I really love this art activity and I hope you will give it a try! You'll be using pigment inks (which have an oily texture) on glossy paper, so they take longer to dry. It's a bit like oil painting where you get a chance to blend and build up colors. Precision Q-tips are the perfect brush tool too! I chose to paint seasonal fall leaves, but of course this technique can work with any design.
To get started, go on a walk and collect some fresh autumn leaves. At home, look closely at the beautiful colors and notice they are all unique and perfectly imperfect! Turn the leaves over and trace the veins with your finger and observe the different vein patterns among the leaves. After this close-up observation you are ready to start painting.
If you are in short supply of fall leaves in your area I have scanned some from my yard for you to use!
Click here for a PDF download of beautiful autumn leaves.
Fall Leaf Ink Painting Video Tutorial
If you enjoy the video please "like" it! Thank you so much!
pigment ink pads in fall colors - the brand I used is Color Box
permanent black marker like Sharpie or Pitt
Directions: 1. Trace a leaf (or draw your own) with the permanent marker on the glossy paper. Draw in the vein details. Let dry - it shouldn't take too long.
2. Choose a light color ink to begin with. Roll your Q-tip in the ink and start coloring your leaf. If your leaf is big enough, you can dab the whole ink pad on your drawing to get started.
3. Choose your next color of ink and a clean Q-tip, then add the second layer. Continue adding colors and blending until you are happy with the results. Add texture by rolling and pouncing your Q-tip. To remove color just use a clean Q-tip to wipe it off. Let dry.
These make beautiful garlands, greeting cards, place cards, and decorations for journals and scrapbooks.
This is a sponsored post. Q-tips® product was provided by Unilever, the makers of Q-tips®; my tips and usage suggestions are my own.
Show Me a Story
is a new book by Emily K. Neuburger featuring 40 different ideas for children to use their imagination and develop their storytelling skills! You may recognize Emily from her blog, Red Bird Crafts. I featured her story stones back in 2009 and I'm so happy to see her expand this storytelling theme into a whole book!
Emily is a crafter and teacher and combines elements of both into her book. Emily's crafting sense makes these projects easy to do, accessible, and fun. Components like group activities, storytelling prompts, and writing exercises make this book perfect for educational settings.
Many projects caught my attention, such as the Story Map where you make a map of an imaginary land and create stories about the residents and the Storytelling Walk where you visually collect items from a walk and then draw and paint the items to tell their story. One of my favorites was the Story Blocks and I am sharing that with you today!
Following the excerpt you can read the giveaway details - two winners will receive their own copy of Show Me a Story!
Story Blocks Excerpted from Show Me a Story (c) Emily K. Neuburger. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.
Photograph (c) Buff Strickland
Turn plain wooden blocks into movable storytelling prompts. Line up the blocks in a certain order and use them to tell a story. Take turns, and the next person can rearrange the blocks and tell a different story. It’s a natural way to develop a story — just line ’em up and begin.
There is something very satisfying about the heft of these blocks. When your children add new characters to their stories, they feel the weight of the characters in their hands as they place them in the storytelling lineup. These blocks give children a chance to use their bodies and their brains. Educators and therapists who work with young children will appreciate this balanced combination of gross-motor and cognitive skills.
Time: To make: 2 hands-on hours
Ages: To make: 5+, To use: 3+
wooden blocks, used or new
acrylic paint and brushes
pictures from catalogs, magazines, maps, personal drawings
colored pencils or pens (optional)
How to Make
1. Depending on the finish on the blocks, you may need to rough them up with a bit of sandpaper. Select pleasing, inviting colors for the blocks. You can paint them in a variety of colors, all the same color, or different shades of one color, as you wish. Paint three sides of the blocks, and stand them up on the unpainted side to dry.
2. Once they’re dry, paint the unpainted side and set aside to dry. Repeat this process until all the blocks are well coated in paint. Do you want to leave the blocks in their natural state? Go for it! Or use a stain rather than opaque paint, so that the wood grain shows through. The more the blocks are tailored to your individual taste, the better.
3. Sort through images and choose ones that seem interesting, creative, funny, or just darn cute. You can use drawn images as well.
4. Given that the blocks are most likely of different sizes and shapes, take care to match each one individually with a picture. Choose a block and then look through the magazines for an image that would fit on it nicely. Use the pencil and a block to lightly trace an outline around the image, but cut out the image a bit smaller than the outline. Don’t fret about imperfection while you cut: a little bit of uneven cutting will add character and life to your Story Blocks.
5. With a foam brush, coat the front of a block with a thin layer of Mod Podge and firmly press the picture onto it. Carefully press out any air bubbles and wrinkles, then coat with another layer of Mod Podge. Set on a cloth to dry. Once the blocks are dry, you may need to give them all another coat of Mod Podge to ensure their longevity.
Teaching Tip: During creative writing lessons, teachers can put the blocks on display and encourage students to choose some for their writing tables. Greg Nesbit Photography
Other Neat Ideas: Set a few Story Blocks on a windowsill, dresser, or shelf for a bit of story art, and change them from time to time to keep things interesting. With little ones, encourage creative building, rearranging, and stacking. Add a few Story Blocks with words to your child’s collection. This will add depth to the storytelling possibilities.
Now for the giveaway!
To enter this giveaway for a copy of Show Me A Story, please leave a comment on this post by midnight P.S.T on Saturday, September 29th. The two winners will be announced here on Monday, October 1st.
If you are reading this on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or in your email you will need to visit this post on The Crafty Crow blog to enter your comment for eligibility. Winners will be chosen using the Random Number Generator. This giveaway is available in the USA only.
*Comments are moderated to prevent spam so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately.
For another chance to win a copy of Show Me A Story just visit the publisher's blog and enter your comment there! You'll also find a list of all the other blogs offering a giveaway :)
Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book for review but all opinons are my own. This post includes affiliate links.
Guest posting today is Annie, the creator of Alphabet Glue! Learn how to make comic books, or graphic novels, with this excerpt from Volume Eight!
DIY Comic Books from Alphabet Glue
Ever since discovering a love for her father’s childhood collection
of Calvin and Hobbes books last winter, my little girl has been all
about the comics. From Garfield to Peanuts, she seems to find endless
enjoyment in reading and rereading the humorous misadventures of her favorite cartoon characters. So what better activity for a slow summer
afternoon (or a rainy early fall one, really) than sketching up a
homemade comic of her very own? After some amount of debate about the
details, we decided that making these draw-your-own comic books feel
authentic meant that they should have boldly printed panels to contain
the action and that the binding should be no fancier than plain old
staples. The plus side of my daughter’s insistence on keeping it real
is that this is one bookmaking project that is super easy and almost
entirely focused on content.
Download the PDF (below) to find instructions for putting together the simplest of
books to house one-of-a-kind comic panels drawn by you and yours. And,
just for fun and the sake of simplicity, you’ll also find pages
outfitted with comic panel templates that can be easily printed if the
idea is just to get busy drawing and not to fuss with things like rulers
and making straight lines. So grab a pencil and let’s get going!