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

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Maximus the Magnificent

So. I had a little spell of free time where I didn't have a deadline for any art projects, and I decided to look for a tin to alter. I had in mind doing something Spring/Easter related. People are always giving me empty tins, so I looked through my tin drawer hoping to find something different. I found a square green tin (perfect for Spring; let's use that!) but I also pulled out a long skinny gold tin, thinking it would be fun to use for a future project. Well, I fought with the green tin just long enough to remember I had some new gold striped paper that might look really, really good with that second tin. The green tin got tossed aside, and Maximus the Magnificent the Strong Man was born. Maximus himself comes from an awesome collage sheet by Nichola Battilana (love her stuff!). I gave him some wings, a prize fighter belt, and a wee silver crown.

The three blocks I used in this piece are all vintage. I cut the red and white block Maximus stands on in half so it would fit inside the tin, and cut a wheel in half for the top. The sides and back of the tin are covered in patterned paper; the dots around the opening were done with Gesso. I used black and cream striped paper for the inside walls of the tin, some of the pennants in the background, and the belt. The belt buckle is actually a peanut butter label, intended for a dollhouse jar. Maximus' outfit needed a pop of red, and it was the perfect size and shape.

Maximus didn't start out wearing any headgear, but when I found that tiny crown and let him try it on, he refused to take it off. I think it suits him. 

Maximus has been looking for a nice place to live. Currently, he's residing in our keeping room, but he may move into the living room in the near future. You know how those circus folk like to travel.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

A Tisket, A Tasket, A Checkered Easter Basket

After reading the title of this project, do you have that old children's song in your head? I do. Sorry about that.

But how cute is this new Mini House Front Box from Alpha Stamps? Never mind that I put the house on the back; I wanted the goodies within to show! Here it is with a painted Easter egg, and there's room to spare for candy.

A tiny white rabbit rests on the front lawn (above), and a mischievous rabbit appears in the back. He's gotten into the tiny carrot patch and helped himself to a treat. At least he left a few for later. I used wire cutters to cut the tops off of three tiny clay carrots so they look like they're still partially buried in the ground under the window.

The butterflies were cut from scrapbook paper. On the paper, they're the pale yellow color shown in the photo above. I used Copic markers to color the other three light pink, dark pink, and blue. The butterflies were folded and glued only down the center fold line, so they look like they're actually perching on the house.

The outside of the house is covered with a gingham check paper, but I used a different black and white print on the inside. Mixing prints is fun!

I know this box doesn't consist of your typical Easter colors, but that makes it great for other uses. How about an ATC caddy?

Or perhaps even better, how about a tiny liquor bottle carrier? Now that's a fun Easter surprise!

This little house front box is easy to put together, and doors and windows are also available. If you use paper to cover your base, be sure to leave the cardboard uncovered where the walls are to be inserted into the slits on the base. Red Dresden trim picks up the colors in the windows and door. A little white glue is all you need to keep things together.

The sides of the house come with small holes at the top so you can easily add a handle. I was not sure I was going to add one, so before I covered both sides of the cardboard with paper, I made a template to make the hole easy to locate.  The tinsel I used as a handle has a thin wire that goes through it, so I first punched out the hole with a needle, and then threaded the wire through. You can simply twist the ends of the wire together, and it's hardly noticeable. Here I am using the template to locate the hole. Can you tell I use a piece of tracing paper as many times as humanly possible before getting a new sheet?

Although using this basket as a tiny liquor bottle caddy is tempting, I believe I'll end up using it as an ATC holder. The painted egg I used in these photos has already been cracked and pealed and deviled for last night's dinner. It was delicious.
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