Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Crafty Interview with Author & llustrator Hannah Holt

Hannah Holt crop

Author/illustrator Hannah Holt is favoring us today with a craft and interview. She blogs about healthy kid's snacks and crafts over at her Lightbulb Books blog.

First up, the craft: DIY Oval Chalkboard

Create your own oval chalkboard for under $10.

Hannah Holt Picture 1

What you'll need:

a 12” by 9” wooden board (sanded, about $4)
black acrylic or wood paint (to prime, $2)
chalkboard spray paint ($2)
a sheet of paper torn from an old over-sized book (free)
½ inch rickrack ($1)
white glue sponge brush
a plastic card a paper towel
this oval pattern (Click "download file" on bottom right.)

Step 1) Prime the wood by painting the entire surface black. Use the sponge brush to create a smooth finish. Let the paint dry.

Step 2) Spray a thin coat of chalkboard paint onto the wood. Let this coat dry and then spray at least one more coat. I recommend 3-4 thin coats. Let dry for 24 hours.

Step 3) Cut your over-sized sheet of paper to fit the board. Then download and print the oval pattern provided here and use this pattern to cut an oval out of the middle of your paper. Be sure to center the oval before you cut. Sadly the pattern is not perfectly centered within the page. My pdf writer was giving me grief today.

Hannah holt Picture 2

Step 4) Using chalk and the cut out sheet of paper, trace an oval on the center of your wooden board.

Step 5) Mix white glue with water in a 1:1 ratio. You'll need about 2 Tbl of white glue and 2 Tbl of water for this project. Paint around the outside of the circle with the diluted glue.

Hannah Holt Picture 3

Step 6) Place the paper with the oval cutout over the glue and smooth with the side of the plastic card. You'll want to remove ALL the bubbles.

Hannah Holt Picture 4

Step 7) Paint diluted glue over the top of the paper. Dab off excess glue with a paper towel.

Hannah holt Picture 5

Step 8) Put a stripe of undiluted glue around the interior of the oval, and press the rickrack into the glue. Let the glue dry overnight, and you're all done!

And now for the interview part of this post!

Hannah Holt

Me: Thanks Hannah! With so many kid's craft blogs out there, what made you decide to do one?

Hannah: Well, it's something I love. Also most of the crafts I post on my blog are originals. You can't find them anywhere else. Creativity provides me with a small monopoly that way.

Me: Is it true you provide all your own artwork and photography for your website?

Hannah: Yes. I think that's pretty standard stuff for artist/illustrator sites. Most creative people understand the importance of not using of someone else's material without permission.

Me: With four kids six and under, where do you find the time to make all your creations?

Hannah: We do a lot of drawing together as a family. Most days my kids and I crowd around our big kitchen table with papers and pens to compare doodlings. Just the other day my four year old asked, “Mom, would you make me a maze?” He likes it when I make activity pages because he gets to try them first.

Me: And the babies? Do they like to draw?

Hannah: No. They sit under the table and eat any papers that fall on the floor.

Me: Art scavengers?

Hannah: Exactly.

Me: When do you write your picture books?

Hannah: I haven't been as diligent about writing picture books since my twins were born last year. That's one reason I'm excited about Julie Hedlund's 12x12 challenge. The challenge is forcing me to get stories out on paper. So far the stories I've written haven't been very good. I'm hoping with enough pump priming, I'll have a few decent ideas by the end of the year.

Me: Anything else my readers should really know about you?

Hannah: I suffer from chronic foot-in-mouth disease. I have a lot of strong opinions, and I'm all too happy to share them. If I've offended anyone, please know I don't intend it as a personal attack. I love meeting new people with differing ideas. Don't worry about offending me. I have a pretty thick skull skin when it comes to taking offense.

Me: Thanks so much for answer my questions today.

Hannah: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.


Carter Higgins said...

Fun! I love that picture of Hannah with the blurry, action packed kids!
:) Carter

Julie Hedlund said...

I am always in awe of your crafty abilities Hannah, especially since I have absolutely NONE!

And I also like people with strong opinions who aren't afraid to speak their minds!! :-)

Tina Cho said...

Nice interview and craft, Hannah! That's special that you can do all these activities with your children! Have u submitted your crafts to magazines?

Hannah Holt said...

Thanks for hosting me Rebecca and thanks Carter and Julie for the kind words.
Tina... I haven't submitted anything since before the twins came. I know I need to get on the ball, but we're moving next month. Isn't it always something? Anyway, after the move, I definitely need to get on that. :)

Kirsten Larson said...

I always enjoy the hands-on element of Hannah's blog. I love reading blogs when the kids get involved. Rebecca, thanks for letting us learn more about Hannah.

Eric VanRaepenbusch said...

Very nice interview Rebecca and Hannah! I love the craft idea -- I actually have some left over chalkboard paint in the basement! I might just have to try it out.

I loved your description of your family drawing time!

Good luck with your picture book writing this year!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I like the crafts, but I don't always make them look like the picture:) Enjoyed learning more about you. I'm a twin, so I admire moms with twins.

Tara Oliver said...

what a cute chalkboard idea!! love this, and enjoyed the interview, too (especially the part about the art scavengers). I wish I was creative enough that my kids would ask me to make a maze. I guess it's a good thing you share those activity kids, Hannah. so at least they have some creativity in the family. :)

Renee LaTulippe said...

Great craft, Hannah. I'm crazy about chalkboard paint and can't wait to get my hands on the boys' room when we move. So cute your girls sit under the table! Sigh... my boys don't let me get any crafting done. Perhaps when they're a wee bit older...

Sally said...

Thanks for the crafy idea. Can't wait to try this!