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, April 28, 2012

Road Trip Altoids

Pretty much everyone in my family carries Altoids in their car. (My family is my best source of empty tins!) The other day, my Dad called and asked me to decorate the outside of a tin for his travel Altoids. He didn't have a preferred theme, but I know he loves to travel, and he loves old cars. While I was pondering what to do, I thought about how dependent I am upon my GPS, and how he and my Mom still prefer using a map. I have a terrible sense of direction, so I have tons of maps left over from my pre-GPS existence. Perfect! A map tin!

The top is part of the map showing where my parents and siblings live, with "road trip!" spelled out in tiny stickers. I used 7Gypsies rubdowns for the pointy hand and the vintage truck.

Around the side, their home state, South Carolina.  The bottom of the tin includes the area I live in. You could almost use this map to get to my house, but you'd have to fill in some of the gaps between the top and the bottom!

Because this tin will be used for mints, I didn't decorate the inside. Here it is, filled with tasty Altoids mints. The paper sleeve that came with this tin says, "Open Your Mint Hole". Nice.
 I put several extra coats of Mod Podge on this tin, since it will be used often. I hope my folks enjoy it every time they're in the car.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Olde Curiosity Shoppe + Tutorial

I think it's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Graphic45 papers, so when Leslie, of Alpha Stamps, asked if I would do a tutorial using their new "Olde Curiosity Shoppe" line, I was more than happy to comply. I had this rather shoddy little house with cubbies that I found at the thrift store for 79 cents (bargain!) and here's what I came up with:

Here's how it was done:

Find a good object to alter. I had a lucky day at the thrift store and found this little house with cubbies for only 79 cents. Gather your supplies. For this project, I used an 8" by 8" pad of Graphic 45 "Olde Curiosity Shoppe" paper, plus a few of their bigger sheets. Also, lots of fun little toys and trinkets, many available from Alpha Stamps.  

Paint the entire item black, and choose several coordinating papers for the background of each box. Cut to size, and ink around the edges.

Glue each background into place.

Using Tim Holtz paper tape, cover the edges of each partition. Trim the tape at each intersection, and fold the edges down to wrap the edges of the walls.

Choose a different paper for the floors of each box, and cut to fit. Ink around the edges, and glue into place.

Cut design elements from the papers and begin to arrange them in the boxes. When you are sure you know where you want each element to go, attach them to the back with foam tape to add dimension. I used some of the G45 stamps designed to go with these papers for extra elements. In this photo, the crow in the center and the Olde Curiosity Shoppe sign were stamped onto heavy cardstock and cut out for use. Now it’s time to start playing around with things you might want to include in each box: old wooden spools, doll arms, game pieces, etc.

If you’re going to add feet, paint them in colors to match your project. The feet used here are wooden candle cups. I striped them, and then painted the lip turquoise with black polka dots for a little whimsy. Attach to the bottom woth E6000 glue.

Keep working with your elements! If you’re like me, you’re going to want to move things around quite a bit before you’re happy with placement. Some things may not make the cut, no matter how much you love them. Add some Dresden trim and some metal embellishments. Cover the back, sides and roof with papers. Ink the edges before adhering.

Begin gluing down your 3D elements using E6000 glue. Cut out several butterflies. Fold each one in half, put a thin line of glue along the body of the butterfly, and adhere randomly, making sure the wings stay folded for a 3D effect.

And you’re done! I filled each box with things I already had. Chances are you’ve got a good stash like this in your craft room. 

Here's a close-up of all the cubbies. I love things like this because there's always so much to look at. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Some of the moderators on Craftster decided to do a pet swap, where we each sent each other one or two small items for, or relating to, our pets. I was assigned to send something to Connie, who lives with the sweetest girl, Jenna.

Here she is. Isn't she so cute?

Connie mentioned on her wishlist that she'd like something with Jenna's image on it, so I grabbed another of those 4" by 4" blocks of wood I have, and painted her portrait. Once the block was done, I tried beading a hanger for it, but it just didn't look right to me, so I added some bead caps for feet. It still needed something, so I grabbed this giant glass heart bead that's been floating around my craft room forever and attached it to the top. Here she is:
I'm so happy with the way this came out. The sendouts for the swap aren't until May 1st, but I just couldn't stand it, so I mailed it early this week, and it arrived today.

Here's the side. I like the way the red ribbon looks around the sides, but the ugly truth is that I put the it there to hide the holes where the wire hanger used to be. Shhh!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dancing Elephants

I love it when I get custom orders on Etsy. I just made a set of three ballerina elephants for someone whose niece is expecting twin girls. She ordered an extra one for herself in hopes that some day she'll have a granddaughter.
I wish her good luck!

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