Monday, April 30, 2012

How to... make Faerie Specimens

I've got a brand new round of sick going on. Ug. I hate being sick (then again, who likes it?).

Below is a new viddy explaining how to make these little faerie cloche specimens.

If you do make some, head over to the Alpha Stamps Yahoo Group, show off your creation and you could win a Pixie Hill prize pack! The domes are listed HERE on

I'm going back to bed for an hour to see if I can bore these germs to death.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Garage Sale Madness

I was up before 8 am today.

I do not like to be up before 9 am unless absolutely necessary. (like every single weekday that I must pack lunch and get the kid off to school and do all that other mum stuff.)

But my husband has the garage sale itch, which I suppose is better than any other sort of itch he could have, so I dragged my sorry bottom out of bed. Today's haul is this...

That, my friends, is exactly $9 worth of garage sale goods. Our haul today? An aluminum chicken feeder and vintage hair clipper (not pictured) a glass cloche with real butterfly, ugly tin clock, an old bird cage (75¢ SEVENTY FIVE CENTS!), misc wood letters, a glass cocktail shaker with all of it's bits in place, all sitting on a $1 kiddy table and... my very favourite... a little wicker doll buggy.

Maybe getting  up before 9am isn't such a bad idea after all.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Goblin Pub Update

After a bit of a break I'm back to work on the miniature goblin's pub. The place now has a name "The Squirrel's End" and the exterior is coming along nicely.

The inside is giving me a bit of grief however. It's not turning out how I imagined at all. Things just aren't fitting no matter how much I force them (yes, I am aware that is exactly my problem).

I did add one thing to the interior that I like very much...

... a hatch door on the second floor! I have to add screw heads but I really like it. It doesn't close all the way (grrrr) but it can still be played with and I like that very much.

I also made some seating for the pub which was a giant struggle. I like how the twiggy things look sort of like antlers. The seat part is made from cork which I thought was appropriate for a pubby place. The little round pub tables? Well, there's graffiti on those :)

That's it for now. I'm hoping to have this done by next weekend for the Brighton Arts Council Spring Jubilee Art Show and Sale... fingers crossed!

P.S. Just a reminder that I'll be chatting over at the Alpha Stamps Yahoo Group tomorrow at 4pm est. for their reproduction challenge. Come on over and I'll love you forever.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

A whole lot of this and that

Nothing really to show off today. I'm feeling a bit, um, 'stuck' actually. There's about 1,243 things on the go but nothing is happening today. After a mad flurry of making my mind has turned to a bit of mush. Perhaps it's because I cleaned my making room and I accidentally sucked up the arty momentum with the vacuum.

Here's my work area as it sits right now. One day after cleaning. Yes, this is after the cleaning. You can tell it's the after because you can see the floor. Give it a week and that table will be moved to the side and there will only be one bum shaped clear spot amidst a sea of supplies, paper, glue bottles and paint tubes.

Now for the this and that...

I can't believe I forgot to tell you about the blue chicken we saw at the poultry auction. A BLUE CHICKEN! It looked just like a muppet.  It was a dyed silkie chicken, which are the most fabulous looking things ever.

We also saw the ugliest chickens ever: bare necked chickens. (Edit: they are the second uglist behind naked featherless chickens.)  Here's a fellow from a recent Scientific America post about chickens.

While waiting for my groove to return I've been watching The Victorian Kitchen Garden this morning. I love all the BBC living history shows. Mr Pixie and I have been watching the latest Edwardian Farm and will be sad when the last episode airs next week. I'm sort of smitten with Peter Ginn *wink wink* , and Ruth Goodman is absolutely lovely. THIS is my kind of reality tv.

Like history, food and fun too? Other shows you may be interested in are... 
Heston's Feasts
The Supersizers Go... (Also The Supersizers Eat...)
Victorian Farm

Victorian Pharmacy

You may also like...
1900 House
Pioneer Quest


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Can you make this?

I've shown you how to make the wee houses and toadstools... can you put it all together to make these?

If you think you're up to it, Alpha Stamps is hosting a reproduction challenge over on their Yahoo Group. I'll be there this Saturday at 4pm est to chat about all things Pixie and answer any questions you have.

I'm pretty sure they've slipped something in my tea because I'm offering up this prize pack for the best entry.

The arty farty goodness includes a handmade cottage, a twiggy fairy wand, a set of 4 greeting cards, a bottle of wishes, a thimble garden and a faerie specimen. All said and done, that haul is worth around 7,000 in pennies (or $70 if you want to be a muggle about it).

Hope you'll come and play or else I'll be talking to myself and, well, I've already heard all of my jokes.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Muddy Floor = Happy Kid

Sometimes it feels like you just can't win.

On one hand you have a bazillion commercials for cleaning products, 10 trillion pins on how to clean everything with baking soda and peroxide, and gorgeous photos of pristine, dustless homes reminding you just how messy your own place is. Truthfully, my house is a disaster most of the time.

On the other hand we're told "the cleaning can wait, play with your kid!" Put down the mop and play Just Dance 3 until your feet fall off! Yes, yes, yes, there are times when the laundry can wait and round of golf in the dining room is in order... but sometimes my kid is forced to entertain himself. *gasps!*

Anyway, here's evidence that world doesn't come to an end when the floor isn't mopped and that sometimes digging a 3 foot hole in the garden all by himself is exactly the right thing for a 9 year old to do.

When D picked up these boots this morning (yes, I left that mess over night) he was delighted. "Wow! Cool! Mum, look at my boots!" How can you argue with that?

On the flip side of muddy messes...

... a tiny little something pink for Alpha Stamps "Think Pink" challenge. Make something, anything at all, that incorporates something pink, post a photo on their facebook wall, and you could win a fabulous shrine by Teri Calia. You have until May 15th to enter so get those crafty fingers working! All the official details are HERE.

What's that? No pink in your crafty stash? Haven't placed an order with Alpha Stamps yet? No worries, they're offering a free digital Pink Fairy ATC collage sheet by emailing [email protected]

Happy crafting & good luck :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

itty bitty friends

We went to an auction yesterday. It was not a rusty things auction, but a small animal/bird/poultry auction. They sell pigeons, chickens of all sorts, ducks, peacocks and rabbits. This is the second year we've attended this particular shin-dig. Last year we got frustrated and left early. This year we made it over half-way through and came home with a few new friends.

We bought the tiniest box with these little fellows in it. Can you guess what type of bird he is?


Hint: When we reenact the 12 days of Christmas he'll come in very handy.... so long as the pear trees survive the sudden chill and snow today.

Big D also got a little something, a furry little dwarf hamster. No word on a name for him just yet but he's very cute except for the red gleam in his beady eyes which totally freaks me out. Ah well, the kidlet actually cleaned his bedroom for the furry bugger so he can't be completely evil.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sharing the wealth

Well, our plans to hit a bazillion garage sales this weekend was quashed by the weather. Don't feel too badly for us, the garden needed the rain. Besides, we also found a church sale! I love church sales. The strangest things show up at them. They are also tend to be VERY reasonable with their prices.

Besides a miniature dish for a quarter, and the framed print of Mary for 75 cents I picked up two big bags of vintage stamps for $2 a pop. That's a total splurge in my book... but absolutely worth it!

Anywho, I've got more stamps now than I'll ever use so I figured I'd share the wealth.

Soooo, if you follow this blog, or like Pixie Hill Studio on facebook, email your snail mail address to info(at)pixiehill(dot)com with "STAMPS PLEASE" in the subject line. It would be swell if you could comment here as well. I'll send some mess making stamps to the first 15ish people who reply.

And just in case you're worried... I cross my heart I won't share your info with anyone.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Butterfly Fairy Shrine

I had a very productive evening last night. I totally lost track of time and completed two whole projects! One of my makings is sort of in a prototype stage so I won't show you that mess just yet. The other? Take a gander...

A butterfly fairy shrine, with vintage bubble wand egg dipper, handmade ladybugs in the upcycled lid of a little wooden box. She'll be listed at in the etsy shop on Monday.

The poor girl must have been desperate for some wings as she just arrived in my mailbox last week and here she is, already gussied up with a rather cheeky determined expression.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Remember that pile of stuff my husband bought an auction on the weekend? Well the crafting stars aligned themselves, the creativity gods smiled upon me, and my glue bottle runnith over....
It's filled with quite a few of those rusty, musty, finds. The aqua floral  clip on earring, the scissors, corks, nails, marbles, bbs... all from that box.

The boy is from my personal collection of photos. The shiny metal bit at the top is half of a vintage Christmas light reflector. That dangly bit at the bottom? An arrow head!

The gods were extra especially kind as this month's challenge is "Rock, Paper, Scissors", all elements in my little assemblage box :)

This piece is now listed in the etsy shop here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Duck madness!

And here's why I will very likely never be able to get anything finished, ever again...

They are just sooooo darned cute... even if they do threaten to nibble at my toes.


When I was a little girl, whenever anyone would say the word 'pink' my friends mother would say...

Pink! Pink! Pink!
Like a roosters dink!

To this day when someone says 'pink' this poem runs through my mind. It must be because it's just the right amount of rude.

Something that isn't rude at all (quite the opposite actually... it's really rather lovely) is a pink themed challenge hosted by Alpha Stamps. Make anything at all with a dash or dollop of pink and post it to the Alpha Stamps facebook page and you could win a gorgeous handmade shrine by Teri Calia.  

Here's the official post and details.

So make a big pink mess, post your photos, and I'll cross my fingers in the hopes you'll win :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Faerie Ring Shrine

I finished up the very last of the drawer shrines this morning.

This one is much bigger than the others measuring at 15" tall, 7.5" wide. I wanted to do something different with this one and there were a few ideas floating around in my noggin', but I settled on creating a faerie ring. They say if you step into a ring of toadstools you may get swept off to faerie land (and might never return!). I don't think this bunch will cause too much trouble :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Moons and Magic Carpets

Two more moon shrines to take a gander at. These are the last two smaller drawers from the set that I've been using to create this series of boxes. My husband suggested that we go and buy another set but I said that the recycle/upcycle part of these makes them a little bit more special. He agreed.

I love how the red and white really pops against the darker sky in this one. Go to the etsy listing for this item.
And this one is just so cheery and sweet. I especially like the ladybugs that are escaping into the real world. We have ladybugs all over our old house. They are everywhere! They crawl all over the windows, the tables, on the rim of my wine glass, the sink... I know they're a pest but seeing them around makes me happy.

I also like the little paper butterfly perched on a tiny pinecone. I've got a butterfly project on the brain so I just had to try to stick one in here somewhere. Go to the etsy listing for this item.


Last, but certainly not least... I bought a magic carpet! I've always wanted an old rug like this and when I saw this one for a song I jumped at the chance to bring it home.

The kidlet has already tried it out and said that he had some trouble getting it off the ground. No worries,  we've got all summer to weave some magic into that old rug.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Going, going... sold for $5!

It was a busy morning today. Mr Pixie went to an auction while I went to the local Y with the kidlet for swimming and cookery classes.

There were a number sweet things at the auction but the bids were high. The Mr did pick up a few nifty things, including this cool old box.

It's made from an old Camel cigarette crate. I think the hubby paid $5 for it. When the kiddo saw he immediately laid claim to it. "I'm going to fix it up and paint it!" I hid my cringing well (I wanted that box!) and told the kid he could have at it. First things first... let's clean it out!


Inside were loads of old treasures. Rusty furniture wheels, an old school bubble wand, a belt buckle, buttons, a perpetual calendar.

An old clip on earring, rusty keys and a pile of corks.


Couple of old marbles.

A pile of 2's.

The thing was chocked full of great stuff for mess making so I don't feel so bad about letting the kid at the box now. :) Seems we've both made out pretty darn well for Paul's $5 investment.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Peep, peep, chirp, chirp!

There are 14 new friends in the studio today. 10 fuzzy yellow chicks and 4 fluffy yellow ducks. Paddy is beside himself. He's enthralled with the little peepers.

This will be our 3rd set of chicks. We raise them for eating. Sometimes people are horrified when they see those gorgeous fluffy birds and find out they'll be dinner in just a few months. You get past those tugs at the heart strings when they reach the stage where they act like horribly rude, bossy, greedy poop machines.

This is our first set of ducks and I wonder if the same thing will apply to them. They are far too cute for their own good and much more entertaining than the chicks. We've already named the ducklings too (very bad sign) Tank, Connie, Fifi and Doug. Too bad we can't tell any of them apart at the mo'.

But for now we'll just enjoy the bundles of fuzz and let them a have cozy life under the heat lamps for a wee while :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Feel Good Freebie

My worktable is covered in 'to-do' projects. I had planned on staying up late to get things done last night but... well... I fell asleep at 9:30 instead. I'm sure they'll still be waiting when I finally do get around to finishing them up. I'd better get cracking because I've got a show or two lined up and I'll need goodies to take with me!

Being sick for almost a week has left my house amazingly messy. The laundry piles are so high that I'm afraid to scale them for fear the altitude will affect my balance and I'll fall over, potentially giving myself a concussion. But the sun is shining and I can't get enough of that air dried laundry scent so I'm going in.

While I tackle the house work why don't you make something nice? The world needs more nice afterall.
So do me a favour, download this pdf collage sheet and make something sweet. Say something nice and spread some joy. If you're super awesome (and I know you are) you'll post your creation on your own blog, and come back and tell me all about the fun you had while I was doing laundry all day long.

Do me proud, fellow mess makers!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I read this post today I stuns me that the lesson I learned at 15, avoids so many grown ass people today.

When I was young and dumb (I mean really young and really dumb) the thought of having gay friends sort of freaked me out. I mean, there was simply no way that I could be friends with a lesbian. Can you imagine?! It would be weird. I'd be totally uncomfortable. Ewww! Ick! Blah!

Then my best friend came out to me.

Actually, my best friend was so terrified that she had another friend tell me.

My reaction? "Where the hell is she? We're going for coffee."

In that instant I saw with full clarity it didn't matter. Not a speck! I felt like absolute crap because I realized that her sexual orientation (or anyone else's for that matter) had absolutely nothing to do with my love for her. I loved her because she made me laugh, she was kind, she was nice, and she put up with me... nothing else mattered.

Our job, no matter what faith we follow, is to show kindness to others, and to love one another... that's it. If you're worried God doesn't like what someone else is doing, or how someone else is living their life, I'm pretty sure he/she/they will deal with it.

So I'll sign off by saying that no matter who you are, I love you. I really do. No matter what, you're pretty damned nifty in my book. I hope you'll pass a little bit of love on to someone else too, because sometimes just a little bit of extra love can make all the difference in the world.


Recovering and Renovating

I let my guard down for one moment, one tiny instant, and the germs attacked. As soon as I got caught up and breathed a sigh of relief they pounced. I've been sick as a dog for almost a week. I was a terrible hostess through Easter and can only assume I made it through the holiday with the boatload of drugs and smelly home remedies I took.

BUT I'm feeling better now. Hurrah! So it's on to better thing and bigger messes.

In a previous post I mentioned a new-to-me doll house. I saw this baby on kijiji for $25 and jumped all over the listing despite it being 3 hours away. Thankfully it was close to my mum and she agreed to pick it up.

It's massive! The thing has to be about 2" wide... much larger than any of the other houses I've worked on.

This is the condition it arrived in. I haven't even given it a proper look over yet. There's a lot of work to be done, and I'll likely completely overhaul the gorgeous beast. I'm thinking this is going be a long term project, one that I can savour and put real treasures in. *girly giddy dance*

In the meantime I've got to get cracking on the goblin pub! The Brighton Art's Council is putting on a  spring craft show in May and I'd love to show it off... get cracking indeed!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

We are but dust and shadow.

Before Christmas I was approached to paint a custom skateboard.

I agreed and that board sat in my to-do pile for eons while the gentleman who sent it to me waited patiently.

I finally got my act together and started on the board. About 80% of the way though I decided the design was terrible. I started over.

The gentleman still waited patiently.

And today, after ages and ages, the board is FINALLY done! Here she be....

The words are "Pulvis et umbra sumus" which is Latin for "We are but dust and shadow."

I'm pretty pleased with it and would love to see it when it's truly complete: stained, sealed and decked out with wheels and stuff. I really hope that nice fella likes it too after his wait which was FAR too long (poor guy).

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Apparently he's the jealous type

A robin came to Pixie Hill last week, and we were certain that the lovely fellow was an extra special herald of spring. Silly humans. Our red breasted friend has been making quite the fuss.

Who? Surely you can't mean me?

Don't fall for that innocent feathered face. He's been trouble I tell you!

Nonsense. I am a delight and you are lucky to have me.

For over a week now this fellow has been flying into our windows. All of them. Over and over again. The windows are an absolute mess and, as much as I love pirates, I'd rather not have the 'poop-deck' jokes write themselves.

When spring arrives and birdy love is in the air, things get territorial. Seeing his reflection in my spotless (ha!) windows our feathered friend has become agitated that another male is encroaching on his bevvy of girly birdies. The more crazed our robin becomes, the more crazed his reflection becomes. In no time at all you've got bird gang-land warfare.

What to do? For the time being, it looks like there's a birthday party going on in the Pixie house. Balloons and tissue paper cover the windows that are attacked most often. Padfoot stands guard... which really does nothing because even the birds know he's a big softy. Now we wait and hope that our robin gets over his jealous rage because there's no way I can cover all of the windows in the house and I'm already none too pleased about the cleaning job ahead.


Monday, April 02, 2012

An altered fairy chip board book

I've had this chipboard book sitting around for quite some time. When I came across it while cleaning a couple of weeks ago I was inspired to jump in with both feet and just do it. And so, after many, many hours it's finally complete! You may have seen a couple of the pages but here's all 10 layouts and some of the chunky goodness...


I kinda love the pointing finger on the back.

I removed the ring and opted for an extended Chicago screw to put the thing together. It's quite a fussy to rotate the pages because of the 3dimentional bits but I'm really pleased with them. There are a couple of slips of sort of gossamer between a couple of the layouts but I might add some vellum and parchment between the rest for protection sake. Besides, a little extra chunk never did any harm ;)

P.S. Great Wolf Lodge has restored my faith in customer service! They sent us a bit of a refund and said they sent the maintenance crew in to fix the air/heating unit in the room. Huzzh!