Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Something quick and shabby

Just a quick post today. Ta da!

Monday, November 09, 2015

Pixie Dust and Moonbeams

I've been working like mad preparing for a craft show this weekend and getting my Christmas haul made. Last night I was up till 4 am (what?!?) watching Blacks Books on Netflix and blending glitter for these vials.

Bottled pixie dust and moonbeams - Nichola Battilana

I don't think the pictures do them justice. They are much more magical in person.

Bottled pixie dust and moonbeams - Nichola Battilana

Bottled pixie dust and moonbeams - Nichola Battilana

Bottled pixie dust and moonbeams - Nichola Battilana

I made a HUGE batch of the things and I am COVERED in glitter. It's ok, sparkling makes me feel better about being sleepy ;)

Bottled pixie dust and moonbeams - Nichola Battilana

Have you started work on your holiday haul yet? What lovely things are you making?

Friday, November 06, 2015

Winter Shrine Tutorial

First Friday of the month! That means a tutorial for a glittery magical something for Jack Frost and the holiday season are on the way but there's loads of time before the holiday madness to get your supplies for this super cute project. 

This snowy winter wonderland shrine was created using Gina's House Shrine Box. I really and truly love that little shrine house. It's such a great piece to apply your own style to. 

Below you can just peek at the roof texture. This is achieved by layering pieces from the Cardstock Doily Set Intricates. The result is really cool and I show exactly how to do it in the video tutorial that goes along with this project.

The shrine is embellished with pieces from the Snowflake Shape Set. They've been painted and glitterfied and look oh, so sweet. Alternatively, you could use the Winter Shape Set which also includes snowmen, icicles and other wintry icons.

Inside my wee shrine I've added some bottle brush trees and a carpet of moss. Fill that space with whatever you like! A little Santa figure or snow capped house would be adorable. 

Being a total glitter fiend, I used a lot of the sparkly stuff on this project. Feel free to leave it out if you like, but I think that it adds and special icy touch. You might think that white glitter would be ideal for a winter landscape, but I recommend using clear glitter for a snowy look. 

What do you say? Want to make your own? You can find the full video tutorial HERE.

And here are all the supplies you'll need:

Wallflower 12x12 Paper Stash (or paper of choice)
Clear glitter
Light blue ultra fine glitter
White acrylic paint
A piece of foam
Bottle brush trees

*Note: the shrine box used in the tutorial is slightly larger than the one listed on the Gina's site. If you really, really, really, truly, must have the bigger version, please contact Gina's for pricing.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Bread and Pastry Tutorial

I'm going to show you how I created these little treats for my Miniature Floral Tea Cottage using these silicone molds.

Bread and pastry tutorial - Nichola Battilana

You can use polymer clay with the molds but I made my little treats with Creative PaperclayYou WILL need to plan ahead to allow for drying time (make the pieces the day before you need them) but the actual 'working' time is just minutes.

I begin by pressing the clay into the mold. Give it a good push to ensure all the details are imprinted. I allow the clay to become firm before removing from the mold, then allow the pieces to dry completely before the next step.

Using some REALLY watered down yellow ocher acrylic paint I cover all of my pieces.

Wipe off any excess paint. Apply another coat of the wash if the coverage is too light.

Breads are often darker than pastries and cakes, and are darker still on their top crust and bottoms. Add a wash of dark burnt umber or other dark earth colour. (Note: You can also colour your pieces with powdered chalk pastel by applying with a dry brush.) As a final step I've dusted a little corn starch to the surface.

You can use Diamond Glaze to create a few different finishes on your pieces. Some breads have a light sheen on their surface (i.e. croissants). This look can be achieved by adding some water to the glaze and applying sparingly. To create a 'glazed' look just brush on a good layer.

You can also add colour to diamond glaze and apply thickly to look like a jammy glaze or filling.

Let all those bits and bobs dry and their ready to go! So simple. So effective.

Bread and pastry tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Happy making!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Miniature Floral Tea Cottage

I am soooo excited about this month's project for Alpha Stamps. The theme for October was Provence French Country and I've made a frilly little tea house inspired by some old Edwardian tea images on pinterest (isn't THIS wonderful?!). Yeah I know, Edwardian and Provence are completely different... but a crafty girl is totally allowed to build imaginary places in her head!

Miniature Tea Cottage - Nichola Battilana

I've used the Cottage with Open Front for my tea house and set it on the Cottage Base.

Check out the super cute interior and all those bits! Just look at the little paper ivy clinging to the sides (made with Thinlits Fern and Ivy Leaves Die Set)

Miniature Tea Cottage - Nichola Battilana

One of my very favourite new things from Alpha Stamps are the silicone molds used to make all the treats on this table. I used them with Creative Paperclay, but you could use polymer clay if that's what  you're most comfortable with.

Miniature Tea Cottage - Nichola Battilana

To finish off the pastries and breads I used Diamond Glaze to achieve a subtle sheen and the look of sugared glaze. If you'd like to make your own, HERE is a full tutorial for making those treats.

Miniature Tea Cottage - Nichola Battilana

Here's a good look at all of those little accesories.

Miniature Tea Cottage - Nichola Battilana

Miniature Tea Cottage - Nichola Battilana

Now, I usually affix everything into place in my houses but this one comes apart. The top comes off the cottage for easy access to the interior, and the cottage itself can be removed from the base to reveal a little cobblestone courtyard! 

Miniature Tea Cottage - Nichola Battilana

The stone work here is acrylic gel medium used with a Stone Wall Chipboard Texture Sheet, then painted. Moss, some picket fencing, and flowers are added to make a pretty courtyard for the cottage to sit upon.

Miniature Tea Cottage - Nichola Battilana

I've used loads of little paper roses and buds but those bursts of purple are a product called "Flower Soft" which is available in different colours. It's super easy to use and I've created a tutorial for using it HERE.

Miniature Tea Cottage - Nichola Battilana

The cottage and all of the accessories is currently listed HERE in the etsy shop.

Want to make your own tea house? Here's the quick link to ALL THE GOODS available via Alpha Stamps

And below is the GREAT BIG FAT supply list! Have fun!

Cottage with Open Front
Cottage Base - 9x9x1
Pewter Dollhouse Dishes*

Mini Resin Honey Jars
Tiny Glass Jar with Lid
Miniature White Table with Baskets (used the basket, not table)
Victorian Table Kit - Black
Miniature Milk Bottles in Crate

Blue and White Service for Six Tea Set 
Tiny Cup of Tea with Lemon

White and Gold Service for Four Tea Set
Miniature Silverware Set 
Red Apples - Set of 12
Oval Basket with Handle

1/2 Inch Pale Pink Paper Roses
1/2 Inch Red Paper Roses

Mini Rose Buds - Bright Yellow
Mini Fern Garland
Asparagus Fern Garland (LOVE!)

Mini Rose Buds - Pink Cream Variegated
Sheet Moss
White Wall Shelf with Pegs
Thinlits Fern and Ivy Leaves Die Set
Mini Gardening Hand Tools
Wooden Knobs
Baroque Dresden Borders - Black
Wallflower 12x12 Paper Stash
Creative Paperclay*
Diamond Glaze 
Mini Silicone Bread Mold Set - Larger Loaves
Mini Silicone Bread Mold Set - Smaller Loaves
Mini Silicone Cake Mold Set 
Miniature Vase Set
Fancy Lavender Berries Mix

Fancy Red Holly Berries Mix
Flower Soft - Autumn 
Flower Soft - Crocus or Lavender
Flower Soft - Vintage Christmas
Stem Wire - 7 Inches

Stone Wall Chipboard Texture Sheet
Acrylic Gel Medium

Kinda sorta close to what I used:
Unfinished Wood Table
Black Chair Kit
Small White Picket Fence

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Old Timey Tuesday

Old grungy pictures from my personal collection for use in your art and craft projects.

I love this family portrait. They look like such a nice little family. I actually have another family portrait of the same little brood when the girl is grown.

Happy making!

You may NOT sell, give or distribute the images, digitally or printed, alone or as part of a collection, collage sheet or group.

Violators will be turned into toads... I mean it... It won't be pretty.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Fairy Christmas Card Advent Calendar

Ok, I've let Halloween pass and now it's full steam ahead with the Christmas posts. I have a few projects coming up that I KNOW you're going to want to try so I'm posting nice and early to give you plenty of crafting time. Today, a totally freaking adorable advent calendar alternative.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Imagine waking up each day to find a card from the fairies helping you count down to Christmas! I've put together a Fairy Card Advent Calendar, a 2 page download that includes 25 miniature cards with vintage holiday imagery, numbered postage stamps and three envelope templates to fit the various sized cards.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Now, when I showed this project to my kiddo he said "Yeah, but what about the treat?" The wheels in my mind starting turning and I thought of all the little things that would fit in those envelopes... letters, notes, coins, buttons, glitter, jokes, stickers, charms... then the light bulb above my head lit up. 

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Every few days a charm could be included in the tiny card and your little pixie could make their own Christmas charm bracelet! The sets I've used here are the Santa Sleigh Silver Charm Set and the Silver Snowflake Charm Set from Alpha Stamps.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Cute as buttons and sugar free! Although if you do like the sweet stuff you could always give a lolly or chocolate kiss.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Don't do the advent calendar thing? No worries! You could always make these up and pass them out to the people in your life who need a little extra fairy magic around the holidays.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Now, as for decorating the outside of those envelopes, here's what I suggest:

1. Using the templates from the Fairy Cards Advent Calendar, trace the envelope shapes onto a piece of regular white paper.

2. Cut the shapes.
3. Fold the two short sides, then fold the bottom (the one with the flat edge) and glue into place. Be careful not to glue the envelope shut!

4. Sprinkle both sides with a bit of tea or coffee. I prefer tea as it doesn't leave a lingering scent. Allow to dry. NOTE: You can age your paper before creating the envelopes, but I found that doing it in this order results in a flatter, smoother finished piece. See wrinkles above.

5. Add little postage stamps and 'cancel' them using a rubber stamps. Any patterned stamp will do. Place a scrap bit of paper beneath so as not to ink your work surface.

6. Address the envelopes, personalizing them for the recipient.

7. Add the wee cards and any tiny surprises you'd like to include.

Fairy Christmas Cards, an alternative Advent calendar - Nichola Battilana

Lastly, and this is kind of important, these can NOT go through the regular postal system. Their size requires that they be handled only by Royal Faerie Post. If you want to send them to someone far away, I suggest mailing them within a larger card with a note of explanation.

Supply round up:
tea/coffee for staining*
rubber stamps*
ink pad*

Do-dads for the charm bracelet:
Chain, clasp and jump rings / or pre-made bracelet
Santa Sleigh Silver Charm Set

Silver Snowflake Charm Set