PAINTED PLACEMAT TUTORIAL

DIY painted placemats and coasters
I’ve been having a hard time trying to find some placemats and coasters for our new kitchen table that I liked so when I came across some plain MDF ones at the art store recently I thought they would be perfect for a little DIY weekend project.
DIY painted placemats and coasters
Firstly I began by taping off the areas I wanted to stay clean to keep some of the wood for contrast. You can probably use almost any kind of good masking tape for this but I prefer to use painters tape which gives a nice clean edge. You can pick it up from any hardware store.
DIY painted placemats and coasters
All taped up and ready to go! Make sure you spend a little extra time smoothing down the tape properly removing all bubbled areas so you get a nice clean line.
DIY painted placemats and coasters
Next I started painting the exposed areas with some basic acrylic paint. I did about three coats of the white until I was happy and then added a little gold paint in a rustic effect over the top of some of the white strips. I left it for a few hours to dry and then carefully removed the tape. Then I applied two coats of matt varnish over the front and back so they could be easily wiped of any spills. Although I must say I’ve kept them pretty obsessively clean for now!
DIY painted placemats and coasters
They worked very well and the finished product was put to great use at breakfast! I’d love to see what you come up with so please share in the comments if you try this project.

Happy creating!

Bel
xx

 

MY FIRST PAINTED PLANT POTS

Painted plant pots are so popular at the moment I was inspired to try making my own. I found some different basic terracotta pots at Ikea and the hardware store. After applying some tape, paint (gold of course!) and a coat of varnish here are my first two finished so far! One for a friend’s birthday and the other for our studio.

DIY painted plant pot DIY painted plant pot

Let me know what you think! I’m planning to make some more soon and posting a little tutorial.

Bel
xx

COLOURFUL CANDLE HOLDERS

Recently Ava and I visited my parents in the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland. We were hoping to catch some late summer sun before a Melbourne winter but unfortunately hit some very rainy weather, a cyclone in fact!! As you can imagine we spent a lot of time indoors so I thought I’d use the time wisely and attempt this idea I’ve had for candle holders. My folks have some beautiful Camphor laurel wood (it smells amazing) from a tree they had to remove on their property when they built their house. My dad also has a wood lathe and some very handy wood-turning skills. So we spent some time making a selection of interesting wooden shapes.

I bought our lovely wood creations home on the plane and later in the studio added a touch of paint to finish them.

Wooden hand painted candle holders Wooden hand painted candle holdersWooden hand painted candle holders

I’m thrilled with how the first prototypes turned out and definitely wanting to develop the idea further. I shall keep you updated!

Bel
xx

CROSS STITCH FOR A GEEK

Hello 2015!! I hope everyone has had a wonderful time with family and friends over the holiday season. I’m doing a new year studio clean up and I just came across this cross stitch that Kal and I created a little while ago. Yep I also once went through a cross stitch phase… I really should get back into it because the possibilities are so fun and it has such a unique look and charm to it!
Cross-stitch_IBC
This cross stitch is a self-portrait of us which we made by first creating a pattern through Illustrator using a grid and then I was (willingly by Kal) given the task of cross stitching it to life.

While I was needling away Kal started creating some pop culture patterns that he wanted me to do next. It looks so awesome when you create popular culture items in cross stitch as the technique creates a pixelised appearance referencing 8-bit graphics from gaming culture.
geek1_IBC
Starwars of course… (scroll to the bottom for a free pattern download)
geek2_IBC
and this is Rick Deckard’s blaster gun from the movie Blade Runner, Kal’s favourtie movie.

Well all this reminiscing about cross stitch has inspired me to create more, stay tuned!!

Bel
xx

geek1_IBC_pattern

 

BEL & KAL WOODEN BROOCHES

Kal and I have created an awesome a range of wooden brooches over the last couple of years. They are laser etched from wood using our own original designs and illustrations.

Bel
xx

Owl laser etched wooden brooch Bluebird laser etched wooden brooch Balloon laser etched wooden brooch Robot laser etched wooden brooch Camera laser etched wooden brooch Submarine laser etched wooden brooch Feather laser etched wooden brooch Fighter plane laser etched wooden brooch

 

A FIRST ATTEMPT AT CAKE DESIGN

My lovely sister-in-law turned the big 21 this year and when she told me about her party, in a spontaneous crazy moment I said “Can I decorate your cake!?”. I’d never done any cake decorating before but I was really thrilled to have an excuse to give it a try. Most of all I was interested in trying stencils as I’d seen them used before. If there is something I love more than paper prints, it’s edible prints!

The plan was to stencil on some personalised name lettering and a few flourishes. Straight away this all proved more difficult than I thought as I couldn’t find a huge amount of info on creating your own stencils for cake decorating and what supplies you could use to do so. Plus the cake supply stores could only give me info on how to use generic stencils that they sold. Anyway… I googled, brainstormed and did a lot of trial and error with different products such as coloured royal icing, Luster dust and glitter.
Cake stencil on fondant
(This was a trial with black royal icing using one of our screenprinting stencils ;)
Cake decorating little handmade flowers
Meanwhile I also needed some other decorations…. this was my first attempt at sugar flowers. Time consuming but fun! (and tasty)
cake design stencil
We decided this was the design we wanted to stencil on top of the cake. I found the best product to use was Luster dust if it was used very carefully and sparingly.

and after an evening of decorating and a sprinkle of glitter… the finished cake!! I was really happy and pleased that I ended up looking close to what I had planned in my mind and happier still that my sister-in-law loved it!

Bel
xx

AVA LETTERING

Happy weekend! Thanks for following! I’m really enjoying this back cataloging of past projects. I’ll have some new posts to show soon, however for now the next project I wanted to share is one I created for Ava’s room a few months ago. It’s no secret I’m a hand lettering nut so I’ve been wanting to use Ava’s name in an illustrative type artwork for a while now.
Name lettering artwork in progress
I started by sketching up a few ideas and Kal really enjoys character design so I enlisted his help with some cute woodland animals.
Nursery hand lettering artwork
Next I decided it would look best in watercolour..
Nursery hand lettering artwork
Someone wanted to help…
Nursery hand lettering artwork
Finished and framed. I really enjoyed working on this artwork and collaborating with Kal has created such a special keepsake for Ava.

Bel
xx