Design team member of Alpha Stamps, moderator at Craftster, lover of ephemera and junk.

Welcome! Grab a cold one, kick off your shoes, and have a look around.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sea of Wonders Treasure Chest

Here's a little beachy themed Sea of Wonders treasure chest; kit by Alpha Stamps and scrapbook paper by Graphic 45. This was really fun to put together, and I love the patterns and bright colors of the paper.

I used the treasure chest kit as is, but I did leave off the band that would usually go around the sides at the bottom (similar to the top band, with the word "voyage" on it). I liked the orange polka dot paper on the base and the sea life on the sides too much to cover them up. 

The chest stands on small brass feet, and has a sturdy latch on the front. The sides have fluted ring pulls on them (how else are you going to pick up a treasure chest?), and the lid is attached by hinges. A large starfish charm accents the lid.

When you open the lid: treasure! This chest is the perfect size to hold three matchboxes side by side. In fact, they fit so perfectly that instead of covering the outsides of the matchbox with paper, I used the paper itself as the outside cover, which allows them to all fit without being too tight.

I constructed a false bottom to hold up the matchboxes. It can be easily removed using a little loop of attached ribbon.

Underneath the false floor, there is room to hide any sort of treasure, like these beachy goodies. Here, you can see the little shelf I constructed to support the false bottom. It's made with a strip of cardboard covered with paper to match the sides. I couldn't help but fancy it up a bit with an Under the Sea Chipboard Border, painted turquoise.  

Here are the matchboxes. The drawers of each box have a patina conch shell charm on the fronts. Pull on that to view the contents of the drawers.

The matchboxes each contain a little collection of charms and tiny shells. None of these interior items are attached, so it's easy to add items as they're collected. Sequin shells give each box a hint of sparkle.

This was a bright, fun, summer project, and it's got me eager to get to the beach to add to my shell collection! Want to make your own summer treasure box? Click here for a full list of supplies!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Little Houses, All In a Row

I love these new Tiny Little Shadowbox Houses from Alpha Stamps. There are four different sizes of them, and they come in pieces, which makes them easy to decorate and put together. I like to cover the insides with paper before constructing them; it's so much easier than trying to get my big ole hands in there once the tiny house is built.

These houses would make excellent little shrines, but for this art, I did most of the decor on the outside of the box. I used some muted toned papers for the roofs and sides, then added paint, my favorite images from some Alpha Stamps collage sheets, some rub-on transfers, and a Stabilo pencil to add shading and depth.

I kept the open part in the back simple, because you never know what might find its way into one of these little houses. Around Easter time, it may be a family of rabbits.

At other times, it could be any sort of thing, like a Frozen Charlotte or a miniature chalkware dog.

So although I'll probably mostly display the kids' sides, it's nice to know I can arrange and rearrange the insides whenever I want to switch things up.

For a complete list of supplies, click here!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Wishy Washi iPad Cover

I recently purchased a new iPad cover because the one I had was literally falling apart. I found a $10 cover on Amazon, and it's like my whole tablet is brand new. Yesterday I was messing around in the craft room and decided to pull out my washi tape and customize the cover. It was a plain mint green, but now...

I didn't put any tape in the folds, and I really burnished everything down once it was in place. I like my new fun cover!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

More Alice

Here's the other Alice project I mentioned in my last post. I took a 2" chipboard cube and a couple of great Alice collage sheets and this is what happened: a little Alice trinket box. I used metal hinges for the lid, and a brad for the front closure. (I clipped the prongs off the brad and attached it with E6000 glue.)
Back image:

When you open the box, you find the instigator of the madness that was Alice's trip down the rabbit hole: the White Rabbit himself. This tiny white rabbit used to be grey, but I painted him with gesso and gave him a nice red bow tie. He's inside a 1" chipboard box, which is supported by a tiny spool in order to give it the appearance of floating. Alice was living a relatively boring life up until she met the rabbit, which is why I made the inner box bright and colorful within the black and white interior of the larger sized box. Wouldn't you want to follow that rabbit too?
For a complete list of Alpha Stamps supplies, click here!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Alice at Tea

It's been too danged long since I made altered an Altoids tin. I had forgotten just how much I love doing that! Luckily this month at Alpha Stamps, it's all about Alice in Wonderland and tins, which is just the kick in the pants I needed.

I selected the perfect image of Alice at the tea party from this collage sheet, and then found fun papers that went well with the image. I removed the lid of my tin and covered it with the papers. Need some tips about this covering tins? Click here for my tutorial.

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 die cut cardboard insert with the Cheshire Cat on it is great for adding extra dimension. 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. 

I always like to make sure my tin backs looks good, too. I used the perfect crazy Alice-like patterned paper for the back. You can see here that 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.

More Alice art coming up, so check back soon! Meanwhile, for a complete list of supplies, click here.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Floral Box with Hinged Lid

Every now and then I like to do things differently. When I saw the ATC Window Box Shrine kit that Alpha Stamps carries, I thought it would make a neat little box. So I embellished it, set it on its side, and added metal box feet. Now the front door is a lid! I backed the "window panes" with some contrasting colored paper before adding a pretty spray of spring flowers. I like the dimensional look of the top under the flowers.

Inside, I made a little tag book of sorts. I used a ball chain, so new pieces can be added any time.

The tag book consists of a bead and charms, a couple of different sized tags, and two different sizes of a chipboard cage with solid back (2" and 3"). The wires of the cages were colored with silver metallic Sharpies, and the backs were covered with images from the Blue Birds collage sheet. I used spray mount to attach the fronts to the backs. The birdhouse charm on the last tag is hung in a little window. I used a little E6000 to hold the bottom of the charm in place on the bottom of the cutout ledge.

Here's an aerial view of the paper flowers and leaves stacked up on the top of the box:

I think it makes a pretty nice set for spring. For a complete set of supplies I used in making this project, click here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Margaret Hogs the Stage

That Margaret! She's sure she's destined for stardom, but that danged trio act is holding her back. Not tonight, though; she's added a little extra flair to her costume, and made sure she was performing front and center. Nobody will overlook her this time!

Margaret and her friends are from the Alpha Stamp's Little Darlings CS. I tinted their skin and clothing with Copic markers before adding ribbons to all the waistlines and some tulle to Margaret's dress.

Where is Margaret dancing? On this lovely Arch Top Cabinet with Doors, also from Alpha Stamps.

This shrine kit looks pretty with the doors closed,

But it really comes to life when the doors are opened! I put Narrow Window panes on the inside of the door, because I'll most likely leave these doors open, but they'd look great on the outside, too. Perfect fit!

I really like the way the stark black and white striped paper contrasts with the soft pastels. I mitered the corners on the insides of the doors for a fun look. 

From the side you can see how determined Margaret is to stand out during this performance. She's such a ham.
For a complete list of supplies I used in making this project, click here.
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