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1  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Tiny Gravestones and Goblins with Mini Tute on: October 06, 2014 07:13:54 AM
How cool are the new paper mach tombstones from Alpha Stamps? I used all three to make a spooky graveyard and set it up in the backyard. This is a tiny cemetery; the tombstones are each just around 6" tall.


A little bit about how I made them: the tombstones were originally the color of craft paper. I thought about covering them with scrapbook paper, but really wanted to get the look of an actual stone tombstone, so I ended up painting them. To get the mottled effect, I used four colors of paint: white, light grey, dark grey, and black. Using one brush, I dipped it into the paints and just dabbed it all over the surface, mixing the paints as I went. This technique works great; you just have to keep adding paints and dabbing until you achieve the look you want. Once the surface was done, I went in with a detail brush and black paint and added some cracks.


To make the niches for the skulls and gargoyle, use an ellipse template to draw the desired outline of the opening.


Once you've got your opening outlined, carefully cut it out with an xacto knife. I found it worked best to lightly score around the penciled outline, and then use the tip of the xacto in a sawing motion to cut through the cardboard. The tombstones are hollow, but there are strips of cardboard inside for support. I was able to just move those strips out of the way where I wanted the hole. Once I had the opening cut, I painted the inside black so it would be nice and dark.


The skulls and gargoyle are adhered with Apoxie Sculpt clay. I absolutely love that stuff. I was able to not only attach them, but to raise them up to the proper height to fit well in the niche. I ended up making a little frame around each niche to give them a more finished look. Here's the first of the gravestones. Is that nasty goblin trying to remove a stone on the frame?


The gargoyle bead in the second tombstone is the perfect addition to a proper gentleman's final resting place. The crow perched on this grave is also a bead, so it had a hole through its chest and back. I filled the hole with Apoxie Sculpt and painted it black. A little moss growing on the gravestones adds to the aged look.


And last but not least, there's the last resting place of a drama queen. Poor girl died relatively young. Someone has left her flowers, but I'm afraid those pesky goblins are thinking of stealing them.


Here they are all together. Happy Halloween! For a list of supplies, click here.
2  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Scary Toy on: October 04, 2014 11:54:08 AM
It's been a while since I made any scary toys, but I just did the October One Tiny Thing swap, and my partner Ludi mentioned that she might like one. Being tiny toys, they're the perfect size for an OTT swap, so here's a Halloween version I made for her. It's got a vintage block in the front, an old rusty bottlecap with an eyeball and painted lashes, a little turn key in the back, and a fun plastic batty flying up top.


The back has an awesome bat wings label. I love that bright green with the orange!


At the last minute, I gave it a little round "license tag" with a 31 on it, but of course couldn't be bothered to take a photo of it. Smiley

Check out the OTT gallery and see the awesome little pumpkin Ludi sent me in return. Lots of other tiny things will be coming soon! Smiley
3  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Pet Portraits: A Couple of Kitties on: September 16, 2014 07:00:02 AM
My good buddy amaryllisroze and I partnered together for the IYP recently. She wanted some portraits of her kitties, and (lucky me!), she's crocheting a blanket for my screened porch. Anyway, she received the little paintings yesterday, so I thought I'd post them.

She's got two girls, Ruby and Midge. aroze tells me that Ruby is the trouble maker, but she's got the widest, most innocent looking eyes! I don't believe it for a minute. Cheesy


Midgie is the shy girl, but it looks to me like she's harboring a secret of two. Could it be that she's secretly framing Ruby for her shenanigans?


And, both the girls together. Painting furry beasts is hard! I must have painted and repainted these dozens of times. There's probably 1/4" of paint on each of them. Luckily, acrylics are very forgiving! I just kept at it until they looked "right".
4  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / The Snarky Housewives Swap GALLERY on: September 06, 2014 10:14:13 AM
C'mon and get your snark on!

Original Signup thread: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=435029.0#axzz3CYZ0SmJW


Send/Recieved
If your name is pink, you are have notified us you will be sending late. If your name is in red, you have sent. If your name is struck through, your partner has received. If you and your partner have a  Grin, you both have feedback. We don't expect any non-communicative late senders, right?

PARTNERS!
mambosushi<>goatgoddess Grin
Wulf<>geekgirl1000100 Grin
Onyxnox<>HSG Grin
SevsOnlyGirl<>fancybutch Grin
Sonjaboo<>Smmarrt Grin
Audiana1<>Ramona Q Grin
Mistress Jennie<>cackle Grin
pottermouth<>thisbirdsabsurd  Grin
rockingbearranch<>beeker Grin
rackycoo<>cmarion3 Grin

Thanks, everyone! Great swap!!
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Finn, Accomplished Bird Boy on: August 14, 2014 11:31:55 AM
A while back, MissingWillow and I swapped together in the IYP. She sent me some crocheted flowers she found, and some ceramic bird heads and leaves that she made.  She thought I might enjoy playing with them, and she was correct! The other day I was procrastinating (while supposedly working on a different project), and I started fiddling around with the things she sent. Somehow, Finn was born.


I used a vintage block I had. The color was a great match. And doesn't the crocheted flower make the perfect ruffly collar? I was going to give Finn a party hat, using the lace for a trim, but when I cut the lace to size, it struck me that the lace made a perfect crown. I've had those doll legs forever. Finally, a good use for them.


The head, wings and doll feet were affixed with Apoxie Sculpt. It makes the perfect little pantaloons.


Stand tall, Finn!
6  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Snarky Housewives Swap CLOSED; SendOut 9/15 on: August 08, 2014 11:23:57 AM
GALLERY!


"Vanessa", by cackle

Those 50's housewives: so perfectly dressed, so decked in pearls, such lovely smiles. What are they hiding? The rackle knows: snarky attitudes! You know those beautiful smiles are just teeth clinched in pent up frustration. Can you relate? If so, let's share the snarky joy! In this swap, we will be exchanging one medium item, with no extras. Easy, peasy, snarky, and fun!

cackle and I cajoled Leslie, of Alpha Stamps, into creating collage sheets and providing awesome scrapbook papers and tiny adorable kitchen accessories just so we could host this snarky swap! She even made a collage sheet full of ideal snarky sayings, like the one cackle used in the art above. (Hint: search under "retro kitchen" for lots of goodies.) You don't have to use these supplies to participate in the swap, but you know you want to. Cheesy

Here are links to more of the projects we made in snarky anticipation:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=435027.msg5229285;topicseen#new
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=435028.msg5229288#msg5229288

Now for the swappy details:

Swap name: Snarky Housewives. NOW! With more snark!
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: rackycoo, co-organizer: cackle
Sign-up date range: August 8- August 15, or until full
Date to send item by: September 15

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): 22

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? No
If so, which country?

Additional Age requirement? Must be at least 18

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: No
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 18 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES


Details of swap:
Make your partner one wonderfully crafted medium sized project featuring a snarky 50's housewife. Let your snark flag fly! The project can be in any format: tins, hooplas, art, etc. There is plenty of time to craft, so make sure you craft to your best ability and send something spectacular. We expect an awesome gallery!

It is a requirement to post in this thread if you are participating in this swap. Please check into the thread regularly and communicate with the organizers if problems occur or you will be late. Don't make us put down our drinks and come after you!

We reserve the right to refuse anyone who has a history of poor communication and/or late sending.

NOTE: We allowed for a little extra time in case you do want to order supplies. Make sure you get your order in early though, so you have plenty of time to craft!

If you want to participate, information to send to both rackycoo AND cackle:

QUESTIONNAIRE TO ANSWER:
Name of swap: Snarky Housewives. NOW! With more snark!
Craftster username
Email address
Your real name
Mailing address including the country
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 18 years old (YES/NO)
Confirm that this message is being sent to both rackycoo AND cackle:
This could get a little raunchy. Are you ok with bad words?

PARTICIPANTS: (* means you need to post in this thread)
1. racky
2. cackle
3. thisbirdsabsurd
4. SonjaBoo
5. fancybutch
6. mambosushi
7. Mistress Jennie
8. pottermouth
9. Wulf
10. SevsOnlyGirl
11. HSG
12. goatgoddess
13. Ramona Q
14. Onyxnox
15. beeker
16. rockingbearranch
17. cmarion3
18. Audania1
19. geekgirl1000100
20. Smmarrt

PARTNERS!
mambosushi<>goatgoddess
Wulf<>geekgirl1000100
Onyxnox<>HSG
SevsOnlyGirl<>fancybutch
Sonjaboo<>Smmarrt
Audania1<>Ramona Q
Mistress Jennie<>cackle
pottermouth<>thisbirdsabsurd
rockingbearranch<>beeker
rackycoo<>cmarion3
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Snarky Housewives. NOW! With more snark! on: August 08, 2014 10:40:25 AM

I love those way-to-happy-to-be-real housewife images they used in the 50's for advertising. I'm pretty darn sure I never look so happy when I'm cooking or cleaning. I talked with Leslie over at Alpha Stamps about my obsession, and she was nice enough to create some great 50's housewife collage sheets and source some fun supplies. I decided to showcase my housewives in windowed tins: there's the angelic 50's housewife on the outside, but on the inside, the true snark shows through.


I am totally in love with that pie paper! Plus, all the little trinkets: the rolling pin, the tiny cookbook, and of course that nice bottle of red wine. I told my hubby that I was going to put a magnet on the back of this tin, and he could use it as a mood gauge. Lid on: happy wife, good dinner coming. Lid off: attitude adjustment needed, poor me a glass of wine and make some reservations!


Here's another deceptively sweet gal, who looks like she's ready to cook up something delicious, but actually, not:


In the original image, she held a grocery list. I altered her list a tad. Cheesy


Here they are, both in "lid off, watch out" mode. I think these two would be the best of friends.


Alpha Stamps has tons of great scrapbook papers, snarky housewife collage sheets, and miniature supplies for housewives, just search under "retro kitchen". cackle and I are hosting a Snarky Housewife Swap, so come join us!

You can see cackle's snarky bitches hereCheesy
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Teeny Tiny Stone Cottage (Grandma's house) on: August 03, 2014 08:18:07 AM
I had a little Votive House Shrine kit from Alpha Stamps, and decided to make it into Red Riding Hood's Grandma's cottage in the woods. The stones are actually just cut from a cardboard egg carton. I had never used this technique before, but it was so simple, and looks so good! It did take me forever to "build" those walls, though. (I have a new-found respect for stone masons everywhere.) The roof shingles are cut from sandpaper.


It's such a sweet little size: just 4" tall x 2-1/8" wide. I spent a lot of time choosing Grandma-like papers for the inside walls and floor, but once I determined that the house should be made of stone, I love the outside so much that I made a fourth wall (the kit comes with three walls). Here's the house with a quarter, for scale:


When you open the door, there's Red Riding Hood. She does not seem aware that the wolf, dressed in Grandma's gown, is ready to strike. C'mon, sister, boot up!


Around back, there's a vine taking over.


I am seriously toying with the idea of making little Christmas and Halloween themed houses with that kit. I love the scale of the house, and if you don't add the fourth wall, it's perfect for votive candles. Most of the supplies I used can be found here, on Alpha Stamps, and there's more info on how I made the roof and stones on my blog

9  COOKING / Dessert / Watermelon Cake! on: July 23, 2014 08:38:42 AM
I hosted my bookclub last night. I wanted to have a light dessert, and had seen this idea for watermelon cake in my local newspaper. I found a few examples on Pinterest as well. Here's the giant cake itself; so pretty!


When you cut it open, surprise! The "cake" is actually a huge chunk of watermelon!


I was worried that everyone would feel let down that there wasn't actually cake for dessert, but this was a big hit and everyone loved it. It was a perfect summer dessert.

Here's how I made it:

Ingredients
One nice sized seedless watermelon, rind removed and cut into a cake shape
Cool Whip, softened in the fridge
Slivered Almonds
Assorted Berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)

After you cut your watermelon to size, pat dry with paper towels. I cut mine earlier in the day, and kept it refrigerated it until a couple hours before serving. I have read that if the watermelon isn't good and cold, the Cool Whip won't stick to the sides. I patted it dry again before icing it with the Cool Whip. I then pressed slivered almonds into the sides, and garnished the top with the berries. I kept it in the fridge uncovered until serving. So easy!
10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Cirque Theatre (Clown warning!) on: July 17, 2014 08:16:19 AM
Send in the clowns! This month at Alpha Stamps, it's all about the circus, one of my favorite themes. Here's a wild and wooly clown extravaganza, made using the same Small Paper Theatre box that I used to make "Animal Farm". There is so much aerial action going on in this Cirque Theater, that I turned the box for a vertical presentation, and mounted it on a Small Wooden Theatre Base.

All clowns, all the time. Plus a few stars.


I was working on this over the Fourth of July weekend, hence the Americana feel. Once the theater was built, I filled it jam-packed full with clowns. But don't worry; these are nice clowns!


The clowns are stacked at various depths to give dimension.


A vintage cupcake pick and some metallic hands welcome one and all to the circus, and sit nicely in front of a star-spangled medallion. For this project, I made a semi-circle instead of using a full medallion.


What's this? Who's this clown, sitting down on the job?!? That ain't right.


All of my supplies for this project came from Alpha Stamps.  Smiley
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