Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Home Made Shrinky Dinks!

 This last weekend a group of friends and I had a Shrinky Dink Craft Night.  I've been seeing some awsome jewelry made out of this stuff I use to play with as a kid.  If you have never had the chance I suggest you try it.  It's an excellent activity for all ages and you can ReUse some of your recyclables!

Here is how.
Find any #6 plastics, some examples are fresh berry containers or deli lunch containers.

Cut out the flat bottoms and tops of the containers.

 Rough up the surface with a piece of sandpaper, or you could just rub it on the concrete for a minute.  Your just prepping the surface so it will hold the medium of your choice.

 Apply medium of your choice.  Markers, colored pencils, rubber stamping all works great.  Just keep in mind you color will come out super concentrated as the plastic shrinks, so plan accordingly.
We used a toaster oven which heats up faster than a conventional oven and saves on energy.
There is no specific time for baking the plastic, you have to sit there and watch it, and it goes pretty fast.

 Place your plastic on a piece of baking parchment on a pan and make sure your oven is pre-heated.  Your shrinky  will curl and shrivel and your heart will jump because you think it's ruined!  But fear not.  99% of the time it flattens itself out.  When you take it out of the oven slide the parchment paper off the tray onto a hard flat surface like a counter, and put another piece of parchment on top.   Have a plate, or something hard and flat, and press down on your covered shrinky to flatten it out even more.
You have to be quick when it comes out of the oven because it cools quickly.  You can always put the shrinky back in the oven if you are not satisfied with it's shape.

Baby Shower Card!

Months ago I found a Niki McClure Book Mark for a past show of hers.  The image was perfect for a baby shower card and I knew I would be needing to make one for a friend soon.  So I tucked the bookmark away.
The baby shower was this past weekend and I put this card together last minute after having a laps in memory of where I "tucked it away".  Luckily I found it, and turned it into a beautiful card that got a lot of attention, but not nearly as much attention as my Mothers hand knitted pink baby sweater did.
I'm finding all sorts of uses for my button collection!


Friday, May 27, 2011

I don't care who you are that's pretty darn cute!

Believe it or not this form has been sitting on my work bench for months.  I thought up the idea when I did the acorn clock but never got around to finishing the mushroom clock.  I'm already making more.  I just fell in love with the final product.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cup Cake Clocks Unveiled!

Just finished up the first batch of cupcakes and already had one sold before it even left the work bench!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Bonjour Cupcake

I hung a small portion of my work this weekend in a local cup cake shop that just opened.  Bonjour Cupcake.  I am guilty of being very supportive of this shop, I can't help it, they are soooo delicious.  And the shop owner has been kind enough to let me hang a few framed prints on her walls.

Setting up for Baby Shower
The shop is a light airy space with beautiful decor.  When I was there hanging my work on Sunday they were setting up for a baby shower.  It's a perfect place for such an event.

I met the shop owner last November at a holiday bazaar.  She approached me and asked me to do a custom clock for her.  She wanted a cup cake clock for her shop she was setting up.  I was more than happy to accommodate her request.

Original custom clock for Bonjour Cupcake
She opened her shop on Arts Walk at the End of April.  Just before opening she called me up to tell me she already had a number of people commenting on the clock and wanting to know where to get one.  She asked me to make a few more for her to hang.

So I have a few on my work bench that are scheduled to be done by the end of Wednesday this week.  I'm excited to get them to her, mainly so I can get another tasty cupcake!
Sneak Peak at cup cake clocks on my work bench
Yummy texture!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sneak Peak at Upcoming Clocks

It's nice when I can do my dirty work of cutting and sanding outside in the sunshine.  These upcoming clocks have been inspired by my good friends.  I'm excited to see them transform!  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Musical Clocks

Every clock I have produced has a story behind it.  Whether it’s from my friend’s famous pies or my mother’s craft room, every idea has an origin.  The guitar pick clocks are no different.  In fact music has been a constant theme in my art.  I have always had a passion for music.  If I did not go the visual artist route I would have ventured into the musician world. 

As is my brother went the musician route.  He played the piano as a kid and latter on picked up the guitar.  It is his outlet and passion.  He studies other artist, mostly rock and roll and country, composes his own songs and will play for almost anyone who will listen.  I use to love sitting around after work and sketching while he played.  A couple of years ago everyone pitched in and got him a drum set for Christmas so he could jam with others.  Since then his music room has grown, earplugs are mandatory, and good friends have started to take drum lessons to accommodate.

When I started thinking about clocks I kept my brother close in my mind.  He is not the kind of person who would shop on Etsy, partially because he is a last minute Christmas Eve mall shopper, if not a giver of cash in a store bought card, but mainly because he doesn’t have a computer.  But if I could create a product he liked, then I would be reaching a target audience.  A musical audience!  So when I came up with the guitar clock I gifted him one of the first I made.  It’s still on his wall, made of wood instead of a vinyl record, and all his buddies love it.

The guitar pick clock has come a long way since my first wood prototypes.  I switched to vinyl when I ran out of the scrap wood I had sitting around my studio.  It was a brilliant choice and is very appropriate especially for my musical orientated clocks.  I have many versions of the guitar picks now and can’t seem to keep enough in stock.

I’m always open to custom orders.  In fact I have an uncle who wants me to take a pick of his with a lot of personal memento and use it on a clock for his music room.  I’m more than happy to accommodate, but first he has to get me the pick! 

I’m always playing with new ideas, and thinking of different people in my life.  I never know who will inspire me next. Maybe it will be you!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reworking my Etsy "About"

So I have decided to change my About section on my Etsy page and after playing with it awhile I'm not so sure if  I'm on the right track for myself.
I'll walk you through my thought process.

I've had the following since I started my shop in early 2010.

I am a visual artist who is finding ways to incorporate my talents and passion into functional art. I love to paint in all mediums available to me. I also love to print, and to teach others to print. 

Right now clocks are a big thing for me. I collected clocks as a kid and my love for the ticking and tocking has never died. A while ago I was looking for a new clock for our new home, but I wanted something fun and original. I didn’t find anything I liked, so I started to make my own. Since then I have had tons of fun with it.

I have transformed the den in our house to my studio, and am constantly fighting with my green thumb husband about how much space he can have for his plants! I have had a studio in every house/apartment I’ve lived in for the past 16 years, even if it meant I didn’t have a living room. Having a studio was a prerequisite before getting married or buying a house. 

I love to create. It makes me feel accomplished. I sit at a desk for my day job and at the end of the day there is nothing I’d rather do than play in the studio.

I felt there was not enough of me in this description.  I was telling about my products but not enough about me.  I wanted to describe myself with more of my voice.  I also wanted a little bit that others could relate to.  So I came up with the following.

I love stories I can lose myself in, sun soaking kitties, kayaking the Puget Sound, skirts with pockets, playing footbag with my husband, and homemade breakfast burritos for dinner.

As a kid I would read books in my favorite trees, swim in the river, beat all the boys in bike races with no hands, collect fun clocks, and of course get my friends to craft with me.

As an adult I barley have time to read books in one sitting like I use to. I still swim the river at least twice a summer and I look longingly at my bike every morning as I leave to my day job.

I have transformed the den in our house into my studio, and am constantly fighting with my green thumb husband about how much space he can have for his plants! My studio is my sanctuary where I spend my time printmaking, sketching, painting, making clocks and inspiring others in random craft projects.

I believe everyone can harness the power of creativity and use it for greater good. My ultimate goal with my art is to motivate others, and motivate myself to live up to my childhood expectation of being an adult.

I then got to thinking that this says nothing about how I got to be on Etsy.  So I started from scratch again and came up with the following.

When I was a kid I said I wanted to be an artist and had elaborate day dreams about how life as an adult artist would be.  As a teenager I would have similar day dreams, but shortly after that I got caught up in everyone else’s expectations and forgot all about these dreams.  As I worked my way through college for literature and various other subjects, art was always and only on the side.  It was something I was good at but not a career path.  Even while working at the local art store I never considered pursuing art as my business.  In hindsight this is very surprising because I always had studio space wherever I lived, even if it meant I slept in the closet.   But I never once took my childhood artist dream seriously, I had pretty much forgotten about it.
Since I have opened my Etsy shop in earl 2010 I feel like I have found lost pages of my childhood diary.  All of a sudden I remember those day dreams and desires and now I am working hard at making up for lost time. I want to be the adult I once dreamed I would be.

I have transformed the den in our house into my studio, and am constantly fighting with my green thumb husband about how much space he can have for his plants!  It is the best studio space I have ever had.  It is my sanctuary where I spend my time printmaking, sketching, painting, making clocks and inspiring others in random craft projects. 

As you can tell I like the line about my transformed Den.  I think it's important for people to know where I work.  What I did leave out was that I work a day job, I'm torn about this.  I want people to know I'm struggling like everyone else, but at the same time I feel strong as an artist and don't feel defined by my day job.  
I realize that I don't talk about my process or my material in this introduction.  I feel this is better left to the individual listings.

I would love to hear some input about these post.  With each rewrite I'm becoming more and more unsure of what my "About" should say.


Monday, May 9, 2011

A Working Weekend

Right now I'm working every other weekend.  This last weekend was the Made by Heart and Hand event for Mothers day.  I think it was a particularly successful event considering it was the first of its kind in the Wave Studio.  I will definitely participate in their next event if given the opportunity.
I made some new friends and met up with some old friends.  It was a wonderful day.