Follow these links to the Index Blogs:
Blog 251 - School HolidayProject 10 - Making Box Men
"It is time to keep the youngsters busy again and today I show you a fun project that is done entirely from waste and off-cuts. We make these cute figures from jelly boxes. This project combines a number of skills where the kids need to paint, cut and paste. It also allows wide scope for putting their own personal touch on the projects."
Blog 252 - A Summary with References of Blogs 101-150
"A number of people have mentioned that they find it difficult to find specific blogs among the growing list of published blogs. This gave me the idea of publishing a summary of previously published blogs, with links and photo references. This way you only need to save a handful of blogs which can easily be accessed to navigate to the blogs you are looking for. This is the third of these Index Blogs."
Blog 253 - Custard Slices
"In today's blog we will be making some very easy and quick custard slices. These are a great alternative for teatime or it can be used as a dessert. It is so easy to make that I opted to do it with the help of two preschoolers. I use the word 'help' very liberally when it comes to preschoolers, but we all had tons of fun."
Blog 254 - Watercolors on Wax Resist Pumpkins
"In today's blog we will be making a set of two small watercolor paintings. I will show you how to use wax resist to help you to retain white and color layers in the painting. The paintings are available from the Gallery in APrettyTalent.com under Miekie."
Blog 255 - Honey & Mustard Pork Chops
"Few tastes go as well as Honey and Mustard. Combine that with a succulent pork chop and you have a winning combination. In today's blog I show you my secret to make this age old favorite. I prepared it on an electrical indoor braai, but it will be even more delicious over the open fire in a proper South African braai (barbecue)."
Blog 256 - School Holiday Project 11 - Creative Birds
"Today's blog is a wonderful developmental exercise where the kids can learn a number of things. We trace, paint, and paste, among others. There is also the opportunity to teach them about how different effects are achieved by swapping brushes. Don't expect them to get it right the first time around, but allow them to play and enjoy themselves."
Blog 257 - School Holiday Project 12 - Puffy Paint
"This is a tremendously fun project for the kids to do. First they make the paint themselves and then they draw their own pictures before painting it with the puffy paint. Their delight knows no bounds when the paint then starts rising when we 'bake' it in the microwave."
Blog 258 - A Summary with References of Blogs 151-200
"A number of people have mentioned that they find it difficult to find specific blogs among the growing list of published blogs. This gave me the idea of publishing a summary of previously published blogs, with links and photo references. This way you only need to save a handful of blogs which can easily be accessed to navigate to the blogs you are looking for. This is the fourth of these Index Blogs."
Blog 259 - Designing a Doll's House
"My brother, who is a carpenter by trade, decided that he wanted to get a doll's house for his little girl. He was a little out of his depth though when it came to what needed to go into a doll's house. It did not help that he was continuing his studies at varsity either. This meant he was pressed for time and finding it difficult to focus on the project. When I heard that he was looking at buying one, I jumped in. I designed a house for him and volunteered to build it if he did not have time to do so himself. It makes it a trifle difficult for me to know where the blog series will go to and if it will even turn into a series, but I will keep you posted. You already know that if it turns out that I will be building it, you will get step by step directions. In the meantime, I will share the plans with you so that you can get started on building your own, if you are familiar with carpentry."
Blog 260 - Quick and Inexpensive Christmas Cards
"Is it too soon to start with blogs on Christmas? On the one hand I want to shout yes, because I still have so many things that need to happen before I can even acknowledge that the year is rushing to and end. On the other hand I am forced to be a realist. Those of us who make handmade cards and gifts and decorations need a little more time to prepare for Christmas. And that is why I start with a blog on making Christmas cards in the middle of October. Besides, if you are going to mail cards to overseas friends and family, you will need to allow more time for the slower postal service over the holidays. Unlike birthdays where we need to make one or two cards, Christmas confronts us with scores of people who we need to send/give cards to. That is why I have two criteria for Christmas cards to adhere to: they have to be inexpensive and quick to make. Granted, there will be people deserving of more special cards and we will spend more time on their cards, but the majority of your cards should be easily, cheaply and quickly dispensed with. Today's blog shows you how to make one of these quick, easy and inexpensive cards."
Blog 261 - Turning your Adult Coloring Pictures into Cards
"Coloring for adults is all the rage these days and people are forking out lots of money to buy the rather expensive coloring books and artists quality coloring pencils. Yet, I have often heard my fellow colorists ask what they could do with all those colored pictures once they were done. It seems a shame to spend all those hours on getting it just right to simply close the book and rarely, if ever, look at it again. Today I will show you how to turn those pictures into a cute card and tomorrow I'll follow up with even some more nifty ideas."
Blog 261 - Turning your Adult Coloring Pages into beautiful Gift Boxes
"There are so many adults rediscovering the charm and restorative powers of coloring these days, that it has led to a boom in the publishing market and suddenly you find the shelves stocked with a selection of great coloring books all aimed at adults. The question arises though, what do we do with those beautiful creations after spending all that time coloring them? It seems a shame to leave them hidden away in a book on a shelf somewhere. Yesterday I showed you how to turn the smaller pictures into cards. Today I use a full A4 page and turn it into a beautiful gift box."
Blog 262 - Turning your Adult Coloring Pictures into Cards 2
"I have shown you one option for making cards with your adult coloring pages and today I will show you another. I had an off-cut left from one of my coloring pages after using half of it in another project. Even off-cuts can still be used as I will show you in today's blog."
Blog 263 - A Summary with References of Blogs 201-250
"A number of people have mentioned that they find it difficult to find specific blogs among the growing list of published blogs. This gave me the idea of publishing a summary of previously published blogs, with links and photo references. This way you only need to save a handful of blogs which can easily be accessed to navigate to the blogs you are looking for. This is the fifth of these Index Blogs."
Blog 264 - Turning your Adult Coloring Pages into beautiful Gift Bags 1
"We are fast approaching the season of gifting and for those of us who choose to give handmade items it is time to start getting our ideas together. In today's blog I show you how to turn your adult coloring pages into colorful gift bags."
Blog 265 - Turning your Adult Coloring Page into a beautiful Heart Gift Box
"In the course of the past couple of blogs I have been showing you how to turn your adult coloring pages into useful and practical items that you could use in your gift giving. I show you yet another of these ideas in today's blog, but I want you to bear in mind that you could use any pretty paper to make these boxes, cards and bags from, as long as they are sturdy. Try these ideas for a festive season of gifting."
Blog 266 - Turning your Adult Coloring Pages into beautiful Gift Boxes 2
"We are still designing boxes, bags and cards from our adult coloring pages and in today's blog I show you how to make this handy and simple flat box. This is ideal for jewelry and can make a very pretty container for those handmade items that you've spent so much time creating with love."
Blog 267 - Making Simple Pancakes
"I went swimming with the little nieces and nephew today and we managed to work up quite an appetite in the cold water. When we got out I suggested pancakes and they jumped at it! Let me share this exceptionally quick and easy pancake recipe with you. This one has been passed down by handwritten notes for so many generations that I honestly have no idea where the recipe originated, but I guarantee its goodness."
Blog 268 - Drawing Cute Cows
"Recently I was asked for some designs for cows by someone wanting to decorate a farm themed kitchen. They had some unsightly shelves that they wanted to cover with painted fabric decorations. In today's blog I show you how to draw two cute cows, specifically with fabric painting in mind. These will look great in the traditional cattle colors as well as in any strange colors of your choice. After all, who said cows could not be pink with purple spots?"
Blog 269 - Turning your Adult Coloring Page into a Blinged Upright Card
"In today's blog I show you yet another card to make with your beautifully colored pages. This time we add a bit of bling to make it extra special, but only enough to highlight the coloring, being very careful not to hide it."
Blog 270 - Turning your Adult Coloring Pages into beautiful Sliding Gift Boxes
"I love giving special handmade gifts for Christmas and this Christmas I intend to put these special gifts in handmade boxes and bags as well. I have been showing you how to turn your coloring pages into cute gift bags and boxes, but you can also use any decorative paper to achieve similar results. I will once again use one of my colored pages in today's project and turn it into a decorative sliding box."
Blog 271 - Turning your Adult Coloring Page into a Blinged Top Fold Card
"I show you yet another cute idea for turning your adult coloring pages into pretty cards in today's blog. This time I add a surprise element to the inside of the card as well. This one has all the elements that little girls will love. It has bling, buttons and other cute factors."
Blog 272 - Making Jelly Cake
"Someone shared a wonderfully looking recipe on Facebook recently and I immediately decided that this was something I would like to try. When my niece showed up for a visit, I realized that it was also a brilliant opportunity to introduce her to the use of gelatine in something other than jelly. The 'cake' would have to be made over two days, but we jumped right in and my assistant could hardly be topped in the enthusiasm department. Let me walk you through the process step by step."
Blog 273 - Painting Cute Cows on Fabric
"I've had a request by someone to design some cows for a farm themed kitchen they were decorating. A couple of blogs ago I showed you how to draw two cute cows step by step. I transferred these drawings onto fabric before painting them in some mad bright colors. Let me show you how to make your own version of this in today's blog."
Blog 274 - Folding a Box Frame
"Have you ever made something that you would love to see in a frame, but it simply did not warrant the expense of a professional frame. Today I show you how to fold a box frame from cardboard. These are brilliant to display the kids' art or your own crafts. On a smaller scale they can also be used with great success on the outside of cards. You can even lay them down flat, attach a bottom, and use them as discard-able servers for sweets and chips. The possibilities are endless!"
Blog 275 - Mounting and Framing your Adult Coloring Pages in a Box Frame
"In the previous blog I showed you how to fold a smallish box frame. Today I will show you how to fold one that will hold an A3 sized work of art. I will then mount one of my A4 Adult Coloring pages inside it and show you how to utilize the space available to focus the attention on the picture."
Blog 276 - Adding Fun Drawings to your Adult Coloring Pages - step by step dinosaurs
"Today's blog is all about having fun with those coloring pages you've been working so hard on. I found this color by number page in one of my adult coloring books. I am not a fan of color by number, but I immediately saw the potential that this one had and dutifully proceeded to color it with Derwent Coloursoft Pencils. Once it was done, I took great pains in framing and mounting it in a sturdy box frame (see the previous blog). With this done it was finally time to do what I envisioned right from the start; to draw some dinosaurs and add them to the scene. I show you step by step how to draw and color these dinosaurs in today's blog, before showing you how to add them to the scene so that they are interactive and FUN!"
Blog 277 - School Holiday Project 13 - Learning to Draw a Rabbit
"One of the shapes used in drawing, more often than any other, is the circle. That is why I like to start kids learning to draw with circles. In today's blog I show you step by step how to draw a very simple rabbit using basically only circles. Afterwards, we have loads of fun coloring and decorating it. This is a great blog to help build confidence in young new artists."
Blog 278 - Using a Filbert Brush to Paint Trees Effortlessly
"In this blog I want to introduce you to only one of the uses of the very versatile Filbert brush. A Filbert is a flat brush with a rounded top. They come in a wide range of bristle types and can be used with equal success across all mediums of paint. I am going to show you how to use these brushes to paint trees effortlessly."
Blog 279 - Using a Fan Brush to Paint Trees Effortlessly
"In the previous blog I showed you how to paint effortless trees using a Filbert Brush. Today I will be using largely the same techniques to paint yet another tree, but this time I will be using a Fan Brush. Using the Fan Brush will give a whole different effect that will open a range of new possibilities. Combining the two brushes widens the scope even more. While I'm at it, I will also show you quickly how to use the Fan Brush to paint waving grasses. The Fan Brush is a flat brush where the bristles spread out in the shape of a fan. It comes in a wide range of bristles and work well with all paint mediums."
Blog 280 - Baking a Christmas Cake/Boiled Fruit Cake
"We are approaching Christmas and it is time to bake your Christmas Cakes if you want to have them ready for the upcoming feast. I have left it a little late this year, but I still have time left. Ideally, you want to bake a fruit cake 3 months before the date on which you intend to serve it. You then keep it in a sealed container and sprinkle it with brandy once or twice a week to 'mature' it. The flavors will develop fully and the brandy treatments will keep the cake moist. After maturing the cake, you can decorate it (or not) and serve it. There is a distinct difference between a fresh and a matured fruit cake and the latter is certainly better. Let me walk you through the steps of baking a very easy fruit cake."
Blog 281 - Baking Spicy Savory Cashew Shortbread Crescents
"If there is one biscuit that I simply cannot resist, it is a shortbread biscuit. A couple of years ago I noticed a recipe on the side of a Maizena box for Spicy Peanut Cookies. I read through the recipe and realized that it was a basic shortbread recipe for a savory cookie. I was intrigued. I experimented a little and found a winning combination when I swapped the peanuts out for Cashews, which added just a hint of sweetness that supported the rest of the flavors brilliantly. Let me show you how to make these delectable treats yourself."
Blog 282 - Decorating Gift Buckets
"I bought a few seedlings for the vegetable garden and they came in the most gorgeous purple pots. As soon as the seedlings had been transplanted, I knew I would drag those pots into the studio and turn them into something useful. In today's blog I do exactly that when I use Washi tape and a couple of home made embellishments to turn them into beautiful and versatile gift buckets."
Blog 283 - Making Embellishments with Hot Glue
"Have you ever been frustrated by not having the right embellishment for the job? I may just be able to offer you a solution. I recently found an article on Pinterest where someone used hot glue to make their own embellishments. I simply had to put it to the test. I share the results of the experiment with you in today's blog."
Blog 284 - Making Christmas Decorations from Hot Glue
"We will be using the Hot Glue Gun to make our own Christmas decorations in today's blog. Those of you who follow the blog regularly will remember that I have discovered how to make embellishments with hot glue in silicone molds. It occurred to me that I could adapt the same technique to make my own Christmas decorations. It became the first thing I turned my hand to when I awoke. Let me show you what I did, hoping you will share your own attempts in the comments when you try your hand at it."
Blog 285 - Developing Craft Designs
"In today's blog I will show you how to go about developing designs for craft projects. APrettyTalent.com will be carrying these and more designs in the shop as a new line of products, in answer to requests made by followers and clients. Buy the design at minimal cost from the section for Digital Downloads. A code will be sent to your inbox as soon as the transaction is complete. You can then download the design onto your computer from where it can be printed on paper. Alternatively, you can use a projector to project the image onto a surface of your choice, e.g. canvas, cloth, wall, etc. You can then trace the image onto the surface using the best medium for the surface. Today's blog is aimed at providing you with tips to developing your own range of designs."
Blog 286 - Drawing Santa and a Snowman Step by Step
"Christmas in the pipeline and I am having great fun gathering together everything that will contribute towards making it a fun and exciting time for friends and family alike. As I planned some designs with Christmas crafts in mind, I thought that there may be a number of you who might be equally interested in getting your hands on some designs. I will walk you through the steps for drawing these pictures of a Santa Clause and a Snowman step by step. I have also made the designs available for download in the shop at minimal cost if you are not interested in drawing the designs yourself. Buy, download, save, enlarge, print and craft! Download the designs here."
Blog 287 - Drawing a Nativity Scene, and Angel and a Christmas Tree Step by Step
"At Christmas time all of us crafters like to make all sorts of items as gifts and decorations to celebrate this great feast on the calendar. With this is mind, I have designed a set of five line drawings that can be used across a wide variety of crafts. I share step by step how to draw the designs, but if you do not want to draw the designs yourself, you can buy them very cheaply on APrettyTalent.com under Digital Downloads by clicking here. In today's blog I show you how to draw the Nativity Scene, an Angel and a Christmas Tree. In the previous blog I shared the steps for Santa Clause and a Snowman with you."
Blog 288 - Turning your Adult Coloring Page into a Place Mat - Tea Set
"There are so many adults who have rediscovered the joy and therapeutic value of coloring that it has become a booming business! I am no exception to this rule. Only thing is that I like to turn my colored pages into crafts when I am done with them. Today I use one of the designs that are available for download in the store, APrettyTalent.com, for my project. You can head to Digital Downloads to see what is available or click here if you like the Tea Set. I designed this drawing when I wondered what a tea set would look like when invited to the Mad Hatter's tea party. I set out a Royal Dalton tea set and drew my inspiration from there. You would not believe it, would you?! Let me show you how I colored this design before I turn it into a very practical place mat."
Blog 289 - Flower Pots Fabric Painting Part 1 of 2
"I use the three designs for the sets of lopsided flower pots in today's blog. I show you how to use a projector to enlarge the designs. I then transfer the designs to fabric and give you one of many ideas for painting the designs. In the next blog I will paint the last of the three designs before turning the trio into a practical and decorative item for the home."
Blog 290 - Flower Pots Fabric Painting Part 2 of 2
"Who does not like a pretty table to wine and dine friends and family at? Today we will be making a pretty runner from the Lopsided Flower Pot Trio Designs that we have painted on fabric, to decorate your table with. In the previous blog we have used a projector to enlarge the images so we could trace them onto fabric. We then painted the first two designs and it is now time to paint the last of the three. Afterwards, we will turn the set of three into a table runner and I will show you step by step how to do this effortlessly."
Blog 291 - Baking a Date and Nut Loaf
"There is nothing worse than searching for a date or a nut in a date and nut loaf. If a thing promises in name, then it should deliver in taste. The recipe I share with you today does exactly that and is so easy to make that you can have a freshly baked loaf in the oven and ready for guests in no time at all. Let me show you how."
Blog 292 - Sewing a Cute Cow Table Protector
"Not too long ago I posted a blog where I showed you how to paint some cute cows.The designs for the Cute Cows are available for download in digital format from APrettyTalent.com. In today's blog I take this painting and turn it into a practical, but pretty, item for the home when I sew a table protector. A table protector is almost like a pot stand as it is padded and can withstand heat. It is however, not intended to withstand extreme heat, and it is much larger. This makes it the ideal item to place on the table when you have lukewarm dishes. Scalding hot ones can rather go on the buffet."
Blog 293 - Glue Gun Angel on Glass
"Since rediscovering the Glue Gun, I have been thinking of more ways to put it to good use. That gave me the idea of testing it on glass. It worked beautifully! Being hard at work on Christmas preparation, I decided to try my hand at window decorations. As windows do not make good backdrops for a blog, I had to do an angel on a piece of broken glass I had on hand, but you can feel free to work directly on a window. I discuss cleaning up at the end of the blog."
Blog 294 - Making Christmas Cards from your Adult Coloring Pages
"When I first drew the designs for the Christmas Collection, I thought I would be using them on a tablecloth I wanted to paint for the Christmas table. I may still do that, but in the meantime I simply had to put some color to those pictures that were simply begging for Christmas cheer. I made up my mind to print them slightly smaller than the original designs and use them on Christmas cards. I use the same basic idea for all four cards and will walk you through the steps for only one of them. In the meantime, here is a preview of what you can expect from the blog."
Blog 295 - Baking Cashew Shortbread Cookies
"I share my absolute all-time favorite cookie recipe with you today. Regular followers of this blog will already know that I love shortbread and nuts. Combine the two and you have a winner. This recipe is decadence itself and simply melts in the mouth. On top of everything else, it is also very easy to make."
Blog 296 - Painting a Fish Tails Tablecloth
"I love the swanky fish that are available in the Fishy Four collection on APrettyTalent.com. Ever since drawing the designs I have known that I would like to enlarge them and paint them on a table cloth that I would like to use at a beach house, or on holiday somewhere on the coast, or possibly simply at the pool for a pool party. Let me show you how I used two of the designs in the collection to paint a vibrant and happy scene for a table setting."
Blog 297 - Using Fabric Painting in Card-making
"I am still thinking up innovative ideas for Christmas cards as I get bored by repeating the same idea too many times. I decided it would be a great idea to draw one of the Christmas designs on a small piece of fabric. I will then paint it and incorporate the painted image in my Christmas cards. The scale on which this is done makes it slightly challenging and I recommend working with good paint brushes that can handle the detail."
Blog 298 - Glue & Chalk Paint Mason Jar
"My mom was looking for a container to store her coffee creamer in, and not finding anything suitable, she wanted to pour it into a re-purposed glass bottle. I stopped her and beg for a little time to turn it into something decorative as well as practical. Let me show you how I used glue and chalk paint to turn an ordinary glass bottle into something special."
Blog 299 - Painting the Mama Africa Trio in Gouache step by step
"In today's blog I will be using Gouache paint to paint some African ladies. The designs used in this project are available from APrettyTalent.com. Go to Digital Downloads and select Mama Africa Trio. Add it your cart and proceed to checkout. The link to your downloads will appear in your inbox as soon as the transaction has cleared. Gouache is a water-soluble medium and is very similar to watercolors with the difference being that watercolors are transparent while gouache is opaque. This is why the two mediums work so well together. I walk you step by step through the painting process in today's blog so that you can try it yourself if you like it. This is fun and simple way to create decorative art for your home in no time."
Blog 300 - Adapting an Existing Pattern to Your Own Style
"How often have you wanted to sew something you envisioned in your own head, but then you simply could not find the exact pattern for it? It is costly to find a pattern designer to draw the pattern of your vision and often you compromise to make something that is like your vision without realizing the ideal you had in mind. This can for the most part be avoided if you know how to adapt an existing pattern to turn it into the vision of your dreams. I show you what to look out for when I adapt a boy's fishing jacket to become a girl's bolero in today's blog."
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