DIY Mini Note Book Covers

DIY Craft

I just love this fun idea of using up beautiful paper. It is practical and functional and you can appreciate the lovely paper far more often than before.

The next best thing to pretty fabric is pretty paper! Although I don’t scrapbook, I love to walk through that department at my favorite craft/sewing stores and couldn’t resist buying some when I saw it marked down.  Of course, then I had to come up with a project for it, so here it is!

Sometimes the paper is so pretty, I am reluctant to use it, but I had no such trouble with this project. Some are planned to be small gifts, others I will use myself and then I can appreciate the paper each time I use them.

The therapeutic and relaxing nature of craft is something we should ponder about whilst stuck in traffic jams, heading to work each week!  🙂 Continue reading “DIY Mini Note Book Covers”

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Blind Drawing: Good Practice

Blind or Contour drawing is a favourite with drawing teachers to develop hand-eye communication. It is essentially outline drawing, and blind contour drawing means drawing the outline of the subject without looking at the paper.

A Blind drawing hand using  the right side of brain

The end result doesn’t matter. What is important is carefully observing the subject in order to follow contours and space, with your hand and eye. This trains your brain to tap into its right hemisphere, which aids us in drawing shapes, lines and angles, positive and negative space, instead of objects that we can “name.” Naming objects is the domain of the left brain, logical, realistic but also one that shackles our drawing ability to that of a ten year old.

Above you can see my first blind drawing. My vegetable patch in the back yard. One can just make out the garden edging and the tomato plants, and stakes. I used a soft B pencil which made a nice effect when I drew on the rough Gesso finish of a hard cardboard backed frame. I painted a little colour in a pen and wash technique and then soaked it in tea overnight.  I added a little outlining in pen.  I was surprised by how much my right brain could do without the dominant left hemisphere taking over.

Continue reading “Blind Drawing: Good Practice”

Upcycling – Stool/potplant stand 30 minute Makeover

IMG_20140124_163626.jpgplantstand

So many things are thrown away that are still useful. folk art stool

This stool was just begging me to rescue it from a kerbside clean up.

And even with just a small embellishment, it has found a new home on my porch.

Steps to its New look:

1.  First a coat of Forest Green acrylic Gouache (artists quality pigments, but that is only my personal choice) House paint sample pots is fine.

folk art painted flower

2.  A good sand with 600 grade sandpaper and then a second coat of paint is mandatory.

3.  Draw a guideline of a central circle with chalk and then position the petals symmetrically around the circle.

4. Thin down a little warm white acrylic paint, (warm white is white with a touch of yellow added to take the “blue-ness” out of the white colour).

5. Paint  daisies or flowers of 6 -7 petals, with a paint brush, or, if a paint brush is not readily available, use your finger tip, (like the original peasant folk artists did).

I used a round brush # 4 with thick paint for texture. Smaller daisy petals can be painted with a Q – tip or cotton bud.

folk art painted stool

You could paint the daisies in a line, or in clusters, for something different. Tip: Clusters of odd numbers of flowers, look better than even numbers…why, I don’t know.

6. I painted the centre of the flower scarlet red with another dollop of paint, and a final flourish stroke/dot  between the flowers for interest.

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7. When the paint is dry, rub off the chalk lines.

8. Varnish if you wish, with water based varnish. ( Oil based varnishes tend to yellow as they age, but if you want this look, then oil based is ok too)

upcycledstoolVariation:

With some 600 grade sandpaper, lightly sand off a little of the forest green paint at the corners to reveal the original undercoat. A nice shabby chic look.

There – it is done. Thirty minutes later:IMG_20140124_163626.jpgplantstand

Ponder about something that needs a makeover.

Other upcycling ideas here: