions:

  1. Take shoestrings out of skates, save shoestrings for later.
  2. Remove glass and backing materials from frame. Lightly sand frame. Wipe down frame and skates with a cloth, making sure dirt and dust have been removed.
  3. Lay down drop cloth. At this point, lay down wooden blocks (optional). We use wooden blocks to prop up items when spray painting. Doing so, makes it a bit easier to get full coverage of the items you’re painting.
  4. Spray paint frame and skates (both sides). Allow to fully dry. Apply another coat. Allow to fully dry.
  5. Lace up skates with the smaller ribbon. Use the original shoestrings to measure the length of the ribbon you’ll need. Twist ribbon so the front design of the ribbon shows. If you’re having trouble with the ribbon fitting through the eyelets, wrap the ends of the ribbon with tape.
  6. Attach skates onto the back of the frame by screwing a screw (and a washer) through both sets of ribbon. Puncture a pilot hole through the ribbon first (use a utility knife or nail). With the drill, carefully screw the screw through the ribbon first and then onto the back of the frame. You’ll need a partner to help hold the ribbon while the other person screws the screw through the ribbon. Go very slow with the drill. (Here’s the placement of items: Washer first, put the screw through the hole of the washer, screw the ribbon on, then attach entire group onto the back of the frame)
  7. To hang the piece, we attached screw eyes onto the back of the frame. Attach screw eyes on each side of the back of the frame, about 1/4 of the way from the top. String wire through a screw eye, wrap wire around itself to attach to screw eye. Pull wire through other screw eye, holding up piece to see if more or less wire is needed, wrap wire around itself, trim excess wire. You will be able to hang the piece from this wire with a sturdy wreath hanger.
  8. Attach bow with wire (or hot glue or your favorite adhesive). Wrap the wire around the frame, twisting the wire together at the back of the frame for a secure hold.

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How to make a bow:
Our friend Tammy showed us how to make the beautiful bow. We used a spool of ribbon that was 9 feet long and it was just enough.

  1. Unroll ribbon. Leave a ‘tail’ that’s about 14 inches long, this will be the ribbon end that hangs down.
  2. Fold ribbon back and forth onto itself, making a figure eight shape (check out the pictures, you’ll get a better idea of what’s going on here). Do this four times so you’ll have 4 soon-to-be bows on each side. Our bows measured roughly 8 inches across the entire figure eight shape.
  3. Hold ribbon together temporarily with a paper clip.
  4. With floral wire, wrap wire around the center of the ribbon and twist to secure. Remove paper clip when wire is securely attached.
  5. For the center of the bow, do one loop to one of the sides and attach it to the main ribbon with the wire. Our center measured roughly about 2 inches across.
  6. Twist wire on the back of the bow so it’s all secure.
  7. Spread out the bows. You may need to turn some of the bows right-side-out.
  8. Trim ends of the ribbon at an angle.

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Get bold and unique with your color choices.

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Crafter’s Note: We recommend placing the framed skates in an area that will not have a lot of movement. A door that doesn’t get opened, a wall, etc. Definitely do NOT hang them over a window. The skates are quite heavy. We also recommend to keep the piece in an area that may be protected by the elements. Rain, snow and extreme cold may cause the paint on the skates to peel or crack. The skates are usually made out of leather and the leather may expand/contract due to the temperature change. My skates are hanging inside the house, in our foyer over a closet door (with a very heavy wreath hook). Also, do not hang the piece over an area where children play. Again, the skates are extremely heavy and there always is a possibility of the piece falling. Use thoughtful judgment when hanging your skates.

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Keep Your Lid On January 3, 2013

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Have you ever traveled over the river and through the woods with a crock pot between your feet, only to arrive at your destination with whatever was in the crock pot all over your shoes? I have, many ‘o times.

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I was in my normal frantic rush to get everyone and all the food I had made, out of the house and in the car (hoping to make Christmas dinner on time this year). I sadly looked down at my lovely Christmas shoes knowing soon they would be covered in sweet creamed corn and I came up with an idea. I quickly ran to my desk draw and pulled out 2 ‘Silly Bandz’ (Silly Bandz are rubber bands formed into shapes. If you have a child 8 or below you have a boat load of them crammed in a drawer. Regular rubber bands will work too). I looped the first band over one handle, then up and over the top handle of the crock pot lid. Did the same with the other side.

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My shoes made it to Christmas dinner without creamed corn all over them, Christmas was saved. Well . . . not really, but my shoes were 🙂

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Photo Transfer to Wood January 1, 2013

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The Photo Transfer Class was a huge success! We had 18 brave participants. Everyone’s projects were beautiful and unique. In the beginning of our class, Korene made everyone pledge to not be disappointed if their projects did not turn out perfect. This is not a 100% photographic technique, rather a semi-rustic technique.

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You will need:

  • Wood (cut to desired size)
  • Sand Paper – coarse and fine grain
  • Photo printed with Inkjet printer on general purpose paper (image must be mirrored)
  • Gel Gloss Medium
  • Paint Brush
  • Roller
  • Washcloth
  • Mod Podge®
  • Soft cloth (we use baby socks)
  • Scissors

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Directions:
1. Prepare wood – We used a 1×8, 6 foot untreated common pine (construction grade) for our project. We found this species works well and the price fit our budget. Select pine works better, but it’s a bit pricey (over double the cost). Choose a board with minimal knots, without heavy grooves, etc. Cut wood to desired size.

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2. Prepare photo on your computer or have it printed out at an office supply store. Make sure the photo you are using is high resolution. If it doesn’t look ‘pretty’ on your computer screen it won’t get any better when you print it out. In a photo program, you may want to increase the contrast of the image (the more you work with your computer and printer, the more familiar you will be with the outcome). By adjusting the contrast, details in your photo will be more prominent (this step isn’t required). When printing out your photo – you’ll need to ‘mirror’ the image. This step is necessary. The photo printed out on paper needs to be mirrored so photo turns out the correct way when you transfer it onto your board. It’s similar to a transfer that would be printed onto a T-shirt, where the imagery is in reverse. Size photo to fit your cut wood piece (photo hung slightly off the edge about 1/8 inch on all sides). Print prepared photo on general purpose paper. Trim out photo.

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3. Sand sides, face and back of wood piece. Start with a coarse grit paper and then move to the fine grit to get a nice smooth surface. Sand wood with the grain, don’t go cross-grain you’ll get scratches in the wood. Wipe board with soft cloth (we like to use baby socks or whatever discarded cloth we have around the house) to remove any sanding dust and debris.

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4. Applying photo to board – Decide which side of the board should be the image transfer side (pick the best looking side). With a paint brush, apply Gel Gloss Medium to the top of board. Use enough Gel Gloss Medium to liberally ‘paint’ the board. Do not leave any dry spots, but making sure not to use too much. Place printed picture face down on your prepared board. Be very careful to line it up correctly. Do not fuss with your photo once it is down on the board. Leave it wear it lands!

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5. Gently press the photo onto the board using your hands. Using a roller, gently roll over the photo. There may be a few wrinkles. Do not over roll, excessive rolling may cause the paper to lift off (which is not good). Just go back and forth a few times with the roller to make sure the image is adhered to the board as evenly as possible. Wipe off excess Gel Gloss Medium that may have squirted out the sides.

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6. Now it is time to let your project dry for 24 hours. Do not go back and peak at it to see how it’s doing. Leave it alone, walk away.

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7. Removing paper from board – After board has dried for 24 hours, get ready to see your results. Wet the wash cloth (not dripping, not totally wringed out). Lay the wet washcloth over the entire board. Lightly press down over the board with your hands to wet the surface. When you lift your washcloth you will see the image is now darker (and getting wet). Check for any spots that didn’t seem to absorb the water (they will look white still) dab these spots with a little bit of water and let it set so the water can get absorbed into the ‘troubled spot’, it will start to turn dark.

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8. Once your paper is wet, you are ready to remove the paper. Use your fingers and gently rub/burnish across your board. Paper pulp will start to roll up. Continue this process until you have removed as much paper as possible from the board. Be sure to keep the board wet while you are rubbing/burnishing, this will make the process easier. Do not rub too hard or you may rub all the detail off the board. Go over board one last time with wet washcloth to remove pulp residue.

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9. Allow board to dry. We used fans and had dry boards within 15 minutes. You will notice that the colors of your photo will fade as your board dries. Not to worry! When you add a sealer to the board, the colors will look as they did when the board was wet.

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10. After your board is fully dried, use sandpaper to sand the edges of board. For example, you may want to remove some of the photo from the corners for a more rustic look. Remove any sanding debris with a soft cloth. (At this point, sometimes we paint the sides and back of the board with black acrylic paint.) Apply Mod Podge to the top surface and sides of board. We prefer Gloss Mod Podge, colors appear to pop more with the gloss.

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11. Displaying your board – Your board can be finished at this point, or you can choose to add a hanging method. We have used a traditional ‘D’ hook/strap (string ribbon through ‘D’ hook/strap and hang board from ribbon) and saw toothed hangers (both found at your local hardware store). Upholstery nails and ribbon will also work. Poke the upholstery nail through the ribbon, hammer nail onto back of board. Be crafty, hang or prop it any way you wish!

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Crafters Note: Inkjet prints VS LaserJet prints. We’ve used both. The LaserJet prints – end product may have a bit more detail, but they’re a bit more costly (plus you have to plan a trip to the office supply store). We like to keep crafts cheap so we mostly use our Inkjet printouts since we have them in our homes. Hey, it’s a rustic technique, if you want something 100% photographic just have a photograph made. Just don’t get discouraged if the project doesn’t turn out the first time. We’ve had to redo projects 3 times. Experiment, you’ll be amazed at what you discover.

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