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1  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!
2  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!
3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Orphanage Rd. Shadowbox on: February 09, 2018 08:06:31 AM
Here's a few kids that could use a little love: although they are dressed out in circus-y gear, there's no lying that they are stuck in an orphanage in the cold and snow of winter. Poor little waifs.

Just look at their poor wittle faces:

I used two collage sheets so I could cut out the girls in front and stack them for more dimension. The upper trim is a Fleur Border, painted black and then coated with glaze. The snow was made using dimensional white paint with the addition of Diamond Dust.

One more picture. I hope someone comes to help a kid out...
4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Be My Snarky Valentine on: February 02, 2018 08:36:19 AM
I just participated in the "Be My Snarky Valentine" swap, and was partnered with the organizer and swapper extraordinaire, Sonjaboo. We share a love of snarky housewives, so of course I had to go there with this altered tin.

The original image had this cheery woman toting food on her tray, but she looked too happy to be serving up a meal, so I gave her some tiny beer bottles instead. I swear she started smiling just a little bit wider. Sonjaboo mentioned that she liked red and white polka dots, and black and white stripes, so I incorporated both in this tin. And who doesn't love ball fringe?

We were to include a card with our swap package, so continuing with the theme, and using one of Sonjaboo's mentioned quotes, I made her this card to go with. "What's a nice girl like me doing without a drink in her hand?" indeed.

5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Tiny Shrine on: January 23, 2018 08:46:54 AM
For some reason, I have been all about saints and religious art lately. I had a great image from an Alpha Stamps collage sheet, and decided it to make a little shrine. The top of a mini Altoids tin was the perfect size for the image, and I had tons of little metal pieces and some rosary chain that went together well. The rays behind the figures are Dresden trim.

It's so tiny!
6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Christmas Diorama in Faux Vintage Box, with Tutorial on: November 16, 2017 06:56:31 AM
I'll admit it: I have a love for vintage packaging, and vintage Christmas ornament boxes hold a special place in my heart. You may not have access to a vintage ornament box, but you can make a pretty convincing fake. I used paper from the "A Very Merry Christmas" paper pad for the inside and outside of the box, fussy cutting elements from the paper to create logos and box design. In the photo below, the two boxes in back are vintage; the one in the front is a fake.

Here they are stacked up. I used a nice golden brown ink pad to dirty up the imposter a bit.

The diorama box I used is cardboard, so even though it's a one piece box, I left the bottom "as is", and only glued the decorated sides at the corners so it looks like a box with a lid. (Check out those staples; I love that little detail. More about those later.)

The interior of the box features a wee little elf admiring the decorated Christmas tree.

Here's how it was done: glue the paper on the top of the box, and cut out the opening with an x-acto knife. The paper in the pad I used was not big enough to cover the four sides of the box, so I used red stripey paper around the bottom edge of each side. Glue in your patterned background paper. Glue beads and a star onto a bottle brush tree, and make a cardboard ledge to raise up the floor of the display area so the elf and tree are easily visible. The tree I used was a little too tall, so I cut a hole in this new false floor to sit the wooden base of the tree into.

Use Snow-tex to create "snow" for the bottom. Once the snow is good and dry, glue the elf in place and set the tree down into its hole.

Glue the cardboard base to the back of the wall, and put a line of glue on its front cardboard flap to adhere it to the box front when the box is closed. My floor is slightly tilted toward the front, so you can see the elf a little better. *Plan ahead! If you want some tinsel around the opening, now's the time to glue that in. Trust me, it's not easy to add tinsel if your box is already sealed. My problem: it wasn't until my box was "finished" that I felt adding the tinsel was necessary.* Now would be a good time to put the wreath up, too. Once your interior is finished, tuck the flap of the box lid on the inside the of box, leaving the decorative paper outside, and glue the flap in place.

I was so happy how real my little box was looking, that I just had to add staples on the ends just like my two actual vintage boxes had. I used a sewing needle to punch holes in the box, and pushed the staples in with my fingers.

There are more photos and a complete supply list on my blog, should you care to make one of your own. Look how tiny and cute!

7  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Some Halloween ATCs on: October 18, 2017 01:13:11 PM
Man, I love Halloween! Here are a few ATCs to celebrate it.

Oh, the horror! These two kids are dressed up wearing funny half masks. I used Copic markers to color their clothing to match their masks, but the cat is not amused. To make a little extra room for the kiddos, I cut part of the fence back on the top of this frame.

Here's another group of trick or treaters. I gave the skeleton a fun jack o'lantern and added a festive hat.

Pumpkins! I just could not resist giving them all googly eyes. They're not so scary now, are they? Bunch of goofballs.
8  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 120 ENTRIES / RAK: Inspirational Bookmarks on: October 05, 2017 10:53:04 AM
We just celebrated my mom's 80th birthday. In lieu of gifts, she requested that each of us do a Random Act of Kindness in her honor and then send her a card telling her what we did. We sent out letters to all her friends, and she got more than 200 cards back with all sorts of wonderful RAKs! It was a very happy birthday for her.

I decided for my RAK that I would make some inspirational bookmarks and leave them in library books for people to find. I took a piece of thin cardboard, and using paints, stamps, tissue paper, glaze, and pages from old books, created one big sheet, which was then cut down to bookmark size. The inspiration came from my ever-growing collection of fortune cookies. I placed the bookmarks in books where I felt the inspiration fit. For example, the bookmark that said, "When one door closes, another one will open" went into a book for women defining their dreams at the prime of their life. "You are loved" went into a book for Caregivers, and "This is your day to call the shots" was placed in a book about dealing with bullies. I included a note on the back of each bookmark telling why I made the bookmarks, and encouraged the recipient to go do a RAK of their own. Hopefully, Mom's idea will continue to generate kindness for quite some time.

Some of the bookmarks:

This one, which says, "You will bring sunshine into someone's life", I included in with the birthday card I sent to Mom. Smiley
9  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Countdown on: October 02, 2017 07:20:59 AM
Remember those Christmas countdowns, where every day you open a little door and get a waxy piece of chocolate? It always made it so fun to track the days until Christmas. Why don't they have those for all the holidays? Most especially, Halloween? Since you can't buy one, I just made one of my own. It's 8" by 17", and full of Halloween fun. No chocolate in this version, though.

Let's open some windows. Yikes, this place is haunted!

The center house has a shadowbox behind it, so it has 3D Halloween fun in each room.

Here's what it will look like on Halloween eve:

There are more (and larger) photos and a bit of a tutorial on my blog. The Halloween countdown begins!

EDIT: Oh, I almost forgot to point out the poor kids trapped in the attics. That's one of my favorite parts. Here's a detail.  Cheesy
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Night Witch on: September 21, 2017 07:57:47 AM
It's never too early for Halloween, and who better to announce its imminent arrival than the Night Witch? I was inspired by this cobweb chipboard insert and a lovely deep blue sky scrapbook paper to make (yet another) altered Altoids tin. Plus, I can't get enough of those tiny stars metal stars.

I painted the spider web insert to match the background paper. Normally, I would insert it behind the rolled lip of the tin, but on this project, I liked it sitting on top. While I had my colors mixed, I also painted the wooden stand, and then distressed it with some ink to darken it up a bit. The bat is a plastic cupcake pick with the "pick" part cut off. He's attached to the top of the tin with a little Apoxie Sculpt. I used a toothpick and some red paint to give him some glowing eyes.

I altered the witch image a bit: the hat was given a stripey band and a gold star, and outlined slightly with a gold Sharpie to make it stand out from the background. Then, to make the image more dimensional, I cut out the witch's arms and the cat from a second, identical image. I attached her left arm flush at the shoulder, and used a foam glue dot to elevate the cat and her right arm. The cat's eyes are highlighted with a little green paint and a dot of ink for pupils.

Here's a shot of the back. I'm sure you can see why I love that rich blue paper so much! The star medallion on the foot not only ties in with the rest of the gold in the stars above, but makes the stand super sturdy.

Happy Haunting!
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