Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Happy Mother's Day....

Such a happy day it was...I have beautiful cards, poetry, and a new climbing rose bush I will try not to kill. And three sweet boys in my life.

The weather looked like this:

We spent a relaxing and fun day with friends at their lovely home. Our breakfast table looked like this:

With vintage china from the 1940s---so gorgeous!

The moms made ATCs with the kids while the dads cooked up a delicious meal of eggs benedict with smoked salmon, pepper bacon from Morse's Saurkraut, delicious fruit salad, and mimosas. Did I mention the fellas also made blueberry scones?

Here are my two ATCs of the day, backgrounds by Robinsunne:

If you look carefully at the card on the left you can see that there is a little plastic flower charm. It is a homemade Shrinky-Dink. (If you were a child in America in the 1970s-1980s, you may remember these things: plastic that had pictures preprinted, usually superheros or cartoon characters, and you baked them in the oven and they became tiny little charms.) Yes, homemade Shrinky-Dinks! We learned this at the Saturday ATC Make and Swap at the Rockport Library from, who else, Robinsunne!

Here's how to do it. You need #6 plastic, which is not recyclable in Maine. Usually what comes in this is things like bakery items from the grocery store (yuck). I was hoping it would be salad greens, but no, that is #1. So you take a piece maybe about an inch and a half square and draw a little something on it with colorful permanent markers: Jane made a beautiful leaf, I made a "J" and an "S" charm for my boys, you can put a flower, symbol, pattern, whatever. You can draw on both sides of the plastic, like I made the flower on one side and polka dots on the other. Slightly round the corners of your shape...otherwise they are too pointy...or not, if you like pointy! Also, after your design is drawn on, you can use a small hole punch to make holes in the charm...for earrings (I am wearing some right now, thanks to a talented young friend and her mom!), for sewing onto your ATC, or sticking brads through, etc. This has to happen before the next step.

For the next part, you will want to have something to absorb heat. Robinsunne had two aluminum pie plates, the one on the bottom was upside down, the one on top was right side up. Also have some pliers handy for picking up the hot plastic. Then take a crafter's heat gun (we think the heat guns that take paint off your house would probably be too much) and turn it on, holding it above the charm. Watch the magic! The charm will curl up and you'll be thinking: "Oh no! It's curly and ruined!" But it will flatten out in the next few seconds. Then take the pliers and pick it up and put it somewhere to cool! You can also use a toaster or try a hairdryer. This #6 plastic seemed odorless, but I'd recommend ventilation anyway.

So start scavenging. Make friends with people who like to eat those bakery goods from the grocery store and help them recycle! This was wildly fun and the potential is great. Really. You should try it as soon as you can, you will love it!

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