Go Wild for Crafty Beggars: World Animal Day 2017
World Animal Day is all about raising awareness for those who don’t have a voice to do so themselves. The movement aims to help improve animal welfare standards worldwide, making the planet a fairer place for all its inhabitants. If you know the Crafty Beggars, you’ll know that they’re a pair of animal lovers. That’s why we only see it fit for Wendy and Julie to host a blog on this very special day. Here’s how they got crafty for World Animal Day 2017!
As a vegan and animal welfare campaigner, every day is World Animal Day for me! Many of my craft projects gravitate naturally to an animal theme and I found Pinflair’s range of polystyrene creatures particularly attractive and versatile. No two come out looking the same!
“Frog in a Frame”
If I see a picture frame in a charity or junk shop, I snap it up. Especially ones of a decent size! Once I’d put some chalk paint on the wooden surround and added some fabric as a backdrop, this frame was transformed and perfect to show off Freddie the Frog.
I chopped off his bottom, covered him in fabric using bookbinding glue, and fixed him in place, giving him a crown and facial features to add character. My husband Gary is particularly fond of frogs. When he was at drama school he had to do a project that saw him acting as a tree frog for several hours. To this day, his inner frog has never left him!
“The Bookends That Never Forget”
The bread knife came out again for this bookends project. Initially, people are confused as to how the featherweight lightness of the polystyrene is capable of holding books in place. Well, my cunning solution was to adhere the elephant halves to two unwanted but attractive and sturdy books. Thus, the actual bookends are in fact the elephant pieces AND a book.
I’ve been lucky enough to film with elephants in the wild for a TV show I presented called ‘Absolutely Animals’. We went to Kenya and Thailand and after seeing them in their natural habitat, it’s tough to see them in captivity. I particularly loathe seeing elephants in circuses (or any animal for that matter!) and support Animal Defenders International in their ground-breaking work to end this cruel practice. To find out more, head to www.ad-international.org.
“Paint Off a Duck’s Back”
I thought I’d use paint for this duck rather than fabric. Ducks have such a lovely sheen to their feathers and various shades of Liquid Buff-It paint gave me the shimmering finish I was looking for. I wanted the duck’s wings to feature more prominently so I made some out of card and added one of my favourite stencil designs.
I’ve been lucky in getting to know a variety of ducks and their pals rather well… my parents have a pond in their garden and mallard ducks fly in every day to be fed. Once a group of 50 showed up and dad had to nip down to the Co-op smartish for more bread!
At one house Gary, the boys and I lived in, there was a communal lake in the garden and ducks, geese and swans would always be swimming around in it. The Canada Geese, in particular, were very friendly and would saunter into the kitchen in search of food. If the door happened to be closed, they would tap on the glass with their beaks. How could I resist?!
Happy World Animal Day! Please always be kind to the creatures we share this planet with. Xx
I hadn’t realised that World Animal Day was created as long ago as 1931, on the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi — a saint renowned for his love of all animals.
Its aim is to celebrate animal life in all its forms, as well as highlighting the plight of endangered species and to focus on mankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom.
Peasgood’s Pom-Pom Hedgehogs
I wanted to make a small family of pom-pom hedgehogs as I’ve always loved hedgehogs and I particularly like making pom-poms (a winning combo!). The other day, in fact, I held a workshop in ‘A Good Yarn’. It’s a lovely craft shop in my hometown of Grimsby.
Everyone chose to make a pom-pom hedgehog using the Clover Pom-Pom Makers that Create & Craft sell. We were all amazed at how different each hedgehog turned out — it’s definitely all down to how you the snip their snouts!
The Tortoise, The Frog & The Elephant
I also had great fun making the tortoise, frog and elephant — three more of my favourite animals. As a child, I had pet tortoises and even frogs, but haven’t quite managed an elephant yet. Though I did make friends with a beautiful baby elephant once on holiday in Thailand!
These are all polystyrene animals that I ordered from Pinflair. I used their amazing bookbinding glue to secure my materials onto the tortoise (which is actually a piggy bank), making sure to hide rough edges by pressing them into the convenient ridges on the shell.
Pinflair’s special napkin glue was perfect for decoupaging the elephant with a pretty paper napkin. It has a much lighter consistency than PVA glue and is excellent for working with delicate napkins and papers.
Last but not least, the frog was painted with gorgeous Radiance Paint in a vivid green from Stamps Away. He dried very quickly so I then added a few embellishments, and his personality soon emerged with the addition of buttons and bobble eyes!