Goodbye Lullabye – Part 1

Our children’s daycare center stopped abruptly in March. At Thursday, there were rumours that the inventory was for sale on an auction site (auction date would be next Tuesday), with the tax agency as the .. what do you call it… seller? At Friday we received a mail from the management that all was fine, the invconenience had been taken care of. (I wouldn’t call this an inconvenience though… I would call a tax agency selling my stuff a problem..). The daycare center would be open on Monday.

Monday, 16:00hrs, we get an e-mail: They hadn’t been able to completely resolve the problem, and had to close as of the next day.

Both parents and staff were completely unaware and uninformed of any problems, the staff heard the news the same time as the parents, so there were many tears that Monday. They didn’t even had an opportunity to say goodbye to the kids properly, or to say goodbye to the kids who didn’t come on Monday.

The financial troubles were because of mismanagement of the owners. Whatever the reason, sometimes daycare centers have to close. But the way this went is unacceptable (altouhg it’s better to accept then to be angry about it, nothin can be changed now). Financial troubles don’t arise from one day on another, so there should have been plenty of time to inform people, so staff could look for other jobs, parents for other daycare centers, and a farewell party could be organized for the staff.

That evening I felt I should do something, this didn’t feel right. I’m not very active on facebook, but I made an exception for this, I started a group solely for the parents and employees at that daycare center.
It was much appreciated, and the first two weeks many (emotional) messages were posted. But also, we wanted to say goodbye properly to the staff. Two dates were chosen (as not everyone was available on one day). Today was the second date, a weekend day.

I knew I wanted to get the staff something, but what? I thought it would be great if some parents would get a gift together, as it could be a bigger gift. As it was busy here, (youngest of 9 months was quite ill of the chickenpox and the middle one wasn’t feeling very well either), I didn’t think about it again untill last Thursday. I managed to get in touch with most of the parents who would come today, and got some together who wanted to share a gift.

Yesterday I went shopping for some flowers, I ha d actually wanted to get a large Vergeet-me-nietje/Forget-me-not in a nice bsaket/pot, but there were only 3 miserable looking plants left in the gardencenter. So on to search for something else.

I settled for these cute baskets and an insecthotel:

Daqadoodles150418za141649001

I wrapped them up as good as I could (I am not good with the plastic foil). That was finished at 16:00ish yesterday.

Then the cards. On Thursday (or was it Friday?) I had started making the background . Only indoor pictures as it was evening. I wanted big cards, A5 sized. As it was for 8 ladies, I decided to make 4 and 4. (4 of one colour, 4 of another colour). And ofcourse the excess ink was used for another print, which I ended up liking more then the positive stnecil image which you can see on the back of the table. This is our dining table. We clearly need a bigger one.

Daqadoodles150417vr204249001

I had fun with the stencils and ink. But the colours… they were too bright. I didn’t have the gifts yet at that point so had nothing to match it with. They didn’t fit taking care of babies, caring for children. I needed to tone it down a bit. So I put this aside, and started anew, this time for normal A6 sized cards as I realized A5 sized cards would be more difficult to finish on time as there is more space to fill.

So smaller, and other colours. Pink and blue, but I didn’t have that in sprays, so I chose acryllic paint and the kitchen foil technique. I used linen cardboard for a more interesting texture.

Daqadoodles150417vr205319017

I was too lazy to use a plate for the paint so I applied it directly to the paper. Put some randomt splashes of paint on the paper. As the bundled sage didn’t have a small opening (paint dabber top), I put it down hard on the right piece of paper.

Daqadoodles150417vr205355016

Next, put the papers together, press and twist it a bit, and open up to see the effect.

Daqadoodles150417vr205422015

Put your papers on top of eachother in different ways, up side down, tilted, untill there’s hardly any white left.

Daqadoodles150417vr205431014

The pink ones are almost ok here, maybe a bit too much of the old rose colour. The blue one hasn’t mixed well, and I am missing the baby blue a bit. (Didn’t have that ready in a bottle so I’m going to have to mix).

Daqadoodles150417vr205518013

That is also quite simple, add white paint, take a brush and mix. Added some white paint in the middle too.

Daqadoodles150417vr205556012

A little lighter pink also on the left card, and the right cards have “kissed” allready. You can see spots of paint on the lower white cards and my brush on them, but that’s ok as they will undergo the same process. Funny, only now I think: Why didn’t I just start with the bottom ones? Probably because I did most of it standing so the ones further away are easier to look at (instead of straight down) and they where closest to the paint.

Daqadoodles150417vr210031011

Spray the cards a bit with glimmermist / perfect pearls (not too much as it might get too shiny which distracts from the image). I used only a tiny bit and sprayed more with water.  Wrap in kitchen foil and wrinkle it a bit. You can see the front cards are being made ready for kissing.

Daqadoodles150417vr210446010

Here I turned on the flash – I find it is sometimes somewhat annoying when working with glimmering/reflecting surfaces so I had turned it off for the other pictures. I love the colourblends allready.

Daqadoodles150417vr210457009

Now leave to dry on a flat space. I didn’t have enough space, had to put them away so my children wouldn’t grab them, so I stacked them and put them on the coffeemachine as the top is warm.

The coffeemachine is something we can’t do without anymore… I’ll take a picture of our beloved device:

Daqadoodles150419zo193826001

 

As there’s quite a few pictures in this post allready, I’ll go on and make another post with part 2, the unwrapping…

 

Advertisements

Freedom of the heart?

So all past personal happenings in the previous post, now onto the present ponderings.Daqadoodles150401wo124355019

How much freedom has a heart? Is a heart free to choose whom it loves, and who can enchant it? Hmm the latter says no, enchant a heart, steal a heart: it doesn’t suggest free will is involved. Love is a strong force, and has a mind of it’s own, bigger then one heart.

Birds are associated with freedom. Freedom of the skies. I think I’ve allready mentioned I don’t like birds in cages, taking away the pleasure of soaring on the wind. Like taking away the ability to skip, dance, run of people. Or rather, the ability to walk for more then a few steps and having to do all else skiping maybe? Like leopards in captivity, lions, wolves… sure, sometimes they get bigger retreats. But can they run in there? Like they run in the wild – for hours in a row, miles passing beneath their feet. (yeah I know, they probably don’t run for hours in the wild, only when hunting, but still, you get my point). (I’m digressing again.)(And no, I’m not a fanatic animal rights activist even if I might sound like one, it’s just that I somethings think a bit more about things that seem “normal” and then realize they aren’t that normal at all).

Anyway, birds = freedom, hearts = no freedom. Birds (lovebirds) are involved in love. Why? The mystery of something untangible? Head in the clouds? Heights? Love flying away with you?

All this pondering just to get to my next card for the Designs by Ryn April challenge, where I felt that the heart and dove silhouette should find eachother:

Daqadoodles150401wo124413020

Two post ago I explaind how I made the backgrounds.

Here is the shinieness very visible:Daqadoodles150330ma223803005

It was hard to stamp at times due to the shinyness :P. Stamped the large silhouette birds in black stazon, the smaller flock in cherry pink stazon (didn’t think I’d use that again). Coloured 2 chaines of the heart with the white gelpen, and added some acryllic paint to the lighbulbs and the fitting.

Daqadoodles150330ma223813006

Here you can see that the fairy and heart card  have a simlar background, as they were made together.Daqadoodles150330ma223721004

Last but not least, I added some old rose acryllic paint to the edges. Usually I choose a darker colour, but I wanted to try a lighter colour now. I like how it looks like a sky scene, like it’s surrounded in clouds, a very dreamy effect. I was thinking of adding something more, like a sentiment, but I think it’s good like it is, so I matted it onto a white card. Daqadoodles150401wo124347018

There is one other card I made a few weeks ago with designs by ryn stamps, but is so doesn’t fit in this series of images. Hmm. I’ll post the chocolate baroque card first then, maybe that will soften the “change”.

A magic song

I was running late for another entry for Designs by Ryn for the March challenge, so I decided to post this for the April challenge instead. And what a coincidence: the main stamp I used is on sale now! And one that I don’t have is on sale as well, so I think I’m going to order that one as a birthday present (ok my birthday has allready passed, and I got myself plenty of hobby-gifts, but hey, one more stamp…or a stamp and stencil…or two…)

Daqadoodles150401wo124447022

How I made this card

Start by gathering pink/lila coloured paints. I don’t really like pink, but I think in a moment of sanity loss I had ordered some pink paint. So I decided to make a very pink card.
Also, I had bought the Winter sheet, to which I’ll refer to as the Celtic sheet from now on – it removes some mental limits to its use. Pink isn’t really a winter colour, so perfect for this stampset (to show that it’s also nice on non-winter cards).

Pour drops of it onto glossy or very smooth A6 cardstock, and press another piece of cardstock on top of it. Wiggle it around a bit, pull apart, turn one cardstock, put togehter again, pull apart, etc. Divide the paint with the papers so the entire surface (or almost all of it) is covered.

Then, spray with glimmer mist (or water, but a tutorial I once saw they used the glimmer mist because of a special reason I forgot). I had also used perlescent paint by the way.

Daqadoodles150329zo225752001

After wetting it, wrap it in kitchenfoil. Wrinkle it and let dry.

Daqadoodles150329zo225909002 Meanwhile, clean your dining table on which you sprayed perfect pearls mist because you managed to leave only 2 small A6 sized spots open to craft on on the edge of your craftsheet.

Ofcourse I have not taken a picture of the results at this point. Wouldn’t want you to spoil the surprise for you, just try for yourself!

I did this technique also with some other colours for another challenge, these are the results near the end. 4 cards, 2 backgrounds, (actually the right paper is where I put on the remaining paint, as I hate to throw away those leftovers.) The paper on top are the colours for the Chocolate Baroque colour challenge.

Daqadoodles150330ma223721004

 

On the next picture you can see the foil effect very well.Daqadoodles150330ma223853007

HEre too, and here you can see how shiny it is. It is very shiny. A bit too much, so I covered it with stamps and ink. (Ofcourse I wanted to try out the new celtic stamps too.) Colouring the celtic symbols was tricky – I can’t paint inside the thin lines and making everything white is a bit boring. To bring out the figures more I added the blue.Daqadoodles150330ma223901008

I chose for white embossing this time, as it fit the celtic symbols. Gave the fairy a bronze colour and blue hair, blue and red dress and green/brown leaves/feathers. Some bronze/brown in the wings and harp, and accented the eyes.Daqadoodles150401wo124439021

 

I like the shiny bit above her head, like the harp produces magic.Daqadoodles150401wo124453023

Before matting it onto a white card I lightened up the edges a bit with some lila colour.

It could be a winter card still. Or it could just be a mystic summer card. Hope you like it!

Window decoration – “transfer” image to transparent medium.

I promised in my last post that I would write about how I got to the image of our cat onto perspex (I don’t think that is the english word for it, but I mean the transparant plastic thing). This could be a great craft for the whole year round. A tree with christmas, easter eggs with easter, etc. No painting on you window needed, and you can place the plastic in a easy to paint position, unlike your window. And your neighbours won’t see you fool around, nor will your curtains be in danger of getting paint on it!

Daqadoodles12_12_18_124826

Well I am going to tell you how I did it, but very short. Why? First, because I have saved over some steps which are usefull to show. I basically only have the original image and the end result left. Redoing it takes too much time – the first part was very time consuming.

Second, I have been busy with other things I got enthousiastic (carried away) about. Crocheting, making christmas cards, and tonight, salt dough and dried apple / orange / kakifruit (I wonder how that last one turns out, I added it in my enthousiasm…)

– halfway through writing the mini how I did it I found the image with in between steps saved, so I do have it! editing the how I did it now with images… –

Mini how I did it

Well, just to give you an idea of what I did, which options I used in paint.net (with several plugins/addons installed), here it is:

1. Choose an image

A high the contrast of the desired object and the background will save you lots of time. My picture didn’t have that. (Black cat and brown cupboard…hmmm).

Charlie sunbathing

Charlie sunbathing

2. Select the object

Open the image in your editing program (I used paint.net) and select the object with the magic wand, adjust the treshold so you have all of your object selected. Now copy it to a new layer.

Daqadoodles12_12_16_23371

3. Save & save again under a new name.

If you have and object with a high contrasting background you’re almost ready to start with the fun part. I wasn’t. I painstakingly selected areas around the cat and deleted those or used the eraser. I think in every tutorial about selecting something in an image, they say that deleting things around your object is bad bad bad, don’t do that. But I don’t know better and I did, as the tutorials are mostly about photoshop which I don’t have. Once you have your object all cut out (that really takes most time and is most annoying to do, hence I didn’t want to redo it for this tutorial), save your image, then save it again under a new name. That way if you really mess it up you always have most of your work saved. Another options is to copy the image to a new layer and mess around on that. Ofcourse, make the other layers invisible so you don’t get confused. Still, this doesn’t take away the possibility of you accidentally working in the wrong layer and only realizing it after you have saved and erased your histroy.

4. Play

I forgot in which order I used which tool/adjustment, but these are the ones I used.

  • contrast/brightness
  • color balance – I wanted to use only about 3 colors, (or more: black and white + 1 color) This options together with contrast/brightness got me there. White would be non-painted areas, as I still want sunlight in my room and didn’t want to put up a dark image which would block the daylight. The sun doesn’t really shine into this room, so daylight is precious. Hence the warm colors and “white” spaces.
  • effect: oil painting – set it to a small brush if you have lots of time and patience. I didn’t/don’t, so I set it to a big brush size.
  • effect: object outline – I think this option came with a plugin pack, the one that contains the “feather” option. This is to define the shape of your object a bit more, especially if it has to be seen from further away (my cat is hanging in front of my window, and I live on 3rd floor.)

Save lots in between.

Daqadoodles12_12_16_21556 Daqadoodles12_12_16_21578 Daqadoodles12_12_16_22007

5. Print

That sounds easy, but it isn’t. Nowadays stupid windows on my machine comes up with the photoprinting window, that means its not possible to give dimensions to which to print, or to print larger. From the windows photo viewer and from paint.net I got that dialog box. This one. Grrr.

Daqadoodles12_12_16_23141

One of my other favourite programs doesn’t produce that annoying printdialogbox, that program is Irfanview. Read about how you can batch rename, resize, convert your images with that program in my blogpost about Irfanview. From the printdialog in Irfanview you can go to your printer settings and then properties. With my epson stylus printer, I can then go to the options of the page layout and select “poster print”, which means blow the image up across several pages. It is probably different with your printer, but I’m sure there’s a setting or option that gets you the same result.

6. Cut, tape and check

So print the image out in the size your want. Printers often can’t print on the edges, because if the paper is in slightly angled it would print besides the paper, so there’s a white border around your image, with or without cutting lines (I could select that option). Cut along the lines, tape the image together and then tape it to the back of the plastic sheet or perspex or other transparant medium. As you can see on the pictures, my first edited image was still too detailed, so I went back to the drawing boar…eh computer.  The print on the foreground is the too detailed one, the middle one is the one I used and against the wall is the result. But we’re not at the result just yet in this how-I-did-it, so pretend you didn’t see it yet.

Daqadoodles12_11_05_17507 7. Paint

I used acryllic paint, metallic ones. I don’t think it’s permanent – I wanted to use some sort of glass paint first but to set that you have to bake it.  I don’t think it’s wise to put plastic in my oven. Plus, I’d need a huuuge oven to fit that plastic in it :P. Anyway, it dries up ok and doesn’t come off when you touch it. You could scratch it off I’m sure (though that might damage the plastic) and I think you could even just wash it off. So it’s perfect! Tired of the image? Wash and redo it!

In the end I didn’t use the white paint in the bottom image I think, maybe only to lighten some of the other colors, I can’t remember.

Daqadoodles12_11_05_14515

Comparing to the too detailed image, not bad huh?

Daqadoodles12_11_05_14514

And now a picture of the front and the back of the perspex:

Daqadoodles12_11_06_10261 Daqadoodles12_11_06_10232

7. Placing it

I  wanted to cut off the bottom of the perspex as it wasn’t used, and drill holes in it and hang it in front of the window. But while waiting for doing that, I just put it in front of my window allready. And guess what? It’s perfect that way! I don’t need to drill windows or cut off the bottom, it just has 40 cm of clear transparant perspex before the painting starts. It is standing straight against my window. The only downside is that my son is sliding it from left to right when we wave his dad goodbye on the days he doesn’t go to daycare. But oh well, imagine if it would be hanging, he’d be pulling at it and I’d be a lot more annoyed by that then I am by him sliding it left to right and back again!

Here you can see the shine of the copper color:

Daqadoodles12_11_05_17549

This mini-how I did it turned out a tiny bit bigger then I thought, but hopefully now it was somehow usefull! Have fun making your own window decoration!

Daqadoodles12_12_18_011012

Daqadoodles12_12_17_180818