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, July 16, 2016

Ticky Tacky Tiki

What's better than being at the beach and coming up on a little Tiki bar? Why, nothing! Last time I was near the shore, I happened upon this inviting establishment.

OK, full disclosure: this is actually a miniature Tiki bar, and it was photographed in my back yard. I only wish I had come up on it at the beach! I made this little bar using one of the houses from the set I featured in this post. I only adhered one side of the roof, and then supported the other side with a couple of bamboo skewers, creating a little kiosk. To create the bar, I wrapped a thick piece of cardboard with a piece of weathered wood-look scrapbook paper and attached it under the window with hot glue.

Hey, it looks like we're in luck- the bartender is serving up frosty Cosmos, my all-time favorite adult beverage. He's even gone so far as to sugar the rim and add a nice slice of lime on the side. Mmmm! The little sign hanging under the bar states "Always happy hour". I'm telling you: this is my kind of place! 

The bartender looks a little stern, but he's really a fun guy. How festive is that lei he's wearing? It was pretty simple to make; I just used a hole punch to cut several circles from tissue paper, and then poked a threaded needle through small stacks of the punched circles. I tied a little knot between colors to make them look more like individual flowers. It helped to tape down an end while making the lei. Want to know how to make a mini Cosmo? I explained how I did that at the bottom of this post.

Doesn't that Cosmo look tempting? I'll have one, please!

If you don't like Cosmos, perhaps a nice bucket of beer will suit you better. Umbrellas rent for only $5, so grab one, pull up a beach chair, and come sit next to me.

Here's a nice spot. The beer's on ice, so it's nice and cold. That's my Cosmo on the right, though, so hands off!

One more view before we go. There are so many awesome miniatures that really make this project fun, from the tiny martini shaker to the bucket and tiny ice cubes for the beer. For a complete list of supplies I used, click here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Fish House

In continuing on with the summer themed craft projects, I took a folding house shrine from Alpha Stamps and created "The Fish House". When it's all folded up, it looks like a house made of waves. I couldn't resist adding a small window on the side.

The roof is made of corrugated cardboard with the top thin layer of paper removed. A different bathing beauty is featured on the back.

When the house is opened up, it's apparent why I named it The Fish House (or at least I hope it is!)

The King of Fish watches over his kingdom from the center panel, while his loyal subjects collect the perfect fish from the surrounding ocean. He has put those bathing beauties to work! Here's my favorite panel. She's so proud of the catch of the day.

The house is hinged together with washi tape, while the striped outline on the top and bottom of the panels is made from thin strips of the scrapbook paper used in the striped panels. 

Here's the outer view of the opened house, but I have to admit that I'm still partial to the king and his helpers of The Fish House. 

For a complete list of supplies, click here.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Cabana, Cabana, Cosmo!

It's summertime at Alpha Stamps! Not only do I have photos of tiny beach cabanas, there's a sneak peak tutorial and preview of my next project at the end of this post.

Summer means hitting the beach, but where will you change into your suit? If you're lucky, there will be cabanas nearby so you can hit the beach in style. Here are three miniature beachy cabanas, ready when you are (if you're really teeny tiny, that is.) Can you see the bather behind the louvered door in the center house? She's just about ready for her debut.

These chipboard houses come flat, but are simple to assemble. Just fold on the score lines, cover the sides with paper or paint, and glue together with white glue. I used a strong double stick tape to attach the roofs.

Here's the largest cabana. The first bather is just getting ready to exit, while her friend peeks out the window on the side. For the roof on this cabana, I ran some scrapbook paper through a die cutter and layered the strips to look like shingles.

Number 17: Seahorse Inn. A bright gold seahorse on the door will help you to locate this cabana. On the roof, shingles were cut out separately, edges inked, and then applied one by one for a layered look.

 Here's the smallest of the cabanas, number 7. Scalloped scissors made the edges of this roof.

I had fun photographing these houses on sand, but to really get the details, I put them in my photo studio.

I would be remiss not to show you some of the cuties looking out the windows! They are all ready for some fun in the sun!

Seaside details on the back! The cardboard cutouts can be used in many ways. The wave and the draped edge were painted, while colored pencils were used for the palm trees, umbrella, shell, and life preserver.

For a complete list of supplies to make these beach cabanas, click here.

And now for the sneak peek tutorial. My next project was in need of some sort of summery beverage, so naturally I picked my favorite: Cosmopolitans! Here's how I took plain little glasses and made Cosmos.

First off, the glass itself. Look how tiny!

I added the pink color of the Cosmo itself using a mixture of Liquitex Gloss Medium and a little paint. Each glass just needed a drop or two.

Sugar the rim! I love to use Stirrings Cosmopolitan Rimmer on our real Cosmos; it's pink and tasty and fun. I used a little pink glitter to rim the tiny drinks. Use a toothpick to put a thin bead of tacky glue around the rim and then either sprinkle the glitter on, or carefully press the top of the glass into a little pile glitter. I did both, for better coverage. When I did this first round of glasses, I put the limes on before sugaring the rims, but if I had to do it again, I'd add the limes after the glass is sugared.

Every Cosmo needs some lime! This lime cane is the perfect size for a tiny beverage. Simply cut a thin slice with a sharp exacto blade, and take out a small pie-shaped wedge so the slice will fit nicely on the rim of your glass. If the glue from your sugar is still wet, it may be enough to hold the lime on. You can also use a toothpick to put a tiny bead of glue on the inside edges of the lime where you removed the wedge.

Miniscule Cosmos are served! But where?!? Stay tuned...

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!
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