More Summer Making–a Stamping Project

Coffee and a bowl of cherries, a slingshot of birch, farm eggs, a quick trip to Vermont and . . . carving stamps with my co-maker & 11-year-old niece. So many pleasures during a busy and un-busy July. Our printing project was surprisingly rewarding. We weren’t so sure we’d like the results because we thought our carving was clumsy and far from perfect. Luckily printing is a forgiving craft–lopsidedness and splotchiness only add to its charm.

This is how our project went:

  1. We sketched our designs on paper. Then simplified, simplified, simplified when we realized how tricky the carving would be.
  2. We transposed our designs by drawing directly on our Speedball 2 3/4 x 4″ Speedy-Cut carving blocks.
  3. We carved with Speedball linoleum cutters. Number 2 and 3 cutting blades made easy, chunky lines. A number 1 blade makes a delicate line but we learned not to carve deeply with it because pressing it too far into the block shreds and rips the surface a bit.
  4. We used a brayer (the rolling thing) to apply the ink, rolling the ink on paper first to distribute the ink evenly before applying it to the block.
  5. We placed the paper on top of the inked block and rubbed with the back of a big wooden spoon.

We were delighted & made a bunch of prints for cards and postcards!

It’s a piece of cake!

Cardboard cake by homemadecity.com

I haven’t been here for a while. I’m not really sure why. But . . . here I am again, and back with my happiest craft from the past year. I made this slice of cardboard cake as a three-dimensional card for a friend on a particular birthday. (It was also the year of my own particular birthday.)

I don’t know why making fake cake should be such a giddy experience, but it was. I grinned and grinned, hot glue gun in hand.

Clearly, cake doesn’t have to be edible to be delicious. Wayne Thiebaud on the subject:

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I sawed cardboard pieces with my X-acto and covered them in a collage of paint sample strips. Of course, this was the pink for the top:

Cardboard cake by homemadecity.com

Layering the rosette made me delirious with glee:

Cardboard cake by homemadecity.com

And then a little door to the hollow inside, space for a secret message:

Cardboard cake by homemadecity.com

I hope you have something to celebrate with cardboard cake. I recommend it.

Cardboard cake by homemadecity.com

Cardboard cake project by homemadecity.com

Read & Make: Terrific Tongues! Giveaway

*Publisher giveaway* for U.S. residents–The giveaway offer has now ended. Congratulations to Erin Ellis! 

You can clean your eyeballs with your tongue (if you happen to be a gecko). Or you can use your tongue as a lance (if you’re a woodpecker impaling a larva). And if you’re a snake, you can smell with your tongue.

Frog party blower by homemadecity.comI learned about these fun tongues in Maria Gianferrari’s playful, informative picture book, Terrific Tongues! (with spirited, bright illustrations by Jia Liu). An inviting read-aloud, the simple text keeps the audience guessing at each turn of the page: Which tongue (with which function) belongs to which animal? Sidebars and back matter offer more detailed information about the unusual abilities of tongues.

 

If you (or a young someone you know) would like to take a turn unraveling your tongue just like a North American bullfrog, here’s a project to try.

What You Need:

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party blowers (in red or pink)

1 sheet of card stock green paper

color paper (construction, origami, whatever you have)

Frog Party Blower template

optional: googly eyes

Instructions:

Using the template above, trace the frog shape onto your green card stock. Cut along the outline. Use a hole punch to cut out the circle/mouth hole. Trace and cut out the cheeks, eyes and pupils onto color paper of your choice. Glue the eyes and cheeks to the frog. Insert the blower into the mouth & voila. You are a bullfrog! Perfect for a birthday party or a book celebration of Terrific Tongues!

To learn more about author Maria Gianferrari, go to http://mariagianferrari.com/ or visit her on Facebook or Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Creative Kid: Make a Mini Market

mini market by homemadecity.com

I haven’t made anything with matchboxes in a while, so I was overdue. This mini market was inspired by something similar (I think) that I spotted in the wilds of the internet but then couldn’t find again. Maybe it was just a dream (but a very particular and miniature kind of dream).

This tiny marketplace has a vaguely Mexican look thanks to the some bright 2″ origami paper and a nifty hole punch I got my hands on. Love that hole punch something fierce. I made a counter for the ice cream shop out of card stock and striped tape. Ditto the little table in the coffee shop (but this time I used checkered tape). The itty ice cream cones, donuts and penguins come from my son’s Japanese eraser collection (borrowed without permission!)

FREE GIVEAWAY: Hello Goodbye Dog

Updated: The winner of the book giveaway is Sarah E. of Massachusetts. Congratulations, Sarah! You will receive a copy of Hello Goodbye Dog very soon. 

The principal at my elementary school knew Bowzer well. My beloved mutt hated goodbyes and followed me to school, preferring the many hellos of the kids in the playground. Bowzer was sent home, to bark maniacally at the mailman and wait not-so-patiently for the school day’s end.

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Zara and her dog Moose also suffer the pangs of daylong separation in Maria Gianferrari’s lovely picture book Hello Goodbye Dog. For Moose, hello is a “ride in the car” and a “pat on the head,” while goodbye feels like an “itch that cannot be scratched” and “a closing door.” After Moose makes mayhem in the school cafeteria one day, Zara provides a perfect–and unexpected–solution. Train Moose to be a therapy reading dog! Now Moose go to school, too, and turn reading into a cozy, furry experience for Zara and her classmates.

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To celebrate this little gem of a book (illustrated by Patrice Barton and brought into being by Roaring Brook Press), I created an easy bookmark project that honors both reading & puppy power! Your finished bookmark will slip onto the corner of the page & hold your place so your copy of Hello Goodbye Dog won’t get dog-eared.

What you need:

5.76″ x 5.76″ origami paper

Scissors

Black pen

Glue stick

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Step 1: Fold the origami paper as shown in the slideshow below.

Step 2: Once you have a triangle shape, cut the bottom point into two rounded points to make the dog’s snout.

Step 3: Cut out the nose (a small rounded triangle), ears, and tongue shapes in colors of your choice. You can freehand or use this template for the ears and tongue.

Step 4: Glue the nose in place. Adhere the ears into the pocket at the top of the triangle. I folded the ears at a slight angle to give the puppy a rakish look!

Step 5: Trim the tongue so that you can insert it into the opening at the snout end of your triangle. Dab with glue so that you can press it into place.

Step 6: Draw eyes and other details with your black pen. Voila! A dog-eared bookmark!

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Also, if you are in New England this August, Maria and therapy dog Brig will be presenting Hello, Goodbye Dog at the Toadstool Book Shop in Keene, NH August 20 at 11 a.m.

The blog tour of Hello Goodbye Dog continues . . . check out these sites:

July 27      Kid Lit Frenzy

July 28      Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook

July 31      Picture Books Help Kids Soar

Aug 1        Bildebok

Aug 2        The Loud Library Lady

Aug 3        DEBtastic Reads!

Aug 4        Mamabelly’s Lunches with Love

Aug 7        Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

EXTRA: Aug 25     Kidlit411—Interview with Patrice Barton