1 Cindi Bisson McGee - Behind These Eyes : “STAY STRONG” Rhinoceros/Hercules Beetle Key Chain - ETI Blog Hop

Thursday, August 13, 2015

“STAY STRONG” Rhinoceros/Hercules Beetle Key Chain - ETI Blog Hop


This month, the Designer Craft Connection is holding an Environmental Technologies, Inc. - ETI - Blog Hop. Be sure to follow through the DCC link in the column on the right to see what other unique projects the participating designers are sharing.    

ETI is also offering a great Rafflecopter give-away package - enter below.  Readers have to comment on one or more blogs to enter. The more comments you post, the better chance you have to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jared Padalecki, star of the TV series Supernatural, has gotten a lot of press lately for his honesty and support of others who are suffering with anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, etc.  His message of ALWAYS KEEP FIGHTING (#alwayskeepfighting) is growing in popularity.  Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for STAY STRONG Jared Padalecki are growing in numbers as fans flock to support both Jared, and his message.  I think it's a 
wonderful thing when a celebrity chooses to share their own personal fight with depression and anxiety with the world in hopes of helping others.   I think Jared’s message has touched me in particular because in the past few months my own family faced a very frightening situation that drove home the importance of learning the signs of depression, always watching for those signs in those you love, and if you see any signs, or if they reach out to you for help - pay attention - help them in any way you possibly can.  Depression is a REAL illness, no one is immune, it can strike ANYONE of ANY AGE, and can lead to unimaginable circumstances if left untreated.  We were given a second chance, but not every family is that lucky.  

I made this key chain as a reminder of the importance of the message STAY STRONG.  To me, this Rhinoceros/Hercules Beetle is a symbol of strength - because he looks fierce, and his name itself brings to mind an animal of incredible strength.   When I first found him, (and yes, I know he’s a male because I Googled it to find out what exactly he WAS when I found him), he was a beautiful shade of pale blue/green/gray, much like the one in this photo I found on the National Wildlife Federation website when I was trying to find out more about this impressive insect.  Unfortunately, his beautiful shell seems to have had some reaction to the resin itself and darkened to almost black, but even without his color he is still an amazing example of natures diversity.   I hope the recipient will carry him with his keys in pride and will always remember to STAY STRONG himself. 


ETI - Clear EasyCast® Resin
      - MC Poly Mold 2" x 1 1/2" x 1" deep
      - Mold Release Spray 
ImpressArt™ Newsprint Metal Stamp Set, Hammer, Steel Block 
MercArt® Pewter Sheet 
Rhinocerus/Hercules beetle (no beetles were harmed in the creation of this project - this big guy was found in our yard when he had already crossed the rainbow bridge - always let insects dry thoroughly, this guy was placed in a safe place and left to dry for about 3 weeks, before attempting to seal in resin
DecoArt® Americana® Multi-Surface Satin™ acrylic paint - Black Tie 
Paper towel
Small disposable paintbrush 
Emery board


Stamp “STAY STRONG” onto pewter sheet, trim around verse.  Apply black acrylic paint over stamped area, being sure paint gets into impressed letters.  Wipe with paper towel to remove paint from surface, allowing it to remain in stamped areas.  Let dry. 

Mix very small amount (I mixed about 1 tsp total) Clear Casting Resin according to manufacturer instructions. 

Use disposable paint brush to coat stamped metal piece, front and back, set aside to cure. 

Use disposable paint brush to coat beetle top an bottom.  Set aside to cure. 

When beetle and stamped metal are thoroughly dry, it’s time to immerse them into a block of resin.  

Begin by spraying the small rectangular mold with mold release spray.

Mix enough resin to fill your mold to about 1/3 full.  

Pour resin into mold. 

Carefully insert beetle, top down (the bottom of the 
mold will be the top of the finished piece).  Let

Mix enough resin to fill your mold the remainder of the way. 

Carefully insert metal verse, face down (the bottom of the mold will be the top of the finished piece), adjacent to the beetle.  

Carefully pour in resin over metal piece and covering beetle.  Set aside to cure.  

When fully cured, remove from mold.  (This was a bit of a challenge for me - but after trying the "freezer" trick twice - place in the freezer then remove - and with a bit of "strong" persuasion, the resin released from the mold.) 

Lightly sand edges on top and bottom to remove any sharp edges.   I like to use emery boards for this type of delicate sanding as they are easy to hold and you can see exactly where you are sanding. 

Use a drill to make a hole large enough for metal bead chain through one end of the rectangle.  Insert bead chain, add keys and close bead chain.  That’s it!  Your keychain is now a permanent reminder to STAY STRONG to matter what the circumstances may be! 
A Permanent Reminder to Stay Strong - and Always Keep Fighting! 


West Pine Creations said...

Wow! That's amazing how well it came out.

Anonymous said...

I never would of thought of using a bug. Soooo clever. Great story.

Madeline Arendt said...

Very cool Cindi - the story about this and the process! I wonder if treating the beetle with something first would have helped retain its original coloring?

Marilyn said...

You are my hero! I think you deserve the prize for over-all creativity and bug handling ability! Once I looked at the critter up close....I remembered that I had an encounter with one of those once. I walked out on my front porch and the light was casting a shadow from the beetle. It looked huge! And had those feelers that stuck up so far in the front. I was so fascinated by it that I couldn't kill it. It lived to see another day. Kind of rare around here to see that kind of a bug. Thanks for sharing your specimen. Now I will be on the look-out for cool bugs. :-)

Roberta Birnbaum Cohen said...

Brave of you with the bug -- ewwy - but it turned out great, Cindi!

Jayme said...

I love the beetle and the message together in the resin. Beautiful!

Jayme said...

I love the beetle and the message together in the resin. Beautiful!

Jayme said...

I love the beetle and the message together in the resin. Beautiful!

Carolyn said...

Love your message. The beetle is another thing. Very brave of you to deal with it.