Thursday, January 10, 2013

You can not shrink my love for: Shrinky Dinks, HOMESTYLE, & Providence Restaurant Deals

*(This post was updated on January 15, 2012...scroll down to see updates.)*

Last night, after a tear-filled evening (more on that), we worked on Shrinky Dinks. I bought them at my new favorite home store in downtown Providence, HOMESTYLE. This store is a few doors down from the ultra-hip CRAFTLAND that was not open on a Tuesday night a week before the holidays. I’m so glad it wasn’t. A few dear friends and I met for shopping and then dinner in the city. We were outraged that CRAFTLAND had closed at six. That’s alright, CRAFTLAND, I still love you and all your gorgeous, homemade baubles and oddities. You still have a prominent place in my heart. BUT, you opened the door in my heart to HOMESTYLE. This lovely gift store was open and was filled with wonderful curiosities like mustache baby pacifiers, glitter wands, funky jewelry, and letterpress cards and, most importantly-- Shrinky Dinks.

Liv and I had gone back to CRAFTLAND on a Mommy & Me outing into the city. I just had to pop back into HOMESTYLE and I’m so glad I did. Not only did the sweet proprietor allow us to use the bathroom (a blessing for the mother of a pre-schooler) she complimented me on my well-behaved cherub. It’s true. My girl is a dream to shop with. She loves shopping—another blessing in my life. In addition to my Shrinky Dink purchase I made another fab purchase: The Providence Restaurant Deck. This amazing deck of cards cost me $20. It contains 50+ cards to various restaurants around the city of Providence for a total of $10 off a meal of $30. Included are a few of our favorite places such as: India, Abyssinia, Tortilla Flats, and Cuban Revolution. If you use it twice, it pays for itself. It’s also good to note that a dollar of your purchase will go to the RI Food Bank. I would happily have given more of my cash to that cause, but that’s a thought for another day. You could slip a card into a friend’s card. Just thought this cool offer was worth mentioning!

Back to the Shrinky Dinks. 

Miss Thing had been off all evening, and making Shrinky Dinks with her mom and dad hung above her head like the Sword of Damocles. Poor thing. She finally got it together and a good times commenced. The man and I reminisced about making these little, plastic goodies as kids. We talked about how amazing it was to come upon some tracing paper and how magical it was to trace anything. Anyone else feel this way? I remember the magic of tracing something and taking ownership (in a small way) for something I had created—sort of. I also remember waiting, patiently, in front of the stove, my face (almost) pressed to the oven door in anticipation of my Shrinky Dink creations. I remember how hot the little buggers were when they emerged from the oven and how, similar to cookies, I could not resist touching the objects of my affection.

We haven’t cooked them yet. That’s tonight. I still have to cut out all the objects, something I am not looking forward to-- I’ll admit it. I’m more into the drawing, the cooking, and the pre-creation Pintrest safari on Shrinky Dinks. Oh yeah, that yielded some fun results. Click here to see what I found. Some peeps be so crafty!

Miss Thing was adamant that she create butterflies to play with. She then went ahead and traced an assortment of objects from a girly sticker book I found.

“The butterflies need to have beach balls! And cupcakes! And gardening tools! And snacks…”

The man traced an assortment of Star Wars characters, including a Boba Fett. He shyly stated it was really meant for me. Isn’t he just adorable? How many men make Boba Fett Shrinky Dinks for their gals? Another one of my life’s blessings.

I made a donut and a cup of coffee that I am hoping will turn into necklace charms.  Of course, like a nitwit,  I was thinking ahead as to how can I use Shrinky Dinks to make my life better!(?) I should have been enjoying the whole process of drawing—which did happen, once I stopped Pinteresting… Sometimes putting the time in to just create instead of looking at what everyone else is doing is the best thing. (Yes, I’m talking to myself just there.)

Have any Shrinky Dink memories you care to share?
Your Favorite Mermaid (wants to know!)


Here are some photos of the new improved Shrinky Dinks post-cooking:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Do you outline?

I don’t know how people write long pieces without outlining. If you are one of those people, let me know how you write a novel, novella, short story, etc without using one. Do you wing it? How does that work?

Let’s define outlining for those not in the know:

An outline is a (sort of) map that a writer uses to get from scene to scene.

In my YA zombie novel, I used a reverse chapter outline. I wrote a quick blurb about what I wanted the last scene to be and worked backwards from there, writing a blurb about each chapter based on a list of potential scenes I had brainstormed. That list was really funny because I asked my students, at the time, what weapons could be created from various places/objects around the school. Being an art teacher in an art room, you better believe the large, industrial cutting board was a fan favorite (and, yes, I do believe I worked that into the novel. That and the metal yardsticks, everyone, including other teachers, frequently used as a fencing swords.)

When using the reverse method, I found it incredibly helpful to think about where I wanted to end up. Being systematic (to a fault, sometimes), I worked from the beginning forward. One could easily jump around and write scenes of interest, which could cure writer’s block if there was a scene that was more exciting to write than others.

With the zombie book, I used a Word document to make the outline. In my current work, the mermaid book, I am using a notebook. I’m thinking I like the Word doc better. I keep changing things and I can’t read my writing!

I though it would be fun to include a photo of J.K. Rowling’s outline for HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX: 

Image found on

Do let me know your method of laying out a lengthy piece. It's always interesting to hear how others work...

Happy writing...
Your Favorite Mermaid