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11  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Grumpy Cat Shrink Plastic Chandelier Earrings on: February 06, 2014 09:48:08 AM


So my latest craft obsession has been working with shrink plastic! I have been wanting to make a pair of Monday earrings to beat the Monday blues. What better subject for such a project than Tardar Sauce aka 'Grumpy Cat'?

This is the brand of ink jet printable shrink plastic I used:


I created the printable art file & lightened it by about 50%. Printed them, cut the pieces out, & punched holes for assembly. Shrank them in the toaster oven set at 275...according to the package instructions. I did one piece at a time to prevent the pieces from melting & sticking together.


If I were to do the art for this again, I would've made it even lighter as they became quite dark after the shrinking process. Check out how much they shrink up!




I attached the limbs with various jump rings & attached an earring hook at the top:

They have a bit of movement because of the dangling limbs & make a little plastic clinky noise while they're being worn.




I hope this project inspires you! My next project with shrink plastic will be my bunny, Yuki. I need to think spring & get over this cabin fever!


Haven't tried working with shrink plastic before? Check out this video tutorial: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=341442.0#axzz2sZ0G7pKx

Here is an easy DIY Valentine jewelry shrink plastic project you can download & make for Valentine's day: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=431298.0#axzz2sZ0G7pKx
12   / JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Valentine Earrings Craftalong with Shrink Plastic Cupids on: February 04, 2014 08:31:41 AM
Make yourself or your sweetheart a pair of cute-cupid shrink plastic earrings!


What you need:
My cute cupid artwork provided for personal use only
printable shrinky dink plastic for ink jet printers
an ink jet printer
scissors
hole punch
jewelry findings: jumprings & earwires
jewelry pliers or needle nose pliers to open jumprings
lacquer (not necessary, but recommended)

I was inspired to make some valentine earrings & since it's all about the love, I thought I'd share this with y'all if you'd like to make them for yourself, a friend, or a sweetheart.

Here is the ready to print artwork of my cupids (printable file here). I drew one in my sketchbook & scanned it into the computer to work with. You can see I made a mirror image so they aren't flying the same direction. The color looks washed out here because I decreased the opacity by about 40% so once they shrink, they won't get too dark or muddy looking.

This is the brand of shrink plastic I used:


Cut out the cupids & be sure to leave a little bit of white around all the edges.


Punch a hole for hanging before you shrink them...and it saves you having to drill one later. Wink


Now they're ready to shrink!


Preheat your oven according to the shrink plastic instructions. I used my toaster oven at 275 because there is less air flow & I've had much better experiences shrinking plastic in it rather than my large oven.

Place your pieces to shrink on a tray covered with paper. This is just as I put them in the oven.


This is what they looked like after shrinking:

They do darken up quite a bit.

Once they've cooled to the touch, you can give them a protective coating of clear lacquer to protect the ink.
Add the jumprings & ear wires:

I used two jumprings so that the earrings will hang straight:


Now you're all set to rock your super fun cupid earrings or give them as a gift!

13  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites - Party Food Appetizer on: February 04, 2014 06:10:15 AM
We made these for our family superbowl party & they were epic...so good I just have to share with y'all!



Ingredients:
2-3 lbs. boneless/skinless chicken breast
1 lb. thick cut bacon
1 cup brown sugar
one packet chili seasoning
1/2 tsp. cloves

Preheat oven to 350

Prepare a tray to bake on. I used a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil & placed a rack on the top & sprayed it with a non stick cooking spray.

Cut the bacon strips into thirds.
Cut the chicken into one inch cubes/pieces
Mix the brown sugar, cloves, & about half of the chili seasoning together in a plastic bag for dredging the chicken.

Completely coat the chicken with the brown sugar spice mix.

Wrap bacon around the chicken & secure with a toothpick.


Place the pieces on the prepared tray.


Bake for about 35 minutes. You can rotate the pieces halfway through baking to crisp up both sides.


Enjoy!
14  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Sharpie Tie Dye Unicorn T-Shirt on: January 03, 2014 07:59:36 PM
The original post that inspired me: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=327588.0#axzz2pOF0kWso

I've been wanting to make my little girl a unicorn shirt using this method ever since I first saw the original post.



Here is a tutorial of how I did it.  Smiley

You'll need:
Sharpie pens in any colors you'd like
rubbing alcohol
a t shirt or fabric
sponge brush or watercolor brushes... I used some of my kids' brushes.
a frame of sorts to stretch your fabric so that it doesn't lay flat against any surface.

First I stretched the shirt over a plastic tote lid, so that the shirt itself was raised a bit & not resting flat against the plastic. I figured this would help keep the colors from running where I didn't want them to run. I think if you're doing a small area, an embroidery hoop or q-snap type of frame would work well too.


Next, draw your design on your fabric lightly. The colors are all going to go crazy & bleed into one another, so you don't have to be precise.  Wink


Note: This is what the ink looks like before and after you brush on a little rubbing alcohol.


Then loosely color it in leaving white spaces in between your lines to avoid it getting too muddy looking.


Next, you brush on the rubbing alcohol all over the areas you want the color to explode & run together. Note that it's sometimes going to go where you don't expect it to... as Bob Ross would say, these are happy accidents. Especially on a kiddo's unicorn shirt!  Wink


You can add more color & rubbing alcohol as needed to get your desired effect. I did more linework & shading here...


Finally, you'll want to heat set your sharpie ink before you wash your shirt. I let it dry completely & ironed it.

My little girl loved it! I hope you find yourself inspired to try this method & come up with your own fun designs! Smiley



15  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Yuki the Magic Bunny - Christmas Photo Fun on: December 13, 2013 05:53:26 AM
I've been taking fun photos of my bunny over the past couple years & most recently had some fun photographing her for the holiday season. She is usually very agreeable in doing these little photo shoots & is rewarded with a bit of oatmeal & lots of pats when we're done. She's a very pampered house bunny.  Grin





16  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Monkey-Nog Milkshake Recipe on: December 08, 2013 06:19:47 PM
Monkey-Nog

1 cup milk
2 small bananas or 1 large banana
1/2 cup egg nog
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional - sprinkle in some nutmeg to taste

Blend & enjoy! *giggity*

I was in the mood for a milkshake, but being so close to the holidays & having egg nog on hand, I thought I'd make it festive. I wanted to add more nutrition, so then I put in a couple of bananas & came up with this epic monkey-nog shake! It was so good!

17  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Skylanders Swap Force Jack o' Lantern - Wash Buckler - Pumpkin Carving on: October 28, 2013 10:52:16 AM
We finally picked out our pumpkins this weekend & the kids had definite ideas of what they wanted to carve. My daughter went with a traditional pumpkin face, but my boy who always has to do something different wanted to carve one of the skylanders swap force characters. He did a sketch & I translated it into a doable jack o' lantern pattern.

Here is Wash Buckler!  Smiley


My boy had fun doing the messy job...cleaning out the pumpkin. We're saving the seeds for toasting & some for planting next year.

I drew the pattern on the pumpkin in sharpie marker.

Detail of pattern...

Once the face was carved, I cleaned off the sharpie marker with a paper towel soaked in bleach...it rubs the black marker right off. 

We put a little battery powered lantern light inside to really make it glow since it was such a large pumpkin... 37 lbs!

This is what we used as reference for the skylanders swap force character.

This was my babygirl's more traditional design. Wink


Happy Halloween!
18  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Bacon Soap Recipe Anyone? on: August 09, 2013 09:55:41 AM
Hey there! I thought this would be the appropriate place to ask... does anyone know of a good reliable cp soap recipe that uses bacon fat? My father in law is a bacon addict & I'd love to make him some soap for Christmas using real bacony ingredients.  Wink
19  COOKING / Dessert / Easy Peasy Recipe - Ohio Buckeyes - Peanut Butter Balls Dipped in Chocolate... on: August 05, 2013 11:32:33 AM
Easy Peasy Recipe - Ohio Buckeyes - Peanut Butter Balls Dipped in Chocolate... oh yeah baby!!!

The other day I made buckeyes with my boy. Buckeyes are essentially peanut butter balls dipped in a chocolate coating & they're so fun & easy to make, I thought I'd share this recipe with you. This confection gets its name from its resemblance to the nut from the buckeye tree. If you're that curious...see here: http://www.ohio-nature.com/buckeye-tree.html
 Wink

Peanut Butter Balls:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 C. Peanut Butter - smooth
1/2 C. butter
1 lb. confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1 Tbsp. Vanilla

Soften the butter & add peanut butter. Mix in vanilla & then add the sugar. If dough does not easily roll into balls, then add a bit more peanut butter. Roll into balls 1 - 1.5" in size.

Chocolate Coating:

Ingredients:
1/2 bar of parafin wax
1 12 oz. package of chocolate chips...either milk chocolate or semi sweet chips...your preference.

Melt together in double boiler.

Use a toothpick to dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate coating & leave the top uncovered to resemble a buckeye.

Enjoy & please share your results if you try them!  Wink



20  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / My Crafty Boy's First Sewing Project - Pac Man Ghost on: July 27, 2013 10:39:06 AM
So my boy had a plan & he asked for my help.

He spent a long time thinking about his project & mapping out his plans in his sketchbook.  Smiley


I helped him make a simple pattern, cut out the pieces & did the main sewing on the machine.


He managed the entire project & made sure the eyes were just the way he wanted them.



He then stuffed the ghost & I taught him how to 'patch up' the hole.


He was pretty happy with it when we were done, however he would like me to help him make 'all the ghosts' now.  Cheesy

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