Friday, February 12, 2016

For the Birds Shadowboxes

These shrines are for the birds! Alpha Stamps has these great new Mini House Shadowboxes that I thought would be perfect to showcase some little birds. 

Aren't they sweet? The laser cut houses range in size from  3.5" to 4.5" tall and are around 2" to 2 1/4" wide, making them a nice size for a quick and simple gift to someone special. 

I chose to paint the shadowboxes with a slate grey paint first, then apply a crackle glaze, and then add a white topcoat. The interiors of the houses were papered with the beautiful Provincial 12 x 12 Collection, and then the entire thing got a good scrubbing of antiquing fluid. 

The roof was covered with sheet moss and I made micro flowers from a minuscule strip of rolled crepe paper and an iridescent bead. 

For the inside of the houses, I embroidered birds and NEST on some scrap muslin that was then hung from backyard twigs and glued in place. Houses are people nests, so that is how I settled on the wording for House 2. Acorn caps make the perfect feet, but only after you sand the tops even so your houses don't topple over! (Lotsa glue helps, too.)

An acorn cap also worked out as a fine house number plaque, with a bit of paint and glitter, a snippet of lace, and one of these really nice vintage mini numbers.

Finding a nest small enough to fit inside the house was difficult, so why not make one myself? If you ever find the need for a miniature nest, here is a very uncomplicated way to assemble one.

Gather your materials!

Tacky Glue
Miniature Hay Bale
Styrofoam ball in circumference to your needs
Antiquing Fluid or brown acrylic paint
Plastic Wrap
Masking tape or rubber band

Okay! First, stick your styrofoam ball on the end of a skewer/knitting needle/ chopstick/wand then wrap the ball in plastic wrap. I have also annihilated my mini hay bale.

Next, use masking tape to hold plastic wrap in place, then slather a thick coat of tacky glue to top of styrofoam ball in a bird nest shape. 

Press ball into hay shavings, ensuring you have a good thickness of hay. 

Hee. Looks like the beginnings of a funny doll.

I had to quit amusing myself with the nest-on-a-stick and shoved it in a good spot to dry. And dry, and dry. 

24 hours later, you can paint your nest with brown acrylic paint, antiquing fluid, or just leave it as is. Then trim away excess plastic wrap and remove ball. Carefully, carefully peel plastic wrap from the nest, paint the inside, and POOF! There is your nest.

Happy crafting!

Supply list for The Birds Shadowboxes can be found HERE

Found the camera, so here's the last shadowbox house that got turned into something completely different:

It seems I have had Hagrid's hut on the mind lately. 

Look! It's a hatching Norbert! That was as good as it was going to get because the paperclay egg I made is about the same size as a pea. The table is made from balsa wood and the candles are modeling beeswax.

The rest of it came from Alpha Stamps, and here's a quick list.

Mini House Shadowbox
Provincial 12x12 Paper Collection
Pumpkin Pod
Windows 4 Panel Rectangular
Sheet Moss
Lakes and Clearings Collage Sheet
Leafy Green Underbrush
Moonlit Spiderweb Network Scrapbook Paper
Creative Paperclay
Mica Tiles there is a sheet of this between the window frame and the collage sheet. It makes great panes!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cat Houses and Hagrid's Hut

Weird title, I know, but that's what I have been up to creatively. Alpha Stamps is hosting a Mad, Mad, Mad House Swap where you decorate five chipboard houses and get five in return! All of the info can be found here, and I'll post the houses I receive from others sometime in March. So on to the houses!

Those chipboard houses are the cutest things, and they're really sturdy, too. I found the kitten stickers at AC Moore for $1. What a score! The rest of the stuff came from Alpha Stamps, including all of those awesome collage images.

The other thing I completed went to a dear friend on Craftster, for a swap called IYP 28 Winter Wing Ding. While getting ideas, I ran across this image of Hagrid's Hut:

original image property of Stuart Craig

and knew right away that I wanted to free-motion embroider the drawing. It has that sketchy look that I love, and I try to emulate that when I hand embroider things. But this image seemed like a good candidate for another go at free-motion embroidery, my second attempt, and I thought it could always be pitched if I screwed it up and then just hand embroider the thing. From having done it once before, I decided to order a darning foot for the sewing machine and save myself a lot of fidgety hassle. Man, that made a HUGE difference! And I didn't sew over my fingers. Yay. The finished piece fits into an 8x10 frame (I sent that, too. Who wants an unfinished project?) and stole this first picture from the recipient.

photo courtesy of tapestrymlp

this one's mine. can't you tell?

Lessons learned-

1. Breaking down and spending that whopping $9 on the darning foot made free-motion embroidery so much easier. Who would've thought?

2. Sewing shadows is hard. 

Now for the best part of this post. Look what I got in return!!!! My partner hand painted a scene from "The Three Brother's Tale" where Death is presenting the Elder Wand to the first brother. It is truly a work of art. Thank you, tapestry!