Sunday, May 25, 2014

"Sew Quick Sew Cute" Giveaway Results

Sorry I'm late with the giveaway results.

I had 169 entries in all. The winner of "Sew Quick Sew Cute" by Fiona Goble, picked by random is entry #:

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2014-05-26 00:16:49 UTC

This works out to be Anna Novello.  Congrats Anna and thanks for being so patient everyone.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Monday Giveaway

Happy Monday everyone and if you are in Canada I hope you had a great Victoria Day holiday.  I know I did.

I like to introduce you to Fiona Goble's new book, "Sew Quick, Sew Cute".

Every once and a while I just get a yearning to blitz a quick project on the sewing machine, something for me or something to give away.  Normally my sewing machine is churning out banners, flags, kites, etc for my residency jobs.

This great little book has 30 projects you can easily pull together.

Like this Stash box, I could use a dozen….

….or a cup cozy, I have a Father's Day project that is similar.

And who doesn't need an Antarctic play set, so cute!

So if you are interested in winning your own copy of "Sew Quick, Sew Cute":

-  leave a comment on this post
-  like or comment on this post on Facebook
-  or send me an email at

I will make the draw on Thursday, good luck everyone.

p.s. Canadian or US residents only


Sunday, May 11, 2014

"Lifecycle of the Butterfly" Inchies

Hi everyone…..started a new residency this week and we are doing a few Butterfly and insect related projects.

This is an inchie project that I have mounted on hardboard but could be done on heavy paper or cardboard. I completed this with Grade 1 and 2.

I have been doing a lot of these hardboard projects lately.

I wanted it to be 3D, (of course, that's becoming a trademark of my work).

So each square has parts of it that stick out.


- substrate (base) can be hardboard, cardboard, primed canvas, heavy paper. My hardboard is 12"x12".
- acrylic paint ( I used acrylic as I'm podging the finished piece, if you are not adding a sealer you could use tempera)
- 4 squares of wc or heavy paper like card stock. My inches are 4.5" x 4.5".
- 3 little glass gems
- regular white paper
- small scrap of card stock around  3"x3" but don't spend time measuring.
- white tissue paper
- tacky glue
- small scraps of corrugated cardboard and thin cardboard
- dried Lima beans
- sharpie
- 2 small goggly eyes
- piece of brown kraft paper
- plaster strips, you could also use papier mache
- I used a wood butterfly shape because I had a bunch but this could be cardboard
- piece of sponge to sponge on clouds
- black craft foam and hole punch for butterfly eyes
- printed text from the computer, EGG, CATERPILLAR, CHRYSALIS, BUTTERFLY
- Mod podge, optional


Materials Preparation:

So with every inchie project I start off by determining what size of squares I need.

The ones pictured here are 2"x2" .

For this project I'm working with Grade 1 and 2 so I know I have to go larger and because I'm only doing 4 squares I want them to fit nicely on the background.

I decided to use 4.5" x 4.5" as that looked the best on the 12"x12" hardboard.

We start with painting the backgrounds.

1 square a mix of  blue and white.

1 square in dark blue.
1 square in light blue.

1 square in turquoise.

Set aside to dry

We also painted our hardboards.  I gave them a choice of red, purple or black.

Set aside to dry.

Take your 3"x3" square of card stock. Now this is just approximate you do not have to waste time  measuring this precisely.  Each student just needs a piece around this size.

Spread some glue on the square.

Lay your tissue paper on top and scrunch in some wrinkles.  After doing this a few times with kids I find it's better to have them scrunch the tissue first and then lay it onto the glue.

I know the photo does not reflect this and I'll try to update it in the future.

Let dry.

Take some regular white paper.  Paint in a light green.

Take a small scrap of corrugated cardboard, dip into a darker green and print marks on top of the light green background.

To make the chrysalis take a piece of thin cardboard and cut into a teardrop shape.

When I do a residency I try to expose the kids to multiple mediums.

We used plaster strips to cover our cardboard but you could also do this in papier mache.

Cover the teardrop shape.

Bunch up some strips to form the caterpillar inside and place onto the teardrop shape.

Let dry.

Now I had a whole bunch of wooden butterfly shapes I had bought at the Dollar store last year so we used those and covered them with plaster strips.   You could cut out butterfly shapes from cardboard and do the same thing.

Again you could cover this with papier mache.

Let dry.

Take a piece of brown kraft paper, mine is about 4" by 10".

Twist into a stick.

Dry brush on some brown paint to make it look more branch like.

Let dry.

Take the glass gems, turn to the flat side and add a little white acrylic paint.

When your tissue paper covered square has dried trim away excess tissue.

Paint with green paint.


Egg Square:

Take the background square that is painted with both blue and white.

Cut a section of the green painted paper to fit into the corner of the background square. Save the scraps!

Glue into place.

Glue on the glass gems.

Caterpillar Square

Now technically the painting of the caterpillar parts should be in the material prep section but I did not want to lose any of the parts so we did this all at once.

Out of a scrap of corrugated cardboard I cut a small circle for each student (or they could cut it themselves).  This is the head of the caterpillar.  I then gave them 7 dried lima beans. These are the body segments.

I gave them 4 colours, (yellow, orange, purple, and red).  I told them they could paint the pieces whatever way they wanted. If they wanted to do a pattern they could.
Paint all pieces and set aside to dry.  This only takes minutes.

Cut a leaf out of the tissue covered paper.  Then cut a bite out of it.

Glue onto the dark blue square with the bite section facing the centre.

Add a strip of that green paper we prepped along the other side.

Now glue on your caterpillar pieces having the caterpillar trying to reach that leaf.

Add 2 goggly eyes, a mouth with a scrap of white paper, and feet using a sharpie.

Chrysalis  Square:

Take the turquoise square, add some clouds using the sponge and some white paint.

Glue the branch into place, trim to fit.

I took my plaster chrysalis that was now dry and added some watered down grey paint (a wash).

Glue it in place hanging from the branch.

If you still have some paper scraps you can add some leaves to the branch.

Butterfly Square:

Paint your butterfly.

Glue into place on the light blue square.

For eyes we punched 2 circles out of the craft foam and glued into place.

Glue your squares into place on the base.  We had a volunteer helping with the glue gun (adults only).

We then added the labels that I had printed out from the computer.

Add a coat of Mod podge to seal the completed piece if you wish.

That's it.

Here is some student work in progress.

Great work Grade 1 and 2.

See you next time.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Tiny Seed and Student Work

Just finished another residency over the last week.

I have some pictures of the student's work at the end of this post.

One of the new projects that was completed was this one by Grade 1/2.

It's based on the Eric Carle book "The Tiny Seed".


- substrate or background, we used 12x12" hardboards but you can use primed canvas, canvas board, cardboard
- blue, green, yellow, red, and purple acrylic paint
- recycled cardboard
- drywall filler
- wax paper
- tacky glue
- white paper, pencils, pencil crayons, scissors
- black pony beads
- computer generated text "From Tiny Seeds Come Big Flowers"
- Mod podge


From the recycled cardboard cut out the flower parts.  Out of corrugated cardboard we have a stem, a circle for the centre of the flower, and a strip that will be cut into the rays for the sun.

Out of lighter weight cardboard cut some petals for your flower.  With Grade 1/2 I pre cut everything except for the petals of the flower.  (just because corrugated cardboard is a little hard for them to cut)

Put names on the back of your pieces.

Working on wax paper, coat your cardboard pieces with a layer of drywall filler on the front.

Set aside to dry, about 6 hrs.

Write student names on back of background.
Take your background and tape off the horizon line.  I tell the kids to paint to the tape and then 'STOP".

Paint top with sky blue acrylic paint.

Set aside to dry.

Now I forgot to get a picture of this part so I'm using one from another project.

Paint some papers with acrylic paint. We painted a yellow page and then added some orange circles with cups.  (You could also use toliet paper rolls cut into small sections)

We also painted some textured wallpaper red and used bubble wrap to print on some purple and pink marks.
We then painted some paper green and added some darker green splotches for our leaf paper.

When your drywall pieces have dried paint them as well.

Only one missing here is the piece for the sun's rays which I painted orange.

Carefully remove tape from the background and reposition so it is right next to the unpainted portion. It will be on the blue part.
Paint in the bottom section green.  Again I tell the kids when they get to the tape stop.

I forgot to take the picture for this but here is a similar project where we did the same thing.

When the pieces have all dried we can start to put is together.  I gave the kids white paper and asked them to draw a person or 2 looking up at the flower.  I pre cut the paper so they could not make their person too large.  They coloured them in with pencil crayons and then cut them out.

We cut out our suns and glued them into place.  We then cut out our rays. Cut the drywall piece as well.

Glue on the stem, centre and petals.  Use the painted paper to add leaves, extra petals, and grass.

Glue your person into place.

Finally we added 3 black pony beads to represent our seeds and added our text.

You can add a coat of Mod podge to seal everything and add that nice shiny coat.

Here is some student work. The glue is still drying at this point.

Here are some other projects we worked on.

An "All about me" collection done by Kindergarten.

Animal mixed media portraits done by Grade 3/4.

Great work everyone!

See you next time.