Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shrink plastic bunnies

So I fell in love with the new Bunny die from Sizzix that Tim holtz designed and immediately thought, " how cute would that be shrunk down for a charm?" So today I took out my Shrink Plastic, Alcohol Inks and UTEE.

After cutting the bunny out of clear shrink plastic twice, I used the Ranger Alcohol Ink applicator to color them with Espresso ink and Gold Mixative.
 If you plan to use them as charms you have to punch a hole before you shrink them.  One my first one I used a standard 1/4" punch but found the hole to be too big so instead I used a 1/8" punch for these guys.

I used a wooden skewer through the punched hole to keep the piece from blowing away while I heated it with my heat gun.  That part always freaks me out because it twists and turns and folds up on itself. But when it is done it will flatten out more or less.  I used an acrylic stamp block to flatten it completely before it cooled.

Here you can see the difference before and after shrinking it.  The bow was also cut out of shrink plastic.  I used my Copic markers to color it before shrinking since it was such a small piece I didn't feel like getting out more felt for the applicator!  On my finished ones I also used a tiny Hero Arts stamp of stars to stamp with Archival Ink.

I used Glossy Accents to attach bows, but before I did, I decided I liked the shiny side of the bunny (the un-inked side) better so I decided to dip the bunnies into my melting pot with  Clear UTEE.  However, I must confess, I did a very bad thing... After I started heating the UTEE in the pot I got distracted...Can you imagine?  Me?  Distracted?
Anyway, I kinda forgot it was heating so when I got back to it it had started to turn brown.  The color was like a light amber maple syrup so I figured, why waste it.  I dipped the bunnies and they looked awesome! Once they cooled I glued the bows on and attached an Idea-ology Swivel Clasp.  Pretty cute huh?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012- Celebrating 10 years at The Inspiration Station

Yes. Ten years. Seriously. I have been doing this for ten years.  Who would have thought?  Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think that I would stick with this for ten years when I had the crazy idea to open a store post 9-11.

The store has taken on a life of it's own and is nothing like I envisioned when I started; but that's a good thing! Some of you have been with me for the entire ride and for that I THANK YOU. I am amazed, almost daily, by how things have grown and changed. I was talking to someone the other day trying to explain what the initial concept of The Inspiration Station was. Do you remember?  I was fully immersed in the world of seed beads and peyote stitch jewelry. I was selling my creations at craft fairs and wanted a more permanent place to display them. I wanted to INSPIRE people to make their own beautiful creations. So they could come to the store and purchase my stuff or buy the supplies to make their own.  It was all about inspiring creativity.

Right about now some of you who are newer patrons of the store may be saying "beads? jewelry? What on earth is she talking about?"  Yes, The Inspiration Station began as a bead store. I actually considered having the music in the store be Native American flute music to create atmosphere (can you imagine?). Scrapbooking as an industry was just beginning to take off and I brought a few things in just to have some diversity, read: pay the bills. I knew absolutely NOTHING about rubberstamps and had no plans to go in that direction.

Opening day was a complete shock.  We actually had crowds of people! Of course, I think many of them just came for the free food, but still...  I had a slight panic attack wondering what I had just gotten myself into.  This was going to be my little happy place where people would buy stuff to support my habit and I could sit in the classroom and work on my creative pursuits!  How many people think that is what it's all about? The snowball had started to roll down hill and I had to choose whether to get serious about running a business or a very expensive hobby.

I learned very quickly that I really enjoyed inspiring people and talking to them and seeing their projects. I met some of the greatest people.  My greatest feeling of satisfaction comes when someone walks through the door and their eyes light up with delight, like a kid in a candy store, and they say "Oh my goodness, look at this place!" - Like walking into Disney World.  Ok, so maybe it's not Disney World; but seriously, when someone comes in for the first time who has never been to an independent scrapbook/papercrafts store it is something magical. That is what keeps me going even when the roof leaks, the toilet backs up or I get the bill for the latest oil delivery.

So what I am trying to say in this long and rambling post is THANK YOU. Thank you for feeding my creative spirit. Thank you for supporting this crazy idea for all of these years.  Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for the inspiration I need to continue on this journey.

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