why henna is cool

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Some time ago I made a tattoo design for my cousin. She really wanted to have all the initials of her children on her skin, plus 3 stars, representing her unborn children. 

I made this design, which she was really happy about. But after a year she still had doubts on wether to take the tattoo or not. (Mainly because her husband hates tattoos) 

So she desided she wanted a less permanent tattoo. Just to get used to the idea, make up her mind, and maybe convince her husband. 

So I gave her this henna tattoo. I hope it will make her decide on taking the tattoo,.. or not. A semi permanent tattoo is very handy for this purpose.

Because I had plenty of henna paste left, and I was invited to a birthday party of my twin-nieces, I also drew a few tattoos at the party. Making it a henna party! Henna is so much fun! My nieces were so excited! They were getting a ‘real’ tattoo and tried to sit very still! So cute! My nephew, son, and brother in law, also wanted one, and I still have henna paste left! 

So I put it in the freezer. Hope it won’t harm the structure or durability. The henna paste usually is old after 3 days, and it is not to be kept in the fridge,.. dont know why, … So I hope I’ll be okay when I defreeze it! Keep you posted. 

Wall art

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I promised myself to get more creative and try new art techniques, and I hope I slightly got to this, when I created wall art this weekend.
I usually paint with oil paint, but for a wall painting this would be inconvenient: it is too expensive and dries too slow. So I bought the most cheap-ass acrylic paint I could find along with the most inexpensive plastic brushes, and gave it a try. Turned out that the paint wasn’t that bad and the brushes actually were quite good (for the Dutch readers: I got the brushes at the Hema and the paint at the action). It was just very strange to use a paint wich is quick-drying, I had to get used to that. I also am not used to trying to finish a big painting in one day, so I didn’t succeed in that, but a few hours work the other day made me do the job. Here are some pictures! 

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Do you like it? 😁

art at a children’s birthday party

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My son will have his 13th birthday this Thursday. Even though he’s a big boy now, he still wanted a real children’s birthday party,.. a Star wars birthday party of course. But, how to throw a Star wars birthday party? The internet is full of tips and tricks; from a Star wars BINGO to a Star wars galaxy Obleek, (don’t ask me,..) and from a death star piñata to edible TIE-fighters.

(if you’re interested in any of these ideas: here are the links: BINGO, Obleek, Piñata and TIE-fighters)

But, since my son’s autistic, and all of his friends are too,… the piñata had to be crossed off the list,.. the TIE-fighters were a good idea, but there’s no way you are able to buy hexagon-shaped cookies in the Netherlands, I didn’t know what to do with the obleek, and for bingo I needed a bunch of presents, wherefore I did not have enough money nor ideas.

So, it was time to throw in some art! I decided to let them paint T-shirts. With star wars templates of course. Both the templates and the paint were homemade. Because: do you know where to buy Star wars templates? And textile paint is waaaaaay to expensive to buy. Googling on the internet I found out that you can turn gouache into textile paint (you can also use acrylic paint), all you have to do is buy a bottle of textile medium! Textile medium isn’t very expensive, and neither is gouache; so you’ll have plenty of textile paint for a minimum amount of money! I used Creall tex mix; but the T-shirts haven’t been Curtis verjaardag 03washed yet, so I can’t assure you it works,… yet,..

The templates were made from pizza boxes. I spend a whole evening drawing them and cutting them out of the cardboard. I used a small scissor and a sharp knife. I was afraid the cardboard would be too weak to be used by children. Especially since some of the templates had very small strips, which were easy to break, but luckily the kids were very cautious, and there were enough adults to assist them during painting. The results were amazing!Curtis verjaardag 04

If you’re planning to do this, make sure you have enough time to cut out the templates and,.. (something that totally slipped my mind) make sure to give the kids aprons! The textile paint is meant to stay on textile,.. so it surely can ruin the shirt they’re wearing!

Being creative on a party is great, but it wouldn’t be a party without snacks and presents. So I designed a game for this. It was a ‘board-game’ covering two kitchen table tops. +/- 50 colored paper sheets, laid down in a circle, represented about 50 different tiles. 20 of the tiles offered a snack for the visiting player. 2 of the tiles asked the player to sing a birthday song, 2 tiles made them skip turns, and 4 tiles bid the player to throw the dice a second time. Currtis verjaardag 01

All of the kids had presents for my son. Instead of just giving him the presents, they had to hide them. The hiding was part of this board game. During the game they could visit a tile that said them to hide their present. My son had to leave the room for a moment, and after the present was hid, he was to search for it. I also bought little presents for my son’s friends. These presents also were hid and found during the game.

If you like to use this game for your party, this is the ‘board-game’s plan:

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Some instructions:

  • if the birthday boy visits the tile ‘hide your present’, he can choose who’s present he wants to search
  • if the birthday boy visits the tile ‘search your present’, there’s no action, since the little presents aren’t for him
  • if a child visits a tile ‘search your present’ or ‘hide your present’ while he already found or hid his present, there’s no action
  • the game’s finished when all of the presents are found
  • if you want to speed up the game; leave out the ‘skip turn’ tiles and write down ‘hide or search your present’ on the blank tiles
  • give them small snacks: 3 slices of potato chips, a small cookie, miniature donuts, miniature hot dogs or miniature marshmallows will do just fine

The art-part of the game were the pawns. To stick to the theme, all of the kids had a Star wars pawn. I had cut six pieces of wood, primed them with GESSO, and painted 6 different Star wars figures on them. My son also had collected 6 plastic Star wars cups, so the cups matched the pawns, which I thought was quite nice.

I did not have time to paint the pawns with oil-paint. I don’t have acrylic paint, so I used marker pens. The funny thing is; when you’re drawing with marker pens on a primed object, the ink dries slower, so you can mix and blend the ink while drawing. The result is much like a painting. I was surprised! It was hard to recreate the images in the short amount of time I had (I started painting 2 hours before the party,…. ai,…) But I’m happy with the results nevertheless.Curtis verjaardag 02

camera obscura

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The dark room. I’ve been inside one, once,.. It was an art-project of Dutch artists Huub Wijnen and Odrada Burghoorn. The camera obscura was shaped as an -upside down- blue, little house, and you were able to go inside. So we did.

Unfortunately it was about 30°C (86°F) in the sun, so the dark room was steaming hot inside, and a lot of people inside got short of breath. Due to the temperature, we mainly were busy not to faint, therefore we totally forgot to notice the artistic and historical meaning of this experience. Lots of artists (mainly in the 16th – 17th century) used a (smaller) camera obscura to take a better look at their subject. The camera obscura is a dark room with a tiny little hole in one of the walls. The light, going through this hole, projects an image of the outside world on the opposite wall. It looks like a miracle, and therefore, mainly in the 16th century, the camera obscura sometimes was part of the collection of curiosities, which you could see at the fun fair. The camera obscura still is very unique, for it has an endless depth of field, something you only experience with the best camera’s.

Anyway, we did not faint, and a part of my consciousness did enjoy being inside a real camera obscura. It’s such a cool idea to create something like that! You really should check their website, the photo’s of the blue -upside-down- house which is the camera obscura can be seen here: http://hetblauwehuisje.nl/foto1.html

Camera obscura’s aren’t in use anymore. At least; I don’t know any artist (except the ones who created the blue house) who uses a camera obscura. I think it would be really cool to have one, but I also think a digital camera, nowadays, can work as well. For me at least. I use my camera to rethink my works.

The first time I took a picture of my unfinished work, it was for keepsake. But later, I noticed it helped me to view my work from another perspective. By taking pictures, I see things I overlook while working on it. I even see things I overlook, when I just take a step back to look at it. It is really helpful to sit back, staring at a picture of your work. When I do, I stare at it for at least 10 mins. I know it’s digital, not the real thing like a camera obscura, but for me the effect is the same. And yes, due to this habit, I have a big collection of pictures of work in progress. And I’m more than willing to share: (still not finished!!)

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