Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mermaid Madness

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love mermaids!
I'm not sure why. Perhaps the fantasy part, or the being free in the ocean part.
They have characteristics very much like dolphins, or manatees. (Yes, these two sea animals are favorites too!)
I love the way mermaids have been portrayed down through history. Sometimes evil - like the mermaids Sinbad's crew tangled with, but mostly happy and just enjoying be pretty. Sounds good to me right now, as I sit in a frumpy outfit and my hair needing a wash!
So, let me give both you and I some mermaid madness.

Unfortunately, many of my mermaid gatherings I do not have proper names of who did what. Please forgive me. If you know who did a particular painting or graphic, please contact me so I can give credit where credit is due.

Here is a treasury of mermaids that I have put together on etsy:

This next one is a painting by one of America's most beloved painters -
Norman Rockwell.
little fact: All of his paintings were first photographs that he would set up. He used people from his home town. After photographing, he would get down to the business of painting. Remarkable!
"I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's music."
- William Shakespeare

Here's another one of my mermaid treasuries:

she is from calamitykim's etsy shop

Easy MERMAID! Party Decorations:

Cupcake Picks.
These are so incredibly easy to make, and yet if you buy them from the store, they are not cheap!
Solution: make your own! If you have kids, you can let them be part of the preparing for the party, and do this all together as a family activity.

Things to get ready:
~bake cupcakes according to the box directions.
~You can use any old muffin liner, or just grease the cups. These will be placed into a fresh clean liner before finishing the project. Those new silicone muffin pans work pretty well too.
~Set out frosting so it is room temperature when needed.
~Have toothpicks ready to use. I like the multi colored ones you can buy at the grocery store. They are smoother and a tad longer.
~Have pretty, colored or themed cupcake liners that you will be putting the finished, decorated cupcake into.
~Check out the cake sprinkles available now! I find mine on the mark downs at JoAnn Fabrics, and the grocery store. Look in the Wilton or cake decorating aisles.
~Card stock.
~glue, like Aleene's Tacky glue in the gold bottle.
~Circle punch or die cutting machine with circle die.
~various stamps and stamp pads to go with the mermaid theme.

Here are a few of my favorites that I have made into cards:

(Notice that both these mermaids have been "framed" with kirigami cuttings, and then glued onto plain card stock.)

I love all the different mermaid stamp images you can find from numerous companies. One of my favorite stamp companies:RubberStampAve.
Here is their internet address:
(they have way cool pirate stamps too!)

Okay, let's get to playing and eating cupcakes!

Stamp your mermaid image, or matching word, onto a piece of plain card stock. You can use solid color, or pastel colored patterns. Nothing too bold for the patterned paper, or the stamped image won't show up well.
Cut this image into a circle. You can use a circle punch, or a die cut machine with a circle die. Suggested size is around 1 1/2" to 2".
This was your practice one. Do you like the image? Does it fit well?
hint: a scallopped circle for a girl's party looks really nice
Now stamp and cut out 48 - 72 (2 dozen cupcakes to 3 dozen, double sided). Adjust amount to how many cupcakes you are making. You will also want extras to turn into badges (the kids can take home), glass rim embellishments, party decorations, gift bags....this little circle can be used in so many ways!
Decide if you want to color in the mermaid, or leave her plain. For quick work, of course, just leave her as is. If you want to color her in, you can use markers, colored pencils or chalks.

After preparing 48 stamped circles, you can match them up. I like an image on one side, and a word on the other. Place one circle face down on a craft mat.
Method One:
Put blob of glue in center. Place toothpick in center of glue. Make sure the toothpick has at least 2/3 of length below the circle, sticking out. Adjust where you put the blob of glue accordingly. Now press the 2nd circle face up, matching circle edges. Press well, but not so hard that you indent the card stock.
Method Two:
Get some double sided foam tape, or foam dots. Cut into small square or use dots as is. Sometimes this is called framing tape. You can find it in all the crafts/stamping/scrapbooking stores.
You will need 2 dots for each cupcake decoration.  On the face down circle, place one dot of foam tape near center, closer to the bottom. Again, make sure your toothpick is sticking out for around 2/3 of its' length. Place toothpick on top of dot. Place second dot on top of that. Press into place the 2nd circle.
if your foam tape is skinny enough, you can put a piece of double stick dot on back side of circle. Add a dab of glue next to it. Place toothpick into glue. Place second dot right next to the toothpick. Peel off backings, and press 2nd circle in place.
Advanced Stamping tip:
To make a colored stamp image, like the mermaid in the second card, above, you need fairly juicy markers. Hold the stamp up, rubber side up. Stroke ink onto the raised lines with your colored markers.
When you have finished, and really, don't fuss or make it too many colors or details, you "huff" on the stamp, and then press to paper.

Now, my sister tells me that "huffing" is not a nice thing to say, as it usually involves drugs. Hmmmm......
 but I refuse to let a few degenerate druggies tell me what perfectly good words I can or cannot use.
Besides, you know what I mean when I say "huff", right? Not blow on it, but use the air from your mouth/lungs like you do when you give a big sigh.
I can get  up to 3 good imprints with this huffing method.

TIP #2: Take a fine mist spray bottle with water in it. Hold stamp out and away from your table, and spray one squirt of water. Stamp image. Stamp again. Sometimes with another squirt of mist you can get even more stampings.

These cupcake decorations are so easy to make. There are many steps that children can easily help with. I haven't detailed any as I think each of you with kids knows what your kids can and cannot or should not do.
You can place the picks into the frosted cupcakes any time you choose.
Since we are on the mermaid theme, I would frost with pale blue frosting, and place a few sugar fish confetti in the 'ocean' for fun.

Ned Land in 20,000Leagues Under the Sea,
"Got a whale of a tale to tell ya' lads, a whale of a tale or two,
'bout floppin' fish and the girls I've loved
on nights like this with the moon  above. 
A whale of a tale and it's all true,
swear by my tattoo.
There was a Mermaid Minnie; met her down in Madagascar.
She would kiss me anytime that I would ask her.
Then one evening her flame of love blew out,
Blow me down and pick me up,
she swapped me for a trout!"
woman in restaurant:
"If we are going to pay this much for crab
it better sing and dance and introduce us to the Little Mermaid!"
- unknown

"Clark Gable was the first to have called me a mermaid."
 - Esther Williams

I hope you have enjoyed this small insight into my mermaid love!

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