Archive for January, 2009

Life never becomes a habit to me. It’s always a marvel. – Katherine Mansfield

imaginative ideas for inspired living
I finished reading the Autumn 2008 issue of Somerset Life. What a lovely, inspiring magazine.

My favorites:
1. The paper stockings by Connie Govea Stuart. They would make darling party favor bags, on a smaller scale of course.

Paper stockings by Connie Govea Stuart

2. The article by Madelyn Mulvaney on her desire to learn how to play the cello and how much the instrument means to her. I would love to play the cello myself, so I especially enjoyed her article.

3. The designer pumpkins by Carla Buchanan are out of this world. I’ve already made a note in my calendar book for September to buy some pumpkins so I can paint and decorate them.

Painted pumpkin by Carla Buchanan

4. Nancy Burns’ Confections de Marie paper shoe line is incredible. Words cannot express how delicate and beautiful these shoes are.

Paper shoes by Nancy Burns

5. And finally, I simply adore the Wee Little Dolly necklace by Lisa Guerin. I think this is my most favorite.

Wee Little Dolly by Lisa Guerin

Isn’t she just the sweetest little thing?

~dreaming of my own wee little dolly~

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pretty little bracelet
Here is a sample bracelet I put together with some of the practice Polyshrink pieces I’ve made. I simply connected them with jump rings and added a hook & eye.

Polyshrink bracelet

I made it to wear as a test piece, to see how well it holds up. I’m mainly concerned about the ink smearing. The hook & eye was not my first choice as a closure, and it did come undone once today (today was the first day I wore it), so I will have to order some toggles. Why I didn’t get some in the first place I have no idea. I always use toggles on my bracelets.

Other than it coming undone it’s holding up well. And I really love it – it’s simple, with a vintage look, and is pretty. And it’s my style.

if at first you don’t succeed…
A couple years ago I made my first attempts at creating jewelry with Polyshrink. I was never happy with the bracelet I was trying to make, though, and soon realized that when it came to Polyshrink I didn’t know what I wanted to make, or what colors I wanted to use, or even what my style was. So I stopped.

It was only after reading Lisa Guerin’s article on shrink plastic in Somerset Workshop Volume 3 that inspiration arrived. Her article made me rethink my approach, and to work with shrink plastic as if it were paper, in terms of the use of inks and rubber stamps and paper punches.

And I should probably add that this bracelet was inspired by her article.

restocking my magazine pile
I bought two new magazines –

Somerset Life – Jan/Feb/Mar 2009
Somerset Life-Jan/Feb/Mar 2009

and Somerset Studio Jan/Feb 2009.
Somerset Studio - Jan/Feb 2009

I haven’t started reading them yet. I finished the previous issue of Somerset Life and am now reading a wonderful book by Kelly Rae Roberts called Taking Flight, which I will be sure to post a review of once I’m finished.

~signing my paycheck over to Stampington~

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Vintage Paper Crafts by Anna Corba

vintage paper lovelies
My mom bought me Anna Corba’s Vintage Paper Crafts for Christmas. I wrote up a little review – check it out in the Library (scroll all the way down).

I bought some more clear rubber stamps from AC Moore. I forget the official name for these but I think it was something like Birds & Butterflies. They are by Inkadinkado (they make such cute stamps!).

Birds & Butterflies by Inkadinkado

I’m off to work on some more Polyshrink. I made a list of the components I’d like to make for my first pieces, and I hope to have them completed by the end of the week.

~creatively yours~

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polyshrink paradise
I have continued my Polyshrink playtime. And I’ve even learned an important lesson. Tsukineko VersaMagic Multi-surface Chalk Ink – no smears. Tsukineko VersaColor Ultimate Pigment Ink – smears like crazy. Good thing the pieces I’m working on are just practice. I used the VersaColor in black to stamp a bunch of pendant pieces. When I punched the holes or inadvertently touched the surface, the ink smeared. That’s ok though – these are the things I need to learn.

bathroom inspiration
I don’t know what it is about the bathroom that triggers inspiration, but while in the bathroom at work yesterday an idea came to me for my vintage Halloween project – party-favor trick-or-treat bags. I’ve been trying to come up with something a little different, and I think this is a neat idea.

smell my feet
I’m going to decorate/embellish the small size kraft-paper bags to serve as party-favors for a vintage Halloween party. I’ll use vintage photos, pages from a book, other papers, ribbon, paper flowers, crystals, and of course glitter glue.

Because nothing is done until there’s glitter glue on it.

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shrink away
I don’t know what it is about shrinking Polyshrink that is so utterly enjoyable – it always brings a smile to my face. Watching each piece curl and shrink into a miniature version of itself is just so much fun!

Here are a few practice pieces I’ve done so far. These are intended to be used in either a bracelet or necklace.

Example of Polyshrink

The larger pieces are the Polyshrink in its pre-shrunken state, and the smaller pieces are the shrunken version. The large oval is 1&1/4″ by 2″ before being shrunk. The Polyshrink shrinks about 55% once it is heated.

To make these pieces I first sanded both sides of the Polyshrink in a crosshatch pattern. Then I applied pearlescent chalk to one side, stamped that side, and let it sit overnight. I applied the chalk to the other side and stamped it as well. I punched out the shapes with various paper punches, and used a hole punch for, well, the holes! And finally the really fun part – using my heat tool to shrink each piece.

I did end up dabbing the wet areas with a paper towel, and you know what? It turned out just fine. I was worried too that punching out shapes after I had already stamped it would smear the ink, but that didn’t happen.

I’m really pleased with these pieces – I think they turned out great. Polyshrink has so much possibility – as long as you keep the shrinkage in mind!

purple pen perfection
I had to go on a search mission to find more of my most favorite Pentel RSVP purple pens. It took several attempts but my determination paid off and I finally found them at a Staples. Panic was (barely) averted. I was, however, forced to use a pen with black ink at work for several hours until my precious purple pens could be located.

I get extemely attached to my pens. I have no idea why, but I do. I take my writing instruments very seriously.

~writing from purple paradise~

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grown-up shrinky-dinks
I’ve been playing with polyshrink the last few evenings. So far I have sanded and stamped. I haven’t shrunk anything yet.

One problem that I always seem to have is the ink not drying. I plan to stamp on both sides of the polyshrink, so if the ink is still wet in spots it will smear if I turn the piece over to stamp the other side. I think in this instance I may have put too much ink on the stamp.

At this point, since I have let the piece sit for several days now, I think I will dab the wet spots with a paper towel and proceed with stamping the other side. I’ve decided this particular sheet is going to be for practice, so if it gets a little messed up that’s ok.

Most likely tomorrow night I’ll be doing some shrinking, so I’ll post some pictures over the weekend.

vintage brass goodness
I also received my order from Accessories Susan – antiqued-brass bead caps, beads, chain, and findings for some vintage-style jewelry I have in mind to make.

have a delightful day~

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Another year gone by. Wherever does the time go? Seems like it was June only a few weeks ago. That’s alright, it will be here in another few weeks!

Let’s revisit 2008
Here’s a recap of what I accomplished in 2008, creativity-wise:
1. Rearranged my studio.
2. Completed a collaged frame for Marc.
3. Made a “vintage halloween” project which I submitted to Somerset Studio.
4. Made invitations for Lily’s birthday party.
5. Made earrings for my sister’s birthday and bookmarks for Mother’s Day gifts.
6. Started the second side of my green carnelian (poor thing hasn’t been worked on since July though).
7. Made a Father’s Day card for Marc and a birthday card for my Grammom.
8. Participated in two inchies swaps and one ATC swap.
9. Made a digitally-altered book and entered it in a contest.
10. Made a birthday crown and a necklace for my Mom’s 60th birthday.
11. Made two Marie Antoinette canvases and submitted them to Stampington.
12. Made necklaces for my sister and sister-in-law for Christmas and a collage for my Mom.
13. Took a tatting class.
14. Made a necklace for me!

This is not to brag, of course. It’s just that sometimes I feel I’m not accomplishing much, and when I started to look back on the previous year I was surprised by how much I actually did.

I still, however, did not learn how to solder. That makes two years now that I’ve not achieved that goal. But there’s always 2009…

Speaking of which
My goals for this year include, in addition to soldering, opening up my Etsy shop and completing my new website, finishing several old projects, and getting back to my jewelry roots but in the new styles I am envisioning. I’d love to take a class too, especially at one of the bead conferences. And I want to keep working with paper, paint, rubber stamps, and the like.

That should keep me pretty fruitful!

Pretty little rubberstamps
Check out these sweet rubberstamps I bought at AC Moore today. Aren’t they so cute? They’d be great on cards. I may try them with the polyshrink too but I’m afraid they may end up being too small once the polyshrink is shrunken. But I’ll give it a try.

Inkadinkado – Flower Garden
Inkadinkado - Flower Garden Clear Stamps

I also bought two of the Tim Holtz Distress Inks – Milled Lavender and Antique Linen. I’ve never tried them before. And Tsukineko’s Versa Magic Dew Drops in Perfect Plumeria, Purple Hydrangea, Spanish Olive, and Aegean Blue. I have one of their other sets which I love and use all the time. And these colors are so pretty.

Looking forward to what 2009 holds~

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