Thursday, 25 June 2009

Summer Lanterns.

The summer solstice has just past here is the north, and I'm officially on holidays from danish classes for a month and a bit. What better way to celebrate both, than with the creation of some now traditional seasonal lanterns!!!

I was having a bit of trouble trying to decide on a design for these ones. I knew I wanted to have them have something to do with the sun and light in general, but I also wanted something a little different from the others I had done.

I sat down and started scribbling and came up with this design:

As usual, it is a watercolor painting on a fairly thick type of artists sketch paper. I find that the light that filters through from the candles is quite subtle and pretty when I make them this way, so I guess I'm sticking with it for now.

Right at the last minute, before attaching them to the glass jars, I had the idea of poking holes in the white 'suns' to let little pinpricks of light through. I'm so glad I did, cause now they kind of twinkle as the candle flickers.

After doing the intricate painting on the swirls, I was thinking if there could be an easier way to make them, and of course there is. Just make them in Photoshop and print them out. Unfortunately, we don't have a printer. That didn't stop me though, from throwing the design together in PS anyway. In the process, I came up with an alternative design, which I now think I like even more. With funky 'sunburst', go-faster type stripes and swirls that look more swirly and full of win.

With a little help from Block Posters, I created simple PDF files of the two designs I came up with, so that anyone that has the urge, can download them and print them out.

The first is the simple design:

And the second is the funky new 'sunburst' design:

Download the 'lantern w sunburst' file via MediaFire

If you would like to have the sparkly pin-pricks of light I have mentioned, all you need to do is get a nice thick needle, and poke it through the paper from the back to the front, in a little pattern on just the white parts. This way the little ripped edge of each hole will be facing outwards and you'll get a bit more light from the candle inside. Cut the design out and wrap it around your jar, securing it with a little non-toxic paper glue, and 'hey presto' a funky little summer lantern! You could even put some citronella tea-lights in there to keep the bugs at bay and use them on a outdoor table, for when your sitting, BBQ-ing, drinking and talking bollocks on warm summer nights.


Remember, your talking about fire here.

Fire is bad.

It burns and stuff.

Make sure that you use thick glass jars for the inside of the lanterns. I use some old coffe jars that are about 8cm wide and 12cm high and I only ever put a regular sized tea-light candle in there. I find that these don't get too warm, but even so, it is important to never EVER leave a burning candle unattended and to make sure that it is placed in a safe position so that you wont do something daft, like set fire to some curtains or something. Keep the lanterns out of reach of pets and children as well and you will hopefully get lots of joy from them.

Sunday, 21 June 2009


There is this guy called Ola Helland and his friend Jørgen doesn't believe that Ola can collect one million hand drawn pictures of giraffes by 2011.

It's a tall order I know, but I totally have faith that it can be done. So much so, that I submitted this picture of a giraffe to the cause just this very day:

Link to my OneMillionGiraffes submission:

If you too would like to help Ola prove Jørgen wrong, go to The One Million Giraffes Project and submit your giraffe now. Ola is counting on all of us to make this a reality.

We can make a difference.

(This post was bought to you by the awesomeness that is StumbleUpon and it's ability to keep me amused for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours...........)


Since the number of giraffes one can submit is unlimited, and since Ola is still well below his target, I decided to create another giraffe drawing. This one a little less... um...graceful looking :P

The Giraffe Bike on

More giraffes to come....possibly.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Craftster Challenge Entry: A Catalogue to Cherry Blossoms

You may remember me mentioning the Craftster Craft Challenge and the fact that I was going to make an entry. Well, here is the result and a little bit on how I made it:

I have always loved cherry blossoms, and as such, have always wanted to have some in my house or garden. Problem is, at the moment we live in a little appartment (so no garden) and we're on a tight budget right now (so no buying frivolous things like cherry blossoms either).

So when this catalogue arrived one day:

I decided to cherry blossom it up with a little bit of papier maché madness.

First I made the "Vase"

In the process of doing that I decided that I would not use any paint on this project, so all the colour would have to come straight from the catalogue itself. And so, while the glue dried on vase (helped along as you can see by some trusty rubber bands), I went through the catalogue and cut out hundreds of colour 'swatches' from the pictures of the clothes, the backgrounds and even the fonts they used.

Soon, the vase was looking like this:

Next came the branch. Here, I tightly rolled some big pages and stuck them together to make something vaguely natural looking. This bit wasnt that easy as the wet paper meant that the branches would naturally want to droop. I ended up having to work with it laying flat, thereby making it dificult to evenly wrap the paper around in some places. Soon though, I had this:

While the branch dried, I started on the flowers. Again these were made completely from using colour swatches from the catalogue.

Finally, using lots of pieces of black to colour the branches, and a few strips of a hot pink (which was a part of a truly hideous baby-doll dress that is apprently the hight of fashion according to the catalogue), I pulled the whole thing together to look like this:

And here it is in it's new home on the shelf in our living room:

And you know, it has (for now) satisfied my cherry blossom craving to a T.

My Craftster Craft Challenge #39 Entry. Vote if you can!