Sand Art

From time immemorial, it has always been the delight of kids to play with sand. From tasting some sand, to drawing figures on the sand and building sand castles, kids have always had a thing for sand. Even though they may outgrow this stage with time, they joyfully remember it deep down.

The good thing is that you can make this sand play more creative and exciting for your kids. The process of making art form from sand is known as Sand Art. As much as it is fun for your kids, it is also packed-full with many other benefits such as:

· Promoting physical development

· Developing motor skills like holding and gripping

· Building hand-eye coordination

· Creating fun experiences and memories

· Increasing independence

· Unleashing creativity

Below are some ideas that would make sand play more exciting and creative for your kids! It’s time to get those hands dirty!

1. Sand Painting

When you combine two things that kids love, you get to create some explosive fun! Sand painting will allow you combine both color and sand play.

· Get your play sand.

This is different from the builder’s sand. Play sand is less course, much finer and safer for children to play with.

· Paint the play sand

Mix the sand with little edicol vegetable dye. Let your kids use their hands to stir the color through the sand. This can be messy but who cares? – it’s part of the fun! Edicol makes bright colors and can wash out of cloth easily. So let them get their clothes dirty too.

It’s advised to use edicol vegetable dye instead of tempera paint dye because the latter doesn’t mix well with sand.

2. Sand Drawing

Here is another Sand Art to explore! In this art, we are more concerned about the process than the outcome. So don’t forget to take some snapshots! Here’s how to go about sand drawing.

· Get your kids to draw what they like on the sand.

· Fill a sensory tube to a certain depth with sand.

· Now trace-draw what they have drawn on the sand with the content of the tube!

· Alternatively, instead of drawing with their fingers, your kids can just make use of squeeze bottles right away! All they have to do is pour sand in the squeeze bottle and squeeze the sand into the sensory tube making different patterns.

There are a whole lot of things you and your kids can do with these sensory tubes. Break down the barriers and explore!


I’m pretty sure you would want your kids to try this out. It’s amazing what great things our natural environment can offer kids!

Digital Scrapbooking and Business Values

Today on the blog we’re going to take a bit of a different approach, and talk about the values that businesses are built on. But wait! Don’t skip out yet. I’m going to talk about it via looking at a business in the arts and crafts world, specifically the folks over at So it’s still very much applicable to this blog and what we’re all about.

The thing is, the values that businesses are built on and how they do business matters. And we need to actually care about it.

Corruption surrounding money has been a thing for pretty much as long as humans have been around. It’s old news, and it likely will run on indefinitely. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t make a difference by caring, by holding businesses accountable that are doing things immorally (or, at least not taking our business to them), and by supporting businesses that are doing things ethically.

And it’s not even always simply about doing things “ethically” or “the better way,” sometimes it’s just about businesses being built on values that are really fucking cool. is one of those. Started by a wife and husband duo, it started out as just a little hobby site that the husband, Jordan, threw up for his wife Marisa while they lived in Korea to help with her love for crafting and the limitations that had been placed on her ability to paper scrapbook. (By the by – this couple seems like one of those crazy, cool, internationally-roaming type couples. It seems tough to know where they’ll be at any given moment).

A couple years later they relaunched the site as, the site that you’ll find today. Though of course it’s come a long way (the site is around eight years old at this point. Aesthetically it could definitely use some upgrades, and unfortunately that’s probably the first thing that hits you, but when you take a step back and think about it, this site is pretty dang impressive.

It was basically built by one dude, Jordan. And it’s not a simple wordpress site. This is a site with an incredible amount of custom functionality, if you really think about all the kits and bundles and working with subscriptions and all the rest. A few years ago they brought on another (I think part time?) tech guy (Jordan’s brother) to help out, and we’ve seen some nifty features roll out since then. But basically, you’re talking about a very customized website built mostly by one man.

But I get derailed. gives every registered user 5 free downloads. A day. We’re talking about premium, professional level graphics. And that’s not even talking about a couple of free kits that they gift you in a variety of ways when you first sign-up.

And if you want more, they have incredible subscriptions that give you unlimited downloads of not only their great collection of individual graphics, but also of packaged kits and bundles as well. All for a price that is a little crazy (especially considering that they have a commercial use license that is very flexible and easy to work with).

Why am I saying all this? I’m not trying to sell to you. I want to illustrate – one of the biggest values that was built on was generosity. You can read all about it in their manifesto, which is really the guiding document I want to point all my readers towards.

They actually believe in creativity and its power. They didn’t create a business in the digital scrapbooking world because that’s where the money was (for those of you who don’t know, it’s pretty niche). It’s because they want to foster creativity and the richness and value that creativity adds to the lives of others (and you can tell that the founder, Marisa, loves it of course).

The generosity and creativity foster each other — by giving away so many graphics for free (or for such a reasonable subscription price), they make creativity more accessible for others. Creativity, by its very nature, fosters generosity — you’re giving time and energy towards something that will go out in the world and be its own new thing.

These are just two of the values that was built on. Again, I recommend that you go and read through the whole manifesto, it’s seriously one of the best manifestos I think I’ve ever read, much less belonging to a business. It will inspire you what these guys are trying to do. And admittedly I haven’t spent a ton of time on the site, but even hanging out and taking a look at the forums for just a little while, you can tell that at least with a number of their members, what they’re trying to do in fostering creativity, generosity, and an atmosphere of care seems to be working.

How to Apply Gold Leaf in Four Steps

The gold leaf has been used since ancient times for decoration and art, as the last result is very engaging and distinguished. 

It has been used to embellish sculptures, religious icons, altarpieces, or even furniture, architectural surfaces, and mirror frames.

Types of gold leaf

Fine gold

It is obtained by hammering the gold plates. Therefore, it is not only very precious but also delicate. It is usually handled with a special gilding knife and sable hair brushes. 

Fake gold

It is described as “decorative gold”, very similar to fine gold, and considered the cheaper alternative to it, thicker, and easier to handle.

Silver or copper leaf

If you want to gild in other colors, you can turn to them. They are the cheaper choice for any artist.

Transferable gold leaf

It is known as  ‘gold leaf transfer’, can be found in its golden version and silver and copper tones. This adhesive material is slightly glued to a conveyor sheet, which greatly facilitates its handling. 


The materials can be found in any store specialized in crafts:

Gold leaf booklet

Steel wool


Turpentine essence, this is pure turpentine

Medium brush, neither very good nor very bad

Pot of water paint

Mixtion water bottle

Talcum powder pot

Round brush, it does not need to be natural but with soft hair


Cotton rags

Soft bristle shoe brush

How to apply?

It is advisable always to start with small objects, such as a frame, a turned lamp base, or a box, it must be cleaned very well, with the essence of turpentine and steel wool. Pass sandpaper to leave the surface smooth.

It is recommended to cover the piece with English red acrylic paint since this tone will highlight the shine of the gold leaf.

1. Apply varnish

Providing a coat of varnish on the surface is a very important step. Once applied, you have to wait until the varnish dry but still sticky to the touch to be ready for applying the gold sheets.

2. Paste the gold leaf

Handle the gold leaf carefully and put it on the surface. Then, stick it adequately with a brush. Sometimes it is complicated to cover the entire surface. Small imperfections bring an attractive old touch to your work.

3. Clean with the brush

Review the surface with a dry brush very gently to remove the remains of the gold leaf.

4. Use shellac

The shellac is used to fix the gold leaf well and prevent it from falling off over time. So, it is a useful step to add a coat of shellac.

Some advice

  1. To manipulate the sheets well, cut them into smaller and easier to handle squares before removing them from the paper that protects them.
  1. If you fill your hands with talcum powder you will facilitate placement of gold leaf, preventing their sticking to your fingers.
  1. Keep away from airflows during work or you will see how they fly simply.

Malevich and objects

Overalls, trams, pillows and, perhaps, the famous facet glass. The invincible singer of insignificance Malevich had a hand in designing completely mundane and tangible things.

Sketches for Artel Verbovka

Artel “Employment” (founded in 1900 in the village of the eponymous Ukrainian woman Natalya Davydova) was known for embroidery. Craft trades have been successful not only among the Kiev intelligentsia. One of the peasants, who work Davydova embroiderers, even had a gold medal, awarded to her at the International Exhibition in London. Initially, national motives prevailed in recruitment decorations. But in 1915 Davydova and Recruiting artistic director Alexander Exter met in Moscow with Malevich. In the same year at the exhibition “Modern Decorative Art in the South of Russia”, three works were presented, according to his design. At the next exhibition in 1917, there were already about 400 supremacists bindings: pillows, tablecloths, fans, screens, towels, bags and pillows – all of which were “inspired by Malevich.” Perhaps, had it not been for revolution, suprematism would have become the main fashion trend of the time.

Knight graffiti

In 1919, Kazimir Malevich went to Vilnius to teach at the School of Folk Art (led by Marc Chagall). Here he founded UNOVIS – the Society of New Art Installers. The tradition of decorating the city for the holidays existed in the school before Malevich. But in the early 1920s, every triumph in Vilnius took on a distinctly suprematist character. Ruddy, an enterprising, ubiquitous Unovis member, armed with paints and brushes, walked the streets. To Malevich’s contemporaries, what was happening in Vilnius did not seem so marvelous.

However, from the 21st century, the picture seems completely surreal. The facades, the city transportation, the grandstands, from which Soviet leaders and agitators are broadcast – all are reminiscent of either the trendy New York gallery or the textbook example of a modern billionaire’s housing. Sergei Eisenstein, who visited Vilnius in the 20th century, wrote: “Here the main streets are covered with white paint on red bricks. And the green circles scattered over the white background. Orange squares. Blue rectangles. This is the Vilnius of 1920. The brush of Kazimir Malevich walked through the brick walls. “Eisenstein’s words are also confirmed by the newspaper” Artist’s Day “:” On the street, in the middle of life, at the Polotsk market, Freedom Square is a sorabisny car, agittramvaj or agitpovozka, and amazed people listen to serious music, songs about black and red squares … ” .

Image, made by sketch of Malevich, 2014. Vilnius, a house at the intersection of Lenin and Justice streets. Photo source:


Experimenting with color, Malevich went far beyond the canvas. Paola Volkova, a well-known artist, described, for example, a typist sitting in a space bounded by walls of a certain color. And a study of how this or that color affected their work, mood, health. Malevich predicted (Elena Petrovna would cough in 20 minutes, Olga Karlovna would print twice as fast, etc.) and test them with practice. During these experiments he came to interesting conclusions. He learned, for example, that white color heightened the sensation of pain, and sought a familiar turquoise surgical dress. He then came up with the idea of an orange vest – workwear, which today unmistakably identifies road workers.

Basket Weaving

Ever since time immemorial, basket weaving has been embedded with fine embroidery art. In the early decades, basket weaving was essential, where women weaved baskets to carry around goods as a necessity. Before the industrial revolution, basket weaving was more of a necessity as it is a form of art in today’s world. Baskets were used in the day to day activities of people, from barnyard life, to hunting and gathering practices not to mention storage of food and nuts over a long period of time. In the ancient days, basket weaving depended on the end use. There were some baskets that were actually woven so tightly in order to store honey and liquids.  

Before we go any further, we need to define basket weaving. This is the act of using natural fibers and plant materials to create baskets. The type of natural plants and fibers that were used in the making of these baskets solely depended on the need for the basket as well as the people’s culture and environment.  For instance, a basket that will be used to carry a baby will be different to that one used in the barnyard to collect eggs.

In regards to environment, people who lived near the sea would create baskets ideal for their fishing expeditions and from fibers that would be water friendly. Most baskets were not disposed off once used but were rather adaptable and flexible. This simply meant that once a basket designed to carry a baby is out of use, it could be used in the kitchen to carry and store fruit.

Where does art come in? A new basket was woven for two reasons, the end use and latest embroidery. The craft of weaving different patterns into the basket was passed from one generation to the other. It also differed vastly from one culture to the other and sometimes after intermarriage the different woven techniques would be merged. The baskets were very ideal and essential in barter trade, the prettier and stronger it looked, the greater the value.

The weavers were quiet creative and would use different fibers from different plants to create marvelous patterns on the baskets. The use of animal hair hides, skin, grass and wood were just but a few of the pieces embedded in these baskets.

As people evolved, the need of basket weaving dissolved into artistic and not necessarily for day to day activities as it was used in the ancient days. Art in basket weaving has now taken up a more artistic turn; artists are weaving baskets more out of creativity than need.

Ways to jazz up your old converse shoes

You may have very old, plain or faded converse shoes that you want to get rid of, don’t. You can use a few simple tricks to spruce up the look of your converse shoes and make them look designer and brand new in a few minutes.


Begin by taping the edges of the converse.

Mix silver glitter and Mod Podge in a small plastic cup or container.

Stir the mixture with a paintbrush. Make sure the mixture is thick but not pasty. Apply a layer of the mixture on the converse shoes. Allow the shoe to dry for 15 minutes. Apply another layer on the white spaces that may be visible. Allow it to dry.

Remove the tape. Your shoes will glitter in the sunlight. They will also compliment whichever outfit you choose to wear, whether casual or sophisticated and classy.


If you can’t go a day without wearing converse shoes and you want to brighten a plain pair, buy some studs and glue them on. Buy about 40 studs per shoe and E6000 glue. Choose the colour of studs you want. Find a well ventilated room or go outdoors for this work. Glue the studs on your shoes, working from the bottom to the top. Allow the shoes to dry for 24 hours.

Add colourful buttons.

Find very colourful buttons and sew them in a random manner through the fabric of your converse shoes.

Paint your plain converse shoes

Paint your converse shoes to brighten and liven them. The converse shoes can be coloured with markers, paints or fabric dyes.

To use paint, first take out the shoe laces and cover the rubber parts of your converse with masking tape.

Sketch the design you desire on the converse with a pencil. You can choose to do simpler designs like flowers, stripes or stars.

Fill the design with paint primer if you want to use acrylic paint. The primer will make the colours more visible and long lasting.

Colour in the design.

Wait for the paint to dry then do the outlines of the design with a thin brush.

Spray the shoe with a waterproofing spray

Remove the masking tape and you have very colourful and vibrant shoes.

Replace shoe laces with cute ribbons.

Use big colourful or fancy ribbons on black converse shoes and you have yourself a new look.

Write lyrics and logos of your favourite bands and musicians

Use black permanent markers to write lyrics of your favourite songs on the surface of your sneakers. You can use different fonts and colours to brighten them up.

Embroider the shoes

Stitch your favourite patterns and shapes that you want. You will need pearl cotton thread, a chenille needle and a pair of needle noise pliers so you don’t hurt your fingertips in the process.

You can always customise your converse to make them look exactly the way you want them to. Use glitter, embroidery and gemstones to bring out your fashion preferences through unique DIY designs.

Four steps to make cute bead bracelets.

Making cute bead bracelets is an interesting process because you get to choose the types of beads you want, how the bracelets look like and the number of bracelets you want. Elastic bracelets are versatile, they have been in the market for long and they are not going out of fashion any time soon.

Making bracelets is a thrilling activity for those who like to accessorise with simple jewels.

Make sure you have all the right beads and charms before you begin making your own jewellery. They should be the quality and quantity you desire.

Other raw materials include: elastic cording, charms, scissors and glue.

Choosing an Elastic cord

Choose a cord that’s made of elastic and supposed to be used for jewellery making which will complement the type of beads you will use. Clear elastic cords may be ideal in most cases but will be noticeable when using dark coloured beads.

Most used chords for jewellery are .7mm and 1mm but this largely depends on the size of holes in the beads as well as the weight of the beads.

Cutting the cord to wrist size

Using your wrist as a guide, cut the cord so that you end up with a piece that’s somewhere around the length of the bracelet with at at least 3 inches extra on either side. You’ll want to stretch  your cord before you begin stringing. This will enable the bracelet to stay the proper size and not stretch some more to leave gaps.

After you finish stretching the cord, tie one end into a knot. Secure the knot with glue and let it dry completely.

Stringing the beads

Begin stringing the beads one by one. The bigger the beads, the less you’ll need to make a bracelet. About halfway through, you can add a charm. You can add more according to your preference. Finish adding the beads.

Securing the end

Secure the end by tying it into a double or triple knot. Add a little bit of glue and allow it to dry. Trim the extra-long elastic cords. Covering the knot not only makes the whole thing look cleaner, it also will help prevent the knot itself from wearing by the rubbing that maybe happen from being between beads.

It’s advisable not to stretch your bracelet whenever you put it on. This will reduce its durability. Roll it gently over your hand. Keep the bracelet away from salt water, soap and skin products as this reduces the quality of the elastic cord.

You can make some bead bracelets for your friends or family members or sell them and earn a little extra income. Bead bracelets are here to stay.

How to paint a beautiful picture

Some of the most gifted painters in history created vibrant pieces with the strokes of their brushes, pieces which have stood the test of time and remain priceless in this modern day and age.

Painting a beautiful picture can seem a bit difficult for beginners who have never stood in front of a canvas before, but it’s not. However, simple steps need to be followed to ensure painting is enjoyable and flows smoothly.

Type of paint to use

There are two major types of paints that are used on canvas, acrylic and oil paints. Acrylic paints dry fast and you can do many layers or apply crisp lines. Acrylic paints have no smell, they come off the brush after washing with water and they appear darker when they dry on the canvas.

Oil paints take longer to dry and allow a longer working time. They easily blend and allow a smooth transition. Oil paints smell because of the turpentine used to thin the colours. The colour of the oil paint remains the same when it dries.

Types of brushes to use

The types of brushes to use depend on the type of paint you’ve chosen. For acrylic paint use synthetic brushes. For Oil paint, use natural fibre brushes because the bristles are harder and make distinct marks on canvas.

Big brushes are used for a wide area and a loose painting style while small brushes are used for small areas and to put details into the painting.

Prepare your canvas.

Choose a pre-stretched canvas, meaning it has been stretched on a wooden frame.

Get a palette

This is the surface where you will be mixing your paint colours. You can use a flat plastic object as your palette.


Fill two tins with water. Use one to rinse your brushes as you transition from colour to colour and the other to dilute the paint or moisten the brushes during the painting process.

Use a cloth rag to clean your hands.

Position and Lighting

Position your painting opposite you in order to look at it proportionately and clearly. If you want the canvas to slant a little bit you can use a stand-up easel. The source of light should be higher than the canvas. It should not come from behind as this may cast shadows on your painting.

What to paint.

Start with a simple picture that has few shades of colours or does not have intricate details. You can begin with a big simple colourful fish.

Make some sketches

Make some sketches before you start painting. The sketches will be used as reference and for layout. They will prevent mistakes which will be difficult to correct when you are halfway through.

Apply a background colour to the canvas.

A plain white canvas is not conducive when you want to paint a foggy day. A grey tone is better.

Paint the focal point first

Paint a rough shape of the focal point of your painting. Move to an object adjacent your focal point and paint a rough shape of that as well.

Shadows and highlights will be added at a later stage.

Add shadows

After you have painted the focal points, add the smaller shapes and details. Begin with light values and move on to dark values. Add shadows at this point. Add the highlights with your end-goal in mind.

If the painting has not turned out the way you expected, don’t despair. Keep practising. The mistakes may end up being what artists call “Happy accidents”, which can create a beautiful and unexpected masterpiece.

How to make drawings come to life

Drawing is a skill that most people can boast of. Drawing images that come to life however, require hours of work and are mastered by people who’ve put hours into their work and are driven by passion. Drawing images that look as real as the person next to you is possible, but requires a lot of attention paid to the intricate and minute details that join to form the image.

It’s important to remember that drawing aims at capturing the uniqueness and the expression of your subject. If you are drawing a subject with a big nose, don’t try to slim the nose or remove wrinkles, you want your drawing to look like a real person, not an ideal.

Choose a photograph to draw

If you want to draw something realistic, begin by choosing something real from your surroundings. You could choose a reference or a photograph. Choose an image that matches your skill-set. If you are a beginner, choosing to draw the aged can be fun but also challenging because of the extra intricate lines and texture of their faces. Male portraits usually have stronger shadows while female portraits can have hair which may or may not be difficult to draw depending on your capability.


Start by creating a sketch of the picture you really want to draw. Light sketches will enable you to proportionally put the features where they ought to be and erasing them will be much easier and won’t interfere with the intricate details you must add later. Lightly begin with the major features first so you can create the foundation for the portrait. If you are drawing a beautiful face, begin with the eyes, inside the ear, some strokes of the nose and lips.

Don’t make assumptions when drawing a person. If there are two laugh lines, don’t add more. If there are no bags under the eyes, refrain from putting them. Assumptions could be false and mess up your picture. However, if you do not want to make an exact replica of the photograph, you can add more details later.


The most crucial part that transforms a simple image into a real-life portrait is shadowing. Determine the lightest and darkest parts of your image. If you want your image to be as real-life as possible, make the lightest parts as white as you can with your finest pencil and the darkest parts as black as possible using the boldest pencil.

Use a smudging tool or your finger to achieve realistic shadow effects. This will blend the medium you use whether it is charcoal or graphite and the shadows will be lighter and easier to erase if you make a mistake.

Fill in the finer details

The finer details come last after shadowing and outlining. Take time to fill in places in the eyes, lips and nose. The finer details are the ones that really bring out the realistic quality of the image. Blend the pencil strokes with cotton swabs or tissue paper rather than outlining to get the desired skin tones.

You can begin using watercolours and coloured pencils if you had been using a pencil up until this point.

Try your best but don’t fret when the picture does not come out the way you wanted the first time. There’s always another chance to make it perfect.

Practice daily and the end result will be a beautiful masterpiece. It’s worth it too. It’s exhilarating to look back and see the beautiful thing you created.

Pencil Drawing Techniques: Six Tips to Improve your Drawing Skills

Many people don’t seem to consider drawing as an important art skill. At the begin of your artistic journey, you must have embraced pencil drawing in one way or the other. As an artist, it’s important that you understand the process as well as the fundamentals of drawing. You need to appreciate the fact that drawing often involves taking quality time to observe something, analyze it, and ultimately reproduce it. Drawing involves becoming aware of color, proportion, contrast, and form.

If you’re looking to learn how to draw or improve your pencil drawing skills, the following tips are what you need.

Master Pencil Grip

Before you even think of your subject matter, start by mastering how to hold your pencil correctly. It’s possible you’ve been doing it the wrong way. Or there’s a better way to do it. Rather than using the tip of your pencil, use the side of the lead. Only use the point when you’re working or rather drawing the intricate details. Consider holding your pencil like you would charcoal so you can maximize its utility and also ensure it remains shaper for longer. Hold your pencil parallel to your lines so you can get those sharp, narrow marks when drawing details.

Consider Mixing up Different Shading Techniques

Don’t limit yourself to one shading technique when you can experiment and try out several. To ensure cohesiveness in your work, have all your lines going in the same direction. Shading your drawing this way allows details to pop out in a unique way. A great way to define shape and keep your work in perspective is to work in patches. Add texture and create backgrounds by applying different shading techniques.

Build up your Sketch

When it comes to pencil drawing, you want to plan your work and explore things using loose lines. Don’t be in a hurry to commit yourself with hard, dark lines. Take your time to build up sketches while checking how everything is progressing. Keep rechecking as you draw and only darken your lines and bring in more details at the end. Make sure everything is symmetrical before darkening the lines.

Prevent Pencil Smudges

Well, this isn’t something new for an artist. It should be on your fingertips. It’s just here so you won’t forget. You don’t want to end up with pencil smudges on your beautiful drawing after spending hours or even nights working on your project. So, how do you go about it? Always put a sheet of paper under your hand when drawing. That’s how you stay away from those smudges. It’s good to step away from your drawing or view it in a mirror to see if anything seems to be off.

Know when to Finish

Understand that you’ll always feel like there’s something you can change in your drawing even after you’ve signed your name. You’ll find yourself tinkering with your work and bringing in more ideas on how to improve the drawing. It can be quite difficult to know when to stop. Don’t overdo your drawing. Always make a conscious decision to sign your drawing off and start another one.