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11  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!
12  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
13  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Pam and Sam Spam, altered tin on: April 01, 2016 06:23:24 AM
We couldn't have Spam without Pam and Sam, and many of their tasty relatives. Here are the two lovebirds, up on a pediment as testimony to their love of this delicious pork product.


I used a real Spam can for authenticity, but full disclosure: Sam and Pam are made of clay, not actual Spam.


Here's a photo of Sam and Pam off the Spam can, so you can see their wittle curly tails.


Oink oink!
14  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Fairy garden in blue pot on: March 24, 2016 07:35:34 AM
I've been wanting to make a fairy garden forever! I took a bright blue pot that was currently only hosting dead annuals (so sad!), and replanted it with tiny plants to create a sweet little garden. You can tell it's early spring, because my grass has only just begun to green up.

I made a little bunting for the garden, because fairies love festive things. The bunting is made from scrapbook paper, cut into little flags and strung with baker's twine across two painted bamboo skewers. It's a nice little entrance to the fenced in sitting area of the garden.


Fairy gardens are pretty popular right now, and my local nursery even had a table full of tiny plants specifically for tiny gardens. There was lots to choose from, including some that can look like bushes, and several varieties of tiny trees. My "tree" is a small boxwood.  The grass is a lovely moss that will eventually bloom with tiny white flowers.


What really makes the garden fun is the adorable accessories, scaled perfectly for a tiny fairy. This garden contains a white picket fence, a stepping stone path, several clay pots, and a bench for resting (someone's been doing yard work; there are clippers and a watering sitting on that bench).


Two of the pots, the one with pink flowers and the hanging pot, contain paper flowers and a little bit of moss. The large pot on the right is filled with some cuttings from a butterfly bush. I may go back and purchase another tiny plant to actually plant in there. I'm not sure you could have a real plant in the hanging pot; it's so tiny! I made the shepherd's hook with a piece of wire: just bend it into shape.


Can you see the tiny porcupine hiding near the pink roses on the right? He is the cutest! Here's a closeup:


Because the flowers and bunting are paper, and the accessories are small and not fastened down in any way, this garden will live on my covered porch where it will be protected from rain and leaf blowers. Hopefully the fairies will be able to find it and will visit often!
15  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Robert Burns Artist Trading Block on: January 25, 2016 02:18:52 PM
Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland, was born January 25, 1759. Tonight is Burns Night, and people all over the world will celebrate his birthday with traditional Scottish fare. My next door neighbors invited us to share in their Burns Night feast tonight, and insisted that we bring nothing. We can't go over there empty handed, so since they are such Burns fans, I made them a little R. Burns birthday souvenir, using the best known portrait of Burns by Alexander Nasmyth. Added a little party hat and some fireworks, and there you have it.


The back, featuring a blessing he wrote.


Not sure what my friends will think of this little gift, so we're also bringing Champagne.  Cheesy
16  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Zebra Circus Wagon on: January 04, 2016 10:56:52 AM
One thing I really love about the Alpha Stamps' monthly kits is how versatile they are. This month, the design team's stated theme was "Valentine Paper Theatres", but when I saw the square shrine and the wonderful stripey papers, all I could think of was "circus"! So, circus it is. The cardboard shrine was the perfect size to transport a zebra to the big top.


The square shrine is designed to have a taller facade on top, but for the circus wagon, I used the shrine upside down. I added extra cardboard on the two sides and the back in order to make a good base for the wheels. Here's a picture of how the back looks with the 1" of extra cardboard on the bottom. The wheels come with the pieces shown here painted black. Once they're in place, it's easy to thread the axle through them and attach the wheels. Just make sure you have them lined up properly; I first put my wagon together without gluing it to make sure that these axle holders were on straight.


I got the zebra from my local Michaels store, and then dressed her up for her circus debut. I painted her hooves glittery red with Stickles, and then gave her a ruffle made of pom pom fringe. I also used Stickles to create little red jewels on her crown. She's so fancy! I added a little 3D trim to the Cirque facade; here you can see some black and white braid and some gold star studs.


Back of the wagon, an advertisement for the act:


The rope in front was added to make this a pull toy. I punched a hole in the cardboard and threaded the cord through it. I tied a big knot and glued it to the wall of the side to keep it firmly attached. The end of the cord is glued into a small wooden finial, which I painted black and gold and then glazed. The back step was an old wooden block I happened to have, cut to size. Matchsticks make the perfect flag poles.


Huzzah! The circus is in town! For a list of supplies, click here.
17  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Tin of the Month Club 2015 on: December 08, 2015 01:06:53 PM
I've been holding on to a set of 12 tiny tins forever. At the beginning of this year, I decided to set a goal to alter one tin a month, to represent that month. I've been posting them here, in sets of three, but now that I'm done, I thought I'd post them all together. 2015 is almost over! Here's what the year looked like in tins:


And a larger photo of December's tin. Ho ho ho!


The last two months were posted here, and if you want, you can follow the links to see the rest of the individual tins. Hope your year was crafty and good!

18  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Santa's Sleigh on: December 02, 2015 08:16:31 AM
Alpha Stamps has two little kits to make sleighs this Christmas. They're so quick and easy to make! Here's the smaller size. I designed it in hopes that it would look like a vintage decoration from the 50's or 60's. Lucky me; I found the perfect little chenille Santa in an antique mall last weekend. Score! I painted the sleigh eggshell white, and distressed it with ink to make it look old. Blue Waterfall Stickles were used to make the wooden snowflake and the outer scrolled part of the sleigh glittery. I used some thin cardboard to make a little seat for Santa up front, and then filled the cargo space with a bottlebrush tree, some packages made using the Holiday Bags, Tags & Boxes collage sheet, and the cutest miniature wooden toys. From this side you can see a little wooden airplane, the sail of a toy boat, and a couple of the boxes made from the collage sheet.


It may seem like a lot for Santa to haul around, but look how small that sleigh actually is: it fits right in the palm of my hand.


The sleigh may be small, but it packs in a lot of Christmas goodies!


Ho ho ho!
19  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Christmas Placeholders/Ornaments on: November 27, 2015 10:40:28 AM
I like to set my Christmas Eve table with placecards for everyone, preferably one that doubles as an ornament they can take home. This year, I found a great little ceramic snowman at Michaels, and at 60% off, they were only eighty cents apiece! I'm hosting a dinner in December for my book club, so they'll be getting these too.


All you need to personalize these is Sharpie pens and/or paint pens. I used a Sharpie for the nose and to write the names and dates, and a paint pen for the buttons, eyes, and red band around the hat. Tie a scrap of ribbon around the neck so your snowman stays warm, and you're done! I like to use different ribbons for members of the same family for more variety on the tree. HELPFUL HINT: Write the name and date on the ornament first, and then you can center the buttons and face so they'll be perfect every time.  Smiley

Here's what the ornament looks like undecorated. His little bottom is not flat, so I purchased a bag of miniature wreaths for the snowmen to sit on when they're being used as placecards.
20  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Kindling Bundle: the Perfect Man Gift on: November 27, 2015 09:35:18 AM
What do you get the man that has just about everything? If he likes a nice fire, and you're lucky enough to have a wood worker in your house, make a bundle of kindling for him! I got a nice selection of wood scraps from our shop, rubber banded them together, and then wrapped them with a piece of burlap (this is from a table runner sold at Michaels). Then I put a bright red ribbon around the bundle, stuffed in some holly clippings, and added a cute tag (also from Michaels). This was so easy to do, and cost next to nothing, but guys who love making fires will really appreciate it.


Here's a little details of the wrapping. On the back of the tag, we wrote "Here's to you, Hot Stuff!" with a metallic silver Sharpie.  Grin
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