Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque enjoyed a class with Julie Haymaker Thompson who invented shrinkets and shows how shrinkets showcase creativity.

Shrinkets Showcase Creativity in Multiple Ways

Julie Haymaker Thompson and Shrinkets Showcase Creativity

Mary Ellen Beads enjoyed coloring shrinkets as part of the Wearing Wonderland bracelet from Julie Haymaker Thompson.
©2017, Wearing Wonderland, a Shrinkets class with Julie Haymaker Thompson

…The joy of playtime synergy with like-minded women

…The fun of coloring using pencils and spontaneity

…The whimsy of shrink plastic in which items are transformed with heat by placing them in molds.

Welcome to Shrinkets, an invention of Artist Julie Haymaker.


This bracelet, completed by Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque is called Wearing Wonderland, where Shrinkets showcase creativity.
©2017, Wearing Wonderland Bracelet

I met Julie Haymaker Thompson in February. We colored and played with shrink plastic.

Julie had launced Shrinkets, her website for shrink plastic bead making molds, class kits, online class videos and more, days prior to our event.

The joy of creating is important to Julie and it shows. To her creativity means “mental well- being. Something I can always trust.”

Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque enjoyed a class with Julie Haymaker Thompson who invented shrinkets and shows how shrinkets showcase creativity.
©2017, Julie Haymaker Thompson demos shrinkets

Julie agreed to talk with me about how her art evolved and how she has evolved as a result.

“As a child I did not think of growing up and “Becoming an artist“ as I always thought I was an artist . However, as a child I did want to be a Hallmark card artist. I was lucky to fulfill that desire when I finished college with a degree in illustration.

For the first 27 years of my adult career as an illustrator, my work only grew stronger and definitive in style. Twelve years ago I changed course, quit illustration and started working in mixed media .

It was like starting over. I see that much more clearly as more time passes and I can look at a my larger body of mixed media work created these past years. .

I brought a lot of knowledge to my mixed media work, including basic design principles, experience in mediums, understanding color and professionalism. But the new art form had a much larger learning curve that revealed itself with time. Good art does not happen overnight but is a continual process. It requires a focus and lots of discipline. When one starts working in a new artistic field there is a learning period where you wander a bit within the field. If the desire to become accomplished in that art form overrides the wanderlust, that is when the goal of creating “good” work emerges.

Multi Media Career Launches Shrinkets

I love and live for the process of creating. I rarely judge myself harshly when I am in the process. It is only in hindsight that I review past work and sometimes go, ‘OMG! What was I thinking?’ With the internet an image of my past work may pop up and it may be a work I have come to judge harshly in hindsight. I now have two options: I can learn to accept that creativity is about growth and a process or I can hate my work.

Creativity is not a contest .The process should be joyous. But like everything in life one should, strive to be the best one can be so it is good to keep that goal and ideal in mind and critique one’s work for positive enrichment.”

How do you feel when you’re in your creative space and what does that feeling contribute to your end result?

“Hmmm I have never had my true dream creative space, but when I am creating it does not matter. I once transformed a closet into a tiny studio. Yes I see others with awesome studios but I never see the space as a reflection of one’s work.

Do you see an impact of fellow artists on you and your work?

“Always. No one creates something truly unique or for the first time. Life is a circle, plain and simple.We learn from our past and from each other and that is how social creatures survive.”

As an artist, are there doubts and struggles you face?

“I have never known anything but being an artist. Doubts and fears have popped up as I’ve grown older. Fears are “what if I cannot create?” My creativity has been the one constant in my life. One thing I have always been able to trust being there for me.”

How has your art changed your perception of the world and how the world sees you?

“I used to think most people thought like myself and I was part of that safe majority. Now thanks to age and experience, I have come to see myself as part of a smaller group in terms of intellectual view points. So now I feel part of a minority and it makes me sad.”

What impact do you want to have with your art and on whom?

“I want others to feel the joy of what creating something with ones’ hands can do to elevate the human spirit. I want to be a part of helping build self esteem, not breaking it down.”

When Julie talks about creativity, she simply lights up. Her mixed media adventure continues to expand. Shrinkets showcase creativity…best of all, it’s your creativity that will shine through.

Mary Ellen Merrigan of Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque poses with Julie Haymaker Thompson after learning that shrinkets showcase creativity.
©2017, Mary Ellen Merrigan enjoys Shrinkets class with Julie Haymaker Thompson

Disclosure: It was a pleasure to take a class with Julie. She is also going to be a fellow instructor at Art Unraveled in Phoenix this August. Read more in last week’s post.

Scroll to Top