I wanted to make a special Christmas gift for my fiber friend Lisa. It’s hard to create something original, for someone who does the same crafts you do; and many, much better. She was certain to get hand dyed yarns, and the cute trinkets we buy each other every year, but I wanted something different. I searched Pinterest for something that struck my fancy, and used some crafting items I already had. (Actually, I’m smiling quietly, as the hubs is right here.) Who am I kidding? There’s always something I need. 😆
I eventually found some beautiful projects, using beads, findings, Shrinky Dink plastic, and some art supplies. I had all of it. ✅ These items were combined to create some beautiful pieces of shrink jewelry. Julie Haymaker is an artist who came up with this method in a day dream. She used some tools she had on hand, and manipulated the warm plastic into shapes and eventually flowers. [Julie’s website: https://www.juliehaymaker.com/story%5D The beautiful thing about shrink plastic; if you don’t like your first attempt, you can heat it up and try shaping it again.
I have been having fun with this versatile material ever since. Who would imagine this product, formerly used by kids, to make magnets for Mother’s Day, could be turned into art or mixed media components. With all the possibilities…my “bunny butt” was down another rabbit hole. I purchased Julie’s set of 4 silicone molds; my favorite being the pink one, followed by the green. Here’s my first attempts: made with stencils and Tim Holtz’s Distress Oxides.
I made several of these prior to Christmas, mixed them with findings; had and bought. (Rabbit Hole) I made several pair of earrings, and pendants, that I gifted to friends.
After making all these pieces, I wanted to take my lessons to a new level, at least for me. I found some vintage broach backings on Etsy, and went to work creating. Since our friendship started with knitting and fiber, I wanted to incorporate my felted fiber into her special piece. I thought: why not attach the broach to a felted backing.
You can see all the end caps and beads used: there’s even a crocheted piece under the yellow flower for additional texture. Everything is attached to the broach back with wire. My engineer husband Brian, is much better with wire tools, than I am. He put a series of 3 jump rings, on either side, to make it hang correctly from a chain. Then we attached a large jump ring on either end. Then to add a bit of panache, I attached hand dyed silk ribbon ties, to each end. This is the result:
I didn’t know I would be using this photo in an article. I snapped it to remember what I did with the necklace. But, I think you can get the idea, and hopefully you will see many more possibilities, with your own fibers. I feel the possibilities are endless. Let me know your thoughts.
P.S. I intended to continue with my hexagon story, and show how how I connect them, but they have been in timeout, to prepare Christmas gifts. Then we picked up this little guy, Porter, who keeps us entertained, and on our toes. He likes to nibble on those too!