Sunday, December 27, 2015

Safety First!

I've had this idea bandying about my head since I created "The Infirmary" this past summer. With all the mischief that wee folk get in to I am certain that a fairy first aid kit would be quite practical.

First Aid Kit for Fairy Emergencies - Nichola Battilana

And what would one find inside such a kit? This one has the bare essentials. Sterile bandage, pixie dust, wing tonic, sticky bandages and gauze. I'm sure that would do in a pinch and it packs neatly in these little tins.

First Aid Kit for Fairy Emergencies - Nichola Battilana

If your fairies are in need of their own first aid kit, I've included the labels used in a collage sheet chocked full of miniature labels: Little Household Goods.

Little Household Goods Collage Sheet - Nichola Battilana

Above is just a sample of the labels included. The sheet includes all sorts of 'around the house' type labels including First Aid, Absinthe, chocolate, cookies, crackers, jam, a variety of fairy sized beer labels, soap, spices, food stuff, motor oil, tea, coffee and canned fruit, veg, treacle and more.

Little Household Goods Collage Sheet - Nichola Battilana

The Little Household Goods collage sheet includes labels that will fit the following wee things:
Old Fashioned Grocery Cans
Old Fashioned Grocery Rectangular Tins
Miniature Square Cookie Tins
Miniature Round Cookie Tins

Here's hoping you enjoy making your own fairy sized first aid kit... and that you never have cause to use it. Safety first!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Boxing Day Treat Boxes for Tresors de Luxe

I'm writing this post on Christmas eve day. It's the calm before the storm, before the food, the gifts, the drinks and merry making. By the time you read this it'll be Boxing Day. I thought it might be appropriate to make some little take-away boxes. A frilly little vessel to tuck left over Christmas cookies in and send holiday guests on their merry way.

I've simply covered some small kraft boxes in music paper and lined them with tissue as my base. A top that,  White Lace Trim and White French Lace are added. Finally, some paper butterflies, baubles and a large satin flower finish them off.

Now fill those wee boxes with small treats made with love, to enjoy and make the season linger just a little longer.

Kraft paper boxes
Music paper
Tissue paper

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

In case of emergency...

I'm fairy certain I'm on the verge of a panic attack. 

It's been a week of small disasters and mischief. I am grateful there haven't been any huge mishaps around this wonky place... but those little missteps, combined with holiday craziness, have me on edge. 

I might have to call upon these two emergency fairies to help out.

Emergency Faeries - Nichola Battilana

You might ask why I don't keep these helper fairies out all the time if they are so great at lending a hand. The truth is that while they are mostly helpful... they are still fairies and therefore still mischievous. 

Don't worry, they can free themselves whenever they like (being magical and all that) but stay for the cake and jam they are regularly offered.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Shabby Winter Canvas for Tresors de Luxe

Today, a shabby altered canvas featuring Tresors de Luxe laces.

This piece is created on a canvas measuring 11" x 14". A layer of vintage papers and tea stained burlap was applied as a base and then a wide 4.75" White Lace Trim is added then a band of White Lace Trim with lovely dangly bits applied to the bottom.

The fabric flowers I've applied pair really well with the vintage image and provide a nice contrast to the texture of the lace and burlap. Plus, a little extra sparkle never did any harm.

A bit of extra glitter and some clear acrylic snowflakes finish off the canvas, while a bough of faux red berries adds a splash of colour and life.

White Lace Trim
White Lace Trim
fabric flowers

white acrylic paint
acrylic snowflakes
vintage image
faux berry bough

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cherry Launds, Mr Pixie's Favourite Cookie

Mr. Pixie loves Christmas treats. There is talk of 'the cookie list' months in advance. One year was ridiculous and I made something like 20 different kinds of treats. One year I didn't make one of the 'staples' and I didn't hear the end of it until the following Christmas.

Mr. Pixie's very favourite are these thumb print cookies. In his granny's recipe book they were called Cherry Launds. Being given permission to copy from her handwritten recipe book was a big deal. She was known for omitting key ingredients when relaying recipes, ensuring that her version was superior.

Below you'll find Nonna's recipe. I'm sure at some point they were topped with a cherry (hence the name) but we've always filled them with homemade jam.

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg separated
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
chopped nuts

Cream together butter, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Stir in flour. Chill for 1/2 hour.

Shape dough into 1" balls.

Lightly whisk the egg white and dip the balls, then roll them in the chopped nuts. Place on a cookie sheet and press a dent in the middle with your thumb.

Bake at 350 for about 12 - 15 minutes.

Put jam in the dent. I wait until they are cooled to do this. The heat from the cookies may liquefy the jam and it can become runny/messy. Use whatever jam you like. The ones above have blueberry/strawberry and
raspberry, but I've used apricot too and it was totally delicious.

Now just gobble them up!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Merry Little Christmas

The Yuletide baking has begun. So far I've made peanut brittle (twice because the first time it was meh), a double batch of thumbprint cookies (because Mr. Pixie always asks for more), sponge toffee (aka cinder toffee), and M&M cookies (because the kid asked nicely). 

I started filling up our treat table and noticed a little addition.

Can you see it? Look a little closer to that top tier of the cookie plate.

A tiny tin with Father Christmas and 'Christmas Cookies' on the label!

Seems our fairies are getting in the Yuletide spirit too! What a nice contribution to our sweet buffet. If they aren't entirely gobbled, I am certain that Santa's elves will nibble them on Christmas eve.

I hope that your holidays are chugging along swimmingly :)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Frosty Winter Fairy Dress for Tresors de Luxe

I'm excited to share a lacy project for Tresors de Luxe with you. Today, a frosty winter fairy dress.

I drafted a simple dress form from paper for this piece and added sheer fabrics and lace. Tucked beneath the front layer the edging is trimmed with this 1" Ivory Lace Trim, and the top layer of organza is edged with this 3" Ivory Lace Trim

The bodice was created with pieces from this White Lace Trim and Gold Lace Applique. The parts of the deconstructed gold applique have been used on the skirting of the frock.

Some pretty little flowers, acrylic snowflakes and set of fairy wings complete this piece and really add an extra dash of magic to this charming little lacy frock.

Materials used:
White Lace Trim
Gold Lace Applique
1" Ivory Lace Trim
3" Ivory Lace Trim

Sheer Organza
Small Faux flowers
Scrapbook Paper
Acrylic Snowflakes
Fairy Wings printed on transparency sheet

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Walnuts and Memories

I made this little Christmas in a nutshell while waiting for glue to dry on some other projects.

Wee Little Winter Walnut - Nichola Battilana

You never know what people will react to. Spend a week on something and no one bats and eye. Spend a few extra minutes and everyone loves it. I don't really mind though, especially when the reason for the reaction is because memories are revived.

Wee Little Winter Walnut - Nichola Battilana

A number of people said that they reminded them of German baubles that their parents or grandparents had decades ago. That's a nice thing.

Wee Little Winter Walnut - Nichola Battilana

I could see loads of conversations, people planning to make their own. "We need to buy walnuts!"

Wee Little Winter Walnut - Nichola Battilana

I'm all for encouraging a handmade Christmas (or just handmade in general really) so I cut into my holiday baking and cleaning time and put together a quick tutorial found HERE.

Wee Little Winter Walnut - Nichola Battilana

Below is a list of products I used. Feel free to substitute to create your own miniature masterpiece.

Hot glue
White glue
Frosted White Sisal Trees (painted them green) / aka Bottle brush trees
Wired Pine Needle Stems (or anything similar to cut into tree shape)
Flat-Back Gold Star Studs - 12mm*
Tim Holtz Mirrored Stars
Snowflake charms
Wee clay houses
Handmade Toadstools
Flower Soft
clear glitter
Buffalo Snow


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Holiday Tradition for Petaloo - Clothespin Fairies

We celebrate both Yule and Christmas in our household and we have a number of traditions that go along with them. There are the regular things like putting up a tree, decking the halls, feasting and making merry. There's also our yearly argument about how many cookies the Pixie men are allowed to add to the cookie request list. A small tradition I keep is to make a small sweet craft, just a little something, to enjoy during the holiday madness. For a number of years that craft has been clothespin dolls.
In the past I've made peg soliders and winter talisman charms. This year I've made some acorn topped fairies.

The frilly little things look pretty darned cute in their Petaloo flower frocks. The frocks are most easily made with layered elements like the DIY-Daisy Layers or Mixed Textured Blossoms.

Paint your pegs first, with rosy cheeks and striped leggings. Then, simply snip a little hole in the centre of the flower layer, push onto the peg and glue into place. Multiple layers make for a nice full skirt.

Vintage velvet holly leaves make a very nice skirt too!

Add little Sugared Mini Blooms or as many flowers as your fairies demand.

A little acorn cap, a set of wings and your wee fairies are ready to fly and make someone's holiday a tiny bit brighter.

Supply list:
Fairy Wings
Wooden Clothespins/Clothespegs
Acrylic craft paint
Acorn Caps*

Monday, December 14, 2015

Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop

I've been puttering with this project for a while. A little bit here. A little bit there. It kept popping up, getting in the way, nudging me, so I figured it was time to finish Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop.

Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop - Harry Potter Miniature - Nichola Battilana

Aren't familiar with Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop?
"Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop was a small tea shop located on a side road off the High Street at Hogsmeade. It was owned by Madam Puddifoot. The decoration was very tacky and frilly. The windows steamed up and the gaudy tables and chairs were all claimed by teenagers holding hands or kissing over cups of tea and coffee. A bell over the door announced customers in a tuneful tinkle; the round tables were decorated with lacy napkins and china sugar bowls, and cramped up the small shop to the point that Madam Puddifoot has great difficulty in moving in between tables to serve the couples." Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 25 (The Beetle at Bay)
Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop - Harry Potter Miniature - Nichola Battilana
"On Valentine's Day, the tearoom was decorated with golden cherubs hovering over each of the tables, which occasionally threw pink confetti over the people sitting below them." Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 25 (The Beetle at Bay)
Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop - Harry Potter Miniature - Nichola Battilana
"This, however, was more of irritating than romantic, as the confetti would occasionally land in the beverages." Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 25 (The Beetle at Bay)
 Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop - Harry Potter Miniature - Nichola Battilana

Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop - Harry Potter Miniature - Nichola Battilana

The piece measures approximately 10" x 12". There's a battery pack located on the roof that lights the interior. I'm not 100% happy with the lighting to be honest (it's too led/fluorescent/blueish for my liking)... but I'll consider it a lesson learned. Edit: After looking at the piece in dimmed conditions I take this back. It does look a bit fluorescent in daylight, but in a darkened room it's just peachy.

Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop - Harry Potter Miniature - Nichola Battilana

Here are some of the products used in the making of M. Puddifoot's Tea Shop:

Storefront Room Box
Brick Wall Chipboard Texture Sheet* 
Clay Planters with Saucers 
Gold Candleholders
Asparagus Fern Garland*
Mini White Plastic Tea Set with 2 Mugs 
Miniature Silverware - Set of 20 
Miniature White Wooden Shelf 
Bust of Diana *very nice*
White Mantle Clock *very nice*
Brass Cherub Banner 
Brass Cherubs - 1 Set  
Tiny Plant Table  
White Kitchen Wall Shelf Cabinet  
Pronged Metal Handles*   
Mini Rose Buds - Pink Cream Variegated* 
Clear Cake Dome on Gold Tray 
Mini Silicone Bread Mold Set - Larger Loaves 
Mini Silicone Cake Mold Set 
Mini Silicone Bread Mold Set - Smaller Loaves 
Narrow Gold Fleur Dresden Borders* 

Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop - Harry Potter Miniature - Nichola Battilana

Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop is listed HERE

Friday, December 11, 2015

Miniature Book Tutorial Now Available

We hoard books like crazy in the Pixie household. They are tucked into every cranny. It's not surprising that miniature versions should frequently make their way into my work.

 I've been making little books for a very long while. Years even!

I love the challenge of going smaller and smaller... 

...while still being able to open them up and turn the pages.

There's something extra magical about being able to interact with those little things. When children pick up my little books the skepticism in their eyes turns into a flash of delight when discover they can open the cover and flip through the pages.

Anyway, after years of keeping it all to myself, I've decided to offer my book making technique with a PDF tutorial available in my etsy shop. I'm not gonna lie, it's a bit of a long process... but you end up with books that are pretty dang sturdy. I've left books in my pocket, put them through the wash, and they've come out the other end fully intact.

Instead of a template, the download shows you HOW to make the books so that you can add your own splash of magic and create them in whatever size or shape you like. Quick as can be you'll have an entire fairy library in no time at all.

You can find the listing HERE... and, don't tell anyone, but there's a little bonus project included too ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Tomte

I bought some paper mache cones with the grand idea of making tree toppers. As time marched on, and I realized the clock was ticking down, I knew they weren't going to happen. 

Sometimes, in spite of things not going according to plan, you end up with something wonderful anyway. Here's my conical something wonderful...

Christmas Gnome / Tomte - Nichola Battilana

Christmas Tomte! I'm sure you've seen these fellows but do you know their story? These Scandinavian creatures are very similar in appearance to gnomes (I hear they are third cousins) and act as a sort of helper or gaurdian of the homestead. If you are well behaved, and they are treated well, they will assist by tending animals, doing chores and bringing good fortune. Otherwise, prepare for mischief.

Christmas Gnome / Tomte - Nichola Battilana

These wee fellows are also Yuletide gift bearers, leaving gifts on Christmas eve, for which they should receive a bowl of porridge and some butter. 

Christmas Gnome / Tomte - Nichola Battilana

The details/names of these creatures vary depending on the Scandinavian country they inhabit. Sweden, Norway, Finland, Norway, Denmark all have their own versions. If interested in learning more about them, try searching Tomte, Tomtar, Nisse or Tonttu.

How's your holiday crafting shaping up? Remember to stop and take a breath once in a while, ok.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Christmas Open House

I've been busy, puttering, preparing for my Christmas Open House this weekend.

It's pretty dang clean in here, the 'showroom'. I can't say the same for the rest of the place which is an utter disaster. My husband looked at the floor last night and sighed. "There's more glitter on the floor than in your bottle!" Well, those jam jar fairies need some sparkle. Besides, I'm the one who vacuums... I'm allowed to muck up the place.

I'm *mostly* ready. The nice thing about showing your stuff off at home is that if you forget something it's easily remedied and you can put a pot of tea on.

If you can't make it I've got a little special in the etsy shop right now. The Special Pixie Package includes over $40 worth of goodies for $28. At the very least you'll get some Pixie Dust, Wishing Star, Thimble Garden, Fairy Sized Christmas Card and Fairy Footprints... and I'll pop in an extra or two because I loves ya.

If you are nearby please feel free to drop in, say 'hello' and be nosy.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Wintry Sleigh and Card with Petaloo and Graphic 45

What a lovely holiday treat to have the chance to work with the Christmas Carol collection from my old friends at Graphic 45. The gorgeous, vibrant colours work so well with Petaloo's blooms. Whether it's red, green or blues... they all coordinate beautifully.

Graphic 45 / Petaloo Sleigh - Nichola Battilana

I've embellished this Chipboard Sleigh which is perfectly sized to hold your holiday cards and tags. The sleigh is embellished with Bah Humbug and Graceful Garland  from Christmas Carol. A sweet bough of blooms adorns each side.
Graphic 45 / Petaloo Sleigh - Nichola Battilana

A bough of Sugared Berrys ClusterChantilly-VelvHydrangeas and White Glitter Snowflakes adorn each side of the sleigh.

Graphic 45 / Petaloo Sleigh - Nichola Battilana

The front and back have Christmas Carol Journaling Chipboard embellishments, accented with White Glitter Snowflakes

Graphic 45 / Petaloo Sleigh - Nichola Battilana
Finally, a bit of bling with Fancy Trims and a whole lot of glitter.

Graphic 45 / Petaloo Cards - Nichola Battilana

Here are the handmade cards I've filled my little sleigh with. Made with all sorts of papers from the 12" Christmas Carol pad. I've embellished with white and green Velvet Holly LeavesSugared Blooms, Botanica Petite’s and Sugared Mini's

Graphic 45 / Petaloo Card - Nichola Battilana

Graphic 45 / Petaloo Card - Nichola Battilana

Graphic 45 / Petaloo Card - Nichola Battilana

And here's the supply round up if you want to create your own sparkly winter sleigh to hold your Christmas Treasures:

Chipboard Sleigh

Happy crafting!