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1  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
2  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.
3  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.
4   / CHALLENGE 109 ENTRIES / 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!
5  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
6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Tin of the Month Club, July and August 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.



EDIT:
August already? Here's this month's tin:
7  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
8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Tiny Peg Circus on: May 04, 2015 06:36:41 AM
 Step right up to see the greatest show on earth! An entire traveling circus, tucked up inside a tiny trunk. Well, OK, full disclosure: the entire circus doesn't fit into the trunk, but most of it does. I just got a little carried away and kept adding extra acts and accessories. Making little peg circus performers is just too much fun.

Here's the whole gang, standing in front of their opened trunk. 


The little trunk. I made this from the same 4" by 2" by 2" chipboard steamer trunk kit I used to make the Tiny Traveler I posted a while back. This one's a little brighter in color, because hey, it's a circus.


Opened up, you can see that five of the circus performers fit in the lid. Behind them, the flags for the ticket booth and the ringmaster's whip are stored. The three drawers on the right hold things like barbells for the strongman, knives for the knife thrower and his assistant, and a rubber chicken for the clowns. The bottom drawer also serves as the ticket booth, once it's slid out and turned around.


And here comes the circus! First up, there's the daring knife thrower. His revolving wheel and sign are found on the bottom of the trunk. That is one brave assistant he's working with; look how close those knives are. I think the sign should read "Daring Knife Thrower's Assistant"!


On the other side of the opened trunk, you can see Pete the ticket seller, manning the bottom drawer/ticket booth, Magnificent Mighty Max and his 500 lb. weights, and Red, who sells cotton candy. That cotton candy is actually pink packing peanuts, cut down and stuck onto toothpicks. Mmm, only two treats left, better get 'em while you can!


Clowns! You gotta have clowns at the circus. Here's Bingo and Twinkle with a big red ball and a rubber chicken. I hear their act is hilarious.


Finally, here's the act that broke out of the trunk: the Amazing Lion Act. The ringmaster seems to have things well in hand with that whip of his. It's made from a thin piece of wire wrapped with black embroidery floss.  The lion's hoop is made from a plastic ring and a 1 inch dollhouse hat stand with the "head" removed.


I hand painted the faces of all these pegs, but the bodies are actually wrapped with paper costumes that I designed. I made my first collage sheet! If you're interested in how the costumes work, there are several in progress photos on my blog. There are also more pictures of the peg people and the trunk.

Thanks for stopping by; I hope you enjoyed the show. Smiley
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Tin of the Month Club, April and NOW! With May and June on: April 10, 2015 08:25:12 AM
Each month this year I'm decorating a tiny tin. Here's April! This tin is pretty dark, but it matches my current weather perfectly! We've been having thunderstorms all morning. You know what they say about April showers, but at least in this tin, there's a silver lining.


EDIT: It's May, and those April showers seem to have done the trick. Here's the May tin, and the flowers are blooming.


June edit: Here's June. Time to enjoy the summer. How about doing some fishing? This tin is for Mr. 'Coo. He's an avid fisherman. It's a bit hard to see, but if you look closely, you can see a tiny fly that Mr. 'Coo tied himself. Hope that big fish bites!


If you would like to see the first three months of the year, click here.  Smiley
10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Tiny Traveler with Steamer Trunk/Home Away From Home on: April 06, 2015 06:15:30 AM
< little teaser photo

This month's Alpha Stamps theme has to be one of my all time favorites: tiny steamer trunks! We each got a 2" by 4" steamer trunk kit and directions for assembly. From there, the sky was the limit. I decided to make a little trunk that looked ordinary on the outside, but inside, contained everything a tiny traveler would need to have a truly comfortable voyage. Who's the tiny traveler? This little 2" painted peg doll. I had some adorable tiny crowns, so I popped one on her head at a jaunty angle.


On the outside, her tiny trunk may not look like much...


...but when you open it, you can see the tiny traveler and all her goodies snugly tucked up inside. On the left, there's a trundle bed on hinges, held to the wall by some ribbon with velcro, a charming wire chair, and the tiny traveler herself. On the right side, there's a top drawer containing bedding and a pillow, a drop leaf desk, and a bedside table and lantern, held in place with another velcro'd ribbon.


There are all sorts of fun ways to set up this trunk.


This was one of my favorite kits ever. I'm working on another trunk even as we speak. It's fun to see how many little things I can cram in there. Cheesy If you want to see an obscene number of more photos of this trunk, they're here on my blog, where you'll also find a little more about how I made this, plus a link for supplies.

Just for fun, one more pic for the road:
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