Bubbles!

When I say “bubble painting” sometimes people go “huh?” Here’s a quick demo of how to do bubble painting! Come see us and make your own awesome bubble project. 

Find it on YouTube Here

And here’s how that plate looked once all the bubbles popped – you can see there are some big bubbles and then some smaller ones. The foamy bubbles are so fun!

True confession: I overtilted my cup and had a little spillage onto the plate. I covered it with more bubbles, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. 

Bubbles!

Summer of Succulents


 
Announcing something totally new and awesome for Do It Yourself Crafts – the Summer of Succulents has begun!
 


We know it’s a thing – we’ve seen in on Insta and all over Pinterest and every where we go, there they are – these beautiful, interesting, cool plants. And, apparently, pretty hardy. Have we found a plant that even Julia can keep alive? Apparently so.
 
Because, to be honest – I love these. They are so interesting and seem to have personalities. Can a plant have a personality, or just when we make it have an interesting home?
 
We know this will be an evolution, but we think we’ve got it set up so that creating a fun planting for your home is as easy as one, two, three.
 
First, you’ll pick out your container. Now, this is pretty fun, because we have some fun shapes – but you can also use pottery that you’ve painted, too. (More on that in a bit.) After you pick out your shape, we’ll start planting.
 
For the containers with clear sides, where we’re going to decorate with sand and rocks, we’re going to plant down inside a small plastic cup. This makes things MUCH easier and I can’t even tell you how happy I was when one of my friends shared this idea with me. You have No Idea what a hot mess I was making of things before I learned this trick (let’s just say – it was a TOTAL MESS and made me reconsider why anyone would want to plant ANYTHING and this made me a happy woman, truly). You have to put rocks down in the bottom of the cup, because succulents DO NOT like to have wet roots. Looooots of drainage needed, so you want to have at least an inch of rocks. Then, you are going to add the soil – this is a good draining soil, too, perfect for succulents.
 
After that, you’ll pick out your plant (which to me is the most fun part because did I mention I feel like these have personalities? And that I have a tendency to name them? That’s normal, right?). Now, you don’t just pull the plant from the container and plop it down – you want to work the roots out a little, making them long and strong. And if they have leaves that are brown and not looking good, we’ll pull those off, too. We won’t leave* you hanging here either, if you have questions – ask!
(*see what I did there?)
 
So, now your plant is planted, and we need to decorate its new home. We’ll secure the cup down in the bottom of the container with a glue dot, and give it a little drink of water to help with the stress of replanting.
 
Decorating – this is where the fun can really show. We have all sorts of things you can use to decorate – rocks and sand and gravel, and all are cool to put between the glass and the plastic cup holding your plant. Some things don’t work well for layering – flat rocks just sort of disappear and well don’t ask how I know.
 
Before you start adding the fun stuff, we’ll show you how to use spoons or funnels as needed.
 
When it’s all finished, you’ll be ready to take it home. Cool thing? Doesn’t need constant attention. Water it once a week, maybe every other week. We will send you home with info to keep your plant happy!

Summer of Succulents

Featured Technique: Bubble Painting

Featured Technique of the Month – BUBBLE PAINTING
 
Did you ever blow bubbles in your milk?
 
If you didn’t, because you were a well behaved human being with impeccable manners who would never do something so juvenile… maybe your little brother did. Of the kid who sat across from you in the lunch room. Anyway, bubble painting. It’s as simple as blowing bubbles in your milk, but less gross and way more fun.
 
It’s also our featured technique for the month, and we are having way too much fun with it.
 
It’s pretty easy to do – mix equal parts water and paint and a drop of dish soap, grab a straw (a new one, just for you!) and blow bubbles. Let the bubbles mound up and spill over the cup, falling onto your project. When they pop, you’ll have a cool scene ready to go.
 
It’s easy, but there are a few things we’ve learned – you have to keep the straw at the BOTTOM of the cup of liquid. If you blow bubbles at the top of the mix, it doesn’t make big bubbles, but instead makes foam. This isn’t a latte, so bubbles are the goal! You also need to think about what colors work well. Too light, and you can’t see them, too dark and they don’t look bubbly. As Goldilocks would say – somewhere in the middle is juuuuuust right. You also don’t want to tip the cup and spill it all over your project. It’s easy to do, so you have to think about it! But hold the cup upright and let the bubbles spill right over.
 
Now, WHERE do you bubble? Lots of places! It’s the perfect way to give an under-the-sea look to your project. And we looooove how our cauldron turned out. Bubble, bubble toil and trouble, indeed!
 
This is also an option for birthday parties – on our ice cream bowls, you can “splatter and bubble” paint. The kids will splatter paint the inside of the bowl, and bubble paint the outside. They have a blast and the final project is awesome. 

Featured Technique: Bubble Painting

Silver Clay

Ask almost any mom if she would like a silver fingerprint of her child, and almost without fail the answer will be “Yes!” In fact, it’s probably going to be “YES” even before you finish asking the question. 

Several years ago, we brought into the studio a system for making silver pendants out of a substance that is called, for simplicity’s sake, “silver clay”. What that means is that powdered silver is combined with a smooth clay-like substance, allowing us to mold the clay in molds. The molds give the silver the size, shape and back-side texture, allowing us to impress a fingerprint on the other side. The result – something to treasure!
We have different style molds – hearts, circles, squares, rectangles, teardrops and ovals – with different backside textures available. These include a smooth back, a leaf pattern, a swirl pattern, a square pattern, a hammered metal look, and stars. 

All are available in small, medium and large sizes. The sizes are kind of like quarter, nickel and dime – not exactly, but the large molds are all 7 gram molds, the mediums are 3.5 grams and the smalls are 1.75. This works with the clay, which is sold in 7 gram packs. You can do however many charms you can do and have them add up to seven! There are also molds available with an initial on the back – these are medium sized and we can do two from one pack of clay. We can also put a small initial next to each fingerprint, so you can tell who is who. 

Because we have a limited number of people working at the shop who know how to make silver fingerprint charms, we do require an appointment. You can buy your clay HERE so that you know you have a pack waiting for you. When you request your time, you will get a confirmation that the time you have requested works, or we will figure out a time that works for everyone.

At the time of your appointment, you will select your molds. After the clay is rolled out, we’ll get the impressions, and that’s it! 

It doesn’t take long. The clay has to dry and then be fired in the kiln, and after it is fired there is an oxidation left on the silver that has to be polished off. It is usually ready in 3-5 days. 

Silver Clay

Video how to: Texture technique 

I’m not gonna lie – I love painting on paper and then putting it on pottery. I love how interesting the final result is, how not perfectly perfect each item turns out, and how messy I get. 

I also love the state of Alabama, and how beautiful it is. I decided to do a tree design inside the state – well, you can see!


This is painted on a fun item – it’s an oversized bottle cap. 

Here’s how we made it – hope you can see how fun this is!

And the finished piece!


Now here is a more detailed video of how we do the texture technique. You can listen to me blather on while I paint! 


Or you can see it on our YouTube page​​ https://youtu.be/vX_xjwtk4-o

Now, I say at the end of this that I am (a) not tech savvy and (2) I’ll be back to show the unveiling. Wellll… the first part of that made the second part not possible. But! Here are the pictures of the mug after I took the paper off. 


I went back and added more color to the places where it didn’t take, and added some dark purple to give it the cosmic sky look I wanted. 


I love how it turned out! Like so many darkly-painted items, it looks much better in person than it does in pictures. You’ll have to check it out the next time you are in the shop. 

I hope you will come try the paper texture technique with me soon!

Video how to: Texture technique 

Featured Technique: Texture


Have you ever wanted to paint something that didn’t look exactly like it had been painted? Or wondered how someone got “all that” going on? It might have been using the Texture technique – this technique is so much fun, and one of my favorites.

Basically, “Texture” (or as I sometimes call it, paper texture) is when you don’t apply paint directly to the pottery, but instead paint onto paper or bubble wrap and apply the paper to the piece. It gives a totally different look, and can’t really be predicted.

It. Is. Awesome.

It’s also pretty messy and a little weird, because you have to think backwards a little bit. The first thing you put down is the “top” of the painted area. This is fun for layering fish in front of and behind seaweed, for instance, or the sky behind the sun. But you start by putting the sun down first, then the sky. 


This is a technique that has been around a while, but recently I went to Pottery Camp and was reminded of how much potential it has. I think it is something that kids can do, something adults have fun with – basically, when I was deciding to feature my first technique, it was an easy choice.

So…. WHY is it so cool? Partly because you don’t know what it is going to look like, until it is finished. That’s always fun. And even if you’ve done it several times, it’s still fun when you pull the paper off and go WOW!!!


When my friend Nancy and I were painting these samples, we learned it is MUCH easier to find color paper rather than white paper to make sure you’ve pulled all the paper off. We highly recommend it!

It’s also a little bit easier to put paint down in the area. When we did the Earth plate, it was a group effort so I did a quick color wash to show where needed to be blue(ish) versus green(ish). But we also start with a quick wash of at least white – paint likes to stick to other paint. 


And you can mix it up! The heart and rim are with paper, the middle area is with bubble wrap. Another fun thing with bubble wrap! Who knew!

We hope you’ll come try the Texture technique!

Featured Technique: Texture

Always Making Changes

I opened this store almost 18 years ago, and there have been very few things that haven’t changed in that time. We’ve taken walls down, changed what crafts we offer, and tried to always think of the next fun thing our customers would like to do.

 
A few weeks ago, I went to “Pottery Camp” in New Orleans. I go to these events to learn about new products, projects and techniques, and over the years we’ve learned amazing things. This year, I learned how to better organize and present what you can do at Do*It*Yourself Crafts.


 
Last week, we started the transformation to being a “Technique Based Studio”. What this means to you is that we’ve grouped the projects together to show you 24 amazing ways you can paint pottery. We have clear instructions for you to follow, and the supplies you need for each project together.
 
We are so excited about these changes! I’m excited to show you how many fun things you can do with pottery, and we’re already seeing customers try things they had never done before. 

Always Making Changes