Friday, July 08, 2016

Padfoot, Poop and Good Neighbours

This is my dog, Padfoot. I love him. He's pretty great... most of the time.

Padfoot has this shtick where he thoroughly embarrasses me. While I chat to our lovely neighbours, he completely ignores the two pooable acres he calls his own, and makes a deposit on their greenery. It's horrifying. Mortifying!

Last week my poor neighbour was showing us the amazing work they had done in their back garden, and that stinker of a dog promptly squatted and did his business right there. I felt like giving him the
Cersei Lannister "shame! shame!" walk all the way back home.

A peace offering was in order.

"Sorry my dog pooped on your lawn" card w/ Raining Cats and Dogs from Graphic 45 - Nichola Battilana

"Raining Cats and Dogs" from Graphic 45 seemed like a pretty perfect choice. And on the inside....

"Sorry my dog pooped on your lawn" card w/ Raining Cats and Dogs from Graphic 45 - Nichola Battilana

I think we're still on good terms ;)

Graphic 45 - Raining Cats and Dogs Collection - Cats Meow
Graphic 45 - Raining Cats and Dogs Collection - Animal House
Graphic 45 - Raining Cats and Dogs Collection - 6 x 6 Patterns and Solids Paper Pad
3mm Brass Flat-Back Studs*
Gold Dresden Langette Borders*

1/8 Inch Black Satin Ribbon

Monday, July 04, 2016

The fairies are finally settled

Our open house was this past Saturday. The fairies were mostly behaved, and although we had a small surprise shower, Mother Nature was good to us too.

The fairies had a little picnic of cherries and tea next to the house. Some of our guests were kind enough to fix the tea, adding milk and sugar, just how the wee folk like it. A LOT of tea was sipped and all of the cherries eaten.

There was a game of find the mushrooms, with two little spotted toadstools hiding in the fairy ring.

There was fairy quidditch too! Blowing bubbles through those hoops was much more challenging than you would believe!

Just like last year, the most popular challenge was stone stacking. This year we offered a prize for the biggest stack. Victoria was our champion, stacking 26 stones! I think we'll need more rocks next year ;)

And finally, I'm happy to report that our libatious gnomes found a more suitable camp. They are now located by the old maple... but this means that the mailbox has moved and we've no idea where to pick up the fairy mail! I'll have to send out an impish search party.

It was a nice day, with nice people and that's the best you can ask for. The fairies will be staying for most of the summer if you're near and want to visit. Just shoot me an email because otherwise you'll catch me covered in glue and glitter and in my pajammas.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Under the Sea Matchbox Shrine

Some people have sea water in their blood. They love the sea like I love the moon. While those waters may not run quite so deeply for me, I appreciate the beauty of the barnacled. For Alpha Stamps this month I've made a matchbox shrine full of texture and unwater colours.

The base of this piece is a Tiny Matchbox Theatre. I do love theatres (and an underwater one would be amazing!) but instead chose to make mine into a sort of underwater pocket shrine.

Now about that texture! I've glued pieces of a 6x6 Gears Texture Sheet to the surface of the box and splashed and sploshed paint and gesso and whatever else was on hand. I also layered some Seashell Sequin Mix which give a sort of wonderful fish scale texture. The sentiment on the front is from Voyage Beneath the Sea - Steampunk Splash Scrapbook Paper which I've simply tinted to match the colour of my box. A Brass Patina Seahorse Charm* and Conch Shell Charms* then a dash of crusty glitter (because why not) and the front is complete.

Inside I've used an image from the Mermaid Garden #3 Collage Sheet. He was a sort of surprise... I wasn't thinking of this sort of interior at all... but he fit so well and seemed quite at home in his sparkly cove of Coral Chipboard.

A Rotten Smelly Dragon Jar Tutorial

This wasn't the tutorial I had planned for this month. A string of unfortunate events led to my planned project to sit in a state of disrepair. What's a girl to do? Scramble!

If you visit this blog often, you'll know I came up with these rotten smelly dragon jars about a week ago. I was planning a tutorial in the future, but circumstances put a 'RUSH' on those plans.

Rotten Smelly Dragon Jars with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

The Dragons Shape Set used is pretty handy. There are two designs in three sizes so you can create a both quart and pint sized jars with just one set. The wings need to be bent to fit them in the jar, but they are sturdy things and will survive the ordeal ;)

Rotten Smelly Dragon Jars with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana 

These are made using a different technique than the fairy jars and, believe it or not, I haven't even added lights to these.

Rotten Smelly Dragon Jars with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Those shadows are entirely from backlighting. Pop them up on a window sill, or in front of a light, and you should see your small smelly dragon in it's stinky jar quite well.

Rotten Smelly Dragon Jars with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Now, I know that people are going to say they want to use these as nightlights, but really, dragons like their sleep and dark places. Best to let them rest at night rather than keep them up past their bedtime!

Below you'll find how to make these terrible things. Or watch it on youtube here. Just a couple of additional notes:

• To soften the streaks/drips you'll want to mist with water while still wet

• Apply several layers of brown wash to get a really dirty grimy look

• Why add glitter? It adds texture and give the paint something to grip. Plus, a little sparkle isn't a bad thing. But if you want to skip this part, go ahead.

Inspired to make your own dragon jars? Be sure to tag me when you show them off. If you try your hand at this project for your own blog, be sure to link back and gimme a shout out, please and thank-you!

Here's what you'll need to make them:
Dragons Shape Set
Glass jar
Acrylic paint
Clear glitter
White glue
FlowerSoft-Ultra Fine
Charm & embellishments

P.S. Once again, a note about fire safety. DO NOT put live flame candles in these jars. I like you, you're a good egg and I don't want to see you hurt.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Drunken gnomes and other guests

I opened the door this morning to find this mess on the front stoop.

The gnomes have arrived at Pixie Hill. 

For a gang of messy drunks they are actually pretty quiet. Hopefully I can convince them to move the celebrations to another part of the property because this is not a good first impression.

They aren't the only new arrivals here...

The garden is dotted with loads of new (and newly renovated) fairy houses.

Some of them are quite fancy! I'm almost certain that No.21 Pixie Hill is the home of a house brownie. It's just the right size and is very neatly kept.

Although we don't often get to see and chat with the wee folk, it sure is nice to know that they are here and that they have returned for another season.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Puttering and hobbling

It was sooooo stinking hot and humid outside yesterday that I only ventured out once to jump into the pool (which is currently recovering from a lovely shade of swamp-water). So instead of much needed outdoor preparations, I stayed in and tidied the studio to ready it for nosy visitors on Saturday. It is slowly coming along.

In very exciting news my fresh signs arrived. Some girls have a thing for shoes, apparently I have the same reaction to new signage. Yes, it still looks a bit hobbled together, but not nearly as hobbled as it did before.

I'm totally not prepared (I think I say that every year) but I'm trying not to stress over it too much. However, I am glad these two showed up to lend a hand...

What could possibly go wrong when you have fairy helpers?!

Note: The answer to that is 'anything and everything' but we'll pretend like everything is going to be hunky-dory.

Better late than never, here is the official invite:

And if horrible terrible things are more to your tastes, I'll be having a 'goblin market' open house in October for all of awful things I make.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Rotten Smelly Dragon Jars

Happy International Fairy Day! You'd think I'd have something glorious and pretty and glittery for you...

... but instead I have some rotten smelly dragon jars.

Rotten Smelly Dragon Jar - Nichola Battilana

True story: we ran out of garbage bags last week around the same time these terrible things appeared. Coincidence? I think not! Despite their timing, I don't think that they are fabled Trash Dragons. I suspect they are Northern Swamp Dragons.

Rotten Smelly Dragon Jar - Nichola Battilana

I'm currently working on a breeding program and will try to have some available for adoption in a week or so. I WILL have a few at my open house on July 2nd if you happen to pop in for a visit.

Rotten Smelly Dragon Jar - Nichola Battilana

Want to try your own 'breeding program'? Cutouts are listed HERE in my etsy shop, or at