Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Chores and Fairy Gardens

I stayed up wayyyy past my bedtime last night. I totally lost track of time making these toadstools. Cross my heart, I looked at the clock and it said 5am! Oops!

Handmade toadstools - Nichola Battilana

After a nice sleep in, today was spent doing chores (I now have clean dishes but the floors are still a wreck.) and making potted fairy gardens. Yesterday during our gallivanting, I picked up some miniature roses and this pot of clover. How could I resist?! Look at all those four leafed beauties!

Four leaf clovers for Pixie Hill fairy gardens - Nichola Battilana

Still in my jammas I went wandering on the lawn and harvested some mosses, pinecones and stones.

Moss for Pixie Hill fairy gardens - Nichola Battilana

The results are pretty dang cute. Three little magical gardens have been completed and are ready for the market next Saturday :)

Pixie Hill fairy gardens - Nichola Battilana

Pixie Hill fairy gardens - Nichola Battilana

Pixie Hill fairy gardens - Nichola Battilana

One Little Thing - May Queen

Can you believe it's almost May? In celebration this weeks theme is "May Queen"

"The May Queen or Queen of May is a personification of the May Day holiday, and of Springtime and also Summer."

Use this prompt to create one little thing in celebration of May.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Very Important Altered Awards

I'm not too proud to admit that this year has been a bit difficult for me creatively. I've been creating work. I've even made some things that were quite nifty... but I've kinda felt 'disconnected' with my work.

Anyway, I finally feel as though I'm getting back on track. I've got one or two projects I can't show off just yet, but I also made something just for the hell of it that I think you'll like. Some very important altered awards

Very Important Altered Awards - Nichola Battilana

Ever since seeing the Tim Holtz trophies shown at CHA I've had it in my head that I wanted to create some altered trophy cups. I found these babies in the party supply section of my local discount shop, four for $1.25! I've simply grunged them up with a bit of acrylic paint.

Altered Award - Nichola Battilana
This piece is available HERE

Each little darling has a sentiment taken from vintage book pages that reflects the gentle nature of these 'awards'. How nice would it be to receive an award for twinkling?

Altered Award - Nichola Battilana

The base of each of the awards is just a simple wooden block that has been gussied up with fabric, ribbon, buttons and burlap. 

Altered Award - Nichola Battilana
This piece is available HERE

Some of my biddies are standing on Petaloo blooms.

Altered Award - Nichola Battilana
This piece is available HERE

Some are atop a little mound of moss.

Altered Award - Nichola Battilana
This piece is available HERE

Most are holding their declarations high, and topped with Tim Holtz Mirrored Stars  

Altered Award - Nichola Battilana
This piece is available HERE

Best of all, when all together they look like they are having quite the party.

Altered Award - Nichola Battilana

The 'Awards' will be listed in my etsy shop over the next few days. I'll update the links as they become available.

Here are some of the supplies I used to create these pieces:
Small plastic trophy cups
Wooden blocks

Misc buttons and vintage embellishments
Tim Holtz Mirrored Stars
A slew of charms and filigree embellishments from Alpha Stamps

Mini Rose Buds - Ivory* 
Flowers and leaves from Petaloo (especially love the Botanica Blooms!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The call is coming from inside the house!

Just a funny story that makes me look like a complete dip.

I'm editing video today and my phone keeps ringing. I answer it and no one is there. It happened no less than a dozen times. It's really driving me flipping nuts because editing is one of my least favourite jobs and I have to stop, and retrack before starting again. 

I call Mr Pixie to see if he is trying to call me. Nope. 

I check all the phones to see if they are charged and not giving a low battery signal. They're all fine. 

I start to worry the call is coming from inside the house *Oh the horror!* 

... then I realize the ring is from the video I am editing, not the phone. 

I need coffee and chocolate.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Queen Bee Reliquary

I created this little chipboard reliquary while playing with my stash of Gina's Designs Lasercuts

Queen Bee Reliquary - Nichola Battilana

Although I run like hell and scream like a ninny when one comes near me, I do have a soft spot for bees. Can we talk for a moment about THIS be in particular?

Queen Bee Reliquary - Nichola Battilana

It's all sorts of spectacular. It's big and beautifully detailed. I've dulled up the brassiness of it with a wash or two of dark paint, which also enhances those little details.

Queen Bee Reliquary - Nichola Battilana

Reliquary - Arch Top
Honeycomb & Bees Medium
Faux Metal Number Plates
Giant Brass Bee 
Medium Bee Charms - Raw Brass 
Music sheets
Acrylic paint

Sunday, April 19, 2015

One Little Thing - Birds

This week I'd like to challenge you to incorporate the theme of "Bird" into your one little thing.

Think about types of birds, what they symbolize, their actions, their calls.

There is no wrong way to interpret the theme. Just spend a short time focused on the theme and create one little thing and you've been successful!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Because you asked so nicely...

There were a number of requests for an image transfer tutorial after posting my Petaloo project the other day. There are LOADS of videos and online tutorials available demonstrating this technique. I learned by watching others and you should absolutely view a number of tutorials, get as much information as you can, then experiment for yourself.

Image transfer tutorial and comparison with Gel Medium and Mod Podge - Nichola Battilana

I've done a fair bit of my own experimenting over the past week and put together a quick video tutorial with a basic 'how-to', a couple of variations, and the results using different materials.

Here are a few points I didn't include (err... yes, I forgot) but are worth a mention...

In my demonstration I show an example where a wood block is primed with a wash of white paint before applying the transfer. I think this looks fab and provides a solid base, creating greater contrast in the finished image. Keep in mind that you will be saturating and rubbing your piece. Will your paint be able to hold up or rub off and take the transfer with it? Just some things to keep in mind.

Some people say that heat may help the transfer. You can create a weak transfer with heat alone after all. When I attempted to speed up the drying process with a heat gun the results were not pretty. I would even go so far as to recommend avoiding hot water when removing the paper.

It really does pay to wait. I know others have had success lifting the paper soon after application but in my trials I found that the longer I waited wait, the stronger the transfer was. Let that sucker dry!

More Patience
Let your piece dry before applying a top coat or sealant. Some of those paper fibers can be pretty sneaky! By allowing the piece to dry you can spot those smokey, foggy areas where some paper residue has been missed. Simply re-wet that area and rub the paper away. When satisfied with your piece after it has dried apply a fancy pants top coat or simply apply a layer of gel medium or Mod Podge.

In this case practice doesn't exactly make perfect, but you will learn a lot! Don't expect perfection. If you are okay with some distressing and having fun with your mess making, the entire experience and results will be much more satisfying.

The tute supply list: Golden Heavy Gel (matte), Mod Podge (matte), wood bock, laser print of vintage image from, water, paintbrush

**Mod Podge does have a product specifically for image transfers. It was unavailable in my area but it does have good reviews.**

Artisan Style ATC Box for Graphic 45

Once in a while things come together so easily it sort of feels like cheating… that was the case with this little box.
Artisan Style Altered ATC Box - Nichola Battilana

I began by simply painting all of the edges and corners of an ATC book box black.To the top of the box I added Artisan Style Decorative Flourish, the sides are This Old House

Artisan Style Altered ATC Box - Nichola Battilana

The inside the box is covered with Craftmanship and the bottom of the box is covered with Natural Beauty for a bit of “POP”. A length of black ribbon is wrapped around the sides and a piece from Artisan Style Decorative Chipboard, and a Stamped Metal Brad added.

Artisan Style Altered ATC Box - Nichola Battilana

Finally, a set of those fabulous Claw Feet. The top has an amazing chunky Fancy Handle that I’ve affixed in the upright position. A little bit of distressing on the edges and the whole thing is complete and looks really elegant.

Artisan Style Altered ATC Box - Nichola Battilana

Now to decide if I should use this fab little box to store these cute Artisan Style ATC’s or maybe some fancy costume jewelry!

The Supply List

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The May Blossom Market

I'm organizing this...

 It's a market with 20ish local makers and artisans. It's going to be great :) The people participating are amazing and have absolutely gorgeous stuff that I am proud to show off. 

If you're near my part of the world on May 2nd you should totally visit because...

A) It's almost Mother's Day and I pinky swear that you will find the perfect gift.

B) Supporting local artists and small business is good for the soul.

C) It's at Casa-Dea Estates Winery. They have divine bubbly wine that you can buy and take home to celebrate the fact that you are awesome for shopping at the market and buying local.

D) It's FREE for crying out loud!

Still not convinced?!? Here's the outstanding list of participants...

Come check out the market page on Facebook and help to spread the word by liking and sharing all the beautiful things.

May 2nd • 10am - 4:30pm
1186 Greer Road,Wellington, Prince Edward County

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Vintage Wood Transfer for Petaloo

Have you ever tried your hand at wood transfers? I spent some time this weekend playing around, moving images from paper to scraps of wood. I suspect the people who created the tutorials I followed used some sort of voodoo because my results were far from perfect. No matter, I like vintage distressed images so imperfection suits me just fine.
Vintage Wood Transfer - Nichola Battilana

After transferring the vintage image I created some areas with a crackle finish, a dash of glitter, dresend scrap butterfly and finished the piece off with a bow ofCrochet Lace Fancy Trim and some sweet tealSugared Botanica Mini's

Vintage Wood Transfer - Nichola Battilana

Now to pillage my husbands workshop for more little pieces of scrap wood!
Crochet Lace Fancy Trim
Sugared Botanica Mini's
scrap wood
Golden Gel Medium
White glue
Acrylic paint
Dresden butterfly
Vintage image from

Sunday, April 12, 2015

One Little Thing - Candy!

This week's prompt is 'Candy'

Even if you aren't a fan of the sweet stuff, you can certainly appreciate the vibrancy of it technicolour packaging... maybe there's even a memory or two of nibbling sweeties as child.

Enjoy creating!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Petaloo Trinket Box with Marion Smith Papers

When I first saw the Marion Smith TIMEKEEPER papers in my design team box my immediate reaction was to create a masculine steampunk something-or-other... 

Trinket Box for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana

 ... but the pretty ANTIQUE EMPORIUM tugged at my imagination and said "No! Make a frilly something for a steampunk lady to hide her treasures!" I know better than to argue with the voice of my inspiration.
Trinket Box for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana

And so I present this funky lady's box. The base is aTrinket Box from Gina's Designs. I've fussy cut ANTIQUE EMPORIUM so that those floral elements remain in all four corners. Believe it or not, that handle is a broken chess piece. I applied a small element from the TIMELESS collection and applied a glossy accent layer to make it shine and give it a finished look.
Trinket Box for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana
The interior and sides of the box are embellished with papers from Marion's Junque Gypsy 6x6 paper pack. They Gypsy papers pair well with the Timeless collection and add a little more femininity to the piece.
Trinket Box for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana
Now to add a slew of pretty sugared Botanica Mocha Blooms and leaves and some Chantilly Velvet Hydrangeas. The edges have been covered with an amazingly thin 3mm thin striped washi tape.
Trinket Box for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana

Although you can't see them, there are four tiny feet under the box, giving it a bit of 'lift'. The piece is finished off with a bit of Petaloo's natural burlap trim and a few ornate keys affixed to the handle of the lid.
Now I just need to hunt for some treasures to fill my lady's trinket box!
Marion Smith Papers>
Timeless Collection > Antique Emporium

Junque Gypsy 6x6 paper pack
Gina's Designs Trinket Box

Graphic 45 Ornate Metal Keys
3mm Thin Gold Stripes Paper Tape
12mm Wooden Box Feet
Acrylic Paint
Hop over to Petaloo's blog to peek at all of other fab projects using Marion Smith papers.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Altered Window Shadowbox for Graphic 45

With this piece I wanted to create a sort of pretty window, maybe something you’d stumble upon in an abandoned cottage, maybe something you’d find in an old gardeners home.
Time to Flourish Ivory Window Frame #graphic45 - Nichola Battilana
The base is one of the new Wooden Window Shadowboxes from Graphic 45
Time to Flourish Ivory Window Frame #graphic45 - Nichola Battilana

Time to Flourish #graphic45 - Nichola Battilana

I’d imagine those small bottles to be filled with seeds and essential oils. The labels on these vials are various stickers from the Time to Flourish collection. 

Time to Flourish Ivory Window Frame #graphic45 - Nichola Battilana

I’ve sandwiched some elements between the provided layers of vinyl which gives an wonderful ‘floating’ effect.

Nichola used our Time to Flourish Tags & Pockets to add beautiful details to his altered window frame #graphic45

You’ll notice that I’ve placed the window box on a stand (which is simply a rectangle of cut thick masonite). This creates a more stable base and allows me to add these fabulous claw feet! 

Nichola used our Claw Feet Staples and Ornate Metal Keys and Keyholes to give this altered Time to Flourish window so much personality! #graphic45

Be sure to hop over to the Graphic 45 blog and check out the current giveway!

 Supply List

Sunday, April 05, 2015

One Little Thing - Bloom

This week's prompt is "Bloom"

Feel free to explore this as a noun or a verb ;)

I know you'll make something great!

Saturday, April 04, 2015

An Upcycled Rapunzel Tower

I made this...

Upcycled Rapunzel Tower - Nichola Battilana

Ever since coming across this pin ages and ages ago I've wanted to create my own sort of fairy tale tower from a Pringles can. Pringles were on sale the other week. I ate all the chips. There was no excuse not to forge myself a Rapunzel tower.

Upcycled Rapunzel Tower - Nichola Battilana

The bricks are created using egg cartons. The little flowers and vines are from The mushrooms are handmade. The roof is paper. The base is wood with a black Thin Fleur Dresden Border.

Upcycled Rapunzel Tower - Nichola Battilana

One of my favourite bits is the little stained glass window.

 Upcycled Rapunzel Tower - Nichola Battilana

I have several more Pringles cans laying about. I'm sure there'll soon be an entire kingdom of Rapunzel towers at Pixie Hill :)

Friday, April 03, 2015

Fairy Dust Bagatelle Boxes

I'm pretty excited about my first project for Being a sucker for small things I was keen to play with the Bagatelle Boxes. I had a few ideas but the fairies were demanding and I ended up with these fairy dust shrines.

Fairy Dust Boxes with video tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Don't they look like they just came out of a fairy godmother's cupboard?! The boxes come in six different sizes and can accommodate various sized bottles and vials. You can purchase a set of bagatelle boxes containing two of each size, or buy them separately.

Fairy Dust Shrine with video tutorial - Nichola Battilana

For this blue bagatelle I've chopped up a plate from the Keys & Plates Shape Set to create the feet. You can see a demo of how this is done in the tutorial video listed below.

Fairy Dust Shrine with video tutorial - Nichola Battilana

This one uses the Stackable Labels Shape Set. I've used the the Miniature Bookplates Shape Set on some of the other boxes.

Fairy Dust Shrine with video tutorial - Nichola Battilana

And just in case your handwriting is a little bit iffy, I've created an entire sheet of little labels of Fairy and Pixie Dust to fit all manner of little bottles and vials.

There's a video tutorial for this project, and I really hope you'll try your hand at making some magic ;)

The Supply List:
Mercury Glass Stickles
Wooden Candlestick Holder 
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
Krazy Glue
White Acrylic Paint
Aleene's Tacky Glue

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Two small somethings

Small Thing Number 1
I've created an entire collage sheet of teeny Fairy and Pixie Dust labels which are available exclusively via AlphaStamps. The sheet contains over 100 labels in a variety of styles and sizes to fit all sorts of little glass vials. Some of them are extremely tiny. A great buy (if I do say so myself) if you're planning on making multiple fairy dust pendants as gifts or for sale.

Fairy and Pixie Dust labels for miniature vials - Nichola Battilana

These cute little vials will be featured in my first project for Gina's Designs this Friday. If you believe in magic I think you'll like what I have in store! Be sure to check back for the adorable project and step by step video tutorial.

Small Thing Number 2
I jumped at the chance to play with the new Little Rococo Boxes Collage Sheet. The sheet includes miniature boxes suitable for tiny fancy hats, fairy crowns, shoes and cakes. Being a fan of sweets I opted for the latter.

Miniature cake boxes and paper & bead cakes - Nichola Battilana

Believe it or not, those cakes are made form paper. I simply made a sort of stubby tube, capped the end, and applied tiny beads and acrylic accents. A healthy slathering of Diamond Stickles for the icing and you've got yourself a fancy fairy cake ;)