Give: Critters for the Kiddos

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I think handmade gifts are the best gifts to give (and receive)--as a recipient, it's evident how much time and thought was put into the creation of the gift, and as a giver you're thinking of your recipient as you create the gift, so it's inevitably a one-of-a-kind gift specifically for them.

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I made these two critters as gifts recently. The frog princess is for my 3-year-old friend, Zoe. She's a princess, too, and it's only fitting that she have a frog princess for her wall.

The owl is for baby L. We won't know if baby L will be a boy or girl until the birthday in November!

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Below are photos of the process. I start by sketching my composition in a sketch book and testing colors. Then I paint acrylic paint in various color onto thick watercolor paper. I like to preserve the irregularity of the brush strokes, so I make sure not to take too much care in applying the paint.

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Next I divide my composition into shapes and cut those shapes out of the painted swatches. After I've cut every piece to make the entire composition, I carefully glue all the pieces together and then onto a background--sometimes a painted color, sometimes white. After allowing it to dry I frame the pieces in a Ribba frame (from Ikea). Would you believe that this is the hardest part?! I'm such a perfectionist when it comes to framing and if there is any speck of dust under the glass I'll start the framing all over again. Then it's complete!

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Check out similar projects here.

Lauren Larkin –   – (October 12, 2009 at 9:40 AM)  

Thank you so much for coming to the shower and of course for the adorable owl. I love it, and know it will brighten up the baby's room! The best part is knowing it was made with love :)

Anonymous –   – (January 31, 2010 at 10:01 AM)  

Leslie, these are adorable! The frog you did for LIam is precious in his room! You are so talented!

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