Christmas Craft | Potato Stamp Paper

By heather at 7:47 pm on Sunday, November 20, 2011

christmas potato stamp wrapping paper recycled

I’ve wanted to do this for years, and having a 3-year-old to do it with gave me the perfect excuse to have a go at making potato stamp holiday paper. Was an easy, quick craft… all you need is a small potato and knife to cut the pattern out of it, a little paint and a flat container to put it in, and large paper. We reused Hera’s old drawings, which added a quirky flare with creepy stick figures peeking through the trees! Hank was too busy practicing crawling up and down off the ottoman to join us ;)
christmas potato stamp wrapping paper recycled

christmas potato stamp wrapping paper recycled

Filed under: green design, inspiration, Hera, Hank, crafty1 Comment »

Coolest Workplace in the Zoo Contest

By heather at 7:15 pm on Thursday, July 14, 2011

heather castles imagezoo contest

Hey guys, unashamedly asking for some Likes on this photo of my humble workplace up on ImageZoo’s Facebook page! If I get the most Likes I’ll get a lovely prize for having the coolest workplace among my colleagues with illustrations available at ImageZoo.com! Just click on this specific photo, and Like it before Friday when the contest ends… thanks!!!

Filed under: inspiration, illustrations, contests, Hera5 Comments »

Review | The Cutest Face

By heather at 8:42 pm on Thursday, December 9, 2010

rebecca zack the cutest face I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of “The Cutest Face” by Toronto illustrator & Author, Rebecca Zak. I grew up in the Toronto area, and the best complement I can give this book is that it truly captures the “diversity & equity” of the classroom experience I experienced then, and students still enjoy now.

Rebecca’s illustrations are beautifully done, her command of realism with oil paints is really great… and she captures that “class photo” feel with little touches like the curtain in the background, the children’s poses, and variety of expressions.

The story itself is sweet, feels like a book of complements to each of the children in Rebecca’s class, appreciating them for who they are as individuals. The icing on the cake is how she pulls it together at the end, with “how cute everyone looks altogether” in their class photo.
The book itself has a lovely feel to it, is hardcover and the paper has a lovely feel to it. It is printed on paper “From Well Managed Forests” approved by the FSC. The book was designed by Dave Zak.

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to share in the enjoyment of diversity with their children.

Filed under: inspiration, childrens books, reviews1 Comment »

Crafty Idea for Kids | Make your own gift bags

By heather at 1:02 am on Monday, November 15, 2010

An easy craft that’s fun for kids is reusing paper bags by drawing on them and using them as gift bags. If your kids are really little, draw some fun characters on them, tape them down on a firm surface, and let them colour away. You can write a message on one side of the bag and skip buying a card altogether. Aside from being a lovely personalized giftbag, it also saves you from buying gift bags, and is also good for the environment if you reuse paper bags. It’s a great craft for toddlers, Hera loved colouring in these bags for her cousins, especially drawing pictures of them on the dinosaurs!

Filed under: green design, inspiration, Hera2 Comments »

Vintage Arty Treasures

By heather at 1:00 am on Monday, November 8, 2010

vintage childrens watercolour paint box

At a garage sale recently I spent a whopping $2 for this vintage children’s paint tin and watercolouring book. I know this illustration style is old (makes me think of drinking tomato juice at my grandma’s house), but I really like it. Love it how in the book they have the finished painting on one page, and the dimmed back one to colour in with paints on the other.

vintage childrens watercolour paint box

vintage childrens watercolour paint box

vintage childrens watercolour paint box

Filed under: inspiration Leave A Comment »

Elly MacKay | Weather Specimens

By heather at 1:05 am on Monday, November 1, 2010

elly mackay shadow box illustrationelly mackay shadow box illustration

I asked my cousin, Elly, if I could share her tranquil shadow box illustrations here on my blog… I just love how her fine arts background comes out in her illustrations. Her sensitivity to lighting, coupled with a nostalgic style brings a refined beauty to her illustrations. You can get in touch with Elly and see more of her beautiful work up on her website.

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Off On Maternity Leave

By heather at 6:49 pm on Saturday, October 23, 2010

hank_smiling.jpg

Hey! Just wanted to put up a post to say I’ll be not blogging for the foreseeable future, as I’ve just had my second baby. Hank decided to arrive 14 weeks early, weighing in 1lb 11oz, so he’s still in hospital in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He’s doing very well, is a week old now, and is “ticking all the boxes” as they say here when things are going well. We just love him to bits, yesterday was one of the best days of my life as I was able to cuddle him for the first time… he opened his eyes up right away and gave me one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen. Needless to say our lives have changed quite a bit with visiting the hospital daily, but it’s a good change as we now are a family of four. Hera loves her little brother, and asks about him and enjoys holding his kicking foot in the incubator.

hanks_footprints.jpg

There are a couple post-dated blog posts trickling in I wrote before all of this, and I may have time to post the occasional thing here and there. But I likely wont have time to respond to questions as I used to do for quite a while. All the best in your creative endeavors!

Filed under: inspiration, Hank9 Comments »

Happy Roald Dahl Day!

By heather at 6:19 pm on Friday, September 10, 2010

roald_dahl_day_logo.jpgEvery Sep 13th is marked by kids around the world are celebrating the world’s best storyteller, Roald Dahl… and if they’re not celebrating, they should be!

I fell in love with Roald Dahl’s stories in the fourth grade, when my teacher, Mr. Ridley, read to us Danny the Champion of the World… I’d watch Mr. Ridley’s mouth as he read as he always had slobber strings stretching and breaking between his teeth… but even with such distractions I thoroughly enjoyed Dahl’s books and was hooked!

So read a few Revolting Rhymes, have a few snozcumbers*, or download your own activity pack on the official Roald Dahl Day website here. Happy Roald Dahl Day!

*According to the Roald Dahl Wiki : “The Snozzcumber is a fictional foodstuff featured prominently in this The BFG. The Snozzcumber resembles a cucumber but differs in various respects. The snozzcumber varies from nine to twelve feet long. It is striped lengthwise black and white, with wart-like growths all over its surface. It, along with Frobscottle, is the sole diet of the BFG until he has captured the man-eaters.”

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Recycled Ink Cartridges recreate Sci Fi Film Scenes!

By heather at 7:07 pm on Wednesday, September 1, 2010

faith_pearson_startrek.jpg

Guest article by Ink and Media

Instead of throwing away used ink cartridges have you ever wondered what else you could do with them? Wickford based ink cartridges retailer Ink and Media Ltd with the help of Midlands based artist Faith Pearson have fused a love of sci-fi and film with ink cartridges. The result is a series of recycled art pieces that recreate a range of cinematic moments - including King Kong, Godzilla and even a model of the Star Trek enterprise. The scenes were all created by hand and a series of background installations were designed before the final pieces were complete.

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50 Best Illustration Blogs on the Web

By heather at 4:32 pm on Monday, August 23, 2010

A friend passed this top 50 article along to me, it’s chock a block full of links to interesting websites featuring everything illustration from new and inspiring styles to marketing tips. Enjoy!

Filed under: inspiration, business of illustration Leave A Comment »
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