Saturday, July 29, 2017

Starry Tags with Tutorial for Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts

This month for Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts I've used their 3 tag set to create something starry and dreamy.

Starry Tags with tutorial - Nichola Battilana pixiehill.com gslcuts.com

With some layers of paint, chipboard stars and glitter those kraft coloured tags are transformed.

Starry Tags with tutorial - Nichola Battilana pixiehill.com gslcuts.com

They are the perfect backdrop for the sentiments and vintage images found on THIS Stars and Dreamers Collage Sheet (which is totally free to download because I love you.)

Starry Tags with tutorial - Nichola Battilana pixiehill.com gslcuts.com

If you need a little guidance putting these beauties together, I've put together a video tutorial for you.

Starry Tags with tutorial - Nichola Battilana pixiehill.com gslcuts.com

I do use a fair few layers of colour... but I honestly think that multiple washes add a depth of colour and visual interest that is incomparable to a slap of thick paint.

Starry Tags with tutorial - Nichola Battilana pixiehill.com gslcuts.com

But hey! if a thick coat of acrylic is your thing... go for it! Art and craft is all about YOU, the maker. I wholeheartedly encourage you to do what works for you.

Starry Tags with tutorial - Nichola Battilana pixiehill.com gslcuts.com

Here are all the bits I used to create these starry sparkly tags:

Gypsy Soul Tags
Keys Engraved
Printers Ornament Corners
Swirl Medallion Small
Deco Stars
Acrylic Paint (also used 
Glue
Glitter
Metal Ring
Ribbon/Fibers

Monday, July 24, 2017

Stars and Dreamers FREE Collage Sheet

“What Is Love? I have met in the streets a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, the water passed through his shoes and the stars through his soul”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Stars and dreamers. Oh, so important.

Here's a free* collage sheet for you. Because.

Stars and Dreamers FREE Collage Sheet from pixiehill.com


*Seriously, it's free but don't be a dink and pass this off as your own, or sell it, or redistribute it. Enjoy it and make good arty shit with it!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Wild Faerie Wands

Not all sticks are plain old twigs. Some are faerie wands hidden in plain sight! (I've mentioned this before)

I happened across a fair number of wands this weekend. I'm sure the weather has the wee folk a little more fumbly and droppity than usual.

Wild Faerie Wands - Nichola Battilana pixiehill.com

With the plethora of wands scattered about, I thought I'd share some thoughts on embellishing wild faerie wands.

Wild Faerie Wands - Nichola Battilana pixiehill.com

There are a number of things to consider when encouraging the wand to reveal it's magical nature. 

The type of tree the wand is from is the biggest determining factor to the type of magic that the wand will best preform. Here are some simple examples:

Locust (above): protection
Apple: fertility
Oak: truth and knowledge
Willow: emotion
Ash: wisdom
Cedar: cleansing

A quick google search for "magical properties of wood" will lead you to a wealth of information on the subject.

Wild Faerie Wands - Nichola Battilana pixiehill.com

Charms can add to the magical purpose too! A key might be helpful for magic that opens the way to you. I think that acorn caps, buttons and found objects hold a great deal of magic in them. You could also sew beads and gems to those magical wands.

Wild Faerie Wands - Nichola Battilana pixiehill.com

You might carve and shape your wand. Whittle a point, or carve patterns or symbols into the bark.

Wild Faerie Wands - Nichola Battilana pixiehill.com

Colour can add to the magic too! Again, a little research will provide you with a lot of information on colour and magical associations... but don't neglect your intuition*. Faeries in your particular region may have a very different opinion of the colour yellow than the faeries in my back garden.

For a little more 'how-to' I've made a little video. Hop over to youtube and give it a gander...




*I have always read that faeries love milk. That leaving a small dish would be an appropriate offering. Mine HATE milk! The last time I left them some they turned all the milk in the house sour. So trust your experience over what some silly website says... even this one.




Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cimaruta Charm Bouquet


I've mentioned the cimaruta charm before. It is an Italian folk charm whose main purpose is to ward off the evil eye. Generally, it is a silver charm comprised of a sprig or rue with magical symbols attached. Below is the most common version of the charm you will come across. Available HERE)


The illustration upon which this is based appeared in print around 1888. It incorporates a Christian symbol, the fiery heart, and therefor considered a late example. Earlier cimaruta include an array of symbols for both protection, and as representation of a variety of goddesses.

I've always been attracted to this charm and with a lush rue plant sitting in the herb garden I thought I'd create my own version.


My cimaruta includes a star, a four leaf clover, a Mano Fico, a moon, and key


It may not be a typical cimaruta, but I think it's a rather pretty and cheerful sort of protective charm.


I've tied everything together with a pretty pink ribbon, and will hang it on my front door to protect from the evil eye and untoward ill intentions.


It's raining today and with a sweep, and a smudge, and this on my door... well it seems a grand way to clear away misery, wash away bad mojo, and ward off general ickiness.


I think there are loads of possibilities here. Combine bundles herbs, colored ribbon and symbols to suit your needs.

And hey, if you create something pretty in the process? Woo hoo! I'm sure prettiness can add to magical potency.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Old Glass and Another Apothecary

This is a much smaller version of the Fairy Apothecary I showed off earlier in the week. I had a couple of requests for a tutorial and an AlphaStamps deadline looming so... ta dah!



This is probably about 1/4 the size of the earlier version, but crammed with just as many wee jars and bottles and vials. Overall size is approximately 3" x 5.7".


I've skipped over the box assembly in the video tutorial. It's easy peasy and you can look at the old vids on my channel to see how I generally stick stuff together and cover with paper.


Instead I've focused on recreating the look of authentic old glass. It's not over the top grungy... but it absolutely replicates the appearance fairly accurately.


So hop over to the tutorial HERE


And grab all of the supplies you need HERE

Or here's all the bits listed separately:



Friday, July 14, 2017

Mutha Effin' Unicorn Sparkles

I was in Dollar Tree the other week and saw a package of unicorn stickers. Naturally, I bought them and added them to my growing unicorn 'stuff' collection.


I've never actually been a huge fan of unicorns. I didn't DISlike them, but... well... meh.


Throughout my terrible funk (which seems to be lifting, thank the gods!) unicorns have been a bit of a bright spot. Dorky, sparkling, tacky unicorns have continually popped up and given me a cheery poke.


So yeah, this little box is terrible and tacky and could have been made by a 7 year old* but by god it's a happy sparking little thing and making it was fun.

I am now, proudly, 100% team sparkle unicorn.




*this is in no way an insult to 7 year old's who happen to have the very best imagination and ideas of anyone.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mrs Pickle's Pumpkin House

There are many different types of fairies. Most of them are quite cheeky. Some of them are fairly dastardly. And others still are of the helpful variety. This is the home of Mrs. Pickle, a helpful house fairy.

Her pumpkin is quite cheery, with flowers and moss and butterflies too.


This plate appears above the entrance. I think it must be her lucky number.


 There is a bright window that the sun streams through in the morning.


Inside is everything she needs to help the household she chooses to assist.


Don't think for a second that fairies will help just anyone. 
Even the nicest fairies are picky and particular.


If you're very fortunate one might choose you! They'll help with the gardening.


Mrs. Pickle keeps meticulous notes about the what has and has not been done. Today is dusting day... which is actually the opposite when a fairy does it. Fairies distribute it rather than sweep it up.


She also mends small holes and snags and replaces buttons you didn't even know you lost.


She's an accomplished laundress too. Her stain removal skills are second to none!


And all she requires in return is to be left to her own devices...
and an occasional thimble of sweet wine and jam.




Supplies and notes for Mrs Pickles Pumpkin:

Small foam pumpkin from Michael's
Wooden window (HUGE pain to add to the curved surface)
Flower Soft - Sweet Pea
Mini Rose Buds - Ivory*
Mini Rose Buds - Medium Pink*
Moss
Snail shell
Acorn
Handmade toadstools
Faux foilage
Bark (used for interior floor... will NEVER use again. Totally uneven!)
English Fairy Garden Collage Sheet
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Word Bands - Incantation
Prima Marketing Junkyard Findings Water Pipe Parts
Mini Ceramic Garden Gnome Beads (not exactly what I used, but close)
Miniature Milk Bottles in Crate
Miniature Table & Chairs Set*
Miniature Metal Wash Tub
Iridescent Glass Spheres (used with Diamond Glaze to create bubbly wash water)
Coal Scuttle Set
Black Parlour Stove
Fancy Bronze Mirror Frame Setting
25x18mm Plastic Mirror
Orange Pumpkin Teapot
Miniature Vintage Sewing Machine
Silver-Plated Spoon
Pennies
Thimbles
Spools
Pins
Glitter
Small vial
Paperclay
Paint
Love
Magic

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fairy Apothecary

Just a little project for fun. Something to spark a little magic... fairy magic of course.
A fairy apothecary to cure all that ails you.


Just a little wooden printers tray, painted white, covered with vintage papers, and distressed.


Then vials and bottles and more vials are labelled, filled and slipped into place. 


There's all sorts of fairy magic tucked into that tray.


Old buttons and snail shells are especially potent.


Old buttons hold some of the oldest and most sacred magic! 
One small button contains exactly the same amount to magic as a firefly.
Hard to believe, but it's true. 


Everyone knows that fairy tea can cure everything from exhaustion, to vexation and befuddlement.


Sweet dreams and fairy dust, dragon soot and gnome whiskers, those little shelves are well stocked.


Small print tray
Vintage paper
Vintage stamps
Old buttons
Snail shells


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Once upon a time under the sea...

Once upon a time a gentleman dove deep, deep, deep under the sea.


Where he met his true love.


Her frock covered all of her mermaiden parts so he did not know if she she had a swishy fishy tale beneath her skirts. And she refused to show him. She was a lady after all!


They married under the sea horse arch with glittery shells and baubles.


They stood beneath a lucky star fish.


They lived happily ever after and he never once revealed what was hidden beneath that frock!

Want to tell a tale of underwater love? Here's the list of bits lovely people!

1/2 Inch Bronze Starfish Charms

UPDATE: Such a response to my underwater lovers! 

The gentleman diver is actually William Walker. He was a deep sea diver who helped to save Winchester Cathedral from collapse. He went underwater to work on the foundation of the Cathedral for 6 years! You can read more about that story HERE. A quick search will turn up plenty of photos of him.

Our merlady is a bit more of a mystery. She is one of two ladies pictured in the 1870's tin type photograph below. I'm not sure of the original source of the image or who the lovely ladies are. If you stumble on the info, please let me know!