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Balloon Print Monsters

7 Feb

I’ve recently noticed that my darling Duckman is quite artistically inclined, which is something I wasn’t prepared for. Rooster, although he does enjoy art when he does it, he rarely seeks it out. Duckie on the other hand draws on everything, I am trying to teach him, with out much luck, that we only draw on paper, however he is rather free spirited and draws wherever and on what ever takes his fancy. Yesterday I discovered a master piece on our newly laid timber floor, thankfully it was done in pencil and will be easily removed.

balloon print

So with this new realisation, my February goal of more kid art and some one on one time with Duckie now Rooster is at school we embarked on balloon printing.

This is so simply and such fun.

All you need is

balloons

paint

a small cup or bowl to hold the paint

goggle eyes (optional)

markers

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First of all you need to blow up the balloon, not too big as it needs to be easily handled by little hands and it also needs to fit into the bowl of paint.

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Add some paint to your bowl.

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Dip the balloon into the paint and press it onto some paper.

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It does slip around so you need to be firm.

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We placed the eyes on while the paint was wet so that they stuck once the paint was dry.

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 You don’t need to use eyes, you could just draw them on.

Once the paint is dry use the markers to add personality.

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Easy peasy isn’t it?

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I am totally in love with the tie-dyed effect of this printing, and the texture of it. I think it would make some pretty rad wrapping paper.

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Little Duckie had a great time. Watching his creativity is super awesome. He turned his prints into a mixed media collage with the addition of some washi tape.


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Stained Glass Christmas Decorations

10 Dec

christmas decorationA few months the Minimen were right into craft activities, so I have been really looking forward to Christmas and all the great things we could make together.

However, things haven’t turned out the way I had pictured in my head. Their interest in craft has waned and I have been left to make by myself.

A couple of days ago I made these cute stained glass decorations using just some  clear coloured pony beads and an egg ring.DSC_1083

First I turned my oven on and set the temperature for the hottest setting.DSC_1086

I placed some baking paper on a tray and tipped the beads into the egg ring in a single layer. You could also use any metal biscuit cutter to make your decoration.DSC_1090

I put them in the oven for about 20 minutes. After this time the beads were soft but not fully melted. I pressed down on them with the back of a spoon to squish them together more.DSC_1098

It easily removed from the egg ring and the plastic hardens up really quickly once out of the oven.

There were little gaps where I was able to thread some string to tie it to the tree.DSC_1097

I really like how it turned out, I was hoping that the different colours would melt together more, maybe they would if I wasn’t impatient and had left them in the oven longer…..that might be an experiment for another day.DSC_1096

The great thing about these decorations is that you don’t even have to put them away after Christmas. Enjoy them all year round by hanging them in a window to catch the light.

 

An easy Wreath to make with the kids

3 Dec

 

Despite the title of this post, my kids did not help make this in any way I was told when I asked if they wanted to help “No, Mum. You can do it all by yourself”

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I recently found this cute wreath via Pinterest.

 

This is the site it is from. It is in Hungarian, Google will translate it for you, but the photos are pretty self explanatory so you don’t really need it.

All you need is used toilet rolls, green paint, red beads and glue

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I used 11 toilet rolls. I started by cutting each one into 5 pieces and painting inside and outside green.

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Then using a glue gun I glued the 5 pieces together to form this flower shape.

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Once I had made all the flowers I glued them together to make 1 small wreath, using 5 flowers and one larger wreath, using six flowers.

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I placed the smaller one on top of the bigger one then glued some red beads on, and there you have it. A simple Christmas wreath!

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Advent Calendar

28 Nov

This year has just completely gotten away from me, how did it get to be Christmas again already? I had such plans of Christmas craftiness and starting early but here I am in the last week of November and only just getting going!DSC_1061

So this year I wanted to make the Minimen an Advent calendar with a difference, instead of cheap chocolate or junky toys for the countdown to what is possibly the greatest day of the year for most kids, I decided to fill their days with fun (hopefully) events. Some of them are simple, like a trip to the movies or their choice of take out meal, others are much more exciting like a trip to an outdoor ice skating rink ( this is pretty special since Christmas is in the middle of Summer here) or visiting Lollipop Land.DSC_1053

To make the calendar I used a bamboo stick, any other type of stick would work just as well, DSC_1033paint,DSC_1034 glitter, DSC_1035string, Christmas ornaments DSC_1070and small cards and envelopes.DSC_1047

Even though it is the middle of Summer in Brisbane I love Winter themed Christmas decorations. I started by painting the bamboo blue, then once that was dry I painted some craft glue on the ends and in the middle and coated this with white glitter.DSC_1050

Using a silver marker I wrote each activity on a card and placed it in a numbered envelope.
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I punched a hole in each envelope, attached a string and tied them to the bamboo. I added the snowflake decorations, hung it on the wall and took a bunch of photos of it.DSC_1068

I can’t wait to start opening the cards with the Minimen. I hope they enjoy this as much as I enjoyed making it. DSC_1067

An old favourite gets the chop.

12 Nov

I have this pair of pants that I love, they are a high-waisted, bell-bottom, Charlie’s Angel style. However, due to the need to wear high shoes with them they don’t leave the wardrobe as often as I would like.DSC_0977

So I decided to give them the chop and turn them into shorts!

The first thing I did was try them on and put a mark just above my knees, then with trepidation I chopped.

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I wanted to put a cuff on them as the original pant had cuffs and they were super cute. My sewing skills are not flash so I wasn’t sure how to do this. After examining the original cuff I turned the shorts inside out and made a deep hem, pressed, sewed, then pressed again.

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I topstitched very close to the edge, then turned them back the right way, turned the cuff up and just put some stitches in at the inner and outer side seams to hold it in place.DSC_0988

The fabric is stretchy and I have no experience with stretch fabric. the edge is wavey but once they are on this flattens out.Photo: I turned these pants into some cute new shorts yesterday.  I'll have a blog post up later this week if you want to see how I did it.

They are longer than I normally wear my shorts, but the length balances the high waist nicely.

This was really easy to do and it feels great to add a new item of clothing to my wardrobe for the cost of a spool of cotton.

And I have already worn them out.

 

A geometric makeover

6 Nov

Earlier in the year I brought back some things from my mums place, you might remember this post. One of the things that I brought back, with the intentions of gussying it up.image

Well, it sat in the garage for 7 months, until last weekend, when I pulled it out and gave it the make over it deserved.

This is how it originally looked

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My grandfather made this table, I think it was made for me as a child and was originally green. My mum painted it red and covered the top with denim contact for my brother. Now after 10 years in storage it was time to give it a new lease of life for my Minimen.

It is destined for life in the playroom so to match the colour scheme in there I painted it bright, sunny yellow after I had removed the contact and sanded it back.

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To give it a a bit of spunk I taped some stripes randomly on the legs and painted them with the blue that is on the walls in the play room

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I found a cute geometric stencil and using the same blue I applied the design. I love geometric patterns, they are always fresh and modern, and put a smile on my face,

So this is the finished product, I think I will probably put a clear gloss coat of varnish on it to protect the stenciling.

I love how it turned out, although the stenciling could be neater. It is going to fit so perfectly in the play room. I also love that I am able to give the Minimen something that was mine as a child.

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Doll number three

4 Sep

Here is my third doll from the petals to picots CAL. I was late getting this one finished.  I am a super slow embroiderer.

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Making Candles

14 Aug

I didn’t think I would be doing this today, but somehow I did a bit of candle making this morning.DSC_0837

As a teenager I had a candle making kit and made candles often, but as with most things like this as you get older you often don’t have time.

Today when I was cleaning up I was going to throw out these slightly drunk, heat affected guys, but they smelt so lovely I just couldn’t do it.

DSC_0825 I thought rather than throw them out I would upcycle them into a fabulous new candle.

So I started to search around the house for some other supplies and I found some plain taper candlesDSC_0828 and for a mould I used the lid of a take-away container and I reused the wicks from the candles.

First I put some holes in the container using a skewer and threaded the wicks through. I secured them with some play dough, this also stops wax leaking from the holes.

Then I chopped up the blue candle into chunks of varying sizes

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I filled my prepared container with the chunks.DSC_0831I wrapped the other end of the wicks around some pens, This holds them nice and straight until the wax sets.

I melted down the taper candles in a saucepan,  I let this cool so that it didn’t melt the wax chunks when it was poured into the mould, it only has to be cool enough that you can touch it safely.

Once it had cooled I tipped it into the mold over the chunks, gave it a good tap to expel any air bubbles that may have been lurking in there, then left it to set.DSC_0832 Actually I didn’t leave it, I continually returned to poke, prod and examine it while it set. I slid the pens out of the wicks while it was still soft and pushed the ends into the candle, but you could chop them off, I just took the lazy option.

When it was solid I pushed it out of the mould, It came out pretty easily, to make it easier you could probably give it a spray of oil during preparation.

And TA-DA a new candle!DSC_0838

And Sew We Craft
Edit: I am adding this to the Linky party over at And so we craft

Pinecone Art

9 Aug

Before starting this blog my Minimen showed very little interest in creative activities and when I started doing crafty things with them it could be difficult to gain their interest.

Now, after around six months later they are initiating activities themselves, like this afternoon on our way out of daycare, Rooster picked up a pinecone from the ground and while we were driving home he asked if he could paint it . Of course I was delighted and said yes.

As soon as we were home they bounded out of the car and ran upstairs to find some paints and brushes.DSC_0777

Rooster set everything up himself and both Rooster and Duckman happily painted away for all of about five minutes and together they created a lovely painted pinecone.DSC_0780

DSC_0786Duck man missed the pinecone occasionally, getting a bit more paint on the table

 

 

 

 

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Duckman really hates dirty hands at the moment, this is him showing some concern over the paint on his hands.
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This is the end result
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Snap Painting

14 Jul

During the week I promised The Minimen we would do some snap painting, we ended up being to busy during the week to do it so from early this morning Rooster was onto me to do it today.DSC_0714

So after a visit to the farmers markets, a quick Facebook check in and a lot of nagging I finally set them up to do their painting.

Snap painting is so easy and you should have most things you need around the house.

Gather some rubber bands, something to wrap the bands around, we used a plastic container but a shoe box or even a cake tin would also work well, paper that will fit inside your chosen box and of course paints.DSC_0695

Put your paper in the bottom of your container then wrap the bands around the container at varying intervals.

At this point it the kids will love to explore the sounds the rubber bands make when being snapped. Both Rooster and Dukman are really into music, so they both had a blast playing their “guitars”.

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After the musical diversion we used our fingers to smother the bands in paint, DSC_0699

then it was time to flick away!DSC_0704

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Even Duckman joined in with this activity, usually he is distracted by being outside when we paint, but this one

was right up his alley.

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Both Minimen really enjoyed this art activity and stayed focused the whole time and they ended up with some really great paintings! I had been expecting this to be really messy with all the flicking bands flinging paint everywhere, however, it wasn’t any thing like that. All the paint managed to make it to its desired destination, which left a super easy clean up. This is something I really like.

This was a great activity. It provides tactile and musical experiences and it was really interesting to watch the way the paint splattered when the band was flicked and it will be engaging for a range of ages.

Here’s some of the art works The Minimen created

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