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Fish Head Cupcakes

Bored with the usual kids’ party cake? Perhaps your child wishes to have an ocean-themed party, but you don’t even enough money for those expensive customized cakes. Have no fear, because we will be tapping into the inner kid in all of us and harnessing the creativity to create a fish-shaped cake out of a round cake and cupcakes! Here are the supplies that you would need:

  • 6” round cake
  • 12 cupcakes
  • A knife
  • Different-colored food coloring
  • Different-colored fondant
  • Buttercream
  • Paper Towels

Nozzle-Decorating-Sugar-Tool-1Begin by cutting a fish-shaped cardboard. This will help us outline the whole shape of the cake. Afterward, take the 6” round cake and cut it into two halves, which should form two semi-circles. These two semi-circles will serve as the head of the fish, and the tail of the fish. Position them like so, and then arrange the cupcakes to form the body of the fish. It should look a little something like this:

On the semi-circle that creates the tail, cut a triangle shape in the middle of the flat side to form the fins. You are free to eat this piece that you have cut off.

Now begins the fun part: decorating the fish with colors! First, it is important to start the frosting off by frosting the sides. Create your frosting with the buttercream and you can choose any color. For starters, we can use the yellow coloring to cover the sides of the fin in yellow frosting. Afterward, we can move on to the head and cover it with the same frosting. You can recreate ridges for the fins by using a spatula. Afterward, place them in the fridge for the frosting to harden.

fish-head-cupcakesNext up are the cupcakes. You can use different colored frosting for each of the cupcakes so you would have a very colorful fish, with various cupcakes for kids to choose from. After all of the sections have been placed in the fridge for quite some time, it is now time to take them out and begin the arrangement.

To make sure that the sections of the cake do not slip off the cardboard, it is necessary to apply a bit of buttercream to the bottom of each piece so make sure that the cake sticks to the cardboard. For the cupcakes, however, it is only necessary to apply buttercream to the out ones, since they would hold the ones located inside in place. You are free to add other props to the fish, such as fins, eyes, and lips. These can be created using different colored fondant. The design of the fish is entirely up to you, but it should look something like this.

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Sea Shell Art Craft

nautical-decor-theme-sea-shell-art-crafts-home-decorations-1It is summer once again, and with summer comes trips to the beach with the family! A beach trip with kids is never complete without strolling on the beach, and picking up sea shells that you think are beautiful. Although this tradition of bringing back sea shells as a memory of the trip, we are often faced with the problem of what to do with them afterward. The majority of these get thrown out because there isn’t just enough space to keep them lying around. Thankfully, through the creativity of artists and the availability of the internet, we can incorporate seashells into family-bonding arts & crafts. Here are a few steps to making your very own seashell portrait to create unique and memorable gifts:

1. Paint the shells

It is easier to create a new image if your shells are colored. You can drive down to the nearest school supply or hardware store and grab a set of water-based children’s paint. This is already a fun activity for you to do with your kids. Set up a palette filled with different colors, some water, and give your kids a brush and let them paint away! You can opt to have solid colors, or create patterns on each shell.

2. Dry the shells

It is not easy to work with wet paint, so it is best to leave them to dry for about a day before we get started on laying them out.

3. Get Creative

Now that you have your shells, prepare some glue, glitter, and get creative! You can create fancy greeting cards by gluing the shells to fancy paper to create a wonderful ocean-themed border. You can also create different sceneries like flowers and trees using the different colored shells that you have created. The only limitation to this step is your imagination, so do your best to recreate the image that comes to your mind. Though the easiest to create would be a collage, as it would be kid-friendly do. The important thing is to just let the creativity flow, and to just have fun!

4. Hang Them Up

01e32b39d6b14c7059a39f548e55f1e7After your masterpieces have been completed, you can hang them up in frames for protection, and for the added artsy feel. A variety of cheap frames can be obtained from your nearby thrift shop. You can also paint the frames to match the artwork. The shells can be added to the frames, but it would require the use of a glue gun, so be sure to be up for the responsibility because kids can harm themselves with the glue gun when used improperly.

Well, there you have it! Don’t forget to clean up afterward. It helps to wear old clothes while or inside-out white shirts while painting to make sure you do not stain the good clothes. You can hang your masterpieces up on the family wall, or you could use them as gifts to loved ones.

 

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How to Choose What Craft to Work On

There is much more to arts & crafts than just picking a random tutorial, then imitating what you see. Most of the time, you are stuck on the first step of creating your very own craft, that is: deciding on which craft you would want to work on. With various resources from books and the internet, we are given numerous choices on crafts and how to do them. As normal as human beings go, being presented with a lot of choices tends to stump our decision-making skills, but fear not! Let us go through some tips on choosing which craft to work on.

1. Look For a Place to Work

img_1208Let’s say you are headed to a dental appointment, but you dread the long wait hours, so you decide to tap into your more creative side. Obviously, you will only have a section of a bench and your lap to work on, so planning to work on a craft that would require large equipment such as a sewing machine would not be advisable. With this, you can cross out such crafts that would require that kind of equipment. As an alternative, you can bring with you simple crocheting materials as it would not require much space.

2. Make Time

If you have a lot of time to work on a craft without fear of being interrupted, you can choose to finally make that dreaded sweater you’ve been beating yourself up about. Otherwise, embroidery would be a perfect option for when you are constantly on-call. Embroidery allows you to leave it, and pick it up and start where you left off with no problems at all.

3. Enjoy What You’re Doing

beach wine charmAs simple as this may be, crafts are meant to be something that you would enjoy. If it starts to feel like a job (unless it IS your job), then it might be a good time to take a break. Trying to push yourself to work when you don’t feel like it may cause you to resent that craft and inevitably halt working on it.

If you want something simple to take your mind off things, then you could opt for simpler projects that do not require many materials or thinking.

If you feel fired up, then it may be the best time to work on that one project that you have been slowly making progress on. Sometimes this feeling is the core motivation to get us to finish that one long project.

4. Embrace the gut feeling

Sometimes, this doesn’t even need to be thought out. If you feel a strong attraction towards making something, then by all mean, go for it. Ideally, if you could harness this gut feeling, then choosing which craft to work on should be a breeze. However, it also takes practice to use this feeling, and can only be done through repeated arts & crafts.

Well, there you have it. These 4 simple steps are not the only steps you could follow, as the steps that a person takes would differ from person to person. But these steps could serve as the building block or foundation to you creating your own steps for you to follow.

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Anne-Catherine Becker-Echivard Makes Art Out of Fish Heads

“Making the most out of everything” – the art that Anne-Catherine Becker-Echivard creates perfectly revolves around that saying.  An artist by heart, Anne-Catherine uses fresh fish heads to create her masterpieces. The so-called “Fish-head Art” is composed of decapitated fish heads placed on top of doll-like bodies whilst recreating miniature scenes. As the concept of playing dress-up with your pets and having them pose has been around, fish-head art certainly is a fresh (pun intended) take on art.

fish-head-art_01Anne-Catherine’s masterpieces sometimes take about a month to complete a single one. The art focuses on so much detail that she has to do a lot of work into the creation of her set, backgrounds, and props. She works in her flat in Germany, but she gets her supply of fish locally. As soon as she gets her fish, she takes the decapitated heads and places them as the main subject of her masterpieces while the rest of the fishes’ bodies are cooked directly in the kitchen. But being true to the saying of “making the most out of everything”, Anne-Catherine cooks the fish heads after each masterpiece has finished, so nothing is wasted.

Anne-Catherine’s affinity with her art comes from an unusual childhood. Contrary to what she uses now, she was not fond of playing with dolls as a child. She did have a strong interest in animals, so strong that it had transcended the barrier of life itself. She was fond of playing with animals, both living and the dead. She had kept rats as pets, and dressed them up with clothes that her mother made. Just like a good majority of girls, she still did like to play dress-up. Her interest with fish was brought up when she took an apprenticeship in fishing alongside Normandy fishermen. It was after that apprenticeship that she started playing with the fish, and incorporating them into “dress-up” time.

fish-head-art_02The masterpieces that Anne-Catherine creates revolve around her “fish-head dolls” recreating scenes of everyday human life. She would create props and sets that would portray an assembly line of workers, scientists observing fish as a specimen, surgeons currently engaged in an operation, fancy characters in TV interviews, and so much more. Her work reflects the social and political issues experience in the world, with an added sense of humor. While her art may be considered bizarre to some, it opens up the eyes of many towards the unending imagination and creativity of the Human mind.