Monday, April 30, 2012

Make a Photo Card for Mothers Day

It's no secret that mother's day is coming up and that means that at the very least a card is in order.  In our extended families grandmothers and nanas also get a 'thinking of you' card.  So, why not help your children make a photo card for their grandparent.

  • Work with your children to find a favourite photo (black and white works well with this, but colour is ok too.)
  • Take a piece of origami paper, coloured to suit and and cut a rough circle out of the middle.  Don't make it too large or the photo you put behind it won't fill the space.  I made my circle free hand, and slightly off centre, but if you're not confident, then trace around a cup with a white pencil to make the shape first.
  • Slip the photo behind the circle and move it around until you get a nice fit, the carefully mark onto the photo where you need to trim it off.
  • Attach a flower to one corner of the origami square.  You can use any flower taken from wrapping paper or a magazine, or use a special scrapbooking embellishments or fabric flower.  I used a poppy cut out of the free Poppy Pearl printpaper package which goes out later this week with the subscription-newsletter.
  • Stick another full piece of origami paper on the back.
  • Write or stick a message of love on the back.

Voila, a pretty and perfect way to say we're thinking of you.  You can also use this idea for Valentines or as thank-you cards.  So go on... send some love.

PS - there's lots more ideas in our DIY printable stationary over on the website; be sure to have a look! x

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Making Play-Dough Gingerbread Cookies

It's no secret that when you mix coloured play-dough together and leave it long enough, it can turn a weird shade of multi-coloured brown... if you know what I mean.

It's rather tempting to throw this muck away, because let's face it, almost everything a toddler makes out of it, no matter how much they try to convince you it's a 'dog' a 'man' or a 'flower' simply looks to you like... poo.  If indeed you are ready to toss it, instead of binning, why not bake your play-dough, and make pretend gingerbread biscuits as a preschooler project.

  • Roll the play-dough into a flat pancake - you want it to be biscuit-thin.
  • Use biscuit / cookie cutters to shape the play-dough.
  • Optional - use a bamboo kebab skewer to poke holes for eyes or future fixing points.
  • Optional - gently push or draw shapes and patterns into the surface.
  • Lay your 'gingerbread' biscuits on baking paper, and an oven tray.
  • Bake your biscuits at a low temperature (ours were in the oven at 100*C for 20 minutes, then I turned them over, turned the oven off and left them in there for another 30 minutes while the oven cooled down.)
  • If the biscuits are not fully dry and hard when you bring them out (ours were pretty rigid, but felt soft in the center), leave them to air dry overnight.

Tea party anyone?

Of course, this project only works if your children are old enough to understand they're not edible... that said, my four and a half year old still seemed sad when they came out of the oven and was reminded they were for play only.  If you made your own (cookie-coloured!) play-dough I guess the worst that could happen is they'd ingest too much salt.

Things you could also try:

  • Making them out of new, fresh, clean coloured play-dough.
  • Adding pretty baubles and other embellishments before baking (although I am suspicious they may not last long as the end result is fairly brittle).
  • Tie them with ribbons and hang them as Christmas Tree decorations.
  • Roll doilies over the surface to add a pretty texture before baking.

Now go on - go get baking... he he.

Friday, April 27, 2012

DIY Cupcake Flowers Tutorial

It's no secret that it's getting cooler 'down here' in Australia... but warmer everywhere else!  So while I'm crafting Autumn Hats with my preschooler, I'm also thinking 'Spring' for the rest of you... and as I'm always playing around with cupcake liners, posting about how to use them for everything from snowflakescherry-blossoms, table-settings, mirrors, bunting, and happy clam party craft projects that you can make with them, I've come up with another, more complicated flower for you to try.

You'll need;

  • Coloured patty pans (bigger is best).
  • Scissors and glue.
  • Coloured sticky dots.

Here's what to do;

  1. Cut a coloured patty pan in half, and then quarters.
  2. Snip the round base of each quarter, up to where the ribbed side starts.
  3. Fold the cut ends over each other and glue in place (you'll end up with a shell shape).
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 with a second patty pan (you'll now have 8 'petal-shells').
  5. Leave all the petal-shells aside to dry completely.
  6. Slowly start to glue one petal-shell on top of the other (coloured side out), growing ever larger until you have used all 8 pieces (the photo shows the massed shape from underneath - don't worry if it looks uneven).
  7. Glue the flower onto an uncut patty pan.
  8. Add a coloured sticky dot to the centre.
You can make lots of flowers to make a garland, attach them to party hats, I even tried floating them in water... with mixed success.  They're a fast and affordable way to bring the great outdoors inside, and they won't wilt or fade... so go on; make your own bouquet today!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Flowers for Remembrance and Learning

It's no secret that yesterday was Anzac Day.  For those of you who live overseas, and are wondering what or who are the ANZACs, they are the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.  Anzac Day is commemorated on the 25th of April every year to mark the first military action they took in World War I, which was landing at Galipoli.

My daughters are too young to talk to about the machinations of war (something I don't understand myself), and their grandparents are not war veterans, but never the less, the day is an opportunity to remember my grandparents, their contributions in WWII and the sacrifices all our ancestors have made to date, and those which other friends and relatives still make here and overseas.

Red flowers, especially the Flanders poppy have come to be a part of ANZAC Day (originally used, 'Lest we Forget,' to Commemorate the Armistice of 11 November 1918).  It seems trite to put a how-to make a poppy craft project up on the blog the day after Anzac Day, however I do think that crafting can be a gentle, thoughtful way to introduce young children to history, so I will include 5 poppy crafts you can make with your children in the next monthly newsletter (subscribe here).  I'll also include a set of "Poppy Pearl" printpapers for you to experiment with.

And now... today is Little Lotti's first day in preschool, so, having worn my face out with proud smiles, I have a child-free few hours ahead of me; farewell, and remember to keep remembering. x

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Home Of Imaginary Friends

It's no secret that as the mother of two young girls, I have in fact got all sorts of characters living at my house.  There's plenty of ballet-dancing by day, imaginary Angel Babies in the car, mermaid pool-parties at bath time, and Love-teddies for bedtime.  Then there's the real bird, real fish, real tadpoles, and a garden fountain made of two spitting frogs (long story) the girls call Queen Bubbles and Princess Pop.  Lotti has a dress with a belt which she loves to wear and act the part of a dog while her big sister takes her for a walk holding the end of the belt (yes, it is as embarrassing as it sounds).  Mimi is frequently playing the part of a variety of roles which range from Good-Girl to Total-Terror... and the list goes on.

With all these characters coming and going, it's easy to forget what's real and get lost in a world of make believe.  It's tempting to lose patience with the imaginary friends, the muddy dog-knees, and the spitting frogs... but if you were to give that away then you'd miss out on the Snuggle-Bunny kisses and the beautiful ballerinas who make you so proud... sigh.  Families are complicated things, and I wouldn't change it for the world.... except maybe the 'walking the dog bit' that's getting old already...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Crafting at Parties

It's no secret that considering ideas for crafting at parties can seem daunting; all those sticky fingers mucking up your home.  It doesn't have to be an overwhelming situation though.  I recently had several children at my house, (aged between 3 and 12).  To keep them entertained I bought out the modelling clay.  To make it more interesting, I added googly eyes and a decorated play-mat, and gave them the instruction to 'make creatures'.

The elder children enjoyed making snails and monsters, and helping the younger children improve their slugs and snakes.  The great thing about the googly eyes is that anything they created, no matter how basic, seemed instantly more 'life-like' as the eyes wriggled and rolled about.

Here's my top 7 ways to make play-dough more interesting:

  1. Googly eyes - they're affordable and fun, (but not for the very young).
  2. Candles - what quicker way to convince your children they're making gorgeous cakes than to let them have some burnt-down candles to pop on top of their creations.  Rubber baking moulds could also come in handy if you're children are playing-kitchen.
  3. Play mat (if you don't have a purpose-designed one, then use a sheet of glossy wrapping paper, landscape pictures torn from a glossy magazine, laminated placemats, or print out my free downloadable kids art projects - especially the versions of Monet's waterlily-bridge, or Dali's surrealist landscapes) - the great thing about adding a backdrop, is that the things the children make have an instant place to play, and it is so much easier for them to fashion stories and adventures with their new handmade wonders. 
  4. Surprises - small treasures, including keys, buttons, small plastic toys... if you're having a themed party then try to find appropriate treasures to hide (such as gold coins and plastic gems for a pirate party).
  5. Glitter - even a small sprinkle adds sparkle.
  6. Fragrance - look for natural extracts like vanilla or orange, tea tree or eucalyptus oil.  Keep this trick for preschoolers rather than toddlers, as foody-smells can make the play-dough seem even more edible.
  7. String - use pieces of wool or yarn to add hair to the masterpieces they make, or use it to make a necklace after the children have made beads and air-dried them (or baked them slowly at low temperatures).

So there you go - play-dough doesn't have to be boring, and if you're up for the party-challenge; bring some out next time you have guests over and the weather turns bad.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Long Stitch in Time

It's no secret that long stitch can be quite relaxing.  Long (haha) before I had children, I made a tapestry of native Australian flowers.  I recently found it and took it out of its wrapping paper.  When I moved in with Happy-Husband I hid my long stitch tapestry.  I guess I didn't want him to think I was an old spinster sitting at home in front of the television after work crafting away... which of course I was... well except the old bit.

Upon unveiling it to the family (yes it's been in hiding that long), Happy-Hubby smiled politely (sometimes it's better not to ask them what they;re thinking), and the girls were rather intrigued.  We talked briefly about what the flowers were and how Mummy had made it.  Then they started to touch it, and I did a quick "defensive-crafter" maneuver and whipped it back into hiding, terrified that the hard work of all those long lonely nights would come unraveling in no time.

Dreams change, priorities too, but it's nice to touch a bit of personal history and remember when... perhaps in a couple more years my preschoolers are 'big' school kids, I'll be brave enough to pull the tapestry back out, and hand them their own needle and thread.  It's a nice thought.

Enjoy your weekends people, and keep dreaming. x

PS - For those of you who wondered what wattle looks like, when i posted the make your floral emblem post, the picture above won't help, because the glory of the plant has again been simplified into a number of yellow dots!  

Friday, April 20, 2012


It's no secret that tooting my own horn isn't really my thing... but... Babble has got their top 50 craft blogs for 2012 - and no, before you faint, this blog is not on The List... but... it is on the outsiders list - so I will love you forever if you can;

Pop across to their voting site,

Click on the alphabetical index,
Scroll down to P for Partycraft Secrets,
Hit "I like this"

Here's the site;

Who knows... (20)13 might just be my lucky year... he he!

PS - It would be ungracious of me not to point out that while you are there, there are plenty of other great sites there for you to look at and love (just don't "like" them if you know what I mean)! x

Teddy Bear Love

It's no secret that little girls love teddy bears.  When my first daughter was born, I was convinced that we were given too many of two things; swaddling wraps and teddy bears.  Turns out I was wrong - we still use them all.  The wraps come in handy for everything from making doll beds, mini-picnic blankets, lap rugs in the car on cool days, even helpful emergency-wee-wipers.  The teddy bears, whilst numerous, each have a name, and are adored, forgotten, and then adored again, in turn.

My daughter Mimi recently went to a party where each guest gets to make their own bear.  Having never gone to such a thing before, both she and I were intrigued about what would happen.  It was a great afternoon out.  The store staff had the whole caper down pat, and there was enough to do and see to keep normally restless 4 years olds happy and (mostly) still.

It was fascinating to see which teddys and costumes each girl picked, and even more intriguing to find out what they chose as the name for their new best friends.  Mimi selecting a pink ted was predictable but the canary-yellow princess dress was a surprise, as was the name she christened her toy with; "Love."

Strangely enough, as often happens, my daughter seems to be one-step ahead of me (I often think she's been here before), and the name of her princess-teddy has been a joy to share in.  Last night she banged her head, but a quick "Love-cuddle" made the pain go away.  Happy-Husband and I are often now smiling to ourselves as our family has chats about whether 'Love is in the car?' or if she goes missing for a moment, that 'Love will find a way' and so on...

For a small group of girls, building bears is a wonderful party option, and one that my daughter still talks about, with a keepsake that she, well, loves!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Shabby Chic Birthday Candle

It's no secret that birthday candles go on birthday cakes.  But do they have to?  Ever inspired by the Shabby Chic approach on life, why not take a vintage candle (I use the term lightly; my mother gave me this plum-scented candle when I was a young girl), and place the beautiful painted tin on a decorative saucer.  Now, light the candle and sing happy birthday.  Even if it's not your birthday, how nice is a scented candle...!

In my opinion it's ever so cute to put the right number of candles on a birthday cake... until the birthday cake is for someone older than about 16... then the cake stops being sweet and starts looking like a towering inferno.

So next time it's birthday time, give the fire-fighter in you a rest, and light one, beautiful, luxurious, tremendously scented candle, and then pop the lid back on and let it be a favourite keepsake from the day.

I hate sounding like a boring, nagger mum (even as I type this the teenager next door is squealing "ah-Mum"), BUT; never, ever leave a candle unattended (I really, truly mean this as a friend of mine melted her toilet cistern and set fire to her favourite towel after she went to get her pyjamas on after her bath!) and don't let little children touch candles either; because there's nothing chic about third degree burns.

Now then, enough parenthesis for one post; I'm off to see what I can invent with some fabric flowers and my nieces!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ballet Party Costume

It's no secret that we love ballet at our abode, an that includes the little dancing mousling who appears in books and on television.  It was at my toddlers' insistence, that when I made the ballet party planning, craft and activity ebook that I had to include a set of pink ears you print out and attach to a headband.

Turning up to a ballet party dressed as a mouse may be a little unorthodox, but who says a ballet party has to be all pink frou-frou?  When I blogged the parent submission of the ballet party a couple of months ago, there was indeed plenty of pink, but the birthday girl was dressed in a divine little rainbow skirt.

Besides... those funny paper ears are still rocking on, and it's still a favourite game to put red lipstick on their nose and eye-liner whiskers on their cheeks... seems simple things are often the best!

Go on - get your whiskers on and go your own way!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Personalised Paper Doll Tutorial

It's no secret that paper dolls are a beautiful thing; there are plenty available, and these days they come in magnetic, sticker and punch-out cardboard form as well as the traditional cut-the-tag version.

I was recently looking at a dolly-book for my 4 year old daughter, but remained unconvinced she'd enjoy the more mature Hollywood-glamour or vintage-charm, so I decided to make my own. Here's how you can make your own (click on the photo to see it enlarged);

What you'll need;

  • A digital photo of your preschooler, printed out in colour and as large as you can fit it on an A4 page (they should be standing in a way that their legs are slightly apart, and their arms away from their body, they should also be wearing shorts and a singlet, that will be concealed under the clothes that you make).
  • A variety of scrapbooking card.
  • Tracing paper.
  • A dark pencil (hard pencils drawn thin, light lines, you want one that is more like charcoal, such as a 2B - I'll post a link on facebook to explain further).
  • Scissors.

Here's how to do it;

  1. Lay a piece of tracing paper over the digital photo printout and trace a tshirt shape larger than the person's top underneath.  (And yes, in the pictures I used a pen, but I quickly learnt this was not the best way to go, and went over to the soft-pencil!)
  2. Turn the tracing paper over, so that it's pencil-side down, and lay it on the back of a patterned page of card.
  3. Re-trace the tshirt shape with a pen, this will transfer the graphite onto back of the card, and importantly, it will mean that the tshirt is the right way around.
  4. If the transferred graphic is light, draw over it with the pen, if it is dark enough to see clearly, leave it as is.
  5. Using the guide lines, cut the tshirt shape out and lay over the photo of the preschooler.  
  6. Repeat the process, drawing skirts, pants, dresses, and so on.

Getting your preschooler to choose which 'fabric' to make each garment is a great way to get them thinking about patterns, shapes, and colours.  Watching the infinite combinations of clothes they can dress themselves in is a joy; they're in charge, it's quick, easy, effortless to keep changing their look.  My daughter Mimi played for ages trying to figure out the best combinations of long and short, green and pink, dressing 'herself' up to get married, go to balls, school, a sleepover, and a day on the boat... her imagination was free, and the more clothes you make the more choices they have... which in the real world is never a great thing...

If you're children are anything like mine, getting dressed is a complicated process which involves watching them pull multiple laundered items out of drawers, sifting, sorting, trying on, then dumping clean in the corner on top of the pile of dirty laundry waiting to be transferred to the tub, leaving you have to play laundry-detective and sniff out the good from the bad... sigh... I promised my family I wouldn't air their dirty laundry on this blog... so back to the paper version...  Go on... grab some scissors and get your children dressed!

Monday, April 16, 2012

DIY Pom-Pom Circus Hat

It's no secret that I'm all for craft you can make with minimum materials, and minimum time and expense.  Here's probably the simplest craft project I've blogged to date; stick a pom-pom on the top of a party hat and hey presto; you have a perfect circus costume!

FYI - in case you're interested; the artwork in the background are mandalas that I made from coloured paper a looong time ago... I'll try to remember to blog the how to... one day!

In the meantime, it's school holidays here, and that means my preschoolers are running riot and I've got to go invent some more craft for them to do!

Take care - be creative - and send me the photos!

PS - the Circus party printpapers are always available on my site, and the ebook is nearing completion - yay!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cute Coffee and Terrific Tea

It's no secret that every now and then you feel as if crafters could change the world... it's a bold statement I know... but how many of you crafty people love up-cycling your empty coffee jars into memory jars or other treasured items?  And now... lo and behold; a coffee manufacturer who recognises your love of crafty jars, and saves you some of the trouble by printing a set of limited edition jars with a variety of prints.  Not only that; they do what you always suspected they could if they wanted to; they only loosely apply the branded label so you can tear it straight off - hooray!

Now; taste is a funny thing, so I can't say with certainty whether everyone will like the new look - I suspect that's part of the motivation behind its limited release... and perhaps it takes some of the fun out of decorating your own jar... but why not give coffee as a present!  Instead of waiting for the jar to be empty, decorate it as is; remove the label, decorate with a ribbon, charms, beads, stickers or other embellishments and then give it to someone in need of a pick me up.

You can also stamp a small organza bag, and pop in a single tea bag as a low-caffeine alternative.

So next time you go to buy flashy tea and coffee for presents, don't; make your own great gifts, use them as functional table-settings, keepsakes, or thank you presents for preschool teachers!  Ahhh... I need a coffee and some cheap post-Easter-eggs.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend people, and keep crafting!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Simplest Space Party Craft Ever

It's no secret that there is a rise in making craft at parties, and for good reason; not all parties have the luxury of limitless space for everyone to run around in; many parties are small affairs where the hosts are hoping for some sedate entertainment; not all children like clowns; and plenty of other valid reasons.  Personally, naturally, I love crafting at parties.  I think children love to make things, and there's no better take home treat than something they made themselves.  Sure, a lollipop the size of your head must seem like the dream keepsake, but once it's licked it's gone.

One of the fastest and most affordable crafting tricks is stickers.  I've blogged about them before, (most recently with the suggestion to stick stickers on balloons), and here's another sticker-craft perfect for any party, but especially one with a theme such as Hollywood, Twilight, or Space, or even a slumber party;

  • Buy sheets of black origami paper, or cut up a piece of black cardboard into sheets about A5 size.  
  • Put out a pile of stickers (stars of course, planet-dots, sticky-gems and pearls, even ring-binder hole surrounds work well for this craft).
  • Leave them to it.

You can also use liquid paper pens, glitter glue, or pale-coloured crayons to add tails to comets and extra sparkle-arkle to their Milky Ways.  If you're feeling generous, you can hand out dollar-store frames for everyone to frame their artwork (but be sure to cut the black paper to suit the frame size before the party, not after the craft project!)

Stickers are a fun way for even the youngest party-guest to get involved in the craft experience, it's affordable for you, easy to clean up post-party, and a pleasure to watch as everyone sticks stickers in their own way.  So go on... whatever party you're having, why not consider some sticker craft.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Make Your Own Chopstick Hairpiece

It's no secret that I love getting ideas from other people, which is why today, while I was going through my Easter emails and blog comments I was thrilled to see a simple but clever idea on my decorated chopsticks post; use them as a hair decoration!

I instantly ran to get my hand-painted chopsticks, snapped them in half and popped them in my hair - yay... they're still in my bun... and yes... it is really hard to get a good photograph of the back of your own head!

Note - you do have to be gentle when pulling the two chopsticks apart, as thick house paint can be sort of stretchy, and you want the break to be as neat as possible.  Of course, if your chopsticks were separate to begin with you won't have this issue.  Strangely, I like the 'worn' look of the broken paint job... it makes the chopsticks appear almost vintage... ok perhaps that's a stretch, but you'll just have to believe me; they look good.

Thanks to everyone who wrote to me while I was away, commented, emailed, thanked me for your newsletters and so on; I'm working my way through all your messages, and hope to get back to each of you shortly.  Lastly; thanks to Ode To Inspiration, one of my favourite blogs, for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award - yay - I love it when you love me - tee hee! x

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Easter from Partycraft Secrets

It's no secret tomorrow is Easter Friday, and that generally means a day off work and school, and time to spend with the family contemplating the things that matter most to you.  Happy-Husband's got time off work, and the preschool closes for the next 2 weeks, so I'm going off-line for a week too.

See you next Thursday for more quick n' classy craft projects and a new competition (I'm still trying to find the best software to handle the details for me) where the winner can help me design a new set of printpapers for a  party theme of their choice.  Until then; drive safely, eat well, craft with your kids, and be sure to laugh a lot... preferably not all at the same time!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DIY Seasonal Hat Decoration

It's no secret that one of my favourite craft ingredients is anything from Mother Nature, and that my second favourite craft ingredient is 'spontaneity'.  On our walk home this morning from dropping Mimi off at preschool, Little Lotti and I took our time and had a good look at all the things we could find on the footpath.  It's Autumn in Australia so there were plenty of leaves, in various colours, the usual weedy-flowers (which are nothing but beautiful to a toddler), seed pods and so on.  It was a long walk, and we came home laden with plenty of 'treasures'.

Inspired by the colours of the leaves and the same Autumnal shades of Lotti's hat, we decided to make a decoration for her head-ware.

We held the leaves and flowers together with a tiny bulldog clip, then we pinned this to the hat with a safety pin, and hid both bits of metal with a floral hair-clip.

She wore the hat proudly all morning, and only ditched it when it was time to come in for milk and a snack.  In her typical quirky-way, she decided that rather than hang up her hat, she would deconstruct it, and return the natural parts back to nature, and the other items back to Mum's desk... thank goodness I was quick to take a few photos... it reminds me of one of the few favourite poems I can recite from memory; "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost...  ahhh... the impermanence of youth, nature, and craft...  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Sicker Fun

It's no secret that there's a lot of fun to be had crafting with stickers.  Little children can't get up to too much mischief, and it's pretty easy to clean up after craft-time... much easier than playdoh... but don't get me started on that horror of horrors!

I made a template Easter egg printout (you can get your copy with the April newsletter which goes out tomorrow - simply subscribe for your copy.)  The girls and I cut the 2 eggs out, and then made Easter cards for family.

Here's how (and as always, you can click on the image to make it larger);

  • Use the free template (or cut an oval out of chocolate-brown paper).
  • Fold an A4 sheet of green card in half to make a card shape.
  • Fold a piece of green A4 in half and half again, then rip or cut the corner quarter out.
  • Rip or cut that piece in half to make two long strips.
  • Roughly snip along the full length of the strip, being careful not to cut the strip in half.
  • Use a pen to curl the thin strips to make 'grass'.
  • Stick the egg on the cover of the card, and then the grass on top.
  • Use stickers to decorate the cards.

We used a few of the leftover stickers to decorate balloons (chocolate brown ones would have been great - but do they exist???) for a Giant Easter Egg Game we played in the lounge room (the game involved broody chickens and an angry-rabbit... I'll leave the rest to your imagination.)

So go on - pop out to your local discount store, pick up a bunch of happy stickers, and start decorating your way through the Easter break!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Make a Picture from Pictures

It's no secret that children today know as much, if not more, about technology than their parents.  We recently had a friend over who did her best not to laugh out loud when Lotti, nearly 3, wandered in and asked "where's Dad's work-ipad" and then her sister called out it's location and added; "don't dribble on it or Dad will freak out!"  What a world it is where a child whose still young enough to love her dummy-pacifier is also old enough to operate an ipad!

Which brings me to another post on kids with digital cameras.  If your children enjoy taking happy snaps on the family camera, they might also be old enough to start experimenting with software such as picasa and enjoy making a picture from pictures.  I talk about picasa a fair bit, I know, but I have it and it works a treat for plenty of basic fun.  Take the collage in the corner.  It's literally one photo of pegs in an empty laundry basket, cropped to a square, and then rotated around to make a new intergalactic pattern using the collage tool!

And that's it.  Being crafty can be quick.  I love a 15-minute challenge, and something like this easily fits the timeframe for a bit of fast, fun experimentation with the family.  There are plenty of other ways you can collage; I've used examples of the photo pile in a previous post, and the multiple gridded images I use (such as yesterday's post) all come from the same software.

Once you have a collage (or two+), print them out for cards, homework, frame a favourite one for their bedroom wall, or make several and temporary-tac them to a wall and hold a mini exhibition for family and friends; kid-canapes optional!
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