Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Re-Use, Re-Cycle, Re-Purpose

Everywhere I go these days I am looking at things in a new perspective. I'm trying to see things not as they are, but as they could be. I'm transforming vintage buttons into pendants. I'm creating magnets from game pieces and vintage findings. I'm saving junk. I'm looking for odd hardware and breaking thrift store china. Why? I want to save unique treasures from the past by crafting them into new usable items. My present project is vintage inspired magnets, using bottle caps, Rollabind disks, and any small piece of interesting recycled treasure. I'm also breaking up china to use in mosaics. And I have plans for old silverware, used Christmas cards, cups and saucers, and more! This mosaic tray is a work in progress made from a wooden thrift store purchased base and broken dinner plates. Once it's grouted and the wood is finished off with a sealer, it will make a great presentation tray.

If you'd like to see some of my newest magnets, read my post about them on All Vintage All the Time. I'd also love to hear about your recycled projects.

Happy St Patrick' s Day

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I've been experimenting with various types of sealers and protectants for my pendants and magnets. I love the look of resin, but I won't use it due to its toxicity and the precise measurements involved. Two products that I have used with acceptable results are UTEE and Diamond Glaze.

I love the shine of UTEE (Ultra thick embossing enamel) and it's quick hardening. Bubbles are easily removed and the resulting surface is very smooth and glass like. It can be reheated and melted again if you're not satisfied with the results. On the downside, it isn't very scratch resistant. There's also a product called UTEE Flex, a resin, which is supposed to be added to melted UTEE to give it more durability. Some of the pendants in which I used this product showed cracking if they were not gently handled. I don't know if this was due to excessive reheating, not enough flex added, or just a brittler product over time.

Diamond Glaze, takes 24 hours to set properly, and continues hardening for days. Tiny bubbles can be a problem if you're a perfectionist like me! Pendants sealed with this product became quite scratch resistant over time. It's not quite as clear as UTEE. They did not have a crystal clear glass like finish.

I tried using UTEE to set the picture in place with a nice glassy coating, then applied a thin layer of Diamond Glaze for it's hardness. I wasn't completely satisfied because of the few tiny bubbles I always ended up with in the Diamond Glaze layer. (I did say I was a perfectionist!) For the present time, I'm just sticking with the UTEE. Any one have any suggestions?