Drawing & Painting

Chalkboard Village

When it comes to decorating our house for the seasons, Pixie is my "go-to" helper. Out of Michelle's 3 wee ones, she has the strongest interest in artistic pursuits, and arranging and showcasing our finished projects is almost as important to her as the project itself. She is forever collecting "props" to "stage" her work. We are certainly kindred spirits :)

I mentioned a few days ago that I had seen some City Chalkboard Blocks that were shared on Hello Bee. I loved the idea, and with the help of Tim, created a whole village. Here are the simple instructions for creating your own Autumn Village.

Materials:
Pine lumber boards in 2" x 4", 2" x 6" and 2" x 8" widths. This can be construction grade, just check each piece and find those with minimal knots and imperfections. You want the surface as smooth as possible. 
Saw for cutting
Sandpaper
Chalkboard Paint - I used chalkboard paint from Hudson Paint
Colored chalk

Directions:
Using your saw, cut the boards into random sized houses. When you are done, sand well. The chalkboard paint works the best on smooth surfaces. Check out all the photos below to see the shapes we had.

Apply 3 coats of chalkboard paint to all surfaces of the houses. I used colorful paint on the 4 sides of the house and the bottom, then used a dark brown paint on the tops for roofs. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly between each coat.

Allow the paint to dry for 48 hours before drawing on the houses with chalk. This was the hardest part of this whole project... waiting to draw on with chalk :)

Use a damp cloth to clean off the surface of the houses. Allow the surface to dry before drawing on again with chalk.

Now, arrange your houses. When the mood hits you, just clean off a surface and redo. Pixie had a blast arranging the houses on our seasonal hutch. I'm sure they will be redone and rearrange each and every time she's over :)

When Fairy saw the village the next day she was disappointed she didn't get to help draw on the houses. "No problem", I told her. Just get a damp cloth and erase a house and redo it!

Usually, when I am done crafting a project, it is "finished" and ready to be displayed or played with by the wee ones. The beauty of our chalkboard village is it is NEVER finished. With just a damp cloth you can redesign your village to suit your fancy whenever you are so inclined :)

HERE ARE SOME LINKS TO THE OTHER "PROPS" PIXIE USED TO STAGE OUR CHALKBOARD VILLAGE. IT'S ALWAYS NICE TO HAVE A STASH OF PAST PROJECTS TO PULL FROM :)

Old World Gnomes

Wooden Autumn Trees

Burlap Hay Bundles

Mini Pumpkins

Paper Bag Trees

http://www.weefolkart.com
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2012. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on WeeFolkArt.com without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights. Read our FAQs found HERE for specifics or contact us at weefolkart@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

 

GIVE THANKS Wooden Blocks

Autumn... traditionally a time to harvest the bounty from our gardens and a time of gratitude. The simple words "GIVE THANKS" reminds us to count our blessings and to Give Thanks. With just some inexpensive pine 2" x 4"s and a little paint, you can share this message with family and friends.  

If you can cut a piece of 2" x 4", you can make this project. BTW... even if YOU can't cut a 2" x 4", many lumber yards are willing to do it for you for a nominal fee. Use your imagination to share greetings and messages by simply stenciling or hand painting letters to the blocks.

Materials:
2" x 4" pine board. You need 1 block per letter (Figure approximately 3 blocks per linear foot)
Saw for cutting wood
Sandpaper for sanding wood
Paint - I used our Non-Toxic Soy Paints available in our shop
2" alphabet stencils or you can pick a 2" font from your word processor (more about this later)
Paint Brushes
Wood Finish (optional) - I used our Original Beeswax finish available in our shop or you can use our recipe for Olive Oil and Beeswax Finish available HERE

Directions:
Cut a pine 2" x 4" to create squares. (Each block will be approximately 3 3/8" x 3 3/8".)

Lightly sand the edges to remove sharp edges.

Paint all 6 sides of the blocks. Allow to dry completely. You should only need 1 coat of paint.

 

When choosing my paints, I wanted colors that reflected the season, had a bit of whimsy, and coordinated with the painting that they were going to stack under. Although teal/aqua isn't usually considered a "fall" color, I wanted to pull the color into my letters. (BTW... I bought a series of 3 owl pictures at Pier 1 a couple of years ago. They were only $30.00 a piece. I LOVE them. I just checked. They still have some available online... on sale... for $19.00 a piece! You can find them HERE. I'm sure their supplies are limited.)

Before adding letters, arrange the blocks in the manner you plan to display them. Decide if you want a random look or a pattern.


 
You can either use a set of purchased 2" letter stencils or make your own letters using your word processor. (Mine is Microsoft's Word) I used the font Arial Rounded MT Bold, set the size at 200, and after typing the letters, highlight them, and made them Bold. It gave me letters that were 2" tall.

 

If using a stencil, center the letters on your blocks. If using a printed font, cut out each letter, and trace them unto the blocks. Because the pine is soft, if you press hard, you will leave an impression on the wood.

You can now stencil or hand paint the letters on the blocks.

If you want, you can leave the blocks with simply the letters. Check out some Christmas blocks I made several years ago. They can be found HERE. I wanted a more whimsical look, so I painted designs on each block. To make the flowers I simply dipped the back of my paintbrush in paint and dabbed the paint on the blocks. You can get a better idea of this process by checking out the flowers on our City Gnome Beds found HERE. To make the round circles, I dipped the back of a pencil (without an eraser) in paint and dabbed it on the block. All the designs are random... just have fun :)

When the paint was thoroughly dry, I went over all the blocks with our wood finisher.

Although this stage is optional, it does give the letters a lovely sheen, will stop the wood from drying out and will help them last for years :)

Now, display your blocks. I plan to make a couple more sets for other places in the house. You can get as creative as you'd like in your wording. This is a lovely and inexpensive way to herald in any season :)


 

http://www.weefolkart.com
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2012. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on WeeFolkArt.com without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights. Read our FAQs found HERE for specifics or contact us at weefolkart@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 

Shield Pendant Fit For A Knight

Bug has the heart of a knight... bound by honor and tradition... well, most of the time :) He is a history buff, fascinated by the Middle Ages. He participates in sports, archery and fencing, that would have prepared him for knightly duties. This year he has also begun "dramatic sword play". His coach has mentored actors requiring sword skills for movie roles. In several years I could easily see Bug getting involved in our local Renaissance Festivals. (Which, BTW, they will be attending soon :)

A couple of weeks ago I shared some BBF Birdie Pendants that I made for Fairy/Pixie and for Little Lady/Sweet Pea. Since everyone was getting one, I wanted to make something for Bug that I thought he'd like to wear. I made him a shield, with a brown cord, and he loved it. Just follow the directions for the BBF Birdie Pendants. The pattern includes a shield. The directions and pattern can be found HERE.

Of course, knights had mottos... a code they lived by... often a family motto passed down through the generations. I included a motto often used by knights of yore. After all, a knight is as a knight does :)

BFF Wooden Medallion Pendants

Meghan was due yesterday. We will be going out there on Friday (unless she goes into labor before then ) and I will be staying until the Little Guy is born and then some :) Of course, the Little Guy will be receiving many gifts, and I wanted to make sure the Little Lady felt just as special and loved. So, of course Gammy has been busy making a few special things for her, too.

Little Lady has a very good friend, let's call her Sweet P(al). They've grown up together and love each other dearly. Here is Sweet P (left) and Little Lady (right). (Photo was taken by Andrea, Sweet P's mom. Thanks, Andrea!)

I'm hoping I get a chance to meet Sweet P on this trip, and decided that I wanted to make something for her, too. I decided on a B(est)F(riends)F(orever) gift that both girls could share. The other day I was reminded of a project I've wanted to do for some time now. I saw these lovely Painted Medallion Pendants on Prairie Mouse's Flickr Photo Stream. Every time Tim takes down a branch in the yard, I save many of the pieces, and have him cut up many of the branches into round slices for coasters, buttons, checkers, and whatever crafty endeavor pops into my head :) I've been wanting to make pendants for a long time, and was inspired by Prairie Mouse's pendants and hit my wood stash running!

BFF Wooden Medallion Pendants

Materials Needed:
2 wooden medallions from branches, with or without the bark (Mine are 1 3/4" x 1/4")
cording, string, yarn, etc
paint
pencil
fine tip permanent black marker

Optional:
copy of pattern or any design
packing tape
wood finish

Cut out your medallions from a wooden branch. My medallions are 1 3/4" x 1/4" but you can make them any size you want. The diameter of your branch has an important say in the matter :) Drill a 1/4" hole near the top. Sand top and edges smooth.

Decide on your design. I used the smallest bird on my Stacking Birdie Applique Block and reduced the pattern to 66%. I then made a mirror image of the bird, because when done, I wanted the birds to "face" one another and "chat" ... as BBFs do :) The pattern I used can be found HERE.

NOTE: Obviously, if you feel comfortable free handing a design, you will not need to work with patterns. Simply lightly draw a design on the face of the medallion and move on to painting.

Cut out your design leaving a little extra paper around the edge.

On the back side of the design, rub a pencil across the back, making sure to cover all the front edges.

Tape the design to the medallion. I like to use packing tape since it is wide. Trace over the design, pushing just hard enough to mark the wood, without denting the surface. (The tape helps prevent your tracing tool from ripping the paper pattern and marking the wood.)

Paint the medallions as desired. Note: I used our Soy Paint. I wanted to be able to see the wood through the paint so I watered down the paint, then went back and used the paint without water to add highlights. After the paint as dried completely, use a fine tip permanent marker to outline your design and add detail.

On the back of the medallions I wrote: Little Lady ((heart)) Sweet P "BFFs"

When your medallion is completely dry, erase any visible pencil markers. Now, you may chose to apply a finish to the wood. I used our Three Bees Lemon/Lavender wood polish. Below is a picture of one medallion with finish and one without. I love how the wood polish gives the wood protection and a rich patina. After the finish sets in the wood for a while, buff. Note: You want to make sure you get rid of any extra polish or oils can stain clothing.

Of course, since I made the Wooden Medallion Pendants for Little Lady and her BBF, it only seemed right that I made a matching set for Pixie and Fairy, since these sisters are definitely BFFs :) (Not to worry, Bug has not be forgotten, I'll share what I did for him later :)

Cut cording to desired length. Since it needs to slip over a head, make sure you make it long enough. I like to cut mine extra long so it can be adjusted on a child. I cut my cording 34" long. Fold cord in half, and slide the cord through the medallion front to back. Slide the 2 ends through the loop and pull.

When you've sized the pendant on the child, make a simple knot on the end, and cut off access cording.

Whether you want to make this for a couple of best friends, or for anyone, they are simple to make, and make a lovely gift. Think how nicely they would slide into a stocking or wooden shoe :)

http://www.weefolkart.com
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2012. All rights reserved.

All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on WeeFolkArt.com without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights. Read our FAQs found HERE for specifics or contact us at weefolkart@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

 

Winter Birch Trees

Have you ever been to Art Projects for Kids? If not, run there, right now, but be prepared to stay for a long, long time. Kathy Barbro is an experienced and gifted art teacher, and she shares over 600 projects on her blog. Whenever I need inspiration for kid crafts, she's one of the first places I turn.

She shared a wonderful watercolor project for Winter Birch Trees. I'm going to let Kathy give you the actual directions, but I'll share our enjoyable experience making our own trees. Michelle and I enjoyed the experience as much as the wee ones. The kids were able to do everything themselves except I cut numerous long strips of tape for Pixie, but she decided on the placement and did the rest herself. Oh, I also taped the paper to the table, both to hold it in place and to create the matted look border. I have plans for a number of other projects using this technique.

Taping to table, cutting strips, and making tape trees on watercolor paper.

Watercoloring the whole thing.

Sprinkling with Kosher salt.

Drying. If you are the impatient type... like one little Pixie we know... you can speed the drying with a blow drier!

Removing the tape.

Adding lines on tree, shadows and snow.

Gammy's 

Mommy's

Bug's

Fairy's

Pixie's

It's your turn now :)

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