20 February 2017

DIY Mug Stencil

I wanted to do a follow-up of my previous post to show you how easy it is to use the same process on a mug.

I had these great plain mugs I got for 99 cents at a local discount store and I decided they needed to say something cheeky.

Boring Originals 

So I went ahead and created a stencil using 631.  This is an example where removable vinyl or stencil material is a MUST...if you use 651 you're going to cry because the vinyl is not going to want to come off everywhere and you're just going to end up frustrated...so make sure you understand your materials before creating the stencil.  

Now let's talk paint, you can use oil based sharpies on your stencil, but I already had this glass and ceramic paint available (and my sharpies are all mysteriously missing).  Keep in mind you CANNOT use just any paint as it will not stick to your mug.  This paint is made exclusively for glass and ceramics.  Then, once you're done painting you must FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS.  If it says cure before you bake....please do so or your paint is going to come off and your beautiful creation will literally go down the sink.  

Once you have your paint you will use the same technique as before, I used another foam pouncer brush, dipped in paint, then dapped on a paper towel.  This dry technique will keep your paint from gooping everywhere.  YOU DO NOT WANT GOOPING IF YOU'RE TRYING TO STENCIL SOMETHING!  

Because you are using a LIGHT touch, it will probably take a few layers, especially on a dark colored mug like mine.  Once you have your desired number of coats its time to follow the directions for curing.

Painted and ready to cure.

In my case the item needs to cure for 24 hours before being baked at 300 degrees for 35 minutes.  So bake your item as directed.

Time to Bake.

I went ahead and turned the oven off and let them cool while they were in the oven as well.  You don't need to, I just do this because my dog likes to lay in front of the oven so its hard to pull out hot things without dropping them.  

And then you have a finished product!


13 February 2017

DIY Wood Stencil Sign

I purchased these cute blank signs from Target--here's what the original item looked like. 
The original item
Then I created a stencil using 631-this is removable vinyl.  I chose removable vinyl mostly because I had ordered a large number of a color I didn't intend to use again and had extra, also it works great for things like ceramics where you're worried 651 permanent vinyl won't remove easily.  The key for me was USE TRANSFER TAPE.  In the past a majority of my bleeding has been from the centers of the letters because I was individually placing them by hand and they weren't sealing properly.  Transfer tape not only removes me individually placing letter centers, but it also gives you a better seal.  Just take an old credit card and burnish your transfer tape FOREVER.  

I had to use two layers of transfer tape cause my roll isn't wide enough. 

I mean, burnish until you think there can't possibly be any bubbles under that piece of vinyl...and then do it some more!  Then peel up your transfer tape...and voila!

Ready to paint.
This is the paint I decided to use.  It's a sample white I had left over from when I was working on another project.  You can use any white paint, just know what the rules are for it.  How to clean it up-if it will stick with what you're painting, etc.  I liked this because I already had it, its water-based for easy clean-up, and its not to watery.  When you're painting a stencil you want a DRY brush so the paint doesn't run, so this thick consistency was great for that.  

You can use anything you have from another project, it doesn't take much paint. 

Then take a stencil brush and LIGHTLY using an UP AND DOWN motion.  Start painting.  I use a sponge brunch "pouncer" you could also use a regular stippling brush.  I used a paper towel to remove excess moisture as the dryer the brush the better.  DO NOT use a normal paint brush, because then you will use the regular paint brush motion and you will inadvertently push paint under your stencil. 

Painting Complete.

Again, just a reminder...use an UP AND DOWN MOTION!  Do not use a regular paint brush motion cause that will just give the paint an opportunity to sneak under your perfect stencil!

Now, peeling is a personal preference.  I like to wait for all the paint to dry before I peel because I don't trust myself not to smudge the wet paint and/or get it all over myself.  The pros of peeling while its wet is that IF you had any bleeding you could wipe it with a damp cloth and probably not need to do any paint touch-up.  So its all about preference....now for the reveal!

The finished product.

You'll notice that even though I followed ALL the rules...there was some bleeding.  Now, if I had peeled wet I could have taken a damp cloth and wiped the excess, but since the paint is already dry I'm going to leave it as is.  If you're really unhappy I would recommend sanding and repainting.  Or, if you painted your background to begin with you could just touch-up around the letters.  Here's a close-up of my letters to show you what your bleeding is going to look like.  

Just a little bleeding.  

I don't mind a little bit of imperfection, so I'm going to leave it.  But that's another personal preference you'll have to decide for yourself. 

Now, go forth, and...

31 January 2017

High Functioning Mental Illness

This article on "The Mighty" really spoke to me.  It talks about people who are high functioning but still have a mental illness, like me.  I am a (fairly) productive member of society, I work a 32-hour a week job, sometimes I even work on my extra day off.  I cook dinner for our house nearly every night, (even when my husband gets home earlier #sometimesbitter).  But I suffer from depression and anxiety.  Even on days when I feel like I'm dying on the inside (or sometimes the outside) I get up and go to work, I make dinner, I swiffer up more dog hair than is possible for our one dog to shed.  

So when a “high-functioning” person asks for help or admits to himself and to someone else his struggles, it takes a lot of bravery. These people have worked every single day to build a “normal” world for themselves are terrified of admitting mental illness, and when they finally do and are met with rejection, little understanding and no empathy

When I tell people that I take an anti-depressant and mood stabilizers I often get disbelieving looks.  People don't believe that you can be a high functioning adult and have a mental illness and that's just unbelievably false.  The article even mentions mental health professionals can sometimes have difficulty with this idea.  People who have experience and training the field!  

I feel like you can even struggle with this with the people you love.  They know you can get out of bed because you just did it yesterday to go to work.  But they don't see that you're suffering as intently as you are because you do make that effort to function on a daily basis.  Be honest with your loved ones, its ok to tell them you need help, that you're struggling.  After all if you can't get help from the ones closest to you who can you get support from?