Monday, September 2, 2013

Bridging the Gap

Mar 6 2012

Bridging the Gap

Posted by: Kristen Swain · Edit
Hello Circlets! Kristen here today and we are posting about how we share our passion for crafting.
I don’t live in an area with a close scrapbook store, and  haven’t had the opportunity to go to  many crops. I create better at home, since I’m so used to it. So sharing with fellow scrappers is limited to me. I truly adore the online community of scrappers. Sharing on blogs, pinterest, facebook and message boards. But I am sharing that with other crafters, people who also have a passion for creating, those who understand it. How do I reach out to those who aren’t on this side of the crafting ‘fence’?
I am trying to pass the creative torch to my daughters. It’s very strange that between both of them, neither really has had much desire to create with me, up until now.  This year, a year full of book reports and science reports that have had to be dimensional, my Cricut has gotten a work out. At least once a month, one of the girls comes home to ask me for help in creating one of these reports. I think until this point, my scrapbook stuff and Cricut machines have been taken for granted by them. They now have a new appreciation. But we are still a long way off from them coming to me and asking to create with paper.
However, I have been creating and altering their clothes, making jewelry, dimensional projects for their rooms and in this, I am finally getting that eager response I have been hoping and waiting for. Now they are excited when a trial project turns out and they get the benefit of it. Now I am asked if they can help. It makes my heart happy. Alizabeth, my oldest found my stash of colored foils and has begun creating small projects, embossing the foils to create a framed print. Annalise is excited to try the new tie dye with sharpies and alcohol that we found on pinterest. They are getting there. I found my own way to get here, and I believe they will too.
Today, my project for you has me away from my papers, no stickers, no flowers, no buttons and twine! But I still created a great craft that I hope interests you. Wanna make some cool jewelry that the kids can help create?
My daughters love jewelry, but I have found it can be cheap and mass production limits their creative styles, so when we can, we’ll sit down and sort together a fun necklace or bracelet, even a pair of earrings. I wanted to create a necklace and earring set that would coordinate with a variety of colors, be unique and still be “store bought’ looking. Alizabeth is really into bright colored clothes right now, so I decided that we could create this set together.
Here is what we created!

I went searching at the local craft store and was able to find Graphix Shrink Film. Remember how much fun Shrinky Dinks were? I think it’s one of the coolest reactions watching those films shrink before your eyes. I was able to cut the film in my Cricut Expression ( at max pressure and med. speed) using my regular blade.  So now, my options are just endless! I have any shape I could cut out and make into shrink art.  I chose to go with a simple star, as I knew it would be something that will be general enough to appeal to my daughter.
I found the perfect star- with rounded corners so no getting poked with a sharp edge- and decided to punch my own holes instead of cutting them with the Cricut. Forgive my dirty mat, it wasn’t sticky enough so I tried adding some Tombow Multi glue all over, then wiping it off just to leave a sticky background. ( The Multi is re-positionable so it’s perfect to help sticky up your older mats)  I cut two sizes of stars, to have two sizes on the finished jewelry.

Peel off your stars and punch a hole in them right away- so you don’t forget to! You don’t even have to sand if you use Sharpie markers like I did.

Get the kids to color the stars, let them be as creative as they like. The Sharpie sticks well and doesn’t come off the film. Try to keep from touching the ink on the stars as much as possible, as it does come off a bit on your fingers.

Shrinking in action, soooo cool!! I used a torn piece of parchment paper and a large needle to hold my stars, once they started shrinking they tended to fly away from the heat gun. Oh! Did I mention, you can do this with a heat gun, you don’t have to do them in the oven. So much more control, and I found that just by leaving the gun on the star long enough, it would flatten down perfectly! I also found that both my kids were able to do the shrinking with the heat gun, while I watched over them, and that made the crafting much more fun for them.

All strunk down!

I bought a thin chain, some jump rings and earring backings. I had a circle piece for the necklace and bought some black cording for the necklace as well.
Now, to create the jewelry. For the Earrings

I added two sizes of stars onto the thin chins, then I added each strand to a jump ring that I had threaded each star onto. I hung all the chains off the main jump ring, and hung that onto the earring backing. I made sure I created two of each length and color star to match both earrings.

For the necklace I added the gem circle to the black cording, gives it a little touch of sparkle. Then I added the stars to various lengths of chain, adding them to two jump rings I put onto the gem circle. I made my necklace last, so I made sure I had two of each for the earrings, then whatever was left for the necklace.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. I love creating jewelry and cutting the shrink film with my expression was so much easier and faster then any other way. And how amazing it is to share a love of creating and crafting with my daughter, who just loves her new necklace set.

Cricut Expression
Cricut Font and Basic Shapes
Graphix Shrink Film- in clear
Sharpie Markers
Hole punch- Cropadile
Black Cording, Thin Chain, Jump Rings, Earring Backings, Circle Gem Piece, Needlenose Pliers- craft supply

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