Follow these links to the Index Blogs:
Blog 151 - Scrapbooking 8: Working in sepia
"We sometimes have the cutest of images that we choose to print in sepia for two reasons; one is that color would distract the focus from the image, and the second is that using sepia adds a bit of old-worldly charm. However, we need to plan our layout carefully when scrapping these photos if we want them to appear to their best advantage. Today we focus on this aspect, look at the use of corner punches and how to incorporate a transparent organza ribbon."
Blog 152 - Scrapbooking 9: An alternative take on the last blog's sepia photos
"We take another look at those very special photos we were working with yesterday and rethink the use of sepia. I explained in yesterday's blog why I chose to print the photos in sepia, but what the sepia could never show was the especially rosy feet of the baby. This was after all the perfect pink foot, without the need for photo-shopping it. I then decided that the album could actually accommodate a second set of photos! Normally this would be unheard of, but if we keep the layouts similar, yet the approach different, our viewers will not feel as we are trying to cheat them into thinking that they are looking at more photos, but will be able to appreciate that we are pointing out different features of the same photos."
Blog 153 - Scrapbooking 10: Capturing the setting when preserving memories
"Many times when taking photos of special occasions we do not stop to consider that there are aspects of the event which may be lost to its main subjects. It is this thought that sparked the thought in me to start taking pictures outside the scope of the event, trying to give the persons involved a setting against which to understand the time and place of things. In the example of this blog, I took photos of the garden on the day of the little girl's birth. This way she would know that she came with sunshine and fruitful trees, as if nature was declaring the blessings she would bring to the earth with her being here. Let me show you how to incorporate these photos into the rest of the album."
Blog 154 - Scrapbooking 11: Working chaotically for the fun of it
"Sometimes in life we need to break the rules a bit and just have fun. These spectacular photos of the kids playing in the mud managed to capture one such time splendidly. We now need to plan our layout carefully to bring justice to the emotion of the photos. This is when I immediately know that arranging things in orderly rows will never suffice. Here we need to steer clear of any rigidity and allow things to cross into each other, run off the page and fall into disarray. Let me show you how to plan this carefully so it doesn't turn into chaos."
Blog 155 - Putting Derwent Drawing coloring pencils to the test
"Of all the non-soluble coloring pencils I have ever tried, the ones I like best are Derwent's Drawing pencils. The set comes in 24 colors and they are luxuriously soft. The range was specifically developed to draw hair and landscapes and the colors are geared towards this, but I happily tolerate the color restrictions and use them in any subject I like for the mere pleasure of using them. Bear in mind that I have sets of 72 colors available to me when I say that. Let me walk you through this simple little project to show you why I love these pencils so much. (Please note that the Tatty Teddies are not my brainchild and if I knew who to credit with these lovely creatures, I would happily do so)."
Blog 156 - Marie's Drawing Set for Beginners are put to the test
"Marie's has put together a rather brilliant set of drawing materials aimed at budding artists, just venturing into the world of art. I have often remarked on the value for money that Marie's offer, but was wondering how far this set would take me before I started longing for something more. Well, when I start wondering about something, I make a plan to find out. Let me share my findings with you."
Blog 157 - Scrapbooking 12: Scrapping your Pets
"Our pets play such an important role in our lives that many of us have begun to think of them as part of our family and they have made their way into our photos. Having made their way into our photos it was a small step toward being integrated into family albums. In today's blog I give you a few ideas for scrapping your photos of your pets. We also concentrate on using mainly stickers as embellishments."
Blog 158 - Combining different charcoal products in your art
"I love working in charcoal and find it a very responsive medium. Yet, charcoal is more than just sticks of burned wood. It has evolved into a comprehensive range of products. Each product brings its own unique features to the task and today I will introduce you to the possibilities that exist in these."
Blog 159 - Painting your Graphite drawings
"Did you know that most, if not all, graphite pencils are water-soluble to a greater or lesser degree? This means that it is always possible to add water to your graphite drawings to soften lines or blend areas of the drawing. But then there are graphite pencils that is purposefully produced to be water-soluble. Let me show you how much fun you can have when you combine these with normal graphite pencils. Now, let us 'just add water!'"
Blog 160 - School Holiday Project 1: Make a Fun Bookmark
"It is school holidays in South Africa and the winter months forces us to spend more time indoors than would otherwise be the case. Crafty kids are quickly bored with staring at screens and I'll post a couple of projects to do with them to keep them busy and hone their creativity. The first of these is this cute bookmark."
Blog 161 - School Holiday Project 2: Trusted Salt Dough
"Their grandmother and I was minding my nephew and nieces today, wishing we had something to keep them occupied. Grandma suggested salt dough and I jumped to it. Salt dough is ALWAYS a good idea. It is the gift that keeps giving. First we spend a good deal of time mixing the dough. The we spend and even greater deal of time playing with the dough. Finally, we settle on designs and bake the dough. And then we still get to paint and decorate the baked products. Few other craft products has such a great return. Best of all, it costs very little! Let me walk you through this trusted fall-back. (Need I mention that adult crafters derive just as much pleasure from the clay as the kids do?)"
Blog 162 - Painting with Oil Pastels
"I have never been a great fan of oil pastels, finding that they reminded me too much of crayons, which is another product I did not fancy much growing up. As a matter of fact, I would only use my crayons if I did not have any alternatives at all! My mom is quite the opposite. She loves oil pastels and will often pull hers out to work with. Where I love soft pastels, on the other hand, she hates them! But this works in some mysterious way, because I have free access to her soft pastels and she in return enjoys the same liberties with regards my oil pastels. Then I learned that you could dissolve oil pastels, and in effect paint with them. Now I have developed a great affinity for those hated oil pastels. Let me show you a simple project to try yourself."
Blog 163 - School Holiday Project 3: Turn an old photo frame into a write-on notice board
"Are you in need of a reminder board for dates and events, but needing it to change quickly? Or perhaps you simply need a place where family members can leave messages while on their way to and from events in their busy schedules? I have the ideal solution in today's blog when I turn an old photo frame into a write-on notice board. This need not be a school holiday project, but it is a very nice one to do with older kids and teens. Play around with color schemes and decorations and the whole look and feel of it changes dramatically. My own was intended for a rather serious older teenage boy and may seem somewhat muted for its intended target, but it was spot-on."
Blog 164 - Scrapbook Paper 5: Painting Cupcakes
"My young niece had her birthday and the theme centered around cupcakes, something she loves to bake, but only so she can decorate them herself. I decided that I would much rather make a scrapbook page around the theme than to work with any of the existing ones on the market. It simply makes the whole page so much more special in the end."
Blog 165 - Learn to draw a cute owl step by step
"I had a special request by a follower to show her step by step how to draw an owl. Since the request accompanied a blog with a cute Tatty Teddy I assumed she was talking about a cute owl rather than a realistic one. I found this picture on the internet and adjusted it ever so slightly. I painted it with water-soluble wax bars. Let me walk you through the steps."
Blog 166 - Learn to draw an almost realistic owl step by step
"Still on the theme of drawing owl, I decided to attempt a more realistic bird. This was a quick sketch and certainly needs a whole lot more work to be truly finished, but I show you in a few quick steps how simple it really is to capture the essence of an owl. For this project I decided to work with woodless charcoal pencils, but any charcoal pencils could achieve the same results."
Blog 167 - Comparing and testing permanent markers for craft purposes
"I recently had a client contacting about markers, wanting something that would be able to write on wood without smudging or smearing. It had to be of high quality and permanent. Sometimes the wood would be painted and other times not. Sadly she had wasted money on a substandard marker and got uneven lines that had darker and lighter spots in it at random. This could be the ruin of any project. So how do you know what to buy? Good quality markers do not come cheap and if you are going to pay good money, you want good quality. With this incident in mind, I decided to put a few high end markers to the test to give you an idea of what they are capable of. These are all available in store on APrettyTalent.com if you click here."
Blog 168 - Comparing Marco Raffine Coloring Pencils to Derwent
"When I published the blog where I used Derwent's Drawing pencils, someone commented that they preferred Marco Raffine because you got great quality at a fraction of the cost. When asked it turned out that this person had never actually used Derwent Drawing pencils. I, on the other hand, had never used Marco Raffine. It started me wondering how good these pencils were and if I would like them at all. You know by now that when I start to wonder about something I make a plan to find out. This time was not the exception to the rule. I bought myself a set of 12 Marco Raffine pencils today and immediately set out to test them. Let me share my findings with you."
Blog 169 - How to draw an uncomplicated wind-pump
"When a follower asked me to do a blog on how to draw a wind-pump, I had to give it a lot of thought. There are so many styles of drawing. Which one would I choose? Eventually I decided that I would draw the simplest form of a wind-pump that I could find. This will get the skeleton in place and from there anyone can make it as complicated or as easy as their own skill or needs would allow."
Blog 170 - Comparing Derwent Pencils to Derwent Pencils
"I had a very interesting discussion about coloring pencils with someone recently. It got me really curious about one range of Derwent pencils I had not tried yet - the Studio pencils. I had a blister set in store and opened it to find out more. What a lovely pencil! I then decided to test it next to more ranges by Derwent. If you've been wondering which pencils to buy then this blog is a must-read!"
Blog 171 - School Holiday Project 4: Making Paper Handbags
"When we were making the bookmarks in a previous blog my niece turned it upside down and casually mentioned that if it were bigger, we could make handbags out of it. Well, her aunt like the idea and the next holiday project was born on the spot. Let me show you how to make these cute and easy paper handbags."
Blog 172 - Is a blister pack of six coloring pencils at all useful for an artist?
"I will readily admit that I have always scornfully pulled my nose up at coloring pencils that came in sets of six. Even sets of 12 holds little attraction for me. In the previous blog I opened and tested just such a set of six coloring pencils when I wanted to put Derwent's Studio pencils to the test. I was so impressed with the pencils that I immediately decided that I need to buy myself the full set of 72 pencils. It was natural that I would start wondering what to do with six measly pencils I had tried the day before. Of what use are six single pencils to an artist after all? Once I asked this question, I decided to put it to the test to find out if a set like this held any value for a professional or not. I've had to compromise, but I think it actually works! Take the journey with me and decide for yourselves."
Blog 173 - School Holiday Project 5: Making a clock
"Making a clock with smaller kids is a really valuable exercise and great learning opportunity. They will also revel in the attention you pay them and the interest you take in them. During the process you can talk about shapes and colors and they can count the triangles to 12, etc. Afterwards, they can even learn to tell time! Let me show you how to make this clock and how to adjust your preparations for different age levels."
Blog 174 - Painting with Derwent Aquatone
"I was in a bit of a playful mood today, simply doodling and toying around with my products when I thought of painting some fairies. I am sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I've been spending so much time with the nieces and nephews over the holiday. When it came to painting these magical creatures, I could think of nothing better than Derwent Aquatone. Derwent Aquatone are solid watercolor pencils with no wood casing. It is a brilliant product and marvelous value for money."
Blog 175 - Painting with Derwent Aquatone on Black
"In the previous blog I introduced you to Derwent's brilliant product; Aquatone. Aquatone are solid watercolor pencils without a wooden casing. They are fantastic value for money and a brilliant product for professional artists. What I have failed to tell you yesterday is with how much success you can use these fabulous pencils on a black background. Their true vibrancy only comes into its own once it is used on black and the colors will pop off the page. Learn more about this in today's blog."
Blog 176 - Make a Stylish Photo Pin-Up Board
"Ever since I bought this fabric to make a series of handbags from, I have been toying with the idea of using it to make a comforter and some scatter cushions from. I was working towards a goal though, and did not spend too much time pondering the idea. Then I had some time today and decided to make a photo pin-up board with the little fabric I had left. I loved this so much that I think I will buy some more fabric if it is still available and make the bed set after all. In the meantime, let me show you how to make this Photo Pin-Up Board for yourself. Or simply buy the one in the picture from APrettyTalent.com by clicking here."
Blog 177 - School Holiday Project 6: Fold and Color a House
"Even though the school holidays are officially over, we continue with these intermittent blogs for two reasons; it is good for the youngsters to keep up the habit of creating things, and ... it will be school holidays again! Send yourself these blogs in an email, or subscribe and have them delivered to your inbox. That way you can save them and refer back to them when the holidays strike again. Today I show you how to fold this very house in a few quick steps. The kids then get to color or paint their own houses. Great fun and its costs nothing more than a sheet of paper and pencils."
Blog 178 - Scrapbooking 13: Working in a Complimentary Color Scheme
"There are certain color combinations that simply seem to work well together. One of these is the complimentary color scheme. In this scheme you use two colors that lie opposite each other on the color wheel. These two colors are referred to as each others compliment. In our example today we use red and green in a complimentary color scheme."
Blog 179 - Cardmaking: Drawing and Making a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Card
"Last night my niece stormed in here in a huff and a puff. She needed a birthday card for a friend for the very next day! However, it had to be a card of Rafaello of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - for a girl! Okay then. Not being a fan of the Turtles, I had to do a quick Google search to make sure I got everything in place. It turned out so cute that I decided to redo the card in daylight and to photograph the steps so you could also benefit from what I learned. I show you how to draw the turtle step by step."
Blog 180 - School Holiday Project 7: Folding and Decorating a Paper Windmill
"Today I am going to show you how to make an old favorite; the paper windmill. This is a really great project to do with children. Older kids can measure their own windmills, but for younger ones I would recommend having the lines already measured and drawn in place. They need to practice cutting with scissors, so you should let them do this even if it does not turn out perfectly. They then get to color and decorate their windmills before they fold and assemble it as well. This project develops a number of fine motor skills and they will have a lot of fun. So will you!"
Blog 181 - Choosing between using markers or paint
"I have been working quite a bit with markers over the past few projects and when it came time to paint two more sets of handles for handbags I was making, I wondered how far I could push the markers? Could they replace paint altogether? Whenever I ask questions like these, I put it to the test to find out the answers. I share my findings with you in this blog after I discovered there is no clear cut answer that applies to all."
Blog 182 - How to draw a Zebra step by step with Derwent Graphitint
"Have you been wanting to draw a zebra, but found the idea daunting? Let me show you step by step how to draw one of these cute animals. I use Derwent Graphitint which I paint with water afterwards."
Blog 183 - Draw a Landscape step by step using Derwent Graphitint
"In the previous blog we made use of Derwent's Graphitint pencils to draw and paint a zebra. Being slightly dull in color it was pretty much a done deal that we would be able to do so successfully. The question remains if Graphitint pencils are at all useful if you want to do a colorful picture? I found a vibrant painting by Paul van Rensburg and put the pencils to the test. Let me walk you through it step by step."
Blog 184 - Drawing and Coloring a Giraffe step by step with Derwent Drawing Pencils
"Today I will show you how to draw a giraffe step by step. We will then color the giraffe using Derwent's Drawing pencils, a series specially designed to draw fur and landscapes. It is amazing how easy it is to set the right tone with these pencils. Let me walk you through the process step by step."
Blog 185 - School Holidays Project 8: Learning about Charcoal
"Many adults do not like working with charcoal, because it leaves them dirty. Imagine putting charcoal in the hands of children! Yet that is precisely what we do in today's blog. It is important for children to become familiar with different mediums and to practice mark making in a variety of mediums. On top of that, charcoal has the added advantage of being one of the easiest mediums with which to introduce the concept of negative drawing. Let me show you how to introduce your child to the wonders of charcoal."
Blog 186 - Make a Travel Booklet for your Earrings
"It is difficult enough to keep your jewelry organized and handy at home. The task becomes ever so much more intricate when traveling. On my last birthday I received a couple of sets of earrings neatly presented in a booklet folder. I immediately saw the potential of this for traveling. Simply add your favorite earrings and pop it in your vanity. No more scratching to find the other half of the pair. Tidy, compact, easy to make and, to top it all, CHEAP, this project offers a solution to many a traveller's problems. All I did was to make it slightly larger to accommodate my more bulky earrings and to add a second ribbon to secure it better for those pesky long earrings that always seem to want to slide out."
Blog 187 - Make a Pop-Up Bear Card for a Baby Girl
"Today we go all out girly when we make this adorable pop-up card for a baby girl. From the cake with the sparkling candle to the bear popping up when you open up the card, there is every reason to love this card and it is sure to be a favorite with its recipient."
Blog 188 - Welcome Twin Baby Girls with these Duo Cards
"I am waiting anxiously to welcome a friend's twin girls into the world. I decided that instead of giving only one card, I will make her a set of two cards, one for each girl. This way she can start a keep-sake album for each of them without them having to share the cards. These two babies will be the first for a mom and dad who have gone through many experiences of pregnancies that failed, even as late as 6 months into the pregnancy. You can therefore only imagine how precious these two darlings are to everyone who know the expectant parents. I wanted to make sure that the cards carried this message."
Blog 189 - Scrapbooking: Adding a mini album to a page layout
"I have talked about interactive scrapbook pages in a previous blog when I showed you how to make a photo pin wheel that revolved round and round to reveal different photos. You can read that blog here. Today I show you how to add yet another interactive element to your page; a mini album to page through revealing small photos and hidden journaling."
Blog 190 - Drawing Minnie Mouse's Face Step by Step for use on a card
"If you work with kids then you will know that they love Minnie Mouse (among others) and at some stage you are going to wish you knew how to draw the cute little mouse. I show you how to do just that in a step by step blog today and then go one step further when I mount the drawing on a birthday card. This blog is also a very nice one to use with older kids who are interested in drawing."
Blog 191 - Drawing Minnie Mouse's Complete Body Step by Step for use on a card
"In the previous blog I showed you how to draw Minnie Mouse's face step by step. This cute little mouse has a body that is just as much fun to draw, although it is ever so slightly more complicated. If you enjoyed drawing the face, then you have to try your hand at the body as well. I used this drawing on the inside of a birthday card I was making, but you could just as easily use it on the outside of the card as well."
Blog 192 - Drawing a dinosaur step by step with Derwent Drawing pencils
"I am not at all into dinosaurs. This is such a well-established fact that my family members all reacted with astonishment when they saw the subject for today's blog. So why draw a dinosaur? Because I have a little nephew who is enchanted by these huge monsters, and I bet many of you have a child like that in your lives as well. And so we draw dinosaurs! This drawing may appear very intricate, but it is one of the easiest animal drawings I have ever done. I break the process down into steps and walk you through it slowly. Even if you know nothing about drawing, you should be able to master this."
Blog 193 - Macaroni & Cheese with a Twist
"Mac & Cheese is one of those favorites that will always be made in kitchens across the globe. I did not have a lot of time for cooking when I made the dish the first time, but it was so popular that I've had to make it countless times since. What is the twist? I add veggies and then I do a little something with the sauces. Read on and I'll explain exactly how to make this fab dish that is brilliant for serving vegetarians as well."
Blog 194 - Making a Patchwork Comforter and Pillowcase Part 1
"I was approached to make the soft furnishings for two baby girls that are soon to arrive. The mom wanted everything in bright pink and she expressed being fond of patchwork quilts. I therefore set out to see what I could make to meet the demand. Travel the journey with me and I'll show how easy it is to do some of the things you always thought were reserved for people other than yourself.
Here are the links to all of the blogs in the series:
Blog 195 - Using Posca Marker to draw a butterfly (step by step) Card
"I bought some new markers by Posca and wanted to put them to the test. Once I started playing around with the markers there was no stopping me and I finally decided that this was so much fun I had to put in a blog so I could share the joy with you. The result is that today's card is entirely drawn with markers. I show you step by step how to draw these fabulous creatures before we assemble the card."
Blog 196 - School Holiday Project 9: Bake a Monster in a Mug
"Baking a monster in a mug is one of the easiest projects to do with kids and they always love it. I use a well-known recipe going around the internet under various names, but leave out the chocolate (unless someone wants chocolate cake!). Instead, I add flavoring and color. Let me walk you through the process quickly."
Blog 197 - Bake a delicious Malva Pudding
"What is not to love about Malva Pudding? This dessert has become such a firm favorite that it has stuck with us throughout the generations. Yet it is not the simplest recipe to make. Let me walk you through the process step by step."
Blog 198 - Make a Creative Roll as Gift for a Creative Friend
"One of the groups I am part of on Facebook came up with the idea to make a Creative Roll and then the members share it among each other. Or perhaps they borrowed it from somewhere? Anyway, I loved the idea and jumped at the chance to be a part of this. The idea is to cut a length of fabric to which you attach all sorts of nick knacks which can be put to creative use. I expand a bit on this idea in today's blog. All of the products listed in this discussion are available in APrettyTalent.com. Simply click on the highlighted word for easy navigation to the listed products."
Blog 199 - Making a Patchwork Comforter and Pillowcase Part 2
"In Part 1 of the series we started by measuring and cutting the squares that would be needed to make a quilted patchwork comforter and pillowcase set. We continue with this project today when we do the quilting and patchwork for the two pillowcases.
Here are the links to all of the blogs in the series:
Blog 200 - Draw a Minion step by step en turn it into a card
"Minions are such big news with old and young right now that I simply had to incorporate one of these cute little creatures in a blog. It also had to be female or I would not be forgiven by my niece who is in the Minion class in her preschool. What to do with a minion that you drew step by step? Turn it into a card, of course! Follow with me for this easy drawing lesson. There are only a handful of snags to look out for, the rest is easy as pie."
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