Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Best Acrylic Fabric Paints for Painting Clothes and Accessories

Acrylic fabric paints, iron-on appliques and other embellishments are a fun and easy way to transform ordinary t-shirts, sweatshirts, denim jackets and jeans into special, one-of-a-kind clothing designs. 

Even if you don’t feel especially artistic, it’s extremely easy to add striking hand painted designs to basic wardrobe items by applying acrylic fabric paint through a stencil with a foam pouncer. 

Embellishing clothing with fabric paints is also a wonderful project to do with kids. Both my fashionista niece and her younger brother used to love taking solid color T-shirts and creating their own hand painted and stenciled designer tees, which they wore with pride.

Some fabric paints also work well on other materials, including leather and vinyl, so they’re great for painting shoes, sandals, handbags, belts and other accessories to give them a whole new look with fresh colors, color blocking, patterns or painted accents.

I have researched and used different types, brands and formulas of fabric paints in different price ranges. In this review I will share my favorite acrylic fabric paints for decorating clothing and accessories. 

The Best, Most Versatile Acrylic Fabric Paints for Embellishing Clothing & Accessories

Why Use Acrylic Fabric Paints?

Acrylic fabric paints, also called acrylic textile paints, are formulated specifically for use on fabric clothing and other textiles. Unlike fabric dyes and alcohol-based textile paints or inks, they do not spread and saturate the fibers. Most work best on untreated or pre-washed, natural fabrics and synthetic fabrics whose fiber content contains at least 50% natural fibers. 

Acrylic textile paints are usually thinner, penetrate fibers better and dry more flexible than standard acrylic paints formulated for art or craft uses. Fabric paints also contain a binder that helps them adhere much better to natural fibers after the paint dries and is heat-set (usually with an iron). This binder makes the painted designs more durable, so they can better withstand repeated washing and resist cracking, peeling or flaking when the fabric is gently stretched or folded, such as when you put on, move around in, take off or put away your painted clothing.   

More transparent colors usually have a thinner consistency and are softer to the touch when dry compared to more opaque fabric paints. They are great for lighter color fabrics, since the color of the clothing will show through them. For the same reason, opaque fabric paints will show up much better on darker clothing, although they are slightly thicker and will dry a bit stiffer than more transparent formulas.

Good Quality Fabric Paints Give the Best Results

Jacquard makes moderately priced, high-quality, highly pigmented paints, dyes, mica powders and other art and craft supplies. Jacquard's Textile, Neopaque and Lumiere lines are my go-to acrylic paints for painting fabrics.

Photo of Jacquard Textile acrylic paints "Exciter Pack" assortment

Jacquard Textile 

Jacquard Textile paints have a medium- to light-bodied consistency and come in 39 semi-transparent colors. Mixing any of the other colors with 123 White will create a pastel shade. You can make any color more transparent without affecting the quality or consistency by mixing it with Jacquard Textile 100 Colorless Extender. (Another option, which I don’t recommend, is diluting the paints with up to 25% water, since it will reduce their viscosity and negatively affect the quality.)  Mixing any other Jacquard Textile color with #220 Super Opaque White will make it more opaque. 

The Jacquard Textile Color Exciter Pack is an economical assortment that includes small bottles of nine of the most useful colors in the line. It's a great way to try these paints without investing a lot of money.

Jacquard Textile colors can also be mixed with Jacquard Lumiere, Neopaque or Dye-Na-Flow paints or with Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments to create custom colors and effects.

Jacquard Neopaque and Lumiere

Neopaque is Jacquard’s line of light-bodied, opaque acrylic paints. They come in 21 colors plus a Flowable Extender medium that can be used to make the colors more transparent without altering the paint’s texture, consistency, adherence and other key properties. Lumiere is a companion line of 33 beautiful metallic and pearlescent paint colors designed to complement the Neopaque solid colors and have similar characteristics. My favorite Lumiere paints are the color-shifting duo-chrome colors!

Even though the Jacquard Neopaque and Jacquard Lumiere lines have not been optimized specifically for painting on fabrics, like the Jacquard Textile line, they have many of the same characteristics and are also considered fabric paints. After they have dried and been heat-set, both Neopaque and Lumiere paints adhere to textiles very well, remain flexible and resist cracking, peeling and chipping. I have used them to paint fleece sweatshirts, both freehand and with stencils, and they have withstood many washings well.

Both formulas are opaque, highly pigmented and provide good coverage, even on dark fabrics. You can mix any Neopaque or Lumiere shade with Neopaque Flowable Extender to make it more transparent without changing its consistency, thickness, flexibility, adherence or other important characteristics. 

Similarly to the Jacquard Textile line, you can mix pastel shades by blending a small amount of Neopaque White into any of the other Neopaque colors.

Photo of Jacquard Neopaque and Lumiere acrylic paints
I've been using my first Jacquard Neopaque and Lumiere acrylic paint Exciter Packs for many years. 

There are also a Lumiere Exciter Pack with 9 pearlescent and metallic colors and a Lumiere & Neopaque Exciter Pack with 7 metallic Lumiere shades plus black and white Neopaque. As with the Textile line, these two Exciter Packs are a great way to get a nice variety of colors in smaller quantities for a very affordable price. I have purchased both of these Exciter Packs as well as full-size bottles of the Neopaque black and white and Lumiere duo-chrome colors I use most. I recently bought another of the Lumiere assortments because some older colors have been discontinued and newer ones added.

Another advantage of Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque acrylic paints is that they adhere well to a wide range of surfaces including paper, wood, rubber, vinyl, leather and rubber, in addition to fabric, and can be used for many different types of projects. I have gotten more than my money’s worth out of mine. 

For example, I completely transformed an old pair of boring, frumpy, beige comfort sandals by painting the leather with Lumiere for the uppers and black Neopaque to edge the sole, and then sewing on some faux jeweled trim. 

Before and after photos of beige sandals painted aqua and blue

Heat-Set Fabric Painting Medium 

You also can achieve successful results by mixing permanent, highly pigmented art or craft acrylic paints 50/50 with a good quality fabric medium, such as Golden GAC 900 Heat-Set Fabric Painting Medium or Martha Stewart Tintable Fabric Medium. 

Pébéo Setacolor

If you are painting a very special piece of clothing or textile, you may want to consider the Pébéo Setacolor line. These superb fabric paints come in an extensive range of beautiful colors and finishes. Although they are more expensive than the Jacquard fabric paints, superior quality, performance and product selection make Pébéo Setacolor products a favorite among many professional painted clothing artists and enthusiasts. 

Pébéo Setacolor Light Fabrics are transparent and include 44 matte, metallic, glitter, and fluorescent shades. Pébéo Setacolor Opaque comes in 77 matte and “shimmer opaque” shades with glitter, pearlescent, metallic and iridescent finishes that dry softer, smoother and more flexible than most other opaque textile paints. There are also Pébéo Setacolor 3D fabric paints that come in tubes with small nozzles that are great for adding raised outlines or dimensional accents to your painted clothing designs. 

The most affordable way to try these terrific paints is with one of the 10-color introductory sets, the Pébéo Setacolor Light Fabrics Discovery Kit or the Pébéo Setacolor Opaque Discovery Kit

Use Fabric Paints and Stencils for Beautiful, Affordable, One-of-a-Kind Handmade Gifts 

Stencils are made in just about any pattern or theme you could want and require no artistic talent to use.

I have used inexpensive fabric stencils of flowers, gardening tools and bees to decorate a sweatshirt for my mother-in-law who loves to garden. 

One of my husband’s favorite gifts from me is a forest green sweatshirt I purchased for him many years ago and stenciled with a cascade of metallic and pearlescent autumn leaves. It has been worn and washed so many times that the fleece is pilling, and the color has faded. By now, the paint isn’t quite as bright or shiny as it once was, either, but it’s still hasn’t cracked, flaked or worn off, and he still wears it proudly.

Photo of man wearing dark green sweatshirt with a stenciled metallic leaf design
My husband still loves and wears this sweatshirt I stenciled for him many years ago. 

You can use alphabet stencils to personalize a T-shirt, hoodie or other garment with the gift recipient’s name or add a meaningful word or message. 

Older children will also love using fabric paints and stencils to turn simple, inexpensive pieces of clothing into personalized gifts for special friends and family members.

Stenciled or hand painted tablecloths, napkins, placemats and table runners also make wonderful gifts. Painting them with snowflakes, pointsettias and other seasonal designs makes any holiday a bit more festive. 

I hope I have inspired you to give fabric paints a try!

The Best Acrylic Fabric Paints for Painting Clothes and Accessories


The Best Acrylic Fabric Paints for Painting Clothes and Accessories by Margaret Schindel


Read More Crafts Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Make Fresh Basil Pesto

 

Make Fresh Basil Pesto
Fresh homemade basil pesto reviewed

It’s easy to grow your own herbs. Every year in the spring, Fran buys fresh basil plants, we re-pot these plants and set them out on our deck.

We enjoy fresh basil all season long and into the fall. The plants just keep reproducing. This basil pesto is so easy to make and can be enjoyed in many ways.

Basil pesto is perfect tossed over pasta, spread on crackers or toast, try adding some to your favorite salad. Try it on Garlic bread or a baked potato. 

I’ve even made pesto pizza you can find my recipe here for Fresh Tomato and Pesto Pizza.

Our grandson Bobby loves to cook, and especially with fresh ingredients. This fresh basil pesto is one of his favorites to make. Bobby makes this basil pesto in about 10 minutes. So, it’s easy to have a meal on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Basil Pesto Ingredients:

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup fresh grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves fresh garlic (We love our garlic so, you can cut this in half if you like)

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (can be omitted)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

Add the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the food processor several times to chop and mix.

Add the garlic, cheese, and lemon juice and pulse several more times

Place the lid on the food processor turn it on and pour the olive oil in a steady stream.

Stop and scrape the sides with a spatula and turn it on again for about 10 seconds.

Add salt and pepper to taste. If you use the red pepper flakes add them now and pulse a few more times to mix it all in.

We served our basil pesto over fresh Fettuccine that we made with our Emeril Lagasse Pasta and Beyond machine.

Read my review here: Emeril Lagasse Pasta and BeyondReviewed.

Basil Pesto

Our basil pesto with homemade fettuccine was on the table in 30 minutes or less for a delightful family meal.

We used our Ninja Food Processor to make this pesto. Any food processor or blender will work. If you don’t have a basil plant, you can buy fresh basil at your local grocery store and have this basil pesto at any time. 

It's easy to freeze the pesto to enjoy anytime on crackers or toast. Pour the pesto into ice cube trays and place them in the freezer. After the pesto freezes place the cubes in a freezer bag.





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Monday, October 18, 2021

Wear a Halloween Apron This Year!

Love Halloween? Wear a Halloween apron this year!

WHY NOT WEAR A HALLOWEEN APRON THIS YEAR?


A Halloween apron is not necessarily meant to be a costume though it certainly can be one. It also is a rather practical accessory designed to help you get into the spirit of Halloween. Why not treat yourself to one this year? On this page we review five fun reasons to buy a Halloween apron and five great places to source one.  


FIVE REASONS TO WEAR A HALLOWEEN APRON

(Just in case you need a good reason!)

🎃 No time to prepare a costume for yourself.
🎃 No money to spend on an expensive costume that you'll wear once.
🎃 No time left after creating costumes for your children.
🎃 Not going to a party so wearing an apron at home seems more reasonable.
🎃 No costume appeals to you.

If you have any of these problems, I say, "Go ahead, buy yourself a fun Halloween apron!"

FIVE PLACES TO SOURCE A HALLOWEEN APRON


If you don't have much choice at home, you might consider sourcing your Halloween themed apron from one of the following online sources:

AMAZON - A simple search of Amazon, by clicking here, turns up more than 1,000 Halloween-themed aprons! They're abundant and affordable.

EBAY eBay has a much larger selection of Halloween-themed aprons, new and used, available than Amazon does and they have vintage ones, too. However, the number of vintage Halloween aprons is somewhat limited I expect because wearing a themed apron is a newer idea. For new aprons on eBay, click here and for vintage Halloween aprons on eBay, click here.

ETSY - The sellers on Etsy are a pretty creative bunch and Halloween aprons are found a plenty on that website. Check them out on Etsy by visiting this link.

MAKE YOUR OWN - You can make one on your own. If you are a seamstress, you might like to look through the resources shown on the page How To Make An Apron, from where you might find inspiration or assistance in crafting the exact Halloween apron that you have in mind.

Do you already have a Halloween apron or are you searching for the perfect one right now?

Happy Haunting!
Boo-renda

MORE HALLOWEEN AND APRON READING:

How about a Hocus Pocus T-Shirt?
Fans of the cult-favorite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus will love this tee!

Have a youngster clamoring for scary movies? Here are a few safe choices.

Hey Monkeybrains! Real Men Don't Wear Aprons, Do They? 
Check out a fun debate and maybe even throw in your two cents worth.

Five Grandfather-Themed Aprons
Grandpa spends time in the kitchen? There's an apron for him!

If you love working puzzles and Halloween, you will enjoy these treats. They're calorie free!





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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Care Of The Intriguing Carnivorous Venus Fly Trap House Plant Reviewed.

 

Venus Fly Trap
 

I am the recent caretaker of a Venus Fly Trap house plant.

I wasn't sure I wanted one of these carnivorous houseplants plants but hubby has wanted one for a long time so I purchased it for his birthday this year. 

From being really quite indifferent to this particular plant, I have developed a real interest and curiosity about it.

To be fair I had heard they were quite difficult to care for and I wasn't sure I was wanting the task of trying to keep it alive. 

However, I love how it is growing and flourishing in our home and it has been interesting learning all about it. The plant looks happy and has grown and developed well so that gives me joy! 

It is also named the species Dionaea muscipula -though there are many named cultivars with some different looks and habits. Part of the family of carnivorous plants, it only grows in a few places in nature now. Sadly habitat destruction has obliterated it from many of its sites. It can still be seen in the coastal bogs of North and South Carolinas.


Soil Conditions For A Venus Fly Trap

As for most of us, we will keep this plant in a plant pot so we need to copy its natural environment as much as possible. It likes to grow naturally in soil with very low nutrients and dampness all the time. However these days it is not advisable to use endangered peat supplies. So without using at-risk peat mixes you can buy specialist mixes or try the plant in sphagnum peat moss, or fine-milled bark mixed with lime-free horticultural sand or perlite, or just simply in pure sphagnum moss.

Repotting if needed should be done just before the end of winter, so around February for us before all the new regrowth begins.




Watering And Feeding Venus Fly Trap

With Venus Fly Traps watering is a fine balance. They do need the soil to be moist but not waterlogged, neither do they wish to dry out.

 So in the growing season, they like to be in a little standing water so I put a saucer under the draining pot and the saucer has a covering of water in it as it simulates the conditions it would have in the wild damp with higher humidity.

During winter the plant should be kept damp but they do not need so much water so I will likely remove the saucer and just make sure the soil is damp to the touch. 

This plant by far prefers rainwater. So I now keep a bucket outside to collect rainwater for this plant. If I forget then I do use tap water that has been left to stand for about 3 days to help dissipate the minerals and chemicals but even so, to be honest, it is not ideal and long term use of tap water is not good for Venus Fly Traps and will kill them.  

Venus Fly Traps which are kept outside will be able to find enough food for themselves. We put ours outside as much as possible on fine sunny days and the rest of the time on our sunny kitchen windowsill with the window mostly open and it certainly found enough food. 

If you really can't do that then it is possible to feed it yourself with freeze-dried mealworms, which can be bought from shops, but it is a specialist skill to read up on a specialist site. To be honest, it is not something I really want to have to do, so we will stick with a sunny open window and putting it outside as much as possible in summer! 

We do not need to use a plant fertilizer on a Venus Fly Trap, it is adapted to grow in nutrient-poor soil and feeding it in this way will only be harmful. 


Position in The Home For A Venus Fly Trap

A Venus Fly Trap will always require a sunny position in its growing season but does not like being in the direct hot sun all day. 

So aim for about 5 hours of bright sunlight. A sunny windowsill with the window open for part of the day is good. However, do not let it get scorched by the sun.

I have also during this summer put it outside in a sheltered sunny spot for a few hours and it really did seem to like that. 

I would also keep it out of reach of small children and pets, not so much that it is any danger to them but constant touching of the plant's traps, which are often fascinating to children,  may cause it to die. 


 


Winter With A Venus Fly Trap

We have not yet been through a winter with our plant but there are a few things to bear in mind for its survival. 

They do need a period of winter dormancy which in the UK is around November to the beginning of March. As they live in our homes, not the wild environment we need to try to replicate that so they need to have somewhere cold to rest.

We will therefore be moving ours from its sunny warm spot on our kitchen windowsill to a colder place in our home. If I had an unheated greenhouse it could go in there but instead, I will move it to a cold windowsill that is north facing. It's the coolest place in our home and I am hoping it will be cold enough. 

I have been warned not to panic during winter as the leaves will turn black and the beautiful little plant will die right back. At this point, we will trim off any dead growth. Then it is just a matter of keeping it damp and waiting for new growth in Spring! 


Information About the "Traps"

As it is a carnivorous plant its method of gaining nutrition is a little more gruesome than with most plants. It first needs to attract its prey which it does by exuding sweet nectar. 

The flies come in and movement triggers the tiny hairs and then the trap snaps shut just like a cage from which the insect cannot escape.

After that digestive enzymes dissolve the insect and use it for nutrition. The traps stay shut for about 5-8 days then open up again to restart the process with the added bonus, if you are a Fly Trap- of the leftover carcass also being used to attract more prey. 

I feel I should say at this point that we have not noticed any more flies coming in due to having this plant. In fact, we probably have less making it past the plant into the house now!

New Young Traps Forming On Venus Fly Trap


The Cycle Of The Traps

When a trap has opened and closed a few times, probably around five times, it goes black and dies off. For that particular trap, it is the end.

However, before that happens we see several new traps growing to take their place.

At first, I did not think they would grow large enough to keep the plant alive before the older ones died but nature knows what it is doing and the new traps grew and were big enough by the time the older ones died. 

I am more than happy to see now that when I bought it only had 4 traps and now it has double that amount so this shows the plant is happy. Over time and with care it will get better and bigger. 

Children find these Venus Fly Traps fascinating and the book below is a great informative and fun introduction to these amazing little houseplants. 


 


 A Word Of Warning About Venus Fly Traps

If you have one of these fascinating plants it is very important not to test out the traps by putting your finger or a pencil etc inside them. 

While it may seem like fun, to the plant it is torture. Every time the trap shuts it uses up energy and if there is no food in the trap then it has just wasted so much energy. Traps only close about 5 or 6 times before they die so if it is tormented like this with no food it will deplete the plant and eventually the whole plant may die. 

However, you cannot really hurt yourself on this plant. Just avoid touching it as much as possible for its own sake. 


Venus Fly Trap On Sunny Windowsill


So having been initially quite wary of this carnivorous houseplant the Venus Fly Trap, I am now more than fascinated with it and it is an unusual addition to our houseplant collection!


More Gardening And Houseplant Reviews




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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Reviewing A Day Like This by Kelley McNeil

 What mother hasn't momentarily taken her eyes off the road to glance back at their child in the backseat, especially when said child is sick and you are on your way to the doctor?   Imagine if this resulted in an accident and when you woke up in the hospital everyone insisted that you didn't have a child.

Reviewing A Day LIke This by Kelley McNeil
Image created by Lou6 using Canva


This book (A Day Like This) by Kelley McNeil kept me captivated and I really didn't know what to expect, do I recommend it?   Absolutely, but clear your day before starting it as you are not going to want to be disturbed!

The medical opinion is that it appears as though Annie's memories are false memories caused by a brain injury (that doesn't show on scans) from the accident, or maybe she is going a little crazy, we are introduced to the mental instability that besieged her mother while Annie and her sister were growing up.

Of course, there is another idea that could explain what's happening - could she have crossed over to a parallel universe?   In which case, can she get back?   There are so many questions and we are right there inside Annie's mind as she's asking them, investigating them and trying to unravel them.

At one stage I wondered if she was perhaps dead and she actually asked this question herself, but no this book is not trying to be The Sixth Sense!   You'll have to wait until the end to see which happy ending Annie gets, but it is well worth the wait.

You are basically following two storylines in this novel, but they are very easy to keep track of and I was surprised once I finished reading it to discover that this is a debut novel.   I cannot wait to see what else Kelley McNeil will write.

If you enjoy reading then why not follow me on my Facebook page - Tea with Louanne?




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Friday, October 15, 2021

With Love, Louisa: A Regency Romance - Larkhall Letters Book 3 Reviewed

With Love, Louisa Reviewed
The Larkhall Letters book series has kept me reading, and laughing, for days! 

I've quickly moved from one book to the next.  Most recently, I finished reading With Love, Louisa.  Sadly, I now have to wait for the next book in the series to be published to continue following the lives and escapades of the ladies and gentlemen of Larkhall. However, you can start the series today, then wait along with me in eager anticipation of the 4th book.

In book 3, as you would expect from the title, Louisa Rosemeyer is the main character. Previously, she has been a likable support character in the series.  We first meet Louisa in book 1, The Ace of Hearts.  She and her older sister Alice (the main character of book 1) visit Larkhall for the summer in hopes that one or the other will find a lovable husband so they can avoid being forced into arranged marriages by their stepfather. 

In book 2, The Captain's Confidant, Louisa had become Bridget Northcott's companion, which allows her to safely remain at Larkhall and travel with the Northcott family. 

Book 3 opens with Louisa feeling uncomfortable with continuing to live at Larkhall with Bridget's brother, Matthew, her self-appointed older brother, and their elderly aunt. She believes it will cause a great scandal if she remains in the home with a single man.

Unexpectedly, the shy Louisa manages to find herself in an extraordinary situation that had me rolling with laughter as she winds up in the very worst place while seeking a hiding place in an unfamiliar home.


With Love, Louisa Book Synopsis

 With Love, Louisa: A Regency Romance
(Larkhall Letters Book 3)
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When Louisa Rosemeyer decides it is time for her to leave the protection of Larkhall, she pens a letter to her wealthy widowed aunt, Mrs. Irwin, whom she hopes would welcome a companion. Louisa hasn't met Mrs. Irwin, but she knows she owns an estate, Benham Abbey, in Folkswich. To her happy surprise, Louisa receives a response to come as soon as possible.

However, Mrs. Irwin did not write the letter.  Her tenant, Jack Warwick, replied to Louisa and signed Mrs. Irwin's name. He believes it would serve his disagreeable landlord right to be required to receive unwanted company and believes it would be a grand joke on Mrs. Irwin.

Upon arrival at Benham Abbey, Louisa is mistaken by the housekeeper as a hired maid and escorts her to the servant's quarters. Because it is already bedtime, Louisa believes this is a mistake that can be rectified in the morning and she is exhausted from travel.  However, she can't sleep due to hunger.  She decides to venture to the kitchen for a snack. When she hears a man's voice, she is frightened.  After all, why would a man be in her elderly aunt's home?  Fearing that it could be an intruder, she decides to hide, but she has to keep moving further away as it seems the man is following her.  

Both the man and Louisa are shocked by what happens next!

 

Conclusion

It is rare for me to find a book series that every individual book deserves a separate review.  However each book in the Larkhall Letters by Ashtyn Newbold has an excellent plot with wonderful characters and could easily be enjoyed without having read other books in the series.

With Love, Louisa is a delightfully entertaining story with several difficult situations that must be dealt with properly and in accordance with societal rules.  

In the end, I feel I have made a few new friends and I wish them every happiness.  


Read My Other Reviews of Books in the Larkhall Letters Series

 The Ace of Hearts Review The Captain's Confidant Review




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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Review of Origami in the Garden

Flying Folds

 Are you fascinated by Origami? Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into shapes that look like animals, birds, etc. I always wanted to learn origami, and several years ago I took a short course on origami while I was on a cruise ship.  What I thought would be very easy, was not easy at all.  I felt like I was all thumbs trying to put together a very basic form.  

I recently was able to view an awesome exhibit of origami, taken to a whole new level.  This exhibit was featured this summer and early fall at Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. It features sculptures by Santa Fe artists Jennifer and Kevin Box.  These sculptures were created in collaboration with world renowned origami artists.  The large metal sculptures use a lost-wax casting and fabrication.  Each sculpture glorifies the art of origami through museum quality metals.  They are really something to behold.

There were 18 sculptures placed throughout the gardens. In this review I will share some of my favorite sculptures and tell you a little bit about each one.

 Crane Unfolding



The first sculpture we saw when we entered the garden was the one pictured above.   In this beautiful sculpture you can see a crane emerging from a single piece of paper through the folding process to the finished crane.
Here is the sign by the sculpture that expresses what the artist felt.


Rising Cranes


This sculpture depicts a number of cranes rising from a rock base.  This sculpture was set in a small water feature at the garden and I like the way the sculpture is reflected in the water.

 Emerging Peace


This sculpture is a favorite of mine.  It depicts a butterfly starting out as a caterpillar and finally a beautiful butterfly.  I like the write up on the sign below.


Hero's Horse


I love the sculpture of the horse and the message it sends.  It looks great among the trees in the park.  Here is the sign by the horse.


Master Peace

Asian legend says that if you fold 1000 cranes in a year you will be granted a wish.  The artists who created these sculptures created 1000 cranes and wished for peace.  This sculpture is called "Master Peace" and is made up of 500 of their cranes.  The other 500 cranes are scattered throughout the world.


The sculpture stands tall in the pond in front of the climatron ( a wonderful indoor feature of the garden).  Below is a close up photo I took showing a section of the sculpture.


White Bison

The White Bison were displayed alongside one of the paths in the garden.  I thought they were very interesting in their two tone look.



Rock, Paper, Scissors

This simple hand gesture game is played throughout the world.  I was fascinated to read that it originated in Asia in 200 BC.  It evolved over the years and today uses three common items.  Here is the sculpture depicting the game.


Paper Navigators

The last sculptures in this review are the boats that were placed in the pond in the Japanese garden section of the Missouri Botanical Garden.  They  can be seen as you take the path around the pond. I like the way the sculptures are reflected in the pond.



This is just a small selection of the sculptures that were shown at our botanical garden.  The sculptures will be taken down soon.  I hope you will be able to view them if they come to a gardens near you.

Learning Origami

If you are interested in learning origami you might want to try one of these books offered at Amazon.

 





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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Fascination with the Past Leads to Lots of Reading - Book Reviews

Oh the books that are available on a myriad of topics that can keep a reader going for a long, long, time!

Today I'll tell you about four books that had me totally captivated and left me with bags under my eyes for days.  (That for me is the sign of a really good book, or two or three or more!)


Lately I have found myself totally captivated by World War II novels.  Most of these books are historically true, although some license has been taken with character names and places.  

The three books by Heather Morris are stories that are actually true stories.  Heather had met and spoken with several people that lived the nightmares that were part of the European history of this War.  The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Cilka's Journey and The Three Sisters are her stories.  The Book of Lost Names written by Kristen Hannah is also in this genre of WWII novels.

While this is a genre that I don't normally gravitate towards, I can honestly say that these books kept me turning pages and finding excuses to read more rather than bookmarking my page.  That is a sign of a good book, don't you think? 

Each of Heather Morris' books can stand on their own, but together they really paint a troublesome, difficult and dangerous time in our history.

You can read more about these books and some of the controversy that ensued in Brenda's Review, right here! 

The latest book in this genre that really took me by surprise was one written by Viola Russell called, "Love at War."


This book takes a look at how, why and when the Americans got involved in this War that touched so many lives.

While I have seen and been at the American Memorial to Pearl Harbor and heard the story of how the American's became involved, this book managed to put me right in the middle of all the turbulence and sacrifices that American men and women made during this bleak period.




All the other books focus on the beginning of the war and the hatred Hitler had for Jews and anyone standing with the Jews.  Viola Russell with her book,  Love At War, takes us into the lives of American families who got involved after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  The missions and how many New Americans who were bilingual (many had fled Germany after WWI) helped to get secrets from the Germans to help their new homeland win this battle.  

It is the story of women, who were brave enough to enlist and carry out top secret missions right in the heart of enemy territory.  Some of these women were drawn to these missions by extreme hatred for what the German's had done to their brothers, husbands and friends during all the fighting.  Hatred is a very powerful emotion, as we see in some of the missions that are written about here. 

I don't want to give away too much of the story, but suffice it to say that I'm sure if you pick up Love at War, you will have a hard time putting it back down again.  



I hope you get a chance to read all of these books as each of them has something unique for us to learn about.  History should never be forgotten and the sacrifices that people made during this War should also never be forgotten. 

                                       God Bless America!  



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Forest Animals in Wood Reviewed

There are many clever artisans who create Woodland animals hand-cut from a variety of woods for children's play. Other crafters create them as wall hangings, some especially sweet for a baby's nursery or a child's room. Others create wooden animal puzzles.  


Some are finished in natural wood, many of which are considered 'Waldorf Toy Animals'.  Others are hand-painted. All are special because they are lovingly handmade.


These Forest Critters include the animals usually found in the woods, including foxes, wolves, bears, deer, squirrels, bunny rabbits and many others, including birds such as the Owl. 


This page presents a few creative sets of Woodland creatures and a couple individual animals as toys – all created in wood. 


Waldorf Toys


According to a description on Google....


Waldorf toys are wooden toys, they are eco-friendly toys and of course organic toys. ... Toys that are made from natural materials, with rich, natural colors, and that are lovingly handcrafted are inviting and contribute to a child's “sense of life.” Waldorf toys are often simple, without a lot of detail. 


Woodland Animal Sets in Wood


Woodland animals handcrafted in wood
Woodland Animal Nature Toys


All Natural toys for small children shaped like cute Woodland Animals to promote Nature-Based Play.


Each critter is hand-cut out of natural wood and sealed with a Non-Toxic Food Grade Sealant made from beeswax and olive oil. 


These natural wooden toys encourage key early childhood developmental skills such as brain development and small motor skills. They can practice balance by standing them up and stacking, counting the animal toys and families, or creative play with these fun natural toys. 


There are two sizes to the sets, which include a bear, a deer, a rabbit, a squirrel and a bird.  These wooden forest animals are handmade by Erik in Michigan and are available in his Etsy Shop Hessler Customs.


Animal Puzzle Handmade in Wood


Wooden Frog Puzzle

This stand up frog puzzle is handcut from 3/4" thick cherry on a scroll saw, sanded smooth, and finished it with a natural beeswax and organic jojoba oil polish.


The puzzle is 6 1/4" tall, 7 1/4" wide and 3/4" thick. It has four puzzle pieces.  This is a great beginner puzzle for ages 3+.


Woodland Frog puzzle is handmade by Susan who lives in Missouri near St. Louis. She has been creating adorable woodland creatures for many years and is a very talented craftsman. Susan and I met up several years ago when I was living in St. Louis and I have been a fan of her work ever since seeing them in person. You can find this frog puzzle and many other delightful wooden toys created by Susan in her Etsy Shop OohLookItsARabbit.


Woodland Animal Peg Dolls


Woodland Animal Peg Dolls

These Woodland animal peg dolls make for delightful playtime. They are made of solid beechwood, measure 2/5 inches tall and are hand-painted and sealed using CE tested (certified) non toxic paints and sealants.


Included in this listing are a Bear, a Fox, a Deer, a Hedgehog, an Owl and a Badger. They are available to purchase individually or as a set.


These Woodland animal peg dolls are handmade by Katie and are available in her Etsy Shop Multipegs.


Woodland Animal Wall Hangings for the Nursery


Woodland Animals Wall Art for the Nursery

This delightful array of Woodland animals for the nursery wall (or any child's room) are created by Lea of Michigan for her Etsy Shop NovelWares.


• Crafted from 1/4” solid walnut which is sourced from sustainable and responsibly harvested forests

• Sealed with a poly for durability and easy cleaning

• Comes with double sided tape for easy and quick installation on your wall.   


Some of Lea's forest animals include 


There is also a bear, a bee, a hedgehog and a wolf.  Check out Lea's shop for many selections in this world of wooden forest animals. 


Summary




Many more Woodland Forest Animals are available throughout Etsy cleverly created in wood.  Just do a search for Woodland Animals in Wood for a wide variety of these cute animals who live in the forest. 


Related Post:


Review of Woodland Forest Animals as Soft Toys


*Forest Animals in Wood reviewed by Wednesday Elf






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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