Archive for June, 2009

I Love My Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue!

IAH-086-Forged-Foil-FramesLOS OSOS, CA – Monday morning As I have been digging through the Aleene’s archives for the Aleene Jackson Craft Museum recently, it has been so much fun to see some of the original Aleene’s techniques that have really stood the test of time.  The look of forged foil is one of my absolute favorites. By gluing intriguing textures onto a hard surface and covering it with foil, you can create anything from simple picture frames to works of art! I hope you enjoy this eco-art project as much as I have over the years! >>Heidi

Metallic Forged Foil Frames
by Heidi Borchers

Aleene’s® Original Tacky Glue™
Aluminum foil
Rolling pin
Acrylic paint (dark brown or black)
Small paintbrush
Base item: cardboard matboard (or other frame surface)
Texture supplies: string, braid, noodles, found objects, cut cardboard
Sealer – spray or brush-on finish (matte, satin or gloss)

Before you start this project – check out our Tips & Techniques Faux Forged Foil tutorial at

To prepare your item to be forged, glue texture (as noted in supplies above) to surface. Let dry completely.

To prepare your foil, crumple up a piece of foil that is larger than your base. Carefully open up the crumpled foil and lay it on a flat surface. Then roll the foil flat with rolling pin.

Spread Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue over entire front surface of base surface being sure to get glue into all of the crevices of the texture. Lay the foil, dull side towards glue and gently press and push, starting from center and working your way out, until the foil conforms to the texture and shape. If you get a tiny tear, simply glue a tiny piece of crinkled foil over the tear. It will blend right in. For corners and crevices, you may need to use a straight edge to push the foil in. Fold the excess over to the back and glue down. Let glue dry completely.

To antique, mix one part water with 2 parts acrylic paint. Brush mixture onto the surface of the foil, working a small area at a time. Immediately wipe back paint with a soft cloth leaving paint in cracks and crevices to give the frame an antiqued effect.  Let dry.

To bring out the luster of the foil, apply sealer. Let dry.

Heidi’s Designer Tip: For a different look, try florist foil (without paper backing) for this technique. Florist foil can be found in many interesting colors and textures and creates a unique look.


June 29, 2009 at 3:03 am Leave a comment

Great Radio Show Tonight!

Katheryn&DeniseGRASONVILLE, MD – Sunday night – We had a great chat on Inspired at Home Radio tonight.  Our guests were Katheryn Tidwell Bieber and Denise Felt-it-stitch-it-fabulous-Clason. Katheryn talked about her new book – Felt It! Stitch It! Fabulous! which focuses on creating beautiful projects for heart, home and family out of thrift store finds – actually shrinking or felting sweaters right out of the closet on purpose! Katheryn’s interview was certainly inspiring as she also talked about the launch of her regular upcoming segment feature on Inspired at Home Radio called Embracing Your Creative Spirit. When you have a chance, be sure to visit Katheryn at her blog – or check out herQuilted-Bags--Totes-Cover-s Victorian Flowerchild store at

Denise Clason shared the most interesting insights for how designers can get their projects published in magazines.  This is a great step-by-step collection from which magazine to submit to, how to write instructions and how to ship. This information is so useful and will be the creative spark to encourage you to step up and submit your project!  Denise can be reached at her website

Jen's-photoTrend guru at Duncan Enterprises, Jennifer Blevins gave us an informative report on polka dots and how they are showing up in fashion and home decor. Heidi also followed up with an interesting history of polka dots!

On tonight’s show, Candace shared the cutest story about a peace march that took place in the Inspired at Home East Coast Studio in Grasonville. (Find out why Tiffany thought the march was about “whirled peas”.)

For our Herban Living feature Candace also talked about the slightly bad reputation that nettles have because when you try and pick their leaves, they sting you! Most people aren’t aware of the great medicinal properties of this weedy looking herb.

In our after-the-show segment round-table chat, Aleene was certainly distracted which gave us a lot to giggle about.

We also talked about a lot more — so we have an idea! How about you listen to the show?  You can go on-line and listen at your leisure!  >>Tiffany

June 28, 2009 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

Oatmeal is a great home remedy!

6-24-09-Peach&OatsGRASONVILLE, MD – Wednesday morning – Home remedies are amazing! Oatmeal is a great home remedy. We all know about the benefits of adding oatmeal as a source of fiber to a healthy eating diet but did you know that oatmeal is a tonic for general debility, treats anorexia, is good for convalescence and fatigue, lowers blood cholesterol levels, helps control hormonal activity, is cleansing both internally and externally, treats eczema, is extremely rich in B vitamins and minerals, is anti depressant and is used to treat depression, stress and nervous disorders. Oatmeal cuts the risk of strokes and heart attacks from blocked arteries, stabilizes blood sugar, and increases the body’s ability to fight off infectious disease. Oatmeal contains vitamin B-1, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, fiber and protein. For those on restricted diets, keep in mind that oats contain gluten which causes an allergic reaction in some people.

A great home remedy is to use oats to stop vomiting in children and adults – toast 5 tablespoons of oatmeal under the broiler. Pour one pint of boiling water over the oats to make a thin gruel, adding sugar and cinnamon to sweeten. Drink as much and as often as needed until vomiting stops. Will settle the stomach quickly. (Source: Jude’s Home Remedies -Jude C. Williams)

If you suffer from heartburn often, eat a bowl of oatmeal on a daily basis as it stops heartburn from occurring.

A compress of oatmeal or an oatmeal bath soothes eczema and other skin conditions.

Boil a tablespoon of oats in ½ pint of water for several minutes, strain and use as a nerve tonic.

Whenever a recipe calls for ground oats, just use a clean coffee grinder to grind the flakes into a fine powder.  And, always use organic oats!

Oatmeal Cleanser for Face

This is a hydrating, moisturizing facial scrub or cleanser that can also be used as a moisturizing mask.

¼ small ripe peach
1 tablespoon light or heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon ground oatmeal
1 teaspoon chamomile flowers, crushed
1 teaspoon sunflower seed meal

In a bowl, mash peach until smooth. Mix all the remaining ingredients together with the peach to form a very creamy paste. If this mixture is too thin, add more oats. Allow to thicken for 1 minute. Using your fingers, massage cleanser into the face and throat. Allow mixture to remain on the face for 5 minutes and then rinse off.

Facial Exfoliant

For all skin types (but don’t use if you have acne, rosacea, broken capillaries, thread veins, sensitive or irritated skin, thin, mature, elderly skin or sunburned or wind burned skin)

½ cup ground oatmeal
¼ cup powdered whole or non fat milk
1 teaspoon cornmeal
Purified water

Mix together into a paste and apply to face. Let dry 15-20 minutes and then rinse off.

Did you know? Oatmeal has a long history in Scottish culinary traditions because oats are better suited than wheat to the short, wet growing season. Therefore, it became the staple grain of that country. Ancient Scottish Universities had a holiday called Meal Monday, to permit students to return to their farms and collect more oats for food. (Source:

I hope, in addition to enjoying your organic oatmeal for a delicious and health-filled breakfast, that you find many more uses for oatmeal to complement your natural well-being program. >>Candace

June 24, 2009 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

I Love My Aleene’s Super Thick Tacky Glue

IAH-074-BBB-ButterflyGRASONVILLE, MD – Monday morning – Recently at a Laugh & Craft gathering at our Studio, we decided it was time to get back to the basics and share the Aleene’s Burnt Brown Bag technique. What’s the most fun with this project is everyone is so amazed at how you can create the look of metal from burnt brown bag.  Yep! That’s right, this is three layers of brown bag – as in grocery bags – add a coating of Aleene’s Super Thick Tacky Glue – burn with a candle – add antiquing paste and you have the look of metal! This intriguing technique was discovered in the early 1960’s by Katy Ogle, one of Aleene’s designers, when she was testing Aleene’s Glues for flammability. Enjoy this vintage Aleene’s technique! >>Tiffany

Aleene’s Burnt Brown Bag Butterfly
by Tiffany Windsor

Aleene’s Super Thick Tacky Glue
18 gauge florist wire (cut into 3” length and bent in U shape for antenna)
Wooden skewer
Brown grocery bags
Rub ‘n Buff – gold and silver
Plumbers candle and matches (or other candle with tall flame)
Soft cloth (for wiping away soot)
Bowl with water


IAH-074-BBB-Butterfly-Step-1Transfer your pattern to 1 layer of brown bag. We used a stencil for our pattern —  only tracing the outside lines. Keep in mind that you can use all sorts of patterns for this technique. We have used leaf patterns and created a whole branch filled with look-of-metal leaves, we have seen beautiful work done by other designers that included a stunning sailing ship.  The design possibilities are really unlimited!



Next, cut two additional layers of brown bag and glue all three layers together with the pattern on top. Immediately cut out the butterfly pattern. You want to do this cutting step quickly because next, you need to insert the wooden skewer and the antenna between two layers and if you let the glue dry too long, it’s really difficult to accomplish this!

IAH-074-BBB-Butterfly-Step-9With the antenna and skewer inserted in between the layers, now it’s time to apply the glue to one side of the butterfly covering all of the brown bag with the glue.  Do not leave any of the brown bag exposed because it will burn if it is not covered with the glue.  Apply the glue with your finger in a generous coat. You do not want to see any of the brown bag.

IAH-074-BBB-Butterfly-Step-10Light the candle and hold the glued side of the butterfly right in the top part of the flame. The tip of the flame should be touching the wet glue. Keep the butterfly moving around at all times. In this step, you are blackening the glue.  Some bubbling will occur from the heat of the flame. This is fine and adds texture to the design but be sure to keep the butterfly moving in the flame until the entire glue surface is blackened.

IAH-074-BBB-Butterfly-Step-12 Let the butterfly set for several minutes and then gently wipe away the soot with a soft cloth. Use a gentle touch because if you press too hard, you will break through the skin of the glue. If this happens, you will see white glue oozing out. Just return that spot to the candle flame and re-burn. Your finished side should look shiny and with the soot wiped away, the glue will have turned to a shiny dark charcoal-gray color. The surface should have ridges which either developed during the burning process or while you were wiping away the soot.  Let butterfly set for a few minutes and repeat process on back side.

IAH-074-BBB-Butterfly-AntiqLet your burnt glue surfaces dry completely. Then apply gold and silver antiquing paste with finger lightly over the surface. Apply enough paste to add a nice burnished effect but be sure to let some of the black show through. Take a look at the finished example above again which shows the pretty burnished effect of the antiquing paste.

IAH-074-BBB-2-ButterfliesTiffany’s Designer Tip: This burnt brown bag technique looks great in many different designs and several pieces grouped together make a great sculpture.  You can also use 18 gauge wire for the stem (in place of the wooden skewer).  Do not try this technique with any other glues. We have tested the Aleene’s Super Thick Tacky Glue for this technique and it is the only glue that we recommend. Also, always have a bowl of water handy just in case you have any sort of flame flare-up with the brown bag while you are burning your butterfly.

June 22, 2009 at 3:03 am 5 comments

Aleene Jackson Craft Museum


Aleene Jackson - Life Magazine - January 5, 1953

GRASONVILLE, MD – Sunday morning – Whew! It has taken me weeks but I finally finished posting a new section of the Aleene Jackson Craft Museum!  I’m really excited about this new posting because we have had so many requests about “where can I find Aleene’s Wood Fibre”. Unfortunately, it is no longer available, but the history of Wood Fibre and its role in the Aleene’s history is now available for you to read on-line!

So many people are familiar with the famous Aleene’s Tacky Glue but they are not aware of how Aleene actually got started in the creative business. In 1944, at the age of 19, she opened a retail florist shop in Arcadia, California while our father was serving in WWII.  She closed that business after her first child (that would be Candace) was born and worked out of her house teaching classes. It was from that fresh flower business that Aleene launched her Make Your Own Corsage Kit. But, the constant stream of delivery truck to the house bringing floral making supplies started to get on the neighbor’s nerves so she opened a new retail store location in Rosemead, California.

Make-Your-Own-Corsage-Kit-AOn Friday April 1, 1949, Aleene ran this ad in the Los Angeles Examiner announcing that the Aleene’s Make Your Own Corsage Kit was available for purchase at Bullock’s Downtown (Los Angeles).

As you read on in the Aleene Jackson Craft Museum history, you will learn how Aleene quickly outgrew her Rosemead store location and expanded her business with the addition of Formosan Wood Fibre which brought her to national attention with her television appearances and feature in the January 5, 1953 issue of Life Magazine.

This new addition to the Museum is a fun read!  I had so much fun reading and researching and scanning and putting it together. I hope you enjoy it! >>Tiff

June 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm 2 comments

Vinegar is a great home remedy!

6-17-09-Vinegar-BraggsGRASONVILLE, MD – Wednesday morning – Home remedies are amazing! Vinegar is a great home remedy. You are probably already using vinegar in your cooking but let’s look at vinegar for your health. Vinegar has been used for thousands of years for ear diseases, fat accumulation in the body, for digestion and for preventing scurvy. Lots of research has been done in modern times to see what vinegar does for your body. Do you usually buy white vinegar from the supermarket?  That’s probably good for cleaning but for home remedies, you really need “apple cider vinegar” which you will find at the health food store. [Bragg is an excellent brand.] This type of vinegar contains what is known as the “mother”. This is the good healthy “stuff” that was not filtered out in order to make the vinegar clear.

Apple cider vinegar is so good for you in so many ways. It affects the acid/alkaline balance in the body, is full of vitamins and minerals including potassium. An acid body favors bacterial growth. Apple cider vinegar sterilizes the effects of food poisoning, prevents infection, enhances immune system function, helps muscles to contract and relax, is good for the stomach and digestion, heartburn; it’s good for arthritis and the list goes on and on! Vinegar is also good for what ails your skin – good on burns, itchy skin, age spots, warts, insect bites, blemishes, dandruff and more. Try adding apple cider vinegar to your salads and cooking.

Drink to your daily health! Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a small dollop of honey to some water and drink it in the morning and evening to help your body heal itself. There are some wonderful books out there that will give you more information on vinegar so if you are interested in all of the wonderful qualities of apple cider vinegar. >>Candace 

Read about more interesting home remedies! >>GO! ~

June 17, 2009 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

I Love my Aleene’s Super Thick Tacky Glue!

IAH-095-Embossed-Glue-FrameGRASONVILLE, MD – Monday morning – this pretty pastel floral frame is fun to make! Heidi developed this great technique many years ago using Aleene’s Super Thick Tacky Glue to draw the design which adds the great raised effect that is fun to color with craft chalks. Get Creative! Get Inspired! >>Tiffany

Heidi’s Glue Embossing Frame

Wood frame
Aleene’s® Super Thick Tacky Glue™
Scotch tape – ¾” to 1” wide
Spray paint – flat white
Decorator craft chalk – assorted pastel colors
Brush – hard bristle (stencil type brush works great)
Paper towels
Spray fixative


Using photo as guide, lightly trace your designs onto the frame.

Place a tape nozzle onto the bottle of glue. (see our techniques how-to at

(It is suggested that you practice this next step on waxed paper first.) Draw with glue along the pencil lines. Let dry completely.

Spray paint the frame. Let paint dry.

To apply the chalk to the prepared (sprayed) surface, rub the hard bristle brush over the chalk. Then immediately brush chalk onto an embossed area. To change colors, carefully tap off excess chalk and wipe brush on dry paper towel before changing colors. Refill brush with next color and repeat until entire design is colored with the chalk.

Spray frame with fixative to protect/preserve the chalk coloring.

Heidi’s Designer Tip: Instead of flat white spray paint, acrylic paints can be used for a similar look. Just brush on two even coats of paint letting dry completely between coats and dry completely before applying chalk colors.

June 15, 2009 at 3:03 am Leave a comment

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