Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Back to work and tiny things

I haven't been making much over the past week or so. Boring admin stuff, a trip to Ottawa, and mountains of laundry have gotten in the way. I really do get grumpy when I don't make things. It all came to a head last night when I got shouty with my online shipping tools (btw tools is an absolutely apt moniker). And so today I will lock myself away and make stuff, drink tea and soothe my frazzled nerves.

But I do have this one little thing to show. It's for a swap with a miniature lovin' crafter. I think it's sort of a very pretty mess... just the way I like things. I hope she likes it too.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Radio Redo

My husband brings home a lot of junk. A lot. When we were living in an 800 sq/f house he came home one day and said "You're going to be mad." His pick-up was filled (and I do mean FILLED... even the passenger seat was piled high!) with wine making supplies someone had given him. I wasn't pleased. My own sprawling craft stash makes any complaining on my part null and void.

He brought this home the other week. For the love of limited storage, why? But he plugged it in and it worked and suddenly I was nostalgic, remembering dancing around in my bedroom to 'Safety Dance' or 'Take on Me'. Deciding that perhaps this old thing wasn’t really junk after all I set to work on giving it a makeover.

For all of the curvy bits and odd shaped angles I simply covered with Washi Tape. LOVE the thick black tape with the Typography pattern because it can be torn and cut and stuck together and the edges practically camouflage themselves! The rest is covered with Inspire, Create, Inscribe and Dream.
This funky piece is now sitting in my working studio where I will make messes to the K-Billy's Super Sounds of the Seventies... or something like that ;)

... and an old radio

More greatness on the Graphic 45 blog. Hop over and check out the goodies!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Checking in...

Sorry for the lack of posts but it's been a fairly uneventful week around here. All admin stuff and very little crafty goodness.

My site was moved to a new server this week so I spent a bit of time updating. (ETA: in the changeover process I lost all of email.If you are waiting to hear back fromme, please resend!) I have finally added information to the page about faeries and pixies which you can find HERE if you are so inclined. If you've been to my other site you'll see that some of it is regurgitated. The other site will be coming down soon as it has been untouched for four years. I sometimes feel like I collect domains and let them gather dust like knickknacks.

There was one recent bit of creativity I can share: the above oil painting. I am not an oil painter... at all. Acrylic, watercolour? Good to go. Oils, not so much. And I do wish I had a knack for them so I drag them out once a year, toss something on a canvas and quickly put them away again when I see what I've made. It's not terrible, but it certainly isn't good. Like knitting, oil painting keeps me humble ;)

Speaking of humble... here's my new head shot.

I've always hating having my picture taken. Always. Most pictures of me look like they were taken by the paparazzi with my hand blocking the camera. I've been working on getting over that over the past couple of years because I've needed to provide head shots for this or that. Anyway, here's what I look like on a good day with perfect conditions. Yay, make-up!

Finally, the blog will be postless for a little while longer as I'm heading to Ottawa this weekend with my kid and mudder. My darling son keeps reminding me that I promised him a fancy Beaver Tail (a sort of street treat they sell there) 4+ years ago. "Please put away your hockey stick" he forgets in 15 seconds. "I'll get you a Beaver Tail next time" he keeps in the vault. At least he has his priorities straight.

P.S. There is now a 'Follow by email' option at the top right. xoxo

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Evil Dead Altered Altoid Tin

I am a big horror fan. Being a kid in the 80's I was well acquainted with Jason and Freddy. I distinctly remember when I was around nine, my mum waking me to watch the late-late movie, "Dracula" with Bela Lugosi. Not very long ago I found the Krueger glove I got for Christmas when I was twelve. It must be something that runs in the family, my granny being quite the teen-slasher aficionado.

One of my all time favourite horror flicks is "Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn". Sam Raimi creates a picture made with such enthusiasm for film as a medium. (Eesh! That sounds pretentious... it's not meant to.) And what girl could resist the mighty chin of handsome Bruce Campbell? Smitten. From the get-go.

So I decided that for my next altered Altoid tin I'd create an ode to The Evil Dead.

On the exterior is my rendition of the famous cabin.

The trees were created with some rusty wire and bits of moss.

Inside the door to the cellar is chained up tight.

For good reason too! Cheryl is being naughty. Cheryl is from the first The Evil Dead movie, Henrietta is the poor thing down there in part two. (For a real fright look at my nails!)

"I'm all right now, Ashley! Come unlock this chain and let me out!"

I've made a series of 3 of the wee things and 2 will be available later this week in the etsy shop. I'm holding on to them for a few more days and plan on working on a couple of 'accessories' to include with them. These will be the only ones of this design created.


Two very quick P.S. notes: 1) I am THRILLED to say that I will be returning for a second year as a design team member for Graphic 45! Congrats to each and every one of my 2014 teamies. 2) It will be quiet here over the next few days as I switch servers and update my site. The blog should be fine but I'm sure my site will be a mess for a few days.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sky Pirate Paper Boat

While tinkering and making I often watch movies. I'm not entirely engrossed in what is playing, but they provide a bit of pleasant background chatter and give me a sense of time. If it weren't for the endings I would lose myself entirely in my making and forget to stretch at lunch time and make dinner at the end of the day.

One of the films I watch frequently is "Stardust". It's not actually one of my most favourite films but, for some reason, it always results in incredible productivity. Who am I to argue with results? 

One of the things I DO like in the film are the Sky Pirates. What a magnificent idea! A band of cloud rovers collecting lightening. The papers in this months Alpha Stamps kit: Vintage Voyage inspired me to create my own version of a Sky Pirate ship.


I'm hoping to make several in varrying sizes, an entire fleet, to suspend from the ceiling in my studio.

Those beautiful little  Brass Anchor Charms and Brass Ship Wheel give the perfect finishing touches.

A bit of jute twine wrapped around Wood Mini Spools are the perfect on-deck accessory.

The 1/8 Inch Wooden Dowels provide an excellent mast for hoisting paper sails.

The lovely curvy sails are my favourite part of this little boat. I'd love to make another with three times as many!

Be certain to visit Alpha Stamps for more inspiration :)

Upcycled Candy Dish for Petaloo

Within my stash there are many mismatched pieces of china. Lonely tea saucers out-number dainty teacups cups. You'll often find very pretty saucers quite inexpensively at thrift shops.


Their cups long lost because of chips and broken handles. It seems a shame they are so often overlooked, so I decided to give one some love and make this candy dish to hold a handful of Easter treats.


If you hop over to the Petaloo blog today, you'll find this pretty thing, along with instructions on how to create your own!

Don't forget to buy loads of treats to place inside. My husband is a jelly bean man, but I prefer chocolate bunnies.

Supply list:
Faux Dried Blooms - Ivory 1102-001
Floral Ephemera - Lavender/Purple 1100-107Botanica Minis - Lav/Purple 1101-107Petaloo Premier Penny Lane Garden Collection - 1308-023

Graphic 45Botanical Tea
> Spring Duet
> Field of Flowers

Vintage tea saucer
Oval wooden plaque
3 Inch Tall Candlestick Holder
E6000 adhesive
White acrylic paint

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A pretty besom

To greet 'Spring' and welcome her blooms, I've prettied up the decorative besom on my front door.

There aren't any natural blossoms around here just yet, but these Petaloo pretties do the trick. Most of the blooms used on this piece are from their Botanica line. Aren't they gorgeous?!

There was one last hurrah of snow yesterday (fingers crossed it was the last!) but it can't be long before we throw open the windows and breathe in some fresh spring air.

I am waiting (not so) patiently for the little wild violets to bloom and the lily of the valley to arrive but for now I'm just glad to be looking out over a wet green landscape.

Do you have a true and proper spring where you are?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wax on, Wax off

I am not a competitive person. I am quite pleased to waddle through life, doing my own thing, oblivious to any ladders that require climbing or plateaus that need reaching. My odd bird feathers are not easily ruffled.

But given a challenge or dare... well, my mind is set alight and determination sets in. Over and over thoughts will tumble in my brain until, at last, a solution finds a way out. Whether or not the challenger ever sees the results is irrelevant. All is well with the world so long as I know the riddle was solved.

And so begins the tale of these cards. When my son’s sensei mentioned creating a karate themed craft, my mind raced.

Using the beautiful papers of Bird Song I’ve created a series of cards inspired by the belt colours yellow, orange, blue, green, brown and black.

The cards are simple and restrained, reflecting some of the principles of martial arts: to be humble, outwardly gentle, and display courtesy. An ideal way to commemorate the important milestones of belt achievement.

More pics (and other great projects!) on the Graphic 45 blog.

Supply List:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Helloooo spring!

What? What's that I see? Could it be? Is it? GREEN!

It might not be lush green, and a tad brownish, but it's not a landscape of white and that's what matters.

There are signs of springs arrival everywhere!

Sure there's a little snow lingering...

... but there are brights sprouts pushing through the earth too!

I am not the only one pleased that spring has finally arrived.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Petaloo excitement!

I am beyond excited to announce that Petaloo has kindly invited me to join their design team!

I really am completely thrilled about the position because I truly, deeply, madly LOVE their products. Just take a gander at these beauties!

Their Botanica collection is to die for. Absolutely stunning.

Can not wait to regularly share some projects inspired by their products! Until then, hop over to the Petaloo blog and check out the gorgeous creations made by the rest of the Petaloo gang :)

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Punch and Judy 'By the Sea' Theatre

I realize it's been quiet around these parts over the past week or so BUT I have a really good excuse: I made the top 30 for the Graphic 45 design team and I've been working on my super special project for round 2!

Are you ready?

Here's my Punch and Judy "By the Sea" Theatre...

If you aren't familiar with Punch and Judy they play a big role in the culture of the British sea side. It's a sort of violent puppet show which can be dated back to just before the 1700's, reaching a height of popularity during the Victorian era.

Now, see that little knob?

Turn it and Punch and Judy whack one another! You just can't argue with a 100's year old tradition.

 AND if you want to make your own there's a tutorial!

... and here is the accompanying print out (click for full size)

... and finally, here is the complete supply list

Corrugated cardboard
Thin wood doweling
Coffee stir sticks
Drinking straw
Jute twine
Hot glue & adhesives

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

An altered bit-o-wood

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS! I think spring may have actually arrived. It has been a long cold winter and I for one am glad to see small patches of grass through the snow... even if they are brown ;) 

This is one of the pieces that I've been sitting on patiently (ok, maybe a little excitedly) waiting to show you.

The base is a Walnut Hollow Innkeeper Signboard to which chipboard gears, Typography, and a slew of bits and bobs have been applied.

The little burnt out lightbulbs were found at the bottom of a box of junk we bought at auction last year. SEE there is a reason to keep absolutely everything!

Those wonderful gears are from Gina's Designs which have been painted witch copper paint and then distressed. The sentiment "Let me think" is from a vintage kids book that I regularly, gleefully, tear into.

There's a few more pics over on the Graphic 45 blog today, along with a beautiful project by the ever amazing Rhea Freitag. Definitely worth a hop over :)

Typography  > 
JourneyTypography  > 
Graphic 45 Staples

Antique Metal Door Pull>  
Ornate Metal Keys>
 Ornate Metal Key Holes>
 Ornate Metal Label Holder>  
Washi Tape Set
Metal Tag

Walnut Hollow Innkeeper Signboard 14”
Petaloo Colour Me Crazy Chipboard Gears 

Gina’s Designs Cardstock Doily Set Steampunk
Gina’s Designs Steampunk Shape Set
  Fairy Vials  
Metallic Mini Brads 
Metal Hands 
Vintage cabinet card image
Tiny watch parts
Vintage watch spring
Burnt out mini lamp bulbs