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.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ballerina Elephant

Not every elephant dreams of running away with the circus; this little twinkletoes has decided to pursue her love of ballet. It's recital day, and she stands atop her paper maché trinket box stage, fully dressed in her frilly tutu with its pink bow, a bejeweled crown, and her favorite necklace: a strand of pearls with a tiny star charm on it!

Someone has thrown a flower up on stage to express how much they enjoyed her dance.
This one was really fun to make. I gathered up a strip of tulle for the tutu, and then added the cutest little ruffle and some pretty pink ribbon on top. I made the little crown with some silver glitter, some lightweight wire, and some faux pearls. I've never tried to make a necklace for any of the elephants I've done, but this one just begged for it. I think it turned out pretty cute.

I only have a few of these elephants left. I sure am going to miss them when they're gone. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Where I Work

Now that we're empty nesters, my husband and I decided to redo our upstairs, making it more comfortable for guests. My craft stuff used to be in a corner of our bonus room, but in our redo, I decided to move it all into one of the now-spare bedrooms. I felt that if I had less space to spread out in, I might actually be able to work neater. I'm definitely more organized now, because I have the added bonus of a full closet to hold extra supplies.

So, here's my new room! This first picture is a view from when you walk into the door. Lots of the artwork and trinkets displayed here are things I've received in swaps on Craftster, or things my daughters and I made.

When I'm sitting at my desk, here's the opposite wall. Gotta have some entertainment while I'm working; currently, I'm rewatching the entire series of "Lost" on Netflix. I love the large piece of furniture pictured here. It's from Nadeau, and is made totally of mismatched reclaimed wood.

A closeup of the cubbies. This came from the Pottery Barn catalog, and I just love it! It houses several altered tins, little birds and jars of whimsies, one of my daughter's baby shoes, some books my other daughter made, and various other nicknacks.

 Around the corner, there's a reproduction library card catalog holder (!) that's great for holding small supplies, and for helping display some of my swap goods:

I thought about cleaning up my desk, but in the interest of full disclosure, I thought I'd leave it in its natural state. That's pretty much what it looks like all the time. Back behind, you can see the bookshelves that hold the things I need close at hand: my scrapbook papers, glues, charms, etc. On the wall, there's art from my daughter, plus items from several friends at Craftster.

Another view of the shelves:

I love this closet! We took out the rack, and I stuffed as many of the mismatched bookshelves that used to be in my kids' rooms as I could get in there! My older daughter made the graffiti sign in high school. I know she thinks I'm crazy, but I love it. Inside the closet, on the ribbon rack, there's a piece of work from my younger daughter that won second prize in the State Reflections contest when she was in middle school.

And there you have it. Thanks so much to all my wonderful swap partners (and my girls!) for helping me decorate. I pretty much spend hours every day in this room, and I love it. Funny aside note: my husband is an engineer. He told me that if he had to work in this space he would probably have a seizure. It's a little busy for him.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Craftster Best of 2011

I love If you are crafty at all, it's definitely the place to go for inspiration! They just announced their "Best of 2011" list, and I'm happy to say that one of my altered Altoid tin circus wagons is on the list!

I'm even prouder to announce that my older daughter had two projects chosen, an altered book:

 And her senior exit show installation:
Click on the links to read more about any of the projects. You'll especially enjoy reading about the installation, and seeing more details.

Congrats to everyone who made the list!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tiny Circus Midway Sideshow

Ever have one of those sleepless nights where visions of circuses dance in your head? I do, and here's what was keeping me up last week. I had a bunch of matchboxes lying around that were just begging to be put into the circus. I wanted each one to open up to show a performer, so this tiny sideshow was born.

My husband was kind enough to help me cut out a wooden base, which I painted, sanded down, and edged with some Dresden trim. I covered three matchboxes, and glued the bottom of each to the wood base. I added some little feet to give it height, and then drilled a couple of holes at an angle so I could stick the skewers in. It felt like this midway needed a banner of some sort! This one is made with some thin red wire and vintage sequins.

Here are my sideshow performers: a bearded lady, a tattooed man, and Schlitzie, a world famous pinhead, who toured with the circus in the early 1900s. Their banners are stamped with a stamp by Alpha Stamps, and then hand-lettered. Each figure is mounted on adhesive foam squares, so they sit a bit away from the back wall of their "tent".

Here's the whole set when opened:

And a view from the back:

Step right up! It'll only cost you a quarter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Biggest Circus Tin Ever!

My sister gave me a giant empty Altoids tin for Christmas (she knows me so well), so naturally I had to make a circus out of it. I put the biggest performers, the elephants, in it, and tossed in a couple of clowns and some dogs for good measure. This bad boy is 8" by 8"...the tin is about three times the size of a regular Altoids tin. I had to take a picture of a quarter next to it for scale.

Little side view:

And, the back:

It feels good to get back to doing circus crafts. I have an idea for my next circus project using matchboxes. I'm hoping to get started on that this afternoon. 

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