fish pond

Paper Landscape: No Grass

After I put the background in on our little landscape last week, I knew it needed something else. I thought about grass and mentioned it, but it didn’t feel right.

pondWhat was the problem? The landscape wasn’t telling a story. The only character in the landscape is the cat. So what story can a cat tell…

Our cat loves the outdoor, she loves talking to the birds. But birds wouldn’t fill the ground, they would fill the tree. Another favourite animal of cats are fish and that is what I have opted for. Realising that you wouldn’t see it straight away I thought it would be a nice surprise when you study the landscape more closely.

I love working with paper. Mistakes are easily rectified, so here is what I did;materials


  • glue
  • magazine paper
  • scissors
  • paper landscape

The first thing I realised when I decided on the fish pond was that I had to relocate the cat so I took her of. Now I could estimate how big the pond could be. To realise depth I found 3 different pieces of magazine paper of different grades of the colour blue. I free form cut three ponds, each one a bit smaller. From a colourful photo I cut two little fish. Then I stuck everything down and repositioned the cat. I think its done, hope you enjoy it!

Blogging weekend is starting. Want to know what I’m up to follow me on Instagram @renateandtheanthouse or on


Butterfly Mobile

Do you evpaper animal mobileer have a plan and it fails. This is what happened with my butterfly mobile.

My daughter who is out of hospital is not yet allowed to do to many strenuous exercises. She has as a result taken to origami. All origami requires is a piece of paper, preferably colourful paper, but I have used magazine paper, by lack of anything else.

On Pinterest we found a butterfly that was simple enough to fold and we/she took of. (link here: butterfly) They were pretty and I felt that I needed to do something with them. Now a couple of years back I made a crane bird mobile for my other daughter, that I have always loved. As such the idea of a butterfly mobile rose. We went for a walk and found a stick that my husband cut to size and we were ready to assemble or so you would think.

materialsHow hard is it to make a butterfly float from a piece of string. Well in my case impossible. I have tried to find the middle of the butterfly, I have tried several points of attachment, I have tried stabilizing the butterfly with a toothpick and hanging the string from there…. If you have anymore ideas I can try let me know.

In the end to have my daughter enjoy her butterflies for longer I just glued them  directly to the branch with a hot glue gun. Not exactly as I expected, but cute none the less.


  • paper
  • scissors
  • stick/twig/branch
  • string
  • hot glue gun

If you have just rectangular pieces of paper have a look at the next series of pictures . Isn’t it wonderful how easy making a square piece of paper is.

Now follow the link I gave you earlier to make a bunch of butterflies. I have  a couple of pictures here, but the diagram on Printerest is much more clear and describing origami is hard, without knowing the terminology.

butterflies on stickTake your stick and your hot glue gun and arrange your butterflies on there. I have also hung one from its wing, to make it seem like it is flying. Attach some string to the ends of your stick so you can hang it. Enjoy!

squares in squares

Squares in Squares

First of all my apologies for not posting yesterday, but as we had a really eventful week last week in which I managed some drawing at my daughters bedside, but sewing was just not an option. I will finish the cute bag this week and will give you the finishing touches and the pattern pdf next Monday.drawing sheet

As for a little drawing exercise. I have done this one with my eldest daughter as it is the Easter holidays and she loves crafts etc. almost as much as I do. (as a matter of fact she is al ready talking about a blog of her own, which I think is wonderful.) And if I want to stay creative when the kids are at home I think the best way to make progress is to include them, even though that limits the things you can do. I guess it serves as a challenge.

I printed out two sheets (160329 squares in squares) with 4 big squares and told her and myself to draw squares in the squares. This could be done in pattern or one inside another continuously, so it gives you a feeling of perspective. She took like it as a duck to water and I must say I enjoyed it too and found that there were a lot more possibilities then I thought. Give it a go and Enjoy! Here are our results;

triangle trees

15 Minutes of Drawing: Trees

It was a stressful week this week in which my daughter ended up in hospital. Trees turned out to be a good subject this week, very tranquil. The images might not be the best as the lighting in the hospital wasn’t great. I am happy to tell you all is well now and we are back home. I will take it as the inspiration for this coming week though.

Next weeks theme: hospital

magazine trees

Paper Landscape: Back drop

Making doodles, crafting, fiddling with paper or other pieces of material, I love it all. It not only keeps me busy, it takes my mind of of other things, stressful things. You could call it my form of meditation or mindfulness and I can thoroughly recommend it. Why, because if everything goes to plan you have a beautiful thing at the end and if not, you have learned a lot and you get to destroy what you have made, which is another great stress reliever.

materialsPeaceful landscapes are considered another meditative subject and we are coming along nicely with the tree and the cat and the sun. I initially drew in a background, but I have decided that since everything else is made of magazine, these elements should join.


  • magazine
  • scissors
  • pen
  • glue stick
  • landscape
Use a piece of magazine that is left over from your other elements. On the back draw the shapes you like. I have drawn the tree, but felt bold enough to cut the house free hand. Youthe cut elements can fold the piece of paper to cut out the same shape twice, then you only have to draw once. Compose the back ground (perhaps I should have done this bit a the start to make the whole thing easier, but now you know where your main elements are placed, so it isn’t all bad.) Now glue the elements in place. Don’t worry to place them a little over the edge, you can trim these easily. Here is your finished back ground. I think I landscape with back dropmight make some grass this week to complete the landscape or a flower, we will see. Enjoy crafting!


flowers on glass

Packing Tape Transfers

You hear it often enough and I am one of those people who say “I never win anything.”. But I can not say that anymore, through Instagram I have won some craft books and a subscription for CreativeBug from Creative Bug. They run a bunch of online creative bottles with packing tape transferscourses and one of them is about transfers. It is a very simple process and lots of fun, but I was still at a bit of a loss on where to use it. Pinterest gave a couple of ideas, but I left it for a bit.

The technique popped up again for me when my daughter came home with the leaflet asking for volunteers for the school fete. A big happening here in Queensland at most state schools. As a crafty mum, I of course am volunteering at the creative gift stall. A bunch of mums, dads and grandparents make things to be sold, just before Mothers Day.

We also get things donated, but some of these can use a spruce up. And all of a sudden it became clear, where to use my newly acquired skill. scented candles in a bottle and some other small glassware could do with some decoration. Here is what I did;


  • black and white drawing (160323 flowers and apples)
  • laser printer or laser copier
  • packing tape
  • scissor
  • water in a relatively big shallow bucket
  • baking paper
  • glass container

You can use magazines or laser copies, but I liked the idea of my own drawings. So I drew flowers and apples (as one of the scented candles was apples flavour) on a piece of paper. I have a pdf of these for you 160323 flowers and apples. Take into account the size of the packing tape or the height of where the transfer is going to go.

Make a copy of your drawing on a laser copier it cannot according to my teacher be an inkjet. And cover your drawing with a strip of packing tape. Burnish the tape onto the paper, to ensure good contact. Roughly cut out the paper and stick the strips into the bucket of lukewarm water. Leave it for a while to soak. I would say at least an hour, but I have done it overnight.

When it is properly soaked you can rub the paper of the back of the packing tape. Magic transfer on glasswill happen as the paper comes of the ink will stick to the packing tape and more over the packing tape will stay sticky. When you have removed all the paper put it sticky side down on some baking paper to dry. If you then find that not all paper has gone just make it wet again and remove the remainder of the paper.

When your packing tape is dry, you can stick it to your glass object. Be aware of air bubbles. Isn’t it sweet.

circle and line result

A Circle and A Line

circle and line“Simple shapes are the basis of every drawing.” “You can always bring a subject back to the basic shapes.” I am loosely quoting drawing instructors. I often pass this stage as I don’t think about it, but it definitely does help to first outline the basic shapes and then fill in the other parts or connect lines.

As I was playing with shapes in my 15 minutes of drawing a day, I was thinking of shapes differently. It made me want to see what I could come up with if I put two simple shapes together. On the computer I drew a circle and a line, very static, but

when I stared at it for a while, I started to see, a tree, a lollypop, a flower, a street sign, a…. Now I am not going to give you more ideas. I have pdf-ed (160322 circle and stick) my circle and line for you and am curious what you see and will draw. Please feel free to comment your ideas below and Enjoy!

insert to knitted bag

Knitted Bag Continued

Hope you had a great time knitting your moss stitch, aaaaaaahhhhhh. Just found out that the Dutch gerstekorrel is a seed stitch in some countries and in others a moss stitch. Whatever you name it, it will be lovely for this little bag.  I love the seed stitch, it feels lush and sumptuous to me and with the right wool it is nice and soft. sewing the lining

As for the strength of a big stitch knitted clutch size bag I am a bit dubious, so I have made a lining of a fabric. For a fabric hoarder like me it is not very hard to find a fitting cotton fabric for the chosen wool. When I see a fabric in an op-shop that I really like I will buy it even though I am not always sure where I am going to use it. This checkered fabric I have had for at least two years, but as soon as I saw the white wool it was clear for me that this should be the insert. Now if you are not a fabric hoarder, I would have a look at your local quilt store. They often have affordable colourful quarts, that are perfect for a little project like this.

How to continue your bag making;

Measure your knitted rectangle, it will be approximately 26 x 32 cm. That is the size of mine, but as everybody has a different hand in knitting, one a bit tighter then the other, the size might vary a little. From your fabric you cut a piece of the same size. Both pieces need to be folded in half over the short side, which will make your bag approx. 26 x 16 cm. You also need to cut two length of fabric to be able to adhere your handles to the bag. If you plan to purchase mine then these piece will measure 19 x 8 cm, if you have your own handles you will have to measure the amount of fabric needed yourself.

With a sewing machine or by hand if you have none close the short sides of the fabric. Now you have a pouch. Iron out the seams for neatness and iron about 1cm of fabric over at the top. Secure with pins if you feel it is necessary and sew around to fasten. The last bit of machine sewing this week is, to sew about 1 cm on the short sides of the attachment pieces, on either side.

As for the knitted pouch, you will need either a big needle to accommodate your thick wool, or you need thinner wool in the same colour to close the sides. Closing a side on a knitted object, I have bee taught, happens on the right side of the “fabric”. Once the thread is attached (or you work with the left piece of starting or ending of the work), you pick up one stitch on one side of the seem and one stitch on the other side. Continue and pull tight or perhaps I should say straight. This results in the neatest edge. At the end insert two pouches togetherpush the needle to the inside of the bag and finish it of so the thread does not go anywhere. Do this on both sides.

Now you can push the sown pouch into the knitted pouch. Give yourself a tap on the shoulder, well done. We will attach the handles next week.

You can order my handles through my Etsy store renateandtheanthouse

15 Minutes of Drawing: Shapes

I can let you know from the response on Instagram that cats are a way more appreciated subject then shapes. (Or my drawings of cats were just a lot better.) I must say I found shapes harder then I initially thought, but here it is my two favourites of this week. 1. Stars made from pentagons and triangles. 2. A fantasy machine made out of squares, rectangles and lines. The rest of the week you can find on Instagram @renateandtheanthouse.

Hope you enjoyed the theme.

This week: Trees

Paper Landscape: The Sun

Looking out of my window in Brisbane Australia I see the sun, granted at the moment there are some clouds, but the sun is always there. And thus for the little card size paper landscape that I have been working on, I want a sun. But how to make a sun that fits the landscape.

Initially my heart was set on a filigree sun, thin strips off paper rolled up. I think I will have to use that technique somewhere else as it was to fiddley for this little landscape. materialsAlso I wanted to keep on using the same magazine paper that has been used so far and that is a bit thin for the filigree technique.

Having a look around my craft books and the internet I came across a fan, that looked perfect for what I needed. Here is how I made my sunny sun.


  • magazine
  • scissors
  • piece of string/thread
  • sticky tape

folding a fanAs a sun is yellow and I wanted to inject some colour in my picture, I looked through my magazine for some yellow, but I could have or perhaps should have picked another colour just for fun. I found a page with yellow flowers and cut out a square of approx. 4 x 4 cm. This squared got folded in the following way. Fold the square in half then open it and fold the side to the middle fold line, then open it and fold the next outside rim to the second fold. Now you can start to make a fan fold back and forward. It turned out to be too small so I repeated every thing I did to make a full circle. With the piece of string tie the two fans together in the middle. Fan out the outside ofthe sun the fans and stick them together with sticky tape (very fiddley I can tell you and my husband just came home with the kids when I was doing it and of course they were on top of me wanting to know what I was doing…..) Take your time. Use the end bit of your string to hang the sun from your sky. Enjoy your sunny day landscape. Next week will fill in the drawing at the back to make it fit in.

My blog weekend starts now. You can keep in touch with Renate and the Ant House though via Instagram @renateandtheanthouse or Facebook