Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Teeny Little Super Guy

To continue my streak of painting figures on to not-paper I decided to use a plastic pot as my canvas, as a homage to the Teeny Little Super Guy from Sesame Street.

Who remembers this guy?

Monday, 29 March 2010

Egg world

When I was in year 5 my class had an Easter competition to create a scene using eggs. I made a jungle with an adventurer egg and a parrot egg. It was awesome. My mum is now reusing this idea with her school and asked me to make the examples...or should that be eggsamples. Hahaha.

First you need to blow some eggs. You could just use hard boiled eggs, but something about crafting with the egg still inside seems icky to me. Take a large needle and make a hole in each end of the egg. This is definitely an adults job, which is why I let my mum do it and I took the photos.

Then put a straw over one of the holes and blow. I think kids will enjoy seeing this bit. I'm 19 and I did! It's both gross and cool.
And fun fact; I used the two eggs to make cupcakes. Yum yum.

Then you need to run water through the eggs shells and leave them to dry.

I had decided to make a beach scene, using a shoe box as a base. So I started by gluing in paper for the sky and the sand. Alternatively you could paint the inside of the box the required colour.

Then I added cotton wool for the clouds, some gold glitter on the sand and a piece of corrugated card which was going to become a wave. Thick card like this doesn't stick in place well just using PVA glue so I used a couple of split pins to attach it to the shoe box

I covered the card with blue sugar paper and tissue paper to look like the sea.

Next I painted my eggs using acrylic paint so that it would stick to the shell. I imagine poster paint would work as well, if not, trying mixing a bit of PVA glue to paint.

So here it is. Surfer dude egg and sun bathing egg. The surfer's hair is just a little bit of brown paper, curled using scissors, his surf board is funky foam with a painted stripe down the middle and the sun bather's hat is patterned card comprising of a large circle with a hole in it and a cone shape.

I also made a simpler example of a bumble bee egg in a flower using a jar lid and a plastic dessert pot which might be easier for younger children.
You want to make sure that the lid isn't too big to fit inside the pot

Cover the lid in glue and stick on scrunched up bits of yellow crepe paper.

Cut out petal shapes and stick them to the inside of the pot.

Place the lid into the pot and fold down the petals once the glue has dried.

Paint the egg to look like a bumble bee. I used funky foam for the wings, but you could also use wire or a pipe cleaner covered in tissue paper or cling film.

Put the bee in the flower and there you have it. A fun Easter activity for kids.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Studio progress; painting on acetate

My tutor really liked this piece where I painted figures onto an empty landscape photo, but she said she almost wished the photo wasn't there.

So I got a sheet of acetate and started painting more figures onto it. I chose acetate because it has the shiny surface that I liked from the photographs and because it is transparent it gives me the option to add a background to the figures if I want to.

I wanted to make use of this transparency by photographing the paintings in front of different things, to put them into context.

So I made it look like these painted figures were characters for my doll's house, which worked really well.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


One of my best friends works at Starbucks and she loves it. So last summer I made her her very own plushie Starbucks cup! This would go great with one of my donut keyrings.

(Photo, why you no move to the centre?)
Using a combination of felt and cotton I managed to sew the logo for the side of the cup.

 The cup is even filled with hot, steaming felt java. A mochalatte or something. My friend would know.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Fabric scrap ring

Like a lot of people I have loads of scraps of fabric that aren't big enough to use in my usual crafts but I've still kept them. Using materials I had lying around I came up with this cute fabric ring which is a way of using some of the fabric scraps. It can also double up as a pin cushion. 

I started by drawing a circle on a scrap of fabric. The circle is approximately 6cm in diameter. 

I cut the circle out and folded the edge over slightly and sewed running stitch all the way around. When you pull the two ends of thread the fabric gathers like a drawstring bag.

Then I filled the fabric pouch with scraps of felt. You could also use polyester stuffing, but all I had was felt.

I then put a blob of UHU glue on the pad of a ring. This project would probably work better with a ring that has a bigger pad, but all I had was the small one and I didn't want to buy anything for this. It's all about using up what I already have. 

I stuck the ring onto fabric pouch, pulling the edges tight around the ring pad.

You could stop here, but I wanted to add a little more decoration.

I took a length of ribbon and did running stitch all the way along on one side.

When you pull the thread it gathers the ribbon into a ruffle which I put around the ring.

I then put a small circle of felt on the underside of the ring -both glued and sewn- to tidy it up.

This is a great way of using up little bits of craft materials that aren't good for much else. You could also embellish the ring with different ribbons, beads and sequins.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Wet photography

I recently had my induction into wet photography at uni.

We were given a film SLR camera at the beginning of the week. It was strange working with film again, as I haven't done so since I was maybe 14. And actually looking through the view finder took a bit of getting used to. My current digital camera doesn't even have a viewfinder to look through, just the screen on the back.

This is my contact sheet. It's actually from the second film I shot as the first got completely wiped when we were developing. Something to do with the developer being contaminated. Not cool. So I had to go back out with the camera and take 36 shots in an hour.

My university doesn't use trays to process the images, instead it's simply done using a machine. An Ilford 2150rc to be exact. Apparently they don't make them like this anymore.

I've never done any wet photography before, so I can't compare, but apparently using the machine is heaps easier than trays. You just feed the exposed paper in and 90 seconds later out comes your photo. Simples.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


I'm a big fan of medical tv shows; ER, Grey's Anatomy, House, Casualty, Scrubs, and I get a little involved...
I've got two sets of scrubs (thank you NBC store and my sister's medical student friend), a stethoscope...

...and a plush syringe.
When ER finished last May I made a syringe in honour of the occasion out of felt and a silver pipe cleaner. My sister and I watched the last episode wearing my scrubs and posing with the syringe in the ad breaks.
Fun times!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Studio progress; painting around photos

Continuing with my uni project exploring my use of photographs, I produced these pieces where I used photos that have slightly abstract qualities, like a light streak or colour blur, and painted on top and around it, incorporating it into a bigger painting.  

I really like the way these turned out, and they gave me a chance to be more experimental with colour and brushstrokes because I wasn't focused on achieving a realistic image.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Everything looks better with a face

Do you know what's fun? Going around the house armed with googly eyes and blu-tack and sticking them on anything. Instant funny.

Having different sized googly eyes is handy.

I got the best results from using food. This is the fruit mafia.

This poor egg couldn't sleep :(

One of the advantages of growing your own vegetables; the chance of your carrots turning out like this. I'm trying to decide whether the big carrot is eating the little carrot or simply carrying it like a baby.