The last time I made Brain Earrings (of the needle felted variety) was in 2012. They were something I made quite a few pairs of over a few years and I had become a bit tired of making them. Making small brains like this is a bit of a challenge. Half they time they don’t look very good at all and I’d started making them bigger and bigger, to get better details. I wasn’t really happy with the size or the process and stopped, for 4 years.
Recently I got to thinking about them again. Why? I don’t know. I just decided to give it a shot. Forget about all of the OTHER work I need to do and spend way too long making brain earrings. Yeah, they take forever!
The brain earrings come with a little glass jar so you can store them like a brain specimen, also available in my shop.
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.
It’s almost half way through February and I’m still plugging away on replacing anatomy that sold before Christmas as well as recently sold bits and pieces. Lots of hand sewing in front of the TV to keep my eyes all good, even though I recently got glasses.
I’m currently addicted to Pretty Little Liars which my sister loaned me. I’ll start season 5 next week to see what happens with Alison being back. I read that PLL is like “I Know What You Did Last Summer” meets “Gossip Girl.” I never watched Gossip Girl but my Mum loves IKWYDLS so have seen that so many times. Although I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s quite like IKWYDLS it is a very addictive mystery with lots of weird story arcs that leave you going WTF?!
Below-Brass Ribs Necklace, Brain brooch and Lungs Brooch
Hands On Brisbane are always announcing new workshops, or working on new workshops. The facilitators are always working with new techniques to be able to bring new workshops to us. This is part of what makes my job so rewarding, I get to sit in and learn new techniques as well as the students. This means I can help with the workshop next time and learn a new technique to take home and work with. Most recently I sat in on Simple Journal Making and picked up techniques to make little notebooks, one is shown below.
This week I am putting together the new season and trying to figure out what workshops we want to see next time. Any ideas?
One of the most interesting workshops for May is this one Bespoke Jewellery Making where we use Milk bottle, stamps and resin to make unique jewellery.
I’m also looking forward to seeing what works the student make in Relief Printmaking. It is so fun seeing other people create art in 2 hours!
Paper and fabric notebook with a grain weevil stamp cover.
I’ve been wanting to try out some drawn threadwork techniques for a while and finally got around to it this afternoon.
This is my first piece of threadwork and I think my eyes are going to fall out. It’s not very neat but is a little bit charming how it is.
I also tried Hardanger embroidery and Cutwork embroidery . They need much more practice to get them neat. What a mess! I also need a new pair of embroidery scissors which I will grab tomorrow during Easter spotlight and Lincraft sales.
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…
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.
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.
Some super cute Terrariums were made at our Terrarium workshops this winter for Hands On Brisbane. More Terrarium workshops planned for Spring and Summer. Send me a message through my contact page if you are interested in learning to make your own Terrarium.
The Finders Keepers is on in Brisbane the weekend of the 5th and 6th July, about a month away! I applied at the last minute after getting home from holidays and have been making goodies since I found out I got a spot.
As I make all of my stuff from scratch it is a lot of work. Screen printing, stamping, cutting out felt to sew, needle felting… And now I have to start thinking about the display I want to have (I’ve got a lot of ideas, just need to bring them all together). At least my felt jobs are dwindling. On the list at the moment I only have Heart Necklace, Plant Cell Necklace, Uterus Brooch, Liver Brooch, Felted Brain Jar, Kidney Jar, Felted Brain Hair Tie, Felted Brain Brooch, Vein Man Mini Cushion and Skin Hoop. I should be able to get most of this finished by end of next week. I’ll cut most out tomorrow…