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1  Category Challenges / Occasions and Holidays: Challenge Entries / Egg-shaped Leprechaun on: April 09, 2014 08:09:41 AM
I am partnered with the A-mazing pottermouth in the IYP, and one thing she said she'd really like is something Irish. I am not a clay person, but I had some paper clay and really wanted to give it a shot. I know a lot of people use foil as the bases for clay things, but I used a plastic Easter egg instead. Thank goodness this contest was announced before I started, or I never would have had that idea! The egg was a nice smooth surface to work on. If I were to do it again, I'd glue it shut before working with it, because for a while there, it was popping open and that was not cool!

So here's the little fella, with his lovely egg-shaped figure:

My daughter found the rusty shamrock years ago. It's the perfect thing for him to hold, and it made it easier for me to figure out how to do his arms. Cheesy

Because he's built over an egg, I had to construct a funny little butt on him, but sorry, I didn't get a good shot of his derriere.

And a closeup of his face. I just had to freckle him up a bit. Once he was painted, I brushed him all over with some ink to age him, and then gave him a nice coat of glaze to make him shiny.

Happy Easter/St. Patrick's Day!  Cheesy
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Nutterflies Are Free on: April 01, 2014 04:44:45 AM
Sneak peak:

Pinterest is so inspiring! I have always loved this Pin:

My cousin, who just joined Craftster, loves butterflies. He's also crazy about peanuts. Today is his birthday, so I just had to figure out how to combine his two loves into one. Here's what I came up with:

The plaque on the bottom is a Tim Holtz word band. It reads: "reality has limits, imagination is boundless", which I think is perfect for this piece!

I think the peanuts make the paper wings so much more real looking, being 3D and all. Here's a closeup of a couple of my favorites, where you can see just how realistic they really are. Floral stamens make perfect antennae.

And, one more for the road. Oh look, there's a little caterpillar joining the crew. He's dreaming of the day he too, can fly free.

I hope my cuz loves this. I think it will be perfect in his office!
3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Summer Memories Mini Album on: March 30, 2014 12:02:36 PM
What's new this month at Alpha Stamps? Vintage albums with a beachy vibe! Here's a little souvenir album I created with all the fun new products. Hopefully it brings to mind someone's long ago summer fun memories. This book has so many pages that I'm just going to post a couple of my favorites here. 

The cover. Can you believe it's made from a collage sheet image, just glued to shirt cardboard? I think it looks like real leather! All the inside pages are made with 7Gypsies scrapbook paper, cut to size and sewn together in a single signature.

A great old photo of two couples on vacation, and some vintage tickets. I found a whole set of these photos of Maddie, Al, Irene and Gus on a roadtrip in 1933. I love them! They look like they had the best time.

The paperclips are decorated with little washi tape flags. So easy to do and so cute! I love using tiny glassine coin envelopes. Hole reinforcements make a great grabby spot for some baker's twine so you can pull the tags out.

Another photo of the vacationers, plus some collage sheet images and vintage stamps.

That's a little taste of it.

If you want to see all the pages or get a link to all the supplies I used, you can find them on my blog. Thanks for taking a look.  Smiley
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / A Few More Scary Toys on: March 28, 2014 07:38:37 AM
I'm still enjoying making Scary Toys. Here are a couple that required human doll sacrifices. Sorry, baby doll. 

This one might be waving at you:

But this one definitely wants to punch you out. Cheesy

5  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 96 ENTRIES / Terribly Important SOB Toy & Photo Holder on: March 03, 2014 10:26:33 AM
I just participated in the Terribly Important SOB swap, where participants all pay homage to each other's importance. My partner, noooitaremybirhtday, chose to be referred to as "The Ultimate Winner". One thing I made her was this toy with a banner, to head any parade that might crop up in her honor.

noooitaremybirthday is expecting a Very Important Baby soon, so the ultimate use for this toy is a photo holder. I hope it will make a cute addition to baby's room. (Note: her baby will most likely not look like this photo...this is an example only! Cheesy)

We've had such fun in this Terribly Important Swap! Check out the gallery!
6  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / SWAP & SHARE CHALLENGE! on: March 03, 2014 07:12:52 AM

Have you sent something awesome to a swap partner lately? I know you have! Was it posted in the swap gallery but you still haven't given it its own thread? Enter it now into the Swap & Share Challenge! Get that project recognized, and win a great prize!

If you're a frequent swapper, I'll bet you have some projects you've been meaning to post about but just haven't yet. Enter today! http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=431303.0#axzz2urh9mEGh

And good luck!
7  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Corset Trading Cards and Storage Box on: March 02, 2014 08:40:01 AM
When I saw this month's new collage sheets from Alpha Stamps, featuring corsets, for some reason I thought of baseball cards. Wouldn't it be funny if young girls in Victorian times collected and traded corset cards? With that in mind, I designed a set of cards to look as though they had been handled and poured over, and perhaps traded with friends. This photo shows a box I made for storage, the fronts of four of the cards, and the back of one. I used the same corset ad on the backs of all the cards.

Making the cards was fun. I started with cream colored card stock, cut it to ATC size (2 1/2" by 3 1/2"), and slightly rounded the corners. I dabbed the top with Antique Linen Distress Ink, and then roughed up the edges using a Paper Distresser. After I layered on the images from the collage sheets (plus a measuring tape and a number for each card), I bent corners, folded edges, and sanded down the images.

The finished cards. Not only do they look old, they actually feel old!

I felt they needed a special box for storage, so I decorated a 3" Chipboard Memory Box using a pretty striped paper, pieces of a doily, and some pearl garland. The top finial was made with an old toy wheel I had, plus a painted wooden ball. Some painted wooden finials made perfect feet.

A pretty little scene cut from scrapbook paper makes a nice surprise on the inside of the box. The cards fit the box nicely, if you store them at an angle. If you'd like a complete list of products used for this project, click here.

Corset trading cards: collect them! Keep them! Trade them with your friends!
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Odd Bird Windup Toy on: February 22, 2014 02:03:23 PM
It's all about birds this month at Alpha Stamps! This month, the design team members were all given a bird shrine, and since I've been having so much fun making toys lately, I couldn't help but make this shrine into a toy as well. My goal was to make it look like a well-loved toy from years gone by; you know, something you'd pick up at an antique shop or, I guess, at a thrift store.

The shrine comes with a front and a back, a plastic disk for the window, and two pieces for the inside. I used both of the inside pieces of the shrine to make a deep niche, and added some mini bird eggs and some micro beads to achieve a snow-globe affect. On the outside, I covered the shrine with black and white polka-dotted paper and colored it with Copic markers. It was way too bright and new looking, so I sanded it down quite a bit, and then brushed on some Cognac colored ink to make it appear aged.

After gluing all the pieces together, I drilled a small hole in the back to insert the winding key. It may look like it, but this is not actually a working toy. I used two sizes of wheels, 3/4" and 1 1/4".  I painted them black, and then added a little turquoise to the inside. Once the paint was dry, I sanded them down and added an axle. Dowels would work best for this, but I didn't have any at the time, and I was impatient. I used the handle of an old paintbrush that just happened to fit. The wheels are attached with some E6000 glue.

The eyes are bead caps, and I just had to add a little crown on her head. I love these little crowns. I need to stock up on some more!

If you want to make a bird toy of your own, click here for a link to the supplies, including those awesome crowns.
9  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 95 ENTRIES / "Baby Buttons" Tiny Display on: February 10, 2014 12:24:28 PM
I picked up an old rack with spice drawers at a thrift store not too long ago, and have had it sitting around unused. The little drawers are so cute, though, that I decided to use them to display some of my tiny treasures. I call this one "Baby Buttons" because of the old button card I used for the background. It was a perfect fit! The little china doll just seemed to need a friend, so I added in the dog, which was a carnival prize from long ago. I think they make a cute little vignette.
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Scary Toys for Girls and Boys (lots o'pics!) on: January 19, 2014 07:42:25 AM
Between using wood for artist trading blocks and Mr. 'Coo's current woodworking project, we have lots of little leftover scraps of wood. I've been having the best time the last few days, making "windup toys" from the tiny blocks, none of which are bigger than 2" on any given side. A few years ago, I bought a bunch of old wooden blocks and other toy parts, and I dug through them to find bits and pieces to help construct the these rather bizarre toys. Some rusty bottle caps and some creepy eye charms to add to the fun.

At first I was just fiddling around, and came up with this. Once it was done, though, I thought of all the things it could have been, and thought it would be fun to make an entire collection of toys.

I like the first one, but as toys go, it doesn't look like too much fun. Since they all have windup keys, I thought they should look like they do something, so I decided to make the rest more mobile, and add wheels.

For the circus wagon below, the block at the top was conveniently already broken in half. I added some painted accents and some wheels made out of spools. The hand is a vintage charm with some sequins at the cuff.

Here's the third one I made. I really love the look of one wheel in the middle, but of course that won't balance on its own, so I added some doll hands to help keep it upright. I used Apoxie Sculpt to make the sleeves and attach the hands to the sides of the block.

Its windup key is in the back.

This metal propeller for this one was also in that box of old toys, as were the red metal wheels. I added a kickstand on the back of this vehicle to keep it upright.

Here's how it sits with its windup key:

Here's the final toy in the set (although I can't promise I won't make more!). I think it looks like a little weird animal.

One more shot of them, all lined up:

That was a lot of photos! Thanks for taking a look. Smiley

One last one. I had one more eyecharm left, and lots of wooden blocks, so I added one more toy to the collection. This one has a big ole honkin' nose!

That's all for now. I've got an order in for more eyeballs, but word has it that my next Alpha Stamps package is on its way. I'll be busy with that for a while.
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