Sunday, February 20, 2011

Photography Feature - Hearts

Well, Valentine's Day may be over until next year but I wanted to post some of the heart photographs in my collection. I used to find hearts to be too cute but now I love them. And I look for them around me and then capture them, in an attempt to collect them. Is there a particular thing that you are drawn to photograph? If so, please share it in the comments. Enjoy!

All Photographs by Tiffany Teske

Sunday, February 13, 2011

365 Days With Kiddos - #29 - Decorate for Valentine's Day - More Free Vintage Downloads

We are decorating for Valentine's Day today. Quin and I need to make her Valentines and I need to work on the heart book mark project I am teaching at the After School Club tomorrow so we are in full swing with preparations for the Day of Love. While we are at it, I thought we should print out a couple of my vintage valentines, on card stock in a larger size, for wall and door decorations. We may be a little behind, since tomorrow is the big day, but on card stock these should hold up for years to come. Why not start adding to your decoration collection? Just right click on the images, add them to your computer, print them out, cut them out, and hang them up. You can also use them for card exchange Valentines, by reducing the size and laying them out on one sheet, then printing and cutting out.

If you would like to look for your own free downloads on the web, you can thank my friend, Maureen, who posted a ton of links on my Facebook Page. To find them you can go to the post on the wall that has a link to my vintage Valentine blog post.

Friday, February 11, 2011

365 Days With Kiddos - #28 - Make Valentine Cards Using My Vintage Valentine Download Freebie

I love Valentine's Day! It has always been my second favourite holiday (my first is Thanksgiving). I didn't grow to embrace the symbol of the heart until a few years ago, but now that I like it, I oooohhh and ahhhh over it and any creative projects that include it. Sometimes I miss the boat on holiday projects because time moves so fast and I don't always plan ahead. I tend to think of a holiday the week it happens. But, not this year! Several weeks ago I got out an album of vintage Valentines that I bought for a steal at an antique shop near my father's cabin this past summer. They are adorable! I will have to upload several of them this week as a Vintage Finds post...

This week I needed to select a valentine for my daughter's upcoming preschool Valentine's Day party. I also needed to prepare for a card making workshop I was teaching at a local senior residence. I decided on the card above for both. Because this is a four fold card all the needs to be done is to print it out on a 8.5x11" sheet of paper and then to fold it. This card is special in that the net that the boy is "catching" the winged heart in is a cut out. The way I scanned the flat card you can see exactly where the net needs to be cut out. Once the holes are cut, a piece of tulle, or origami mesh, or even recycle net fruit bag can be glued in, then the card can be folded to hide everything except for the net in the cut out. My little gift to you is this card at hi resolution, ready to be printed for your own Valentines. Just right click on the image, save it to your computer, then print it out in colour. You can make these your own unique cards by using shaped scissors to cut a decorative edge around the outside of the card. Your kiddos can do this and they can help to glue in the mesh and to fold the cards. If you would like to make envelopes for your cards you can find an amazing array of free templates at Minkwood Designs.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

365 Days With Kiddos - #27 - Make Paper Puppets from a Children's Book

My kids don't watch a lot of TV. I try to make sure they have lots of opportunities to use their imaginations. They have been to a couple of puppet shows, thanks to the Banff Public Library and preschool. They also own more books than most children I know.

Recently, on a snowy day, I was going through these books, trying to cull a few from the collection. There is no shortage of things I could do with the ones that are in good shape; some could be passed on to friends, some could be sold to the second hand book store, and some could go to the thrift store. But what to do with the ones that are in bad shape? My toddler and I volunteer at a local thrift store a few times a week while my eldest is at preschool. We organize their books. I know for certain they do not need anymore damaged books that people could not bear to get rid of but that the store has to ultimately throw away. My kids are pretty respectful of their books, but some books I find at rummage sales and thrift stores I bring home unaware of the full extent of damage inside. We read around crayon and marker scribbles, bent pages, and stickers. We try to repair ripped pages and loose covers. But some books, namely pop up books and books that contain flaps can be a bit of a bummer when they are wrecked.

On this day, I was specifically inspired to find a use for a Spot book that was missing important pieces that conceal part of the page until you lift them up. More than half of these pieces were ripped out when it came to us. I mulled it over and remembered a cookie tin full of colored Popsicle sticks that I have also been wanting to use. The Spot book had heavy weight card stock pages, which once glued to Popsicle sticks could make great... PUPPETS! I also grabbed a heavy weight Kindermusik song book with simple illustrations that I had repaired on a couple of occasions but that refused to staying together. Voila! Time to get crafty with the cooped up kids... what a fun project for a winter storm day!

Make Puppets from Old Books

By Tiffany Teske


~ Books with card stock pages (or as a variation on this craft you can use thinner book pages glued to poster board or card stock and then cut out)
~ Scissors
~ Popsicle sticks
~ White glue (PVA is better than school glue because it won't wrinkle the paper)

1) Select the images you want to cut out of your book, remembering that you can probably only cut out an image from one side of the page.
2) Rip out the pages you will use.
3) Cut out the images. For young children who are learning to cut it is not important for them to be precise. For older kids, they can cut on the lines that are provided around the images. We didn't stick to a plan, some of the images we used are cut out on the lines and for some of them we cut out a whole scene rather than just a piece. We also cut out the title of the books so we could use them as the titles when we started out puppet show.
4) Glue your Popsicle sticks to your pieces. I am out of PVA glue so we used school glue which has more water in it and it will wrinkle even card stock if used too heavily, which is normal for young children. If you only have school glue you can minimize wrinkling by using a brush to apply the glue, sparingly. The point here is fun for your kids, not professional puppets. We didn't put Popsicle sticks on all of our pieces because my daughter wanted to use some of them like paper dolls.
5) Throw a blanket over a table and have a puppet show!

I am always happy to hear from readers who have made this craft, either on their own, or because they were inspired here. Please leave a comment if you have something to share!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"UFOs on display at library" Rocky Mountain Outlook Article About My Current Show "Decidedly Undecided"

UFOs on display at library
Feb 03, 2011 12:33 pm | MICHELLE MACULLO

BUCKET STUDY #2 by Tiffany Teske

January was a busy month for Banff photographer and artist Tiffany Teske.

Rarely one to say no, even with little notice, she jumped at the opportunity to host the February art show at the Banff Public Library Art Gallery. With little more than a month to pull off an exhibit, operating on a-few-minutes-here and an-hour-there schedule, she did what she does best – making visual magic out of what she calls UFOs – unfinished objects.

“A lot of people in crafts and arts would know what that is,” she said.

The past four weeks were a blur, and now that she’s playing catch-up, she’s wondering how it is she is no longer considered a scorpio, given the recent astrological decision detailing the misalignment of the stars to their signs.

“I’m flabbergasted,” she says in disbelief. “There’s no way I’m not a scorpio.”

But perhaps there is some truth up in the sky.

Unlike a scorpio, Teske was ambivalent about a name for her exhibit. And then it dawned on her.

During February, Teske presents Decidedly Undecided, a rich blend of new and revamped photography, mixed media and mosaic pieces on display at the Banff Public Library Art Gallery. An opening reception with the artist in attendance takes place on Saturday (Feb. 5) from 7-9 p.m.

Most impressive pieces in the show include Cold Heart of the Sun, Balance and Bucket Study #2.

Teske says her career choice was deliberate and made for a number of reasons, the least being money. And while she’s had the opportunity to follow more traditional artistic paths with a meatier paycheque, she’s comfortable with who she is and what she does. And she has a good support network to boot.

“I make it work,” she said. “There’s a statistic out there that says most artists quit by the time they’re 40. My husband won’t let me quit.

“It’s who I am. It’s my sanity. When I don’t do it I get stressed out.” Teske uses her house as an informal gallery, displaying many of her efforts, those of her friends and pieces acquired through art trades. While her skills and interests have evolved since she first picked up a 110 camera at the age of seven, she’s a firm believer that her past has provided her with the foundation for continual inspiration, and a constant supply of artwork for her walls.

“I’m not old enough for a retrospective,” she says. “But I’m proud of all of it.”

The majority of the show’s pieces are for sale. For more information on Teske or her artwork, email or visit her blog at

Decidedly Undecided is on display until Feb. 28.