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1  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Tiny Haunted House & Tombstone Tutorial (so many pictures!!) on: October 08, 2018 07:47:26 AM
Can't stop making things for Halloween! This haunted house is tiny, but still pretty spooky. The base is only 6" by 6".

I covered the sides of the house with a wood plank scrapbook paper, and the roofs with spiderwebs. Dresden trim accents the roof lines. 

The "stone" path in the front is cut from a cardboard egg carton. It's got the perfect texture for pavers.

Tombstones litter the front yard. The kit comes with four; I chose to use three. Buried in the front yard are "Al B. Bach" and "Ima Goner". Sadly, no one knows who lies beneath the cross. I have created a tutorial for how I made the tombstones, and you can find it at the bottom of this post.

The windows in this little house are actually thin sheets of mica. Here in the front,  I put the image of the child behind the mica, so it looks like she's inside. The pumpkin is in front of the mica so it looks like it's outside, sitting on the windowsill.

I used mica in the window because the house is designed to accommodate a tea light. When it's dark, you can light it up and it looks so spooky!

Here you can see the back of the house. I wanted the inside to be as light as possible when the tea light is lit, so I did not paint the walls or floor. You can also see all the mica in the windows. Believe it or not, it's really easy to cut the mica to size with just a regular pair of scissors. (But not your good paper cutting scissors; use the cheap pair!) I used a little white glue to adhere the mica to the back of the house.

The tree is made from a branch of an azalea bush. Perfect! I punched a little hole in the base and just fed the bottom of the branch in. The crow sitting in that tree used to be a bluejay. I filed down the tuft on his head and painted him black. He prefers life as a crow.

Next to the door are a couple of tiny pumpkins and a skull.  Although the house is designed with three windows across the front, I decided to include a door. It's just a piece of painted cardboard, with a window cut into it so the light can shine through. The doorknob is a brad.

The sides of the house are solid. I used some window frames backed with mica to make it look like there were windows there.

I had so much fun making this haunted house! I love that it looks good both in the daytime and at night.

And now for the Tombstone tutorial:

Items needed
Chipboard tombstones
Ratty old paintbrush
Black, white, and grey paint
Straight edge (optional)
Very fine black pen. I used .1 and .05 Copic Multiliner pens (above)
N4 Grey Copic Marker (not shown above)

Dip your paintbrush into each of your three colors and dab it onto the tombstone at random. It's best to use an old stiff brush that's pretty wrecked already.

Keep dabbing on the mixed paints until you are happy with the results. Once I get the mottled look I like, I often dip the brush in just the white paint for some contrast.

Make sure you also paint the back and sides of each piece. If you're making a little graveyard, it's nice if some of the stones are lighter than the others.

Using a straight edge and a .1 black pen, draw thin lines to give the tombstone a 3D effect. If you have a steady hand (or you need to go around a curve, like the stone at top below, just freehand it.)

Use the .05 pen to draw tiny cracks in the tombstones. I also used a grey Copic marker (N4) to give some shadows and dimension. For the tombstones in the haunted house project above, I hand lettered the gravestones, but for these two, I found some odd bits of rub on type that added detail. Either way works great. Now that I've got some new tombstones to play with, I need to do another Halloween project. Hmm....

Whew! If you're still reading, you deserve a prize! For a complete list of supplies I used in the Haunted house, click here, and for the set of tombstones used in the tutorial, click here. Happy haunting!
2  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Haunted Halloween Surprise Box on: September 25, 2018 07:51:35 AM
I don't know about you, but if someone gave me a beautifully wrapped little gift that had a tag proclaiming it "haunted", I might think twice about opening it up. It's so tempting, though. I do love Halloween, and look how fun that bow is...

But beware! This is not an ordinary box, it's an exploding box! Once you lift the lid, the sides of the box slowly open, and you see exactly what's doing the haunting.

Yikes! It appears to be a forgotten cemetery, and one of the grave's occupants seems to be clawing his way up from underground. (I cut those hands off of an unfortunate plastic skeleton.)

The chipboard tombstones were painted in mottled black, grey and white acrylic paints, and then embellishments were added: a silver medal flower on the cross, some rub on scrolly lines and a painted RIP on the rounded stone, and a silver skull charm, also painted, on the pointed headstone. Some tiny bats, cut out of a chipboard border, fly overhead. A spooky skull has also made an appearance.

There are also a few pumpkins in the graveyard. The two in the back help stabilize the chipboard fence. The flap of the box with the night sky on it is supported in the back by some clay so it remains upright when the box is opened. I added a faux orange side behind it for symmetry.

Happy haunting! Would you open it? If you want an exploding box or other supplies, click here.
3  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Witch, Please! on: September 18, 2018 07:27:34 AM
I was poking around an antique mall with friends a few weekends ago, when I came upon an old photo that just spoke to me. It was a photo of four women, and the two ladies on the ends happened to have pretty creepy eyes. With Halloween approaching, I knew I just had to make them into a small coven of witches. I trimmed the cardboard the photo was mounted on and added a border made from Dazzles thin line stickers.  The two creepiest ladies each received a nice broomstick, and all were adorned with witch hats. I added a few dark black "buttons", and one skully badge.

Usually, I would scan a photo like this and use the reproduction, but I do feel that using the original photo makes a much better result. It's a little scary gluing things down when it's a one of a kind, but the result is definitely worth it. Below, I enlarged it for you so you can see those eyes, especially on that witch on the left. She's definitely working on a spell.
4  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Teeny Tiny Halloween Shriney (x3!) on: September 05, 2018 06:56:28 AM
It's the most wonderful time of the year: college football, and Halloween crafting. Yay! Today I present to you three adorable mini Halloween shrines from Alpha Stamps. The opening of each one measures just 2" by 2". The tallest one shown below is a little less than 6" tall. So cute! Here's what I did with mine...

The cat. I gotta be honest: I am not a cat lover by any means. However, there was something about this cat that I just couldn't resist. The shrine is constructed similar to the others, so it comes with the 2" by 2" square opening, but I gave my kitty a mouth. And teeth. I cut a piece of shirt cardboard just big enough to attach to the front, and painted a nose and mouth. Once the paint dried, I cut out the interior of the mouth, and it was the perfect size to catch a big ole black rat. The cat looked so happy, that I felt it needed a Halloween party hat.

The sides are orange with polkadots to match his hat. Looks like that rat is trying to escape!

Front shots of the other two:

Can you spot the two tiny black rats?

Thanks for checking them out. There are more photos (and a lot more words) on my blog if you really want to get into it.
5  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / ATC Folder on: August 24, 2018 08:59:33 AM
Alpha Stamps just came out with a new ATC envelope folder, so naturally, I had to give it a spin. I chose to let the cardboard of the holder be a part of the design, so I pulled out some of my favorite old scrapbook paper and gave it a bee theme. Here's the front when it's closed:

There's a slit in the back for that tab to go in, but for this piece I decided to ignore that and use a ribbon for closure. The butterfly is attached to the ribbon with double stick tape. The ribbon just slides off when you want to open it. (Who can ever re-tie the perfect bow?)

Inside, there are tabs perfect for holding an ATC. Even though this is bee themed, I just couldn't resist adding a few rogue ladybugs surrounding that card.

I added a little craft paper brown bag to the lower flap, so it also holds an ATC, this one with a tab on it so it's easy to extract.

I think this is a fun way to store (or trade) ATCs. Smiley
6  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Scary Fairy for Halloween on: June 29, 2018 07:31:35 AM

When craftylittlemonkey, my swap partner for the Halloween in June Swap, posted a pic of some odd little fairies on her wishlist, I could not help but try to make her a Halloween version. I fell in love with those little weirdos! The little scary fairy I ended up with has pipecleaner body and limbs, with a face, hands and feet of paper clay. Her wings are cut from butterfly wrapping paper covered with packing tape to make them sturdy.

I would have liked her to be able to stand on her own, but those little legs were just too spindly. Luckily, I had the perfect sized wooden chair for her, and she demanded I include it in the swap package.

She REALLY loves that chair...

Scary fairy is about *this tall*. She's a little feisty and all ready to go out haunting!
7  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Haunted Row Houses on: June 25, 2018 08:22:36 AM
I know Halloween is quite a ways off, but it's one of my favorite themes to craft for, so when I got the current Alpha Stamps kit and it contained a row of funny little houses and a matchbox large enough to house them, I knew what had to be done: a decorated matchbox with a set of haunted row houses!

Look how nicely they fit.

Wanna see some closeups? Here they are all folded up:

And the houses, once unfolded. I used lots of collage sheets in this project, plus lace and dresden trim, and maybe a bat or two...

I wish I had a bee costume.

One of my favorite parts is that tiny black cat peering in the window in the house on the left.

Ooo, spooky!

And it all fits in the palm of my hand. Happy early Halloween!

8   / PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / PAPER GOES 3D: 3 fun projects bringing paper from flat to fab! on: May 22, 2018 07:48:02 AM
Sometimes it's fun to take a flat piece of paper and make a 3D object. Use these great tutorials to bring your paper to life, in a three dimensional way!

This paper lantern by HSG makes for a fun tassel topper!

85%confusion made adorable ornaments out of scrapbook paper.

Whoa, these stars each took 30 pieces of paper to make, but they're gorgeous! Thanks to aml for writing up a tutorial.

Anytime you have paper and need inspiration, be sure to access the list of Craftster papercraft tutorials here. Get inspired!

9  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Tiny Paper Theater on: March 26, 2018 11:13:48 AM
I am in love with the new chipboard paper theater Alpha Stamps is carrying. Here's what I made with mine:

It may appear large in that photo, but look how tiny! Without that spire on top, it's only 4" tall.

I gave the facade extra dimension using wooden spindles and duplicate images raised up with glue dots.

There were a lot of "performers" included on the AS collage sheet I used. Here are three of them making their big debut:

A very old theater near me has a night sky painted on their ceiling, which is just magical. I used a Night Sky scrapbook paper to mimic faux sky in my tiny theater.

The back of the theater has a poster that not only was tacked up crookedly, but is starting to come down. Maybe it's time to put up a new poster?

I hope you enjoyed my little theater. There are a ton more photos, including some in progress pictures plus a complete supply list on my blog, should you feel the need for more info or you want to make your own. Meanwhile, here's one last picture, with the entire cast in attendance.

Thanks for checking it out!
10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Easter / Tiny Bunny Shrine on: March 12, 2018 11:36:55 AM
Alpha Stamps just came out with a set of four different Easter shadowboxes. Of course my favorite was the smallest one, just 2" by 3" in size, with an egg shaped opening. Bunnies! I lined the egg on the lid with teeny tiny flat backed pearls to invoke the feeling of a sugar egg.

Here's a detail. There is no way I could place these tiny stones without the help of a wax pencil. I use mine all the time to help place tiny stones or even tiny paper cutouts.

The larger bunny in the background is glued to the back of the box, while the smaller bunny is attached with foam glue dots to give some dimension. The "Bunnies" banner on top is also adhered with foam dots.

I love the tiny basket, but it was a bit too wide to tuck back into the corner of the box, so I took some heavy duty scissors and cut the back part out. It was also a little bit too tall, so I cut the bottom part off as well (after this photo was taken). Once the basket was cut to size, I glued it to the back and bottom of the box with some white glue. When it's filled with a little Easter grass and some eggs, you can't tell it's been cut.

Once the box was assembled, I painted wooden feet to add to the bottom, and added bright plaid ribbon around the sides, some fun carrots at the bottom, and a bow at the top. Yay, bunnies!
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