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, August 8, 2018

Another ATC Mailer, now with bees!

I had so much fun with the Mermaid Mailer I just did, that I had to try another one with a different theme. This one is all about the bees, with a butterfly and some rogue ladybugs thrown in for fun. For this mailer, I chose to embrace the brown of the cardboard and use it as part of the design. I had a great black and white ribbon, and used it to keep the mailer closed instead of the tab and slot in the back. A couple of great charms are wired to the ribbon, and a specimen tag is tucked up under the bow. The ribbon slides off for easy opening; no need to untie!

On this photo of the back, you can see here how the flap is just folded down and held in place with the ribbon. The butterfly is attached to the ribbon with a thin strip of double sided tape. I like the natural color of the envelope showing; it really accentuates the nice curves of the flap.

Let's open it up and see the ATC. The inside is decorated with more bees, a friendly fairy with a lucky four leaf clover, and a loveliness of ladybugs (yes, that is the real name for a group of them!)

It's easy to remove the card to add it to your collection.

But wait, there's more! The lucky fairy is actually standing on a craft paper envelope, perfect for holding a surprise ATC. I added a tab to the edge, so it's easy to remove.

There you go. Let's put it all back together and give it to a friend.

 For a complete list of supplies, click here!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Mermaid ATC Mailer

Alpha Stamps just came out with a fun new ATC mailer, and because we're still in the heat of summer, I decided a mermaid theme would be appropriate. I used some great beachy papers from the Authentique Sea-Maidens 6" x 6" paper pad. I love that these papers include one of my favorite color combinations: turquoise and red! In the collection, there's a great paper that looks like weathered painted boards. I used that on the outside of the mailer.

The collaged area is what shows when the mailer is folded up. This mermaid has found a treasure under the sea: a lovely starfish charm!

Here's the back of the mailer, folded up and ready to go.

When you open the mailer, here's what you find inside - whimsical colorful bubbles, and a mermaid ATC securely inserted into the mailer.

It's easy to pull the ATC out for further inspection.

Here are a few tips on working with the mailer. If you want to cover the mailer with decorative paper like I did, you're really not going to want to cover the folds as the extra paper there will make things too bulky. Therefore, before I added the papers, I painted the folds and cut the papers to fit just within the insides of the folds.

I did want to use the precut flaps to hold the ATC inside, but I didn't want any cuts on the mailer's front surface, so after the inside was covered with the bubble paper, I flipped the mailer over and used an x-acto knife to cut the flaps through the paper on the other side. In the photo below, notice that the folds are painted and the mermaid collage is not yet in place; it was glued on after these cuts to the inside were made.

Now to glue on the front. It's important to not glue the front collage to the flaps. If you do that, they won't flip open to hold your ATC! I inserted a playing card to keep the flaps covered and protected while gluing. I also opted to use some strong double stick taps around the edges, in the middle, and along each flap. This will help hold down that collage. I used a glue stick to fill in the spaces between the tape. Not on those flaps, though - keep them clean! Once the collage is in place, gently remove the playing card and make sure that the flaps are able to open. The ATC will now have a happy home within the mailer.

Now finish that front and give an ATC to a friend!

For a complete list of supplies, click here!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Scary Fairy for Halloween

Just did another swap on, and my partner had the cutest fairies on her Pinterest board. Since the swap was "Halloween in June", I thought I'd attempt a similar fairy, dressed for Halloween.

Her face, hands and feet are paperclay, and her body and arms are made with pipe cleaners. She's holding a scepter that's actually a vintage cupcake pick. But that face!

Her legs are a little spindly, so she demanded a chair. Luckily, I had one that was the perfect size.

She loves to lounge in that chair.

She's a wee thing, and hard to catch, but if you're very, very patient...

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Halloween Row Houses

I know Halloween is quite a ways off, but it's one of my favorite themes to craft for, so when I got the current Alpha Stamps kit and it contained a row of funny little houses, I knew what had to be done.

The houses are quite small, and just so happen to fit in a 3" by 4" matchbox, which I also gave a Halloween look. I painted the outer sleeve black and added scrapbook paper and collage sheet images. The black border around the cat is printed on a clear sticker. I left the ends of the inner box plain, to resemble an actual matchbox.

Here are the tiny houses, all folded up and tucked inside.

Pull them out, and you've got your own tiny haunted neighborhood!

Want to see some closeups? Here's the front, when the houses are folded. You can see the moon rising up behind the roof.

 Houses one and two:

 Three and four: 

And five and six. I love the little black cat peering in the window on the left.

These houses were so fun to put together. I pulled out all my Halloween papers and collage sheets to find the perfect images. The best part is, these little spooky abodes are so small, I can take them anywhere!

Happy (way early) Halloween! Want a supply list? Well, you're in luck. Click here!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Tiny Tin Houses

You know I love me some altered tins, so when Alpha Stamps came up with these awesome Altoids Tin Facades and Altoids tin roofs, I just had to make some homes for my little vintage bisque dolls. The base of each house is an Altoids tin with the lid removed, and the frames fit right on top! Bucky and Maria may have different taste in decorating, but they are still fast friends.

Bucky is a rootin' tootin' cowboy, and he loves to dress the part. He adorned his walls with stars and planted a fine cactus in his front yard. His curtains are cut from doilies, and his house number is from a sheet of rub-ons.

Hi ho, Bucky, nice digs!

Maria lives with her little dog Hoover in a lovely shabby chic home with a garden of fragrant blooms in the front.

Her house has the added benefit of a roof kit, so it looks 3D from all sides.

She's got more pretty flowers in the back.

Now some of my other bisque dolls are demanding new homes. Lucky me, there are other styles of these facades available. If you'd like to make some of these cute little tin houses, click here for a complete list of supplies!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Fancy Schmancy ATC Box

It's a bit of a departure for me to make something "sweet", but the new papers that Alpha Stamps sent me this month and the upcoming Spring weather seem to have gotten to my head. Plus, look at this box, designed to hold ATCs. Those curves!

A curvy box like this deserves some lacy trim and tiny feet, not to mention a spray of sweet flowers.

The top of the box has an oval cutout; I made a simple ATC using an image that fits the opening perfectly.

Spring flowers, a few light blue stamens, and some flat backed pearls adorn the top.

It's the perfect box to store a group of ATCs.

Just for fun, I played around with an ATC ticket journal. I enjoyed using paints, inks and collage to make this little fairy piece.

Happy Spring (finally!) For a complete list of supplies, click here.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tiny Paper Theater, full of photos and tips

I'm not sure I can tell you how much fun I had making this new tiny paper theater I got from Alpha Stamps last week. I was obsessed! If there's one thing I love, it's working tiny. Plus, all the bright colors on the accompanying collage sheet just stole my circus-loving heart.

I know it looks big in the photo, so here's a little better idea of its size. Without the addition of top finial, it's just 4 inches tall.
The swag you see near my thumb is part of a curtain from another theater on the same collage sheet. The center medallion has a face on it, but because I wanted the clown on top to be the focus, I covered that face with a decorative brad. There's also a foam square in the center of that swag to give it some dimension.

Wooden spindles and finials (colored with a gold Sharpie) add dimension. The top curtains and columns are raised as well. To achieve this, I used two copies of the same collage sheet, and layered some parts using foam glue dots.  

The foam glue dots showed between the stacked layers, so I cut thin strips of matching paper, put a little glue on the edges, and covered the gap. On the left you can see how the foam tape shows; on the right is the strip of paper covering that area. I used a cream colored strip to fix the base portion, so the wooden spindles had a nice place to sit.

The curtains in the side windows are cut from other theater facades included in the collage sheet. Because the curtains show both inside and out, I used markers to draw the curtain on the reverse side of the paper. Putting the curtain image face down on a light table allowed me to see where the details went. The photo below shows the part of the collage sheet I used for these curtains. I am holding the back of one of the cutouts where I hand drew the pattern for the reverse side.

Here's how they look once they're in place. The image from the collage sheet is on the left, and the hand drawn back of curtain shows on the right.

 Who's performing the first show? How nice this little group looks up on stage.

Making the characters stand was easy. In the following photo, the five easy steps are outlined from left to right.
1. Using a 1/2" circle punch, punch out a circle from the paper with which you're making your stage floor. I used Wood Flooring scrapbook paper.
2. Outline your character with a black marker, and your circle with a marker that matches the color as closely as possible.
3. Using white glue, attach a mini pin stands to the circle.
4. Once the pin is secured to the base, glue the upright part of the pin to the back of your figure.
5. Note that, if the floor of your stage has a pattern, you should orient the grain of the pattern to match the floor. The little goat on the left blends right in with the floor, while the stand on the right is obvious.

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?

In the making of this theater, I constantly put it together and took it back apart to make sure that everything looked good. Oops, I can see below that the front of the stage needs that chipboard curtain part painted red. Also, the windows want some curtains and some trim (using Dazzles thin line stickers). Don't glue things together too soon, or you'll be sorry! One change I made to the chipboard base of the theater: with the facade I chose, the roof of the stage would show in the front once assembled. You can see the notches for the roof over the windows above. (In the finished theater, the curtains on the sides cover those notches.) I cut the opening in the front of the theater a little larger so the chipboard does not show.

Once the theater was glued together, I covered a piece of cardboard with the striped paper to make a new, higher-up roof, and attached it to the top of the walls as shown below. Gold stickers cover the seam beautifully.

Whew! That's a lot of photos and a lot of words. I hope you enjoyed my little theater. Here's one last picture, with the entire cast in attendance. 

For a complete list of supplies, click here!

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