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, August 16, 2014

Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts

Earlier this year, I was contacted by the editor of Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts magazine, asking if they could feature my Halloween cat in this year's addition. The magazine came out this week, and I just got my copy! Here's the kitty, from page 13. So exciting!
The Holiday issue has lots of great ideas in it, plus tutorials. There are several Halloween and Christmas crafts I plan on making this year.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Finn, Accomplished Bird Boy

A while back, a partner in a Craftster swap sent me some crocheted flowers and ceramic bird heads and leaves that she made.  She thought I might enjoy playing with them, and she was correct! The other day I was procrastinating (while supposedly working on a different project), and I started fiddling around with the things she sent and a vintage block, and somehow, Finn was born.

Doesn't the crocheted flower make the perfect ruffly collar? I was going to give Finn a party hat, using the lace for a trim, but when I cut the lace to size, it struck me that the lace made a perfect crown.

The head, wings and doll feet were affixed with Apoxie Sculpt. It makes the perfect little pantaloons.
 Stand tall, Finn!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Snarky Housewives. Now! With More Snark!

I love those way-to-happy-to-be-real housewife images they used in the 50's for advertising. I'm pretty darn sure I never look so happy when I'm cooking or cleaning. I talked with Leslie over at Alpha Stamps about my obsession, and she was nice enough to create some great 50's housewife collage sheets and source some fun supplies. I decided to showcase my housewives in windowed tins: there's the angelic 50's housewife on the outside, but on the inside, the true snark shows through.

I am totally in love with that pie paper! Plus, all the little trinkets: the rolling pin, the tiny cookbook, and of course that nice bottle of red wine. I told my hubby that I was going to put a magnet on the back of this tin, and he could use it as a mood gauge. Lid on: happy wife, good dinner coming. Lid off: attitude adjustment needed, poor me a glass of wine and make some reservations!

Here's another deceptively sweet gal, who looks like she's ready to cook up something delicious, but actually, not:

In the original image, she held a grocery list. I altered her list a tad.

Alpha Stamps has tons of great scrapbook papers, snarky housewife collage sheets, and miniature supplies for housewives, just search under "retro kitchen". Here are those wonderfully snarky ladies again. I think they would be the best of friends.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Grandma's House, with tutorial

Who's making the rounds now at Alpha Stamps? It's Little Red Riding Hood! This month, I took a Votive House Shrine Kit and made it into Grandma's cottage in the woods. For the interior, I chose lovely scrapbook paper for Grandma-like wallpaper and flooring, and set to work. When I began to address the outside, the little house just begged to be made of stone. Once I covered the three walls included in the kit, I loved how it looked so much that I made a fourth wall of cardboard and completely enclosed the house.

This is the cutest little size! Here it is with a quarter for scale.

The front of the house is the wall I added. I made a small wooden door that opens up to reveal Little Red and that Big Bad Wolf, posing as Grandma. Watch out, Lil' Red!

Back of the house, with a vine growing up the wall:

I learned a lot while making this house, so I wrote up a tutorial on making the stones and the shingles. 

First, decorate the interior using scrapbook paper. It's hard to see now that all four walls are up, but I'm planning to put a battery operated tea light candle inside to light it up, and then Grandma's lovely wallpaper will be more visible. When covering the inside walls, make sure you don't put any paper where you'll need to glue; keep those tabs clean, or the house will not fit together well.

Next, paint the exterior. You don't have to have an even coat for this, as only a bit of the paint will show through as grout. Do make sure the mullions in the windows are painted nicely, though, as they will show.

Make your stones using the inside top of a cardboard egg carton. Brush on some ink and dry brush on some paint to get a mottled color and cover any words or graphics. As you can see, I didn't fully cover mine; some of the type will look just like part of the stone when cut out. Once the stones are on the house, you can use your dry brush with paint to dab out any areas that are obviously parts of words.

Assemble the walls, and start adding stones. I cut smaller, more uniform stones to go around the windows and door, and then filled in with larger stones. Clip any sharp corners so the stones look more organic. Cutting out and setting the stones was by far the most time-consuming part of this project. I now have a new-found respect for masons. Make sure when you cover the corners of the house that you wrap the stones around. You don't want that hard edge to show! The stones attach easily with white glue; I used Aleene's Tacky Glue for this project.

The roof shingles made of sandpaper and also adhered with white glue. I used a black ink pad to edge one side of a strip, and then cut several rectangles of approximately the same size. Start in the center of your bottom row and work outwards, and then stack the remaining rows, being sure to stagger the seams. Leave each row overlapping the edge of the roof, and trim to fit using small scissors once the roof is fully covered.
It always happens when I write up a tutorial: I take more photos than necessary at the beginning, and then get so involved with the project that I forget to take any during the end. This time was no exception. After I finished the roof of the three walled kit, I decided to add the fourth wall with a door. I had to remove all the stones on the sides of the walls adjoining the new wall so I could replace them with stones that wrapped the corners. I was not happy about that, but I'm glad I did it because it really does make a difference. (I know this because I originally thought I could get away with replacing only a couple of stones on each side. I was wrong about that.)
The door is a thin piece of wood I found in my husband's workshop and cut to size. The hinges and knocker came from Alpha Stamps and were altered to look like iron. Once the wall was done and the door was in place (the hinges were glued on with E6000), I used white glue to attach some moss around the bottom and some vines growing up the sides. The house seemed like it needed just one more little something, so I gave it an address: Number 8. Grandma's house.

For supplies, and to see this month's art kit, head on over to Alpha Stamps!

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