Design team member of Alpha Stamps, moderator at Craftster, lover of ephemera and junk.

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Be My Snarky Valentine

Valentine's Day means different things to different people. I made this "valentine" for the "Be My Snarky Valentine" swap on My partner in the swap shares my love for 50's housewives, so I put together this altered Altoids tin for her.

The original image had this friendly woman holding a tray of food, so I removed the food and let her carry a trio of tiny plastic beer bottles. Much more fun! Although their are hearts on the wooden block stand, there's no love from this chick. Broken hearts follow her around. Sorry, cupid!

I made a card to send along with the tin. Happy snarky Valentine's Day to all!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Small Shrine

For some reason, I have been all about saints and religious art lately. I had a great image from an Alpha Stamps collage sheet, and decided it to make a little shrine. The top of a mini Altoids tin was the perfect size for the image, and I had tons of little metal pieces and some rosary chain that went together well. The rays behind the figures are Dresden trim.

 Sweet and tiny.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Orphanage Rd. In Winter

Nothing says "holiday season" like some morose orphans looking sadly out at the snow, amIrite? When I found that the next Alpha Stamps monthly kit contained a window shadowbox, for some reason, I immediately thought of circus kids. Leslie, of Alpha Stamps fame, was kind enough to design a collage sheet full of vintage circus kid images for me. I chose a large image of four solemn looking waifs, gave them all bright red clown noses, and built "Orphanage Rd." to house them.

Yeah, it's warm and better than living on the snowy streets, but it's obvious it's not a great place to be. These poor kids want nothing more than to run away and join the circus, if only the circus will have them. So sad!

I used two collage sheets so I could cut out the girls in front and stack them for more dimension. The upper trim is a Fleur Border, painted black and then coated with glaze.

Here's how they looked before adhering them. I used foam adhesive glue dots to raise the image up. The girls have one glue dot separating them from the guys, and the guys had two glue dots separating them from the back.

Inside the box. Yes, I cut their poor little legs off, but you can't tell once they're behind the window.

Before I covered the outside of the box, I used a Sharpie to color the inside window panes black. The outside windows were colored with a silver Sharpie. The little girl and her dog were originally considered for this piece, but they just looked too happy.

To cut the background paper, I placed the paper, centering the pattern, and adhered it with removable glue dots.  I then used a pencil along the outside border of the window opening, and then cut the paper a little larger than what I traced. The silver outer pane will cover the edges of the paper, so it doesn't have to be perfect.

After gluing the paper on the front, I used some Tacky Glue to construct the box. Clothespins held the box until the glue dried. I cut the corners as shown, and once the box was dry, glued the paper to the sides, wrapping them in the same way you'd wrap a present.

I'm not going to lie, adding the snow made me a little nervous. I sure didn't want to wreck all my hard work! I cut a piece of scrap cardboard and did a few test runs. I first used the Diamond Dust with just white glue, but it was too subtle when the glue dried clear. Using White Opal Liquid Pearls looked way more like real snow. Once I figured out what looked better, I just went for it.

Bless you, sad little orphan children. I hope your circus dreams come true.

For a complete list of supplies, click here

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Crown Me!

Sometimes, you just need a crown to brighten up your day. I just got a lovely package of goodies from Alpha Stamps, perfect for making a sparkly gold crown. One of the items, a fancy gold Dresden Diadem, was the perfect size and shape for a crown base. All I had to do to make it regal was to add the bling! Gold on gold on gold, and lots of jewels; I feel like the queen of everything.

I attached ribbons to the back and sandwiched the stick pins and large stars in behind some pretty scrapbook paper. Brads on each side to help secure the ribbons.

This was such an easy and fun project, and it looks great on.

Here's the work in progress. I just moved things around until I liked where they landed.

One more photo of the queen.
Hope you like it, Your Majesty. For a complete list of supplies, click here!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Tinsel Rain Christmas, with mini tutorial

I'll admit it: I have a love for vintage packaging, and vintage Christmas ornament boxes hold a special place in my heart. Maybe you remember the dioramas a friend and I did a couple of years ago?

You may not have access to a vintage ornament box, but here's how you can get the the same look of one with some supplies from Alpha Stamps: a Tiny Diorama Box and "A Very Merry Christmas" paper pad. I used paper from the pad for both the inside and outside of the box, fussy cutting elements of some of the paper to create logos and box design. In the photo below, the two boxes in back are vintage; the one in the front is a fake.

Stack 'em up! I used a nice golden brown ink pad to dirty up the imposter a bit.

The diorama box I used is cardboard, so even though it's a one piece box, I left the bottom "as is", and only glued the decorated sides at the corners so it looks like a box with a lid. (Check out those staples; I love that little detail. More about those later.)

The interior of the box features a wee little elf admiring the decorated Christmas tree.

There's plenty of room for Christmas fun in this box!

Here's how it was done: glue the paper on the top of the box, and cut out the opening. The paper in the pad I used was not big enough to cover the four sides of the box, so I used red stripey paper around the bottom edge of each side. Glue in your patterned background paper. Glue beads and a star onto a bottle brush tree, and make a cardboard ledge to raise up the floor of the display area so the elf and tree are easily visible. The tree I used was a little too tall, so I cut a hole in this new false floor to sit the wooden base of the tree into.

Use Snow-tex to create "snow" for the bottom. Once the snow is good and dry, glue the elf in place and set the tree down into its hole.

Glue the cardboard base to the back of the wall, and put a line of glue on its front cardboard flap to adhere it to the box front when the box is closed. My floor is slightly tilted toward the front, so you can see the elf a little better. *Plan ahead! If you want some tinsel around the opening, now's the time to glue that in. Trust me, it's not easy to add tinsel if your box is already sealed. My problem: it wasn't until my box was "finished" that I felt adding the tinsel was necessary.* Now would be a good time to put the wreath up, too. Once your interior is finished, tuck the flap of the box lid on the inside the of box, leaving the decorative paper outside, and glue the flap in place.

I was so happy how real my little box was looking, that I just had to add staples on the ends just like my two actual vintage boxes had. I used a sewing needle to punch holes in the box, and pushed the staples in with my fingers.

The front of the box was decorated with elements cut out from the paper pad. I used a silver Sharpie to add the dots of snow to the plain green paper. Oh my, look how tiny and cute!

For a complete list of supplies, click here.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Christmas already? Time for some kitchy ornaments!

If you're a crafter, you know you have to get ahead of the holiday rush. Therefore, it's time for Christmas crafting in October/November! Here are a couple of kitchy ornaments I made with this month's Alpha Stamps kit.

First, a holly jolly snowman on sweet pastels. This fellow is the perfect size for the opening in the chipboard ornament, even if his hat does stick out a bit. I adorned him with a glittery sprig of holly, surrounded him with an assortment of snowflakes, and embellished the side with more holly and pine cones.

Metallic Dresden trim makes such a nice frame around our jolly snowman friend. It was easy to curve the trim to fit: just snip between each half circle, leaving the bottom part of the trim intact. Curve as you go! It just so happened that the trim fit this inner circle perfectly, but just in case, I started gluing at the upper right, so that if there did happen to be an awkward place where the ends met, it would be under the snowman's hat where it wouldn't show.

Check out Santa! He's looking mighty fine on this star shaped ornament. This ornament features gold tinsel, a holly wreath with bead "berries", faux Christmas lights, ribbons and a pair of jingle bells. Nothing's too festive when it comes to Santa!

Here's a little hint for making this ornament: when you're applying tinsel, it's best to cut the tinsel in smaller pieces that meet at the outer points of the star. This will give you nice sharp points. If you use one long piece of tinsel, the points will appear rounded. Tacky glue works well to adhere the tinsel.

Each of these ornaments is backed with coordinating paper. The back of Santa's ornament has a cute collage of children's wishlists.

Ho ho ho, stay tuned for more Christmas coming up. Meanwhile, for a complete list of supplies for these two ornaments, click here. Happy Christmas crafting!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Random Act of Kindness: Inspirational Bookmarks

We just celebrated my mom's 80th birthday. In lieu of gifts, she requested that each of us do a Random Act of Kindness in her honor and then send her a card telling her what we did. We sent out letters to all her friends, and she got more than 200 cards back with all sorts of wonderful RAKs! It was a very happy birthday for her.

I decided for my RAK that I would make some inspirational bookmarks and leave them in library books for people to find. I took a piece of thin cardboard, and using paints, stamps, tissue paper, glaze, and pages from old books, created one big sheet, which was then cut down to bookmark size. The inspiration came from my ever-growing collection of fortune cookies. I placed the bookmarks in books where I felt the inspiration fit. For example, the bookmark that said, "When one door closes, another one will open" went into a book for women defining their dreams at the prime of their life. "You are loved" went into a book for Caregivers, and "This is your day to call the shots" was placed in a book about dealing with bullies. I included a note on the back of each bookmark telling why I made the bookmarks, and encouraged the recipient to go do a RAK of their own. Hopefully, Mom's idea will continue to generate kindness for quite some time.

Some of the bookmarks:

This one, which says, "You will bring sunshine into someone's life", I included in with the birthday card I sent to Mom.  I think she deserved it.
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