Aluminum can earrings

I've been very busy making these earrings.  I'm going to be participating in a art/craft fair at my local botanical gardens in December and need to get some inventory up for that show.  I've been very pleased with the results.  One can actually produced 6 completely different looking earrings.  Plus its they are fun to make.

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Too Cute not to share

My husband and I visited Lakewood zoo in northern Wisconsin this past weekend.   We have a cottage near this family zoo (animal rescue).  This past August we visited and found out they had some baby tigers.    The one in this picture is only 7 weeks old so she can't be touched yet.  She has 3 sisters. 

The other 4 were born 3 weeks before the one above.  As of September 24th you are able to touch, pickup and play with the first set which is now 10 weeks old.

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More recycled flowers.

I made some more flowers from aluminum cans and plastic soda bottles.  The two larger flowers on the left and the two plastic ones on the top right I used alcohol inks for the color.  The bottom right I used regular spray paint.  Kyron seems to work the best.  Its really best if you put a coat of primer on first, otherwise the color tends to want to run.  Also you need to careful not to put too much spray on at a time.  This causes the paint to crackle.  I really like the alcohol inks.  They coat well on both the aluminum and the plastic.  The alcohol inks can be a bit expensive.  $10.00 for three .5fl bottles, but if you get them while they are on sale or use a coupon its not so bad. I just picked up 3 for $6.35 today at Michaels. 

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Recycled water bottles

Yes I'm kind of on this recycling kick.  Of course that is not a bad thing.  My work is giving out water bottle this week to people that come in.  Alot of empty bottles are ending up in the garbage  and I thought, what a waste.  So I took some home and thought what can I make out of these.  Well here is my first attempt at flower.  I used oil paints to color the pedals, which really took very little paint to coat.  I wanted retain some of the clear transparancy so I didn't want to completely cover the plastic in paint.

Update:  So I figured out today that oil paint is not the best type to use on the plastic.  I goes on good but takes forever to dry.  Still wet in the morning.  I tried paint that is used on ceramic and glass.  It tried really quick for me.  I'm also going to try using some alcohol inks.  I saw it used by someone else but not sure how fast it will dry.

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Recycled aluminum cans

I like to call them re-inCarnations.

Yes these are made from aluminum cans.  The only new thing on these is the brad in the center.  Otherwise I used an empty can and some spray paint my husband had left over in the garage.  I put a clip on the back of one that I can use as a pin.  I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the other one yet.

Update:  So I tried to make some more of these.  I used the same method but this time I tried to paint the pieces before I put them together.  I think I put the paint on too thick because as it dried it started to crack on me.   Good thing is I didn't have alot invested in the materials.  The other problem is I painted these outside as it was starting to get dark.  As they dried the crackling in them actually added some character so I'm going to use it.  I did find a better coloring material.  Alcohol inks !!.   I've had a set of these that I used like once on something and didn't like it.  My co-worker suggested I try them on the aluminum.  Oh my,  I'm in love with alcohol inks now.  Went out and bought 2 more sets of 3.  I now have 9 colors.  I bought the the little stamper thing for the inks and found that they use simple felt stuck to the velcro on the pad.  So I bought a big sheet of white felt and cut it into squares to use on the stamper.  Cost me $0.25... much cheaper than the $4.00 they charge for the pre-cut ones that Tim Holtz packages.  I can't believe anyone would buy those.  I also found out that you can use punches on the aluminum as well.  Its a bit hard but if you put it on the floor and push your knee into the punch it goes right through. 

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New Stamping Company Check them out

For those of you who are stampers, there is a really unique new company that I learned about today.  They are called Raisin Boat.  I don't really get the name but the concept they came up with is an excellent idea.   They have a really great assortment of original stamps that you have the option to buy straight out or you can rent them.  Yes I said rent them.  Just like Netflix.  They have different rental plans that you can sign up for and the shipping is free to you and back again.   Its great for people who don't have alot of room to store stamps or if your like me, you just can't see investing in a stamp set that you may only use for one project. 

Here is their website if you'd like to check them out.

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Vinyled Water Bottles

My co-worker asked me if I could put names on some re-usable water bottles she bought on clearance at Kmart.  Her and her girlfriends are going to have a girls weekend up north in July and everyone brings something.  She thought it would be neat to have everyones names on the water bottles so they wouldn't mix them up.  So I did that for her using outdoor vinyl so when the bottles sweat it wouldn't fall off and of course then they would be washable.

She loved them and couldn't believe that I finished them in one night.  It was so super easy to do.

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Card for my Father-in-law

My father passed away a little over  a year ago.  Although I miss him so much I am so gratefull to have my Father-in-law.  He has been really great and treats me like I am his daughter.  This is the card I made him for Fathers day this year.

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New tool I bought, Geo-Die, and the cards I made with it.

I bought a new tool this past Saturday at the Rubber Stamp and Scrapbooking expo in Milwaukee.  They are called Geo-dies.  I absolutely love them.  I remember seeing templates like this a few years ago that you had to cut the slits out by hand.  Some brilliant person came up with a die that can be used in embossing type machines like the Cuttlebug, which I own, that cut the slits for you.  Of course there is still some work involved but it cuts the time to make these designs substantially.  The card on the bottom I made for my Mother, her 68th Birthday is tomorrow.  I also bought her this really cute hanging flower.  She loves getting those for your back porch.

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Skater T-Shirt for my nephew's Birthday

My nephew, like most 12 year old boys, likes skateboarding.  He's likes to watch it and dress like them more than he likes to actually skateboard.  So I made him a shirt with t-shirt vinyl for his birthday. 

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Recycled candles

I haven't been able to craft much in the last week and a half as I have been in pain from what I thought was a shoulder issue which seems to come out of nowhere.  I've been told by the doctor and my chiropractor that the pain in my shoulder is actually a result of a pinched nerve in my neck.  I am finally feeling somewhat better today after the doctor prescribed me some anti-inflammatory medication and one for pain.  So decided to work on something for my husband. 

About a week ago my husband asked me if I could buy him some cheap candles.  He likes to burn them while out in the garage.  It warms the garage a bit and makes it smell better.  Rather than buy new ones I chose to recycle some of the old ones.  You know how after you burn a candle as much as it will burn, your left with all sorts of leftover wax around the edges and the center part is burned all the way down.  I'm talking about the kind that come in some sort of glass.   Well here is what I did to recycle these old candles into new ones. 

1) You need an old pot to put water in for boiling.
2) Fill half way with water and boil on stove.  Turn down so it's not rolling but still very hot.
3) Place one or two (depends on the pot size) into the boiling water. 
4) You will need at least 1 empty jar and some wicks (bought at the craft store, candle making area).
5) The wax will begin to melt just by having them in the water.  Once the wax melts you will need to pick up   the jar. I used an old gardening glove so It was easier to handle and just in case I slipped I wouldn't burn my hand with the hot wax. 
6) Set the new wick in the empty jar and slowly poor the melted wax into the jar.  Continue doing this until the jar is full with the wick sticking out enough to light.  You can mix the colors if you want.  I layered two and the other two are the same solid color.
7) Once all the melted wax is out of the jar I wiped out the jar to be used for the next one.

I was actually able to make four new candles for only $2.99 which is the cost of 10 wicks.  I can still make 6 more so really that is only .30cents a candle.  Its kinda of time consuming but was fun.  I still have some old candles to make more so when he needs more I know how it do it now.

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A few quicky cards

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Grape Ceramic Tile

Here is another ceramic tile coaster that I made.  I used the same method as with the Have a cup on me tile.  However, I learned something very important when I made this tile.   It is in reference to the acrylic coating.  You only get one shot to coat the tile.  DO NOT apply a second coat.  When I tried to apply the second coat it somehow reacted with the 1st coat I applied and started to turn a brownish color and became hazing looking.  This can also happen if you apply too much acrylic the 1st time so you need to really pay attention to how much you are applying.  Also if this happens do not try to wash off the tile..I make a bigger mess than its worth.   The vinyl will come off and you will end up with this  nasty sticky acrylic mess to clean up in your sink.  Better option, throw it out and start over.  The extra tile and new vinyl don't cost that much. 

My next challenge will be to make some of these tiles in multiple colors of vinyl.  It will be interesting to piece it together just right.  I plan on selling these in the future, when I have enough of them.  I will probably sell them in a set of four for $15.00 or if they want only one for $4.00.

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Ceramic coaster

I've tried several variations of coasters using ceramic tiles.  Its been alot of trial and error.  I have finaly found the combination that works.  I wanted to be able to put a coating on top of coaster to make it easier to wash them.  I tired Mod Podge and it just didn't work like I wanted it to.  My first try with clear acrylic made the vinyl curl on me.  I finally figured out why.  So here is the secret to make this combination work.  1) You need to use outdoor vinyl.   Indoor vinyl will curl guaranteed if you try to put an acrylic over it.  2) Don't use cheap $2 spray acrylic.  I used Engine acrylic.  I bought mine at a place called Farm-n-Fleet.  I would imagine any car part supply store will sell it.  I bought my vinyl from Nick at  Nick has been fantastic.  He ships so fast and packages it perfect so it comes just like you would expect it to be.  He has packs of outdoor vinyl in the clearance sections for $7 for 10 sheets of 12x12.  Thats less than $1.00 a sheet. 

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Table Hot Plate

This is my first attempt at a Hot plate for your kitchen table.  I picked up the tile which is 8x10 in size from my local Habitat for Humanity Re-store.  It cost me .40 cents.  I used vinyl to cut out the lettering and then I tried to use glass etching cream, which worked, sort of.  The lettering turned white, however it was not enough to make the letters highly visible.  So I then colored the etched area with my black pan pastel.  Here is the real trick to make this work as a hot plate.  You can't use standard acrylic spray to coat the tile as a hot pan will melt the acrylic.  So I used Engine emamel.  Its alittle more expensive @ $5.00 can but so much better than the cheap $2.00 cans.  It coats better and its heat tested to 500 degrees.  I sprayed 2 coats just to be sure.  You need to be careful when spraying though as to not use to much or you can cause the pan pastel to run.  Moderation is best, besides your coating it twice so in the end it will all be covered adquately.

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First try at using T-Shir tVinyl

I wanted to make t-shirts for my two nieces who's birthdays are at the end of this month.  They both are in gymnastics and I thought that a gymnastics shirt would be great for both of them.  I bought a sample pack from Nick at  The pack comes with 9 (4x9) pieces in 9 diffrent colors. Included is the teflon sheet you need to use with heat vinyl.  Nick includes fabulous directions with the vinyl and all I had to do was follow those and her is my first shirt:

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Whew what a week.

I didn't complete any projects this week but almost.  I added some new crafting site favorites for you to check out.  I order a sampler pack of t-shirt vinyl from  I placed the order late last Friday and recieved it today.  Nick at craftvinyl so rocks.  I couldn't believe how fast I got my order and he put these really awesome directions on how to use the t-shirt vinyl in with my order.  I am definetly going to order from here again.  I also order some quilling supplies today around 10am.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I checked my email at 11:00am, they had already shipped my order...all I can say is WOW. 

I also sold 10 of my cards today to the Mitchell Park Domes gift shop today.  I'm so excited to see how well they sell.  They are so confident that they are going to sell that they are paying me outright for them rather than on consignment.  I'm very excited.   I'm hoping this weekend to replenish the card supply, get some coasters done and I need to make two t-shirts with my new vinyl for my nieces who's birthdays are comming up.  I'm feeling ambitious this weekend. :)

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Etched ceramic tile coaster

I've seen variations of tile coasters all over the internet so I decided to give them a try.   First I tried vinyl but couldn't seem to find anything that I could use to coat it with that wouldn't make the vinyl peel up.  I saw some that had been etched with etching cream and thought that was a great idea.  Only problem is I only had white tiles.  So I thought I maybe I could color the etching cream with alcohol inks and it would then stain the tile while it etched.  Well this does not work.  It etched the tile but since its white on white you could not see it unless you tilted it sideways and looked for it.  So I had to figure a way to color the etched portion of the tile but not the rest of the tile.  Well as you can see its not perfect but I wasn't really going for perfect, I was going for the process that would work.  I figured it out and now I can work on perfect.  I did put one coat of all purpose enamel on to make sure the color can't be washed off.

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Etched Glass Candle Holders

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Tuesday Cards

I made three cards tonight because last night I was so tired after work that I didn't make one yesterday. My boss bought two of them on Monday so I was starting to get behind.  So today I had to make three to make up for my lack of enthusiasm yesterday.

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Stamped Card

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10 Cards in 2 days

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More Cards

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Vinyled Candle holder

I found these glass candle holders at Hobby Lobby. They only had 5 left and they were clearanced at $1.20 a piece.  OMG, how could I pass that up. I bought all 5 of them and even took the holder they had them in.  I was going to etch the 1st one but had a bit of trouble placing the vinyl down so I decided that it was just easier to vinyl it instead.  I had to put the vinyl on transfer tape and then tape that down to my desk.  I then flipped the glass upside down and ever so carefully lined it up with the vinyl and set it down.  I pretty much had just one chance to get this thing on their straight.  I'm sure it wasn't skill but rather first timers luck I got it on their perfect the 1st time.  I'm going to glass etch my next one. 

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Everyday Cards

I've been trying to make at least 1 card a day.  Sounds easier than it actually is, especially after putting in a 8 hour day at work and then trying to get things done around the house.  But last week I had two days off from work so I was able to get these cards done.

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About Me

I've always been interested in arts and crafts all my life. I've dabbled in a little bit of everything, from drawing, painting, woodcrafting, metalworking, beading, papercrafting. I love all types of medium.

Welcome to Midwest Greenworks

I've created this blog as a way to share the different crafts and arts I've created. I use a variety of material and styles. If you have any questions about the items I share, feel free to send my a message and I would be happy to answer.


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