Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas cards 2010

As a creative person I can't let myself just go out and buy Chrismas cards, I have to make it into a project. Last year I painted individual cards with either a snowman, an angel or Mary.

Snowman Christmas Angel Mary

This year though I tried to make the Christmas card process easier by getting a batch of photos printed and then sticking them onto festive coloured card. I sent these to family and close friends, as most of them have been swamped with my homemade cards.
But I couldn't help myself and as I needed a few more cards, I painted 25 cards of my little Christmas helper.

Christmas Card 2010

Going back to the 80s

My friends are celebrating their 40th birthdays next year and asked me, as a favour, to put together their invitation. They requested a Back to the Future front page and then something horrendously 80s on the back.

It's bright and cheesy but does the job, they were pleased and I got to use a Back to the Future font.

Back to the 80s80s style invite

Thursday, 2 December 2010


What do you get when you cross a pom pom and a paper snowflake?

Snowflake decoration

Answer: A simple Christmas decoration.

Using large sheets of white tissue paper, I followed the Martha Stewart instructions for making pom poms but before moving onto Step 3 (separating the layers) I cut into each end of the strip, just like making a paper snowflake.

Top tip: don't cut too far towards the middle as the paper just rips when separating the petals out.

I use shirring elastic to hang them up as it gives them a lovely bounce when they are caught by a breeze.

So our first Christmas decoration is up and our house is full of large and medium sized snowballs all bobbing along. What can I make next?

Pom pom paper snowflake

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Powerpoint nativity

While preparing some Powerpoint slides for a toddler's Christmas service I couldn't find the 'right' Nativity images. Which is just my excuse for putting together some of my own.

I didn't have too much time to spare, so using a basic body shape I changed their clothes and hair (taking inspiration from my previous attempt at a nativity) and hopefully created a set of characters who are simple, bright and cute.

Monday, 15 November 2010


I have a little difficulty thinking of something to draw for boys.  But then I discovered robots and got slightly addicted, my sketch book is now jam packed of robots in all shapes and sizes.

My friend's two boys have their birthdays this week, perfect excuse to drag out the robots.
Robot 2nd Birthday Card

Robot 4th birthday Card

Monday, 8 November 2010

Fireworks birthday party


My friend Jane, my oldest university friend, held her annual fireworks/bonfire birthday party this weekend. The rain stopped for the evening so we could toast our faces on a huge bonfire topped with a guy, watch fireworks, drink mulled wine, and melt marshmallows.

So another birthday, another homemade card. A little watercolour firework equation.

Fireworks birthday card

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

First fruit cake of the season

Each year around October we start making fruit cakes, it's like an autumnal ritual. We continue making fruit cakes until early December and usually the Christmas cake is the last one, perhaps by then we have had enough of fruit cake for the year.

Pile of fruit and nuts

I always start with the same recipe from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook, then usually change it, for example today I didn't have enough cherries so I added cranberries. Other variations are that I use 50/50 dark brown sugar and golden caster sugar and I always add extra cinnamon and mixed spice.

Today's Fruit Cake Recipe Eggs waiting Lined up and cooking Spice Mountain

After a couple of hours in the oven the house was smelling amazing. Now we just need a reason to crack open the first cake and taste it.

Finished cake
The holes are the evidence, I picked out the hot raisins, delicious.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Trying something new

I've been reading how to paint watercolour books, which I usually read and get grumpy because I could never paint like that. This time I approached the books for inspiration and ideas on technique and thought perhaps I should try a coloured pencil.

Ballerina thank you card

I'm pleased with the result, the images are softer and the lines are gentle and so far works well with babies and ballerinas.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

A week of wearing

A little pottering project for the week, for no particular reason other than to draw. Spending fifteen minutes each day just sketching what I was wearing. I may continue, I'm not sure yet...
Friday's fashion?Saturday's styleSnazzy on SundayMonday's moodTuesday's trendWednesday's wearingsThursday

Monday, 13 September 2010

Princess painting and tissue paper flowers

Along with some other gifts that she'd actually asked for, I decided to make my niece one of my little watercolour paintings for her sixth birthday. She is a huge Sleeping Beauty fan and so I sketched and painted her dressed as Princess Aurora with a few little fairy godmothers flitting around the background.


Then to decorate, I was inspired by The Gilded Bee to make some tissue paper flowers. The big pale pink flower is a tissue paper pom pom only smaller and with the petals pulled out in only one direction. The dark pink roses were made from rolled spirals of tissue paper and the leaves were cut from watercolour paper and painted.

Paper flowers A birthday present

Wrapped and ready to goTissue paper rose, watercolour leaf

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Happy Anniversary Card

It's my brother's wedding anniversary today. Eleven years since that hot Saturday when I was their bridesmaid in blue.

I painted a quick card to send our love on their special day. To a couple that enjoy exotic cocktails, the stems of the glasses coincidentally resembling the number 11.

Anniversary Cocktails
Watercolour and ink

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Party games

I had six lists for the party, so that I didn't forget anything; food for kids, food for adults, shopping list, preparation list, order of events and Games.

The Games list featured: Hunt the fishes, What's the time Mr Wolf, Traffic Lights, Pin the Eye on the Alien, Pass Parcel, Whack the piñata and Musical toadstools.

Hunt the fishes. Last year we played Bug Hunt, we drew lots of bugs on stickers and then hid them around the house and garden. The kids then had to run around and find the bugs and stick them in the bug garden.

Bug hunt game
Bug Stickers
Garden for the bugs
Bug Garden

This year we played the same game, but with finding fishes and sticking them under the sea (I forgot to take a photo).

Stick the eye on the Alien was a variation on last year's Stick the crown on the Princess. I painted a large character and then used white circle stickers for the eyes.

Stick the eye on the alien
Stick the Eye on the Alien
Pin the crown on the princess
2009 version, Pin the crown on the Princess

Musical Toadstools is my version of the traditional musical chairs. Last year we played musical spots, which then morphed into musical splats and then toadstools. Using some red craft paper, I drew around some dinner plates to get the shape of a toadstool lid, then with white printer paper cut out stalk shapes and circles for the dots.

Musical toadstools

The Pink Piñata. We made a piñata for my birthday but this one was definitely superior. The piñata was made with flour, water and newspaper on a balloon and then painted pink, but I think it was the tissue paper fringe gave it the a real Wow factor.

 Pink piñata whacking fun

We didn't get time to play all the games, as the kids spent a long time playing What's the time Mr Wolf, but they have just been put aside for another occasion.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Monster Party Bags

Monster party bags

After I had made the Flower Bags for the girls, I wanted to make some monster style bags for the boys.

Using some orange fabric I put together a couple of drawstring bags. Then using craft foam and embroidery thread I crafted some monster type faces.

The boys at the party were thrilled and my friend told me that she had put the bags away safely so that they can be used again at Halloween.

Colouring sheets for the party

Inspired by suggestions from other blogs about kids parties. I put together a couple of colouring sheets for the Big 4th Birthday party.

Using the same concept as the invitations, there are Monsters and Fairies and a based on the cake a Princess colouring sheet. All three are available as pdfs to print and colour.

Monster colouring sheet Download Monsters pdf
Fairy Party colouring sheet Download Fairy pdf
Princess colouring sheet Download Princess pdf

The colouring table was available for the whole party, for any passing colouring needs. With my empty Nutella jars holding a fresh bunch of crayons.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Eggy Birthday

Eggy birthday

My Dad is a very health conscious person, also he can't really eat unhealthy (fun) foods. So I decided to paint on his birthday card something he can eat and enjoys eating. I had the choice of porridge, almonds or a boiled egg.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Last minute birthday preparations

I'm still a little jet lagged and we didn't wake up until midday Tuesday, which didn't leave much time to get ready for the birthday on Wednesday.

I started baking the cake at about 7pm, so by the time it had cooked and cooled it was pretty late, but one advantage of jet lag, I wasn't tired.

The requirements for the cake were; pink, a princess and roses. I didn't really have my creative head on though so I just replicated my niece's cake from last year (with a few tweaks).

Princess cake 2010
Princess 4th birthday cake
Princess cake 2009
Princess Lucy birthday cake

So, after wrapping presents and decorating the house with birthday bunting, it was then around midnight and I decided I really should make a birthday card. So I grabbed my pen and paints and sketched out a quick card, using the same design as the cake. Card finished in 15 minutes, mission accomplished and ready for the birthday to begin.

Last Minute Princess Birthday Card