Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Florida Memories Exploding Box

After five years of being a Floridian, my daughter packed up to attend grad school in another state. She left behind scores of friends, colleagues, a few family members, and loads of memories. So, when presented with a Double Explosion Box from Alpha Stamps, I didn't have to think twice about how it was to be decorated. It was fortunate for me to also have gotten two collage sheets of vintage Florida postcards and couldn't have been more timely! I covered the exterior of the box with a few choice images and on the top went a miniature white beach chair, Cocktail Umbrella, and an over-sized Cosmo. It's hot in Florida. You gotta stay hydrated, people.

To make the topper for the box, I first traced the around the bottom of the chair onto a wooden disk, slathered glue over the disk (avoiding the traced area), then dumped a profane amount of glitter atop the glue. It wasn't purposeful, just one of those inevitable crafty mishaps that always end with either a hot glue blister or being covered in glitter. The chair, umbrella, and shells were glued in place and I added a baker's twine edging. Technically, I added the twine first but I'm too lazy to go back and edit the instructions. 

The box itself is 3" x 3"- an excellent size for a small gift- and the "exploding" interior offers eight surfaces to embellish. I used these areas for photos of my daughter and her friends, and found the mini box portion of the Framed Matchbox Book to be cute picture frames. 

To keep with the overall theme, I figured a souvenir snow globe was a must because nothing says memories like a cute figurine in a dome of water! Mine isn't quite as complicated though. I glued a Micro Mini Flamingo to the base of a Miniature Glass Snow Globe, added a wee Bushy Plant, and once dry, dumped a bit of glass microbeads in the globe before attaching the base with Glossy Accents glue. The snow globe is stuck on the wooden disk with a glue dot and can be removed easily.

And finally, a little tip if you want to cover the bendy parts of chipboard or cardboard. Use linen book tape. It is flexible, paintable, and durable. Sometimes, however, you find yourself out of linen tape and have to make do with Duck Brand Fabric Tape (which works nearly as well, btw). 

I'm off to mail this exploding box in hopes of it being a nice surprise to my daughter. I'm also sending along a photo of our cat which she will most assuredly love!

Supply List for can be found HERE. Keep on making!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Half Scale Fairy House

Have you seen the new Half Scale Tall Corner Room Box from Alpha Stamps? It is a wee thing measuring just 6" tall x 6" wide x 4" deep. A perfect size that doesn't take up too much space. Will it become a pint-sized Christmas scene with a decorated tree? A minute library that fits in your hand? I almost want to upholster another chaise lounge and make an elegant sitting room (and then fill it with cats). So many tiny possibilities! If that doesn't have you grinning ear to ear, there's a second Square Half Scale Corner Room Box that's even smaller! I know, right? Deep breaths!

After my excitement ebbed a little, I decided to turn the room box into a house fit for a fairy. It seemed appropriate.

The construction was pretty easy since a chipboard Rectangular Bay Window took up most of the footprint of the room box; I just covered the window with bark and moss and added two narrow bark walls. The bark was collected from a fallen oak tree, which made it a bit flimsy, so I cut out the two walls from heavy cardboard first, glued the bark to the cardboard walls, then glued the walls in place. (After all the interior decorating, of course!)

Looks like this fairy is doing some baking. There's acorn flour everywhere!

The fairy needed storage, so she got hanging acorn cap baskets (it is three lengths of embroidery floss tied together with a knot at the bottom, the middle, and the end, then two filled acorn caps were glued between the knots).

On the armoire is an impossibly small and ever-so-sweet Tiny Picnic Basket filled with fresh picked fairy berries. I just love that basket. 

Inside is a button collection on the armoire and a sink made from a shell.

Simple fairy furniture can be made from sticks and cardboard and it doesn't even have to be perfect. Fairies don't trouble themselves over such things.

I hope you enjoyed the pocket-sized Fairy House and it gives you some ideas on how to transform a half scale room box into something to smile at. Now...what to do with the Square Half Scale Room Box...

A list of supplies can be found HERE. The rest of the materials were gathered outside!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Two Spooky Bootiques

I enjoyed Alpha Stamps' Altoid Tins Facades so much that I made two more, but this time creating miniature Hallowe'en shops inside the tins. There is a dress shop (lovingly named by one of my kids Madame Elphinia's Robes for All Occasions) and also an apothecary, (Stop Your Coffin Remedies and Rarities, as dubbed by same kid). Who says Hallowe'en has to wait until October?? 

You'll find Madame Elphinia's to be a fine establishment, with a selection of quality fabrics, trims, and accessories. 

Your measurements are accurately taken by the gentle Sir Hiss, with the occasional squeeze "for good measure", and Binks the cat lends a claw in designing. 

In the apothecary you will find potions, remedies, herbs, roots, concoctions, and a good book or two on the Art of Dark Magic.

I had originally planned on building the cabinet out of cardboard, which would have worked out just fine, but came across a bag of pre-cut wooden rectangles at a craft store and figured it would be quicker to do it that way. 

The doors are just bits of cardboard and the back is scrapbook paper. I did have these teeny Tiny Wooden Drawer Knobs or Pulls that fit on the doors once I drilled a hole.

Did you notice the little visitor in the dress shop's mirror? She's mostly harmless but will make faces at you if you complain about the service.

To make the ghost in the mirror, first paint your mirror frame black (from the Dress Shop Shape Set) then paint a rectangle in the center with metallic silver paint. I used Martha Stewart brand in Gunmetal since that's what I had. 

Lay a sheet of mica over the top of the mirror and trace around the silver rectangle. Cut out the rectangle.

I created a shiny reflective surface by adding Metallic Rubbing Paste over the silver paint.

I sanded the edges of the ghost girl, dry brushed a bit of white paint over her, then added Metallic Rubbing Paste on top.

The girl and then the mica were glued to the mirror.

Finally, the mirror was grunged up with antiquing fluid and more Metallic Rubbing Paste...

And at certain angles she disappears! 

Happy Hallowe'en crafting to you!

Supply List is HERE.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Embroidered Matchbook Journal

I was sent an interesting Mini Matchbook Journal from Alpha Stamps recently and pondered over what to do with it. The base is (as you may have guessed) the same size as a regular matchbook and has a separate accordion folded insert with five pages for decorating. I considered gluing the pages so they would unfold sideways, or perhaps cutting out shapes with punches, and maybe painting or spraying or coloring the entire thing in bright rainbow colors. There were just too many ideas! My last thought was to doodle a tree along one side of the pages and add a short poem. In the end though, the ladies on the Gothics Collage Sheet caught my eye, and the rest of the journal drew from that. 

A little found poetry for the inside:

Adding a bit of simplistic embroidery gave the pages some texture and interest. I also used pieces of torn tulle and Mica Fragments because, why not?

Here it is unfolded. Obviously.

To prep the pages, I dry brushed white acrylic paint over the pages, spritzed them with shimmery spray, and rubbed on some dark brown distress ink. The last page on the right was glued to the inside of the matchbook.

The torn tulle and an image was glued on before the embroidery was stitched. To do that, I just used a needle to punch holes where I wanted them, then went back with needle and thread and stitched the decoration.

The matchbook itself was covered with a thick paper, spritzed, inked, and also sanded. I used a strip of Dresden along the bottom part of the matchbook.

And there you have it. A cool pocket sized piece of art. I think the Mini Matchbook Journal would be perfect abandoned art...just need more little matchbooks!

Supply List can be found right HERE.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Shabby She Shed Tin

Blank Altoids Tins are by far one of the best things on the planet. They can be transformed into countless things: decorated containers for secret things, pocket sewing kits for embroidery on-the-go, a base for altered art, or even a place to display miniatures. It was the Altered Tin Facades from Alpha Stamps, coupled with a blank tin, that inspired me to create a wee scene with a shabby chic aesthetic. The Moments in Time 6x6 paper pad might have had something to do with it too. It is very pretty!

I began with the furniture, which is made from a few buttons and bent wire that has been painted white. The table was covered with a bit of doily and some Dresden trim. I chose a fabric covered button for the cushion of the chair and an oval button for the back. The back seemed plain so I painted on a few flowers. I emulated that on the tiny, tiny shutters also. I really love those shutters and am happy that they found a home on a very appropriate piece. The picture frame is simply cut from heavy cardstock, glued at an angle to give it a little dimension, and then painted. The shelf is also cardstock that is covered in paper and glued in place. The cute lamps come from the Dress Shop Shape Set. I chopped them in half, covered them in paper, added a doily trim, then glued them in place. 

The outside was the fun part. By this point I knew this project was taking on a very shabby chic personality, so it definitely needed a white-washed effect on the outside. I simulated wood siding by cutting thin strips from the 12 x 12 House of Roses on the Porch paper and gluing the strips on top of each other, overlapping them slightly as I worked toward the top.

After gluing on the strips (I eventually decided to cover the front entirely), it was turned over and the excess was trimmed off.

I dry brushed white acrylic over the paper to create a white washed effect.

The facade was attached to the front of the tin and I added the miniature louvered shutters and a strip of dresden to replicate a roof. The super cute tiny rose vines didn't quite match so I simply trimmed off the red roses, dipped the ends in glue, then rolled the glue in Flower Soft. The flower pots are painted Antique Silver Tall Flower Bead Caps! 

All of that in an itty bitty tin. I love those things!

Keep on crafting!

Sipply List can be found HERE.