Design team member of Alpha Stamps, moderator at Craftster, lover of ephemera and junk.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

One More Scary Toy

I had one more eyecharm left, and lots of wooden blocks, so I added one more toy to the collection. This one has a big honkin' nose.

That's all for now. I've got an order in for more eyeballs, but word has it that my next Alpha Stamps package is on its way. I'll be busy with that for a while.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Scary Toys for Girls and Boys

My husband has been doing a woodworking project, and he's been kind enough to save all the little leftover scraps of wood for me. I've been having the best time the last few days, making "windup toys" from the tiny blocks, none of which are bigger than 2" on any given side. A few years ago, I bought a bunch of old wooden blocks and other toy parts, and I dug through them to find bits and pieces to help construct the toys. Some rusty bottle caps and some creepy eye charms to add to the fun.

I started out just fiddling around, and came up with this. Once it was done, though, I thought of all the things it could have been, and started making more.

I like the first one, but as toys go, it doesn't look like too much fun. Since they all have windup keys, I thought they should look like they do something, so I decided to make the rest more mobile, and add wheels.

For the circus wagon below, the block at the top was conveniently already broken in half. I added some painted accents and some wheels made out of spools. The hand is a vintage charm with some sequins at the cuff.

Here's the third one I made. I really love the look of one wheel in the middle, but of course that won't balance on its own, so I added some doll hands to help keep it upright. I used Apoxie Sculpt to make the sleeves and attach the hands to the sides of the block.
Its windup key is in the back.

This metal propeller was also in that box of old toys, as were the red metal wheels. I added a kickstand on the back of this vehicle to keep it upright.

Here's how it sits with its windup key:

Here's the final toy in the set (although I can't promise I won't make more!). I think it looks like a little weird animal.

All together now! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Artist Trading Block: Life Is Good

I'm currently co-hosting an Artist Trading Block swap on Craftster, and my partner just received the block I sent her. She told me that some of her favorite colors are red and turquoise (love!), and that she collected vintage games. I went through my stash and found as many fun game pieces as I could, to use in her block. Here's what I came up with:

I've had these mini alphabet bottlecaps for ages. I'm so glad I finally found the perfect use for them! The top finial is a gamepiece resting on a domino. The "r" on the gear is her initial.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Flying Birds Altoids Tin

Happy New Year! Let's get the year started off with an altered tin. Here's a little something I whipped up for Alpha Stamps; it's my first project for 2014.

I love the new Bird Cages collage sheet: so many lovely wire cages! And because they're all black and white, you can use them as is, or color them with Copic markers to match your background paper.  I chose a tall cage that had a sad little bird in it, and then used wires to have three colorful birds fly around the cage. I'm quite sure they're working on an escape plan for their incarcerated friend.

The trick to getting those birds to fly is to make a tight little curl on each end of a thin, but sturdy wire. This will give your glue something to grab on to. I like to use E6000 glue for a really good hold.  

Here's the inside of the tin. I used the same collage sheet as the colorful birds (Lady in Blue) for the image of the lady. She's layered on a doily and surrounded by little pearls. In this shot you can see the ribbon that goes around the lid of the tin as well as the way I attached the wire to the birds, which I painted black before cutting them out. This gives the paper a little more body and a more finished than a stark white background.

Here's a link to the Alpha Stamps blog post, where you'll find all the supplies I used for this project, including a blank tin. (No embossed lid!) For more tips on altering tins, I posted a full-length tutorial here.

Here's wishing you a happy (and crafty) 2014!

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