Category Archives: crafty tricks

Kahlo-esque

Do you remember this post when I showed you what I had just bought from the online shop – Hobbycraft, and asked if you had any idea what I was going to do with them?

fun fake flowers

Oh I have had SO much FUN with these fabric flowers ….. they created magic and transported me into another world……..

….  First I made myself a headband using the long wire stem of one of the big yellow Gerberas. The flower was sticking straight up as if it was growing out of my ear – well that just had me rolling about laughing, especially when friends and family joined in and tried it on – we got the giggles and could not recover til our sides ached.

Why didn’t I take photos???                      Just too busy laughing I suppose.

Annnnny…….way

Then I calmed down and started to make a headdress… I just wound flowers (with wire stems) round the makeshift headband – it seemed to work.IMG_0127

This is me trying to take a photo with my new iPhone – I am not finding all this new technology easy and miss my little old cheap and easy Nokia….

….. and again

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far too serious!

All this was in preparation for my birthday weekend (last weekend)….

much more to come ………. hundreds of photos to sort through ……….. i did have the most wonderful time ……. it wouldn’t have been everybody’s idea of the BEST birthday weekend…… but …..for a newly 65 year old Wild Daffodil it was just PERFECT!!!!!

I made

another headband ……  who is this one for??????IMG_0135

Can you guess?

My post is not about Yarny things in the making, but if you want to have a good old natter about all things yarny, pop on over to Cathy’s weekly Knit and Natter Friday – always a joy.

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More Notan inspired designs

Put three different coloured sheets one on top of the other and cut through all three layers together. Then have fun arranging the pieces you’ve created.

Add a few doodle decorations if you like.

Use camera settings, photo-editing or Photoshop to play around with different effects.

Have fun!

And then there are the offcuts to play with….

DSC_0328

Great for greetings cards.  And I’m wondering about printing some out on canvas. They remind me of 1960’s designs. I think they would look good in a child’s bedroom or playroom, do you?

Click on any picture to see it larger

There are quite a lot of You Tube tutorials about creating Notan designs – This one is a simple one to get you started.

Letter

Notan, the letter A, paper cut art

My entry in our One-a-Week Photo Challenge. 

The Letter A

I came across the Japanese Art of Paper Cutting called Notan, which uses positive and negative space. Go to Pinterest to see the most amazing examples.

The photo was taken using the ‘Sketch’ setting on my Nikon D5200.

Step – by – step:

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A piece of A5 coloured paper and an A4 background

Notan, paper art, the letter A

notan, paper art, letter A

paper art, Notan, letter A

It needs to go on a coloured background

notan6-1

Couldn’t resist a bit of doodling, and then it needed to go on a black background. Now some of the doodling looks like cut-outs.

Notan and doodling

This is such a good activity to do with children aged 4 onwards.

The designs would make great greetings cards.

Please leave your link in the comments – Cathy and I always look forward to seeing each interpretation of the prompt – she has a corker this week!

Paper Games with the Boys

Last week there was an Inset Day at the school so the boys, Big Bro 7 and Little Bro 5 came to me. They absolutely LOVE playing drawing consequences – I expect you know the game .. but just in case you don’t I’ll describe it.

playing consequences

Tear A4 paper into half, lengthways.

Each person has a strip of paper.

Without showing the others, draw a hat at the top of the paper and then fold the paper over to hide the drawing except for a couple of lines to show where the face should go. The papers then get passed to the next person.

Everyone draws a face and folds the paper again, leaving the lines of the neck showing.

Next the body is drawn, leaving lines for the placement of the legs.

The legs are drawn leaving lines for the feet.

Five lines are put at the bottom and the paper is passed round for one letter to be added in any space at each turn. This will create the name of the character.

Then we all open the paper and laugh at what we have drawn, and try to pronounce the names. We usually have to play at least 4 rounds before they want to move on to something else.

Next we hid our names in a secret design.

In pencil, draw a central line and write your name in clear bold letters, touching the line.

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Turn the paper round and draw a mirror image of each letter, touching the original letter.

Turn the paper so that the first letter is at the bottom of the page as in the picture.

With a pen or crayon, start to pick out lines and features to make a symmetrical pattern.

Keep going and make it as intricate as you can

The boys got into the secret element of it and went for further disguise. I have smudged out their names but I hope you get the ideaSecret hidden names

The idea is that the pattern looks like a design, it is only when it is held sideways and the right way up that the name can be seen. Or you can just continue creating the design until the letters are entirely obscured.

After all the drawing we got out under that clear blue sky …. to the woods and beyond …

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but more of that tomorrow as our Photo Challenge prompt is WALK

Regal

teabag tealight

I don’t need Christmas

My heart celebrates Solstice

Turning to the light

~

Using a bit of poetic licence here to meet our One-a-Week Photo Challenge Prompt: Regal

I was trying to make a tealight holder out of used teabags that was not so BROWN.

After painting it with white Gesso it somehow said ‘Christmas’ to me, so I painted the inside with some gold paint, a few dots around the outside and then it said ‘CROWN’.

used teabags tealight

used teabags tealight

used teabags - tealight holder

Also joining in with Ronovan’s weekly Haiku challenge – prompt words HEART and NEED

In a Watering Can on Monday

watering-can as vase

I was picking flowers in the garden when a neighbour stopped by for a chat, knowing I might be some time I popped the flowers in the watering can – boom! right there – perfect  for IAVOM!

They did make it into a vase as well. (but to me they look better in the can!)

ceramic vases and recycled teabags

The ceramic vases are the ones I bought at the Studio Pottery near Solva, Pembrokeshire, Wales. You can see these sculptural vases in detail in this post.

To cheer up a dark corner I added tea-light holders made of used tea bags.

re-purposed used teabags

My fascination with turning rubbish into art has taken me off at a teabag tangent.

I tear open used teabags, empty out the leaves and then dry them. They can then be used like paper, you can see a greetings card I made here.

For today – some papier-mâché tea-light holders.

teabag art

Add some pressed Japanese Maple leaves between the layers and hey presto a Teabag Tealight!

I think the spiky maple leaves look a bit witchy – do you? Good for Halloween?

Pop across to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what gardeners all over the  world are putting in their vases this Monday.

Waste

teabag art, greetings card, re-usable greetings card, collage

lend me your ‘shell-like’

this girl dislikes pink

innovate for her

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Ronovan’s Haiku Prompt words this week are PINK and SHELL.

Yikes – how to marry that with what I had already planned for our Photo Challenge prompt of WASTE.

It is the extra creative challenge I like to give myself each week. Well Miss E does not like pink – I know that card does have a bit of pink on it but ……. hey! I did my best!

~

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows I’m an obsessive recycler AND like to try new crafty things, so this week’s Photo Prompt is right up my street!

~

Life-cycle of a tea bag once it enters my house:

It sits in its box in a cupboard full of all manner of black, white, green, herb and fruit teas. I have at least 12 different varieties in there.

Then in it goes –  into my favourite mug

Nevis design from Dunoon

This is a mug from Dunoon. I wanted a big white bone china mug. I contacted Dunoon and asked if I could have the Nevis Design in plain white – I could! and for about £10 cheaper than the decorated ones – I got two. I LOVE them. ❤

After first use the tea bags sit in the little coloured dish to be used, three together, for another cup.

I told you – obsessive recycler!

And now, courtesy of Pinterest, I have discovered there is a whole new world of art materials to be explored – used Tea Bags! I was astonished to see how much amazing art has been created with used tea bags. You can see some examples on my Pinterest Page, ‘Art Tea’.

Of course I had to give it a go.

So instead of going into the compost after their second use, the tea bags are now emptied and dried. (The leaves still go in the compost) My bean-sprouter works well as a drying rack.

drying teabags for tea bag art

Cutting or tearing some and leaving others as two ply paper

prepared tea bags

Now ….. how to turn them into art ……

 

A bit of collage using some paper napkins and some hand and machine stitching.

The circular tea bag has a picture of a cup stuck on the inside with Modge Podge and  is re-stuffed with a little wadding. I downloaded the picture of the cup from this Education Site

teabagart

I’m wondering about this art form – it nudges towards the “just because you can, do you think you should”. I tried putting it on canvas to go with my ‘making art with found and discarded objects’ collection, adding and expanding on the Beach Clean Art theme. Using waste in art.

I’m not sure it stands up as an artwork so I turned it into a greetings card, with packaging paper put between the layers to stiffen the card so that it will stand upgreetings card of teabags with machine stitching

A little pocket for a gift (in this case a fresh teabag) or message. Then it can be recycled once more and re-used as a card with a different message in the pocket.

And then I realised there was a certain person about to have her 10th birthday – perfectre-usable greetings card, tea bag art

She was thrilled with it and her friends intrigued.

I’m really not sure if my experiments will produce ‘art’ that I feel worthy of exhibiting , but has been fun to try and I can’t throw a teabag away at the moment –  I’m amassing quite a collection, so I’ll have to come up with something arty to do with them.

Update

Coincidentally, I’ve just seen that there is a programme on BBC2 tonight about the making of tea bags: http://www.radiotimes.com/tv-programme/e/fsq8rq/inside-the-factory–s3-e1-tea-bags/

and here is the programme on BBC iPlayer:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08ywhdn/inside-the-factory-series-3-1-tea-bags

The sheer scale of tea bag production is mind boggling – and I’m shocked to discover that 25% of the materials used to make tea bags is plastic – Yuck!