Monthly Archives: November 2011

Rapee cushion sale

Beaux – on -the -go

It’s the first of December tomorrow!!!! Wow. How time flies.
Time for the advent calanders to start. I took this picture (above) from a magazine I’ve kept since 2008.
I have so wanted to make an advent calander like the one above , covering match boxes with cool papers and putting it in a frame.
Alas- I have totally run out of time to get it done and on Friday which is usually my art day – im off to the RAPEE cushion sale.
Instead of making an advent calander for my blog.

This is the best real sale I’ve ever been to. It’s only once or twice a year here in Sydney. Off smith street , off eastern valley way , northbridge , for those of my readers who like in this neck of
the woods.

Cushions are all between $2-$8 each.

These are all from this sale.

Gotta love a good bargain. Great for redecorating, Christmas gifts etc.
I did a “decorating on a budget ” workshop recently. All those who attended asked me to put up on my blog when the next rappee cushion sale is.
Sat and Sunday it’s on too.
Beware though….. It’s scary!!! Alot of bargain hungry ladies- and a few cat fights! Lol


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Circus mural

Beaux and arrow ( boys idea)

Yesterday I finished this birthday calendar / mural.
It is for a local pre-school who have commissioned me to paint 5 big wall murals for each of their age groups in the pre-school.
They will print out all the names of the kids each year and laminate them and use velcro dots to stick the children’s names in the appropriate birthday month.

The jungle one (above), and the under the sea one (below) used the masking fluid technique I blogged about a few months ago (blow sea weed and coral with masking fluid through a straw, then wash through with blue food colouring).

And the out of space one I did a blog on as a boys room idea.

You can see the scale of these canvases next to my 7 yr old. Big ones….. ( had to get a van to deliver them from the art shop).

The last theme is African cubs.

I’m half way through this one. I’ll do a blog on that later.
But back to the circus idea….

I thought this would make a great idea for a boys room.
Google – Circus posters. Fab stuff up there. Good idea to print your child’s favourite ones out and frame them.

When I’d just done the mural this far (above) I thought, “now that would look great on a boys bedroom wall, as is.”
With denim bed covers , red cushions and a star light in the ceiling.

I painted navy blue at the top and red half circle shapes as the circus tent.

I scratched the stars in while the paint was wet , with the back of the paint brush.

The tent stripes were simply painted with wide pieces of masking tape in between.

I used the back of the paint brush dipped in white paint and stamped it down in rows to decorate the red tent ( as seen above).

Next I used white spray paint and splattered tiny stars on the navy and painted a moon shape.

I painted a wooden star white and stuck this with glue at the top of the canvas to be the pinnacle of the tent.

The easiest way to paint the elephants is to trace them onto canvas using an overhead projector.
Photocopy your favourite picture onto an over head transparency.
Office works does this for less than a dollar!! (60c).
I borrowed the over head projector from my daughters preschool.

Here is the cover of a book I found and used this for my inspiration. As a mum – use whatever you can find to do what you need to do quickly – i.e. unless you are a really amazing cartoonist – don’t try and draw from scratch. Why re-invent the wheel. Just trace. It’s quicker and easier.

I flipped the elephant transparency over and mirror imaged the elephant to face each other.

This image was also a print out I did the same technique with.

This clown can be done the same way or used white, or black carbon paper to trace it on with, as I did.

I wish I had a gorgeous photo of a boys room to finish this blog idea off with.
But hopefully this will get your creative juices flowing if you’re thinking of a boys room with a circus theme or even a birthday party as my friend Bec did.
It’s a lovely theme , especially the old fashioned circus flavour.
Look out for fabric with red and white stars as accessories/ make cushions etc etc.

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Christmas craft with gold leaf

I’m getting into the Christmas spirit. My girls and I made some gold leaf bits and pieces.
Firstly we got some old ceramic vases and used them in display.
I covered the round one ( above on right) with gold leaf.

I bought three polystyrene stars and got some packets of old buttons from an op shop.

We painted the stars with gold leaf size ( the glue). After the size was dry we put gold leaf over them and threaded them onto string with a needle and then threaded buttons on.

Then hung them on the vases.
Next was to print a star on the other square vases

Eden and Jessica, my daughters, really enjoyed doing this part. First to paint the size onto the wooden star.

Then stamp that onto all four sides of the vases. We used a hair dryer to dry the size quickly. Wait until its tacky not completely dry.

This does make a mess but it’s easy to vacuum up after. The girls loved seeing the star come up in gold leaf.

I used the shell balls in this vase. (See previous blog on driftwood tree for shell ball idea. )

I also discovered a new technique by pure accident. I wanted to spray paint the big polystyrene star white. When I did this, the spray paint ate into the surface of the polystyrene, giving a rough texture that makes it look like a star fish on the surface. I love a happy accident.

Here’s another christmas idea as well. Wooden letters painted or even gold leafed or silver leafed.
JOY, PEACE etc are lovely Christmassy words.
Happy crafting…..

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Home made Christmas cards

Beaux- quet ( craft project)

Today we arrived up in the beautiful blue mountains to stay with friends.
Before long , the kids and I were all doing craft and the guys were playing guitar.

We had so much fun. Using gold leaf and wrapping papers etc to make Christmas crafts.

A simple triangle shape cut out of Christmas wrapping paper to make a Christmas tree is the basic template to use.

We stamped star shapes with gold leaf size ( the glue ).
The best size ( glue) to use is the brand called ” express -it”.

Paste the glue on to where you want the gold leaf to stick. We stamped wooden stars down with the size / glue on it to make a star print.
Wait for it to dry clear.

Rub flakes or sheets of gold leaf over the star shapes.

We painted a border on the black cardboard with the size. And then rubbed the excess gold leaf flakes on the border.

Next we cut more triangles out of Christmas paper. I used spray glue to stick them down.

Another idea is to write on the card with gold pen “Merry Christmas”.

I photocopied my favourite lounge cushion black and white. (above you can see the black and white photocopy made into the tree on the right).

Picture of my cushion. ( above).
Christmas sale of these cushions and others like it for $4 each coming up in Sydney in the next few weeks. Will post date and address on my blog as soon as I hear.

Next card we made along this same theme was made by cutting triangle shape out of paper napkins.

Firstly- stick background colored paper first.

Then I photocopied a black and white frame and stuck this over the top.

Next the napkin triangles and row of gift paper at the bottom.

Stems of trees is just black paper or ribbon. I used silver ribbon for tree trunks on other card.

Use spray glue or craft glue. Spray glue is easier but it’s not as child friendly for younger kids.

Really fun and easy cards….

Here is another card idea ( above). Using an ice cream stick and paper doily.

Christmas paper is a great way to make not only cards , but crackers , name tags and even table runners down the centre of the table.
See my previous blog on this idea

Even covering the Christmas candles ( below) with the Christmas paper looks great to make a matching festive table lay out.

Ok – so back to my little mini break in the blue mountains with my crafty friend who put me onto this whole blog idea in the first place. ( thanks bec)
See her arts and craft blog:

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Carrot cake

Beaux- tie ( a recipe)

Recently my girls planted their first vege patch.
The carrots grew for 10 weeks. We pulled them up and were hoping to use them in salad and carrot cake.

Above: left is the shop carrot. Right is our carrots. Hmmmmm. I guess size does matter after all. Ha ha.

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.
Grate 3 cups of carrots.
Here’s the recipe

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cups walnuts
3/4 cups pineapple chunks
Vanilla essence
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp bicarb
3 eggs

I ran out of cinnamon, so I used five spice powder. This will give a lovely Christmas taste to the food with all the spices in. It’s so yum.

I used a ring cake tin. To ensure the cake doesn’t stick , here’s how:

Tear a large piece of baking paper and fold it in half , then half again.

Cut off the corner in shape seen above

Snip the edges with scissors.

Cut top side of baking paper in half circle ( as seen above)

This makes ideal baking paper shape to Line ring tin.

Spray the inside of the tin and then line the inside of tin with baking paper.
Pop in heated oven for 45 mins.

Once cooked , place dinner plate on top of tin.

Turn cake upside down.

Flip cake out easily as it is lined with baking paper.

Peel baking paper off and allow carrot cake to cool before icing.

Cream cheese icing :

Blend 2 cups icing sugar
Lemon juice
Block of cream cheese
Use electric beater and beat till smooth.

I iced the cake and decorated it with walnuts and fresh strawberries.
My friend from new Zealand was over in Sydney for the weekend.
She came over and told me she has just got engaged.
I was so excited. We had to have a champagne toast….. And some freshly baked carrot cake.

I should have used those tiny home grown carrots to decorate the cake. Didn’t think of that at the time.
But it was delicious.
Give it a try.

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