Saturday, March 25, 2017

the memory keeper's room...

 This little shabby chic roombox is a tribute to all of you out there who collect vintage ephemera and photographs. I started collecting when I was a child because I spent a lot of time with my Great Grandmother, who was a collector. I still get a thrill when I find a particularly interesting old postcard or well worn love letter. The memories attached to these treasures may not be my own, but they still speak to me and inspire me to imagine a long past world so different from my own.
 As you can see, the focus of this room is the tray filled with old letters, postcards and photographs. There is even a magnifying glass for closer inspection. Below the tray is an open faux book box, with more photos and ephemera, waiting patiently for perusal. A couple more faux book boxes on the shelf await their turn as well.
 I felt this room really needed a window to look out of (while daydreaming) so I used a set of Dollhouse Windows with Shutters 1:12 to add one. The image I used behind the window wasn't quite tall enough to fill the whole window sooo... I made a decorative window shade out of a toothpick and some cardstock to hide it. I just glued the cardstock around the toothpick, added a piece of cardstock to the back so it hangs down and glued filigree beads to the ends. A small piece of white Dresden trim adds a finishing touch.
 I love cats, so I always try to put a cat or two (or three or four!) in any room box I make and this one is no exception. There's a mama cat and three kittens (who are really half scale cats that work purrfectly as kittens!)
I thank you for stopping by my blog and hope to see you again! Remember to take time to daydream and use your imagination :) Now run along and create something!
Supply list is available here.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Nature Encroaches, a mixed media canvas...

 It's been ages since I've produced anything on a canvas, so when Leslie (of www.alphastamps.com) asked me to make a sample using the new Dragon Sconce, I thought it would be the perfect time to dust off my easel.
 I had loads of fun producing this piece. I used lots of different techniques and some new products, and I tried really hard to document my progress so I could share it with you :)
 I started with a 10" x 10" canvas bought at Hobby Lobby. To the canvas I added layers of sewing pattern tissue and cheese cloth adhering it with Golden Regular Gel Medium. I glued the Dragon Sconce together and adhered it to my canvas with gel medium. Then I painted some random areas with Golden Garnet Gel (Coarse).
 After that dried, I used a cobblestone stencil (made by Clearsnap) and Golden Hard Molding Paste to add more texture to the center of my canvas.
 While the molding paste was still wet I sprinkled on some coarse glass glitter that I had in my stash. I knew I would paint over the glitter so it didn't matter what color it was.
 I let that dry overnight then I used gel medium to adhere a Faux Plaster Ceiling Molding Strip down the side of the canvas where it looked a bit bare. I added a bit of Golden Coarse Pumice Gel around the edges of the strip to make it look like it is embedded in the canvas.
 When completely dry I covered the whole thing with a nice thick coat of white gesso.
After letting the gesso dry, I added a layer of Golden Fluid Acrylics in Quinacridone / Nickel Azo Gold (one of my favorite colors!). To add interest and depth I layered Carbon Black over some of the textured areas and over the Dragon Sconce.
 While that was drying I used a Silicone Mold - Architectural Flourishes and some Creative Paperclay and made a nice scrolly bit. (When cured) I adhered it to the canvas with gel medium and painted over it and the sconce with Golden Fluid Acrylics in Micaceous Iron Oxide. Then I added some green and brown down the center of my canvas to prepare for my next step.
 I Googled "mossy stone wall" and found a photograph I liked so I could refer to it as I painted my cobblestones...
 This is what I came up with after several hours and many colors of acrylic paint. I don't think I could duplicate it if I tried but I love how it looks :)
 I was hoarding a Finnabair Art Extravagance Rust Paste Set and was dying for the perfect project to use it on and this was it. So off I went to google "rusty metal"... and I found the perfect photograph of rust to refer to so I could dive right in!
 The first color I used was this nice chocolatey brown...
 the paste has chunky bits in it to help make it look really organic and just like natural rust. I didn't cover every bit of the sconce and scrolly bit as you can see below.
Next I opened the lovely ripe pumpkin color and started painting it right over some of the still wet brown areas.
Here's what it looked like...
While that was drying a bit, I opened up the rich mustardy yellow. The yellow is the only one without the chunky bits in it.
I dabbed it on here and there until I liked the look I was achieving...
Then I referred to my sample rust photo and realized I needed to add a bit more of the chocolatey brown. I fussed around with it until I thought it looked pretty realistic.
 Here's a side view of my finished sconce.
Once the rust completely dried I added some Flower Soft around the cobblestones and on the edges of the canvas.
Of course this led me to want to add moss, twigs, and mushrooms!
Thanks for reading all the way to  the end! I know that was a lot to absorb but I hope it will inspire you to make a canvas of your own or to at least try the wonderful rust paste kit. I think I want to put rust paste on everything now!
For a list of products I used go here. Golden Gel Mediums and Fluid Acrylics can be purchased through Blick.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Shaker Ornaments!!

Shaker ornaments are all the rage right now, just search Pinterest and you will see tons of examples. But how can you make them yourself? Well it's easy with the awesome new Chipboard Ornament Layers from Alpha Stamps. These babies are fun, easy and are only limited by your imagination!
I whipped these up in a couple of days with most of the time devoted to glue drying time.
Look at that, the backs are as pretty as the fronts!
 Let's take a closer look at each individual ornament, shall we...
 This beautiful snowy scene was created using Deer in Woods Ornament Layers, silver and white paint, recycled sari silk ribbon and lots of glitter and sequins.
 I created this simple distressed ornament using Tim Holtz Christmas Tidings 8x8 Paper Stash, Stairs Christmas Morning Ornament Layers, and Hanging Stockings Ornament Layers. I made it double sided by gluing the two die-cut inserts back to back with a sheet of cardstock in between.
 I did the same double sided trick with this ornament using Christmas Delivery 6x6 Paper Pad, Ice Skaters Ornament Layers, and Flying Sleigh Ornament Layers.
Since I created two double sided ornaments I had leftover outer rings and clear plastic domes. Not wanting to waste those parts I decided to use a couple of collage sheet images from the new Gnome & Mushroom Ornaments Collage Sheet to make up an additional ornament...
 Isn't it adorable! I love gnomes and mushrooms! And snow, and moss, and buttons...
 In order for the images to be glued to the outer ring when creating this ornament sandwich, I had to leave a bit of white paper around the edges. Don't worry about seeing it when finished, though, as it is covered up once you glue it to the outer ring.
 Since it is necessary to keep the parts flat once you put the glitter in the dome, I traced a line around my roughly cut collage image so I would know exactly where to place the image once the glue was applied and I was ready to attach it :)
I truly enjoyed making these ornaments! It was fun finding stuff to put in them to shake around. My main ingredients for all of the shakers were Flower Soft - Polar White, a fine white iridescent glass glitter from my stash and 1mm Micro Beads - Clear AB. In addition I added sequins, tiny buttons and polymer clay cane slices depending on the theme of the ornament. You can see my complete supply list here.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope I inspired you to go make some shaker ornaments for yourself :)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Little Christmas Cabin in the Woods...

This whole room box started because I begged Leslie (of alphastamps.com) to order this awesome Kraft Christmas Deer Scrapbook Paper. She wasn't crazy about it and didn't think it would sell so I said I'd make something cute with it so that people would see how very awesome it is :) I thought it would be the perfect wallpaper for a miniature cabin, especially if you had a Mini Deer Head Trophy hanging on the wall that the wallpaper was covering...
I really prefer a deer head trophy, miniature or not, with a festive wreath around it so I decided to go all out and make my cabin a Christmas cabin. Of course this necessitated the creation of a Miniature Advent Calendar, a Chipboard Sleigh - 1:12 Scale and multiple collage sheets. All the extra work paid off (at least the extra work I did... not sure how Leslie feels about the extra wok she did, lol) and I really adore how it all came together.
Look at that tiny little sleigh! It's so easy to put together with only seven little pieces. I used a metallic gold paint pen I purchased at Michael's to color all the pieces before I glued it together. Then I used a fine red glass glitter to add color to the sides. A few pieces of Mini Pine Fern and three cards from Christmas Wrap & Cards Collage Sheet and it's all done and looking super festive :)
The lovely advent calendar has a lot more than seven pieces but it is still pretty easy to put together. Just make sure to give it a dry run before gluing it together as the side cubby divider pieces are nearly but not exactly the same size as the top and bottom cubby pieces and are NOT interchangeable. If you get them mixed up you won't be able to put the outside edges on correctly. The Tiny Advent Calendar Collage Sheet makes finishing this miniature calendar a breeze!
The sweet wrapped gifts under my tree are really just tiny blocks of wood wrapped up with the paper from my new Christmas Wrap & Cards Collage Sheet. I added a bit of Tim Holtz Pine Twine Garland around the neck of the smallest deer from a set of Tim Holtz White Resin Deer and added a slice from a Polymer Clay Red Swirl Peppermint Cane at the front. The wreath around my deer head trophy is made from pine twine and peppermint cane too.
My flooring is from the Tim Holtz Christmas Tidings 8x8 Paper Stash which has some lovely prints in it. That very realistic braided rug is from my new Rustic Dollhouse Rugs Collage Sheet that I printed out on White Suede Paper* to give it some texture. If you were wondering why I added a baseboard to my room, it's not just for decoration, I accidentally tore some of the paper in that area and the baseboard covered my booboo right up!
I popped the mirror (not made of glass, but unbreakable mirror material) out of a Wooden Medicine Cabinet and turned it into a little table top curio cabinet. It sits on top of a dollhouse side table I had in my stash. The curios inside on the shelves are O Scale model train minis or quarter scale minis. I also used a tiny sea shell on one of the shelves.
 The back of my room box is covered by Kraft Christmas Postmarks Scrapbook Paper which matches the Kraft Christmas Deer Scrapbook Paper perfectly :)
For a complete listing of all the products I used that are available at alphastamps.com go here
Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed reading about my room box project and are ready to go make one of your own :D
 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

the Naturalist's Curiosity Cabinet...

I created my curiosity cabinet in the new and adorable Millinery Cabinet 1:12 Scale because I really loved the cabinet, but I'm not really into making hats ;)
I think it worked out nicely using the Cabinet of Curiosities collage sheet I designed just for this project...
 The collage sheet has Riker Mount drawers to put together so that you can fill in the cubbies with drawers if you want (although you will need two collage sheets to make enough drawers to fill all 16 of the cubbies). I used Small Antique Brass Suitcase Handles on the drawers, for handles, and it was pretty easy to do. I took photos as I added the handles so I could show you just how I did it...
 I cut out and scored my drawers, but didn't fold or glue them. I then cut a long thin strip of cardstock to reinforce the area where the handle would be mounted.
 I glued a small piece of the strip to the back of each drawer.
 It took 8 sets of the Small Antique Brass Suitcase Handles to cover all 16 drawers. I used a pair of flat nose jewelry pliers to carefully bend the loop part, on the ends of the handles, so they were less curved. They should look like the bottom handle in the above photo.
 Then I measured a drawer to find the center...
laid a handle in position...
then poked holes with a pointy tool.
 Next I laid a handle over the holes and inserted a headpin through each hole. The headpins I used were just some cheep bronze ones I had in my stash with large enough heads.
 Using my pliers I bent the wires on the back of the drawer as close as I could to the drawer without creasing the paper.
 I twisted the two wires together to keep them in place. You could glue or tape them down, with masking tape, if you didn't want to twist them together.
 Here's what the handle should look like when you finish.
After you fold and glue your drawer together, you may need to use a marker to cover the score marks on the edges of your drawers. The Distress Marker - Hickory Smoke is a perfect match.
Here's a bird's eye view of my cabinet so you can see some of the curiosities I used. The bones in the Mini Red Shadowbox are from a real mouse skeleton! I love the tiny mushrooms growing in a mossy pot under a glass dome.You could make your own curiosity cabinet as creepy or as scientific as you'd like, as it's all just a matter of what you like to collect.
Here's a view with my hand to show scale... 
Yes, that is a giraffe skull on the bottom left side. It's from an educational toy set made by Safari Ltd, I aged it with a bit of acrylic paint. I've also used tiny seashells, a miniature handmade bird nest and that wonderful owl statue made by Reutter Porzellan. If you'd like to know more about the other things I've used to create my cabinet you can view my supply list here.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope I have inspired you to go make you own miniature curiosity cabinet!