Today was the kind of day in which Much Attention Was Required. I'm embracing these days though because just four short months from now, I'll have three kids sharing the same elementary building for 7 hours each day.

We made cookies (rescuing the empty honey bear for a future project before it hit the recycling bin) and planted some flower seeds in a lovely little pot I picked up on Mother's Day. We played some frisbee in the front yard and drug the picnic table up to the top deck so she could draw family portraits (LOTS of family portraits...daily) in the sunshine. We counted her freckles (she calls them "nickels") and made each other shrinky dink bracelets (so that we would always know the other was thinking of us when we're apart. For that 2.5 hours of preschool every other day.)

Our best use of time was this little portrait though.

A long, long time ago, I did an online class for BHG all about doing hybrid projects with digital supplies. One of the projects included tissue paper printed and adhered to canvas with Mod Podge. At the time, I thought I was a genius. I hadn't seen it done before but have since seen it all over the place done much better than I managed. If you're interested in my primitive process though it's a little like this.

Start with your photo. I took this one laying in the grass the other day with Izzy (when she told me I'm her best friend for ALWAYS.) Zap it through PicTapGo quickly to get an easy black and white version (how amazing is that app?)

This canvas is 8x10" so I sized the photo to fill the sheet and centered it on a letter sized canvas. I reduced the opacity just a bit (I think to 75%.)

Then, the tricky part. I cut the tissue paper to just under 8.5 x 11" and then smoothed it as much as possible over a sheet of cardstock taping each edge with a couple of strips of plain tape (three strips along the edge that gets pulled into the printer!)

Next, print. This can be finicky and irritating (or, you'll get lucky and it will suck through cleanly on the first shot) Be prepared to clean wadded tissue paper out of your printer though...just in case. I guide the sheet into the printer at first but once it's started cleanly, it should be fine to finish.
After carefully removing the tissue from your backer, coat your canvas in a thin layer of Mod Podge (this is matte...I think the gloss version would make the paint not stick/dry well but I don't really know for sure.) Starting at one edge, line up the tissue and smooth it over the canvas slowly trying to avoid air bubbles (there will be some in my experience and that's fine...just try to minimize them.)
Let it dry (and yes, I *do* need a real canvas of this photo!)
Then paint. I gave her watercolors so that the original photo would show through. I told her to go crazy and use any colors she wanted...no need to match what she was wearing or even make her skin/features the "right" color.

So she gave herself red hair and a ronald mcdonald mouth and added a big shiny sun in the sky.
I do believe she likes it.


  1. arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh i LOVE THIS. you guys amaze me.

  2. Please be my next door neighbor.



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