Saturday, December 24, 2016

Day 24 - A Merry Little Tin Ornament

And finally, day 24.

Just a wee thing to wish you well and hoping you have a merry little Christmas... or enjoy whole heartedly whatever your celebrating... or just wishing you a very nice day indeed.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Day 23 - A Painting and Self-Doubt

I've got my fingers crossed that my father-in-law won't peek at today's blog post. This little painting is for him. It's of his dog, Granite, that he lost a couple of years ago.

The painting is small. Just 4" square. Painted in acrylics.

I showed Mr Pixie the painting in-progress and he said "That's supposed to be Granite?"

BOOM!!! crippling self doubt.

I showed him a photo of the dog (which I can't find right now... of course) and put the two side by side. They are damned near identical.

He said he was misrembering what the dog looked like. and I know he certainly didn't mean to cause distress... but damn if I'm not a baby of huge proportions with a delicate ego to boot. And STILL, while I know this looks like the dog. I can see it with my eyes... anxiety does stupid things to the artists mind.

Here's hoping Nono Pixie cries when he opens it because I'm fairly certain that's the only thing that will calm my stupid self-doubt.


Thursday, December 22, 2016


The Yule celebrations were a lot of fun last night. I ate, and drank, and built a fort, and fell asleep BEFORE my bedtime. So today I am well rested but WAYYY behind.

Now, I know I showed off a bottle cap spinner yesterday... but today I have spinners for the whole dang family.

Bottle Cap Spinners with Download - Nichola Battilana

There's something for the kids (or kid at heart).

Bottle Cap Spinners with Download - Nichola Battilana

Something for the person you like to play 'slap and tickle' with.Bottle Cap Spinners with Download - Nichola Battilana

Not to generalize... but this covers most men I know.

Bottle Cap Spinners with Download - Nichola Battilana

There's a traditional judgy Christmas version too.

Bottle Cap Spinners with Download - Nichola Battilana

And because I love you (and number of people said they wanted to make spinners yesterday) here's a sheet of 1" spinner boards of each of the spinnies pictured for you to make your own. (Be sure to download the full sized image, not the preview for proper size.)

Bottle Cap Spinners  Download - Nichola Battilana
Now back to the holiday prep. I'm beginning to feel like I'll never be done everything in time *sigh*.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Day 21 - Emergency Altoid Tin Stocking Stuffer

First things first: YULETIDE BLESSINGS TO YOU! It's the Winter Solstice today and our pagan bottoms are celebrating with a feast. The seasonal holiday fattening begins in earnest this evening.

Now, on to today's project, which I am super stoked about!

Every year Santa's elves get into the nog and he asks for a little help with the stockings. As much as I love opening my own stocking, stocking stuffing for others can be a pain in the rump. Searching for ideas is frustrating because so many of the suggestions need to be ordered in advance or are totally ridiculous. (I'm not sticking a $60+ item in a stocking just because it fits in there.)

One of the ideas I came across was for an emergency kit in an Altoid tin. I've got tins galore and it's a cute idea, so I compiled a list of necessary items. Having been teetering on the edge of a panic attack for the past few days, my items reflected a more emotional magical emergency.

Emergency Altoid Tin Stocking Stuffer - Nichola Battilana

Inside I've included stickers, glow in the dark band-aids, a pink unicorn, thimble, a glittery ring, a small book for jotting down good ideas and happy thoughts, a wee pen, friendship pins, good luck charms, chocolate, glitter, a wee crown and a spinner to help make life's difficult decisions.

Emergency Altoid Tin Stocking Stuffer - Nichola Battilana

 I'm well pleased with the bottle cap spinner. It's cute and the only options are good ones.

Bottle Cap Spinner - Nichola Battilana

And believe it or not, all of that fits into an Altoid tin with a smidge of room to spare!

Emergency Altoid Tin Stocking Stuffer - Nichola Battilana

I've got some dinosaurs and slightly less glittery items to make a more 'masculine' version... but to be honest, if I'm giving you love, you're getting glittered.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Day 20 - A Tag for Lubbly Bubbly

Mr Pixie insisted that a wine tag be included in this crafty-advent-Christmas-countdown-madness. Who am I to argue with 'the idea guy'?

So I made this pretty sparkling thing with a Large Tag from Graphic 45 as the base and added some snips of trims and lace from my stash, a splosh of glitter and a vintage image.

Speaking of sparkling... we drink sparkling wine fairly regularly in this house. Even so, it always feels like a cheeky treat to pop open a bottle for no particular reason.

I'm not one for making resolutions, but THAT sounds like a lovely goal for 2017. To make and extra effort to celebrate nothing in particular, just celebrate. 

And perhaps we'll strive for a little more good natured cheekiness too.

P.S. How are you holding up? I'm frazzled.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Day 19 - Yuletide Magic

These glass domed doodads were sitting in the reduced asile in Michaels. I picked them up with the intention of putting little winter wonderlands inside. Finding myself in need of a boost of holiday magic, plans changed.

Instead of a miniature world, I've packed those baubles with magical herbs and a drop or two of oil.

I have one to hang to encourage glad tidings and sweet blessings for Yule. (We celebrate both Yule and Christmas... I'm greedy for the spirit of the holidays.)

There's a ring too, filled with herbs, so that I can keep some magic close by :)

I hope you're chugging along and not feeling overwhelmed. I'm just about to enter panic mode.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Day 18 - Even MORE Rusted Tart Tins

I must have been half out of my mind when I made those rusty tart tins last year because it seems I have a never ending supply of them! Here's yet ANOTHER project using those metal bits...

I've simply affixed the tins atop wooden bits like this 3 Inch Tall Candlestick Holder and this Candlestick Holder. A bit of moss, acorns, glittery faux snow and inexpensive spun cotton mushrooms and you're done!

I did add these Memo Pins too, thinking that a little photo or sentiment would be a mighty adorable addition. I think these would be excellent as name/place holders! 

But they work just as well to hold paper birds and butterflies in place.

How are you holding up? 

I'm probably buried under a pile of laundry or cookies right this minute.

Deep breaths. We got this!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Day 17 - Gnome Shaker Ornaments

A week ago I promiced a second set of these shaker ornaments, and here they are. This time they're filled with gnomes!

And I'll have to keep this post short and sweet because I currently have no home internet and my tablet is not a fan of working.

I'm an oldie and remember the days before the internet... but seriously, how did we get anything done?!??

Friday, December 16, 2016

Day 16 - Altered Jolly Blocks

An outstanding box chocked full of stuff arrived in the mail just the other day. It was from one of my craftster buddies. Cross my heart, some of the most generous people I know are crafters. ANYWAY, one of the really cool things inside the box were some old building blocks that I set to work on right away.

They're just a fun decorative thing, but I really like how jolly and cheery they are.

I had some of last year's Claus & Co. from Simple Stories in my stash so used mostly that.

They feel fun and festive and bright to me. Just the sort of thing you want to catch a glimpse of while swearing at the wrapping paper or getting stressed about the messy floors. 

I mean, who needs clean floors when you've got sweet blocks?! 

"Don't mind the crumbs and fur on the floor, look at these cute things!" *toss a block at your guest*

See! Floor problems solved.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Day 15 - Not at all Christmassy Leonard Cohen ATC's

These aren't exactly holiday themed but let's face it, not everyone is into happy ho ho ho seasonal sort of things AND it's awfully nice to give something that can be enjoyed beyond the holidays. 

I wanted to include a little handmade something in a package to an old friend. Nothing big, just a little something sort of sentimental.

That's the funny thing about little things - their ability to hold an awful lot of sentimentality.

I made these on the backs of playing cards that just happened to be the size of ATC's.

The quotes are all from Leonard Cohen songs or poems.

I suppose that while they may not LOOK Christmassy, they are filled with the spirit of the season. Sprinkled with care and given with love.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Day 14 - Naked Tanned Santa Cookies

It's getting down to crunch time and so I thought today would be a great time to share a disaster story. Things get a tiny bit NSFW at the bottom... fair warning.

I have a pretty great collection of cookie cutters. Cat's, mushrooms, moons, ballerinas... this year I thought I'd go with the dinosaurs, yeti/bigfoot theme. I rooted around for decorating ideas, I did sketches, I had a vision of just what I wanted to create...

The Naked Tanned Santa Incident - Nichola Battilana

... but I quickly realized that I was creating naked tanned Santa's. That was not the look I was going for. Was there a way I could fix it? Provide the old chap with some modesty?

The Naked Tanned Santa Incident - Nichola Battilana

French Rivera Santa was not an improvement but by this time I was overcome with fits of laughter. Streams of tears were running down my cheeks. I hadn't laughed so hard in ages. How could I help but take it just one step further?!?!

The Naked Tanned Santa Incident - Nichola Battilana

My husband called and was immediately concerned "Are you ok? What's wrong?" I couldn't even get the words out. I was having a fit of hysterics. No matter how hard I tried to explain the failed Yeti/Bigfoot turned naked Santa incident it did not do justice to the gingerbread masterpiece on the counter.

And so, if things aren't turning out perfectly, just remember that I lived through anatomically correct (?) naked tanned Santa cookies. You'll survive too.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Day 13 - Gnome Tart Tin Ornaments

I seem to have a thing with gnomes this holiday season... and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Gnomes are rather lovely after all.

Gnome Tart Tin Ornaments - Nichola Battilana

I had a healthy stash of rusty tins left over from last year and I've finally put them to use. If you want to make your own rusty tins HERE is the blog post where I explain my process.

Gnome Tart Tin Ornaments - Nichola Battilana

This isn't a design team project, but it is a fortunate coincidence that the images from Alpha Stamps Gnome & Mushroom Ornaments Collage Sheet fit just-so in the bottom of my tart tins.

Gnome Tart Tin Ornaments - Nichola Battilana

Some spun cotton mushrooms, a bit of moss...

Gnome Tart Tin Ornaments - Nichola Battilana

...acorns and little pine cones...

Gnome Tart Tin Ornaments - Nichola Battilana
... and of course some glittery snow to finish them off.

P.S. Hope you're fine and dandy. Big wet kisses for you today!


Monday, December 12, 2016

Day 12 - Vintage Santa Tart Tin Ornaments

Do you believe in Santa? I do! And I adore that jolly old fellow.

A couple of holiday ornaments today, featuring my favourite beardy guy.

(Don't tell Mr. Pixie I said that!)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Day 11 - Tiny Gnomish Lucky Charm Shrines

I'm rather pleased with myself... which usually spells trouble.

Tiny Gnome Luck Charms - Nichola Battilana
But as these little things are meant for luck, hopefully I can avoid trouble just this once.
Tiny Gnome Luck Charms - Nichola Battilana

I have noticed that many vintage greeting and post cards that feature red capped toadstools also show off good luck charms like four leafed clovers and horseshoes. 

Tiny Gnome Luck Charms - Nichola Battilana

What better use of these little Turrets than to turn them into the tiniest luck shrines?!

Tiny Gnome Luck Charms - Nichola Battilana

With the tinest little gnomes added for extra luck I'm sure that I'll (mostly) avoid trouble from now on.

Tiny Gnome Luck Charms - Nichola Battilana