Follow these links to the Index Blogs:
Blog 101 - Chelsea Buns
"Today we are going to make some delicious Chelsea buns, although I would prefer to call these cinnamon rolls, since the dough is too far removed from what we have come to associate with Chelsea buns. I take the recipe from a book called Bak met Gemak and adapt it only ever so slightly to suit my taste. If you are not into baking yourself, you can order these Chelsea Buns/Cinnamon Rolls from APrettyTalent.com's bakery, Miekie's Bakery, available in store."
Blog 102 - Painting Flowers using Leaves
"This blog is aimed at breaking through the misconception a lot of people seem to have that they can't paint. I am going to use some unconventional methods to help you paint the picture below. Once you have done this, I hope that you will feel more confidant to pick up a brush and paint so as to start creating the wonderful pictures you have always dreamed of doing. This is also a fun painting project to do with kids, allowing for a great deal of freedom and easy success."
Blog 103 - Handbags and Wallets Part 13 Upright Bag
"It is time for something a little different in handbags. I decided to design a bag with a little more structure and concentrated a lot on practical pockets. This is the result. You can download the pattern from APrettyTalent.com. In this first part of the making of the bag we work our way through from conceptualization to the construction of the pockets. In the next blog we shall bring the final pieces together and finish the bag."
Blog 104 - Handbags and Wallets Part 14 Upright Bag
"We started with the construction of this bag in the previous blog and got as far as the construction of the pockets. To day we will put the final touches on. The pattern can be downloaded from APrettyTalent.com."
Blog 105 - Tuna Roulade
"One of the best things about going on holiday with friends is that you are exposed to their prize-winning recipes. The origins of these recipes can not always be traced, but 9 out of 10 times they are firm family favourites - and for the very reason that they are tasty. In today's blog we will be making a fabulously delicious tuna roll that I have learned to make on a recent holiday with friends. Thanks to Tannie Marieta for this one!"
Blog 106 - Dutch Landscape in Oil Colours Part 1 of 2
"Have you been wanting to take up oil painting, but not knowing where to start? In the next two blogs I will show you how to paint this very easy painting all on your own. I will walk you through a number of tips and tell you a little about products, choice of brushes, etc. The painting is titled Dutch Nostalgia and is available from my collection in APrettyTalent.com's Gallery. Click here to go there."
Blog 107 - Dutch Landscape in Oil Colours Part 2 of 2
"In yesterday's blog we started with the creation of this painting. I showed you step by step how to go about selecting your tools and materials. Today we will finish the painting. Post pictures of your own paintings when you are done. The painting is titled Dutch Nostalgia and is available from my collection in APrettyTalent.com's Gallery. Click here to go there."
Blog 108 - Cinnamon-Honey Latte
"Today I am going to share one of my all time passions with you; that of making the perfect cup of coffee. The perfect cup of coffee does not always look the same. Depending on the mood I'm in it will either have a lot of spices, or none at all. Sometimes a dash of honey and at other times a dollop of ice cream. Today's coffee has a subtle hint of cinnamon and a dash of honey. But may it be said that all perfect coffees will have an espresso base. I am going to show you how to brew your own espresso on the stove top, without breaking the bank and splurging on the expensive machines."
Blog 109 - Handbags and Wallets Part 15 Upright Bag Republished
"I noticed that there were problems with the photos in the previously published blogs with the instructions to make this bag. I had to make another of these bags on order and decided to take another set of photographs. I hope these are clearer that the previous ones. You can download the pattern from APrettyTalent.com. In this first part of the making of the bag we start the construction up to and including the pockets. In the next blog we shall bring the final pieces together and finish the bag."
Blog 110 - Handbags and Wallets Part 16 Upright Bag Republished
"We started with the construction of this bag in the previous blog and got as far as the construction of the pockets. To day we will put the final touches on. The pattern can be downloaded from APrettyTalent.com."
Blog 111 - Mixed Media Art Journal - The measure of a woman
"Today's project is a fun one in which we are going to make a page for our art journal. I have the concept of womanhood in my mind and I keep playing with the word measurement, perhaps because I've been cutting out patterns."
Blog 112 - Handbags and Wallets Part 17 Art Bag Republished
"I have published the instructions for making this bag in previous blogs. I wanted to show you a variation, though. This time I did not paint the fabric panel, but restricted the painting to the handles. Isn't it amazing how the results differ from one bag to the next? You can download the pattern for this bag here. The handles are available here. Or simply visit APrettyTalent.com."
Blog 113 - Handbags and Wallets Part 18 Art Bag Republished
"I have decided to republish the steps of this bag to show you a different take on the same pattern. In the previous blog, Part 17, we prepared the handles and we are now ready to start construction on the bag. You can download the pattern for this bag here. The handles are available here. Or simply visit APrettyTalent.com."
Blog 114 - Handbags and Wallets Part 19 Art Bag Republished
"We have been busy with this bag for the past two blogs already. In Part 17 we prepared the handles of the bag. In part 18 we attached the zippers and completed the pockets. We are now going to finish the bag. You can download the pattern for this bag here. The handles are available here. Or simply visit APrettyTalent.com. The actual bag made in this blog is available in APrettyTalent.com. Click here to buy the bag from Miekie Crafts."
Blog 115 - Mosaic a Tissue Box Cover
"I was very excited to start today's blog project. As a matter of fact, I have been looking forward to it for a very long time and now finally I get to it. Remember those glass tiles we made ourselves in a previous blog? Let me refresh your memories. We cut glass tiles and then decoupaged pretty pictures on the backs of them to create our own beautiful glass tiles. Click here to read that blog. Here is what we are going to be making today."
Blog 116 - Spiced Coffee Recipe
"The mornings and evenings are turning cold here in South Africa and 1 June marks the first day of Winter. So far we've been blessed with lovely sunny days and can spend the hours between 10:00 and 16:00 comfortably in short sleeves. But our luck won't last. Time to get the recipes ready to warm up the winter days and spiced coffee is just the thing!"
Blog 117 - Starting out in Scrapbooking
"Are you flooded with photos that you would love to add to albums, but simply sliding them into plastic sleeves after seeing your friends' albums doesn't appeal to you? Feeling daunted by the idea of scrapbooking, but wishing with all your heart you knew where to pick up the skills? Well, fear not - this blog is exactly that starting blog. I show you how to select a page that will require very little skill to scrap and then walk you through the basic steps to complete the page. In no time you will have finished your first page and the ice is broken. Gradually I will introduce more skills and tricks and before you know it, you will be showing off your own masterpieces to your friends."
Blog 118 - Using Derwent Inktense on Fabric
"Derwent is renowned for great quality art products and their Inktense pencils and bars certainly rank among the best watersoluble products on the market today. I fell in love with Inktense on first use because if its intense vibarant colours. I had read that it could be used on fabric, but remained so fascinated by the beautiful results I got on paper, that I never bothered with using them on fabric. Then I started making hand-painted handbags and suddenly my interest was peeked by everything that promised to put colour on fabric. I dove into my art supplies and pulled out the Inktense sets."
Blog 119 - Scrapbooking: Focus on Frames
"Have you been feeling completely daunted by the idea of cutting frames from paper for your photos when doing scrapbooking? I will show you a very quick and easy way to plan and cut those dreaded frames in this blog."
Blog 120 - Using Inktense on Wood
"Today's blog is about using Derwent's Inktense on wood. I know you will think me silly for even attempting this, but I found myself in a tight spot recently. You see, I had decided to show you how great Inktense was when used on fabric. You can read all about this here. When I was done, I liked the project so much that I did not want to condemn it to an album, but decided that I could much more easily use it in a panel for one of my Art Bags. I naturally painted a second one and had all but made up my mind to paint the handles with acrylic paint when it dawned on me that I might very well be able to use the Inktense itself to paint the handles as well. This would have the advantage of colours and techniques matching automatically. I simply had to give it a try."
Blog 121 - Mosaic a tissue box with uneven tiles
"A while ago I showed you how to decoupage your own glass tiles for mosaic projects. Since then, I have been having great fun putting those tiles to work in my own projects. I recently showed you one of these projects where I used the glass tiles to decorate a tissue box cover. I then started wondering if I could use tiles of uneven height on another tissue box cover. I've done this successfully on flat surfaces in previous blogs, but not on a 3 dimensional surface. To increase the difficulty level of the project, I decided to use a box with a more intricate pattern on the opening. Want to see what I did?"
Blog 122 - Covering buttons with fabric
"There was a time when everybody knew how to cover buttons with fabric. Then covered buttons became unfashionable, as did wearing home-sewn clothes. Lately this has changed, partly due to the poor quality of workmanship in factory made clothing and partly due to the fact that there is a new-found appreciation for craftsmanship of any kind, including sewing and tailoring. Buttons have also moved out of needlepoint and into a variety of other crafts, making it all the more popular to once again learn the neglected 'art' of covering buttons in fabric."
Blog 123 - Scrapbooking 3: Matting, Borders & Punching
"I am super excited about today's blog, because in this blog I will show you just about everything you'll ever need to know to make your scrapping a real pleasure. Of course there are loads more tricks, but with today's lesson you will be able to carry on on your own and make a myriad of page layouts to take the breath away. We have looked at frames, but today I am going to teach you about matting. I will also show you how to use borders and then we'll wet our feet in punching shapes and letters with punches. Hold on to your wallets, for this can become a very expensive hobby ;-)"
Blog 124 - Artbag with Sling Part 1 of 3
"I know you've seen this bag before, but I have had requests about adding a sling. I decided that it would necessarily have to be an optional one. There are a few new tricks to learn in the process to make it worth your while. The pattern is available from APrettyTalent.com and can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here. If you are interested in purchasing the bag made in this blog, you can purchase it form Miekie Crafts by clicking here. In this blog we concentrate on the zippers and pockets. In the next blog we'll construct the different elements and in the last we'll pull it all together."
Blog 125 - Artbag with Sling Part 2 of 3
"We have once again started construction on one of these versatile Artbags. This time we added the twist of a sling with a few new techniques. In the first blog we constructed the zippers and pockets and that is where we pick up in this blog. We will be constructing the remaining pattern pieces today and in the next blog we will pull it all together."
Blog 126 - Artbag with Sling Part 3 of 3
"We have been working on the construction of the artbag with the sling for the past two blogs and have prepared all of the pieces. All that remains for us to do is to bring these separate pieces together today."
Blog 127 - Scrapbooking 4: Tearing Ruler, varying frames & painting embellishments
"Tearing rulers are some of the niftiest tools you have at your disposal when it comes to scrapbooking and paper crafts and I will show you how to achieve great results with yours in today's blog. We will also be combing frames and matting, as well as to vary the sizes of the frames. Then we are going to paint an embellishment to wrap things up. Time to get started!"
Blog 128 - Making your own Scrapbook Paper and Backgrounds 1
"If you are anything like me, you will find yourself getting lost in all the beautiful paper stock available on the market these days. I can hardly contain myself, wanting to buy everything and finding it hard to decide which I like best. You too? And yet I still like to come home and make my own. But why? you ask? Because sometimes there is a piece of fabric or a paper or a design or some element that simply seems to speak to me, begging to be part of my next project or layout. Take for instance the fabric in the layout in this blog. I have been working with the fabric in various projects over the past few weeks and don't have a single piece left that is big enough to cut a single panel from for sewing. But those off-cut pieces are still large enough for paper crafts! That is when the bug bites to make my own paper. Let me show you how."
Blog 129 - Learn to Sew 1: Making a Pocket with a Flap
"Want to make your own clothes, but don't know where to start? I have had numerous requests from people asking for sewing lessons. This blog is the first in an open-ended series of blogs in which I will try to teach you the basics of sewing. I am going to start you off with a very easy pattern for a pair of trousers with an elastic in the waist. To sew along, you can find any pattern for pants with this description. There is no waistband, the fabric simply folds over into a tube and a length of elastic is run through it. Ask your friendly fabric shop assistant to help you find the right pattern if you are in doubt. In the first blog I will concentrate on the pockets and in the second we'll make the actual pants."
Blog 130 - Learn to Sew 2: Making a Pair of Trousers with an Elastic Waist
"The first piece of clothing I will teach you to sew is a very easy pair of trousers. There is nothing complicated about this pattern since it has no waistband, zipper or buttons. You simply fold the top over and put an elastic through. We did make a slightly complicated pair of pockets to attach to the pants in the previous blog and we shall add those today to make our pants a little more edgy."
Blog 131 - Learn to Sew 3: Waistcoat with pockets
"We have made a cozy pair of trousers in the previous lesson and it seem right that we should be making something to match that. With this in mind, I have decided that another easy pattern for newbies to sewing is a waistcoat. I am going to add some pockets, which are optional, but very easy to make. Any waistcoat pattern is good to use. Some patterns do not get lined and will have facings. Others only get lining in the front and a facing in the back. I am going to show you how to make a fully lined waistcoat. If your pattern is not the same, here is how to adapt it. Do not cut any facings. Cut 2 front panel out of fabric and 2 out of lining. Cut 1 back panel on the fold out of fabric and another out of lining."
Blog 132 - Making a French Beret with a Cap Republished Part 1 of 2
"I have published the instructions for making a French beret with a cap before, but I have discovered a couple of shortcuts that might simplify the process without adversely affecting the outcome. The pattern is available from APrettyTalent.com and can be downloaded here.
The previous blog series can be viewed by simply clicking on the part you want to view:
Blog 133 - Making a French Beret with a Cap Republished Part 2 of 2
"We started with the construction of this cute French Beret with cap yesterday and managed to finish the cap and headband. Today we will make the lid and the lining, before bringing all the pieces together. The pattern is available from APrettyTalent.com and can be downloaded here.
The previous blog series can be viewed by simply clicking on the part you want to view:Part 4"
Blog 134 - Understanding Colour
"When it comes to colour there are a number of important things we need to be aware of. Most elementary would probably be the colour wheel. The colour wheel is divided into Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colours."
Blog 135 - Scrapbooking 5: Inking
"I've had some of the cutest photos to scrap today and the colour scheme was truly lovely, firmly established by the photos themselves. The mock distress in the baby's face made it easy for me to decide that I wanted to add a distress look to the elements as well. The little man in the picture made as if he wanted to stick his tiny fingers in the power outlet. Fortunately his mom was on hand to stop him. The expressions in the photos is him mimicking his moms admonishment with eyes stretched wide to let him that this was a definite no-no. How fortunate that she managed to get this on camera."
Blog 136 - Scrapbooking 6: Interactive Photo Wheel
"Scrapbook pages are not normally interactive, but when they are it is hard to beat the delight of the viewers. I have a couple of tricks when it comes to making a scrapbook interactive and in time I will share these with you. Today I want to show you how to make an interactive photo wheel. This wheel spins around its axis revealing four different photos, one at a time with each turn."
Blog 137 - Scrapbookpaper 2
"I am uncertain whether I should label this as making a scrapbook page, or if it is not mixed media. Sometimes the lines get very blurred, especially when you add art journaling to the mix. I leave the thought with you and allow you to decide."
Blog 138 - Scrapbook Paper 3 Acrylic paint as an adhesive
"We will be making another scrapbook page today, or if you wish, another mixed media project. This one relies very much on product knowledge, but fear not, I will teach you all the tricks. We use acrylic paint as an adhesive in this project, since all acrylic paints has wonderful adhesive qualities."
Blog 139 - Adding a Photo to your Album Cover
"Today's blog is a very short and easy one, but it is all about creating first impressions and the importance of that can never be overestimated. A lot of store-bought albums have a slot to slide a photo into in the cover. I love this. However, I don't like to simply slide a photo in there. Instead, I treat as a blank page and decorate it accordingly. The only thing to be careful of is that you use embellishments that will be able to withstand handling."
Blog 140 - Father's Day Card
"Father's Day is upon us and it is time to tell those special men in our lives how much we appreciate them. I am a firm believer in the personal touch and prefer handmade cards to store-bought ones. Yet, I am well aware that everyone has busy schedules and a card should not take a whole day to make. Let me show you a quick one to make."
Blog 141 - Transferring an image from paper to fabric
"I've had this fabulous paper in my paper stash for a few years now and have always been reluctant to use it because I loved it so much. Have you experienced the same? I found the perfect craft for it though when I was looking for a design for two panels for a handbag I was making. This design would be perfect! But how to get it from paper to fabric? No fear, there is a great product on the market for this purpose; Dala's Picture Perfect!"
Blog 142 - Rock, paper, scissors? No! Paper, fabric, wood - all in one project
"We spent a great many hours yesterday transferring an image from paper to fabric. What do we do with it now? Well, I turned it into a handbag, but you are free to do with it what you please. Let me share with you some of my ideas."
Blog 143 - Birthday Card for a Car Enthusiast
"Creating the right card for someone can be tricky. I find that focusing in on one of their pet loves or hobbies can be of great assistance in getting it right. In today's card I used someones enthusiasm for cars as a focal point, but you can easily swap the theme out with one that fits your subject better."
Blog 144 - Birthday Card for a Teen Boy
"Teen boys can be notoriously difficult to please when it comes to cards and sentimental things. I like to keep it very manly when it comes to this group. You do not want them to get the idea that you still think of them as boys! Remember to add an interesting aspect to the card. In this case I tied it with a string, creating the element of secrecy and making it only slightly more intricate to get to the message. You ask why? When you have to work at opening something, you are more curious about the contents than when you can simply flip it open. An aunt has to have clever tricks up her sleeve, doesn't she?"
Blog 145 - Birthday Card for a Young Girly Girl
"I love pink and I have a little niece who is just like me when it comes to pink. She also insists that it has to be a bright pink. On top of that, she is a Strawberry Shortcake fan. It was very easy to settle on a color scheme and theme for her birthday card! Let me show you how to warm the heart of the cute girls in your life."
Blog 146 - Mixed Media Collage Board Part 1 of 2
"I have been stuck in front of the sewing machine for the past week and my fingers are itching to get back into my art and craft supplies. A lot of people have been asking about transferring an image to wood the same way I transferred the image to fabric in an earlier blog. I planned today's blog around this request and will show you how to go about this. I will also do some distressing, stamping and all sorts of other fun stuff. Do not miss these two blogs! Today's project combines so many techniques that I will rather split it over two blogs in order to keep the amount of photos down per blog, making it easier for you to open the post."
Blog 147 - Mixed Media Collage Board Part 2 of 2
"We started with the creation of a mixed media collage in yesterday's blog and today we will finish it. Let's recap. Yesterday we did two kinds of decoupaging; one transferred the image to the surface, while the other simply stuck the paper to the surface. Today we will do some distressing, inking, stamping and journaling before we are done. Let's get started!"
Blog 148 - Derwent Inktense and a splash of Derwent Watercolour Pencils
"I recently had a conversation with a friend about which product would be the best to buy, Derwent Watercolour pencils, or Derwent Inktense pencils. I stated unequivocally that I would save up and buy both rather than have to choose between the two. That conversation inspired today's blog. Most of the painting is done in Inktense pencils, but I did use two watercolour pencils as well. I'll explain my choices as we go along."
Blog 149 - Derwent Tinted Charcoal Pencils
"I love working in charcoal! So when I discovered Derwent had a set of Tinted Charcoal there was no doubt in my mind that I would get myself a set of these. This was a couple of years ago and I am still as in love with the pencils, as I was when I first tested them. Let me share my enthusiasm with you."
Blog 150 - Make Your Own Scrapbook Paper 4
"I wanted to create a rather natural looking page that would remind of nature and the great outdoors. I had a couple of leftover pieces from other crafts and projects that I thought would work well with the project and I was thrilled to use these in the final assemblage. Get ready to paint, paste, decoupage and much more in today's blog!"
For more crafty ideas and great products, visit APrettyTalent.com.
Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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