Fun with {old} Friendly Plastic!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! We had a sweet morning before work and school exchanging valentines goodies and cards:) The kids are looking forward to the valentine party at school and as a classroom treat we cut hearts out of watermelon (cut the rind off a watermelon and slice it 3/4″ thick and use a cookie cutter to cut hearts or other shapes) and made a fruit plate that I will bring to school in a bit. Here is the valentine card I made my husband. Stamps are by About Art Accents.

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I used Friendly Plastic to make the charm  I was given a bunch of old friendly plastic sticks last year. Friendly plastic has a shelf life, after a couple of years it becomes brittle and snappy, not bendy and pliant, so you can’t use it for all techniques. Luckily I discovered ways to use the old stuff so if you have some friendly plastic from long ago or if you bought some recently and discovered that it breaks rather than bends here are some techniques you can try. Get a cuppa coffee folks, this is a long, but hopefully entertaining and informative video. You can do any of these techniques with new Friendly Plastic as well!

And, yes, I found something else to use my coffee cup warmer for! Yay, it earns a place on my worktable:) So to recap the following techniques will work with old FP: Marbleizing, inlay or crazy quilt technique, ooze technique (pressing metal mesh or wire into the melted plastic so it oozes up around it) and breaking up and melting in molds.

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Tips: Snap off bit of plastic (like I did in the video.) Cutting the old stuff with scissors will make it shatter (the new stuff should cut just fine.) If you are buying new Friendly plastic, check it in the store to make sure it bends, if it snaps it is old.  Don’t buy more than you can use up in a year, short shelf life, remember.

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A word of caution: The charms made with old friendly plastic should probably be used for card or scrapbook embellishments as they are not the most rugged unless you use several layers and re-enforce with wire or if the pieces are small (earring size.)  I tried snapping some of the larger pieces and they did snap with a bit of pressure so not ideal for long lasting jewelry. I have not used new FP so I am not sure how jewelry would last after it was a few years old, weather it would become brittle with age. There are a ton of fun tutorials on the Friendly Plastic blog to give you an idea of what artists are doing with the new pliant sticks. I highly recommend you have a look and if you have any question on the new Friendly Plastic they would be the ones to ask and they have beginner kits at a reasonable price.

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That’s all for today! I hope if you have some old sticks of Friendly Plastic around you will give this a try rather than becoming frustrated and throwing them away, til next time happy crafting!

Fun With Friendly Plastic & The Emperor has no Clothes

Happy Sunday folks! I hope you are having a good weekend. I went to a psychic party last night…more on that later…but first I want to share a set of Friendly Plastic jewelry I made this week. Friendly plastic looks like shiny bar of Jolly Rancher candy (remember those, 10 cents a piece at the candy counter) you can melt them in a skillet of hot water or with a heat gun and mold them. I cut slivers of the plastic, lined them up on my silicone mat and heated them with my heat gun. I used leaf cutters to cut the earring shapes and added wire, which I had hammered flat, so I could hang them. I reheated the pendent with the wire so it is embedded in the back, no chance of it coming loose.  Then I used beads and findings to turn the FP creations into jewelry, I will put it in the craft fair and hope for the best:)

FYI friendly plastic is pretty inexpensive, about $1-1.50 a bar. My sister has a craft shop and gave me a bag full of broken pieces she could not sell, they get brittle as they get older so if you are buying FP give it a little bend, it should flex, not snap, if it snaps it is old. You can still use it but it is harder to cut because it wants to shatter. If it is old FP ask the shopkeeper for a good deal on it as it has likely been there for years.

Warning, if you believe in psychics and want to continue to do so, you might want to stop reading now.

Still reading? OK then. On to the events of last night. I went to the party with an open mind (I’m like “Moulder” I want to believe) and I did not want to offend or poop on their party but I am quite naturally skeptical. What I didn’t expect was a room full of highly educated women to be completely taken in by this “mystic”. One woman was very uncomfortable and wanted no part of it and I wanted to say “You know this isn’t real right?” I held my tongue and kept my wine glass filled.  I opted for the $20 group reading because I thought it would be a hoot, I was curious if the “psychic” would have picked up any observations of me during the evening that might influence her reading. When she came to me she didn’t have a clue…I even wore my wedding ring although I considered removing it for the night to see if she might come to the conclusion that I was married on her own. Here is how it went:

Psychic: Are you a nurse?

Me: Nope.

Psychic: Do you have any children?

Me: You tell me.

Psychic: It doesn’t work that way…I see a baby (she smiles as if that is news any young woman wearing a wedding ring would want to hear)

Me: Well then, I would have some explaining to do since my husband is ‘fixed’.

Psychic: ah, maybe an adoption then? Or a child in need spending a lot of time at your house?

Me: Good grief.

Psychic: Your husband…he is not happy at work?

Me: He has a great job. He is happy, he has been there 20 years.

Psychic: Are you sure about that? I see a change…maybe moving to a smaller company where he is more appreciated…(more mumbo jumbo and then she moved on to my “job”) ..and for you I see you going to school…

Me: Really? going to school for what?

Psychic: I sense you are not happy with what you are doing now…your boss doesn’t appreciate you..

Me: I’m self-employed.

…and so on and so forth…

And I behaved! I did not roll my eyes or smile sardonically as she “read” the other women in the group but I have to say I felt like the little boy in the book TheEmperor’s New Clothes. I was the least educated women in the room (mostly nurses-the psychic took a good guess) and yet I could see. I must say that I am a tad bit disappointed, I wanted to be disproved. Yes, the psychic had a gift, she made a roomful of highly educated women part with their money in hopes of guidance from a spiritual plane.  I’ll take a fortune cookie any day.

Maybe I will go back to school, I hear there is a lot of money to be made in flim-flamery. Something tells me that I won’t be invited to the next party…that’s not me being psychic…or is it?

Til next time happy crafting:)

A Geisha Paper Doll& Oriental Screen!

So, when I first saw the challenge at OrientalStampArt to create a folding screen card the first thing that popped into may head was making a dressing screen for my Daughters’ “Barbie Dream House” but since my girls never play with their Barbies I made this instead:

I cut the screen out with my die cutter using SCAL software using my versatile Gothic Arch SVG set (it has printable templates too if you don’t own a die cutter) and it was easy as pie to put together. The stunning rubber stamps I used are by About Art Accents and I got really clear crisp impressions by using the curved rock-a-block stamp mounts and stamping on a squishy mat. I stamped the geisha 3 times; on cream, green and purple washi paper then cut out the parts and assembled the green and purple papers over the cream to make a sturdy paper doll.

I wanted to be able to mail this card eventually so I made a belly band to keep it closed.

I can even fold up the doll if I like by unhooking the back of the stand. There are slits on the cardstock strip to hold it together so it will stand.

I employed some fun techniques with this project. Here, me share my tricks with you 😀

I made these buttons out of clay out of moulds I made from vintage buttons (full tutorial on this post):

For a super quick crinkled ribbon I sprayed purple and pearl ink on a piece of seam binding (it is cheaper to buy a 100 yard roll of seam binding and dye it as you need it and it is always just the color you want!) scrunching it up and blasting it with a heat tool, the heat shrinks the rayon and sets the wrinkles. Just be careful not to heat it too close or one spot too long or it will scorch!

These leaf embellishments were made by breaking up bits of Friendly Plastic (AMACO) into a silicone mould and heating it with the heat gun. I am actually using a pretty silicone fondant mould made by Wilton. Be aware that many of the clay moulds out there are not silicone and you might melt them with this technique! I have been playing with Friendly Plastic a lot lately, look for a tutorial coming up soon!

 

I don’t know why I didn’t think of making paper dolls with my geisha stamps before, they are such beautiful designs. I hope you have some time to get crafty this weekend, til next time happy crafting!

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