Thursday, December 11, 2014

Paper present toppers with Petaloo & Graphic 45

I've created this little set of doo-dads with Graphic 45's Twas the Night Before Christmas and Petaloo's "Victorian Children" Vintage Dazzlers. They would look adorable with a bit of string as ornaments, but I will be using these to embellish my holiday gift wrap.

Paper rosette present toppers - Nichola Battilana

Making these was oh so simple too! Simply cut narrow lengths of paper and acordian fold them. Fan them out to create the round shape, using hot glue to hold in place. For the 'star' effect I simply clipped a folded corner on an angle... as you would a paper snowflake.

Paper rosette present toppers - Nichola Battilana

A Graphic 45 tag, a Botanica Berry cluster and a Burlap Trim bow and it's ready to gussy up a gift!

Paper rosette present toppers - Nichola Battilana

While it's fun to add a bazillion blooms to projects, sometimes just one or two little flowers is all you need.

Paper rosette present toppers - Nichola Battilana

I really do like how cheery and festive these are and I think they'll be a big hit with the people on my holiday list :)

Chantilly-VelvHydrangeas 1272Burlap Trims 1483Berry Clusters - 1104
Vintage Dazzlers - Victorian Children 1420-112
Graphic 45's Twas the Night Before Christmas
Twas the Night Before Christmas Chipboard Tags

Be sure to check out all of the great projects on the petaloo blog

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Very quick post because I made gumdrops today and was so thrilled with them I made a second batch.

I saw THIS recipe for gumdrops on pinterest ages ago and wanted to give it a try. It didn't make the holiday treat list last year but this year I made it a priority.

You can hop over to the Bakerella post for the recipe but here are a few 'tips' that you may find helpful.

1. Use a bigger pot than you think you'll need. The mixture bubbles up when cooking. I was THIS CLOSE to boiling over a couple of times. Thank the kitchen gods that did not happen.

2. I lined my containers with plastic wrap. I think it helped contain the mess and made removing the jelly easier. This stuff is STICKY.

3. Sugar coat everything. Did I mention this stuff is STICKY? I spread a layer of sugar on top of the jelly before cutting. I cut the jelly into slices then pulled the slice away from the plastic wrap and immediately put the jelly strip in sugar to coat it. Then I cut the strip into squares and coated in sugar again. I also sprinkled my final surface with sugar. You will use a lot of sugar.

4. If you prefer stronger flavours add more extract. I messed up and added twice as much flavouring as called for... it wasn't over powering at all.

Can not wait to gobble these up :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Making rusty bits

While grocery shopping last week I saw some little tart tins, 4 for $2. They were bright and shiny and I had an immediate urge to rust them up! I've only tried rusting a few times, so I am no expert but I'll give you a rundown on the process I used.

Make sure your item is clean and free of grease. Even oil from your fingers can disrupt the process.

Put a healthy dose of vinegar and a good sprinkling of coarse sea salt (regular table salt is ok too) in a shallow glass dish. Place your item in the dish and sort of splash the liquid all over. Leave it for an hour or so, then turn the item over and splosh that salt and vinegar all over it again. Do this a few times, then leave overnight. My tins were tarnished, but not rusted at this point. Note: If you look at the sides of the tart tins below, you will see a shiny band. This should give you some idea of how much liquid I used.

The next day I added hydrogen peroxide to the vinegar/salt mix. This time I brushed the liquid on and let it dry, brushed more on, let it dry... and so on until I achieved the desired effect. The ones pictured below have about 4 coats of the solution and were left to 'age' overnight. Note: You can also use a spray bottle to apply the solution. 

A few words about the process. Safety first. You might want to wear gloves, and avoid getting the solution near your eyes, nose or mouth. Over the counter hydrogen peroxide is generally pretty safe BUT even domestic-strength solutions can cause irritation to the eyes, mucous membranes and skin... so be careful! DON'T add other ingredients if you aren't sure it's safe. Heaven forbid you start some kind of chemical reaction in your kitchen! Keep your area clean and make sure it does not come in contact with items you do not want to be rusted.

And there you have it! Instant old ;)

Monday, December 08, 2014

Media Box Wonderland for Graphic 45

I love the Graphic 45 Mixed Media boxes. They are just the right size, the little window is sweet as can be, and the inside depth is practically perfect for little dioramas (which I love to make!)
Snowy Media Box for Graphic 45 by Nichola Battilana

For this wee box I've embellished with G45's Twas the Night Before Christmas, which is a lot of fun with charming classic holiday graphics.

Snowy Media Box for Graphic 45 by Nichola Battilana

I’ve added a slew of chunky white glitter on just about every surface but kept the edges clean to ensure that the box closure could still function.

Snowy Media Box for Graphic 45 by Nichola Battilana

Last winter went on for an eternity so I thought that a winter theme (rather than Christmas) would give me an excuse to keep this piece on display for an extended time ;) 

Now let's peek inside!

Snowy Media Box for Graphic 45 by Nichola Battilana

Snowy Media Box for Graphic 45 by Nichola Battilana

Snowy Media Box for Graphic 45 by Nichola Battilana

Snowy Media Box for Graphic 45 by Nichola Battilana

Annnnnd  here's the complete supply list if you'd like to make your own:

Shabby Chic Door Pull
Shabby Chic Ornate Metal Keys
Twas the Night Before Christmas
Up on the Housetops
Long Winter's Nap
Twas the Night Before Christmas Chipboard
Twas the Night Before Christmas Stickers
Raining Cats and Dogs 6x6 Patterns & Solids Pad
White Acrylic Paint
Retro Bottle Brush Trees
Holly Berry Garland*
Red Stamen
Mini Red Pip Berry Garland
Rusty Star Ornament Set
Ginas design Snowflake Shape Set

Magic Santa Key for Tresors de Luxe

Today I'm sharing this embellished key and tag. This may look like an ordinary key but it has a  secret. It is a Santa key!

Santa key for Tresors De Luxe by Nichola Battilana

Children who do live in fireplace free or chimney-less homes needn't worry about how Santa get's in to leave presents. You see, old keys hold a great deal of magic, and with a little bit of love they are practically perfect for letting Santa in the house. AND because they are magic they don't work for anyone else... so there's no need to worry about gremlins, trolls or robbers using it. 

This particular Santa key was created using an inexpensive decorative key, a Graphic 45 Regular Tag Album-Ivory, and embellished with burlap, Tresors de Luxes lace and flower embellishments and then finished off with a sentiment from 12 Days of Christmas.

Santa key for Tresors De Luxe by Nichola Battilana

Decorative key
Burlap ibbon

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Market & Giving Tuesday

My Plum Pudding Market went amazingly well. I'm pretty proud of the turnout and all of the shopping bags I saw filled with locally made, hand crafted goodies.

The market was put together on a shoestring budget with $0 advertising dollars. Relying on social media, word of mouth, and vendors committed to spreading the word. Selecting vendors with quality goods made the event easier to promote... but it was still hard work.

The artisans and makers were amazing and I think that everyone had a pretty great day. Most requested a repeat next year.... so if you missed it you may have another chance in 2015 :P

This Saturday I'll be at Applefest Lodge Retirement Residence in Brighton 10am-3pm if you need something silly before next year.

Finally, today is 'Giving Tuesday'. After the mad shopping that took place between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, today we focus on giving. If you hop over to my facebook page I have a little giveaway going on today in celebration.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Pillow Boxes with Tresors de Luxe

I love gift giving! As I get older I realize that it truly is the thought that counts. Sometimes a little present to say "I'm thinking of you" is all you need to touch someone, to brighten their holiday.

Pillow Boxes by Nichola Battilana with Graphic 45 paper & Tresors de Luxe embellishments

I was thinking of filling these little pillow boxes with sweets or cookies for those I want to acknowledge with a small something, such as neighbours and teachers. I've made the boxes with Graphic 45 papers Twas the Night Before Christmas and 12 Days of Christmas, using the template on the inside cover of their paper pads. To really make them stand out I've added snips of lace, fabric flowers and embellishments from Tresors de Luxe.

Pillow Boxes by Nichola Battilana with Graphic 45 paper & Tresors de Luxe embellishments

You could create something simple and elegant with muted colours.

Pillow Boxes by Nichola Battilana with Graphic 45 paper & Tresors de Luxe embellishments

Or get truly festive with a cranberry and gold colour scheme!

Pillow Boxes by Nichola Battilana with Graphic 45 paper & Tresors de Luxe embellishments

No matter how simple or elaborate your design, the extra effort to beautifully package a simple gift, makes it all the more thoughtful :)

Pillow Boxes by Nichola Battilana with Graphic 45 paper & Tresors de Luxe embellishments
Tresors de Luxe goodies>
White Chiffon FlowersRustic Ivory Shabby Chic Flowal EmbellishmentRustic Red Shabby Chic Floral EmbellishmentWhite Acrylic Flower SprayRustic Burgandy Shabby Chic Floral EmbellishmentGold Venice Lace AppliqueGold Venice Lace TrimIvory Lace TrimWhite Venice LaceIvory Applique Lace Trim
Papers from Graphic 45>
Twas the Night Before Christmas12 Days of Christmas