Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Two wee mixed media things

It's Tuesday and I should be posting about a certain little tent project... but I've decided to put the "how to be inspired" posts indefinitely on hold. For those who wanted to play along, I'm sorry. The truth is my enthusiasm has had a number of dampers placed on it and my heart just isn't in it. 

Instead, I have a couple of mixed media pieces to show off.

The suddenly she remembered how pretty she was. - Mixed media - Nichola Battilana

She was a friend. - Mixed media - Nichola Battilana

Supply round up:
Reliquary - Tower Top
Reliquary - Arch Top
Decorative Windows 1 to 24
Faux Typewriter Keys Symbol Set
Blushing Ladies Collage Sheet
Asparagus Fern Garland*
Mini Rose Buds - Ivory*
Mini Rose Buds - Pink Cream Variegated*
3mm Brass Flat-Back Studs*
Narrow Gold Fleur Dresden Borders*
Golden Copper paint
Paper butterflies

Sentiments cut from old books

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Mr. McGregor's Garden

This month AlphaStamps kit is themed "The Garden". Although the thought of a tiny a fairy garden did fleet through my mind, I decided to create a corner of Mr. McGregor's garden instead.

Mr. McGregor's Garden - Nichola Battilana

If you need help recalling who Mr. McGregor is, he is the big old meanie who tends the garden that Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny 'visit' in Beatirix Potter's books. That's Peter's jacket on the scarecrow. He lost it in the garden after his mother warned him not to go there.

Mr. McGregor's Garden - Nichola Battilana

This corner of the McGregor's garden was created using a Corner Room Box as a base with a Stone Wall Chipboard Texture Sheet* and plaster to achieve the wall. Although difficult to see, there is a brick path edging the soil. Can you guess what was used for the soil? Tea! And all of those sprouting vegetables are deconstructed faux plants/flowers like this Twiggy Leaf Garland*.

Mr. McGregor's Garden - Nichola Battilana

The clay pots scattered in the garden, like this Terracotta Wall Planter are super cute. I think they add a touch of extra colour which compliment Peter's blue jacket. And did you notice the brass buttons which Peter was so proud of in the story? They are 3mm Brass Flat-Back Studs*.
Mr. McGregor's Garden - Nichola Battilana

And if your chomping at the bit, wanting to create your own garden corner, here's a list of the bits and bobs available from AlphaStamps used in creating this piece:

Corner Room Box
Stone Wall Chipboard Texture Sheet*
Brick Wall Chipboard Texture Sheet*
Stone Rabbit Figurine Set
Tall Wooden Fruit Crate
Aged English Flower Box
Clay Planters with Saucers
Terracotta Wall Planter
Mini Black Wrought Iron Fence
Flower Soft - Peony Pink
Flower Soft - Sweet Pea
3mm Brass Flat-Back Studs*
1 Inch Curly Paper Roses - Pale Pink*
Tiny Paper Roses - Pink Cream Variegated*
Mini Rose Buds - Pink Cream Variegated*
Pink Rose Garland*
Asparagus Fern Garland*
Fern Garland*
Mini Fern Garland*
Twiggy Leaf Garland*

Or you can find them all in one place HERE

OR you this original piece is available for sale HERE

And finally, for a size comparison, here's the wee corner with my coffee mug.

Mr. McGregor's Garden - Nichola Battilana

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

A BIG birthday and a couple of WIP's

Yet again I missed Tuesday's "How to be Inspired Post" BUT I have an excellent excuse. It was D's 13th Birthday! I cannot believe he's a teenager, but I'm so proud of the young man he's become (mushy mum talk but totally true). Woo hoo! Huzzah! Yay! Yippie! 

After what seems like an eternity, I finally feel as though I'm getting my footing back. I'm on the mend from a vicious germ attack (surely sent by the goblins). My 'to-do' list has gone from critical to manageable. AND I've been back in the studio making things. 

Two biggish projects on the go at the moment.

Here's a quick look at the progress on 'Stumpy'...

The base is a coffee can and the exterior made with paper napkins!

I used THIS tutorial from Sharon Ojala at Homemade Obsessions, and modified slightly. 

I'm pretty pleased with the results so far and have my fingers crossed that I don't bugger it up somehow because achieving that bark colour took FOREVER.

Next up a little stone wall using my Corner Room Box as the base.

This one had me a little perplexed but I think I've got it somewhat sorted in my head and I'm looking forward to the results.

And if you're interested in a visit here, keep your eyes peeled because I *think* I might offer this project (or a variation of it) as a day-long workshop later this year. 

So how have YOU been? How's the weather where you are? Seen any good movies lately?

Friday, March 04, 2016

Tooth Fairy Cart and Tutorial

It's the first Friday of March... and that means a new tutorial from little old me for Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.

Last week I had a very interesting letter from the Department of Tooth Fairy Affairs. It seems that there is spike in tooth loss and the Tooth Exchange Fairies (the troop who preform the tooth/reward transactions) are having a hard time keeping up with the demand.

Tooth Fairy Cart with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

They asked very nicely if I might come up with a wee cart design, something to help with the transporting of goods, while remaining true to the Tooth Fairy Dress, Appearance and Conduct Code. (Fairies like to be very official.) I was happy to oblige.

Tooth Fairy Cart with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

With a Bagatelle BoxWheels, and Keys & Plates Shape Set from Gypsy Soul, some scrapbook paper, doweling, glitter and trims... I set to work.

Tooth Fairy Cart with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

In no time at all I had assembled a tiny cart fit for a fairy! And while this one is intended to assist the Tooth Fairy Department with distribution and exchange, I'm sure that it would come in handy for other fair folk to exchange sweets, flowers, seeds, and cake crumbs too.

To create your own little cart, hop over to the YouTube Tutoral to see how I put this simple little cart together. Or just jump down to the very bottom of this post.

Tooth Fairy Cart with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Supply round up!

Bagatelle Box
 (I used the Bagatelle Box 1.5 by 3 inch but don't let that limit you! Use different sizes to create an assortment of looks)

Wheels 1.5 inch Straight
Keys & Plates Shape Set

Thin wood doweling or bamboo skewars
Blush Charmed Scrapbook Paper (or paper of choice)
1/2 Inch Pale Pink Paper Roses*
3mm Silver Nailheads*
Mini Floral Dresden Borders - Antique Gold
Narrow Gold Fleur Dresden Borders*
Miniature Tooth Fairy Letter PDF collage sheet (used for graphics on cart)

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Thistles and other things

For the past couple of years I've sort of taken it easy during January and February. It hasn't been by choice, but rather my body giving in after months of holiday making/stress. Something inside shouts *I SURRENDER!* and a forced hibernation ensues.

This year I thought I'd be sneaky and planned to update my site and do a few 'easy' things that have been forever on my to-do list. No such luck. I know I haven't been posting much, but I have been kept busy. Here are a few of the bobs that I've been making...

A woodsy fairy cart.

Woodsy Fairy Cart - Nichola Battilana

Two in fact! They are a forest-y version of the Fairy Godmother Travelling Sales Wagon I made in January (there's a tute in that link if you're interested).

Woodsy and Thistle Fairy Cart - Nichola Battilana

There's loads of fun stuff jammed in there including: 

If you want some sweet sayings, fairy signage or gypsy wisdom to add to your cart, there's a downloadable PDF collage sheet available in my etsy shop HERE.

Fairy Tales and Gypsy Proverbs Collage Sheet - Nichola Battilana

And although I don't generally do commissions, I've been working on a number of several custom pieces like this paper funerary carriage...

Paper Funerary Carriage - Nichola Battilana

... and this rainbow wagon too.

Paper Rainbow Carriage - Nichola Battilana

It hasn't been all wagons, carts and wheeled things. This giant peapod hopped off my work table last week!

Paper Pea and Pod - Nichola Battilana

The long and short of it is, I'm grateful to have been so busy the past few months, but I'm looking forward wrapping up a whole bunch of loose ends and finishing touches this week so I can get back to making proper magical messes.

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Leap Day Mess

I awoke to a mess in the kitchen. Jam smudges, cake crumbs and sprinkles everywhere! The house fairies were celebrating birthdays.

I can hardly blame them. Leap Day is a very good day to celebrate birthdays. Those born on this day are certainly entitled to more than their fair share of cake crumbs and well wishes.

And there were little cards tucked inside envelopes and paper party hats.

There was even a tiny game of Pin the Spots on the Toadstool.

Gifts of coins and good luck charms wrapped in twine with little birthday tags, buntings and butterflies too! I'm certain some of the hard cider is missing from the cellar.

To create your own fairy sized birthday celebrations this downloadable PDF collage sheet is available in my etsy shop HERE.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Product Review: FixnZip

I freely admit this is a bit random.

A while ago I was contacted about doing a product review for something called FixnZip. I'm a total floozy for free stuff so I said "Yes please!" with the only caveat being that the review would have to wait until I found a zipper in need of repair. Cleaning my room yesterday I came across an old hoodie without a zipper... perfect!

The product comes in three different sizes and is available in light or dark nickle. I was sent both the small and medium sized pieces. For my hoodie, medium was the right fit.

This is the little doodad and it's easy to use. Simply unscrew to open those little jaws, place on the zipper teeth, and tighten it back up. It may take a little bit of fiddling to get everything going smoothly, but I had this in place and zipped in under two minutes.

Now, I'm delighted that my old comfy hoodie is wearable once more but in all honesty the FixnZip is weighty and probably better suited to heftier uses. Jackets, bags, purses, tents would be ideal. Using it on an airy organza dress might be overboard.

One small note worth a mention... the medium size came with a cord pull for which there were no directions to put it together. It might seem obvious (insert cord and snap shut) but it would have been nice to know the 'correct' way to assemble to ensure that it is secure.

ANYWAY it's a pretty nifty gadget. It would probably make a great gift for an outdoorsy sort to keep on hand in case of emergency. It would definitely come in handy if you wanted to salvage something expensive or sentimental. Hop over and check out their website at FixnZip.com for more information and where it is available.