Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tea cups towns and the very dry summer

One of my favourite 'to-do' items is creating a big fat bunch of these mossy little teacup gardens.

I've been making them for a good number of years now, watching them slowly, steadily improve over time.

I'm itching to make a big fat fresh batch with these little pit fired clay houses.

Unfortunately, the crispy, dry, summer has put a hold on my plans. There's a burn ban in effect, so no fires for this gal. 

But I won't be held down for long! There's always Paperclay to the rescue... and those wobbly mossy cottages do tug at my heart <3 p="">

Anyway, I hope you're keeping hydrated, and that your lawn is lush and not nearly as crispy as mine.

If you'd like to make your own teacup town (that does not require a burn pit!) a step-by-step tutorial is available HERE.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Dragon Eggs

I thought I might get into dragon breeding. Unfortunately it turns out it's a bit like hatching Sea-Monkeys; not an entirely advantageous venture.

Dragon Egg - Nichola Battilana

It's a lot of hard work and time looking after dragon eggs!

Thank goodness I have the perfect person to send this one too. I'm sure she'll take good care of it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Bell Jar Fairy and English Fairy Garden Collage Sheet

A couple of weeks ago these two imps helped me out during preparations for my open house.

Imp and Fairy Jar - Nichola Battilana

This week I have a new little helper.

Bell Jar Fairy - Nichola Battilana

She prefers a bit of space to prance around, so she has a large bell jar to play in and keep her safe.

Bell Jar Fairy - Nichola Battilana

Of course she can get out whenever she likes, but it's cool in there and she's not a fan of the current hot humid weather. (Neither am I to be honest.)

Bell Jar Fairy - Nichola Battilana

If you're thinking you might like your own winged darling, I have two new collage sheets available. 

Little People and English Fairy Garden Collage Sheets - Nichola BattilanaThe Little People Collage Sheet and English Fairy Garden Collage Sheet are currently available as digital downloads or printed sheets from

Bell Jar Fairy - Nichola Battilana

I mean, who doesn't need a little winged fairy to play with snails between the toadstools?!

English Fairy Garden Collage Sheet
Tiny Embossed Gold Dresden Borders
Tiny Paper Roses*

Graphic 45 - Enchanted Forest > Sumptuous Floral
Petaloo - Anenome flowers 1176-103

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.