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.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Hanging House Ornaments

Alpha Stamps has some new hanging house ornaments, and they can be decorated in so many different ways! Each set comes with a house and "yard", plus a picket fence, two deer, and an evergreen tree. The pieces are nice and lightweight, even when decorated. Here's what I did with two of the kits: a sparkly monotone house with a subtle palette, and a brighter, more vintage look with Santa. Each house is 5" tall.

The sparkly house was covered with scrapbook paper, and the tree was painted with subtle shades of green. A base of Snow Tex was added to the bottom, and then everything was covered with Diamond Dust to make it extra sparkly.

The sign was cut from a collage sheet, and mounted on matchsticks. It was glued to the base, along with the deer. I used some colored pencils on the deer, but he would also be cute just in silhouette.
I wanted the elements outside to have some depth, so I used a straight pin to help the deer stand away from the house. I circled the pin in the photo below, because it's hard to see, which is, of course, a perk.

I thought this house might be my favorite, but I think the jolly Santa in the next house changed my mind! Although he's left gifts and candy under the tree, he's checking his list twice to make sure no one was forgotten.

Scrapbook paper was used for the sides and roof of this house. I painted the "yard" a very light blue and then unrolled a cotton ball to make the snow. Tiny snowflakes, a bright wreath, and miniature packages and candy complete the scene. Hint: if the tree doesn't fit well, it's easy to use scissors to trim the back flat so it can sit closer to the house. Santa and the fence have some foam tape behind them so they stand out a little.

It's too early for me to have my tree up, but luckily, my neighbors have the perfect bush for glamour shots.
Ho ho ho! Stay tuned for more ornaments to come. 'Tis the season, after all. For a complete list of supplies, click here!

Snowglobe Ornament

Here's a fun ornament that's easy to put together quickly. It's similar to a snow globe, but it looks like a little mason jar. Love! The jar is plastic, so it's not as fragile as it looks, and it's nice and lightweight for hanging on your tree. This jar could hold whatever you like, but I decided to make a little snowy scene.

The first thing I did was to build up the base so the deer and the tree would be flush with the clear part of the jar. To do this, I simply cut out three circles of corrugated cardboard that were a tiny bit smaller than the opening of the jar (save room so you can screw that jar in!). I glued the cardboard together and then punched a hole into which I inserted my "tree". I was liberal with the hot glue, because I sure don't want that tree coming loose.

Next, I glued the deer's feet down, and then wrapped the base with white cotton from a cotton ball. It doesn't have to be too neat, just good enough to keep the cardboard from showing through the snow. Once the base was cotton-wrapped, I glued it on the inside of the lid, making sure the lid could screw in before the glue dried. While the glue set, I guesstimated how much Diamond Dust "snow" would be needed to cover the ground and filled the jar up. It doesn't need a whole lot. Hold the jar with the opening upright, and then turn over the lid, gently insert the snowy scene inside the jar, and screw the lid on. Turn the jar over and shake that snow down to the ground.

Once the snow globe is assembled, you can add some embellishments to the outside. I added a little ribbon and some garland to the bottom, and some bright berries to the top. So cute!
Need supplies? Click here!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Jolly Christmas Houses of Jingle Lane

Now that Halloween has passed, it's time for (you guessed it!) Christmas crafts. I love these new houses from Alpha Stamps; they are so easy to put together, and really fun to decorate. Using 8x8 papers from Authentique, I made a couple of jolly Christmas houses. In this post, I'll show you three fun ways to use them during the holidays. First up: a little Christmas scene. Add a few bottle brush trees and a tiny Santa, and ho, ho, ho- let's visit Jingle Lane!

Here's number 24. Green and red striped candy canes flank the front entrance, and Christmas lights adorn the roof. The doors and windows have tissue paper behind them, so the houses look lovely with a small battery operated tea light inside.

Number 25 Jingle Lane has a beaded swag outlining their roof and a cookie cutter star for decoration. Candy pieces look like flowers under the windows.

Another fun thing about this house is that the roof opens up. I decorated a 2" cube box (perfect for holding jewelry, sweets, or other tiny gift items). It fits perfectly in the house. Two gifts in one!

The ribbon is tied under the flap of the gift box, so it doesn't need to be untied to open the box. This is great for people like me, who love to reuse pretty boxes.

Here's a third option for displaying the houses: tie a long ribbon to the clip, and hang them. They're so pretty with the lights inside. I'll talk a bit about the doors and windows and how that glow is achieved below.
Festive!

Here are a few tips on assembling and altering these sweet houses. Below you can see the walls of the house are covered with scrapbook paper, and the roofs have not been covered. Before I covered them, I folded down the overhang part of the roof and glued it with white glue. Clip it closed while drying. If you are looking at the outside of your house (below), you would put your glue on the other side of the overhang to make the flap.

The houses have windows cut into the front and back already, but I wanted to use some Mini House Doors and Windows because they're so fun. Some of these have different sized openings than the windows that are already cut into the house, so here's how to make those work:  cover all the sides of the house with paper, then place the door and windows where you want them. Don't glue them down yet! First, lightly trace around the opening inside the windows on the new windows or door, then using an x-acto knife, cut a little outside the pencil lines. In the photo below, I have just peeled off the paper, so you can see the where precut window is. I then cut through and removed the cardboard before finally gluing down the door.

Once the new windows are cut out, take some tissue paper and glue it around the opening, so the candle light will diffuse. This is the inside of the house, so no need to be too neat with the paper. In the photo below, the new windows and door have already been glued on the outside, so you do see the mullions in the windows.

Assemble the house, glue it up, and you've got some jolly Christmas houses to help celebrate the season. Enjoy!

For a complete list of supplies, click here!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Junior Vampires

Here's a quick little project I did for fun this week: a couple of junior vampires, resting in their coffins. Each of the boys is snugly tucked in.

When you pull them out, you get a little of an idea of what you're working with here.  Eek! "Ghostly"!

If you pull them all the way out, you can see how they're made. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these; maybe I'll send them off in the mail as a Halloween greeting.
Need Halloween supplies? Click here!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Haunted Duplex

Double your fun! I took two Alpha Stamps chipboard haunted houses and put them together to create a haunted duplex. These houses were identical, so I cut out one of the towers on the house on the left to create a different roof line. Then, I had a great time mixing and matching Halloween papers and adding spooky accessories. Chipboard gates, doors, and window frames, along with Dresden trim and flying bats, give the duplex dimension. The houses are attached at the back with a strip of washi tape.

Every year the residents of the duplex try to outdo each other in decorating. They do love Halloween! The skeletons, who live on the left, enjoy a nice banquet on the big day. Looks like their youngest has been out trick or treating.

Witches reside in the other half of this duplex. Most of them are probably out on their broomsticks, but someone has to stay home and watch for trick or treaters. I believe they'd rather be out riding.

Some of my favorite details on the skeleton house: a flag made from a small image. The flag pole is some thin wire with a seed bead at the top. The bats are attached with foam tape so they almost look like they're flying. A couple of skeletons peer out of the attic window.

Also at the skeleton house, a brad makes the perfect doorknob. The smallest skeleton inspects the candy in his trick or treat bucket. Striped paper helps create the illusion of stairs.

Over at the witches: more bats, and a friendly ghost. The ghost's head is glued behind the tower, but the hands are glued in front, giving him a nice 3D look. The pointy spire has an orange bead at the point.  To attach it, I used wire clippers to shorten a straight pin, then put a dab of glue on the tip and carefully pushed it into the cardboard.

More striped paper for the steps, and bat decor on the doorway. That poor witch looks like she's so bored.

The bat on the door is a charm. Usually when I use a charm like this, I clip the ring off. I was just about to clip this one off when I noticed it was in the perfect place for a peephole. I found a tiny eye on a collage sheet image, and glued it behind the charm. Someone is watching you!

These houses look great with all my Halloween decor. For a complete list of supplies, click here. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Pink Flamingos!

I recently participated in an altered tin swap on Craftster.org. My partner listed a few themes she would like, and I thought it would be fun to do pink flamingos. I picked some fun papers and some fun trims and here's what I whipped up.

I found the tiny flamingos on etsy. The were solid pink, so I added a little paint to make them more detailed. I couldn't resist adding glitter around the edge of the tin.

The grass came from a little square of astroturf I've had forever. I just knew that would come in handy some day. And that trim! That and the glitter just add to the kitschy goodness. The stand and the finial were painted and then glazed to make them shiny.

Some kitschy paper on the back, and done!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Circus Town

A friend of mine recently introduced me to feves, and I'm not sure how I feel about that; once I saw them, I had to purchase some. If you are unfamiliar with feves, they are small trinkets hidden in a king cake or similar dessert. You know, like the plastic babies you can buy at the party store. BUT, the feves my friend introduced to me are no plastic babies: they are porcelain feves from France. There are all sorts of feves to be found on etsy: animals, kitchen accessories,  and cartoon characters, just to name a few. I found a set that is circus themed and it was all over. They are mine.

Of course I need a way to display them, so I looked to Alpha Stamps and found the cutest little houses, perfect to make a circus town! They also had the perfect paper needed to decorate the houses: "The Greatest Show" 6 x 6 pad. It's gorgeous! I had fun mixing and matching the papers on each of the houses. For scale, the tallest house in the center is 3 1/4" tall, minus the flag.

Some closeups. Look at those little porcelain beauties!

I fussy cut some of the elements from the papers: the ball in the clown house, the pennants, and all the circus posters.

And, the backs. Circus Town is the perfect place for all my new feves to live. For a list of Alpha Stamps supplies used, click here.
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