I love making things from scraps and trash, whether it be empty Altoid tins, old photographs, or rusty bits I find on the street. Most of the things I post here are available from my Etsy shop, Racky Road.

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

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cigar Box Mini

I really love old cigar boxes, so when the November kit from Alpha Stamps came out, I couldn't wait to start; they are now carrying so many new cigar box themed collage sheets, plus tons of coordinating scrapbook papers. I made a mini cigar box! Here's a photo of it with some of my actual sized boxes.
Isn't it so cute? The tiny masonite cigar box I used is just the right size to hold a gift card, and the Turquoise Mini Cigar Boxes collage sheet is designed to perfectly fit this box.

Here's a little tip if you're going to be covering a box: before you adhere the paper to the top, reinforce the hinged area with some tape. This will help keep that joint strong when the lid is opened and closed.

I added images from some of the other collage sheets to the top and sides of the box. Here's the finished outside, with the red "seal" broken:

The interior is lined with a lovely houndstooth pattern, and features a 3D cigar-themed sticker.

This little box would make a perfect gift box for a cigar aficionado. But I'd like to just display it, so I chose a few images from the Cigar Box Secrets scrapbook paper, cut them out, and mounted them on a little foam core base, cut just to fit inside the box. They stand up nicely, but are easy to remove should I decide to use the box to hold a gift card later.

In this next photo, you can see the three pieces after I first completed them. I liked the way they looked inside the box, but just couldn't be happy with that lady in the back. She blends in too much with the background, and it's hard to see her and tell that she's actually 3D.

I used some colored pencils to give her face and hair a little more definition, and then used some Copic Markers to color in the halo in the background. What a difference! Now she shows up so much better.

It looks to me like these lovely ladies are all waiting for a parade.
For a complete list of supplies, click here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Halloween Scary Toy

It's been a while since I've made a Scary Toy, but I just participated in a Craftster swap and my partner mentioned that she really liked the toys I've done in the past. Since the swap was for "one tiny October thing", I decided to make her a Halloween themed toy. Here's what I sent her:

I guess you could say it's sort of a modified batmobile. One of the rules of the swap was that items had to be no more that 4" in any direction. The toy shown above is actually the second toy I made. The first was just a little large. I'm a rule follower! Here's the bigger toy:

The back has a "vintage" bat wings label on it. 
I popped this one up for sale in my etsy shop with the rest of my Halloween things.  Spooky!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Gravestones and Goblins

How cool are the new paper maché tombstones from Alpha Stamps? I used all three to make a spooky graveyard and set it up in the backyard. This is a tiny cemetery; the tombstones are each just around 6" tall.

A little bit about how I made them: the tombstones were originally the color of craft paper. I thought about covering them with scrapbook paper, but really wanted to get the look of an actual stone tombstone, so I ended up painting them. To get the mottled effect, I used four colors of paint: white, light grey, dark grey, and black. Using one brush, I dipped it into the paints and just dabbed it all over the surface, mixing the paints as I went. This technique works great; you just have to keep adding paints and dabbing until you achieve the look you want. Once the surface was done, I went in with a detail brush and black paint and added some cracks.

To make the niches for the skulls and gargoyle, use an ellipse template to draw the desired outline of the opening.

Once you've got your opening outlined, carefully cut it out with an xacto knife. I found it worked best to lightly score around the penciled outline, and then use the tip of the xacto in a sawing motion to cut through the cardboard. The tombstones are hollow, but there are strips of cardboard inside for support. I was able to just move those strips out of the way where I wanted the hole. Once I had the opening cut, I painted the inside black so it would be nice and dark.

The skulls and gargoyle are adhered with Apoxie Sculpt clay. I absolutely love that stuff. I was able to not only attach them, but to raise them up to the proper height to fit well in the niche. I ended up making a little frame around each niche to give them a more finished look. Here's the first of the gravestones. Is that nasty goblin trying to remove a stone on the frame?

The gargoyle bead in the second tombstone is the perfect addition to a proper gentleman's final resting place. The crow perched on this grave is also a bead, so it had a hole through its chest and back. I filled the hole with Apoxie Sculpt and painted it black. A little moss growing on the gravestones adds to the aged look.

And last but not least, there's the last resting place of a drama queen. Poor girl died relatively young. Someone has left her flowers, but I'm afraid those pesky goblins are thinking of stealing them.

Here they are all together. Happy Halloween!
Need supplies? Click here for a complete list.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Couple of Kitties

I just did a swap with a good friend of mine on Craftster. She wanted some pet portraits; I asked for a blanket to have on my screened in porch for cool evenings.

Here are her kitties:

And here's the gorgeous afghan she sent in return. Look how great it looks with the pillows! Awesome swap!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Edgar Allan Poe Chalkboard

Halloween is near! I bought a cheap wooden frame at Michaels and with lots of fun supplies from Alpha Stamps, including chalkboard paint!, made a spooky Edgar Allan Poe chalkboard. Ole Edgar can say whatever I want him to say. Here he is quoting himself:

What else do you have to say, Edgar?

Edgar loves Alpha Stamps because they carry several great Edgar Allan Poe collage sheets and lots of  other great Halloween art supplies, including most of the embellishments on his new frame!

For a list of spooky supplies, click here!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts

Earlier this year, I was contacted by the editor of Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts magazine, asking if they could feature my Halloween cat in this year's addition. The magazine came out this week, and I just got my copy! Here's the kitty, from page 13. So exciting!
The Holiday issue has lots of great ideas in it, plus tutorials. There are several Halloween and Christmas crafts I plan on making this year.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Finn, Accomplished Bird Boy

A while back, a partner in a Craftster swap sent me some crocheted flowers and ceramic bird heads and leaves that she made.  She thought I might enjoy playing with them, and she was correct! The other day I was procrastinating (while supposedly working on a different project), and I started fiddling around with the things she sent and a vintage block, and somehow, Finn was born.

Doesn't the crocheted flower make the perfect ruffly collar? I was going to give Finn a party hat, using the lace for a trim, but when I cut the lace to size, it struck me that the lace made a perfect crown.

The head, wings and doll feet were affixed with Apoxie Sculpt. It makes the perfect little pantaloons.
 Stand tall, Finn!
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