Friday, June 29, 2012

The Butterfly Conservatory

A long while back I picked up a rather hideous jewelry box. It was ugly, but it had a load of potential and I knew exactly what I wanted to make. It's taken at least four years of starting and stopping, but I've finally finished it.

Here it is...
The outside has been covered in sewing pattern paper and hand painted with butterflies, moths and ladybugs...

Now the inside...

A butterfly conservatory! I'm rather smitten with this piece and it won't go up for sale for a while so that it's available for a few shows first.

Yay butterflies!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Other Slipper

About a week ago I posted a ballet slipper shrine. Here is the other half of that pair...

There's something extra special about this particular slipper...

There wasn't extra love or glitter put into it...

This one will be placed in a big glass jar and left for a stranger to find!

I'm not sure where to place it just yet. I have a couple of ideas where I'd like to put it for finding. I'm sort of torn between leaving it in the children's section of the library, behind my favourite pizza joint, in an old tree stump or just in the middle of the sidewalk somewhere. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's not ugly... it's a stage 2

On our travels yesterday we stopped at a fabulous little studio called the Artful Garden Gallery. The artist, Sharon Ramsay Curtis, does the most delightful watercolours, very charming. We got to talking about this and that and she showed me an amazing dollhouse that belonged to her daughter.

Any who, we had a chat about painting and I mentioned that I'm working on a rather large piece and that it's absolutely hideous at the moment. She told me that I shouldn't say it's uguly but that it's a "Stage 2" painting. I rather like that :)

Here's another 'Stage 2' painting I've been working on this morning.

It's about 60% done. Loads of fiddling left. Hopefully I'll get it done before the end of the week when D starts summer vacation.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The way to my heart...

Apparently the way to my heart is little papery bits.

I had the opportunity to test drive two sweet little paper kits...

This super cute set of three stacking paper blocks which I really liked working with. It was fun to do flat surfaces on a 3d object... does that make sense?

And then...

How is that for cute? The paper table and chairs were a hoot to embellish. I LOVED setting that fairy table.

The chairs have text from a vintage book which says "The nicest boy" and "happy girl"

I believe the chair and table kit is sold out already but you can check it out here and be informed when it's back in stock.

P.S. There a fab new shop opening up next weekend in Cobourg called impresario Artisan Market. They'll be showing off my silly things as well as the work of other fantastically talented makers. Pop in and check out the goods if your in town. It's located at 37 King Street West, Cobourg, Ontario.

P.P.S. You should also pop into 9 Muses while you're there. Heidi is warm and wonderful and her necklaces are divine! Check for the "open" sign on the grand place at 202 Church Street, Cobourg.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Midsummer pretties and what's in the jar...

Took a walk around 'the hill' last night and took some snaps of the midsummer loveliness. Green must have been the colour of the evening because I saw a number of fantastically metallic looking bugs. One was a gorgeous damselfly with wings like lampblack. He was too fast for me though and refused to pose! The nerve!

Ah well, here's photos from midsummer at Pixie Hill that did turn out...

Also... a few of you asked what was in the fairy spying kit. Certainly you can make your own for gifts but please don't outright copy this and sell them... I WILL turn you into a toad. I've done it before I'll do it again.

Inside you'll find... a thimble, three coins, a little handmade net, a scribble book with miscellaneous papers, a fairy herb blend, a fairy spying stone, buttons and an old rusty iron nail. There's also a hints and tips, warnings and explanations for all of the items included.

Two kits currently listed on etsy here...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When the stars align

First things first, this is a secret. So, shhhhhhh!

I know, the internet is the very worst place to post a secret... but more on that later.

So I made these collages. They're just small. Around 3". They are made with scraps of paper and words cut out of the most fantastic old trashy book which is crammed with lovely phrases.

BUT... there's more to this story than just 6 little collages. You knew that.

A year or so ago I left some tiny books around my town for strangers to find. A very short while ago, I left some toadstools. Then, on Sunday, one of my favourite arty fellas, Michael DeMeng, started a facebook group for creative folks to post their art abandoning missions and I was inspired to do it all over again.

So those 6 little collages were packaged up, ready to be given up to the fates to find their rightful owners.

This time (unlike the other items which had had no contact information at all) there is a tag on the package which includes an email address that the finder can write to, revealing the fate of the little gifts. There is no name or other telling information... just an email addy and the promise that the message will be passed along.

While placing one of the packages last night a storm was quickly blowing in. There was literally forks of lightning in the sky that stopped me in my tracks, but being totally brave, and not a scaredy cat at all, the package was placed.

It didn't take long before I got a message from the finder of that package! Part of it reads: "I am an artist as well and currently trying to find my way back to my artistic roots. Ironically I was just taking a break from cleaning out my "studio"...and voila! A gift. It couldn't have been timed any better. The element of surprise and the joy of having faith in the universe."

Please consider doing this... just once. Make something and leave it to the fates to find its home. You'll be amazed at how good it is for the soul.

Back to the secret stuff. I know some of you live close by. Please, if you happen to know someone who finds one of these packages, DON'T tell them who it's from. I'd keep it to myself but I'm hoping that sharing these types of posts will inspire others to do the same.

Now, get out there and abandon some art!

In case you're interested, here's a better look at all of the collages....

Hey! You made it all the way to the end! Happy mid-summer to you and yours. I hope you're blessed with the most magical fairy filled night. Check back tomorrow for photos of our celebrations :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An old ballet slipper

I never took ballet as a girl but ballet slippers have always held a sort of romantic mystique for me. Even I, who would gather earthworms, make mud pies, and walk through cemeteries was not beyond leaping and twirling, quite certain I could be a prima ballerina.

Those pretty shoes and the graceful ladies jumping about in them were (are!) a wonder. Is it so hard to believe that a pair of pixies might take up residence in one?

The moon, ladybird and toadstools are handmade from paperclay. The pixies and butterfly are cut from paper. The night sky is made from painted old book pages and gleaming with glittery goodness. The acorn and moss are natural. The measuring tape is vintage. Phew!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A few little things

The first little thing...
... a tiny door! It's only around 2" tall and it opens to reveal this itty scene.

Here's the link for the kit I used as the base: Mini Parisian Door Shrine Kit. There's sooooo many possibilities for this tiny thing.

Also in little news...

More fairy activity around 'the hill'. Sometimes it's the little things that let me know that the fae are about. We've had fantastic firefly displays, gorgeous wildflowers blooming and the birds are all aflutter. The foxglove is starting to bloom, which always turns my mind to the wee folk.

I'm sure the wee folk have also been having their way with our dog, Padfoot. They must be coaxing him into picking up things he ought not to because he's become TERRIBLE over the past week. He even tried to pick up a toad and gave us both a nasty shock when he started foaming at the mouth. Thankfully he's safe and sound but what a fright!

Friday, June 15, 2012

To catch a faerie...

Tomorrow I'll be showing at Casa Dea Estate Winery in Prince Edward County. They're celebrating their third anniversary and part of the festivities includes opening their banquet hall to local artists to display their work.

In preparation the last few days have been hectic. I don't have anything packed and didn't get everything done that I wanted to accomplish. What I did manage to do was put together something I've been thinking of for a while... a faerie spying kit.

Isn't it cute!?! There's loads of stuff crammed into that vintage glass topped jar including a little handmade cheesecloth net, faerie sight stone, a scribble book with assorted papers for note taking, and a blend of faerie attracting herbs. There's a bunch of other useful things for attracting faeries in there as well.

Don't worry, I've included a note of warning about the keeping of faeries in jars and the pinching that may result.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How to Hinge a House ;)

I made these little hinged birdhouses a short while ago. They remind me something the Victorians might have kept as love tokens... or maybe memorials... creepy buggers ;)

Anyway, here's a quick 'how to' if you'd like to make your own.

With Alpha Stamps Chipboard Birdhouse Shapes as a template, I cut out four houses, using complimentary papers, for each house I want to make. (Side note: I have totally become a Graphics 45'er) To make one house you'll need to cover the front and back of two chipboard birdhouse shapes.

Leave one house intact, this will be the interior background of the house.  The second house you will slice into four parts as shown above.

Glue the two outer most edges to the base house shape.

Now you'll want to glue some hinges into place. These ones swing in the correct direction. Here's some things to think about when attaching the hinges...

• align the swing of the hinge directly over your cut
• use strong glue and let it dry completely before trying to open your house
• make sure your hinges swing in the correct direction!
• do not glue the moving part of the hinge! Keep your glue to the edges.
• for a stronger piece use two hinges on either side
• stiff hinges are more likely to cause problems opening and closing the doors.

To finish off the hinges I added some tiny nail head stickers.

Now open those suckers up and embellish to your hearts delight!