Wednesday, March 26, 2014

fostering dreams...

When the Dress Form Art Doll Shrine Kits first arrived at Alpha Stamps I literally begged Leslie to let me do a sample with one. It was definitely love at first sight, for me, and my love grew deeper as I worked to make this shrine kit my own.
One of my favorite things are Santos Cage Dolls. My Mother had one and I still try to bribe my Dad in to letting me have the doll all the time. He still says no, but, I know one day he will weaken and she will be mine... ALL MINE!
Anyway, I decided to add a dowel, plaque and large bead to my shrine to turn her into a Santos Cage Doll...
Wrapping her in Cherry Blossom Garland added dimension to her "cage". I added a paper rosette for a halo and her crown is a top hat.
She is a shrine to fostering dreams. In her nest is the word "dream". Hanging within her scarf of cherry blossoms is the phrase "day dream". And "dream of the future" and "tomorrow" are entwined in her cage skirt.
Her back side is mostly plain but lightly decorated so she can be placed on my desk where I can enjoy her.
A list of all the Alpha Stamps supplies I used can be found here. Speaking of supplies, I used a new product around the edge of the base plaque called Vintage Lace Tape - Antique Pink and that stuff is brilliant! Goes on easily and stays stuck without extra adhesive. I really think they need to make this stuff in tons of colors so I can stick it EVERYWHERE!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

an ode to Spring and Wonderland...

Spring always makes me feel hopeful, dreamy and ready to try new things. In that spirit I created this little shrine depicting the White Queen with Alice and the White Rabbit. 
Alice, after shrinking, is gazing hopefully at the now giant keyhole as the White Rabbit rushes off and the White Queen "floats" on butterfly wings serenely above them.
 The back of the shrine says "hope is the sweetest of plums".
Inside is a lovely surprise for Alice... the key to unlock the door. 
Because hope often gives us the key to unlocking our dreams.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

a month filled with corsets...

You may or may not know that Alpha Stamps has a monthly themed kit that you can purchase as a subscription or a "one of". The cool thing about this is the new stuff Leslie brings in for the month is usually geared towards the current theme... this month it is corsets! Yes this makes me happy, it's such a strange and wonderful thing to make art about! I even hunted down some wonderful corset advertisements and made a couple of collage sheets. One is all tag shaped and led me to create this fun little corset tag book...
It was super easy to make as I simply rough cut out the tags, glued them to some paper (with the pretty side of the paper showing on the opposite side of the tag) and once the glue dried I fussy cut them out. Then I added some bits and bobs to jazz them up and some ribbon and a binding ring to turn them in to a book. Quick and easy crafting at it's best :)
If you would like a complete list of all the products I used to make this fast and fun book you can see one here. I hope you enjoyed this little post and thanks for stopping by... now go MAKE SOMETHING!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

inspired by women artists of the past...

I recently researched and designed two collage sheets for Alpha Stamps with the theme of women artists. I love all thing Marie Antoinette so one of the collage sheets is filled with beautiful self portraits of Elisabeth Vigee La Brun, a friend of the queen who painted her portrait over 20 times.
The other collage sheet is a random mix of portraits and self portraits of women artists.
I've become hooked on Copic Markers so I used them to enhance the "make up" on Elisabeth in the image I used to make this cute little cage ornament.
I also enhanced the make up of some of the ladies on the images I used in my little book in a box.
I really enjoyed creating these pieces with my own collage sheet designs and I hope you enjoy using them too. And as usual most of the supplies I used came from Alpha Stamps and a list of them can be viewed here.
Thanks so much for stopping by and enjoy your day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

and the winner is...

Ann C! I have already sent of an email to you, Ann, so keep an eye on your emailbox.

A HUGE THANKS to all of you who participated in my little giveaway! I really appreciate your time and comments. Here's a sweet vintage image for you to use in your art.

Just right click on it to download.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

time for another tutorial and a giveaway too...

I've been busy making small shrines out of die-cut chipboard shapes and it occurred to me it would be fun to share my technique with all of you. This technique was used to create both of the shrines featured in this post and can be used for any shape you can find or dream up.
The first shrine I made was a lovely heart shape just in time for Valentines Day. Alas, the chipboard book I used was so very popular it has sold out. Sooo, I decided to try my hand at a scalloped shell shape for the tutorial and I think it's just as lovely...
To create the basic scallop shaped shell shrine, bet you can't say that three times really fast without any mistakes, lol. Anyway, here's the supply/tool list needed to make the basic shrine:

White Glue
Craft Knife
Metal Ruler

I also used the following items to complete my shrine:

Adirondack Metallic Paint Dabber - Gold

First I traced around my paper mache box bottom so I knew where to cut the hole.
I then used a metal ruler and a craft knife to cut the hole out just inside my lines.
Then I measured how high the box bottom was and added a quarter of an inch to the measurement before cutting out a couple of strips of chipboard. I also cut one strip the exact measurement of the height of the box. Using that strip I traced a line down one side of each of the wider strips with a pencil.
Now you just fold each strip on the pencil line.
You can then cut the short side with your scissors at quarter inch spaces. As you can see they don't have to be evenly spaced so don't spend too much time on it.
Next glue your box bottom to the hole you cut out for it earlier and cut and glue a piece of one of your strips to the bottom of your shell.
Cut and glue another piece of one of your strips to the top area of your shell.
After cutting the pieces to fit the spaces between the top and bottom strips it is a good idea to cut the ends at an angle like this:
That way the glued pieces will be able to form an enclosed area. 
Once everything is dry, glue the other shell shape onto the back and you will have your very own shell shrine to decorate.
I like to glue paper, paint and ink the edges of my shrine as I'm building it because it makes it easier to get right to the decorating once the glue dries.
Here's a closer look at the finished shell shrine.
I hope you enjoy building a shell shaped shrine or can use this tutorial for creating something else just as fun. Now before I forget, lets talk about my giveaway...

To enter the random drawing to win my He Flew the Coop heart shaped shrine you must leave me a comment with your name and email address available for me to contact you in case you are the lucky winner. If you become a follower of this blog and you let me know in your comment you will get an extra entry into the drawing. You can enter the drawing until midnight Pacific Standard Time on Wednesday February 12, 2014. I will be posting the name of he lucky winner later that day so following this blog will allow you to keep track. If you are already a follower and want an extra shot at the prize just mention it in your comment. Thanks for stopping by and good luck! Here's one last look at the prize.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Humpday...

I hope you are having a great day and that the rest of your week is simply fabulous! Speaking of fabulous... look at this beautiful Victorian postcard image.
Please feel free to right click on and save this sweet image for use in your Valentine projects. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

a quick tutorial on how to alter a paper mache mannequin...

Dressing these mannequin dolls is so very fun and can be done in any style you choose, but, how do you find a mannequin with a head and a cute little niche to add elements to? Let me show you with a quick tutorial...
I started with a paper mache mannequin, a pencil, a sharp craft knife and a piece of scrap postcard. Using the scrap of postcard I traced around the object I wanted to use as my niche, for this tutorial I used a mini masonite theatre shrine that was assembled, gessoed and decorated a bit to save me a headache latter. I have also used house shaped boxes, square paper mache boxes, a birdcage and just about any other niche like thing I can find to add to my mannequins... the possibilities are only limited by the imagination. Now where was I... oh yeah, take your postcard scrap with the newly traced line on it and cut it out leaving about an 1/8 of an inch excess past your line so you can be sure your niche with fit in the hole you cut. Now place the postcard scrap on your mannequin where you want your niche to live...
trace around this pattern with your pencil so you have a complete line for cutting.
Being super careful with your sharp craft knife cut along the pencil line and remove the cut out piece of paper mache. Your mannequin should now have a nice hole in it shaped like your niche object.
Now to cut the neck of your mannequin... oh that sounds so violent, but it is necessary if you want to add a head to her.
I've cut her neck at an angle so her egg shaped head has a place to rest.
At this point I usually add some clean sand or uncooked rice to the inside of my mannequin to give her some weight. I tend to decorate my mannequins heavily and need some weight on the bottom to balance this out and keep them standing upright on their own.

Next push your niche object into the niche hole and check to see if you will need to put a little something inside to keep the niche from falling into the hole. My theatre is quite thin in depth so I used a matchbox to keep it from falling in... simply hot glue it inside your mannequin like this:
Then check to see if your niche sits where it should...
Don't be alarmed by the gaping hole left around your niche. Once you have hot glued your niche to the matchbox you can use masking tape to cover up the holes and further stabilize your niche. See, you can't see the hole at all...
The final decorating will further cover up any imperfections...

Now take your paper mache egg and some E6000 and give the girl... er um... mannequin, her head.

Once again you can use masking tape to help cover up any holes or cracks... but wait until the glue has dried completely or the head will keep popping off.

I hope you have enjoyed this quick little tutorial! I will be posting another tutorial with tips on creating hair and a few tips on creating a dress for your mannequin next month so click on the "join this site" button in the right hand navigation so you don't miss it.

Thanks for reading my post and enjoy making your very own mannequin girl. Now I leave you with a photo of some of my girls in various stages of completion...