Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Fun of Paper Paste

Oh – the fun of playing! We should all do it more. I spent my  morning playing with paper paste. A little bit messy, easy and the best part…fun to do with kids. Wouldn’t you like to try?

I have a goal for my valentine’s day projects this year, I want to include as many handmade materials as I can create. Using paper paste and paint together on paper allows you to make your own decorative paper with texture and designs.

I found a great tutorial at My Handbound Books – Book Making Blog on how to make the paste and use it to paint the papers. The recipe is simple, just water and flour, cooked over a double boiler. After it has cooled you add your paint and away you go!

Grab your supplies: heavy paper (I used watercolour paper), paper paste, paint (I used crafter’s acrylic), paint brushes and water.

I also used crayons and oil pastels to make a few designs on the paper before layering on the paint and paste. You can skip this step if you want to.

Now all you need is a few items to drag through your paste and paint. I chose a cork, popsicle sticks, a serving fork and a toilet roll.

Oh and a cup of tea is always an option. This is fun right?

First I started doodling some designs over the paper. This helps create a layered effect. I tried some with the layering and some without. Kids love doing this part.

Add a dollop of paste to a container and add a bit of paint, mix really well.

Paint on the paste paint mixture and grab a tool to make some designs. Sorry for the picture quality…

Now set your paper aside to dry, preferably away from your cat. A few of my papers have kitty cat paw prints on them from curious felines. If you paper really curls up just turn it over and iron with a low iron to make it flat.

And then it is up to you, cut, paste, collage, make cards, a garland or just a pile of pretty hearts.

If you are looking for a few more ideas for Valentine’s Day projects check out a few of my other posts: Valentine’s Eye Candy, DIY Valentine’s Cards Using Collage, and DIY Valentine’s Cards.

Thanks for stopping by…

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Valentine’s Eye Candy

Well hello there. I have been very busy today in my workshop working on new Valentine’s Day projects. They are coming along but still have a little way to go. In the meantime here is a little eye candy to gaze at:

I love this abstract rose print from Martha Stewart. So whimsical, creative and looks totally doable as  well. I like the idea of using it on wrapping paper too.

That Artist Woman is one of my favourite art resource blogs. Take some time to check it out. I really want to try this Valentine book that she created. I love the layers of paper in the middle and the text. She is a treasure trove of creativity.

Ooooh, where do I start with this little project? Just looking at it makes me want to run out to the nearest dollar store and get a bag full of match boxes. Too cute. Check it out at Inchmark.

There are so many creative projects out there I wish I could squeeze a few more hours out of the day to try them. What do you think? Do you want to try any? Leave a comment with a link to your Valentine’s Day project, I would love to see it. Keep crafting.

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DIY Valentine’s Cards using Collage

My newest art obsession, collage, has inspired a few more Valentine’s Day cards. Don’t you just love how a pile of scrap magazines can be transformed into a pile of color and form? It really blows me away…check out my past post about collage: Inspired By Collage

OK, let’s get going! Gather your supplies, they are simple, simple, simple!

Rip out a bunch of colourful magazine pages, grab a pair of scissors, card stock, a glue stick and some blank cards (I used water-color cards as I like the texture of the paper – but any card will do).

Next, rip pieces of the magazine and start gluing down to a piece of card stock. Check it out:

Now do more, it really doesn’t take very long!

I went to the recycle bin and grabbed an old cracker box to cut out some templates of hearts to trace onto the collage so each heart would be the same size. You can skip this step if you want a more free-form look…I love free thinkers!

Trace your template and cut out.

And that is what I did. I used my glue stick to attach it to the card and then cut out a few plain colored  hearts and added them. 

I folded the small hearts in half to give them more of a dimensional look then grabbed a black pen and doodled some antennae on. Anything works. Here are a few more examples:

Now that was fun! Time to go and make a few more…

Let me know what you think, comments really make my day!

This post is linked to Today’s Creative Blog link party, check it out!

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DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

I am starting to feel the love! I have been searching the web for some Valentine’s Day inspiration and I have found some really neat ideas. The pinks, the reds, the lace, the glitter, I want it all.

The past couple of years my kids and I have handmade the cards they give to their friends for Valentine’s day. This year I wanted to try something different using two printing techniques. First of all, because I love homemade prints and secondly, you can make a whole whack of them at one go. I am nothing if not practical!

I knew I wanted to do heart potato prints. If you haven’t done them before run and get a potato, you will love it and it really is the easiest.

Cut the potato in half and use a pencil to draw your shape. Take a small, sharp paring knife and carve away the excess potato. I used a paint brush to put on my paint and experimented on scrap paper quite a bit before printing on my cards.

I tried regular card stock but found it too slippery and non absorbent. I switched to watercolor paper and the results were better because of the paper’s texture.

For my other method of printmaking I tied some scrap wool around a wooden block. Again I used my paint brush to smooth on the paint and stamped away.

I love the graphic quality of the stamped paper.

Next I cut a heart out of scrap paper and traced the shape on the stamped paper and cut out my hearts. And then I put it all together. I am happy with the way they turned out. Handmade, unique and organic looking. I can’t wait to make a bunch with my kids this weekend.

What do you think? Are you feeling the love yet? Any plans to make homemade Valentine’s this year?

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Inspired by Collage

Over the past couple of weeks I have found myself drawn more and more to collage. My Pinterest board is full of them. There is just something magical about cutting up a magazine, a scrap of paper, junk mail or other items and putting them together in a way that expresses yourself. Adding paint and other mediums to the work transforms the page and changes the way the viewer sees. Here are a few of my current favourites:

This collage, Black Eyed Sue, by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson is so full of energy and color, I love it. She also has a DVD, Collage: An Overview of the Creative Process. I really want to order a copy to find out how she creates her work.

This portrait collage, “T.I.”, by Ian Wright is so visually compelling that I find it hard to look away.

Donna Downey is an incredible mixed media artist. She produced this work during a four-hour drive using stack of old magazines, a pair of scissors and a glue stick.

She has totally inspired me to give it a whirl. Time to get my own dusty pile of magazines, clear off my work table and cut and paste. The whole process  reminds  me a bit of my favourite grade in school, kindergarten.

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