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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Still Trying: Candy Cane Jars

I need help.

Not everything that I try is going to be a success. There was the time I couldn't finish the Presque Isle Triathlon. And the many cooking disasters. Lots of writing rejections. And then there were those knitting projects.

But I'm not giving up. Instead, I'm asking for help!

A few months ago, I had an idea to transform the leftover glass jars hanging around my house into cute custom-painted candy cane jars to fill and transform into gifts around the holidays. It's not a difficult process, but I just can't get it right. So what am I doing wrong?

For my first jar, I used a paint brush and paint sponge. I painted the jar white and realized the brushstrokes were really visible even after two coats. I decided to move ahead anyway, thinking a brushstroke wasn't a bad look. I applied the blue painter's tape and painted the red stripes. I let the paint dry. When I peeled away the tape I had messy bleeds everywhere. I figured I needed to press the tape down better.

Try 1: Brushes and paint
I took the second jar outside with some spray paint. I am not familiar with spray paint. This was the first time I have ever used this medium, which is why I accidentally made jar-shaped grafitti on my sidewalk. (It's gone now.) I thought spray paint might leave a smoother finish, but you can still see drip marks on the top left corner. Maybe I was too close? Maybe I need another coat? I pressed the blue painter's tape down really well, I thought, but still had bleeding. Also, the blue tape peeled off the white.

Try 2: Spray Paint 

I don't give up easily, so I tried one more time. White spray paint and red stripes, this time with a jaunty diagonal plan. I pressed that tape down and got much less bleeding but peeled off lots more of the white paint. And my fingers are painted red.

This is not an impossible task but it requires some skill or technique I don't have. My jars make me feel like a big failure. Take a look at these amazing jars from It All Started With Paint ( 

Clearly I am not an expert at this kind of activity. But I am an expert at giving things a try. And I'm also an expert at turning to the experts of the world and saying, "What am I doing wrong? How can I do this better?"

So now it's your turn experts. Help me make some candy cane jars!

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