Portraits with whimsy & magic

CorfeeWhimsicalPortraits-TallPinWatercolor, florals, doodles, drips and spatter. i’ve been combining all my favorite painting tidbits into these charming whimsical portraits recently. They make a gorgeous keepsake and look beautiful framed in a nursery or little girl’s room. i scan and keep high resolution digital files of the art, so customers can have the art printed on mugs or in photo books as well. This also allows me to offer additional prints at various sizes so that grandparents, family or friends can have a mini version of the art for their desk as well.

Visit my shop here to purchase one of these darling portraits, and take a look at my other prints and originals while you’re there, too! ; )

Shrinky Love for Valentine’s Day – a downloadable project

Hi gang!!

i am all about the love….and i like to watch it curl up and shrink inside my oven!

Here is a fun project that will allow your kids to make some Valentine’s Day trinkets with just a little help from a grown-up and a free download from yours truly!

valentine's day shrink projectDid you know you can buy Shrink film for your inkjet printer? It is seriously so much fun. i have a 100 pak in one of my office drawers and whenever Cooper is particularly bored, all i have to do is hand him a sheet to perk him up! Sometimes we go freeform and i merely draw a nice large “boundary” shape for him so he can fill it with color and doodles. The images will shrink to about 1/3 of their size and 9x the thickness when done, so working on a larger scale is necessary…and perfect for even little hands!

You can buy inkjet shrink film in tons of places online. Here is the official Shrinky DinkĀ® brand’s version. Or, if you prefer, you can just buy standard blank sheets and use a lightbox to trace your preferred design onto the translucent film. i’ve had some types that are more translucent than others, and you may not even need a lightbox : )

Anyway, if you’d like to download a nice quality version of my freebie design above for your kids to color, cut and shrink!, just click the image. i’ve designed these with pendants or small keychains in mind and the 1/4″ hole punch will work to thread a jump keyring or ribbon or cord through. These could also be used as bookmarks by threading several strands of yarn through the hole to form a “tassle” just the right length to sit in the spine of a book. The possibilities are endless!!

Have fun creating lots of Shrinky Love!

– if you purchase the shrink film, direction will be included. They are also available online and as a downloadable PDF here. : )

Tutorial – decoupage trinket trays

TrinketTrayTuteA few months back, i posted some little decoupaged Trinket Trays and saucers. Everyone really liked them, so i thought i’d give you a little tutorial on the process i use to make them. It’s quite easy, you just have to pay attention to detail.

i originally found random little saucers and such at thrift stores and re-purposed them, but eventually needed more than i could find and ended up ordering round soy sauce dishes from KOYOshop.com. At the time of this post, their site was under construction/maintenance, but i got item YW22. 30 little dishes cost me $15. i thought that was a great deal : )

Anyway! onto the tutorial

1- set up your prints. Use a flexible/cloth tape measure to determine the diameter of your dish. the KOYO dishes are about 4″ in diameter. then set up circles with that diameter on the computer. i used favorite art prints and cropped them into my circles. You could also cut your circles from any thin, somewhat porous paper like magazines or wrapping paper.

2- Apply Mod Podge (glossy) to the inside of the bowl. Be neat. Try not to get it over the edge of the bowl and don’t goop it on. you want a nice even layer that won’t squoosh out too much over the edges when you press your paper disc on.

3- i always have a damp napkin or paper towel beside me so i can lightly press the back of my paper disc to it before applying to the bowl. it makes the paper limp and easier to work with as you coax it along the curved sides of the bowl.

4-place the center down first and gently press, don’t rub too much, toward the edges. Then i get into pie-crust mode. i use both thumbs inside the bowl and my fingers behind to work my way around the circumference of the bowl. you’ll get into a groove. Trust me. Make sure the paper is adhered right up to the edge, but don’t bend it over the edge. We’ll trim the excess off carefully with small scissors once the paper is fully dry and “crispy” again.

5- optional – i make a disk for the bottom of the dish with my logo for retail purposes and you might want to do so also…to include a little note or “love, mommy”

6 – Once the bowl is completely dry and trimmed, apply a layer of Clear Polyurethane or other varnish that is non-yellowing. Dry. Apply a 2nd coat.

* since i’m impatient, i discovered that i can poly the inside and bottom of the bowl at the same time and then rest the bowl on a roll of masking tape (the perfect size!) so that no wet surfaces are making contact with the table! so efficient!

7- When everything is completely dry, you can smooth out any remaining rough edges using an emery board or piece of fine sandpaper. i like the emery board. i sit in front of the tv and file away as though i’m doing my nails – haha

So that’s it! Give it a try and make some lovely keepsakes for loved ones. These are perfect for jewelry next to the sink, coins on the dresser, paperclips on your desk, or even your kiddo’s precious lost teeth on the nightstand for the tooth fairy! Just remember that they are not food-safe and also not meant to be submerged in water since they are composed with paper. Happy crafting!!