Welcome Back!

Hello, fellow readers! So sorry for the long time away, but hopefully with a new semester of classes and teaching starting, I’ll have some more wonderful posts for you!

Just wanted to share a few photos of the wonderful fur I’ve ordered from Mendel’s in California.  They are the only supplier I use to buy my puppet fur, because they are AMAZING! I have been beyond thrilled with their customer service, their quality of materials and shipping, and their vast inventory of fur textures, colors and patterns.  Plus they do so much more than just fur!! Go to their website and check it out. You won’t regret it. PLUS from now until September 5, 2012, everything in your order is 25% off!  WOOHOO!! 🙂

I ordered these furs for my advanced puppet class this fall.  They use them with the Mostro pattern from Project Puppet.com.  The results are wonderful! (and hopefully I’ll be able to upload photos of their creations this summer as well in the next few weeks!) Again, this is the only supplier I use for my patterns, as they are wonderfully designed, easy to follow, and practically foolproof!! (To date, I’ve used all their patterns in the monster and simple series, with students aged 7 to 17, and no one has failed to finish a puppet yet!)

Enjoy the photos below, and check back soon for more updates!

Monster Hair Plug fur – lime green base with teal “plugs”

Monster Hair Plug fur – teal base with green “plugs”

Monster Hair Plug fur — Orange base, pink “plugs”

Back to Melty Goodness… Part 2

Having finally figured out where my photos go to when I sync my phone, I was able to recover some more photos of the melted crayon art I posted in Melty Goodness.  So, for those of you who were wondering what happened to the rest of that post… here it is!

So. When last we’d left you, I’d pointed out the importance of using a new glue gun and not one that had already had glue in.  I’m going to assume you’ve procured such a glue gun.  Now, a note on temperatures:  Low temp glue guns will work, but the process will be slow. You will have to wait for the gun to melt the crayon and then apply it to the canvas.  This is the “hurry up and wait” method, because once melted, a crayon goes really quickly.  But you have to wait to melt it. When these crayons come out of the glue gun, they are *just* melted.  They will drip and run a bit, but overall they keep a decent amount of viscosity.

Hot temp glue guns will work just fine too, but they will be extremely quick.  The crayons practically liquify in it, and that makes for almost an ink-like consistency of the crayon coming out of the glue gun, to the point that if you’re not careful, you’re going to be flinging hot wax where you don’t want it.  However, hot temp glue guns will make the project go much more quickly.

Which is better? I have used both, and it just depends on what kind of mood I’m in.  For the project pictured here, I mostly used the hot-temp setting on my glue gun, because I’m impatient. 🙂

On my project, I used a Cricut to cut out letters to spell the word “CREATE” and stuck them on the vinyl prior to using the crayons.  They acted as a mask, so after the crayons cooled, I used an Xacto knife to cut around the letters, peel them off, and voila! Negative space focal points, ready made.

So now you’re ready to melt some crayons!  This process is really simple.  Insert peeled crayon into glue gun, wait for it to melt.  Prop your canvas up at an angle, so the crayon will run down it.  (You can also draw with the glue gun, have the canvas on a turn-table and spin it while you drip wax… use your imagination.)  Apply the tip of the glue gun close to the top of the canvas and hold it there while using the trigger to let the melted crayon out of the gun.  Keep it in the same spot, and the crayon will run down itself.

and after a while, you’re going to have this.  This shows the vinyl letters after half of them have been peeled away.

Keep in mind when you’re switching colors between crayons that it’s easier to go from lighter to darker than from darker to lighter.  A little bit of the melted crayon from the past color will mix with the current color at the beginning, so while it’s interested to get a yellow to an orange, going from a orange to a purple might not work so well. 

But feel free to experiment! You really can’t mess this up.

Melty Goodness!

Hello, loyal readers! So sorry for the absence – finals week at grad school is always life consuming. 🙂

Found some inspiration on pinterest this weekend and threw together a quick project. As I’m writing this from my iPhone, this is going to be brief, but I’ll elaborate later when I get back to my Mac. 🙂

Enjoy!

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So how do you accomplish such lovely Melty goodness? Gather up a canvas, some crayons, some tape and a new hot glue gun, and let’s have some fun!

Step 1. Find/buy lots of crayons. And by “lots” aim for at least a box of 64. Melted, crayons are surprisingly tiny.

Step 2. Peel off the wrappers. This can be done by hand or by using an exacto knife to slit the paper to help it remove more easily. (Save the papers. I’m thinking there’s a craft project in their somewhere!)

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And this point in my class, the discussion would go something like this:
Me: Class, what is this?
Class: an exacto knife!
Me: and what do we know about exacto knives?
Class: they’re sharp!
Me: so what are you going to do with them?
Class: not act stupid!

I have the best kids 🙂

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So now after peeling by whatever means necessary, you have this:

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Step 3. Prepare your canvas. I used an 8×24 prestreched store bought canvas, but if you’re feeling fancy, you can make your own. To prepare my canvas, I measured and taped off a 1/2″ border using tape (I used duct tape because I had it in the house, but you can use masking or painters tape).

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Step 4. The glue gun. I have tried both Low temp and hot temp glue guns on these kinds of projects, and each has their pros and cons. I’ll get into the specifics later. But for this particular step, all you need to know is that you really need a new glue gun dedicated to this type of craft. You don’t want to reuse one that already has glue in it, and you don’t want to use this for anything but crayons after.
“New” gun does not have to be expensive. It can be a cheap one! Also go for ye kind that holds mini sized glue sticks. The barrel is approximately the same size as the crayons.

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* UPDATE *

And hence why I should finish blog articles before synching my phone… I have since misplaced the rest of the instructions for this blog somewhere in cyberspace… So, I’m going to have to write a “Melty Goodness, Part 2” post to explain the rest of this project and retake the photos of the processes.  (Technology is wonderful when I know how to use it!)