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Got ’im! Our 2015 LEGO Leprechaun Trap

LEGO-trap

Matt and the kids were at again yesterday, creating their latest version of a St. Patrick’s Day family tradition: a leprechaun trap built entirely of LEGOs. This one comes complete with guards, an Irish flag and a touch of gold from Middle Earth.

Whaddya think?

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Check out the related posts below (You might also like…) for photos and plans we’ve previously shared for different models.

To see more of Matt’s creative designs as well as some of his paintings, drawings and step-by-step demos, visit his blog, Etsy shop or Zazzle store.

© Liesl Bohan 2015 | TipsnTidbits.com
Photos © Matthew Bohan 2015 (Used with permission)

Timeless Inspiration to Brighten Your World

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Welcome to Tips ‘n Tidbits! If you happen notice the dates on our most recent posts, you’ll realize that the majority aren’t recent at all. Work and homeschooling have kept us incredibly busy the last few years, making it a challenge to share some of the fun things Matt and the kids have worked on during that time.

Though posts on this site are now few and far between, Matt is keeping his Bohan Art blog current with wildlife paintings, sketches, photos and demos. As for me, I’m in the midst of launching B Positive Printables, an Etsy shop  featuring inspirational quotes, verses and words of wisdom with original—and affordable—designs, paintings and nature photography. Come on over and check it out! The shop is at www.etsy.com/shop/BPositivePrintables, and the corresponding website is www.bpositiveprintables.com.

In the meanwhile, have fun browsing this site, and thanks for stopping by!

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Incredible DIY Halloween Hats

Since Matt created these hats, I’m sharing his post instead of writing a new one. You can find the original at Bohan Art, along with several of his paintings, sketches and step-by-step watercolor demonstrations.

Blackburnian Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Blackburnian Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Blackburnian Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Blackburnian Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Blackburnian Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Blackburnian Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Kentucky Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Kentucky Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Kentucky Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Kentucky Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Kentucky Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Kentucky Warbler Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

This is the sixth year that I’ve made Halloween costumes for one or both kids. I guess they really haven’t been costumes so much as hats. One drawback is that the kids have to spend a lot of time explaining what they are. Last year Kelly’s Kingfisher was primarily mistaken for an Angry Bird and a “jay” but also for a “robin” and a “blue bird.” At least Timmy’s Ivory-billed woodpecker was mostly identified as some sort of woodpecker, although its grumpy look made a few people guess Angry Bird as well. The most entertaining suggestion was pterodactyl. Tonight we’ll see what people guess for this year’s hats.

I always feel pressure to beat the previous year’s efforts. My wife, Liesl, got me to start these earlier this year. That is good and bad. These projects are like a gas… they expand to take up any space they are given. The good news is that for the first time I finished the day before Halloween!

This time I gave the kids one limit when they were selecting their bird of choice: They had to agree on the same basic bird type so I could use the same armature for both. This would streamline my production time… in theory. They ended up choosing to be warblers: a Kentucky and a Blackburnian.

Now for the questions I always get…

How long did those take? 
This is pretty much the first question everyone asks when they see these. They are probably evaluating just how crazy I am. Well, the quick answer is, “I really don’t know!” That’s probably for the best, since they get worn for a short period of time. On the other hand, I don’t do much sculptural work anymore, other than 3D on computer, so this keeps some old skills in use.  That being said, the hats take a ton of time and could probably be used as evidence that I’m certifiably nuts if my wife ever wanted to have me institutionalized. I think she has a pretty extensive list compiled somewhere. Come to think of it, building an eight-foot tall trebuchet “for the kids” a few years back probably didn’t help my cause.

What are they made of?
The bird hats are made of sheet craft foam, hot glue and acrylic paint. The color choices of the foam are pretty limited for a project like this, so I paint the sheets before cutting them to size (and shape).

Below are previous years’ efforts. You can see how the hats have gotten more complicated with time. At the end are a few shots of them during construction.

Belted Kingfisher Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Belted Kingfisher Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Belted Kingfisher Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Belted Kingfisher Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Belted Kingfisher Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Belted Kingfisher Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Hat (Sheet Craft Foam and Acrylic Paint)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Hat (Sheet Craft Foam)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Hat (Sheet Craft Foam)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Hat (Sheet Craft Foam)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Hat (Sheet Craft Foam)

Barn Owl Hat (Sheet Craft Foam)

Barn Owl Hat (Sheet Craft Foam)

Barn Owl Hat (Sheet Craft Foam)

Barn Owl Hat (Sheet Craft Foam)

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret Hats (Sheet Craft Foam)

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret Hats (Sheet Craft Foam)

Keel-Billed Toucan (Sheet Craft Foam)

Keel-Billed Toucan (Sheet Craft Foam)

Toco Toucan (Sheet Craft Foam)

Toco Toucan (Sheet Craft Foam)

Beginning framework for Kingfisher

Beginning framework for Kingfisher

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Framework

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Framework

Partially Built Hummingbird

Partially Built Hummingbird

© Matthew Bohan | blog.bohanart.com | Used with permission

Easy Perler Bead Christmas Ornaments

I recently shared images of Snowflake Ornaments; now it’s time for Christmas ideas—and a few more snowflakes. Except for the owl and turtle, these are original creations. The turtle was inspired by a picture included with one of the Perler Bead kits, but the Santa hat it’s sporting was Kelly’s idea. I think the owl was based upon designs I found on Pinterest.

You can get Perler Bead Fun Fusion kits at places like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Walmart, and Meijer. Your kids can use the templates included, but we strongly encourage ours to come up with their own designs.

Have fun, and Merry Christmas!

Note: yet again, you can tell that I took these photos, not Matt. He’s been incredibly busy with his own blog these days. If you want to see some AMAZING watercolors, sketches and photos of birds, spiders and other critters, check it out: http://blog.bohanart.com.

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Kelly’s Santa Turtle Ornament (2102)

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Matt’s Celtic Cross (2012)

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Kelly’s Snake Ornament (2012)

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Liesl’s Owl Ornament (2012)

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Timmy’s Cardinal and Spider Ornaments; Kelly’s Snake and Soccer Ball Ornaments (2012)

© Liesl K. Bohan | TipsnTidbits.com

Perler Bead Snowflake Ornaments

Perler Bead Aztec Snowflake
Timmy’s Perler Bead Aztec Snowflake (2012)

Here are some of the snowflakes Matt, Kelly and Timmy created last December using a little vacation time and a lot of Perler Beads®. They didn’t follow any templates for these, choosing to come up with their own designs instead.

For bird ornament ideas, check out these other designs by Kelly and Timmy: http://www.tipsntidbits.com/2012/02/happy-valentines-day/.

Note: Though Matt’s name is included with the photo credits, these amateur shots are mine. (That’s probably obvious to those of you who have seen his professional work.)

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Matt’s Perler Bead Super Snowflake (2012)

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Kelly’s Pastel Perler Bead Snowflake (2012)

All images © Matthew and Liesl K. Bohan | TipsnTidbits.com