Friday, July 24, 2015

Mini Cup Pin Cushion and DIY Pins

Say hello to my newest pin cushion.

This little thing started out as a decorative candle from Dollar Tree, but had a higher destiny: To keep my straight pins off my craft room floor, and out of the bottoms of my feet. Here's how to make your own:

Let the candle burn for a few hours, and pour the wax out. Don't worry if some wax gets left behind since the cushion will cover it anyway. If you can't find one of these cute candles you can use an espresso cup, or even a piece of a miniature tea set.

To make the cushion cut a circle from your desired fabric. Mine was around 6 inches across. Hand sew a running stitch around the circle, fill with stuffing (or steel wool to keep your pins sharp), and cinch it shut. Sew through it a few times to secure.

Put a few circles of hot glue around the inside of the cup rim and press the cushion in place. You'll only get one shot at this, so make sure it is where you want it.

That's it! Now you've got an adorable new pin cushion. But, wait! You need some equally adorable pins! If you are like me you've got dozens of random beads lying around. Give them some new life by placing a dab of E-6000 on and slightly below the pin head. Slide your bead to the top, and hold in place for a few minutes.
If you don't have the time or patience to hold the beads in place simply slide them into a piece of styrofoam or a soda cup lid and let them sit for at least an hour before removing.

For another easy pin makeover use Sculpy clay to cover the pin heads and bake at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. Both the pins and the cushion would make a lovely gift for any seamstress.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Art Lessons for Kids: Picasso Faces

Today the kids learned about Cubism and Pablo Picasso!
We Googled the definition of Cubism:

  1. An early 20th-century style and movement in art, especially painting, in which perspective with a single viewpoint was abandoned and use was made of simple geometric shapes, interlocking planes, and, later, collage.

Once we learned the definition of Cubism we learned about the most famous of the Cubists: Pablo Picasso. has a great biography on Picasso that is geared toward children. Check it out HERE.  After our Art History lesson it was time for the kids to create some Picasso faces.

Materials used:
Printer paper
Glue sticks
Old Magazines

The kids started out by drawing the layout of their faces in black crayon. To begin a Picasso face draw an oval, or a large U that is rounded out at the top. Draw a zigzag line down the middle of the face, so it looks as if half the face is looking to the side. Add a neck and hair if desired. We expanded on our previous warm/cool lesson by coloring each side of the face either warm or cool. From there the kids cut facial features from magazines and glued them to their faces. They got a little wacky and even used kitty features from a cat food advertisement.

I love this project for several reasons:
It's inexpensive.
It reuses old magazines.
It's doable for almost all ages.
There is no right or wrong way to do it.

If you've done this project with your kids let me know how they liked it! :)

Art Lessons for the Kids: Warm and Cool Colors

I have been blessed with talented, brilliant children who ooze creativity. I want to encourage that creativity as much as possible, but HOLY COW are art lessons expensive! If we only had one child it would be doable, but with 4 children it just isn't in the cards right now.

Though I am not a teacher, or a professional artist, I have taken it upon myself to be my childrens' art teacher. While I have a few ideas of my own, Pinterest is my greatest ally for lesson plans and printables. If you'd like to follow me on this new creative endeavour I'll be sharing my resources and ideas.
This is what I currently have planned-in no particular order. 

You can also follow my Art Lessons for Kids board on Pinterest. 

The first lesson with my little art students was on Warm and Cool colors. I found a great blog post from Laura Spector on HubPages and used her circle template for the hand tracings. I also used an awesome printable from I Love You Because to teach the kids about warm/cool on the color wheel.

The hands turned out great and it was a fun and easy introduction for the kids.
You'll have to pardon the lack of awesome pictures until I get a new camera.
 Check back for our next lesson on Picasso!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Painting: My New Obsession

During my time away from blogging I rediscovered my love of painting. I'm by no means a professional, but I find that sitting in front of a canvas with a cup of tea soothes my soul. Here are some of the paintings I've done over the last few months:

My daughter also discovered a love of painting and she is quite talented! Her dandelion paintings are my absolute favorite! Not bad for a 9 year old!

What hobby soothes your soul?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hope is Kindled Candle and Free Printable

I love Lord of the Rings. It is one of the greatest books of all time, and an absolutely brilliant movie trilogy. During the course of our 10 year marriage my husband and I have probably watched the full trilogy around 100 times. Not exaggerating. My favorite part is the lighting of the beacons. When Gandalf says "Hope is kindled" I get goosebumps. Every time I think the same thing: I want that on a candle! I finally got around to making a printable to create that candle.

Tape your tissue paper to a piece of printer paper using double sided tape and print the image below. Be sure to se double sided tape because regular scotch tape may melt in the printer. For large candles print as is (25%). For the smaller 3 inch candles print at 15%.
Click HERE to download

Carefully remove the tissue paper from the printer paper, and cut as close the to edges as you can. Hold the image against the candle and tightly wrap a piece of wax paper around the candle. Use a heat gun or a blow dryer to heat the candle until the entire image is covered and under the wax.

Make sure there are no wrinkles in your wax paper or there will be bumps on your candle like there were on my first try.

Now you've got a gorgeous tribute to Lord of the Rings, or just a wonderful saying to have around the house.

In addition to the printable for the candle I made an 8x10 that can be printed and framed. You can right click and save the image, or download the file from 4shared by clicking the link below the picture. The 4shared download does not have my watermark.

Click HERE to download

Have you read Lord of the Rings and/or seen the movies? If not, get to it! Fly, you fools!