The Huntsman Spider on this Brooch and Earrings is based on one of the spider specimens you can see in the Queensland Museum. The spider is looking a bit worse off after being in a cabinet for years but provided a suitable starting point for this little guy.
If you are a Queenslander you are probably pretty used to seeing Huntsman Spiders around your house, your yard, the garden shed, etc. They are a pretty common feature in most environments.
I used to be afraid of the hairy little guys until I had a chat with one. I was desperate for a good nights sleep but when I went in to the bedroom there was a large spider on the wall. I’d usually get upset and sleep elsewhere but that night no spider was going to ruin my plans for a good sleep. I told the spider to stay away from me, explained my situation and requested the spider keep to himself, the spider obliged. Since then I’ve not had any issue with them. I changed the way I dealt with the spider and how I reacted to it and it ended up in my favour.
January 28-February 3
There is a tree in our front yard that is a home to crows, the crows fly in and out of the tree all day. During the school term the crows steal food from the grounds, they steal yogurt containers, muesli bars, and tuck shop paper bags. All of the rubbish from the food ends up under the tree. But then something started to happen, there were dead animals under the tree every day for 5 days. A rat, another rat, a top knot pigeon, a lorikeet, another rat. I started to expect a corpse under the tree after a few days.
I buried all of the animals under the tree in among all of the litter under the tree. It’s a huge pine so there are heaps of needles and dirt underneath to bury the animals.
After that first 5 days we’ve only seen a few more dead animals under the tree. Mostly old ones, like half mummified rats and bird parts. Today I was reminded of all of the animals the showed up under the tree over that week after my partner mowed under the tree uncovering the poorly buried bodies (it’s super dry under the tree and hard to dig up).
As I have a bit of a collections of bones and body bits the corpses under the tree don’t bother me and I can easily bury them when they do show up. We don’t think the crows were actually killing the the animals but that the rats were poisoned (there were heaps of dead rats in the area at the time) and that a cat originally killed the birds and the crows stole the bodies.
I’ve been wanting to make laser cut wooden pieces for a while and recently decided “Okay, let’s do this.” I read through all of the instructions of how to set up the files on the Vector Etch site (the biz I used to do the laser cutting) and thought it was definitely something I could do. I painstakingly added all of the outlines to the drawings I’d already done, thought about the designs, made the lines the right size. The fun thing here is that I use Inkscape, it’s free software but is a little bit of a nightmare to use sometimes. I think I spent about 20 hours setting everything up and even then some of it went haywire converting to Illustrator at the other end.
I’m really pleased with the results and how fine the details are. There are still a few products coming to this range, some of these were first printed in the first lot but didn’t turn out right (bummer) and others I hadn’t event though of for the first lot.
I spent a fair bit of time sorting out the pelvis, below, and I’m so happy I did as I really love how it turned out.
Intestines never disappoint me and I’m really happy with this guy. He’s about 3 hours of work.
I’ve been playing around with Shrinky Dinks for about 4 years now after learning about them in a Hands On Brisbane class. Hands On Brisbane is my “day job” and one of the perks is learning all sorts of crafts (I have to be able to assist the facilitators).
I started making Your Organ Grinder pieces from Shrinkies soon after. I use an old refurbished Canon printer at the moment. Oh and FYI, you can’t use the ink that is made for archival printing, or the high quality art printing. Just the regular printing ink.
If you want to learn how to make your own Shrinkies you can check out the process I use for shrinking and adding doming resin in my instructable here. If you are in Brisbane I sometimes teach Shrinkie Dinks workshops and Resin workshops at Hands On Brisbane so join our mailing list, here.
Images above are Uterus Earrings, Dodo Earrings, Tapeworm Brooches and Dodo Brooches all made using the shrinky dink with doming resin technique.