Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Making Number 2s

There are so many different children's birthday themes and ideas for decorations that it can become an expensive exercise for something that usually all gets thrown out the next day (or the same day if you are really efficient). So I took DIY to the next level and had Harvey create some of his own decorations for his second birthday party.

So here is my tutorial on how to get a 2 year old to make number twos:

All you need to get started are some number 2s (I purchased these ready made from a party store very cheaply, or of course you could cut out some yourself), paint, brushes etc:

I set him up outside on his play table with some butcher paper taped to the table (although he did not end up getting any on the ground, so we could have done it inside). Then you let the little master do his work:

I had purchased an Art smock for him to wear but couldn't find it at the time, so I let him go topless. If you use acrylic, or even better poster paints, it washes off easily with soap and water. His little belly became a canvas all of its own:

To prevent everything going a lovely shade of brown from all the unrestrained mixing I followed a fantastic tip that I got from a fabulous blog called Lil Blue Boo.
The secret is to not cross the colour wheel. I made sure to keep the colours simple and to not let him have any colours at the same time that would make brown. Once he was finished with the reds & yellows, I turned the numbers over and he painted the other sides in blues and greens. That way he could mix to his hearts content and only ever made ever changing shades of orange and green:

I then simply put ribbon through the holes and hung them along with primary coloured balloons. They looked fabulous and got lots of comments. Harvey was so proud of his number 2s 'two, two!' and  he had a great time making them!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Oh Dee - Wow!

I was so chuffed when I discovered that WallFry had been featured on 'Ohdeedoh', the childrens arm of the highly successful Apartment Therapy website. It looked something like this:

Colorful Custom Wall Letters

If you haven't heard of it already you should check out. It is a great resource for nursery inspiration and ideas, children's birthday theme ideas, product information for kids and general discussion for people passionate about nurseries and kids rooms. It's a great place to go when you are designing a nursery or a child's space to get you started (and finished I would imagine).  It really has some very cool and original ideas, which is why I am honored to be mentioned.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cake fit for a One year old

Harvey turned 1 a while ago now, but as more birthdays approach and  I start to think about decorating cakes again, I had to share his First Birthday Cake that I made.

I found a picture of a similar cake on google images for inspiration (I can't remember where, if it was your cake let me know and I will give you credit) and changed colors and added the name. The balls where the edge meets the plate hide a multitude of sins and I think are one of the easiest most effective ways to do this.

The cake is iced with pre-made fondant (White orchards, white icing) which I purchased at the local supermarket. I did my research and found a few tutorials on YouTube, but all in all it is just using your common sense.

My top 5 tips when cutting a cake to shape are:
  • Use a heavy cake (either mud cake or moist cake) to cut to shape, anything lighter will crumble.
  • Make a template out of paper first and, place it over the cake and cut around it.
  • Cut the top off the cake so that it sits flat.
  • Sit it on the plate upside down so there are less crumbs for icing.
  • If you don't have big enough baking tins, don't worry, you can join two together with butter icing.
Top 5 tips for using with fondant icing:
  • Add food color to the white to create color. Don't expect colors to be too bright or dark as the amount of food color you would need will make the icing too wet (I believe that you can buy pre-colored icing at cake supply stores)
  • Ice with a thin layer of butter icing first to smooth any bumps or divets
  • Once the butter icing has set, spread with a jam (or jelly) before applying the fondant to the cake (this helps it stick in place
  • Use cookie cutters to make shapes (you can cut shapes free hand but this is easier)
  • Don't store the cake in the fridge once iced as the fondant goes sticky.
My love of cake decorating is a hidden passion and another great creative outlet.

One final tip. You might not want your one year old to destroy your hard work with their curious little hands. I made a special little cake just for Harvey to blow out the candle and have his first piece of cake. He loved it:

Now I have to start thinking of designs for Felix and Harvey's next birthday, I am looking forward to it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Under the Sea

I recently had a lovely customer commission custom paintings for her baby's nursery. She wanted a 'Sea Creature' theme but was unable to find exactly what she was looking for. After much searching she came accross my 'Safari Series' in my Etsy store and fell in love the with colors BUT there is no ocean in Africa!

Safari Series at WallFry
So the challenge was set - to design and paint a Sea Animals series in the same style as the Safari Series. I had been thinking of creating a Sea Life series but had not had the time, so I really enjoyed designing these paintings.

We had a crab & lobster

and a whale and octopus

I was really happy with the final result, as was my customer. Her baby now has these bright and fun ocean animals paintings hanging in their nursery. I can now paint these to order and customers can choose size and color which is really popular when coordinating with a nursery color scheme. I am open to new animals and themes too!

So here it is the 'Sea Creatures Series'

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wall Art for Small Fry

WallFry is the home of Wall Art for Small Fry. A huge range of affordable modern artwork for children's spaces. Customizing is my speciality and I love to work with you to coordinate colors to work with your decor. I can even incorporate the family pet or a favorite toy.

Visit the Shop:
WallFry - Walll Art for Small Fry

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Colour Purple

Is purple a colour that you would associate with boys or girls? Or both?

People are very fussy (and very understandably so) when it comes to decorating the nursery for their baby and colour is obviously a big issue. I have recently had a customer ask me if I did the following painting for boys:

and I had specifically made this one to be unisex, if not just for boys (I had just done the Russian Doll series for girls and wanted to balance it out). A few customers have also asked for a blue background so I get it, the purple is not popular. But back to the original question..
Would you buy purple (anything) for a boy. Chris (my husband) says no, purple is for girls only and if I think about it, our boys don't wear a lot of purple but do have it in the pictures on their walls.
I would be fascinated to find out what people think. I might post a poll on the blog soon.

New Product Line

I saw these block papier mache letters and fell in love with them. I know that wooden letters that hang on the wall are the rage now, but I really like the deep edges on these which give them a 3D impact.

Basically I buy the papier mache letter pre-made and paint & attach names etc. Not a huge profit margin on them as the letters are quite expensive but they are fun to make and I love choosing new designs and colours. I do struggle to think of names to go on the letters though (no wonder we struggled to decide on names for our boys). I have also tried to make a couple of ones for boys too.

What does everyone think? I haven't sold any yet so might have to slow down on the production so that I don't get carried away.

Friday, July 30, 2010

About Me!

Here you will find a range of ideas, creations, tutorials and artwork from a creative-minded mother of 2. If I have done it, and am proud of it, and think you might like it too, you will find it here.

I am an Australian artist with a very distinct style. WallFry was born from my search for nursery art when pregnant with my first son. We were living overseas at the time and nursery art was scarce. I wanted something that was colorful and appealing to a child, while remaining stylish to adult eyes. I wanted something that could grow with him and I wouldn't have to throw it out when he turned 5.

The art at WallFry is appealing to babies and older children alike. I have an 8 year old niece who visits often. She always asks to 'look at my shop' and we turn on the computer and spend ages looking at all the different animals and artwork and she tells me her favorites (which change every time). My own son would lie on the change table as a baby and smile at his 'animals'. Over time he would point, make the animal noises and eventually say their names (which he still does at 2 1/2). I love what I do, I love creating artwork that will brighten children's spaces, that they will love and that parents will also enjoy.

I am a strong believer that there is nothing I can't do! I tackle every creative challenge with energy and humour and the results are....... varied. I created this blog to share them with you.

I am very open to any questions or queries and am very PR friendly! I would love to hear from you.
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