Thursday, 28 April 2011

Here comes the bride!

Ok, so we all know today is ROYAL WEDDING DAY. I am working all night tonight on a bumper magazine to celebrate it - so I thought I'd get in the mood with this: One Day Princess Tiara - designed by Japanese designers Shirara & Tomitama - it's a flat packed paper tiara. 
I love that it's made of beautifully cut paper - and not at all twee. It's just a shame it's a bit too late to get one for tonight...

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

How To: The Easiest Colourful Glass Vase Ever

I don't think I am exaggerating when I say this is the easiest How To project ever.

While racking my brain last night for something to post today, I found a box of coloured match sticks I'd bought ages ago tucked away in the back of a cupboard. In another cupboard I had an old ikea vase that I'd never used... I put them together - and this is what I got!

What you'll need:
• small clear glass vessel (I used the Ikea Snärtig vase for 99cents!)
• packet of coloured match sticks - available from most craft stores
What to do:
Make sure glass is clean. Begin putting match sticks into vase about three at a time. Choose colours you like. As the vase begins to fill gently shake it so that the sticks fall deep into the vase. Fill vase as high as you all you need to do is put it on display. 
See, I told you it was easy!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Colours I'm loving today...

A few spoonfuls of colour...
..from a beautiful Autumn day in Melbourne...
...complete with cloud-free blue skies...
...and a little love in unexpected places.

Friday, 22 April 2011

I'm in print!

And not just because I printed something from my home computer...
The lovely girls at Herald Sun Home magazine saw a few of my homemade wares and deemed them good enough to pop in their mag. Today it's my Spun bowl on page 22 (and a little cover tag too!)...and there will be a couple more to come over the next few months. 
I'm so excited I've posted this before having my morning coffee - and usually not much happens before that in this house...

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

There, I said it!

...When I designed these cards I was thinking of all the warm, fuzzy, personalised messages you could write to a friend or loved one. 
My husband's suggestion, however, was this:

Let's hope I never get on his bad side!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

How to: Recycled newspaper bowl

Oh what to do with those weekend papers forming an endless pile in your living room? 
If you're tired of looking at them, or trying to rationalise that they could double as a side table, this papier mache bowl could be the perfect solution for making use of them. 

What you'll need: 

  • Balloon. I used a giant balloon - but any size is fine. I would, however, suggest starting with a round one (you can try out other shapes once you get the hang of the project).
  • Clag. Again, any water-based craft glue is fine - this was just what I had left at home.
  • Permanent marker
  • String
  • Old newspaper cut into squares between 4cm - 6cm
  • Plastic gloves
  • Vaseline or similar product
  • Clothes horse (not pictured)
  • Paint brush about 4cm wide (not pictured)
  • Pin
  • Scissors (not pictured)
  • Acrylic paint in your choice of colours (not pictured)
  • Small plastic plate or lid to mix paint on (not pictured)
Step 1:
  • Blow up the balloon to the size you'd like the bowl.
  • Attach string to the balloon and hang from the clothes horse.
  • Using the permanent marker, draw a line around the balloon showing the rim of the bowl.
Step 2:
  • Wearing gloves, rub Vaseline onto the balloon from the bottom up to the line you have drawn (rim). This will help stop the paper from sticking to the balloon.
  • Using the paint brush, start brushing some glue over a section of the balloon along the drawn line (rim). Stick a piece of paper to the balloon, coat it in glue and stick another, and so on, until you have paper round the circumference of the balloon.
Step 3:
  • Continue this method until you cover the entire bowl area as shown. Do this twice (two layers).
Step 4:
  • For the third and final layer I chose pieces of paper that were purely black and white text as this was the finish I wanted. If you intend to paint over the entire bowl it doesn't matter which pieces of paper you use.

Allowing the papier maché to dry
As I glued the paper outside (and it wasn't hot) I moved the clothes horse and balloon inside to dry. You should allow up to two days depending on the temperature. Once dry, pop the balloon with a pin. Peel the balloon away and you will be left with your bowl shape.

Shaping the bowl
The rim of the bowl will have shabby edges from the layering of the paper squares (above left). All you need to do is grab a pair of scissors and cut (gently) to neaten the rim (above right).
Painting the bowl
I chose a bright orange paint (I am partial to a splash of orange). Don't mix the paint with any water - you don't want the paper to buckle. I squeezed paint straight from the tube into the bowl and then started using the paint brush (the same brush I used for the gluing - after washing and drying it).
Finessing the bowl
To complete painting the inside of the bowl, I squeezed some paint onto a plastic plate and then carefully painted up to the rim. As I intended to see newspaper on the outside of the bowl I made sure my hands were clean and that no paint got onto the outside. Once dry, I applied another coat to the inside of the bowl.

If you intend to paint both inside and out then you would paint the inside, allow it to dry, then turn the bowl upside down and paint the outside. Once the outside dries, you would apply another coat of paint inside and out in the same way.

Note: You can also finish this bowl by applying a coat or two of water-based lacquer. I like Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish. This will give the bowl longevity. It is important to remember that as the bowl is made of paper it is fragile and cannot be used to hold anything heavy, nor should it be exposed to great changes in temperature as it may affect the form.

Extra note: As the paint dries the bowl will change shape. It will do it organically, so it will suit the style of the project and will not change it functioning as an ornamental bowl, but thought I should mention it so you don't get a surprise. The way to minimise the change is to use thin layers of paint allowing them to fully dry in between coats.

A nip here, a tuck there

So I've had some work done. 
I mean, I know I'm only a month old, but I thought it was time (a touch of colour, some extra pics and a few links to visit). 
While it's true I may have been doing this to avoid some other fun tasks that required attention today (ie. house cleaning), I'd like to think it's all in the interest of giving you a little more to do when you pop over and visit.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Damn this great idea!

Not sure that I should be promoting this - it's a damn good idea and I'm secretly quite jealous I didn't think of it first... Supercyclers! are the guest bloggers on The Design Files Daily this week and if this sets the tone for their aesthetic I'll definitely be checking what they're offering up each day. It's always good to reference people much cooler than yourself don't you think...I mean they're exhibiting in Milan right now!

I should note that (as a coincidence) last night I was brainstorming a list of How Tos and mine for this week was to be a papier mache bowl (using recylcled newspaper) not unlike what you see above...I think I'll still do it, but I just don't want anyone to think I'm cheating.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

How to: Simple, subtle two-step handmade card

I'm a big card giver. It's a bit of joke in our house - I'd take a card over a present any day (I'm cheap too!). I just really like words... So here goes with my simple, subtle two-step handmade card. Use it to tell someone what you don't often say out loud (be nice). 

What you'll need:

  • thick card cut to what ever size you want your card to be (Mine was A5, half an A4)
  • old newspaper
  • acrylic paint (I've used a good quality paint, but a plain acrylic poster paint is fine too)
  • plastic plate or old container lid to mix paint on
  • paint brush (at least 3cm wide bristle - I've used a cheapy from the local hardware store)
  • chopstick or wooden skewer (intrigued?)

Step 1:
With a dry paint brush and the pure paint, not watered down (you don't want  the paper to get too wet as this will cause it to buckle) paint the front of the card. You can paint as much or as little as you like. I painted leaving about a 1cm white border. 

Step 2:
As soon as you've painted the front of the card (ie. while the paint is still wet, you don't want it to have time to dry), pick up the chopstick or skewer and with the pointy end draw or write the design you want on the front of the card. I chose to do the word love in a loose cursive style. I went over the letters three times, wiping the excess paint from the end of the chopstick after each time. Be careful not to press too hard as you don't want to indent the paper. I also drew some lines around the border of the silver just for extra effect.

Now all you need to do is wait for the card to dry. Once dry, fold it in half...and get writing!

Special note: If you would like to do a slightly more advance version you can choose two colours. One will be the colour the drawing or writing will end up and one will be the main background colour. So, in the card above, if I wanted the word love to be pink I would do a layer of pink as per step one. Wait until it is completely dry, then do step one again with the silver followed by step two.

Oh, and do remember to wash your brushes and utensils as soon as you've finished.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Love reciprocated?

My one secret love in life is the taste of potato chips. It's not something I'm proud of. 
Or something I indulge in often... But today (in a moment of weakness – I'll blame it on the rain and fatigue) I succumbed... and I feel like my love has finally been reciprocated! 
This was the last chip in the packet - it has to mean something good. 
For now I'll just bask in the glow of that warm, fuzzy love shared between two...

Monday, 11 April 2011

I'm alive...

...well on etsy at least!

It has been my plan, for like ever, to get myself selling on Esty. And while that hasn't happened just yet (I was going to title this post Yay for Etsy but thought I should save it until I have actually made a sale)...I have just listed my first items for sale in my shop spoonful of colour. Yay!

So I suppose now all I have to do is cross my fingers...

Friday, 8 April 2011

Flower child...

Malie decided the garland would better suit her than our bedroom! 
Oh, and this is how joey dressed her for a trip to the milkbar last night!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

How to: Easy peasy felted ball garland

Some of my favourite things in interiors at the moment are coloured felt garlands. 
They are an easy, subtle way to add some colour and interest to your home. 
And they don't require long-term commitment either! 
Of course on my wish list is one of these from Rachel Castle, but I'll have to save my pennies. While I do, I thought I'd share with you this easy peasy way to create your own felted ball garland. Once finished you could drape it as I have done above, over a window, a light shade or hanging from the ceiling. I think I'll make party streamers like this for Malie's second birthday party.

You'll need:
  • Cotton sewing thread in the colour of your choice (I chose green because the yellow of the felted-balls reminded me of wattle. And I'm an Aussie!). 
  • needle just big enough to thread the cotton through.
  • Felted balls. Choose your own colour and size (I had these yellow 18mm balls left-over from a photo shoot, but I've found some great mixed colours on and I personally love these). How many you want depends on how long you want the finished garland to be. On average I would  leave about 10cm of cotton between the felted balls once finished. 

Threading the balls:
  • Thread the needle with your cotton. Don't cut to length yet.
  • Thread the needle (and cotton) through the centre of each ball. Continue until all balls are threaded onto the cotton. Remove the needle.

Spacing the balls:
  • Space the balls along the thread about 3cm apart. I don't do it more than this at this stage as you can find yourself with a big job to do if the cotton tangles when you go to hang the garland (I know because I've been there!).
  • Once spaced out you can then unwind as much of the thread as you think you'll need (be generous as you don't want to cut it too short).
  • Now you can hang the garland in its new home and then space the felted balls for final positioning. Place them wherever you like depending on how the garland it hanging. 

It's all up to you now!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

I'm a freelance art director (and a mum!) and I'm always making things (cards, artworks, mobiles, clothes, jewellery and anything else that tickles my fancy). I'm not sure where this blog will take me (or you) but I do know I hope to share with you the things I like and show you ways to add some colour into your lives.

I do feel I should warn you - I am not one of the I LOVE EVERYTHING VINTAGE AND PATTERNED AND COLOURED AND CLASHING types - I am one of those annoying creatives who only wears black and likes her colour in spoonfuls. 

If this sounds like your cup-of-tea why don't you join me on the journey...