Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Nurses Week

 This week I lost a colleague, co-worker and friend. 

  This week that is for celebrating nurses and all that they do, the world lost a great nurse. There will be news stories devoted to her, but it rocked the worlds of all those who worked with her, knew her and loved her.

  This week while many of us will be enjoying food, prizes and gifts to say thank you for all the sacrifices we make, one group of us while be mourning the loss of a friend and drawing close one another for comfort.

  What can I tell you about her? She was a nurse. She cared for her patients, not always in the tender, gentle, stereotyped way that TV and books glorify as the hallmark of a "good nurse". But always with her patients best interests and well being in the very fore front of her mind. She cared for people with great skill and a good heart always. She volunteered for disaster relief even though it pulled her away from her family at times. She always helped those around her with good nature. In the end she was a good person and she was a nurse, in every embodiment of the word and was proud of that title.

  On this week when you are celebrating Nurses Week, remember those around you and celebrate them. Not this trumped up idea of what the "ideal" nurse is, but the people that they are. Who they are and what they do, because you never know if you will not be able to tell them how amazing they are tomorrow.

 This Nurses Week I will celebrate who she was, a colleague, co-worker, friend and a nurse.
  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pinned It, Tried It: Sharpie Mugs

  We've all seen pictures of these cute, personalized mugs floating around on Pintrest.
Like this one.
Mug sold on Etsy by RevellHouse

  There are also a million tutorials telling you that this can be easily and cheaply at home with only a few supplies. Ok this sounds like the sort of thing that is right up my alley, and after some research I gathered up my supplies.

  Supplies:
-White porcelain mugs
-Oil based Sharpies
(according to my research normal water based Sharpies do not work as well because they   tend to fade over time)
-Oven
-Timer

  I cleaned the mugs well and began my doodling. For anyone under the impression that this is a clean craft, think again. The oil based ink takes time to dry, and on more than one occasion I ended up putting some part of my hand into my half finished design and mucking it and myself up. Good news, the oil based ink comes of easily with rubbing alcohol.


 I let the whole lot dry and then put them into a cold oven, 

and then cranked the heat up to 350 degrees.

     
  When the oven reached 350 degrees, I set the timer for 30 minutes and left them to bake.
After the timer went off I turned off the oven and let mugs cool completely, which turned out to be overnight.

  Now came the big test, could they be washed without any parts of the design washing off?


Newp.
I did "use a no scratch" abrasive pad on my mugs.
In fairness only some of the extra heavy areas that had very thick ink did chip off.
Any of the mugs I had that had a thin layer of ink stay put no problems.

Conclusions:
  Sharpie mugs are not as straightforward as many of the tutorials will lead you to believe. You do need a special type of marker which does kind of defeat the original premise of being able to grab a mug and a Sharpie and make a cute coffee mug.

  The craft is also a lot messier than anyone lets on. Since these oil markers will stick to just about anything just remember to put down something to protect your work surface.

  Even though a couple of my mugs chipped I still think this is a cute and worthwhile project. Later I did simply touch up the areas that did not stick and reheated the mugs. I would recommend keeping in mind to keep your layer of ink as smooth and thin as possible. The mugs that I did this with had much better outcomes. I'm also going to attach a "Handmade" tag to these when given as gifts and recommend they be hand washed, just to be safe.

  In the end these mugs were a ton of fun to make and turned out to be very cute.
Who wouldn't be thrilled to get one of these?