Wednesday, January 10, 2018

...quilling and crafting, ravens and bats...

Decades ago when I briefly lived in New England, I got together with a friend and we did crafts. We called ourselves “craftists” because we were not strictly making art nor were we strictly making craft projects. We liked to think that we hovered somewhere between the two. 

I remember reading somewhere that the difference between crafting and being an artist was being original. I cannot say that I really am that original. Most of what I do is because I have looked at something and thought, "That would be perfect IF...." and immediately I am deconstructing it to make it my own. Is that art? *shrug* Probably not. It just means that I know what I like.

Recently I have been making an assortment of crafts from Christmas spiders, which I previously blogged about, to my first attempt attempting quilling, and even making Shrinky Dinks. 

That’s right! Remember when you were a kid and you got to trace and color pictures, stick your entire project in the oven (with adult supervision, of course), and then watch as your work shrunk into tiny pieces of amazingness?!? 

Well, over the holiday, I cleaned up my office, which is used as an office/ crafting space/ library/ reading nook and I found a pack of my Shrinky Dinks plastic pages from circa 1999. They were tucked away with a book on making paper flowers. Oh, yes, I feel that urge coming. Just you wait.
Anyhow, since the academic semester begins next week both for me as an instructor and also for me as a student in my final semester of the Public History program, I have a ton of items to check off on my to-do list. So, what am I doing this evening? Why, I am crafting!

First, here is my first attempt at quilling. I picked up a small introduction kit years ago and prompting shoved it in a drawer. Last year when my mother was cleaning up some of her stash of crafts, she handed over some of her own quilling supplies because while she thought she would try it, she never did.

I followed a basic bat pattern and then created the full moon and overgrown cemetery freestyle. The second one was all freehand without a pattern. I think if given excessive time, I might have a knack for quilling.

Shrinking Dinks can be much less creative. Since I do not have the natural ability to draw freehand, and the world just does not provide me with the visual images that I life, I tend to merge visuals with my own ideas. Case in point, I saw a heart shape mouth and decided it would look much better with fangs. The little vampire boy was freehand and he does look a bit wonky but that’s alright because I like wonky.

The entire Shrinky Dinks crafting project stemmed from Edgar Allan Poe’s 209th birthday party next week. I realized that I needed a brooch to wear to the Poe Museum birthday event. Because I’m planning to wear black velvet and the only raven brooch I have is, err, black, I decided that I needed to come up with another option. With so little time to order a custom brooch on Etsy, I decided that Shrinky Dinks was my answer. 

Voila! Crafting magic in the house!

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