Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hallowe'en Party Shrine

Anyone else ready for a cool Autumn breeze? It has been unbearably hot here, like, if-you-go-outside-you-will-burst-into-flames unbearable, so even a temperature less than sweltering would be welcomed. Not interested in being aflame, I turned off all the lights, removed as much clothing one can before upsetting family members, and huddled over a little Hallowe'en project. 

it's so hot the camera melted

I covered an Arched Shrine Shadowbox (which is about 6 7/8" tall by 4" wide and 2 1/2" deep) with paper from the very cute All Hallow's Eve 12 x 12 Collection Pack. Deciding which paper to use was nearly impossible. There are goofy little pumpkins, happy ghosts, and a damask pattern (with cats!), but in the end, I went with the stars, dots, and witchy hats and legs.

The table is made from a Set of Wooden Table Legs and a rectangle of basswood. It was stained with watered-down brown acrylic paint and a scrap of fabric was glued on top for the tablecloth. 

I was happy to have a 3-Tier Cupcake stand handy because otherwise I would've run out of space pretty quickly! (Actually, there's still surface area there...darn.) All of the cookies on the stand as well as the black and white checkerboard cookies and bats and ghosts are simply slices of polymer clay canes. The white cakes were made with a Mini Bundt Cake Silicone Mold and a dash of glitter. The moon and star cookies were also made with a mold (Mini Halloween Icons Mold; I LOVE this thing), plus more glitter or Liquid Pearls. The ghost on the top of the tiered stand can also be made with that mold! I "free-sculpted" the lollipops, cupcakes, and witch hat treats, so that's why they're a tad lumpy. They are also microscopic, which could be part of the reason. The metal cookie tins were covered with strips of washi tape and the round tin got a vintage image for the lid. 

Aren't those masks fun? Can't have a party without those! The elastic bands on the back is just sewing thread. Love those kooky pumpkins too!

And lastly, here is the shelf along the tippy top. It was stained like the table and I glued a squiggly length of Miniature Orange Tinsel Garland to the front. The banner was cut from the Halloween Clock Spinners collage sheet and the clock is another vintage image glued to a button. I searched for two hours for the tiny watch hands that "were right here yesterday!" and after locating them (in a tiny bag that was taped to the sewing machine so I could find them, ahem), they were stuck to the front of the clock. Along the shelf are kitchen canisters with Tiny Halloween Black Stickers stuck to them. They originally had "flour", "tea" and "sugar" written on them, but a quick scrape with a scalpel removed them. The lid handles are colored with a Sharpie. You can't see it, but the pickle jar on the far right has a removable lid so you can fill it with whatever creepy stuff you'd like. I found some moss on the cat's tail...she didn't seem to care.

Mother Nature has just delivered a torrential downpour. If going outside was difficult earlier, it is now impossible. Not because of the rain, but because the humidity is now around 900%. Yay. Guess I will have to make something else. It's a good thing I have a giant box of Hallowe'en goodies from Alpha Stamps!

Here is where you will find a List of All Supplies used!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Doll Maker's Room

Sometimes the smallest of things spark the greatest happiness. Whether it comes in the smile of a newborn baby, a kitty jumping in your lap for a snuggle, or an espresso macaron, finding joy in your everyday life is essential. Lots of times it is just there waiting for you to see it.

Joy presented itself to me via Alpha Stamps in the form of a 1:12 scale Vintage Sewing Table, which is nearly as nice as a warm kitty in your lap. The Vintage Sewing Table led to (surprise!) a Vintage Sewing Machine, then a 4 x 4 inch square room box to put the table, followed by a shelf...well, when it was all said and done, I had the makings of a little sewing room and I couldn't have been happier.

 I tweaked the idea of a sewing room into a little doll maker's space early on, mostly after assembling the Tiny Spice Rack into a ribbon holder. Don't ask how that translated into "doll maker's studio" because I couldn't tell you. It just sort of happened.

The color scheme came from the Fruit Paradise 6 x 6 paper pad and a couple of really sweet Tiny Resin Cherries Cabochons (used as curtain tie backs). I assembled and painted a Black Chair Kit and sewed a teensy cushion for the seat and painted a Miniature Red Metal Chair while I was at it. There's a Tiny Picnic Basket on the floor that holds a rag doll and some paper dolls as well as a crocheted basket full of dolls in progress under the sewing table. 

On top of the sewing table are ALL OF THE SCISSORS, minus the Small Brass Scissors Charm that has so discretely slid down inside one of the Letter Bins on the wall. I painted a pair of cherries onto a  jar from the Miniature Porcelain Kitchen Jars Set to match the curtain tie backs. Nestled on the back corner of the sewing table is a basket full of thread spools, yarn, and more scissors.

The 1:12 Wall-Mount Mail Holders Set (swoon!) were turned into bitty bins for fabric, patterns, button cards, and even a silly rabbit. I really love those things! After assembling them, I slathered modeling paste over the surface with my finger, left them to dry, then painted the holders with white acrylic paint. They were sanded a bit, given a blotchy floral paint job, and finally aged with a smidgeon of watered down brown acrylic paint. They are pretty cute in a very rustic sort of way. It works here, I guess. I mimicked the paint job on the spice rack for cohesion. 

And here is what started it all: that beautiful Vintage Sewing Table! The top was painted brown and then "roughed up" with some sand paper and the base was painted black. So simple and yet so wonderful. Thank you tiny sewing table for sparking joy in my life!

Hope you find happiness in the tiny things in life too!

For a list of supplies used, GO RIGHT HERE.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Marie Under the Sea Tin

What's this? Something that is NOT Halloween themed? How did that happen?! I don't know exactly, but I was feeling like making something kooky, which lead to gluing a fish tail on Marie and giving her a jellyfish parasol.

Weird? Yes. But it did the job of satisfying that want, and it was finished in two hours. That is the beauty of altered tins. They are small, fun, and quick to complete.

After deciding to put Marie "under the sea", the first thing I did was mix some resin and pour a tiny bit into a small plastic cup. I flicked Alcohol Pearls on the surface and added glitter. When the resin hardened, it was popped out of the cup and trimmed in half. I glued some teal fibers and a flower stamen to the cut side and created (what I thought) looked like a jellyfish umbrella. Twin 1 said it was ridiculous and made no sense whatsoever, so I felt I had achieved my goal.

The bottom of the tin is filled with seed beads, seashells, and glittery bits. The base of the tin is a wooden spool glued to a peg doll stand. Bam, done!

And now for something completely different! (Spoiler alert. It is probably Halloween-y.)

A list of supplies used can be found RIGHT HERE

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Halloween Mini Folio

Making another Hallowe'en project was not in the plans when I received the June Kit from Alpha Stamps, I swear. How could spiders and pumpkins and witches come to mind when presented with the beautiful Butterfly Garden paper in the kit, not to mention those metal bees? Well, firstly, the Nightfall paper was still laying about on the craft table, taunting me. That paper is amazing. And B, I sat with the ends of the Wide Accordion Book in my hands, folding and unfolding it until something came to mind. That action led to the idea of hand cutting silhouettes in the Wide Accordion Book and then sticking them into the Tall Accordion Book Letter Folder. Somehow.

I wanted to have a magnet closure a little further down from the flap, so I painted a bit of heavy cardstock, glued a piece of teardrop shaped paper to it, then cut around the teardrop. The magnet is glued to the underside. Initially, it wasn't supposed to be an owl's beak but I had discovered the Wooden Christmas Advent Calendar Round Tags whilst digging in the chipboard and...hey! They could be eyeballs! Happy accident. I just sanded off the top bits of the ornaments. I added a BOO banner that sorta looks like feathers. 

Inside the folder is the accordion folded silhouettes at the top and a basic spinner card on the bottom. The entire project was kept simple and flat so it could be mailed easily.

The spinner card has a dial to change the message from eeek!, hiss!, scary, spooky, and mwor! The banner is raised so it can slide over the top of the card holder, which helps it stay in place. To make the holder, I cut out a collage sheet image and glued it to black cardstock then trimmed around the image. It is attached to the folder with thin double-sided tape along the bottom of the image, so the card can slide behind it.

 The silhouettes can be removed from the belly band and unfolded to reveal all manner of creepy! Yay! They are backed with Hallowe'en orange vellum so a tea light can be placed behind the silhouettes.

Neat! Here's how I made the accordion silhouettes (so easy):

1. Make a 1/4" border on each section of the accordion book. Draw simple images inside the border with a white pencil. Make sure parts of the image touch the border. It is exactly like pumpkin carving, which makes it especially fun. Cut out the negative space.

2. Cut out rectangles of orange vellum that are slightly smaller than each section of the accordion. Affix the vellum using double-sided tape. 

3. Optional: cut frames to cover the edges of the vellum. It looks nicer that way. Ta-da, you're done!

Happy Hallowe'en crafting (it is never too early)!

For a complete supply list, GO HERE.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Black Hat Society Art Coin Mini Book

Until a few months ago, I could not have told you what an ATC coin was. Well, the name says it all so maybe I could've made a pretty good guess. It took the May Kit from Alpha Stamps to introduce them to me (yes, I live under a rock) but I am here to tell you that they are a whole lot of fun! But you already knew that.

It isn't just coins that Alpha Stamps created; there are also square art coasters (clever!) and pockets, folders, and holders for all of your new art. Neat! I was a bit overwhelmed with all of the bits sent to me because, honestly, what couldn't you do with a bunch of these? In the end, I smashed a bunch of the pockets and folders together to make a mini album. I think a group of the little pockets and coins would be cute if glued vertically along a ribbon and hung on a wall. Maybe next time.

The book has two signatures, each of which is made from two 3" coin holders.

Page one is a 3" Simple Pocket:

Page two is a 3" Wallet and page three is another simple pocket:

The closure of the wallet is a spinning arrow attached with a brad. There's a small gold jump ring under the arrow to accommodate the width of the wallet's flap.

Pages four and five are made up of a 3" Square Folder:

Another great thing about these coins is getting to use up all of those scraps of super special paper that you cherish. You know, the paper that makes you feel like Gollum with his Precious? My Precious paper is for sure Authentique's Nightfall series. Love it!

The construction of the album is very basic. I used this chipboard for the album's covers and spine. The cover is made from two 3 1/4" squares and one 7/8" x 3 1/4" rectangle (spine). See third picture below. The first picture shows the hinges for the book pages. It is a 5 3/8" x 2 1/4" piece of cardstock with score marks at 1 1/2", 2", 2 1/2", 2 7/8", 3 3/8", and 3 7/8". Mountain fold the two creases at 2" and 3 3/8" and valley fold the others. 

Mountain Folds at Red Arrows

Add glue to the back side of the mountain folds and pinch together, like so:

Cut out a rectangle of cardstock that measures 4 1/2" x 8 1/2". Glue your spine piece in the center followed by the front and back covers. If you score some guidelines on the cardstock, it makes it easier to line up the pieces. Be sure to leave a little space between the pieces.

Snip off the corners of the cardstock and ignore these measurements because they're wrong and I had to pay Twin 2 five dollars to edit the picture above. Apply glue to edges of the cardstock and fold over.

Align the hinge piece along the spine and glue in place.

All of the finished "pages" which are actually just the coin holders:

To make the book pages, slather glue along the top, side. and bottom of one folder. Clamp a second folder to it. Let dry. Repeat for the other folders. You will attach the pages by adding glue to the hinges and sliding the unglued portion between the pages over the hinges.

Since I don't have a picture of that, please enjoy the back.

To see a complete list of supplies go RIGHT HERE. Happy crafting to you!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Alice All Around, a Weird and Wonderful Spinny Thing

I am very excited to tell you about a Quarter Scale Four Scene Room Box - Forest from Alpha Stamps! This tiny thing with its long name is simply awesome! It is two flat chipboard pieces that you can paint (or paper, decoupage, whatever!), assemble, and then affix to the round base. That means there are four little areas to decorate until your heart is content. The whole piece is 6" wide, so each room is 3" x 3", with a bit less space as the floor is round.

And what better way to decorate it than with Alice! And miniatures! And miniature Alice paper dolls! And let's also make it spin!!! (insert flailing Kermit arms)

Okay, I am getting a little carried away..ahem. But this four scene room box does deserve all of those exclamations. 

Up first is Alice herself with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. I just love those pink geraniums popping out of the bushes. They are incredibly detailed!

Next is the caterpillar room with all the wild foliage and mushrooms. The collage sheet mushrooms look great in there, but I also think a few of these little guys or these would have made it a bit better. The ferns were really easy to make using laser-cut Boston Fern leaves. I colored them with markers, snipped them out, rolled them lengthwise around a thin knitting needle (a dowel or paintbrush would work, too), and using the end of the knitting needle, creased down the center of the leaf to make it curl.

Ah, the Tea Party. One of the most memorable parts of Alice in Wonderland with all of the Hatter's nonsensicalness, the seemingly random times to rotate seats, and the sleepy Dormouse's story. So kooky! All of these characters came from the Tin-Sized Alice collage sheet and were meant to be used as little paper dolls. The March Hare, Mad Hatter, and Dormouse can be removed or placed in the seats at the tea table, which gave me an idea for the other collage images I used in the other rooms. More on that later. I felt the Cheshire Cat needed to make an appearance, so I cut him and his branch out of the Tenniel's Alice collage sheet, recolored the branch, then glued him onto the tree.

Finally, we have The Queen of Hearts amongst her mostly red roses. "Off with her head!" 

After cutting out the aforementioned Tea Party group, I decided I wanted all of the characters in my room box to be removable and gave them all stands on the back. The stands are made from two pieces of heavy weight card stock; one thin strip and one tiny triangle. I just painted the pieces and glued them on the back of the images.

Here's what I did to the Quarter Scale Four Room Box:

Painted Black

Added happy tree

A few bushes, yadda yadda

And covered the base with old Alice in Wonderland book pages

Did I mention that it spins?

Under the base is a turntable that I fashioned using this tutorial, but I used a few layers of thick cardstock instead of a cd. Do yourself a favor and just buy either 3" or 4" lazy susan hardware from Amazon.

I see lots of possibilities for this, including adding tiny furniture, flowers, and animals and making it a gnome home, or what about a pumpkin patch and a few graveyards for all the spooky things? Cool!

Supply List can be found RIGHT HERE

Oh! I nearly forgot about the itsy bitsy Black, White, and Read All Over Alice book I also made. Here it is!

Now go off and get crafty!

Supplies for Alice book are HERE