Sunday, February 13, 2011

Glass Etching 101

"Would you like to see my etchings?"

A guy actually asked me that on a first date back in my college days. Turns out he was an artist and really did have a portfolio of etchings. I'm fairly sure he used that line a lot, though. Lame.

I have wanted to try glass etching for quite some time now, and it turned out to be really easy. I did learn some of it by trial and error, however, and I hope this post will prove to be helpful to those of you who want to try it.

The supplies you will need are:
Etching Cream
Glass stencils
Rubber gloves
Small stencil brushes
Lots of paper toweling
Something glass to etch onto (Dollar Tree has lots of options)

I found the etching cream and stencils at Michaels. Hobby Lobby has them as well.

Place the stencils on clean, grease-free glass, and make sure it adheres well.

Dab a generous amount of the cream onto the stencils. Be VERY careful not to go outside the stencil. You might want to block it off with tape. I had a mishap or two because I didn't use tape and some of the cream etched where it wasn't supposed to.

Leave it on for about 15 minutes.

Rinse it off in the sink. I know I don't have gloves on, but you are supposed to wear them.

We found these "Decorative Accents" at the Dollar Tree. They are some sort of polymer that absorbs water. We had to have them. Plus they were only a dollar.

They are marble-sized, and are very squishy and slippery.

The label says to keep them away from pets.

I sat a candle holder inside the glass I etched, and sprinkled some Decorative Accents in between. The extra designs you can see in this picture are what I did around the top on the other side.

It's really pretty when the candle is lit.

My friend Meagan came over the other night to do crafts with me. She etched a design onto a square candle holder.

Zac and Meagan's boyfriend, Dustin worked on candle holders as well.

This is Meagan's. I love her polka dot design. Such a creative idea.

Dustin actually poured candle wax into the container and made his own candle. The initials he etched didn't show up well, so he went over them with a red Sharpie. Very cool.

Zac poured his candle also, but first he colored some Decorative Accents with food coloring and poured them into the bottom. Then he poured in the wax. It turned out to be very interesting and volcano-esque. He outlined his letters with red Sharpie as well.

Oh, and thanks to Zac and Dustin, we know that Decorative Accents are not flammable.

Happy Etching!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Lemon Squares

This is a recipe that has been around for years and years. It is a creamy baked lemon curd with a buttery shortbread crust. I needed to make these for a tea last weekend and couldn't find my mom's recipe, so I decided to use this one from All Recipes. It was very close to what I remember of my mom's. (I altered it just a tad.)

Lemon Squares

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter, melted

4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups flour and confectioners' sugar. Blend in the melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Combine the sugar, baking powder and 1/4 cup of flour so there will be no flour lumps. Stir the sugar mixture into the eggs. Finally, stir in the lemon juice. Pour over the prepared crust and return to the oven.
4. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until bars are set. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Bake the crust at 350º for 15-20 minutes.

Prepare the filling and pour into the crust.

After the first batch was tricky to cut, I lined the baking dish with aluminum foil. After it cools, you can remove it and cut it into very neat squares. Clean-up is easier, too.

Bake until the filling is set, and a very light golden brown, which will be about 20 minutes.

They are so good. And I'm not a fan of citrus.

But I love these.