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.

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!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Easter and Bunnies and Chicks, Oh My!

Spring is almost here, Easter is coming, and it's time for spring crafting! Alpha Stamps has some great new shadowboxes, and nothing says Easter like bunnies and chicks, so I made a shadowbox for each.

There were four sizes to choose from. I love the smallest box (2" by 3"), with the egg shaped opening, so I started with that. I lined the egg on the lid with teeny tiny flat backed pearls to invoke the feeling of a sugar egg.

Here's a detail. Hint: there is no way I could place these tiny stones without the help of a wax pencil. I use mine all the time to help place tiny stones or even tiny paper cutouts.

The larger bunny in the background is glued to the back of the box, while the smaller bunny is attached with foam glue dots to give some dimension. The "Bunnies" banner on top is also adhered with foam dots.

I love the tiny basket, but it was a bit too wide to tuck back into the corner of the box, so I took some heavy duty scissors and cut the back part out. It was also a little bit too tall, so I cut the bottom part off as well (after this photo was taken). Once the basket was cut to size, I glued it to the back and bottom of the box with some white glue. When it's filled with a little Easter grass and some eggs, you can't tell it's been cut.

Alpha Stamps just started carrying these mini pin stands that make it so easy to place things like the eggs and little yellow duck. Just a tiny dab of glue holds them on, and you can stick those items down into the Easter grass and have them stay put. Love these!

Once the box was assembled, I painted wooden feet to add to the bottom, and added bright plaid ribbon around the sides and a bow at the top. Yay, bunnies!

Now on to the chicks... 

There were so many adorable images of chicks on the collage sheets that I just had to fill this box with them. I put the smallest chicks in the back, and then started stacking larger and larger chicks up with foam glue dots. White dresden trim adds a lacy feel. I made a little banner out of pink cardstock to put in the left hand corner. A few pearled flowers, and done!

Happy Easter, happy spring! For a complete list of supplies, click here.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Be My Snarky Valentine

Valentine's Day means different things to different people. I made this "valentine" for the "Be My Snarky Valentine" swap on My partner in the swap shares my love for 50's housewives, so I put together this altered Altoids tin for her.

The original image had this friendly woman holding a tray of food, so I removed the food and let her carry a trio of tiny plastic beer bottles. Much more fun! Although their are hearts on the wooden block stand, there's no love from this chick. Broken hearts follow her around. Sorry, cupid!

I made a card to send along with the tin. Happy snarky Valentine's Day to all!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Small Shrine

For some reason, I have been all about saints and religious art lately. I had a great image from an Alpha Stamps collage sheet, and decided it to make a little shrine. The top of a mini Altoids tin was the perfect size for the image, and I had tons of little metal pieces and some rosary chain that went together well. The rays behind the figures are Dresden trim.

 Sweet and tiny.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Orphanage Rd. In Winter

Nothing says "holiday season" like some morose orphans looking sadly out at the snow, amIrite? When I found that the next Alpha Stamps monthly kit contained a window shadowbox, for some reason, I immediately thought of circus kids. Leslie, of Alpha Stamps fame, was kind enough to design a collage sheet full of vintage circus kid images for me. I chose a large image of four solemn looking waifs, gave them all bright red clown noses, and built "Orphanage Rd." to house them.

Yeah, it's warm and better than living on the snowy streets, but it's obvious it's not a great place to be. These poor kids want nothing more than to run away and join the circus, if only the circus will have them. So sad!

I used two collage sheets so I could cut out the girls in front and stack them for more dimension. The upper trim is a Fleur Border, painted black and then coated with glaze.

Here's how they looked before adhering them. I used foam adhesive glue dots to raise the image up. The girls have one glue dot separating them from the guys, and the guys had two glue dots separating them from the back.

Inside the box. Yes, I cut their poor little legs off, but you can't tell once they're behind the window.

Before I covered the outside of the box, I used a Sharpie to color the inside window panes black. The outside windows were colored with a silver Sharpie. The little girl and her dog were originally considered for this piece, but they just looked too happy.

To cut the background paper, I placed the paper, centering the pattern, and adhered it with removable glue dots.  I then used a pencil along the outside border of the window opening, and then cut the paper a little larger than what I traced. The silver outer pane will cover the edges of the paper, so it doesn't have to be perfect.

After gluing the paper on the front, I used some Tacky Glue to construct the box. Clothespins held the box until the glue dried. I cut the corners as shown, and once the box was dry, glued the paper to the sides, wrapping them in the same way you'd wrap a present.

I'm not going to lie, adding the snow made me a little nervous. I sure didn't want to wreck all my hard work! I cut a piece of scrap cardboard and did a few test runs. I first used the Diamond Dust with just white glue, but it was too subtle when the glue dried clear. Using White Opal Liquid Pearls looked way more like real snow. Once I figured out what looked better, I just went for it.

Bless you, sad little orphan children. I hope your circus dreams come true.

For a complete list of supplies, click here

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