Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Dia De Los Muertos Bandera

I started decorating my house for Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos and thought / decided that the Mini Piñata I made a few weeks ago needed to somehow be incorporated into a banner. Of course I have no patience and wanted something quick, and this was whipped out in less than an hour!

Just noticed in the picture above how off center the smaller fireplace grate and cover are. No worries though on my part, I'm a little off center anyways so it seems appropriate, don't you think?

The first thing I did was take a screw eye and carefully insert it into the side of the piñata, closer to the top of the skull than the middle. Repeated that on the other side. Then put seam binding through the screw eye and a knot to secure it, repeating on the other side.  Set that aside and got busy on the Papel Picado flags.

To make the Papell Picado flags I used the supercalifragilousinexpialidociously cute Thinlits Die Set - Banners Papel Picado and the Heavy Crepe Paper Sampler Set. Once they were cut out, I glued some of the Wide Scalloped Dresden Border across the top of each flag. To secure the flags to the seam binding, I whipped out the 1/2" Scor Tape (that I hoard) and applied to the back of each flag. Press the flags down onto your seam binding and there you go...flags are secured!

To hang the banner, you will first have to attach the Mini Piñata to wherever you are going to hang it. I looped masking tape to the back of the piñata and stuck it onto the mantle. Then I used push pins for each end of the banner to hang it up.

Note: Yes I now that most people don't like to use push pins on their mantle or walls. However! If the push pin marks get unsightly on our mantle then I just sand over the hole, and rub gold leafing over it. (By the way, Slim Daddy thinks that I'm just enhancing the mantle, not covering up holes so you just keep that bit to yourself; y'all know how delicate he is when it comes to my tricks!)

You can view my supply list here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Mini Pinata Ornament!

OK, so how cute is this Mini Piñata Ornament?! 

I created this with the new Crafty Chica Die Set - Sugar Skull that comes with 4 coordinating rubber stamps. This time around I did not use the rubber stamps, but instead I used a lot of glitter and Stickles instead. Because...glitter!

To make this I followed the Mini Piñata video put out by the Crafty Chica. It's really quick, less than 2 minutes but it's long enough for you to get an idea of what to do.  Here are a few tips when putting your piñata together that I learned:

Washi tape is not sticky enough to work on this project. Trust me, use masking tape.

Don't try to make your pieces stick together perfectly, unless you want to drive yourself crazy. If there is a bit of overage here and there, that's ok because you will be covering it up with the crepe paper. (Which happens to hide imperfections perfectly!)

Be sure to lay down enough glue over the entire skull if you are going to cover it with glitter the way that I did. You may want to add extra glue around the edge of the skull or you'll end up with a white edge if you don't. (Or whatever color paper you're using.)

To outline the eyes, the skull,  the nose, and to draw designs on the skull Stickles works great and it doesn't run. (If you haven't guessed by now I love using Stickles for these projects; and may have an embarrassing amount of them.)

Give your Stickles and the glue under the glitter time to dry. My advice is to actually do the glittering
first thing, the day before you plan on working on the piñata if you can. Letting it dry overnight is ideal and doing so will save you a lot of frustration. Says a "friend" of mine.

Take a length of ribbon for your hanger, and tie a knot around the center of the ribbons that you're going to use to wrap around he piñata. Tie a knot at the top of the ribbon to complete your hanger. Then place ribbons on the piñata and bring them down, tie in a knot at the bottom, leaving the ribbons to dangle.

That's about it!  Have fun with it, and just think of all the things you can make with this die set - maybe a garland with a piñata on each end?!

Just about everything I used can be found at Alpha Stamps (of course!)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fairy Magic

There's an eccentric fairy who lives down the lane up around the fallen oak tree through the briars behind the mounds of moss between the rosemary bushes next to the stinging nettles on the island of Dunklebrook. Her name is Emdiella Humfridas and she is known for collecting odd items, shiny objects, old magical books and goblin whiskers, amongst other things.  

Emdiella is also known for making some very potent potions for whatever may ail you. (Although it's best that you don't know exactly everything that she uses for the ingredients or how they are obtained.) Oh, and never, ever bother her when she is writing down potion recipes as she is easily distracted. Trust me on this! Results could be quite...unfortunate.

This is her workstation and since it is so clean, I can only assume that there is company coming over to visit.

Edmeilla loves moss, roses, books and an assortment of her favorite ingredients that are right within reach. 

When Emdiella knows that company is coming over she rushes around trying to clean everything up. Good thing her worktable has a secret compartment, it makes it so much easier to just throw everything in there lickety-split! Bottles, labels, Fairy Tea, pens, pencils, paper, stray ingredients, whiskerless goblins. Whatever fits usually gets thrown in there. Regardless of her less than stellar housekeeping skills, Emdiella is a very gracious hostess. Unless of course, you happen to make her angry. . .

I had a lot of fun making this Matchbox Vanity Table for Alpha Stamps, and lately I'm really loving the muted, patina-esque, blue/green of Distress Paints in Evergreen Bough. In the past I would have wadded up tissue paper to get the texture that I wanted, or used molding paste but the problem with that's all you get is texture. I wanted texture with cracks!

I've been challenging myself to use what I have on hand from my art supply stash, which most of you know could get me nominated to be on Hoarders. I didn't have any Crackle, but I did have a tube of Kroma Crackle!

Kroma Crackle dries white, the thicker it is put on the bigger the crack. I ended up applying it thicker in some areas and not so thick in others. Being impatient for it to dry, the heat gun had to be brought out. After drying it, then the Matchbox Vanity Table was left out to cure more overnight.

Since I wanted the vanity to look old, I dry brushed the same base color over the white but also left some of the white showing through, and also watered down some of the base paint here and there.

I also used the Kroma Crackle on the ornate part of the vanity that normally would hold a "mirror". I put down one of my favorite paint colors, Golden's Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold first, let dry then dry brushed the Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold randomly on it. Inka Gold was then rubbed in to areas without the Golden paint, overlapped it every so often and then lightly added the Evergreen Bough paint. It took a while, but I loved the way that it came out. (The architectural element above the drawers was painted the same way.)

Since I didn't have any of the Nonbreakable Mirror Material on hand, I decided to fill the opening up with moss. However, I was out of the sheet moss! (Which was easily fixed since my giant oak tree in the front yard is very generous with its moss.) Once the moss was added, Tiny Pink Variegated Roses were added to fluff it up.

Quick tip: Use the Vintaj Metal Patinas on the unfinished, cast metal pieces like the Tiny Metal Jewelry Box if you don't feel like spray painting them first with chalk paint. (OK, I'm lazy and hate the smell of the spray paint.) I didn't have any problem with the paint not wanting to stick. Be sure to lightly file the item first, then paint with the patinas.

If you'd like to see the supply list, you can view it here.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

By Request

Designed by Bella Ayers

Have a special piece of vintage jewelry and want it upcycled? I can help! This is a special order for my friend Charlie who wanted something new made with her grandma's necklace. She said that I could do whatever I wanted with it, but I decided to leave the necklace as is instead of taking it apart. Ended up adding vintage chains to it for a 5 strand necklace. It includes vintage milk glass rosary chain and another vintage beaded chain. 

Please contact me for custom orders.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Things I Hoard, #284

Designed by Bella Ayers

I love (and hoard) both Turquoise and Seraphinite. 

Seraphinite is a darker green stone with what looks like angel wings pressed onto them (hence the name), and is on the top right necklace. I know the top two pendants are missing rhinestones, have seen better days, but I love them; they're antique and have character ;) 

The long necklace has turquoise stones, bone beads, wood beads and an agate slab.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Parfumerie Grenouille

Parfumerie Grenouille

Perfume: The Story of A Murderer by Patrick Süskind has long been one of my all-time favorite books.  I've never seen the movie, I just don't know how they could even come close to the broken & diabolical mind of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. If you are not familiar with the storyline, here is a brief description without giving away too much of the story, courtesy of Amazon:

In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift—an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille’s genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and fresh-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the “ultimate perfume”...

The Evil Queen from Alpha Stamps declared that the theme for the month of May was to be the Collector's Room; or what you imagined one would look like. 

What better room for me to create than what I imagine Parfumerie Grenouille might look like. Well, it was either that or something related to Poe. (Poe won out for my Halloween project idea, I can't wait to get started on that!)

Back to the madness of Monsieur Grenouille...

The size of this shadowbox is teenie weenie (the inside shadowbox is approx. 3-1/4" x 4-3/4" and 2" deep). Labels for the bottles were cut from the Miniature Perfume Labels Collage Sheet, A Lady's Boudoir Ephemera Collage Sheet, and others that are on my supply list

Perfume bottles were made from assorted beads, with tiny glass spheres on top for the stopper. Also used for the stopper are black and red glass rondelles. Miniature glass jars contain real: dried lavender, patchouli and rose petals.  Clear glass beads and miniature flask bottles were colored with Copic Markers to make the "liquid" tinted.

When you're working with miniatures, what I have learned (the hard way) is to never, ever glue something down until you're absolutely sure that's where you want the item placed. One of my most favorite things to use that will keep items in place is Museum Wax Anchoring Putty.  It's a lifesaver, especially if you decide to move stuff around 5 million times before you're ready to glue it down.

The lamp is one of my favorite pieces - a super skinny dowel, bead caps and a filigree base mixed with 20 gauge wire and tah-dah! A floor lamp! To make everything fit inside the shadowbox I had to cut part of the base off and then slid it against the table and wall.  If you look closely, you will see a pair of green eyes staring at you! Grenouille must be having another go at trying to capture that elusive scent that has been driving him quite insane.

What took the longest for me to make are the books.  Oh my gawwwwd those books. It wasn't enough for me to just make the books and then put on the shelf. No. I had to write a book title onto a white label, cut the label out, put the label on the spine and then I used watered down Distress Stain-Vintage Photo to age each book. Hours and hours those books took. Did I mention how long the books took to make? (Most of the book titles I listed are books that I actually own, coveted books by both Jeanne Rose and Mr. Poucher.) To write those titles I used a black Copic Multiliner Finetip Marker Set. The one that worked the best for writing so tiny is the 0.03 from the set. Know that you'll find yourself holding your breath without realizing it and your hands will probably shake when you're trying to write that small. 

Nuvo Gilding Flakes are used on the bookcase here and there, as well as on the top of the back wall. (One gets the feeling that wherever Grenouille is holed up, at one time or another it surely was thing of beauty.)

One quick thing about the bookcase. To fit the shadowbox, you will have to cut down the bookcase by one shelf after it is put together and has dried. 

I hope you've enjoyed looking through Parfumerie Grenouille! Of course in my version, Grenouille has a creepy little apprentice who likes to dress up exactly like Grenouille and does whatever he is asked to do...no mater how ah, unconventional it may be. 

If you'd like to see the supplies that I used, they can be found on my supply list

btw, Perfume: The Story of A Murderer was also a favorite of Kurt Cobain. Nirvana even has a song about the book -

Scentless Apprentice
Like most babies smell like butter
His smell smelled like no other
He was born scentless and senseless
He was born a scentless apprentice
Go away - get away, get away, get a-way
Every wet nurse refused to feed him
Electrolytes smell like semen
I promise not to sell your perfumed secrets
There are countless formulas for pressing flowers
I lie in the soll and fertilize mushrooms
Leaking out gas fumes are made into perfume
You can't fire me because I quit
Throw me in the fire and I won't throw a fit
Written by Dave Grohl, David Grohl, David Eric Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Kurt Cobain, Kurt D. Cobain, Novoselic Krist • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management US, LLC

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Dolorous, My Friend

" Remembering is only a new form of suffering. "  -Charles Baudelaire

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