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1  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Bunting on: October 21, 2016 08:04:25 AM
I don't know why I don't have a banner on my mantle every day of the year. I do know, though, that I will always have one for Halloween. Next to Christmas, Halloween is my favorite holiday to decorate for! Here's a new banner for this year.

Closeups of the parts:

Here it is in its natural habitat, which was, at this point, only partially decorated:

Happy Halloween!
2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Talking Heads, or What I Made at Art Camp on: October 11, 2016 06:25:01 AM
cackle and I just got back yesterday from Stamford, CT, where we spent 4 exciting days going to "art camp" with Art Is...You. Every day there were tons of classes to choose from. Here's my favorite thing I made: this "Talking Head", from a class by Doreen Kassel. When I saw her work, I knew I had to take this class. I'm not very experienced with working with polymer clay, but I learned lots of great new techniques, and I'm really pleased with how my Talking Head turned out. Lookie!

This little gal (I named her "Precious") stands about 6" tall. But the cool thing about Talking Heads is that the body and heads are separate, so you can change them up at will.

Sometimes,  Precious is just a little piggy.

We had such a blast this year at art camp. I hope cackle posts what she did!
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Temperence and Auroria Play Amongst the Crypts on: September 29, 2016 08:29:52 AM
It's that time of year, so buckle up for Halloween crafts! I just finished up a couple of crypts, along with some Victorian girls in bat costumes.

First up: Temperence. She gets bored sitting at home, so she loves to decorate the crypts in the nearby cemetery. Here she's placed several carved pumpkins around the base of the crypt, and is busy stringing up some smaller jack o'lanterns to hang as lanterns. It's dusk, and she's evidently disturbed a few bats, who fly around her head.

To help Temperence stand out, I used adhesive foam tape to attach her to the crypt. The columns and the black vines also help to give this piece a 3D look.

Here's Temperence's younger sister, Auroria. She's known as a bit of a flibbertigibbet. Somehow, she's managed to open the spiderweb gate and gain admission to the interior of this crypt. She hasn't got a care in the world, running around with her glowing jack o'lantern and her three skully balloons. I hope that rat doesn't bite her. That sucker is huge!

A little sideview of the gates. The gates are made of chipboard. I used paint and copic markers to make the columns look a little more like they're made of marble. I toyed with the idea of painting the webbed gate black, but I liked the way the brown color looked with the "bricks" of the crypt.

Happy Halloween!
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Welcome to the Freak Show on: September 08, 2016 07:24:31 AM
Step right up, and welcome to the Freak Show! I used a split front box from Alpha Stamps to create this sideshow.

The outside is bright and cheery, full of colorful stripes, polka dots, flags, posters, and curtains.

The inside, though, is a different story. I imagine that the world of the circus freak could be dark and depressing when they were on display. It must be horrible to have people constantly gawking at you just because you are different. To reflect this, the inside of the tent is practically devoid of color, as the freaks await their turn on the stage. The only source of light are the footlights behind the stage.

The freaks gather and wait to be displayed in the center box, while the split doors make the perfect viewing place for the individual performers to sit as the curious crowds walk by.  I did not attach the doors to the box, so they can be pulled forward as shown.

I used the box as is, then constructed the tent roof to go on top. If you want to see how that was made, or you want a list of supplies, click here to go to the extended blog article. Meanwhile, welcome to the freak show.
5  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Circus Inchie Art (Warning: Clowns!) on: August 01, 2016 10:27:11 AM
New art for our keeping room! The clowns are teeny tiny, but if you don't like them at any size, you may want to just stop right here. Cheesy

I found myself at odds recently because I'm in between projects. My studio did get tidied up a bit, but that was no fun. I needed a tiny project. Inchies to the rescue! I had a colorful background made from red and pink tissue paper that I made months (years?) ago, so I cut it into inchie squares and set to work. In the interest of having this be a simple project, I dug up some circus stickers I had that were just the perfect size for tiny art. The next thing I knew, I had a set of 16 inchies. I went back to them several times, adding ink and paint. The once simple project became a bit of an obsession. Once they were done, I liked them so much I decided to mount and frame them.

Luckily for me, I had a frame I had purchased at Ikea a while back. The mat was cut to the perfect size for those 16 inchies. The frame was a nice light plain wood, but since we're talking circus, I painted it white with red stripes and then sanded it down a bit to distress it. I used several tiny star sequins in the inchies, so I glued a little silver star on each white stripe as well. Plain frame on the left; painted on the right.

I bordered the art with some gorgeous turquoise Dresden trim. Matching up the corners nicely took some doing, but I think the trim looks great. Each corner also got a little star. Done!

Here's the art in its new home. My parents made this plant stand for me for Christmas years ago. Now she finally has something to look at!

If you're not afraid of clowns and would like to see more photos and here more about the process, click here. Smiley
6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / The Fish House on: July 14, 2016 03:05:57 PM

I've been doing a lot of beach related projects lately. For this one, I took a folding house shrine from Alpha Stamps and created "The Fish House". When it's all folded up, it looks like a house made of waves. I couldn't resist adding a small window on the side.

The roof is made of corrugated cardboard with the top thin layer of paper removed. A different bathing beauty is featured on the back.

When the house is opened up, it's apparent why I named it The Fish House (or at least I hope it is!) The King of Fish watches over his kingdom from the center panel, while his loyal subjects collect the perfect fish from the surrounding ocean. He has put those bathing beauties to work!

Here's my favorite panel. She's so proud of the catch of the day.

 The house is hinged together with washi tape, while the striped outline on the top and bottom of the panels is made from thin strips of the scrapbook paper used in the striped panels.

Here's the outer view of the opened house, but I have to admit that I'm still partial to the King and his helpers of The Fish House.

7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Little Pink Houses on: June 24, 2016 08:06:01 AM
Well, they're not all pink, but some of them are! Here's a set of tiny houses I made recently. The largest is only 2 3/4" tall! They're designed to be shrines, but I decided I wanted the backs to be the fronts for display.

A closer look at the little angel:


A girl with a sweet wish:

And the wistful kid in 419:

I kept the open part in the back simple, because you never know what might find its way into one of these little houses. Around Easter time, it may be a family of rabbits.

At other times, it could be any sort of thing, like a Frozen Charlotte or a miniature chalkware dog.

So although I'll probably mostly display the kids' sides, it's nice to know I can arrange and rearrange the insides whenever I want to switch things up.

8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Washi Tape iPad Cover on: May 30, 2016 12:27:24 PM
Here's a little quicky project I did this weekend. I recently purchased a new iPad cover because the one I had was literally falling apart. I found a $10 cover on Amazon, and it's like my whole tablet is brand new. Yesterday I was messing around in the craft room and decided to pull out my washi tape and customize the cover. It was a plain mint green, but now...

It helped that I had a couple of rolls of thinner tape, because I don't think it would work to put tape in the folds. Having the thinner tape meant that I could cover each of the three areas fully. I burnished everything really well once it was in place, so hopefully the tape will last long without pealing.
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Alice at Tea, altered tin on: May 02, 2016 10:53:08 AM
It's been too danged long since I made altered an Altoids tin! Here's one I just made with an Alice in Wonderland theme. The base of the tin is made from letters from an old spelling game. The porcelain hand on top holds a tasty looking tart, and is surrounded by the White Rabbit's pocket watch and a key. I used Apoxie Sculpt to adhere these items.

The Cheshire Cat is actually a chipboard die-cut from Alpha Stamps, designed to fit right inside a tin. The details on the trees and cat were done with colored pencils, while the insert border was painted to match the color of the background paper I chose. I used a tiny brush to apply bright white paint to accent the cat's eyes and teeth. Here's a little closeup.

The figures from the collage sheet are attached to the back of the tin with foam dots to give the scene even more dimension. I used pink pom pom fringe because I liked the 50's sort of color vibe it added.

Because I know you like to see the back! The letter cubes are attached to a base of scrapbook paper-wrapped cardboard up under the tin. That's so the pom poms in the front don't hang down and obscure the letters.

Gotta go alter more tins!
10  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / Altered Dolls on: April 12, 2016 07:08:40 AM
How about a challenge where you take an old doll and alter it. You could make her cute or scary or weird. Just provide before and after photos of your doll to show what you did to her. Smiley
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