Friday, December 06, 2019

Free Photo Friday

Once a week I share an old timey photo from my personal collection. Feel free to use them in your mess making, art and crafting.

The images are not polished and left in their grungy, smudged and speckled glory. Just how I like 'em! Without further ado... 

Do NOT sell, give, or distribute the images as your own, digitally or printed, alone or as part of a collection, collage sheet or group. BUT DO absolutely make stuff with them and sell the stuff you make. If you share your project, a link is appreciated.

Violators will be turned into toads, given warts, all the bad stuff... I mean it... It won't be pretty. 

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Krampusnacht! A shout out to the naughty list peeps

Tonight, the evening of December 5th, is Krampusnacht. It's Krampus night!!!

Kramps and Saint Nicholas head out this evening, with Krampus punishing terrible children and Saint Nicholas leaving a pressie for good little ones. (If you're wondering what the heck is St. Nick doing out this early, December 6th is the feast day of Saint Nicholas in Western Christian traditions.)

I love all the Krampus images I've seen over the years and have been meaning to do some Krampus pieces for a good long while. While I didn't do all the things I wanted to, I got my act together and managed a little bundle of Krampus goodness this year.

There's Krampus' sack that he shoves bad children inside with his chains and bells dangling. There's a golden switch to beat awful children. A lump of coal (which is far better to receive than being dragged to the underworld and eaten). And a Krampus  head ornament made with paperclay and a some wool roving for whiskers and eyebrows.

A better look at all those goods. 

Aside: black is an absolute bugger to photograph and definately on the naughty list.

I was going to do a whole thing on the history of Krampus but to be perfectly honest, no one really knows his origins and there is a big steaming heap of misinformation out there. We can all agree that he's a pre-Christian relic that has managed to survive 100's of years through the age old tradition of trying to keep rotten children in line.

Speaking of rotten kids... what's with the coal?

Again, no one really knows. Which is weird because there are a bunch of Christmas-time figures who dole out coal to naughty boys and girls in a bunch of different cultures. Perhaps it's because it's a necessity rather than gift reward? Who knows. 

I thought it would be fun to dole out some coal this year. I've included a little coal label on my Merry Little Christmas Labels download and used it to package up some bit of coal (ok, it's charcoal, not real coal, but I know you won't rat me out). I've used little vials with wide-ish necks to put wee lumps inside. And that cellophane bag has chocolate lumps of coal inside for those who aren't completely awful.

I really kind of love these drawstring teabags I picked up that look like wee sacks. How cute would they look dyed red?!

While it's super fun to hand out reminders that we're all a little naughty, don't forget to encourage goodness (and not by beating the evil out with birch twigs). So, my Notes from the North Pole, a nice list notification download, will be available for just $1 until Christmas morning.

I have no idea where to plonk this fact, but I think it's too fascinating not to include so... Many old depictions of Krampus show him with one cloven and one human foot. No one knows why. 

OK! Go, behave, and I wish you all the best tonight. Here's hoping you're not whacked with the Krampus switch and shoved in a sack. You're lovely so I'm sure you'll be fine.

P.S. I only made a few Krampus ornaments and have already given most of them away so there are none available this year. Sorry guys!

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Simple Christmas Kraft Boxes

I'm 'retiring' as an AlphaStamps design team member this month.

It feels weird to type that. It hardly seems real! I've been with AlphaStamps 4eva!

Why am I bowing out? I'm trying to simplify and refocus. I've always known that you can't do it all, but I often feel like I'm trying to stuff 36 hours of activity into a day that only has 24. I'm trying to NOT fill every minute so that I can *gasp!* spend a day with family, read a book, and, by the grace of the gods, get every bit of laundry done at least once in my life. (A girl can dream.)

I kinda wish there was a big dramatic crafty fallout, but you'll have to settle for the fact that I'm shit at time management basically.

I'll still be making little things with their delightful crafty bits and I've already said I'd be pleased as punch to be a guest designer if they'll have me. And they better. Or else.

Given that I'm trying to simplify my life, these cute little boxes seem a fitting send off project.

I've kept them simple. Some gold embossing powder, snippets from holiday collage sheets, a wee charm, a bit of raffia. While I totally understand the appeal of embellishing until things are dripping with colour and a thousand different elements, there's a case for simplicity too.

If you've got a load of people on your list you could turn out a boat load of these cute 2 Inch Cube Kraft Boxes in no time at all. Just a length of paper cut from the Rejoice Christmas Baking Custom 12x12 Paper Set, and a snip from the Gingerbread Collage Sheet. A rustic bow made with raffia and tuck a candycane in place and you're set.

Put a bit of tissue inside these and fill them with wrapped sweets and you're set for giving a small token of holiday spirit. I've prepared a whole whack of these so that I can dole them out and look like I totally have my holiday shit together.

(Note: I do not have my shit together.)

Can we talk about these cute house boxes?

Again, keeping it simple but adorable and cheery.

Simple wee wreath made with Tiny Green Leaf Garland, a Santa Sleigh Silver Charm, a snip from the Tiny Christmas Windows Collage Sheet as a tag and closed up tight with a Mini Bronze Butterfly Paper Clip.

I DID add some gold embossing elements to the roof (because I'm currently in love with combining kraft and gold) but you could totally skip that.

I also added Mini House Doors & Windows (painted red), Polymer Clay Christmas Candy Slice Mix and Larger Miniature Candy Canes. Honestly, I really love the rustic look of these without any added paper embellishing (and the time it saved me!) 

All the bits to make these cute and quick goodies can be found in one place, right HERE.

Or here is everything to pick and choose from:

Santa Sleigh Silver Charm Set
Santa is Outside Collage Sheet
Gingerbread Collage Sheet
Tiny Christmas Windows Collage Sheet
Mini Bronze Butterfly Paper Clips
Larger Miniature Candy Canes
2 Inch Cube Kraft Boxes*
Polymer Clay Christmas Candy Slice Mix
Tiny Green Leaf Garland
Sweet Treats Collage Sheet
House Treat Box
Mini House Doors & Windows
Christmas Baking Treat Box Kit - November 2019

So that's it! My last sweet and simple post for AlphaStamps. The biggest fattest "thank you" to everyone at AlphaStamps for all you do. Leslie, it's been an absolute pleasure. Bella, you are a peach and I'll see you around lady. My teamies, you're all such inspirations. The shipping department, you rock! And every other person behind the scenes, you've made my zillion years there all the better because of your hard work. BEST WISHES TO ALL OF YOU!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Black Friday and Marketing 101 (or something like that)

I am terrible at marketing. It's one of my least favorite parts of being an independent artist crafty type trying eek out a living. So I'm just going to get all the markety bits out of the way in one big post.

If you haven't already enrolled in Art Walk Alchemy 2020, this weekend is the perfect time to do it. Extra special pricing is just $89 US from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. You'll get a boatload of projects throughout 2020 with some great instructors, in a fabulous community. I'll be teaching how to create a really cute miniature Irish faerie cottage, but I'll totally be joining in a few of the other classes as a participant. Pop over HERE and use the code BFCM89 at check out for the special pricing. 

If you prefer your crafts pre-made and free I'm have a giveaway over on my Facebook page. Pop over, like the contest post and leave a comment on that post sharing your favourite holiday memory or terrible Christmas joke. Entries accepted until December 1st, 11:59pm EST. A winner for all that stuff in the photo will be selected at random on December 2nd. It's open to world-wide entries as long as you can accept regular parcel post if you are the winner. If you don't have or like facebook I apologize, but it was just a bit of last minute fun and running a giveaway on every platform becomes confusing (also, I am a scatterbrain).

And the final bit of business...

I'm jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon and offering 40% off all instant downloads and tutorials in the etsy shop. Hurry, because at midnight everything turns back into pumpkins!

Phew! Now, as you were...

Miniature Victorian Christmas Mantle

FA LA LA LA LA!!!! Are you filled with holiday spirit yet? Pretty sure I'm driving people nuts with my gung-ho yule-tiding and my out of tune carol warbling.

When I was deciding on what sort of project to create for this month I saw the 
"Narrow Victorian Fireplace" in my stash and knew I wanted to create a cozy Christmas mantle.

It's a pretty little thing. Just a few little additions, extra wee touches, make a big difference here.

Some simple strips of cardboard are added as decorative elements. I've also trimmed the outer arch from the "Wrought Iron Window Grate" as it perfectly reflects the curve of the opening of the fireplace. Finally, a flourish from this Silicone Mold is added as a focal element. But don't feel limited by these suggestions! You could use any elements you like and by painting everything with a heavy coat of white paint it will all come together.

Inside the fireplace I've used 1/2 Inch Tiles on the floor, and Red Brick Wall Scrapbook Paper to line the interior. 

Note: There IS a small notch in the back of the fireplace so that you can easily add lighting. I'm not quite ready to add lighting yet so I've papered over that hole. When I install this inside a dollhouse I'll cut out the notch so that I can have a glowing hearth.

Because I've been a bit holiday crazy, I've decorated this mantle with all sorts of seasonal bits. Miniature jingle bells, ribbon and garland. Fairy sized Christmas cards dot the mantle. There's a plate of tiny cookies and a glass of milk too.

See that little iron grate? It's the gate from this Mini Fence and Gate painted matte black and curved slightly to fit the opening perfectly.

Want to create your own? Great! I have a walkthough to show you how I put the fireplace together.  You can find the video HERE.

And here are all the bits you'll need to create this project:
Narrow Victorian Fireplace
Wrought Iron Window Grate (Item No.C23X)
1/2 Inch TilesRed Brick Wall Scrapbook Paper
focal element such as these Architectural Flourishes
acrylic paint

The decorative elements I used include:
Fairy sized Christmas cards
Green Leaf Garland

wrapped chocolates
1" sisal tree
miniature jingle bells, gift boxes, stocking, candycanes, cookies and milk

Free Photo Friday

Once a week I share an old timey photo from my personal collection. Feel free to use them in your mess making, art and crafting.

The images are not polished and left in their grungy, smudged and speckled glory. Just how I like 'em! Without further ado... 

Do NOT sell, give, or distribute the images as your own, digitally or printed, alone or as part of a collection, collage sheet or group. BUT DO absolutely make stuff with them and sell the stuff you make. If you share your project, a link is appreciated.

Violators will be turned into toads, given warts, all the bad stuff... I mean it... It won't be pretty. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Christmas Magic Altoid Tin Tutorial

It did not go smoothly, but I did it! I've made a tutorial/guide for you to make your own Christmas Magic Altoid tins.

A few notes:

• Don't feel that you HAVE to use altoid style tins (or any other exact supply mentioned for that matter). The tutorial is a guide to help you along. Apply the same steps/directions to whatever you have on hand or in mind.

• For the front of the tins I printed the A Merry Little Christmas Label Download at 115% for a better fit. You can sometimes get away with printing things slightly larger without too much pixelation.

• If you don't celebrate Christmas, you can 100% make one of these themed to your own preferred seasonal holiday, or even fill with non-seasonal things you love!

• Don't worry about filling every last little nook with a labeled glass vial. It looks great, but it's absolutely ok to pad out the space with other items

• Don't pack the vials too tightly. These small glass vials break easily PLEASE USE CAUTION.

• Consider gluing the stoppers in place, especially when filling with glitter.

• Don't like something? Want to try something different? TRY ALL THE THINGS!!!! Change everything if you like! Make it your own!

Here's the list of supplies I used for the actual tin part:

• blank Altoid style tins
A Merry Little Christmas Label Download
A Very Vintage Christmas Download

• old paper
• glue (mod podge, crazy glue, white glue, hot glue, glue stick)
• thick card
• acrylic paint (white and yellow ocher)
• ink stamp pads
• scrapbook paper (I used a red patterned paper from Graphic 45's Communique collection)
• ribbon
• fake snow (aka buffalo snow)
• gold dresden trims
• acrylic snowflake

Here's a list of fillers and suggested fillers:
• assorted small vials/jars
• tinsel
• glitter
• sequins
• fake snow
• little bottle brush/sisal trees
• holly, mistletoe (crush up some bay leaves and no one will be the wiser)
• pine needles
• small acorns, pinecones
Fairy Sized Christmas Cards
• letter from Santa
• chocolates/sweets
• charms
• buttons
• thimbles
• coins
• rolled up $
• scroll of 'nice list' names
• miniatures of every sort!
• bells
• coal
• stickers
• tiny wrapped presents
... whatever you can dream up and squish inside!

Ok, so are you ready to make a lovely jumbled Christmas tin of joy the video tute is below?! Or off you pop directly to youtube.

If you're quick... the vid might not be done processing yet. Check back in a few minutes.