Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Woodland Stick Puppets

The stick puppets are printed from original pastel illustrations. I always find that using a puppet or any kind of prop is a great way for children to open up to telling stories. They seem to feel less self conscious when they are holding something. Plus, in the case of puppets, you have given them an automatic place to start the dialogue and children relate so readily to animals. They are available here.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Nature Gelatin Prints


Printmaking is a process of creating an image on one surface, called the plate, and transferring that image to paper or cloth. With gelatin prints the artist starts in the kitchen and makes a plate from gelatin and water. Gelatin is the stuff that gives gummy candies and marshmallows their chewy texture. It’s sold in little orange and white boxes at the supermarket and can be found in the aisle with the jello. Once the powdery gelatin has been mixed with water and chilled in the fridge (simple directions below) you will have a slightly rubbery surface that responds well to printing with textures that you can find outside.



Ingredients to Make a Gelatin Plate


6 tablespoons gelatin powder (6 packets, boxes generally have 4 packets per box)


1 1/2 cup cold water


1 1/2 cup hot water, almost boiling


9x12 inch shallow baking pan


Pour the cold water into the baking pan. Sprinkle gelatin into the pan. Mix until blended. Slowly add hot water while stirring continuously until all the gelatin has dissolved. Try to remove bubbles that may have collected on the surface by blotting with a paper towel. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until the gelatin has set. You can remove the gelatin from the pan the same way that you would brownies. Just slice it into pieces and remove them with a spatula. Keep in mind that the size of your finished prints will be the same size as you slices of gelatin. You can begin printing immediately, or you can store your gelatin plates for up to ten days in the fridge.


Art Supplies for Printing


1. Drop cloth or newspapers to protect work surface


2. Water soluble printing ink or acrylic paint (available at most craft stores)


3. Large soft bristle brush, kitchen sponge or foam roller


4. A variety of natural objects such as leaves, shells, flowers, weeds, vegetables, fruit, feathers, bark.......


5. White drawing paper


6. A stack of newspaper torn into small sheets or scrap paper for blotting


For the best results, the natural objects that you collect should have interesting shapes and textures as well as being somewhat sturdy. A leaf, such as a maple, is a good choice since it has both an interesting shape and the prominent veins print nicely.




Squeeze some paint or ink onto gelatin plate and spread it out with your brush, sponge or brayer. If it looks too thick you can absorb the excess by laying a sheet of scrap paper on top and gently pressing. Press your nature objects into the paint. Pick up object. As long as you can see an impression in the ink, you will be able to make a print. Lay a sheet of white paper on top of gelatin plate and gently press with the palm of your hand. The gelatin plate can be cleaned between prints by pressing a sheet of scrap paper on the surface. Or you can wash it off in cold water in the sink. Make sure you dry it, too.



Have a stack of printing paper and scrap paper cut before you begin. A bit of trial and error is involved and it’s more fun to make many prints.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jewel Boxes

Glitter is always appealing for children. This is a simple little project where they can really layer on the sparkle. I had a bit of trouble finding a source for small boxes that would be sturdy enough to handle paint, glitter and glue for a reasonable price. I found these at Papermart. Unfortunately, 100 boxes is the minimum order. If you just need a small quantity, I've seen something comparable at my local craft store.


I applied a small amount of gold acrylic paint to the boxes to add a shiny patina using a small sponge that was barely damp. The tiles in the photo are from Home Depot and come in sheets. It's a reasonable way to purchase them versus buying mosaic tiles from a craft store. I just wish that Home Depot stocked some more vibrant colors. They have a lot of earth tones. The tiles are attached with white glue. The gold and turquoise strips have a peel off backing and come in 12 x 12 inch sheets. The small tubes of glitter glue were a good size for small hands, although I wish I knew of a way to make my own. I've tried Mod Podge and glitter, but it doesn't have the same impact.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Easter Bunny Mask

Just added this bunny to my shop. He was a tad difficult to photograph since the card stock is glossy. I finally decided to scan him into the computer.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Three Men in a Tub

I made this prop for the music teacher where I teach art. She's doing a play with the Kindergarten next month about things that come in threes. A little boy will be the baker to fill out this trio. I used two sheets of foam-core that I hinged together with tape along the back. The foam-core is great since it is sturdy and lightweight, but it does not accept a watercolor wash too well. The print vest is a textile design that I painted quite a while ago. I copied it on my printer and pieced it together with a glue stick. The glasses are glitter glue.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Folded Paper Butterfly Template

These paper butterfly ornaments are fun and easy to make. The butterfly is one of my illustrations done in pastels. Just "like" my Facebook, send an email to and I will email you the template and instructions in a pdf! Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Easter Basket Template

I posted this template to make little Easter baskets at my etsy shop just now. I designed the floral for the outside and the stipe for the interior.