Friday, May 22, 2015

How To Create A Paper Collage Sailboat

Today I thought I'd share a really quick tutorial on creating a paper collage sailboat.

  • 1 - 12" x 12" scrapbook paper
  • 4 - Old papers (pages from a book, old bills, schoolwork, etc.)
  • Sketchpad (copy paper works, too)
  • Chipboard (thin enough to cut)
  • Graphite pencil or black marker
  • Gesso, white
  • Acrylic paints
  • Mod Podge®, matte
  • Embroidery thread
  • Hand quilting needle
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Blow dryer


1. Use your graphite pencil to sketch several sailboats onto your sketchpad, and then cut out the images.

2. Trace your sketches onto the chipboard, and then cut the chipboard to create your templates.

(If you cannot draw, take a picture of a sailboat, cut out the image of the sailboat, and use that for your template.)

3. Use the acrylic paint and paintbrush to paint your old papers various colors.

4. While the paint dries, grab your scrapbook paper and cover it in white gesso, then use the blow dryer to quickly dry the gesso.

5. Once the gesso dries, grab various shades of blue and greens to create the ocean scene.

(The key to creating a good ocean is to not "over blend" the colors.)

6. While the ocean scene dries, use your sailboat templates to cut out the sails and boats.

(You'll notice that I chose to turn the small sails over and use the backside in the finished scene, that's because I felt the hints of red and yellow looked more attractive as sails than the full pink sails. Don't be afraid to paint over your sails if you don't feel the colors are working for you!)

7. Trace the sailboat templates onto the dried ocean scene.

8. Use your graphite pencil to create small waves (squiggly lines) under the boats.

9. Use the Mod Podge® to adhere the boats to the background.

10. Once the Mod Podge® dries, use the embroidery thread to create a simple back stitch around the sails and the boats. Continue with the back stitch to create the waves.

(I like to use the needle to punch holes into the paper before I begin stitching. To create the back stitch, work right to left. Bring the needle up through the back of the paper, and then back through the front of the paper at the 2nd hole. Move the needle to the left, then up through the paper on the 3rd hole, then back down through the 2nd hole.)

11. Once the piece is completed, flatten the image under several heavy books.

(I usually allow the books to sit on top of the collage for at least 24 hours.)

12. Sign and date the back.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nachos Ala Nico

Back in August of 2008, when my son was 17 years old, he decided it was high time he cooked for us. After perusing our refrigerator, he came up with this recipe. We absolutely love these Nachos—and you will, too.

  • 1 pound hamburger meat
  • 1/2 Tsp dried chili pepper flakes
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tb garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 oz can green chilies, diced
  • 1 large bag of Doritos chips or tortilla chips
  • 14.5 oz can refried beans, low fat or vegetarian
  • 1 C mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 C mild cheddar cheese grated
  • 1/4 C jalapeno peppers, sliced (from jar, not fresh)
  • 4 oz can black olives, sliced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 C lettuce, shredded
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • Sour cream, to taste
  • Salsa, to taste
  • Taco sauce, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.

2. Chop vegetables.

3. Place meat into a large, heated skillet. Season meat with chili pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

4. Add minced garlic, chopped onions, and diced green chilies to meat and continue to cook, then drain grease.

5. Spread chips onto a large cookie sheet.

6. Drop refried beans, straight out of can, over chips.

7. Spread meat over chips.

8. Layer cheese, jalapeno peppers, and olives over chips.

9. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

10. Remove from oven, use a spatula to place nachos onto plates.

11. Top with tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, sour cream, salsa or taco sauce.
(Don't be afraid to leave off anything you dislike.)

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* This article first appeared on The Dabbling Mum eMagazine.

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