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.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Quick and Easy Placeholders/Ornaments

I always love to set the holiday table, and one thing I like to do every year is make a placeholder that can later be taken home and used as an ornament. This year, I was excited to find some adorable ceramic snowmen on sale at Michaels for only 79 cents apiece.

I used paint pens to draw in a few details, and then tied a bit of ribbon around each little guy's neck. So quick and easy! Here's a little hint for you, if you want to personalize something like this, write the name and date first, and then it's so easy to center the buttons and faces. Perfect every time!

The snowmen have rounded bottoms, so I purchased a package of little wreaths to give them some support as they sit on the table.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Santa and His Elves

I've been really busy decorating my house for Christmas this year, but did have time to whip out a few seasonal peg dolls. Here's Santa and a couple of his helpers. One of the elves holds a shiny silver package, and the other a candy cane.

I also made a friend for them: Jack Frost. Brrr!

All the wintery gang together:

I hope your holiday season is filled with joy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tin of the Month Club, December

Well, I did it! Each month this year, I altered a tiny tin to represent that month. I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by! Here's December's tin: Jolly Old Saint Nick. So simple, but I love the little vintage plastic Santa and his candy cane. He looks so happy!

And here, finally, the year in review.

If you want to see larger photos of some of the tins, click here. Hope your 2015 was a good one. On to 2016!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ho Ho Ho...Christmas Sleighs!

I love the new Christmas sleigh kits over at Alpha Stamps this month; the sleighs are easy to construct and fun to decorate, and there are two sizes to choose from. I had so much fun working on them that I decorated one of each! First, the larger, table top size: the inside was done with paint on the two sides of the sleigh, and polka dotted scrapbook paper on the remainder. The scrolled part of the outside was painted, and the flat sides were covered with papers. Festive embellishments jazz it up: a bit of gold ribbon, some shiny stars, and a pine garland with a sparkly red bow.

A Tim Holtz Plaquette on the back serves as the perfect license plate for Santa.

This sled is a great size for holding Christmas cards, candy, ornaments, or even tiny wrapped presents. I filled mine with greenery for use as a centerpiece on the Christmas table, and added a few miniature vintage ornaments for extra sparkle.

This greenery was cut from my backyard, but you could use faux greens and floral picks if you want the arrangement to be more permanent.

I designed the smaller sleigh in hopes that it would look like a vintage decoration from the 50's or 60's. Lucky me; I found the perfect little chenille Santa in an antique mall last weekend. Score! I painted the sleigh eggshell white, and distressed it with ink to make it look old. Blue Waterfall Stickles were used to make the wooden snowflake and the outer scrolled part of the sleigh glittery. I used some thin cardboard to make a little seat for Santa up front, and then filled the cargo space with a bottlebrush tree, some packages made using the Holiday Bags, Tags & Boxes collage sheet, and the cutest miniature wooden toys. From this side you can see a little wooden airplane, the sail of a toy boat, and a couple of the boxes made from the collage sheet.

Santa looks pretty happy with his tiny candy cane. And those toys! I love the Jack-in-the-Box stacked up in the back. There's also a tiny drum with green drumsticks right behind the seat, and a striped ball on top of the white package.

It may seem like a lot for Santa to haul around, but look how small that sleigh actually is: it fits right in the palm of my hand.

The sleigh may be small, but it packs in a lot of Christmas goodies!

Ho ho ho, and a merry Christmas to all! For a complete list of supplies, click here.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tin of the Month Club, November

Each month this year, I've been altering a tiny tin to reflect the month. Here's the November tin. This turkey is hoping the fall foliage will serve as adequate camouflage. I wish him the best of luck. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
If you want to see the tins from the rest of the year, click here.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Freezer Paper Stenciling

There is nothing better for stenciling than freezer paper! You can find it in your grocery store near the foil and plastic bags. All you have to do is cut your desired image out, and then iron the shiny side down to whatever you wish to stencil. Once you paint the image, the paper peels off easily.

Here's what I made this weekend. I have a few Georgia Bulldog t-shirts, but they're all short sleeved. I've been wanting one to wear in colder weather, but I'm so picky! I wanted a grey long sleeved shirt with just a simple logo on it. I looked everywhere for the perfect shirt, but finally decided to make my own. It only took a couple of hours to cut out the design and apply the paint. It was done and ready for gameday this weekend. Go Dawgs!
I painted the entire area white first, and then masked off the areas that were to remain white or red, and painted in the black. The red areas were painted by hand after the black paint was dry.

Here's another shirt stenciled using freezer paper. For this one, I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the type. Perfect lettering every time! I just use regular acrylic paints, and apply sparingly. After painting, heat set the image using a heat gun. Or, just pop the shirt in the dryer. I also like to wash the shirts before wearing, as it takes the stiffness out of the painted areas.
On this shirt, I painted in the large red X first, and then layered the "acto" part over the X and painted it and the friendly warning below. This shirt was part of a Superhero costume. What? You've never heard of X-acto? You can see my giant blade weapon here.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Christmas Advent Tag Box

Now that Halloween is over, it's time for Christmas crafting! I love this new box from Alpha Stamps. It's the perfect size for holding Christmas cards, or in this case, numbered tags to count down the days until Christmas. It's bigger than it seems in the photos; without the feet, this box measures 8" by 4" by 4".

The metal tag on the front on the front of the box reads, "it's the most wonderful time of the year". Love that! I used some vintage looking papers with a traditional design to cover the outside of the box, so I thought it fun to use a bright polka dot for the inside and some green pom pom fringe around the top of the box. The swirl on the front is two part laser cut cardboard. I colored the back part red with a Copic marker, and then glazed it before adhering the front part, which I left in the cardboard color. Then I accented the swirl with some red crystals. Lastly, I added metal handles to the sides of the box and little feet that look like cherubs.

The box holds 25 tags in envelopes, one for each day counting up to Christmas. I kept the envelopes simple, just using a bit of washi tape or stamping on each. I coordinated each tag's colors with the tape on the envelopes, so to help put the tags in the right order in the box, I stamped the date on the bottom corners of the envelopes. I like the way it looks library-esque with the stamp on that pocket. All the images I used on these tags came from Alpha Stamps collage sheets.

A few of the tags in front of the empty box:

Here are some photos of some of the tags and envelopes, with some inspiration for how to decorate them. The tags pictured below are made with collage sheet images, scrapbook paper, and fun things like ball fringe, tiny wreath stickers, photo corners, floral picks, and washi tape. I colored several of the hole reinforcers with a Copic marker to better match the colors in the tags.

I can't get enough of those glittery red stars!

These paper clips are a great way to add some accents. The one on the left uses scrapbook paper in the tab and has a snowflake charm, while the one on the right had a wooden snowflake (covered with Stickles for a glittery effect) and some cute silver mittens. 

I also liked using these Tim Holtz clips. It's easy to just tie a bit of ribbon around the top, but you can also use them to hold a floral pick, like the holly sprig on the left.

If you use a little washi tape on some wooden clothespins, you can remove the tags and hang them on a ribbon for a fun advent calendar.

For a complete list of supplies used in the project, click here. Happy Christmas!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Boo To You!

Someone asked me to make them another Halloween spoolie. She already had two, and they were both boys, so I thought she needed a girl to round out her crew. Happy Halloween, and Boo to you!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Retro Halloween Houses

I have fallen in love, and it's with a Halloween paper pack: the Trick or Treat 12x12 Collection Kit. Weird, I know, but I just love the colors and retro patterns on this paper. I got a few paper maché houses and set about to use just about every single pattern of each side of these great papers to create the five little houses you see here.

Look at those adorable trick or treating kids! These boxes are so easy to do; I just mixed and matched to my heart's content. Every side got a different pattern.

The backs feature some of the stickers from the sticker sheet that's included with the papers.

These fun little boxes are perfect for giving Halloween treats...or tricks, if you've got 'em!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Tin of the Month Club: October

Wow, here it is the fourth quarter of the year already! Only two more tins to go. Here's the October tin. I have to admit that this is actually the first tin I did last January. I was originally going to do several Halloween tins, but then decided to do one for each month of the year. It's been a fun challenge.

For a recap of the year's tins so far, click here


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Halloween Peg Doll with Boo Blocks

One of my favorite swaps on Craftster this time of year is the One Tiny Thing October Holiday swap. My partner mentioned she loves peg dolls, so I decided to make her a couple, along with some little Boo blocks. The only rule of the OTT swap is that your swap item has to be under 4". These blocks are 3/4" square, and the little cat is 1" tall, for reference. Depending on your monitor, you're probably seeing them actual size.

One thing I thought would be fun is that they can be arranged in many different ways. I hope my the recipient enjoys playing with them!
 




Saturday, September 12, 2015

Halloween Tic Tac Toe

There are two things in this crafty world that I really love: Halloween, and toys. Oh, and peg dolls, so make it three. This month at Alpha Stamps, we're doing haunted houses, and after my adventure in making a box last month for my Zombie Cars, I thought it would be fun this month to try my hand at a box that holds a game of tic tac toe. 

The lid of the box is the haunted house part, which can be used as a decoration if you don't feel like playing the game. I kept the top relatively flat, but it does have some fun dimension, like the cat eye on the turret, the fuzzy felt bats, and the acrylic black cat on metal fence at the front. The fence is attached with some foam tape so it stands away from the house a bit.

Who's that looking through the window? Looks like a tiny vampire.

Here's what you'll find when the haunted lid is removed: the "Boo Crew", a set of five wrapped up zombies and five crazy vampire bats.

The bat on the far right is the one that was peeking through that window. He sits a little taller in the box so he can see out. Isn't that Boo Crew sign cute? It's a sticker that came with the set of scrapbook paper I used for this project.

The mummies were painted white and then wrapped with thin strips of cotton fabric. I used some light grey markers to help define the edges of each strip. The bats were given tiny ears made using Apoxie Sculpt. Their wings are made from the felt bat stickers. I removed the sticky part from the back of the sticker, cut off their heads (sorry!) and glued the front of the sticker onto the back of the bats so that the detail shows. 

The tic tac toe letters on the back of the haunted house were cut from scrapbook paper using a Silhouette Cameo. The cat in the pumpkin and the spooky words are stickers that came with the scrapbook paper. The bottom of the box is the game board. I used some spiderweb paper and a painted chipboard skeleton to jazz it up a bit.

Let's have a game! It looks like the vampire bats will be victorious in this round. Tricky little buggers.

The hardest part of this entire project for me was the box insert. I wanted each piece to have the same amount of space in the box, but the bats are much bigger than the mummies and demanded more room. After lots of ciphering, I came up with this layout. Once the holes were cut, I glued cardboard pieces around each opening to keep the pieces from rolling around. I thought you might like to see how the flip side of the insert looked while in progress.
I painting the lid of the box (which is attached to the back of the house) black, which looks great behind the mummies, but the black bats needed a lighter background, so I glued orange paper with stars on it behind them. They're much happier now.

Stay tuned, there will be more Halloween to come in the following posts. Meanwhile, if you need supplies for a project similar to this one, or just need some cool stuff for haunted houses, click here!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Tin of the Month Club, September

September is here and all the little kiddies are back in school. To celebrate, here's the September Tin of the Month. Not sure how happy this sweet little girl is to be back, but at least she's dressed for the occasion with her bright red hair bow! I love those tiny pencils...

Want to see the rest of the collection? Click on the tag "Tin of the Month Club".

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fruity Friends

More peg dolls! I was so inspired by all the tiny fruits they are carrying at Alpha Stamps now that I just had to make a few little fruity friends. Inspired by the color of the fruits, I painted four 1" pegs to match, and then sewed them little hats and capes.

Their hats and capes are removable, and sometimes, they get a kick out of switching things up.

As I was looking at all the fruit, I couldn't help but think of Carmen Miranda. With the help of a little Apoxie Sculpt and a glue gun, I layered lots of different fruits on her head. She loves this fruity hat!

Carmen and all her friends.

This little rabbit hopped on over, but he's not interested in the fruit. All he wants is carrots!

I can't get enough of those wooden peg dolls, or the adorable mini fruits and vegetables now available here at Alpha Stamps. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Zombie Cars: Scary Fun!

Do you ever just get a weird idea right out of nowhere? It happened to me for this last project for Alpha Stamps. When I saw these paper maché coffin boxes and rubber zombie finger puppets, for some crazy reason, I immediately thought "soapbox derby cars with dead drivers!" When I told Leslie (fearless leader of Alpha Stamps) my idea, she found me the perfect 1 1/2" spoked wheels for these vehicles.

I removed the top of each coffin box to save for another project. With an x-acto knife, I cut out a window from the box bottom before painting each car. The number 8 car features painted flames and a scary black widow spider on the front. The orange car, number 31, has skeleton arms and some red headlights shining through the eyes of the skull on the front. (There's a view of the underside of this car showing how those lights were installed at the bottom of this post.)

Where would one find a set of zombie cars? Why, nestled in a collector's box in an old creepy toy store, of course! I recovered the top of an old game box with some red cardstock and a new label. I added some tape to the sides, because we always ended up having to tape up the corners of our game boxes when I was a kid.

The cars are safely nestled within the box. I used shirt cardboard to construct the box insert (gotta keep those cars from moving around in there!). It seemed a little plain, so I covered the top of the insert with stripey scrapbook paper for more scary fun.

On the underside of the lid is a cemetery backdrop which makes the perfect little playset for the cars. The zombies seem right at home there.

Wanna see the car backs? Car 31 features more bones and a "rancid" license plate.  Car number 8 sports some fangy black fins and a pair of scary taillights (or are they eyes?!?) above a "poison" tag. The zombie finger puppets are stuck down in the opening created by the window cutout.

I'm still a huge newbie at Photoshop, so I was very excited to be able to put together the box top using an image of children from a vintage game of "Winner Spinner" (minus the giant spinner that used to be there) and actual photos of the cars themselves.

As promised, here's a shot of the underneath of car 31. I placed the skull on the front and punched out holes for the lights. Once the lights were inserted from the inside of the car, Apoxie Sculpt was used to keep them securely in place. Apoxie Sculpt also adhered the battery to the top of the car, and the light switch to the side, where it's easily accessible. You can see some masking tape and tiny o-rings on the axle, which keep the wheels from sliding side to side. The zombie driver is simply smashed in there. He's easily removable and repositionable.

Hope you had some scary fun with the zombie cars! Want to make your own? Click here for a full list of supplies.

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