Category Archives: Craft

Barbie with a Brain

I made my first Brainy Barbie maybe 5 years ago.  I’ve only sold 5 or 6 of them but they always get attention at markets.  Many people laughed, “Barbie with a Brain, ha!” but I never thought of Barbie as being particularly stupid.  I had Doctor Barbie and other Barbie who did interesting things and I never acted out Barbie as a ditz, she was also doing a job.  Bratz on the other hand…

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I never intended for my Brainy Barbie (or Barbie with a Brain) to be a commentary on the doll but just did it because I had a Barbie there, without a head and a brain there and just put the two together.  I like the way this doll creates discussion and how much people love the idea.

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Stamps

Meet my new stamps.
After getting several requests to make stamps for people I decided I should have them readily available in my shop.

I’ve been slowly adding all of the designs I currently have and I’m thinking up new ones.
Something I have not made for a while is Testes, in any form.  Testes are quite a time consuming part to make.  So I think a stamp is probably a good idea.

Below, Bird Skulls, Pelvis, Intestine and Uterus.

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Taxidermy

I’ve wanted to learn taxidermy since I was small, late primary school age, probably about 10.  When I was in year 8 (the first year of high school in Australia) I said that I wanted to be a taxidermist (when asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?”) Wanting to be a taxidermist (and actually saying that) are probably not the best moves for someone just starting high school, but whatever.

I finally got a chance to try it out in one of Mickey Alice Kwapsis’ workshops when she came to Brisbane.

Very excited to try more taxidermy.  In fact I have to order some scalpels this evening.

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When the rabbit was first done I had to pose it
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It has dried out really well but is a bit top heavy.

Resin Cicada

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Whenever I work with resin I always end up with a little bit spare so I decided to coat this cicada shell. I slathered it in resin all over and then rolled it over every 15 mins for about 1.5 hours.  After that I hung the guy up on a toothpick and as the resin slowly dripped off I picked it up and kept dripping it on.  After about 2-3 hours the resin was getting very thick so I left the cicada to cure.

I am impressed with how the cicada has turned out as I really had no clue what I was doing.  It is very hard and sturdy.  I think I could do a second coat of resin to get this even sturdier and wear as a necklace, or add a brooch pin.

The resin I used was Castin’ Craft from Over the Rainbow.

Ovaries in a Jar are back!

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I forgot all about Ovaries in a Jar! I really dropped the Ovary on that one! But now the Ovaries are in my Etsy shop in a cute little jar.  They’ve been away since 2012.
I’ve also been thinking that I need to make the anatomy to suit the jar, not make the anatomy and try find a jar.  I don’t want to keep buying jars when I have so many available to me already (I also collect them for Terrarium Workshops).

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Hands On Brisbane-Workshops

Hands On Brisbane is a workshop program based in Brisbane, Australia that aims to deliver affordable art, craft and design workshops.  We’ve just launched the Spring workshop program, including a few new workshops.

Hands On Brisbane is my “day job,” although I sometimes wonder how you choose which is the main job and which the extra.  Hands On Brisbane brings me better pay than my own business, Your Organ Grinder, but I spend more time on Your Organ Grinder, so which is which?  Well anyways, Hands On is one of the things I do.

This term I am taking 7 workshops, that includes 2 terrarium workshops and 2 screen printing ones, plus a resin workshop, shrinky dinks and polymer clay.  I’ve been teaching Terrariums for ages and probably showed over 150 people how to put together a Terrarium. My favourite workshop is definitely Shrinky Dinks, the participants get so excited about the shrinking plastic and want to make more and more.  Every time every person is thrilled with the results.

If you are in Brisbane and like to learn new skills drop by the website http://handsonbrisbane.com/ and check us out!

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How Pinteresting!

I signed up to Pinterest quite a while ago but didn’t use it much at first.  Earlier this year during a business overhaul (when you have all this energy to do amazing things with your business which pretty soon disappears under the millions of things you have to do) I decided to try to get into it more and I have been using it pretty solidly ever since.  I enjoy the ease of Pinterest, adding things to your board with a simple click (and I really enjoy adding things to the wrong boards…cute animal in Savoury Meals and Snacks). Recipes are especially easy to save with Pinterest.

I do try to promote Your Organ Grinder on Pinterest when I think of it but often I just open it up, pin some cute animals or food ,(I follow a board based around Lemon sweets and I just love all the Lemon recipes) and get overwhelmed when someone has been pinning something with the same theme all day…

Are you a Pinterest fan?

Find me on Pinterest here.

Choosing Colours

We’ve got a Beginners Fabric Design workshop coming up soon so I wanted to design some fabric and turn it into a cushion cover.  I wanted a very easy design to work with and had a triangle of stamp rubber on my desk so decided to go with that.  As the workshop revolves around stamps and screen printing I also made a triangle screen design.  It is great to be working with something a little different for a change.

Here are the colours I am playing around with.  The blobs are the screen printing ink colours and the triangles are the stamp colours.  What colours go best with what other colours do you think?

What colours go with what colours?

What colours go with what colours?

For more info on Workshops head to www.handsonbrisbane.com 

 

 

Rag Rugs

A couple of weeks ago we had the Rag Rugs Workshop for Hands On Brisbane.  The workshop was taught by Naomi, who I went to primary school with.  Naomi taught us how to make Rag Rugs from old fabrics using just fabric and a safety pin.

I’ve started two rugs, the bottom one is probably 1/3 finished.  The purple one is on hold until I get some fabric.  The bottom rug is made from some second hand sheets, the purple one is from my collection of hand dyed fabrics (that I no longer use).  It is great to be able to use old sheets for something.

If you are in Brisbane and want to learn this technique for yourself you can book at the links below.

Rag Rugs on May 31

Rag Rugs on June 21

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Rag Rug