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How do you see The False Mirror?

In honor of the great surrealist René Magritte Scribble Town has made an coloring sheet for you, Scribblers! Your own version of ‘The False Mirror’ will be unique and dreamy, just like you are.

While you are filling the eye with color perhaps you can ponder, why are there clouds in the eye?  Is it a reflection?  Or is it a cloudy eye?  What does that mean for you?

Download, print, then color in your own version of René Magritte's 'The False Eye'.

Download, print, then color in your own version of René Magritte’s ‘The False Mirror’.

If you happen to be in Brussels, Belgium, you can visit The Magritte Museum.  Inspiration everywhere!

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Two Kinds of Hearts

Valentine’s Day is coming up and it’s time to turn these cold, snowy days all warm and fuzzy! Whether you’re decorating for a party or just bringing a little festivity to your home, these paper heart garlands are an adorable way to celebrate love. Add to that: simple, inexpensive, and mess-free? You’ve got yourself a winning craft.

 

There’s two fun ways to create your garland; one involves the outline of a heart (much like a paper chain), the other involves a solid paper heart. For the chain, you’ll need cardstock (red, white, pink—your choice), scissors, and a stapler.

 

First, cut lots of even strips of cardstock—it’s best to measure. To create your hearts, there are a few methods. Be sure to check out the tutorial links below each photo for ideas. Here’s one basic variation: Grab four strips and staple them together. Pull the bottom two down and together to form a heart. Add two more strips and staple together at the point. Repeat this process until you’ve got the desired length of your garland. Stick to one size and color or feel free to experiment. Try alternating colors or cutting shorter strips to create smaller hearts within the larger ones.

 Paper Heart Garland

Photo (and tutorial) via Blog a la Cart

 

 Double Heart Garland

Image (and tutorial) via Posed Perfection

 

For the second method, you’ll need cardstock, a heart punch, scotch tape, and string (baker’s twine, ribbon, fishing line—up to you). Use your heart punch to punch out tons of hearts from the cardstock. Cut a piece of string (however long you’d like) and tape your hearts to the string. You can hang it horizontally or make lots of garlands and hang them from the ceiling. This would also make such a cute photo backdrop.

 

 

 Hanging Hearts

Photo (and tutorial) via Hank & Hunt

 

 Ombre Hanging Hearts

Photo (and tutorial) via The Sweetest Affair

 

Your valentines are sure to love these sweet garlands. How do you like to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Any decorations or traditions you look forward to each year?


An Unlikely Pair

When creating a piece of art, what medium you choose to work in can be just as influential to the composition as your subject. Oil paints create a different effect than colored pencils. The same goes for charcoal versus pens, pastels versus markers, and so on. Some subjects will make the choice of medium more obvious—something like a sunset with a lot of beautifully blended colors is probably not best suited for pens, but pastels or oil paints or even colored pencils would allow for color gradations nicely.

 

However, sometimes rules were meant to be broken! Going against the obvious choice can add a jolt of inspiration and using a tool or medium you wouldn’t immediately think of can give your picture unexpected life. One great combination I’ve been noticing lately are cityscapes and watercolors.

 

 Watercolor of NYC Skyline by John Held Jr.

Watercolor of NYC Skyline by John Held Jr.

 

City skylines are formed by crisp lines and sharp geometric shapes. After all, they’re built of metal, concrete, and stone. So when it comes time to create your own artistic rendition of a cityscape, what mediums seem like a natural choice? Perhaps pens or pencils, maybe even a palette knife. Probably not watercolors. But that is all the more reason to try them!

 

Watercolor Cityscapes (London) by Elena Romanova Watercolor Cityscapes (London) by Elena Romanova

 

 

The unpredictability of watercolors paired with the stable rigidity of a skyline can make for an exciting pair! The softness of the paint will illuminate the urban architecture in a whole new light.

 

Play with precision, allow for colors to pool or bleed, vary how much water you use. What you initially find frustrating or erroneous may be the exact detail that makes your painting sensational.

 Watercolor Painting Abstract Cityscape by Susan Windsor

Watercolor Painting Abstract Cityscape by Susan Windsor

 

This experiment of “opposites attract” is a great way to break out of a creative rut. What other unlikely pairs do you want to try?

Posted by Andi Thea, on January 30th, 2014 at 4:47 pm. No Comments

Category: adults,Arts & Crafts,kids Labels: , , , , , ,


10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Dreary Winter

Image via Feed-Well on Tumblr

 

January can be tough a tough month—the excitement of the holidays is over and we’re still in the thick of winter. Discarded Christmas trees and grimy snow line the streets. Don’t let it get you down—it’s the best opportunity for a little extra creativity and color! Here are some fun ideas to brighten up those cold and dreary days and have you feeling inspired in no time.

1. Create a bright new piece of wall art to hang up.
2. Decorate your notebook covers—use washi tape, paint, magazine pages, anything! Now you can look at something pretty even when you’re taking notes or making your to-do list.
3. Make your own postcards! Design the front and write a note on the back—they’ll be sure to brighten someone else’s day, too!
4. Try your hand at a still life painting or sketch. Grab some colorful objects from around your house and record what you see. Perfect indoor activity!
5. Embrace the cold and throw an ice cream sundae party! Grab a few favorite flavors, fruit, and toppings and invite your pals over for a sweet treat!
6. Create a terrarium or get an indoor plant. Succulents are very low maintenance and come in tons of varieties. You can also paint the pot for a little extra flair.
7. Try a new indoor hobby, like knitting or making jewelry.
8. Make your own board game! Not only will designing the game get your imagination going, but playing with friends and family will be a blast.
9. Make a list of things you want to do this summer—it will give you some fun experiences to look forward to.
10. Make your own paper flowers. The gardens may not be in bloom right now, but you can still brighten a room with a beautiful floral arrangement.

 

Paper Flowers and Painted Pots

Paper Flowers via Sweet Pea Paper Flowers

Succulents in neon pots via The Proper Pinwheel

 

Do you find January to be a little dreary? What are your go-to ways for brightening up the post-holiday slump?


Kid-Friendly Mocktail Bar

Perhaps the most quintessential tradition of New Year’s Eve is the champagne toast, but what about everybody who doesn’t participate in a sip of bubbly? Whether you’re under age or prefer to abstain, you deserve a fun and fancy drink to toast with at midnight. That’s why we love a good mocktail—or cocktail without alcohol. With a well-stocked mocktail bar, you can mix and match ingredients to create tasty kid-friendly drinks.

 

Cranberry Kiss Mocktail Image via Eat Drink Pretty

 

In fact, we think all these fun possibilities are even more delicious and interesting that traditional bubbly. With a few basic ingredients, you can make so many combinations. Use your creativity to whip up some yummy drinks that’ll have all your guests saying, “Champagne who?”

 

To create well-balanced mixed drinks, you need a few key components—mainly something bubbly and something sweet. Of course, you don’t need carbonation, but it is New Years, after all. Customize any ingredients you want to make your bar more sophisticated (cucumber, black currant, fresh herbs) or childproof (orange slices, fruit punch, crazy straws). Here are the key components to creating a fabulous mocktail bar:

 

A bubbly base: Ginger ale, sparkling cider, Sprite or Sierra Mist, seltzer—these clear sodas are the perfect vehicles to add a little spritz to your glass. Pick your favorite or have a few kinds available.

 

Juice: Orange, cranberry, pineapple, lemonade, peach nectar… these fruity liquids add sweetness and pack the flavor punch for your mixed drink. Stock as many as you like, but a good base is usually three different options.

 

Fresh fruit: Whether it’s muddled or used for garnish, fresh fruit is delicious and gives your glass a festive touch. Doesn’t it just feel fancier? Berries and citrus are usually best—raspberries, blackberries, lemons, and limes, etc—but feel free to try any other favorites.

 

*Another fun tip: Try freezing berries to create a tasty alternative to ice. They’ll keep drinks chilled without watering them down and look prettier, too!

 

Fresh Herbs: This is optional, and perhaps for the more adventurous, but some fresh herbs can really bring your mocktails to the next level. Mint, thyme, basil, and rosemary all add deep and complex flavors to an otherwise simple drink. If you’re looking to ease your way in to adding a little green to your glass, try starting with mint.

 

 Rosemary Citrus Spritzer

Image via The Kitchn

 

These kid-friendly bar basics will ensure tons of fun drink creations. Let the little ones play mixologists and come up with their own delicious concoctions. Keep in mind you can always tailor this to your friends’ and family’s preferences. If you’d like some recipes on hand, here are a few great suggestions:

 

Rosemary Citrus Spritzer from The Kitchn

 

Rudolph’s Nose from NCADD

 

Cranberry Kiss from Eat Drink Pretty

 

Strawberry Crush from La Fuji Mama

 

Alcohol content certainly doesn’t have the market cornered on festivity. Upgrade your cup of soda or juice this year and make a fancy drink worthy of starting the New Year with. Cheers!

Posted by Andi Thea, on December 31st, 2013 at 3:28 pm. No Comments

Category: adults,food art,holiday,kids Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Gingerbread Real Estate

Did you know gingerbread houses became popular in Germany during the 1800s after Hansel and Gretel was published? That’s pretty spectacular considering that in the fairytale, the beautifully edible house is used to lure two abandoned children into a witch’s trap. One wouldn’t think that makes a great selling point for creating confectionery cottages, but it seemed to really catch on and become a Christmas tradition. After all, that witch was on to something—she knew Hansel and Gretel couldn’t resist an enchanting gingerbread house… how could we expect anyone else to?

 

 Sweet and Simple Gingerbread House

Image via Shopgirl

 

This tasty craft comes in an array of sizes, shapes, and levels of difficulty. For those who need a bit of a head start, there are kits available to help create the basic structure. Others love starting from scratch and baking their own gingerbread. Some people take gingerbread houses so seriously that they create life-size structures or participate in competitions. Whatever your approach, this is definitely a fun and delicious activity to try on your own or with the whole family.

 

 Pretzel Log Cabins

Image via Worth Pinning

 

 Rice Crispy Cottages

Image via Land O Lakes

 

And don’t feel limited to gingerbread! Some folks have started branching out and using other delicious treats to build their homes’ foundations. Try pretzel rods to create the effect of wooden logs. Or use rice crispy treats to suggest stones or stucco. These houses can be as elaborate or simple as you want. Don’t underestimate the beauty of simple gingerbread and white frosting. For those who like a little more opulence, grab colorful candies and make a full-on edible estate! Piped icing, nuts, cereal, and candy canes also make excellent decorating supplies.

 

 Gingerbread Mansion

Image via Cake Central

 

What gingerbread house approach is your favorite? Clean and simple, cozy and colorful, or grand and luxurious?


Bottle Cap Pies

If Thanksgiving had an official dessert, it would definitely be pie. Pumpkin, apple, pecan, and so on… most Thanksgiving dessert courses involve more than one option. As you work on finishing up those leftovers, pay homage to this humble hero of the dessert table with this fun bottle cap pie craft. These pint-size pies are easy to make, versatile to display, and best of all… zero calories!

 

Bottle Cap Pies Image via Flickr

To get started, you have a few different options with materials to use. No matter what, you’ll need bottle caps to serve as the pie tins. As far as filling, you can use polymer clay, beads, felt, paint, glue, or anything else you think will work! Just as there’s an infinite variety of pies, you have many choices in how to create these mini versions.

 

Felt and Bottle Cap Pies Image Whimsy Love

Start by creating your crust. Press down tan colored clay or glue in felt, then trim the edges. Teeny tiny beads work perfectly as a berry filling (blue for blueberry, red for cherry, etc). If you don’t have beads, you can roll out your own with clay. Using clay is also great if you want to customize shapes for peaches or pecans. For a more solid filling, such as custard or pumpkin pie, use one larger piece of clay. Finally, add some lattice detailing by cutting very thin strips of felt, or again using clay, and any other details you’d like, such as whipped cream or a garnish.

 

Clay and Bottle Cap Pies Image via Flickr

There are a ton of possibilities, so have fun creating your own crafty recipes. These little desserts make adorable magnets, ornaments, or napkin ring decorations (just glue on magnets, rings, or ribbon to the backs), perfect dollhouse accessories, or just a sweet adornment anywhere you choose!

 

What was your favorite pie or dessert at this year’s Thanksgiving? What’s your all-time favorite?


Thanksgivikkah Menorah

As you’ve probably heard, this year’s first night of Hanukkah falls right on Thanksgiving. This is an incredibly rare overlap in the Hebrew and Gregorian calendar that will only happen once in a lifetime. In fact, double holiday has unofficially been dubbed Thanksgivikkuh!

 

For those celebrating both holidays, it can be a lot to prepare for at once. As you get ready for Thanksgiving next week, don’t forget about Hanukkah!

 

To start things off, why not try making a recycled cardboard menorah?

 Cardboard MenorahImage via Chiro Mommy

 

You’ll need eight toilet paper tubes and one paper towel tube, paint, glue, decorating materials (stickers, glitter, whatever you want), and yellow tissue paper.

 

First, paint all of your cardboard tubes. Keep in mind that the taller one will serve as the shamash in the middle (if it’s a little too tall, trim it with scissors). You can paint them traditional Hanukkah colors (blue and white), Thanksgiving colors (brown, red, orange, yellow), a combination, or any colors you desire! Once the paint is dry, attach the tubes together with glue. Glue four tubes on one side of the shamash (paper towel roll) and four on the other. Finally, add decorations to your menorah!

  Wrapped Cardboard Menorah

Image via Making Friends

(Great alternative to paint: cover the tubes in wrapping paper or magazine pages.)

 

On the first night of Hanukkah, or the only night of Thanksgivikkah, display your creation proudly and use yellow tissue paper to create flames for the shamash and first candle. Add a tissue paper flame to a new candle each night of the Festival of Lights.

 

 Recycled Menorah

Image via Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish

 

Are you excited for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to overlap? What fun ways can you think of to commemorate this unique occurrence?


Turkey Take 2!

Let’s keep the Thanksgiving momentum going with another fun turkey craft! If you missed yesterday’s variation, take a look here. Today’s turkey gets a beautiful, natural twist by using dried autumn leaves. It’s the perfect way to celebrate both the holiday and the season!

 

You’ll need leaves (dried and flattened), cardboard or brown cardstock, glue, and crayons. If you’d like to make some substitutions (synthetic leaves, googly eyes, construction paper, markers), go right ahead!

Leaf Turkey Image via Baby Center

 There are several ways you can approach this project, depending on your desired final product, so feel free to put your own stamp on it. Cut out a brown cardboard or cardstock circle for the turkey’s body. Then cut out a smaller circle to use as the head and glue it to the body. If you’re mounting this to a piece of paper, glue the body to your paper and leave a little space unglued at the top for leaves. Start arranging your leaves by sliding then behind the turkey’s body (in the unglued space) and gluing them down.

  Leaf TurkeyImage via My Creative Stirrings

 If you’d prefer to leave your turkey freestanding, just glue the leaves to the back of its body. Finally, add some facial features to your turkey’s head—cut out leaves to make a beak and waddle and use crayon or marker to draw its eyes.

 Leaf TurkeyImage via 366 Days of Pinterest

 So cute, right? And it not only celebrates Thanksgiving, but really honors this beautiful time of year. Make sure to hang your turkey somewhere special as Thanksgiving approaches! What other Thanksgiving crafts are you looking forward to trying?


Teamwork Turkey

Thanksgiving is coming up in just about two weeks. Are you looking forward to it? This holiday combines a few of my favorite things—food, appreciating the little (and big) things, and family. That last one is particularly special because it’s probably what I’m most thankful for. That makes Thanksgiving the perfect time to try a craft that involves the whole family!

 

A traced-hand turkey craft is simple, colorful, and can include everyone! You’ll need scissors, glue, and either construction paper or cardstock in pretty fall colors (red, orange, yellow, green, brown, and dark brown).

 

Start by tracing each family member’s hand on a different colored piece of paper. You can use members of your household, or if you have relatives over, include them too! Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins… the more the merrier! Cut each handprint out and arrange them as feathers. You can do this by color or size—one option is to order them largest to smallest so you can see each hand.

 

For the body, cut out a brown circle; for the neck and head, you can cut out a bowling pin shape, or skip the neck and just cut another circle for the head if you’d prefer. Once everything is glued in order (head onto body, body onto feathers), you can add facial details—cut out a paper beak and waddle and use a marker or pen to create eyes.

 

Paper Hand TurkeyImage via Pounds 4 Pennies

  Paper Hand TurkeysImage via Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

 Rainbow Paper Hand TurkeyImage via Happy Home Fairy

 

And there is your teamwork turkey! Display it as is or mount it to a piece of paper and frame it. What a great way for the whole family to start celebrating Thanksgiving! What are you planning for the holiday?

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