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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Tin of the Month Club, October on: October 08, 2015 11:00:51 AM
I can't believe it's the last quarter of the year. Where has the time gone?

Short story: I've been decorating tiny tins all year, one for each month. I've been posting them in four separate posts, one for each quarter. The October tin was actually the first tin I completed. I originally planned to do several Halloween themed tins with my set of 12. But after completing this one, having 11 tins left gave me the idea to do one every month, and there you have it. So, here's October.

To see the last three months, click here. Smiley
2  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Boo Witch with Cat and Pumpkins on: September 29, 2015 08:28:08 AM
One of my favorite swaps this time of year is the OTT October Holiday swap. Of course I was thrilled to be partnered with pottermouth. Since she claims she loves peg dolls, I decided to make her a couple, along with some little Boo blocks. The only rule of the OTT swap is that your swap item has to be under 4". These blocks are 3/4" square, and the little cat is 1" tall, for reference.

All the pieces are separate, so pottermouth can move them around and arrange them however she likes.

Here's a picture she took for the swap gallery:

Tiny Halloween fun for everyone!
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Carmen Miranda and Some Fruity Friends on: September 03, 2015 07:26:24 AM
I can't seem to stop making peg dolls, so when I saw all the miniature fruits and vegetables available now at Alpha Stamps, I had visions of a tiny Carmen Miranda.

Carmen needed some friends, so I made her four little fruity friends, each with costumes based on the color of their fruit. Their hats and capes are removable, so they can switch it up if they're so inclined.

The gang's all here!

Let's make some Sangria and have a par-tay!
4  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Zombie Cars! Scary Fun! on: August 27, 2015 06:54:32 AM
Do you ever just get a weird idea right out of nowhere? It happened to me for this last project for Alpha Stamps. When I saw the included paper mach coffin boxes and rubber zombie finger puppets, for some crazy reason, I immediately thought "soapbox derby cars with dead drivers!" When I told Leslie (fearless leader of Alpha Stamps) my idea, she found me the perfect 1 1/2" spoked wheels for these vehicles.

I removed the top of each coffin box to save for another project. With an x-acto knife, I cut out a window from the box bottom before painting each car. The number 8 car features painted flames and a scary black widow spider on the front. The orange car, number 31, has skeleton arms and some red headlights shining through the eyes of the skull on the front. (There's a view of the underside of this car showing how those lights were installed at the bottom of this post.)

Where would one find a set of zombie cars? Why, nestled in a collector's box in an old creepy toy store, of course! I recovered the top of an old game box with some red cardstock and a new label. I added some masking tape to the sides, because we always ended up having to tape up the corners of our game boxes when I was a kid.

The cars are safely nestled within the box. I used shirt cardboard to construct the box insert (gotta keep those cars from moving around in there!). It seemed a little plain, so I covered the top of the insert with stripey scrapbook paper for more scary fun.

On the underside of the lid is a cemetery backdrop which makes the perfect little playset for the cars. The zombies seem right at home there.

Wanna see the car backs? Car 31 features more bones and a "rancid" license plate.  Car number 8 sports some fangy black fins and a pair of scary taillights (or are they eyes?!?) above a "poison" tag. The zombie finger puppets are stuck down in the opening created by the window cutout.

I'm still a huge newbie at Photoshop, so I was very excited to be able to put together the box top using an image of children from a vintage game of "Winner Spinner" (minus the giant spinner that used to be there) and actual photos of the cars themselves.

As promised, here's a shot of the underneath of car 31. I placed the skull on the front and punched out holes for the lights. Once the lights were inserted from the inside of the car, Apoxie Sculpt was used to keep them securely in place. Apoxie Sculpt also adhered the battery to the top of the car, and the light switch to the side, where it's easily accessible. You can see some masking tape and tiny o-rings on the axle, which keep the wheels from sliding side to side. The zombie driver is simply smashed in there. He's easily removable and repositionable.

There's a complete supply list on my blog, if you feel the need to have one of these freaky things lying around your house this Halloween. Cheesy
5  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Black Cat on: August 21, 2015 06:52:35 AM
My favorite swaps on Craftster are always the Halloween swaps, and especially the Vintage Halloween swap! I can't resist joining every year. Here's what I made for my swap partner, the fabulous thisbirdsabsurd, this year. It's about 8" tall, made from paperclay on a foil armature. The star stand is the bottom of a paper mach box.

thisbird mentioned on the signup form that she like black cats, bats, and pumpkins, so I got in all three. The ruffle around his neck was originally white, so I colored it with a Copic marker.

Here's the back:

And a little closeup of his face, just for fun.

Wanna see what thisbird sent me in return? Hint: it's awesome, so yes, you do! Click here.
6  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Tiny Witch on: August 17, 2015 08:47:47 AM
She may be tiny, but she's fierce!

She's made from a wooden peg doll. Her hat is made from a dollop of Apoxie Sculpt.

She can come out of her box to play. Don't you love her trick or treat pail? It's one of my favorite miniatures.
7  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / OTT Pet Portrait on: August 11, 2015 08:44:44 AM
This project is an oldie but a goodie. It's one of my favorite things I ever made in a swap so I don't know why I never posted it. It was made for catpants in the OTT6 (One Tiny Thing Swap) waaaay back in 2006! (Some of you were probably babies then. Cheesy)

Anyway, it's hand painted on a 4" by 4" board (so tiny!), and contains all of catpants' beloved pets, minus Karl the hamster, at the time. It was the first pet portrait I ever attempted, and I was pretty stoked at how it turned out.

catpants posted a photo in the gallery of Carlos, for comparison purposes:

I wish I still had a photo of Marylou and her crazy mustache!
8  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / SWAP AND SHARE: Craftster Challenge 109 on: August 10, 2015 02:51:39 PM
Craft Challenge #109 is "Swap and Share". Have you made something awesome for a swap? OF COURSE you have! You're a swapper! If your item has so far only been featured in the swap gallery, enter it in the challenge today through August 17th. Show off your stuff! Win a fabulous prize! Click on the link for all the rules, and enter today.  Smiley
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Tin of the Month Club, July and August, now with September on: July 01, 2015 06:42:07 AM
It's July! I can't believe the year is half over already. Time flies when you're having fun. I've been having a blast decorating a new little tin each month this year. Only five more to go, now that July's done.

My favorite part of July is the fireworks. This tin celebrates the traditions, fun, and festivities of a 4th of July celebration.

August already? Here's this month's tin:

I know most kids have been back to school for weeks already, but I always think of September as the Back to School month. Not sure how happy this little sweetie is to be back, but she's definitely dressed for the occasion. One of my girls' elementary school teachers used to call little girls "bow heads" when they wore big bows like that. Cheesy

To see April, May and June, click here.
10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Circus Toys on: June 25, 2015 08:27:00 AM
Here are a couple of new things I've added to my circus collection, along with a large squeaky clown toy I played with as a baby. (Could that have been the start of my love of the circus?)

I used the new Funny Mixies collage sheet from Alpha Stamps to make the set of puzzle blocks. I am a huge fan of vintage puzzle blocks, and often use them in my art, so it was fun to make a set of my own. You can mix and match the faces, bodies and feet on the blocks to make all sorts of crazy characters. Hey wait; is that Satan, wearing a dress?

While the four sides of the blocks each contain a body part, the tops and bottoms each have part of a single image on them. Put those together, and you get a circus scene. I used some fine grained sand paper to lightly sand all the blocks. I wanted them to look like they were well loved and played with often.

I got the red clacker a couple of years ago from a "free" table at a craft event. I was attracted to its color and well-used look, plus: free! I used a couple of fun clown images from the Reversible Clown collage sheet and gold star stickers to make it a little more fun. That clown on the left is actually smoking a cigarette. Such wholesome fun!

I can think of so many uses for blocks like this. What about personalized photo puzzles for Christmas gifts this year. Wouldn't those be sweet?

What is with this clown?  Cheesy
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