Collecting words

I am running behind with a lot of things, but the exhibition is coming along well. image

For my next story telling exercise I have already shown you the cards and a drawing. Well now I am collecting words. To be more specific; places; people; events; things.

Places are words like on the table, by the pond. People are words like nurse, farmer, but could also be an animal. Events is harder but could be cycling or juggling. Finally things like a ball or bike. image

Happy word hunting.


Fairytale story elements

CharactersLast week I decided to research the fairytale as the story element of our upcoming craft, craft for adults that is.

I always see the most beautiful crafts in places like Instagram and Pinterest with the mention that children will have so much fun making it, but why can’t we just admit that us adults love making crafts as well. We often end up taking over from our kids to make it look “better”. But I get side tracked. And please feel free to get your kids involved, nothing better then spending time with the family. Backdrops and props

Back to fairytales; this is what I found.

1. They always start with “once upon a time” and end with “lived happily ever after.”

2. They have a problem with a solution. That solution comes about with some sort of magic.

3. The setting and characters have something regal or magical. Oh and they can be animals with human traits as well.

4. There is a moral to the story, a lesson to be learned.

The first ideas that have come to my mind have nothing magical Magical elementsabout them. I would like to come up with a modern fairytale that deals with bullying and friendship. But a playground and normal families have no regal or magical connotations. More over they will be hard to catch in masks and props. The only person I came up with that can stay is Aunty Trollup. She will be my version of a fairy godmother.

But for now it is back to the drawing board.


There seems to be a bit of a theme going on in my Thursday blogs with story elements and the way to express them creatively with scenery and props and what not. And I like it, so I want to continue it. image

I wrecked my brain about the next story/craft sequence. And then it struck me, my kids love fairytales and dressing up. Masks and props with our own once upon a time and lived happily ever after.

I’m looking forward to playing with this idea so stay posted.

craft books

Craft Books are my Addiction

Yes this, I must admit, is a true statement. When I started organising my workspace, I realised that the one thing I have a hard time with is deciding if any of my craft books can go. As all the bookshelf space has started to fill up and another Bookfest is coming up, I have to take a hard look at myself and my shelf.

So you say, don’t go to this Bookfest thingy…… Well, that is not an option. In our (my husband and me) enthusiasm we have created little book monsters of daughters. After 3 months without a Bookfest, my eldest keeps on asking when we can go again. And I want her to keep this great attitude towards books. Children books are a wonderful thing and I like it when she can keep them and they do not always have to go back to the library.out of print craft books

So this time I will have to be strong and very selective, perhaps even make a list? But then what makes it such a great place to go is the browsing and the treasures you find….

So, if you are in Brisbane, Queensland and you have never been, please come along to the Bookfest. It starts this Saturday

Book review: the dot

Book review: The Dot

When I was in the library today with my youngest daughter, I was mainly waiting for her to Book review: the dotbe done playing and looking at all the books. While sitting there my eye fell on this book “the dot” by Peter H. Reynolds from Walker Books. I picked it up as I liked the drawing on the front and started to read it.

It is a simple sweet story, but it is exactly what I hope to accomplish with the things I do. Now this is a children’s book and thus the adults will say that this does not apply to them. I say read the book and do what it asks and you will feel different.Book review: the dot

Enjoy reading it and then go make your mark.

theatre what next

What happened at the Theatre?

Last week I build a little theatre, to entertain ourselves with made up stories. And I really story telling ideaswanted to continue with…. And here is where I got stumped, because what do you do first. Come up with the puppets, or more professionally characters. The sceneries and backdrops, or the story. I went around in circles and have yet to make a decision. On my quest for a story I did come across a fun story making exercise that I will probably use to determine my characters. Here it is;

Take 2 household objects or 2 objects lying on your desk and imagine them having a conversation.

Like: The spoon was lying next to the plate and asked the fork on top of the plate what was for diner….

Or: The thread did not like the look of the scissors. The scissors did not understand as they were a bit shy….

Let me know of some good object conversations, hopefully by next week I have made that decision and every thing can fall into place.

pulling it together

How I Write a Book: Pulling it Together

giving the characters a placeThis is the blog post in which all the elements I have been working on  over the past 3 weeks are being pulled together. I have the pages. I have the story. And I have the characters. The thing is I find it hard to explain to you what I do. It would be silly just to write the story on one page and stick the characters on another. So I try to break up the story logically over the pages I have. Then I have the characters printed for all the pages, including the title page. Now I look again at the story to put one or two elements in the backdrop. For this I can useputting elements in the backdrop literally anything; paper, threads, stickers, pen, pencil…

Have fun with it, it doesn’t have to look perfect or lifelike. It is an indication and dresses the pages.

Then I test my book on my kids. They love the vibrant colours and ask all kinds of questions. This to me means they like it. Here is my book, Enjoy!


uwe and bella

How I write a Book: Meet Uwe & Bella

Our book is really taking shape now and that is very exciting. We have made the pages and we have made up a short slightly silly story. And since we have the story we now know who the main characters are. It is now our job to give a face to these characters, this is why I didn’t just come up with a name, but also with what they are.sketch the characters

We are going to meet Uwe the emu and Bella the rosella. Both birds native to Australia and therefor could live in the bush. Now I like to draw, but by no means do I from the to of my head come up with the drawings of the character of the top of my head. So where do I go… usually the internet, but it could equally be a book or a magazine. I find a picture I like and start to sketch. If you do not feel comfortable sketching free hand, take a tracing paper and a clear photo that you can trace. Holding the photo and tracing paper against the window might sometimes help with finding the right lines.

Now you have your basic character, but you would like it to become more humanised. Lookmultiples at your story for elements that can enhance your character. Uwe would like to ski, so even though the bush to most would seem like a warm place he is wearing a scarf and is holding poles. Bella on the other hand is a happy go lucky bush girl that plucks the day, with a hat and holding a flower she seems pretty happy. Again I use the internet to learn how I can give my characters these trades, by looking at what others do. It’s a great way to learn as long as you do not copy direct! Now make sure you have enough to cover your pages. I just like to scan, scale and print them.

I have put Uwe and Bella into a pdf for your book if you feel insecure about the whole thing, but give your self also the chance to try, you might surprise yourself!


  • paper
  • pencil
  • pen
  • photo’s, magazines, books or the internet
  • printer
  • scanner

PDF:160428 emu and rosella

How I Write a Book. The Words

Long ago, when I was a child, I used to watch a show in which classrooms competed with each other in all sorts of challenges. One of the challenges would be “to make a stage performance during the time of the show.” The chosen kids got to draw “a place” story writing exerciseand from there they would determine characters and they were free to make up their story line. I loved this part of the show and when ever a group of friends came over the dress up box would come out and we would be performing to each other.

Why am I telling you this? Because I have adapted this technique for my story telling, when I am stuck. My girls almost love t as much as I do, that is the slightly absurd stories that emerge. I can’t wait to have them use the technique themselves and come up with al kinds of great plays.

Back to the task at hand though. Last week we made a little book and now we have to fill the book with words and illustrations. Here is how I came up with my little story, next week the illustrations.writing is trial and error


  • paper
  • pen

As I told in the introduction, the children would get given a place. First thing I do is make a list with places that could serve as the backdrop of my story. I usually try to keep my places to short words as my stories are short. The next step of the process will make clear that longer words will lead to difficulties otherwise. After making the list I will take the one word that most appeals to me, or I let my girls choose.

As we have 4 pages to fill I thought a 4 letter word would be appropriated. Mine turned out to be BUSH. After I picked I put the letters of this word underneath each other. The letters represent the first letter of the personality of the story or the event that happens. My 160421-writing-a-storydivision in this is. The last two letters represent the events, the other letters are the personalities. B & U in my case became Bella-the rosella and Uwe-the emu, two personalities living in the bush. S & H became the events, skiing and hoola hoop. After some writing and scratching and re-writing I ended up with a short story that I like enough to write in my 4 pages. I now have the words to put images in my mind that I will be sharing with you next week… Enjoy imagining!

writing little books

How I Write a Book. The Pages

Writing a book is a huge task if you imagine it to be a hundred pages and published and …. Unique little booksI love books and I would love to be published. I also know that I need to focus on what I am good at and that is creating with things, rather then with words. Nevertheless this little voice inside makes me write a blog and let me tell you a secret, I write little unique books of 4 pages. It is great and fun and just for me… although my girls love them too.

I will take you on my journey of making these little treasures over the next couple of weeks. Starting with making the actual book, the pages.


  • A4 watercolour paper 180gr
  • watercolour paints
  • water
  • brush
  • scissors

or you could take a shortcut and use the pdf (link at bottom of page) I made for you of a background as you may not have these tools and I would hate for you to miss out.

painting the pagesI have kept the background fairly simple. Take one sheet of A4 watercolour paper. Paint with very wet watercolour paint broad stripes, one colour in the middle, another colour on either side of the middle stripe, they can touch. and a third colour fills the rest of the page. Let the colours bleed into each other, unless you do not like that effect. Now let the paper dry.

Once you have a dry water piece of nicely coloured A4 paper, you are going to make the following folds. Once lengthways in half, open it back up. Now over the short side in half, open it back up. Now fold each short side up to the middle fold and open back up. Your A4 is now divided into 8 equal parts. Fold the A4 over the short side in half and cut over the middle line to half way (the next visible fold line, also see photo), and open up again. Take a close look at the photo, as I find the next step hard to explain, but it is essential to making the book. Esther K Smith from Purgatory Pie Press “How to make books” explains it in the following way: “Grasping both sides of middle from slit, pull apart and down.” (Love her book by the way as you can see on my Facebook page). Then you can fold the book into its final form and decide what is going to be the front cover.

PDF; finished watercolour A4  160407 book