April 30, 2009

Book: A Guide to Quilling Flowers

A Guide to Quilling Flowers by Helen Walter is quite popular, but I have mixed feelings about it. I like the designs in this book, but the book itself isn't that good, in my opinion. It contains wonderful quilling flowers, including detailed explanation of making them: what color and length of strips to use, which quilling shapes to use, and how to arrange them. You can find a lot of interesting ideas there. For example, I used a cactus from this book for my dad's birthday card. The designs depict plants in a very accurate way and succeed to grasp their distinctive features very well.

April 16, 2009

Bumblebees and flowers, framed quilling

Bumblebees and flowers, detail

This is my new quilling. As always, it's made using hand-cut strips. For bumblebees' wings I used tracing-paper. The finished work is framed in a hand-made and hand-colored paper frame. Size: 10x18 cm (4x7 inch) without frame. Here are some more pictures:

Captain Hook's hook, recycling kids craft

Captain Hook's hook

Do you buy every toy you child wants to play with? Even if you know it won't last long? I don't think so. I'll show you how to make Captain Hook's hook in 5 minutes, if your kids are playing pirates.

  1. You will need a disposable cup, preferably a paper one.
  2. You will need also a piece of cardboard, for example a used box.
  3. Fold the cardboard in two and cut a hook out of it.
  4. Glue the two halves of the hook together, leaving approx. 2 cm (3/4 inch) unglued at its bottom end.
  5. Fold those unglued ends outward, you will glue them to the cup later on.
  6. Wrap the hook in aluminum kitchen foil and attach it to the cup, gluing the flaps you made in the previous step to its bottom.
  7. Make holes in the cup for better ventilation. Let's play now!
  8. You may also paint the cup according to your (i.e. your child's) taste.

April 15, 2009

Bunny, kids birthday cake

Bunny cake

This is the other cake I made for my twins' fourth birthday. It's a bunny for my sweet daughter, the first one was my son's flying saucer. For this cake I used a rectangular puff cake (like those used for the cream slice), vanilla cream, and some food coloring (the eyes, ears, and mouth). I just cut out the head and painted a cartoon bunny face. His ears are folded to save space on a cake base :) The whiskers are made using licorice laces, the nose — out of a fruity toffee candy.

April 13, 2009

Craft book reviews

I was ordering books on Amazon today, when I thought (again) that my opinion on books I own may help others to make their choice when shopping online. Of course, there are always customer reviews on such sites, but can you rely on them? I personally prefer recommendations by people I can trust or at least know something about. So, I'll probably start reviewing some of my craft books, based on my personal experience. I've been doing this in Russian for some time, but don't think this helps too much, since very few of my Russian speaking readers can order books in English.

I'd be grateful if you let me know if my short reviews will be of any use for you. What do you think?

April 12, 2009

How to make paper leaves with veins

Paper rose with leaves

Recently I've been asked how to make the paper leaves with veins I sometimes use in my greeting cards. Let me show you my way of doing this in a step-by-step tutorial.

April 7, 2009

Simple card with an orange-colored flower, quilling

Card with quilled flower

This is a simple card with a quilled flower. I had to make it on short notice (in terms of paper quilling, of course): I was told in the morning that it must be ready by noon :) Naturally, I didn't have much time to be very creative, and yet wanted to make something refreshing. So, I decided to add layers, and also rim the petals of the flower. The center is made of a simple fringed flower.

Quilled flower, side view

April 2, 2009

Decorative Passover plate: paper quilling on an old CD

Decorative Passover Seder plate

This is a decorative Passover Seder plate. This year Passover is celebrated between the 9th and 15th of April. During the first night of Passover, which is called Seder, six items of symbolic foods are placed on a Seder plate (a real one, not decorative). The name of each item is written on one of the six cups of the plate. My plate is made out of an old CD and decorated with paper filigree. The center of the CD is covered with a piece of paper. I'm not sure the photo conveys this, but the plate looks very much like silver. I must say, the rolling itself didn't take much time, but I spent a lot of energy on painting every single strip with silver paint :) Besides, gluing quilling shapes onto a CD is not so easy, since even a tiny blob is clearly seen on its surface.

I put the "plate" into a transparent CD case (with the center removed), and it seems to make a cute and creative gift this way.

Decorative Passover Seder plate, detail

Hope you found this useful. I'd like also to wish Chag Sameach to everybody who is celebrating.

April 1, 2009

Flying saucer (UFO) kids' birthday cake

UFO cake

In the past week we celebrated the twins' forth birthday. They couldn't agree on what cake they want, so eventually everybody has had their own special cake. I'll start with the boy's one. It's a flying saucer, or UFO. I like making cakes and am good at it, but with kids cakes I usually prefer to put my energy into decorating rather than baking, especially when I have to prepare not just one, but two cakes. This really makes you think twice and save your energy :)