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.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Zombie Cars: Scary Fun!

Do you ever just get a weird idea right out of nowhere? It happened to me for this last project for Alpha Stamps. When I saw these paper maché coffin boxes and rubber zombie finger puppets, for some crazy reason, I immediately thought "soapbox derby cars with dead drivers!" When I told Leslie (fearless leader of Alpha Stamps) my idea, she found me the perfect 1 1/2" spoked wheels for these vehicles.

I removed the top of each coffin box to save for another project. With an x-acto knife, I cut out a window from the box bottom before painting each car. The number 8 car features painted flames and a scary black widow spider on the front. The orange car, number 31, has skeleton arms and some red headlights shining through the eyes of the skull on the front. (There's a view of the underside of this car showing how those lights were installed at the bottom of this post.)

Where would one find a set of zombie cars? Why, nestled in a collector's box in an old creepy toy store, of course! I recovered the top of an old game box with some red cardstock and a new label. I added some tape to the sides, because we always ended up having to tape up the corners of our game boxes when I was a kid.

The cars are safely nestled within the box. I used shirt cardboard to construct the box insert (gotta keep those cars from moving around in there!). It seemed a little plain, so I covered the top of the insert with stripey scrapbook paper for more scary fun.

On the underside of the lid is a cemetery backdrop which makes the perfect little playset for the cars. The zombies seem right at home there.

Wanna see the car backs? Car 31 features more bones and a "rancid" license plate.  Car number 8 sports some fangy black fins and a pair of scary taillights (or are they eyes?!?) above a "poison" tag. The zombie finger puppets are stuck down in the opening created by the window cutout.

I'm still a huge newbie at Photoshop, so I was very excited to be able to put together the box top using an image of children from a vintage game of "Winner Spinner" (minus the giant spinner that used to be there) and actual photos of the cars themselves.

As promised, here's a shot of the underneath of car 31. I placed the skull on the front and punched out holes for the lights. Once the lights were inserted from the inside of the car, Apoxie Sculpt was used to keep them securely in place. Apoxie Sculpt also adhered the battery to the top of the car, and the light switch to the side, where it's easily accessible. You can see some masking tape and tiny o-rings on the axle, which keep the wheels from sliding side to side. The zombie driver is simply smashed in there. He's easily removable and repositionable.

Hope you had some scary fun with the zombie cars! Want to make your own? Click here for a full list of supplies.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Black Cat

My favorite swaps to do on Craftster are always the Halloween swaps, and especially the Vintage Halloween swap. I can't resist doing those just about every year. Here's what I made for my swap partner this year. It's about 8" tall, made from paperclay on a foil armature. The star stand is the bottom of a paper maché box.

My partner mentioned on the signup form that she like black cats, bats, and pumpkins, so I got in all three. The ruffle around his neck was originally white, so I colored it with a Copic marker.

The back:

And a little closeup of his face, just for fun.

Want to see what my partner sent to me? This awesome seated skeleton, nestled in an old cheese box:


That pretty much sums up why I love the Vintage Halloween swap over on Craftster!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Tin of the Month Club, August

August already? Each month this year, I'm altering a small tin and posting it. This month's tin is hot, just like the August sun. Warm colors, an awesome vintage image, and some tiny shells. Just about sums up the month, yeah?

If you'd like to see the rest of the tins I've done so far this year, click here.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tiny Halloween Friends

Halloween in July? Of course! Halloween is perfect for all seasons. I don't know why I have been so enamored of peg dolls lately, but I just have so much fun with them. A few days ago, I made this little 1 3/4" tall witch. Isn't she cute with that little trick or treat bucket? The brim of her hat is cut from black cardstock, and the remainder of the hat is Apoxie Sculpt clay. I really like using Apoxie Sculpt because not only can you sculpt with it, it's an adhesive as well, so once you get the shape you like, you just plop it on and it sticks - no glue necessary.

Anyway, after I made the witch, I remembered that I had several different sizes of Bagatelle Boxes
from Alpha Stamps, and looked through them to find one to hold my little witch and her pumpkin.

The 2" by 2" box was the perfect size, with plenty of room for a flying bat in the background. I decorated it with some Halloween paper, and then added a vintage pumpkin cupcake pick, some tinsel, and half of a medallion on top. Voila! My little witch has a cozy place to hang out. Watch out for spiders!

Look how tiny!

She looks a bit lonely, no? I decided to make a few friends for her; little trick or treaters. A cat:

A little devil:

And a crazy bat:
Other than the bat wings, which are actually a chipboard bat glued to his back, all the ears, horns and tails on the pegs are made from Apoxie Sculpt clay.

Friends in the pumpkin patch!

And in the palm of my hand- I love these little pegs.

Need supplies? Click here!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Love Potion #9

Here's a little magic for you: some love potion, a stalkery fella, and the woman of his dreams. Frank, pictured on the right, is hoping that some love potion and the button he stole from Esther's shirt will bring them together, but he'd better be careful of the dark arts! Who knows what could happen?

This shrine is constructed from two small tins. I took the lid off of one and attached it with Apoxie Sculpt to the other, forming a triptych.

Before the clay had time to dry, I pushed the half round filigree into the top, and then added the metal pieces. I also draped the rosary chain where I wanted it to be, and pushed the corner beads into the clay so that when I glued that in with some E6000, those beads would have a nice indentation to sit in. I removed the chain for painting.

Once the clay was set, I sanded it down and painted it and then begin to embellish it. Here's the story of this particular tin: Frank has for a long time had a crush on Esther. He's a wanna-be suitor, but she's just not feeling it. His plan is to send her a few letters, scented with some love potion that he purchased in a back alley from a questionable source.

The potion. Love Potion #9. It seems harmless enough, but can you ever really be sure? I'd stay away from it, based on the blackened rose and the skeleton standing by. That's a sheet of mica in the background of this niche, cut to size with a pair of scissors.

Here's poor unsuspecting Esther. Frank stole that button from her clothing in hopes of strengthening the spell. Watch out, Esther!

The back of the tin wasn't much to look at, so I crumpled up some tissue paper and affixed it with Mod Podge. It looks a bit like old leather now.

And there you have it. More magic made from Alpha Stamps products. Need a supply list? Click here!

This item is currently for sale in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tin of the Month Club, July

Each month this year, I'm altering a small tin and posting it. Happy July! To me, the biggest event in July is the Fourth. I love me some fireworks. For this month's tin, I tried to find trim that brought fireworks to mind. Hooray for the red, white, and blue!

If you'd like to see the rest of the tins I've done so far this year, click here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Circus Toys

Here's a couple of new things I've added to my circus collection, along with a large squeaky clown toy I played with as a baby. (Could that have been the start of my love of the circus?)

I used the new Funny Mixies collage sheet from Alpha Stamps to make the set of puzzle blocks. I am a huge fan of vintage puzzle blocks, and often use them in my art, so it was fun to make a set of my own. You can mix and match the faces, bodies and feet on the blocks to make all sorts of crazy characters. Hey wait; is that Satan, wearing a dress?

While the four sides of the blocks each contain a body part, the tops and bottoms each have part of a single image on them. Put those together, and you get a circus scene. I used some fine grained sand paper to lightly sand all the blocks. I wanted them to look like they were well loved and played with often.

I got the red clacker a couple of years ago from a "free" table at a craft event. I was attracted to its color and well-used look, plus: free! I used a couple of fun clown images from the Reversible Clown collage sheet and gold star stickers to make it a little more fun. That clown on the left is actually smoking a cigarette.

Look at him! For shame! Obviously, I sanded him a bit, too. It would look weird to have him be all bright and shiny on such a wonderfully distressed toy.

Do you need some supplies to make your own puzzle blocks? Click here! Alpha Stamps has everything you need, from the wooden blocks to the collage sheet, to the custom wooden box they're contained in.

I can think of so many uses for blocks like this. What about personalized photo puzzles for Christmas gifts this year. Wouldn't those be sweet?

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