Creative Kiddie Crafts – Superhero Costume

My nephew is about to turn two, and he has one of the biggest imaginations I’ve ever seen in a kid his age.  Last year, his obsession was with monsters/Monsters Inc.  This year, he is all about the superheros.  Spider Man and Batman are his favourites, but he kept telling my sister that he needed an “ornange” (aka orange) shirt so that he could be “Super Matthew” – and a birthday idea was born!

supermatthewlogo

I started by designing a “Super Matthew” logo in Adobe Illustrator. The colours were more just a guideline of what it “could” look like.

I ended up going shopping for fabric after creating the logo, and I found some cool orange and mint-green/turquoise based prints that I loved so much! I also dug deep into my mom’s old fabric stash and found some vintage options that were super cool. The vision was definitely coming together in my head.

Now, keep in mind, I don’t really fancy myself a sewer, so this was a bit of a challenge for me.

supermatthewmask I decided to start with what I thought would be the easiest part of the costume – the mask.

I picked out my orange and mint green felt, some matching embroidery floss and ribbon and went to town on making a reversible mask.

I based my work on this tutorial over at slowmama.com that I came across on Pinterest. I didn’t follow it exactly, but I *really* loved the tip about using packing tape to affix the mask to the felt when cutting the pattern – that worked so much better for me than pins!

 

supermatthew_mThe next step was to begin turning the logo I made in Illustrator into a textile version with fabric. This was a bit more challenging than I anticipated, because in graphic design, there are all kinds of tools to help you make straight, precise lines. With fabric, not so much.

I created two versions of the “M” – one for a cape, and one for a t-shirt. They definitely had a bit of a “handmade charm,” but they were pretty good, I thought!  I used fabric glue, rather than sewing the pieces together.
supermatthew_giftI created the cape using this tutorial from The Southern Institute.  It was pretty easy to follow – all I did was buy a large men’s t-shirt, cut off the arms and front, add a velcro closure to the neck, and glue on my logo.  Voila – instant cape!

For the wrist cuffs, I just free-handed them using felt, and stitched on a little M.

And for the t-shirt, I found a shirt that was one size too big for my nephew (so he could wear it for a while) and glued the logo on.  I folded them all up, wrapped them in some blue tissue paper and set them into a reusable box.

supermatthew_card Finally, I created a card using various matching papers and washi tape, carrying through the “Super Matthew” theme.

I also included a Spiderman board book, and an Incredibles book – both of which he was more interested in when he opened up his present!  Oops.  I think my family was more excited about the present than my nephew was… UNTIL my niece decided to put his cape on herself, and he realized exactly what it was that was in his present.  Then, he immediately wanted to put the cape (and the shirt) on, and he ran around the house yelling “FLY!!!” … it was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

 

Personalized Digital Art: Tinker Bell Portrait in Photoshop

Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 4.29.42 PMFor family birthdays, I always try to go with a present that is personal, creative and significant.  So, when I was taking a Photoshop class in the spring, I created my final art piece with my niece’s birthday in mind.  The project was to take a personal, family photo, and transpose it into something entirely different.  My niece loves Disney, just like me, and she is especially loving Disney Fairies, and Tinker Bell in particular, lately (Just like her auntie!  Girl after my own heart)

When I received the assignment in Photoshop class, one of my first ideas was to take a picture of my niece and turn it into something whimsical and fantastical.  And what is more whimsical than Tinker Bell in a forest?!

Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 4.29.22 PMI started with this photo of my niece dressed up as Tinker Bell, posing on the front lawn.  And then I eliminated virtually everything from the picture.  Using stock photography, Photoshop Brushes, various gradients and techniques I learned throughout my photoshop class, I was able to create a forest scene with a little Nicole-fairy dancing on a magic mushroom.

I replaced the small Tinker Bell costume wings with dragon fly wings that I created myself by turning them into Photoshop brushes.  I downloaded various grass and mushroom brushes, and combined several pieces of stock photography for the final piece.

When it came time to have it printed, I had a bit of trouble finding a place that would print an extra large square photograph, so I ended up resizing it slightly to fit in an 11×17 picture frame.  I picked up a sparkly black frame at Michael’s, and had the photo printed at Walmart.

When she unwrapped her present, it took her about two seconds before she realized that it was actually herself in the picture, and then she was absolutely ecstatic.  It was so cute to see the expression on her face.

bday_present01 bday_present02

If you would like a gift like this for someone special in your life, hit the contact tab, and we can discuss the details!

Petting Zoo Party

Petting Zoo Party by Superflash Creative

Back in September, Jennie emailed me and asked if I would work on a party theme for her little guy, Caleb.  Caleb was going to have a farm-themed party, complete with a petting zoo in his own backyard!  I was super stoked to design the invitations, bunting, tented cards and more.  I thought about what best conveyed a “farm” / “animal”/ “country / “petting zoo” theme, as well as something suitable for a little boy.  I came up with red, navy blue and beige as the main colours.  I started by hand-drawing and scanning all the animals.  I drew a cow, sheep, chick, chicken, pig, and rabbit, and after I scanned them in, I coloured them digitally.

Petting Zoo Theme Invitation by Superflash Creative Jennie wanted to incorporate Caleb’s picture into the invitation, so I had her send me a photo, and then I drew some overalls and a hat.  I put them into photoshop and combined them all, and the result was a truly customized invitation that she wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else!  It’s little touches like this that really set invitations apart when your guests receive them in the mail!

There was a lot of information to deliver on a single flat card invitation, so with the top half of the card, I played with the colours and fonts to really convey what the party was all about.  Below the dots, I included all the information that Jennie needed her guests to know, including address, time, food and clothing options.

The “Yay or Neigh” text was Jennie’s idea, and I thought it was such an adorable touch!

A few of the farm animals were placed along the bottom of the invitation.  Between the animals and the bandana graphics on the invitation, party-goers would recognize a lot of the elements from the invitation carried throughout the party with various party printables.

Petting Zoo Theme Tented Cards by Superflash CreativeI created a set of tented cards to be placed on the food table.  The middle was left blank so that Jennie could write in the food options once they were decided.  She chose adorable names like “haystacks” for Rice Krispie Squares and “Chicken Feed” for Chex Mix.  It was super cute!

I actually created 5 pages of Bunting for Jennie – below is just an example of how it turned out.  I did one sheet of the plain bandana print in the 3 colours, a few pages with each animal taking centre stage, and I also spelled out “C-A-L-E-B” using the same font as his name in the invitation.  And of course, the Farmer Caleb picture made an appearance in the bunting too!

Some other elements that aren’t pictured here are a large “3” and “Happy Birthday” with the bandana print that Jennie used as decor and for the centrepieces.  I also included black and white versions of all the animals so that the kids could colour them.  Oh, and of course, there’s a thank you card… but you can’t see that until all of Caleb’s thank you’s get mailed out!

Petting Zoo Theme Bunting by Superflash Creative

I really wish I had been able to attend Caleb’s party. I was told it was a blast for both the kids and adults alike.  And naturally, Caleb thought it was the best party ever!

Photos at this party were taken by local photographer, Rachel Price – hopefully she will have some on her blog soon to share with you all.

Are you interested in hosting a farm party of your own?  Or would you like me to design custom printables for your party?  Float over to my connect page to get in touch with me!

(Linky Party links are also found on the connect page – check that out to see where I’ve partied this week!)

Daily & Weekly Planner for Educators – free printable

Attention teachers and homeschoolers! It’s the start of a new school year, and it’s always a good idea to start the year off organized… so today, I’m offering up some free printable Daily & Weekly planners.

I was recently chatting with my friend Jen about my blog and graphic design in general.  She told me about her adventures in homeschooling, and suggested that it would be cool if I offered up some printables on my blog using my own graphic flair for moms who homeschool.  I decided to take her up on the challenge, but it is taking quite a bit of research.  I don’t have kids, and I’ve never tried educating them before, so I’m not sure exactly what is needed for homeschooling.  I am, however, super big on organization – so while I attempt to learn about what kids would like, here’s something that I know will be useful for moms, teachers and educators in general.

Daily & Weekly Planners for Homeschool & Teachers by Superflash Creative

I created these files in Illustrator, and used grey, black and white as my colour scheme, so that you don’t have to worry about using up all your colour ink.  The PDF’s are in two separate files for easy printing (Because you may want 365 pages of the daily, and only 52 of the weekly!)

I’m trying out something new for the downloads this time around.  If you would like a full resolution PDF of these two planners, surf on over to Superflash Creative on Facebook, hit the “like” button and then click the free downloads tab.  I plan on offering some free printables over that way as often as possible, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!