Monday, September 29, 2014

Removing a Button Shank + Craft Ideas

First off, what the heck is a button shank?
It's the backside of a button - you know, the sticky-outie part on those buttons that have an outie instead of an innie (like belly buttons!). 

As you know, I love to craft! Part of my crafting involves buttons. I buy buttons by the bag at thrift and antique stores and so does my mom. She is the best at finding me great crafting supplies like buttons! I have a lot of buttons and many have a button shank (yes, I did learn that word when researching for this post). I use to just throw them away because they don't lay flat and I didn't know what else to do with them. Gasp I know!

Recently, my parents came for a visit and brought with them a big baggie full of buttons. We spent some time looking through them at all the neat ones, speculating what they were used for, their age, etc. {Hey! Buttons as conversation starters! New party idea!} Then I posed the question about the shank...How do I get it off of the back so I can make more creations?! 

My dad's answer - the Dremel tool. KB got one for Christmas and I have yet to use it. I stared at it and said, how? He said there's got to be a YouTube video on it. Well I didn't find one. 

Instead, I found something easier - wire cutters! Genius. You know, the easiest ideas, really are often the best! So I purchased an inexpensive pair of wire cutters. Based on tips I read online, a cheap pair is best because cutting the button shank off of the back can damage them, so you don't want to use your good pair. 

What to do: 
This can be done on plastic or metal buttons. 
Flip to the button upside down and snip off the shank with your wire cutters. Be careful, that snipped off piece is going to go flying. 

Now you have a small bumpy piece but much more flat. To get this off, I used the Dremel tool to sand the back down. I used pliers (my Leatherman) to hold the button to prevent finger injuries. Hold the sander attachment to the bump and sand it down. 

Here's a few other options to get a smoother back - 1. Use a metal file to sand it down. 2. Use a three dimensional glue dot to absorb the uneven edge and give your craft a 3-D look.  

It really is that easy! It's one of those things that seems perplexing but once you do it, you wish you'd tried it earlier. 

Safety First: Pieces are going to fly so put on your eye protection. You should also use a mask to prevent yourself from breathing in the dust. Don't forget gloves when sanding!

Here are a few cards I made with buttons for inspiration:

Sources: How to Remove a Button Shank by Beadaholique:

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Drop of This Wish (Gift) List

Today is my birthday. Happy birthday to me! Yay! I'm the ripe middle age of 35 (let's not talk about it). Even at my age, my favorite thing is presents - yes, I'm one of THOSE people. Ha ha. I love getting (and giving) gifts, especially things people actually need or want. Family will often ask for present ideas and so I thought, what better way to celebrate my birthday than to talk about gifts we A Drop of This-ers would love to get!
I inquired friends and family to help me get a wide range of gift options. Plus I included things on my wish list too. Here are the ideas we came up with for a present wishlist:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Green Tea Face Mask

I was challenged! You encouraged me to experiment with creating my own recipes and I have accepted the challenge. Here are the results of my experimentation with a green tea face mask that I made with ingredients I had on hand. The inspiration for this recipe comes from Humblebee & Me {HERE}, who also posted about encouraging us to all try experimenting with DIY beauty recipes. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

UPDATE: Salve that Solves it All

Previously, I wrote a post titled The Salve that Solves it ALL {HERE}. I love my salve and although it does solve a lot of problems (dry skin, healing scraps, etc), I thought it was time for a little UPDATE to this recipe.

I have been a blogger for over a year and a half. Wow! Can you believe that? Time sure does fly. Throughout my time as a blogger, I have spent countless hours reading and researching the products I have promoted. I have done this in order to provide good information for you, my readers. Do you know what I have learned throughout this process? That the secret to the salves awesome problem solving powers is the salve itself! The oils you use, and even the beeswax, are what make this a powerhouse for your skin!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Wine Label Removal + a Display Idea

I am happy to present another guest post from my brother, Schuyler. He sent me a video of what he was up to this weekend and I knew you would love it!

It's always a pleasure to do a guest post for my sister! I had a blast writing about our family's holiday recipes and traditions last year (HERE).

During the 3-day weekend I found myself without plans. Honestly, who wants to fight all the traffic anyways (Oregon State & the University of Oregon BOTH had home games this weekend which pretty much kills I-5 & highway 99, the only two major highways that run through the Willamette Valley). Set out to be content at home for the weekend, I decided I needed to actually work on a few of those projects that I had always been talking about. You see, I was not lucky enough to inherit the crafty-amazingness gene that my sister has (sometime her skills make me sick; how does she get things to perfect!?!?!). It's quite easy for me to put things off by saying it won't be perfect. Motivated by two of the Twelve Commandments that Gretchen Rubin shares in her book The Happiness Project: Do it now and Enjoy the process, I set out to work on one of my projects and enjoy my weekend.

One thing to know about me that is essential to this blog post...I am a total wino! Yep! It's true. I live in the heart of amazing wine country. As a result, I have quite a few bottles of wine around my apartment. Most of which are the result of past wine club memberships and celebratory trips to local vineyards (great for birthdays!). One of my favorite parts of the wine experience is the wine label! Sometimes the wine label is one of the leading variables in my decision to buy a bottle or visit the vineyard. Some of them represent so much and are as much a piece of art as the wine in the bottle itself. I have always thought it is such a waste to toss the wine labels after you have an enjoyed a bottle of wine. For a while, I kept my favorite empty bottles on display. That is until my kitchen started to look like a sophisticated version of a college apartment; where empty alcohol bottles began to line the tops of kitchen cabinets and atop the fridge, serving as trophies to my memorable weekends. Ultimately, hanging onto bulky bottles was not efficient and was starting to look tacky.

Have you ever tried to remove a label from a glass bottle
though? The adhesive they use seems as strong as Superman. It can be nearly impossible. Nearly... After many teared attempts and some Google searching, I cracked the code! It is actually really simple.