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Baitfish

This summer I'll be posting craft projects with printable downloads on Creativebug.  I'll show up on the blog at Camp Creativebug once a month with a new kid's activity. My first project is these cute little baitfish. They all fit in an Altoids tin for easy travel. Kids can find all kinds of fishing holes in the back seat of the car.  

Here's the full post and printable.

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Painting Plaids

I've been painting plaids lately. I use them for my craft kits, on the cover and inside. On the back of the instruction sheet there is a nice big piece of plaid paper to upcycle in some way. I love that I never know how the pattern is going to end up looking. There is no pressure to get it right, if there is no right way in the first place. So they've become my version of zentangles. I start with a basic idea of a color palette, but I usually don't stick to it. Plaid_01

First I pencil in a grid. These are centimeter squares. Usually I paint every other square solid, and then fill the spaces in between with diagonal stripes.

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Then I fill in the remaining white paper with another color. That's the basic plaid. I like to keep going, because it's a rare opportunity to just be decorative.

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Add some blue lines. I try not to be super symmetrical, but it is important that the lines all end up at the same place on the edges of the grid. That way I can put it into a repeat pattern in photoshop later. Plaid_04

Add some green lines.

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Add some light green lines. I like how the lines are starting to look woven. Plaid_06

Lastly I add some light blue squares at the intersections. Plaids often change colors where lines intersect.

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It's important to know when to stop. There has to be a little breathing space left.

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New items in my Etsy shop

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Yea! Yea! Yea!

I'm starting to make products based on last years Tiny Paintings Project.  And my first ones are in my Etsy shop.  You can buy them either as a craft kit packaged in a custom made book box, or as finished tags. The craft kits make great gifts on their own, and the finished tags are great gift toppers. Hang them anywhere you would hang a tassel.

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Show and Tell

Happy New Year!  This year I'll be posting a wider variety of work, comings and goings in my studio, and art musings. I'll still do some of my Tiny Paintings Projects, and offer downloads, just not on the weekly schedule. 

To start with, I did some illustrations for issue 20 of Uppercase Magazine! There is not another magazine that so clearly encompasses my interests, and introduces me to new ones. And Im thrilled to be part of it.

Watch this show and look out for my hat paintings.

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My Turducken Target, Bow, and Arrows was also mentioned on the Design Mom blog. I love that Gabrielle Blair is now an East Bay local.

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Week 46 {tiny paintings project}

This week: BELLS AND WHISTLES

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YAY! A year of craft posts accomplished. Nearly one a week. Looking at my progress on Pinterest, I can see a style developing and my projects are cleaner and simpler.  So I’m celebrating with bells and whistles.

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 GET THE ARTWORK HERE

Or, get the artwork in the "artwork downloads" column to the right. Print it out on 4" x 6" photo paper, and make sure the print size is 100%. You might need to save the file and print using a photo application.

This art is only for your personal use, and may not be reproduced.  And please, if you use my artwork, send me a picture of what you made, so I can pin it to my pinterest board.

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FIG. 1 Supplies: Two pipe cleaners, wide and thin ribbon, chipboard and metallic poster board, bells and whistles*, awl, tacky glue, printout, scissors, and a mat knife if your cardboard is thick.

 * I painted the red whistle with gold paint so it would match the others. Don’t do this if kids are going to be putting it in their mouth.

 FIG. 2 Tie ribbon around the any whistles that don’t have loops.

FIG. 3 Tie the bells and whistles into a cluster with a loop at the top.

FIG. 4 Measure enough wide ribbon to fit over your head. Fold it in half and then into a point. Put a dot of glue under the fold.

FIG. 5 Measure the same amount of thin ribbon. Thread the thin ribbon through the loop in the cluster of bells and whistles. At the half-way point, tie an overhand knot with both pieces of the thin ribbon together. Place the knot over the point in the wide ribbon. Glue the thin ribbon to the top of the wide ribbon.

FIG. 6 Cut out the art. Place it on top of the chipboard and draw around it. Cut out the chipboard.

FIG. 7 Glue the art on top of the metallic board. Let it dry. Cut just outside the art to make a gold border around it.

FIG. 8 Punch two holes in the chipboard circle.

FIG. 9 Cut a pipe cleaner in half and make two loops through the circle.

FIG. 10 Glue the badge to the messy side of the chipboard, so the loops are on the back. Wrap the edge with a pipe cleaner and glue it in place. Press the whole stack  between sheets of wax paper or something non-stick.  When it is dry, thread the ends of the ribbon through the loops, and slide the badge down until it covers the knots.  Tie the ends of the ribbon together, slip it over your head, and you’re ready for spontaneous celebration.

 

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week 45 {tiny paintings project}

 This Week: TINY REINDEER BOOK

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These books are about the size of a matchbox. Decorate a new one everyday for an advent calendar fleet of reindeer pulling a sleigh. They can also be used as gift toppers or ornaments.

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GET THE ARTWORK HERE

Or, get the artwork in the "artwork downloads" column to the right. Print it out on 4" x 6" photo paper, and make sure the print size is 100%. You might need to save the file and print using a photo application.

This art is only for your personal use, and may not be reproduced.  And please, if you use my artwork, send me a picture of what you made, so I can pin it to my pinterest board.

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FIG. 1 Supplies: Printout, ruler, pencil, heavyweight chipboard, letterweight paper, baker’s twine, washi tape, glue brush, X-acto knife, Tacky glue, detail scissors, stapler.

FIG. 2 Cut twelve pages 1 7/8” x 1 7/8.” Stack two signatures of six pages each. Fold them in half and staple the centers.

FIG. 3 Cut two 1” x 2” pieces of chipboard, and one piece 3/8” x 2.”

FIG. 4 Cut out the artwork. Don’t cut between the hooves. Fold the legs in half and glue the sides together.

FIG. 5 Glue the legs to the cover pieces. Make sure the legs are walking toward each other.

FIG. 6 Glue the last page of the signatures to the covers, on top of the legs.

FIG. 7 Put a deer body face-down underneath the top page. Line up the lower back corner of the deer to the page. Put glue on the deer body, but not the head and tail.

FIG. 8 Fold the page down to stick it to the glue.

FIG. 9 Glue the top pages of both signatures together.

FIG. 10 Apply glue all over the remaining deer body and sandwich it to the first.  So the stack should be: face-down deer body, two pages, face-up deer body.

FIG. 11 Close the book. It’s ok if it wants to open.

FIG. 12 Put two strips of washi tape along the spine chipboard.

FIG. 13 Apply the spine to the closed book. I like to leave a tiny gap between boards.

FIG. 14 Tape a piece of twine inside the cover. Wrap it loosely around the book to keep it closed when the deer stands up.

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Weeks 43 & 44 {tiny paintings project}

This Week: TURDUCKEN TARGET, BOW, AND ARROW

 

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Let the hunt for the elusive turducken begin! This bow and arrow makes lovely Thanksgiving table décor, but be aware, it really shoots! Take a nice walk and hunt for twigs, these are about 7" long, then come inside and get crafty while dinner cooks.

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GET THE ARTWORK HERE AND HERE

Or, get the artwork in the "artwork downloads" column to the right. Print it out on 4" x 6" photo paper, and make sure the print size is 100%. You might need to save the file and print using a photo application.

This art is only for your personal use, and may not be reproduced.  And please, if you use my artwork, send me a picture of what you made, so I can pin it to my pinterest board.

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FIG. 1 Supplies: sharp pruning clippers, pocket knife, detail scissors, Tacky glue, corrugated cardboard, two printouts, tiny clips, masking tape, three colors of twine, glue brush, pencil, mat knife for cardboard (not pictured), rubber bands, and twigs*. 

* Cut straight twigs from a live tree, so they are flexible and easier to work with. The small twigs for the arrows and target stand are 7" long and about half the diameter of a pencil. The larger twig for the bow is almost the diameter of a pencil. If your twig doesn’t bend enough for the bow you can try soaking it.

FIG. 2 Cut out the target artwork. Trace around the target onto the cardboard. Cut two circles. Stacked, they should be as thick as the edge band art.

FIG. 3 Glue the circles together, then the glue art on top. Glue the corrugated edge and wrap the  art around it. Trim the third piece to fit. (If it is frustrating getting all four pieces to stick down at the same time, glue and rubber band one piece at a time drying in between).

FIG. 4 Wrap rubber bands around the edge while drying.

FIG. 5 Make a hinge for the center stand. Loop a piece of tape over the top of the twig. When you pinch it together, you should have a ½” tab on the top.

FIG. 6 Look at the front of the target and place the twig on the back at the top. Glue it in place.

FIG. 7 Dry-fit the sides of the stand. With the target facing you, place a twig on the back.  Holding the twig in place, turn the target over and draw a line along the twig. Put glue on the line and place the twig. Let dry.

FIG. 8 Unfold the tripod stand and trim the ends of the twigs so it stands correctly. It should be slightly angled back. Tie the legs.

Fig. 9 Target

FIG. 10 Make the bow. Carve notches in the ends of the bow. Clip the ends at an angle.  If you don’t want to use a knife with children, you can probably use the clippers to carve the knotches.

FIG. 11 Put a bit of glue in the notch. Wrap the twine around twice and tie a square knot. Bend the twig, to get tension in the twine, and repeat on the other side.

FIG. 12 Decorate your bow. (I added a braid, but you can paint stripes or use washi tape too.) Cut three 10” lengths of twine. Put them together and tie a knot in the end with ½” ends. Braid about 3”. Put a little glue on the bow just above the notch. Wrap with the braid coming out the top.

FIG. 13 Put more glue going up the bow. Cross over the braid and continue wrapping up the bow. Trim the ends and glue them down.

FIG. 14 Make the arrows. Cut out the feather artwork and glue the matching sides together. Clip a 2” notch vertically in the end of a twig.

FIG. 15 Dry-fit, make sure the feathers will slide into the notch with enough room to tie above. Put glue in the notch and slide in the feathers.

Fig 16. Wrap twine twice around the ends and tie with a square knot.

FIG. 17 It is easier to tie tiny knots if you hang the end of the feather off the edge of the table and weight it down with something heavy.

FIG. 18 Lay the arrow flat on the table and whittle the ends flat like a flat screw driver. The flat plain should be parallel to the plane of the feather.

FIG. 19 Cut out the arrowhead art keeping the points stuck together. Glue the back of the art and fold it over the end of the arrow. Wrap twice and tie a square knot.

FIG. 19 Clip the sides of the arrowhead together until dry. Decorate the shafts of the arrows by gluing and wrapping with twine.

 

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Week 42 {tiny paintings project}

This week: Hide-a-log

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Add your own decorations to these log boxes according to your theme.  They could be secret hiding places for woodland fairies, or camp themed wedding favor boxes. Or, put numbers on them and scavenger hunt instructions inside. This red ribbon is looking like a Valentine’s jewelry box, or a Christmas place setting. I used manila card stock as lining, but these logs would be great with some glittery or velvety lining.

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GET THE ARTWORK HERE

Or, get the artwork in the "artwork downloads" column to the right. Print it out on 4" x 6" photo paper, and make sure the print size is 100%. You might need to save the file and print using a photo application.

This art is only for your personal use, and may not be reproduced.  And please, if you use my artwork, send me a picture of what you made, so I can pin it to my pinterest board.

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FIG. 1 Supplies: Ruler, cardstock (or manila file folder), masking tape (I like ½”), rubber bands, Tacky glue, pencil, glue brush, printout (one for each log), tiny diameter hole punch, ribbon, twine, labels, fine point scissors and/or X-acto knife.

FIG. 2 Cut wide squares around the log ends artwork. Glue it to the cardstock leaving room around it. Press and dry.

FIG. 3 Roughly cut circles about ¼” around the log artwork.

FIG. 4 Snip into the notches, up to the black line. So you have extended the tabs on the artwork.

FIG. 5 Fold the tabs over, up to the black circle.

FIG. 6 Finished end caps.

FIG. 7 Find the grain of your cardstock.  Roll or bend the paper in one direction, and then the other. You should notice that one direction bends more smoothly than the other. The grain of the paper is running parallel to the valley of the fold when it bends smoothly. Cut out the wood grain artwork and place the grain parallel to the grain of the cardstock. Draw around it. Draw a line 3/8” down from the top of the 4” dimension.

FIG. 8 Roll the cardstock into a tube and tape it closed, overlapping at the 3/8” line. Dry-fit the end caps to make sure they will fit. Adjust the tube size accordingly. Double-check that the wood grain will fit around the tube without a gap.

FIG. 9 Glue the overlap on the tube closed and tape in place.

FIG. 10 Put a tiny dot of glue underneath each flap on the end cap and spread it evenly.  Stick the flaps to the outside of the tube while simultaneously wrapping tape around the tube to hold the flaps down.

FIG. 11 Brush an even coat of glue on the back of the wood grain. Get the rubber bands ready. Wrap the art around the tube and secure it with the rubber bands while it dries.

FIG. 12 Cut open the flap. This is easier with an X-acto knife. If you’re using scissors, pinch the side cutting line and snip a hole, then insert the end of the scissors. Don’t cut the straight hinge line.

FIG. 12 Fold the hinge line and crease it back-and-forth.

FIG. 12 Decorate your box. Punch holes and tie it closed with twine. Add a label.

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