Sunday, August 25, 2013

A new skill and a new party place

MaryAnn Carroll
Karen had recently written a post on donating your work for a cause. My oldest son is in his last year of college for a degree in Psychology and also works full time at the CNY SPCA. It is a job that he found while taking a class that required him to do work in a kennel for part of his grade.  It was a job that fit like a glove and he hopes to be able to stay there even when he finishes up his education.

He called me a few weeks ago to tell me that my oldest grandchild, Lacey, was going to have the SPCA's first birthday party celebration. What a great idea! I immediately started to bombard his email with all kinds of shelter party ideas that I found online. One that I came across was giving out dog tags. That seemed right up my alley and something that I could donate. I got to work researching on youtube and came up with a few different ideas. I eliminated the idea of engraving. It seemed like I would need to get an expensive tool to do that any justice. Then the idea of etching popped in my head. I've always been interested in learning how to do that, so why not try?

There were a couple of problems though. While researching, I was on the train on the way home from Michigan and did not have any ferric acid hanging around at home.  I read that I could buy some at Radio Shack, but that did not turn out to be successful. I looked up some homemade options such as one part muriatic acid to two parts hydrogen peroxide and gave it a try. It worked, but I am not sure that the shelf life is all that great. I also learned that you DO NOT do this over your stainless steel sink. DUH!!!!! And, whenever using anything that have the words acid, fire, saw, cut, etc., proceed with caution!

After some experimenting with my grand kids names and trying to fit too many words on one tag, I felt like I was ready to make the 24 dog tags that I had set out to do.

I got my tags ready by cleaning them and  writing words on each one, mixed up the solutions, prepared my floating devices (styrofoam), got out the electrical tape to attach the tags to and started what ended up being a five hour job.

I did have my protection goggles and gloves, but the goggles were a bit frustrating because I could not see too well when I wanted to check the progress

I still need some practice, but for my first round, I thought these came out cute and did the trick.  The marker that I used as a resist was not the best. I also learned that keeping them suspended in the acid longer, in hopes of having the letters raise more, was not always the best way to go about this. The acid eats away at the copper and some of the metal discs became flimsy if I left them in too long. And, I am not sure that putting them in liver of sulfur is the way to go for dog tags either.

I will do this again, but I do think I will try it with ferric acid. The home remedy was okay, but the more I did, the longer it took for the etching to work.

Here are some pictures of my finished work.

And..... if you ever decide that you would like to spread the idea of adopting shelter animals, please share this post on your social network sites. Maybe some of the shelters in your area have never given this idea consideration. It was not only fun, but educational for the children and their parents as well. I even think that one parent who had never considered adopting walked away thinking that this is something that he might like to do.

My younger granddaughter Chloe.


Happy Birthday, Lacey! I cannot believe you are already 6 years old.

As always, thank-you for supporting artists who create handmade with handmade,



Erika said...

Awww! I cannot even stand to go in the shelter, because I want to take them all home with me (and I already have waayy to many!) The animals look like they enjoyed the attention from the kiddos.

LisaS said...

Oh they turned out very cute and awesome idea for a fundraiser!

Stacie said...

I just love your posts...

Diane (Dewdrop Designs) said...

What a great idea, and my favorite cause, saving/helping animals! Would you mind if I stole your idea? I know of one local no-kill shelter that does a party each year and although I have donated to the silent auction before, I would really like to do this for them. I really like the "Party at the..." tag line so would love to use that if you don't mind. I wouldn't be making any money at all for it, I would be donating the materials and my time needed to make them. Please let me know if this would be OK. I refuse to "steal" others' ideas without their permission and the party is always in November. I have not etched before but have wanted to, so need all the time I can get for ordering supplies, practice and making them. If the organization wants to charge a fee for them, I would let them do that as the party is way too big for me to make them for all attending, but all proceeds would be collected and used by them. They may end up putting them in the door prizes too. Thanks.

TesoriTrovati said...

Such a great idea for a birthday party! I love ideas that give back and help our kids become connected to the larger world in a way that allows them to discover the joy of helping others. I did that with a party for my daughter after the Haiti quake. We collected art supplies that were then shipped to Haiti for women who created amazing things to sell as a livelihood. I am doing my own part by the new fundraising arm of my company called Pop-a-Dot Jewelry. I am only doing 12 major fundraisers, one per month, and they are so far very successful. Everyone who sees the Dots wants them and so I know that this will go on for a long time and hopefully help many with the money donated. Thanks for this lovely post. You are an inspiration! Enjoy the day. Erin

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Thank-you for all of the kind words :o) As for doing the exact same thing for a good cause, I am 100% all for it. Just make sure to spread the word! Our SPCA did this first one for no charge since my son works there. They are going to continue to have others with different fees depending on how much or how little they do. The kids just loved it and so did the parents! I panicked a little when my daughter-in-law said that she invited the entire class! I am going to keep making these for them, but need to order ferric acid since my guess is that it might work a little more efficiently. It's so great to hear from others who also do stuff like this. Thanks for sharing your stories with me. MaryAnn :o)

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