I'm a working mum writing about life in Edinburgh (and anywhere else we go) with two curious, adventurous, and imaginative children. Visit my blog at www.linzertortes.blogspot.co.uk. Follow me on Twitter: @LinzerLaw
Published September 21st 2012
It won't bite
Kiss the Fish Studios is an Art and Craft Studio and Café in Stockbridge, quite close to the city centre.
They host birthday parties, hen parties, or arts and crafts evenings, but you can also drop in to do an arty activity without booking, as long as there isn't a party going on.
There were lots of different activities and events going on.
There's a little café at the front of the shop selling light snacks and delicious, naturally-coloured, fair-trade ice cream, but the real magic happens in the little studio to the rear.
When we arrived, my daughters were swept in by the friendly owner, Rhona and were given a quick tour of all the activities they could do. As there was a birthday party booked in an hour, which we needed to be finished before, we asked for advice on what we could fit in that time. T-shirt painting was discarded, as was mosaic making, in favour of décopatch. I wasn't familiar with décopatch, but it seemed to be like a collage over 3-d objects.
The girls picked a sturdy papier mache shape from the possibilities on offer. There were too many to list here, but here's a flavour of what you can decorate: big animals, little animals, masks, plates, treasure chests, giant letters, tiny letters and so many more). Lori picked a cat, which is not a surprise as she is obsessed with them. Josie picked her initials: L J L, in small letters.
These papers were all in folders, and torn up into small pieces in Bits Boxes.
If you're not familiar with decopatch, then here's the process in brief:
1. Paint your object in acrylic paint to stop any brown paper showing through. 2. Dry it with a hair-dryer. This is optional. It just speeds up the process. 3. Pick your paper and start ripping. 4. Smear a bit of PVA glue on the cardboard and stick down a bit of paper. 5. Paint over the stuck-down paper with a little more PVA. 6. Repeat until all the object is covered.
7. Embellish with glitter and gems.
8. Wait until dry, then varnish.
This was all explained very patiently and kindly to my daughters, who enjoyed the crafting. I had to help a little bit, but that just added to the fun. I thought that the little letters would be quicker to do, but it's actually more manageable to pick a bigger object. The paper doesn't need to be so small, and there are fewer fiddly bits. I wouldn't necessarily recommend going as big as the display giraffes.
I think he will fit in quite nicely with the decor in my house.
Kiss the Fish is a small family-owned arts and craft studio, which is a welcome break from the unsustainable plastic of modern toys. It's a really relaxing and creative way to spend an afternoon as a family. I would recommend calling ahead in advance to check there isn't a birthday booking, but otherwise I could spend every Saturday here building my decopatch collection. I'm just trying to work out how to convince my husband that what we really need in our hall is a giant, decopatched giraffe.