Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shrinky Dink Fun! Part one...

So, I've written this post a thousand times in my head but actually getting the time and energy to sit and do this is a whole 'nother story! It seems lately like I've had snippets of time...I can't seem to do a project start to finish....and so I leave off now to hopefully come back and finish this post later this afternoon.

Seriously?!   I started this post 6 hours ago! This is a small glimpse into my life as a juggling mom/wife/teacher/artist...

Wait, wasn't this supposed to be about Shrinky dinks? I guess in a way it is so far, my time comes in Shrinky dink minutes! Heehee....

some of my favorite markers that i 've been using for  the shirnky dinks

Okay, now...those of you who follow me on facebook and/or twitter know that I've been totally loving Shrinky know, that stuff you played with as a kid?! You'd think since it's marketed towards children it'd be a no brainer. Not for this brilliant (insert sarcastic tone) crafter!  My obsession has also been a task in problem solving. I almost gave up because I was getting frustrated until I read a blog posting about shrink plastic and how you should "take notes."   I then thought about how I am constantly encouraging my daughter and students to make mistakes and learn from them. "Self", I said, " follow your own advice."   So, instead of just chucking the ones that didn't work into the garbage, I made a sketchbook page as a scientist would when doing experiments, writing what worked and what didn't.    I can now reference it as needed. I felt good about working through my frustrations and also, I made a fun sketchbook page!

I kept thinking about and looking at these barrettes my friend Kim made my daughter.  She has been making amazing barrettes for years with shrink plastic.

 Back in '08 I went to her house for a tutorial and had a blast but just never went forward with it...., probably because I had my son the summer of 2008 and that slightly impeeded my crafting time for a while. When I got into it again, my poor friend received countless texts from me with questions!

 I also started reading info about the process online and searching for examples on as well as on . Holy cow did I find amazing examples! Here are a few:

Unicorn Wrap Around Ring by Green Mot on Etsy

Strawberry Man Brooch by mini fan fan on etsy

Aren't they so inspiring!?

I had some visions and products in mind that I was excited to make...buttons, magnets, hair ties, ornaments....and I just kept writing down ideas! And I started making things, one after the other! (My husband walked in when I was using the kitchen toaster with a questioning face, when I told him I was making Shrinky dinks his response was, "why??!!". Really? Why not and oh my, how fun!! My daughter was super excited!)

My first attempts were not what I wanted...I learned numerous (some silly) things like, 1. Don't use the baking tray with the holes because it will affect the shape, 2. Don't use tin foil because the texture will rub off onto the Shrinky dinks, 3. What kinds of inks and pens work, 4. Which side to print on, 5. What glues work with what... And the lessons continued.

At this point I did start to question why I was doing all this and spending all this money on supplies...and yet, I couldn't stop. Some may say addicted, I say determined. I honestly would wake up thinking about making things with shrink plastic. (okay, I will admit at that point I did start to wonder about myself but I got past that!)

I have made some super fun things over the past couple of weeks. My favorites have been the following magnets,

The hair elastics,

                                       This pin:

and this, my new belt!

you know I'll be wearing this tomorrow!

Hope you've enjoyed reading my mind!

My next post will talk about the process of using the shrink plastic and the supplies that I use.

Really, thanks for reading this post, I had fun chatting at you! :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Journals, Sketchbooks and Blank Books...don't be scared of them.

I figured I'd start with a crafty idea and one of my all time favorite sketchbook.  Now you may be saying, but I'm not really an artist or I can't draw or I don't have time for a sketchbook....but don't stop reading.  You don't have to call it a sketchbook and you don't have to show it to anyone if you don't want to.

Any blank book will do but I find that the more beautiful the book the more likely I am to come back to it.  I approach this in two ways;  I purchase a plain ol' sketchbook and cover it with lovely papers (Paper Source   more on that store later!) or I buy handmade journals that are art in itself (check out Parkside Harmony on Etsy  i've bought a few of her books and they are incredible!  See red journal in next paragraph).
i covered this with paper source paper, printed my carvings and added "stuff" i had in my studio.

Once I have my book, I just start with a mark...or an idea....or glue an image in.  Personally, I don't like to draw on the first page, at least initially...i find it intimidating.  But that's the great thing, it's your sketchbook, you make the rules!  And it doesn't have to be for drawing only.  I write, draw and practice. I glue stuff...i Love gluing and taping things!  I adhere  tags, tickets, drawings, notes, magazine clippings, inspirations, quotes, etc...

And though you definitely do not have to,  I share my sketchbook.

Yes, I share my sketchbook...sort of.  I let my children draw in it and always date it when they do.  I know some day looking back on these will be even more of a treasure than it is today.

I also have sketchbook/journal that I share with one of my best friends.  The journal is an amazing gift each time it arrives in the mail.  See, we are separated by distance so we stay close through our journal.  We stated from the start that it was not a competition or that anyone had to feel any time pressure.  It was something we simply wanted to do and share with each other.
 We write notes to each other, draw, stamp, cut and glue (lots of cut and glue!) and sometimes are serious and other times very silly.  It is us together again, just in a book.

My sketchbooks are an outlet and have become like a diary or journal in a way.  I look back on them and see what I was into at the time, how my art skills have changed and 
evolved and remember things I had since forgotten
A collection of past sketchbooks

So Go For It!  Have fun with it!  You'll be amazed at how much fun you'll have!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Crafty Blogging? One more thing to add to my list...

So, here I am, attempting to will I do?  I have no idea.  But I'm here because sometimes I have a lot to say and sometimes I just want to share pictures and ideas.  I have not a clue whether people will enjoy my random ideas, ramblings and arty talk but I think I'll enjoy sharing it.  My plan is to blog about art, ideas, kids, wacky thought streams, cool findings and sharing other peeps art.  I have very little idea about what I am doing or how to blog so please be patient as I learn and experiment and I'm sure make mistakes.  I figure I better start because if I wait to get it right or perfect or to figure out what I am doing, I'll never get started.

I'm a mom, a teacher, an artist and one who's creative ideas invade my brain the moment I wake up in the morning...which is my most productive time...anytime after 7 p.m. I find fair game to fall asleep!

So, welcome to my mad crafty blog.  I hope you have fun here and get your creative mojo going!