Shannon Berrey

Shrinky dink that tree!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ya'll didn't think I would let a holiday go by without breaking out the sharpie's, now would you?? I haven't used Shrinky Dinks since Maris' 5th birthday. It was a 'dog' themed party {the year she was given our beautiful white lab, Buddy} and we made 'dog tags' in the shape of bones for the kids to wear around their necks. This year, I wanted to try my hand at making ornaments out of them.

This project is so much fun and so easy. Since you have the kids at home for a looooonnnng time the next few weeks, these would be great to do with them. They look super professional once they shrink!

I bought my pack of 10 at Michaels. My store had packs of clear, frosted, or ink jet packs {meaning you simply print an image onto the paper, cut it out and shrink -- super easy} I chose the frosted set which are  rough on one side and smooth and shiny on the other. You can color on either side and I wanted to try both.  

I printed out Maris' sorority logo as a 5x7 using a 'mirror image'. I put the SD rough side down and began tracing using my sharpies. 

When you color on the frosted, rougher side, your ink will bleed a little. Don't let it scare you. When it shrinks, you don't see it at all. 

After I finished, I cut it out and used a hole punch to put 2 holes on the sides. I'm thinking about turning this one into a necklace. 

I use my toaster oven {which is also a convection oven} for almost everything! It heats up super fast and is cheaper to heat than my big oven. You simply preheat to 325 and put a piece of parchment paper or kraft paper under it. Pop your dink in the oven and watch it shrink! It can take anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute or 2 to start to curl up. Be patient and wait for it to completely flatten back out. Wait an additional 20-30 seconds and then take it out. I picked up the paper and placed it on the cool counter and placed a smooth bottomed flat bowl on it for about 10 seconds. This makes sure that it cools completely flat, otherwise it can curl up a bit.   

It shrinks a lot. The directions {which are very thorough} gives you a little scale that shows approximate measurements. A 10" shrinks to approximately 4 1/4".   

I found an image of an old santa sign for another one.

I love the way the light shines through them. To hang them, simply use an ornament hook or a thin piece of wire. 

This is our high school mascot -- The Smoky Mountain Mustangs. I used a silver metallic sharpie for the SM. Because it's such an awkward shape, I cut it out as a square.

And of course I had to have a Wolfpack! I can always turn them into earrings after Christmas if she wants me to {I made 2!}


I love our beautiful old Jackson County Courthouse that sits at one end of Main Street in our downtown. 

It sat empty for many years until it was restored and reopened as our new library last year. When Maris was a few weeks old, we moved to a little house a few hundred feet from the Courthouse. It was such a treat to live so close. Our next house was a bit farther away, but still had a beautiful view of the majestic building.

Over the years, we have taken our Christmas card photos at the top of the steps, played in the fountain at the bottom, performed community theater productions in the old Courtroom, and posed for prom pictures, as well as graduation pictures here. It's pretty special to our family, as well as our whole community, and I love seeing it now on the tree. 

I used a combination of acrylic paint and sharpies to create the Courthouse/Library. I sharpied all of the details on the smooth side and then turned it over and painted the back white. 

Western Carolina University is a few miles from my house. This Catamount ornament is going to my neighbor who works at the university. 

I got a little ambitious with this last one! I thought I would try a portrait of my kiddos. I didn't have a good flesh color sharpie, so I had to mix a few. And let's face it, Sharpies are great, but not ideal for portraits. The sharpies really intensify in their saturation when they shrink. I learned it's best to use a really light hand when working with details and not to use a lot of dark colors because they just turn black. {I learned this after making this one} It probably would have turned out better if I had used colored pencils. 

And a tip -- I forgot to punch the hole in this one before it went in the oven.  After it had shrunk and had cooled, I took a fairly large needle and stuck it in a flame. Then I pressed the hot needle into the plastic. It took a few reheats and presses to get it all the way through. But it worked! 

These could be made into lots of things depending on the size you make them -- ornaments, a necklace,  cute gift tags, or earrings. Have fun!

Are you flourishing?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I love redesigning my chalkboards, especially for the holidays. It makes for a great conversation piece as well as a fun {free} way to constantly redecorate a space. 

I have shared the fabulous work of Chalkboard artist, Dana Tanamachi, with you before. I am in no way on her level, but I just find it so inspiring to watch her work. Dana recently finished a project titled 'Flourish'. 

'Busyness is often the greatest enemy to human flourishing... {Amen!} ..creating things for the sake of creating has helped to reconnect with unfinished ideas and rediscover why I love what I do so much'. Dana's sentiments resonate with me so much, especially now. I have been cranking out artwork lately and I can say with certainty that my passion, and heart, have flourished as a result.

Enjoy this great video as Dana completes a gigantic floor to ceiling wall of beauty with simply a gold metallic paint pen. 

This holiday season, I thank you for visiting me here in my little spot of this crazy world, a spot that allows me to recharge, share, and flourish.  

{image via Dana Tanamachi, video via Andrew Ryan Sepherd}

An Open Sketchbook

Monday, December 09, 2013

When oohing and aahhing my way through the incredible vendors at The Big Crafty a few weeks back, I got to browse the lovely artwork from the dynamic duo of An Open Sketchbook.

I have been following this talented North Carolina couple since they started just a year ago. As a UNC design student, Suzanne started her blog as a way to document sketches and stories of people and places she loved. Her husband joined her on the blog in 2011, and together, they decided to follow their passion and dive into a full-time partnership in design and illustration.  



'Drawing inspiration from our family, childhood and a love of visual storytelling, we strive to create work that celebrates the best and, often times, overlooked parts of life.'  

 I love watching the progressions of their paintings and the retro vibe of their collaborations.
I also love all of their stories and the sketches documenting the adventures of being new parents to twins. And speaking of the twins....

This is hands down the BEST BABY ANNOUNCEMENT EVER!!!! You have got to click here to see the whole illustrated announcement that they shared around their Thanksgiving table a few years ago. 
It. is. awesome. 

And they just released a new book in collaboration with Our State Magazine filled with their illustrations and stories of growing up in the south {it's on my Christmas list!!}
Check out their blog and their store filled with cards, prints, recipe cards, and gift cards. 

{all images except numero uno via An Open Sketchbook}

{not affiliated or sponsored--just a fan}


Have yourself a Wolfpack Christmas!

Friday, December 06, 2013

If you recall, Maris asked for *more pillows* for her dorm room. So, I have been on a bit of a pillow making marathon. When she was home for Thanksgiving, I decided to go ahead and give her one of her Christmas presents since it needs to be enjoyed during December.     

I sketched out my design on heavy white cotton with pencil and then painted it in. I thought it would be fun to use the old school Wolfpack mascot and replace his hat with a santa's hat.

I backed it with a soft berry red velvet. 

Here it is in Raleigh with all of it's new friends. {Recognize the NC t-shirt pillow and the dropcloth painted wolfpack??} 

I loved making this so much, that I made several. I have gifted some, and she is going to, as well.

Do you have a special Wolfpack fan on your Christmas list? I have a few for sale if you would like one.
I used paint that has just a touch of metallic sparkle to it {it's hard to see in the pics} but it adds a really fun festive touch. They are about 18" square and are completely hand painted, sewn, and signed! They are $75 {this includes shipping}.  

Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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