Wednesday, December 05, 2012

On the sixth day of Christmas...

On the sixth day of Christmas our true love gives 6 geese a-laying. Now, while I usually find geese rather frightening (thanks to bad childhood memories of angry birds chasing screaming children at a bird sanctuary) today we're going to pretend they're all peaches and cream, cuddly, lovely feathered friends.

And so, here's my ode to the sixth day for Alpha Stamps 12 Days of Christmas...

I know what you're thinking. "Meh, it's one stinkin' goose on a box" A-HA! How wrong you are! First of all, THAT is Mother Goose (the greatest goose of all time) AND this box, like many lovely things, has a secret....


This is a Victorian Exploding Box and opens wide when the lid is lifted! Inside I've created a secret garden with a miniature carousel.

But there's another secret still...

The little carousel lights up to reveal 6 shadowy geese a-layin' inside!

You'll forgive me for not doing a step-by-step of this particular project, but I WILL show you a few things you might find useful if you'd like to create your own.

The carousel is made by creating a tube from translucent paper. Here I've used three layers to get the opacity I was looking for. Don't go crazy, you need some light to shine through. The 'fancy bits' are trims like Gold Fleck Trim2mm Rhinestone Chain and Thin Looped Dresden Borders.

The silhouettes are just paper cut outs that are adhered to the rim. Rather than spend ages cutting out geese you could use these Black Dresden Swans.

To achieve the peaked roof of the carousel, I cut a circle from the Robin Red Breast Collage Sheet and then made straight cut from the edge to the centre. Overlap the edges and you'll get a shallow cone shape.

For the lighting I used this LED with Battery Pack. To accommodate the light, I cut a hole in the centre of my base...

... as well as the bottom of the box. To make things tidy I cut rings from the Artisan Elements Borders Stickers and placed them over my rough cut edges. The light will fit though these holes snugly. If your light tilts to one side once through, the shadows will become distorted. You may find it useful to place a small pit of plasticine or clay around the light to hold it in place.

Decorating! You want to make sure that you can close the box comfortably without squishing the paper carousel inside. With a bit of fiddling you can actually get quite a bit in there. The trick is to open and close your box repeatedly to make sure everything fits. Here, I've used moss, Mini Rose Buds - Pale Pink, Mini Rose Buds - Ivory, and Tiny Paper Roses. They're so pretty and just the right size for that small space. 

Finally a couple of words about the outside. I've used Small Wooden Finials for the feet and they are quite important. You'll need the box to be elevated to facilitate the wire from the LED with Battery Pack. Also, I've used a Small Wooden Box Foot as a sort of lid handle (who says they're just for feet!) but try not to make the lid too heavy or else the box will tip backwards when opened.

And that's just about it! Here's a list of all of the supplies I used for this project...


  1. Oh, Beautiful!!! This is marvelous!

  2. Just adorable!!! What a clever and original idea. Brilliant.

  3. Wow! That is just fantastic! Great concept! Great engineering! Great design! Can you get any better that that? Love it!

  4. This is simply amazing. How wonderful and awe inspiring. Thank you Nichola, you always amaze.

  5. Truly incredible, love how you did the swans!!!
    hugs Lynn

  6. Absolutely charming. A true treasure.

  7. How precious! Makes me think of being in a the greenery and flowers. I need one of those lanterns! Well done :)

  8. You know something? You are amazing! :)

  9. Wow, you've been a very busy girl. This is amazing!

  10. I saw this on Alpha and it just floored me! Such a clever idea and so beautifully executed. What a great way to honor those 6 geese a layin' :).

  11. I saw this on Alpha and it just floored me! Such a clever idea and so beautifully executed. What a great way to honor those 6 geese a layin' :).

  12. HI Nichola, This is so beautiful It is amazing how you transformed this plain box into a wonderland. Just beautiful.

    Have a great weekend.

    Take care,