Monday, 30 April 2012

Hide and Seek - a painty page

I've had an idea for a technique rattling around in my head for a little while. I wondered what it would look like to have a layer of book text with a watercolour painting on the top, where the watercolour was on top of a layer of gesso. I have to confess that this layout is not the first time I have tried this technique. I have done it before a couple of months ago and really didn't like how it turned out. So why did I dislike it so much then, when I really like how this looks now?

I started with pieces of book text pasted onto a very neutral beige sort of cardstock and left it to dry. I felt particularly uninspired by that! Then I found the bold floral paper in a Basic Grey collection pack (called Indie Bloom) and all of a sudden the page came to life. I knew I wanted to continue the image off the edges of the photo and was a little unsure of my tree drawing skills but thought I would give it a go. I sketched the tree and grass in pencil and then painted gesso to fill up the outline. When that was dry I used my watercolours to paint the tree

After I'd painted the tree and grass over a layer of gesso, I decided I wanted to continue the wall pattern too but was too impatient to wait for another layer of gesso to dry. I painted straight over the book text for the wall. I think it works with this photo as the wall had lots of texture to it.

I stamped the title with white acrylic paint and drew around it twice with a pen, then added a few little stamps as quirky details.

This page makes me happy!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A cardboard box theatre

Continuing the love for cardboard boxes in our house, I decided we needed a project for the Easter holidays. We made a cardboard box puppet theatre. We started out by cutting up a box so that it looked like this...

Then we papier-mached it with newspaper and diluted PVA glue. I don't think this was necessary, but it will make it last longer. However it has also warped the stage area, so you'll notice it looks a bit wobbly at the back now. 
We painted it next...

I sewed some curtains (I found a perfect piece of red shiny fabric in my fabric box) and we threaded them onto some dowel. The girls drew a woodland scene which we blu-tacked to the back wall for our scenery.

The Three Little Pigs is a favourite story in our house (the Boy is obsessed with the Big Bad Wolf), so that was our play of choice. I downloaded some images to make the puppets (from here) and the girls coloured them in and cut them out. We stuck them on long strips of cardboard.

We made some flat scenery too...

I added a cereal box onto the back to store all the puppets and scenery...

Then it was showtime! We put on a family show on Easter Sunday and the kids made tickets for everyone who was going to be watching. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Family Photo

I love these two photos together. They were taken at a family wedding last year and they tell such a story using the before and after shot. In the "After" shot we are all posed and smiling. In the "Before" photo family members are calling out to the blonde one who is merrily spinning away in her own world. I am in the "Before" photo trying to persuade the ginger one not to run away again.

Do you have photos that you love so much you worry about scrapbooking them? I do. These have been waiting to be scrapped for ages. When I opened up my new Quirky Kit I knew these were the supplies to finally document these photos. I love that camera paper from Kesi'art. The little "Photo Op" woodgrain button badge complimented the story perfectly. Leo even included a roll of washi tape - yay!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Monkey cakes and a mermaid

It's been a busy, fun Easter holiday here, along with two of the small people's birthdays. The Boy decided he wanted a monkey party and so we planned a monkey tea party with family and a couple of friends. The monkey cakes were the main part of the party, along with monkey party hats and plates. I made some fairy cakes which were topped with chocolate ganache, and then the monkey face is made from giant chocolate buttons, white chocolate buttons and choc chips, with an icing pen smile.

The Ginger one decided on a mermaid making party. My friend Pip is a birthday cake genius and helped me come up with the mermaid cake. It's a Victoria sandwich with coloured buttercream icing. I baked part of the cake mix in a greased cereal bowl to make the island shape on the top. Jelly fish sweets are swimming around the sides and icing pens were used for waves and seaweed. The mermaid on the top is my daughter's doll.

Sadly we had to cancel the mermaid making party on the day as the Ginger one woke up poorly, but we will reschedule it for next month sometime. I get to make another mermaid cake but next time I will be using blue roll out icing which has already been coloured. Blue buttercream icing did not work well as it mostly looked grey until I had used over half the bottle of food colouring.

You can see the monkey tea party was a success though!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Pink Clouds

Julie Fei Fan Balzer has started a craft book club over on her blog and when I saw the first book I thought it looked familiar. It's called "Scraptastic" by Ashley Calder. I had a look on my shelves and found I had a copy. I can't remember getting it and I definitely don't remember reading it. Ooops! It's a fantastic book. I'm so glad Julie reminded me of it. There are so many great ideas that were way ahead of the fashions in 2007.

So here's my version of one of Asley's pages. I've had this photo of my daughter sitting on top of this piece of American Crafts patterned paper for about a month as I thought they went together so well. I didn't have a clue how to put them together though. This afternoon I just went for it taking techniques from one of my favourite pages.

I included free motion machine stitching...

I made a title using some really old alphabets (I love this)...

and I added my journalling on a piece of vellum...

This page worked out so well. I painted a layer of gesso onto the patterned paper and then added a blue wash over the top with a Neocolour crayon and water. This kept the multicoloured stripes but also added a blue sky layer. I managed to get some of my new washi tape in too!