Friday, 16 January 2015

Drawing Lessons (with Draw Star Wars Rebels from Klutz)

Every January, I sit down and make my resolutions for the new year. Some are small challenges (only use one sheet of paper towel to dry my hands) and others are a bit more ambitious. It’s been a lifelong goal to develop my drawing skills and finally achieve full-service crafter status, so I decided this was going to be my big project for 2015!

No sooner had a I put my resolution to paper, then the magical Klutz fairies made a special delivery to help me achieve my goal. Draw Star Wars Rebels is a one-stop guide to learning to draw, packed with step-by-step how-tos, tracing paper and cool pics of favourite characters to develop your drawing skills.

So, if you’re like me, and would mostly likely turn this into this…

...then stay tuned because my Klutz’s Star Wars arts education is about to begin. History shows that I probably won’t come out of this successful, but maybe my quest for new year's improvement will inspire you to give it a try!

First, the basics...


 And the most important lessons: stick figures

and shapes.

 And, the key to success, lots of opportunities to practice!

I traced, erased and free-handed my way through the entire book and am already starting to feeling the lessons start to take hold. If I can accomplish all this in one day, I’ll be able to check this resolution off my list in no time!

Friday, 19 December 2014

The Last Gifts on My List (with String Art from Klutz)

I like food and fashion as much as the next person, but my favourite thing to create is home d├ęcor. My apartment is an ever-rotating collage of prints, pictures, plants and knick-knacks. I switch them to match the year, the season, and sometimes even my mood. It's not terribly practical, but it sure is fun! 

When deciding what to gift to the last few people on my Christmas list, I turned to Klutz's coolest new kit, String Art, to make some new art pieces they can add to their collections.

You might recognize the idea for this fun craft from those old math class activities, but Klutz has turned that on its head to make DIY art instead! With more than 20 trendy designs, six colours of strings and 14 colourful sheets of paper to choose from, you can customize your pieces for each person on your gift list. And, I know what you're thinking, it looks totally complex... But with Klutz’s exclusive pin-pushing tool, you'll have the perfectly-placed pins you need to go wild and scribble, fan and loop some seriously cool string doodles. Make a series to hang together or print some text to make your piece complete; the possibilities are endless! I modeled one after my very favourite mug, and it's so darn cute that I just might make another to gift to myself.

And so, with the wrap of this last gift, my Christmas crafting is complete. Now it's time to eat, drink, be merry and share the spoils of my Klutz gift-making with my friends and family.

Merry Christmas to all!

See you in the new year!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

What Makes Christmas Great (with Clay Charms from Klutz)

Christmas is full of wonderful things, like food, family, and lots of holiday cheer! But in the lead up to this amazing time of year, trying to find gifts for everyone on your list can be a bit stressful...

Crafting and shopping for my top people is no problem, but I’m always struggling for a way to cover the people in between: friends I don’t see often; distant family members; and any last minute people who may pop up. This year, I decided to break out one of my perennial Klutz faves, Make Clay Charms, to create some quick, handmade gifts for occasions such as these.

I baked up some super-sized Clay Charms in all sorts of Christmas shapes, and then twisted on wire hooks. Then I popped my homemade ornaments onto some simple sketched backgrounds to make cute, handmade cards that can be stockpiled and handed out on demand. Now I can spread holiday cheer to everyone I encounter! And when it all comes down to it, isn't that what makes Christmas so great?

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Teeny Tiny Christmas Gifts (With Mini Pom-Pom Pets from Klutz)

Every once in a while, there comes a new craft that really blows my socks off. I mean, let’s be honest, I love them all, but there are a few Klutz crafting adventures that have really earned top marks in my heart. As soon as I got my hands on Klutz's latest pom-pom adventure, Mini Pom-Pom Pets, I knew it was destined to be added to my "favourites" list. 

These heart-melting cute little fur balls take half the time to make as regular pom-poms, but are twice as darn adorable! Just wrap the coloured wool around any old kitchen fork, snip and decorate and, in no time, you’ve got a handful of teeny tiny pom-pom pets. 

Since ‘tis the season, I dressed mine up in their holiday best! A mason jar goldfish bowl wrapped up with a bow, two kitty ornaments to commemorate a first Christmas, and a little winter scene with some furry Canadian friends. Merry Christmas to you, you, you, and me!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Christmas Crafting Season Begins (with Loop Loom Bracelets from Klutz)

The moment November hits, you can already see the first signs of the holiday season ahead. Stores swap Halloween for Christmas decorations, Starbucks releases those familiar red cups and, in Toronto, The Bay reveals their stunning holiday window displays. 

There are many who lament this early start to the Christmas spirit. As a warm weather girl and a November baby who likes her birthday to have its space, I can relate. But the crafty gift giver in me is grateful for the reminder that it's time to start my Christmas crafting. If I want to go DIY with decorations and gifts for all the people on my Christmas list, I've got to get busy!

I popped over here to choose an exciting new Klutz kit  (or an old favourite) to start with. It was a tough choice -- and I can't wait to share my other projects in the coming weeks -- but in the end this girly girl went straight for the jewelry!

Loop Loom Bracelets is Klutz’s take on the rubber band bracelet trend, with one big change. Seven colours of stretchy cord are the medium of choice in this kit, so you can bead-dazzled your bracelets to your heart's content without any danger of them falling apart if one link breaks!

I was looping up a colourful stack of bracelets for my favourite cousin when inspiration struck... These stretchy bands would make great gift-wrapping ribbon too! So I’m making as many pretty beaded ribbons as I can, and boy am I glad I got my early start! This Christmas, my presents are going to be just as pretty on the outside! 

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Top of My Costume List (with The Marvelous Book of Magical Mermaids from Klutz)

For me, Halloween is serious business--a holiday that’s all about dressing up and eating copious amounts of candy? Yes, please! 

In preparation for this annual day of awesomeness, I keep a running list of all of the costume ideas I want to try--including favourites like Ashley Spinelli, Ramona Flowers and Janice from the Muppets. Some are simple and easy to throw together and some will require some serious planning, but I hope to have each one checked off one day. 

Near the top of my costume list sits my white whale--Cher’s awesome Halloween costume in Mermaids. As a proud handmade Halloween-er, checking this one off my list will be the ultimate challenge. But the year I pull it off, I will have won Halloween! Till then, I'll have to get my fix from some finned friends of my own. 

The Marvelous Book of Magical Mermaids is Klutz’s latest version of paper doll play and comes with more than 200 pretty accessories to mix and match. And just like the equine version of this popular book, the outfits are lush, colourful and totally over the top! 

After creating sailor mermaid, mermaid Cleopatra, a pretty coral mermaid and a mermaid with troll doll hair, my mermaid craving has officially been filled and I can investigate more reasonable options for this year's costume. Plus, all this paper doll play has given me some awesome new ideas to add to my costume list for years to come! 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Star Wars Reads Day Strikes Back! (with Star Wars Folded Flyers, Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Thumb Doodles)

Fall is here and that familiar chill has crept back into the air. It’s time for boots and scarves and, for me, hiding indoors with a good book or a fun craft. But this weekend, there is another Force at play, beckoning me back to my two favourite activities

That’s right, tomorrow is the 3rd annual Star Wars Reads Day! This amazing initiative is the joint effort of Lucasfilm and its publishing partners. It's celebrated in every which way, from simply sitting down with a good book to some pretty amazing events at bookstores, libraries and other venues around the world!

I’ll be celebrating by bringing copies of Star Wars Folded Flyers, Star Wars Thumb Doodles, and Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars up to my family’s Thanksgiving weekend celebrations. After all the fun we had with playing with Paper Dragons, I can’t wait to see what great ideas this wacky bunch will come up with this time!

So, get reading, drawingThumb Doodle comic booking, or try out one of these cool crafts from the official Star Wars Event Kit, cause it’s time to celebrate!

Happy Star Wars Reads Day!