Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In Praise of Odd Birds

I wrote you a poem.

Yes you.

While working on my 'Odd Bird' projects for Alpha Stamps my mind did turn affectionately to the odd birds I have come to know and love. And I do love them... you... you with the ruffled feathers who believes in magic and embodies kindness.

So I wrote a few rhyming words and made a little book in praise of odd birds. (Don't squint... the full text is at the end.)

Cherish the odd birds 
With their hedgehog plumes
Who sing wild songs
In quiet little rooms

Delight in the sparrows
Overflowing with strange dreams
So filled to the brim
They are splitting at the seams

 Marvel at the darlings
Who smile with crooked teeth
Whose wings are not straight
But who have the brightest cheeks

Cherish the odd birds
The irregular and quirky
For they are beams of hopeful light
When all the world seems murky

Stay odd. For I love you as you are, and it suits you :)

And with gratitude to Alpha Stamps, here is the great big supply list for that little book:

P.S. The 'Curiosity' papers listed above are rather beautiful :)

Check out the Alpha Stamps newsletter for even more pretties :) 

Monday, February 24, 2014

221B Update: Slippers, stacks and love

Still plugging away. This weekend was spent making little stacks of magazines, end tables, rugs, slippers, and mantle statues. There are still a few interior items to make like tiny pen knives, portraits and bat specimens.


Although the guts of 221B still need attention, I turned my focus to the exterior for a while. The original door numbers are very sweet and I rather like their handmadeness (my word, I'm keeping it) but I wanted something a little more polished for the new set.

Pardon the muddled and messy appearance, they are a bit wet and very much 'in progress' here. Scouring my usual crafty sources it was pretty clear that teeny weeny golden numbers were not going to be easily had. After a great deal of trial and error (mostly error of course) I hobbled together a 221B stamp and used gold embossing powder to create the numbers.

I am now deeply in love with embossing powder. Don't tell Cumberbatch, I wouldn't want him to get jealous :P

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Graphic 45 By The Sea Matchbox

I've been waiting AGES to show off this project, created with the lovely seaside themed papers "By The Sea" from Graphic 45. It's featured over on their blog today so I can finally show it off!

The base of the piece is a Graphic 45 Staples 8x8 Matchbook Box. If you're unfamiliar with them, they are sturdy (truly!) kraftboard boxes that look like this...

I embellished like crazy, did loads of fussy cutting and ended up with something quite nice :) The layered bunting effect at the top with the stamps, starfish and snippets is one of my favourite elements of this piece.

Check out that octopus paper covering the box. That's Gathering Shells and the reverse is covered in starfish! "By the Sea" is such a fun collection with a lovely colour pallet. Slightly subdued for a bit of an aged, vintage feel with wonderful graphics.

Perhaps the element I'm most pleased with...

... the wheels! I have utilized those Ornate Metal Key Holes for all sorts things. Now here they are holding some small wooden wheels in place. Proof you should never be afraid of turning things upside down ;)

More photos on the G45 blog and here's the complete supply list:

Ornate Door Plate

Wooden Craft Wheels
Small Wooden Buttons/Wheels

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

221B Update: Fireplaces and Injuries!

I took a break yesterday for an impromptu 'date night' with my kiddo. We ate tacos, made homemade donuts, watched Shaun of the Dead and played Hungry-Hungry-Hippos. It was the most excitement I've had in ages ;)

After my little man went to bed I crafted my guts out... until 5 in the morning. It couldn't be helped. I was on a streak and it's been a long while since I pulled a late night. That work continued this morning, into the afternoon and here I am, 4:30 pm, in my jammas from the flurry of progress.

The new fireplaces are done and I'm soooo happy with them. A vast improvement over the original (on the left). Far more detailed.

And they are much closer to the BBC Sherlock set!

Arwel Wyn Jones is the Production Designer on Sherlock. The more I look at the world he creates the more astounded I become. Such lovely, detailed work.... and the wallpapers are swoony! I am so smitten that I am contemplating spending my summer making a great big detailed miniature that includes ALL THE THINGS! Working on this tiny scale is fun, but it's also a bit limiting in a way.

Anywho, amid all this fireplace flurry I managed to snip myself with scissors. If you don't count gluing my fingers together (something I do daily) then it's my first crafting injury of 2014. I'm surprised I've made it this long to be honest. 

Here's hoping it's another night packed with crafty action!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

221B Update: Teeniest Books and Organization

This week's updates will mostly focus on the set of 221B tins and (hopefully) the flurry of progress in completing them. This morning's task was to complete the books that litter the shelves and floor of Sherlock's abode. Here's a look at some on a penny for an idea of size.

I've made loads. LOADS! And I know it still won't be enough. No matter how many extra I make, it never seems to be enough. I am always left thinking... "If I just had a few more." *sigh*

With so many little bits and pieces completed it's been necessary to level up my organization and use one of my favourite tools... the cheap plastic divider box! Stepping into my studio you might think that all things would be lost in the evil vortex of chaos, but I do know where most things are. These little boxes keep my mess shockingly organized.

This little darling is keeping all of my papery Baker Street bits exactly where they should be :)

Lastly, a word about the sale of the tins. As much as I dislike auctions, I'm leaning toward that option for their sale. I feel like an auction would give more people the opportunity to own one, rather than just good timing. It also takes pricing out of my hands (something I loathe) and assures that the winning bidders are paying a price they are comfortable with.

Any thoughts? I'd really like to hear what you think.

I'm off to build bookshelves for all those little tomes... maybe even a mantle or two.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Another 221B Baker Street Tin Update

I have been working on the new 221B Baker Street tins. I hope to have them completed sooner rather than later. I'm aiming to be completed the set at the end of the week... that's if all goes smoothly **fingers crossed, knock on wood and all that jazz**.

I've shared a few of the improvements I've made so far and here is another... a silly thing but something that bothered me right from the get-go. In the original tin the floor boards ran in the opposite direction as on the BBC set. I didn't realize that until after-the-fact and it drove me a little bonkers. In the new set the floor does indeed run in the correct direction. Phew!

Today I've spent ages and ages fiddling with the papery bits that will fill the interior of the tins. Above are the beginnings of book stacks and file folders to be strewn about. Below are some of the 'new' additions (which I am totally thrilled with!) In the palm of my hand are reproductions of two of the newspapers from the BBC series, an old map of London, a tiny reproduction of the first paper to feature a Sherlock Holmes story, violin sheet music for Bach's Sonata No.1 as played in Reichenbach Fall and last, but not least, a vintage advertisement for men's hats.

And I'm pretty proud of those tiny newspapers. I recreated them them from scratch and shrunk them down. They are so tiny that 80% of details can't even be seen...

... but I know they are there and that makes me happy.

There are a few bumps I'm not quite sure how to get over at the moment, and a couple of items I'd like to include but need a little time to work out. I'll update as things progress this throughout the week :)


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Small starry nights and germs

There are a small things I believe would make life much nicer. No acne or pimples after age 30. If you go to bed tired your mind should not suddenly decide to fill with impossible ideas that prevent you from falling asleep. AND you should be allowed to overcome one illness before being dealt another. I'm sick getting again. AGAIN! I don't think I've had a single well day in all of 2014. Grrrrr.

Despite not being entirely well I did manage a little bit of work today.

A few little moony shrines with those happy little faces I made the other day. I think they are terribly sweet :)

Each of the exteriors are a different colour. I love the teal-ish green blue of this one.

These fellas are still drying so they won't be listed until tomorrow.

Until then, I'm going to drink hot toddies and get a big hot bubble bath. Germs hate bubbles right?