Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Devilish Charm Tags

Rooting through my box of chipboard, these little tag/charms just sort of threw themselves together.

Devilish Charm Tags - Nichola Battilana

I had a short struggle with what to put inside... lovelorn vintage ladies? saintly images? weird snips from Hieronymus Bosch paintings? In the end I decided that some vintage devils were just the thing.

Devilish Charm Tag - Nichola Battilana

The winged pieces contain vintage photos of people costumed in devilish attire.

Devilish Charm Tag - Nichola Battilana

Ok, these guys are actually circus performers, but we'll pretend we don't know that...

A couple of the pieces include these great White Turquoise Skull Beads.

Devilish Charm Tag - Nichola Battilana

I sort of love this photo of a fairy, and devil costumed together. While at first it may seems a silly to pair them, I think it's perfect.

What most people think of when they hear 'Devil' (the horns, the cloven feet) is a bastardisation of the god Pan. Pan, the free and wild god of nature. Heck, in some versions of Pan's mythology his mother is a wood nymph! And just like fairies and nature spirits, he is not entirely 'good' and can be quite the scamp. So the pairing of devils and fairies doesn't seem too ridiculous.

Devilish Charm Tag - Nichola Battilana

The above image is from the 'Devil' card of an old tarot deck. I know it looks a bit menacing, but this card isn't about evil at all, just like the 'Death' card isn't actually about death. (To be honest, I find the 'Tower' card most frightening.)

Devilish Charm Tag - Nichola Battilana

Finally this sparkly dude. This devil face graphic was printed on boxes of Kellogg's Corn Flakes in the 1950's for kiddies to cut out and wear as a mask. I did a quick look about for more information (the artist?) but couldn't find much. I think it's a great image, definitely deserving of a sparkly crimson border.

That's the whole devilish she-bang! I hope you're enjoying all the Halloween-ish posts because I'm having a grand time making them. If you'd like to create your own little charms/tags here's my supply list:

Die Cut Heart Frames from Family Tree**
Wings Assortment
Small Resin Skull Beads
White Turquoise Skull Beads
Bronze Pentagram Charms

Colourarte Silks Acrylic Glaze
Ornate Metal Keys - Antique Brass 

Sparkly red trims from Petaloo (discontinued?)
Assorted vintage images

**Ugh! I didn't realize until compiling my supply list that I used the hearts from a larger kit. The hearts aren't available separately BUT you could always use these House ShapesCircles or Domes

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Bride - A Frankenstein Recon

I've mentioned it numerous times, so pardon me if you've heard it before, but I am a big fat horror fan. And this gal? The Bride. Well, I love her to bits. I'm well chuffed with this project because it is a bit Frankensteinien itself, hobbled together from this and that, put together using things already in my stash.

The Bride: A Frankenstein Recon - Nichola Battilana

The head was gifted to me a couple of years ago. She's been sitting around waiting for something to happen (like sooo much stuff in my stash). Maybe it's the recent Halloween brain, but the other night I caught sight of her and knew what she was going to become.

So I cleaned her up a bit and started working on her face. I did a little contouring to more closely resemble Elsa Lanchester who played the role of 'The Bride' in Bride of Frankenstein.

The Bride: A Frankenstein Recon - Nichola Battilana

The lips were darkened and reshaped just a bit, as were the eyes. And I couldn't forget those amazing eyebrows!

The Bride: A Frankenstein Recon - Nichola Battilana

For her hair, once again I just used what was in my stash. The bulk of it is fly fishing fur, with black and white raw wool to fill it out. I know those streaks should be a little more wavy, but I'm ok with them as they are... for now.

The Bride: A Frankenstein Recon - Nichola Battilana

Finally, her clothes are just strips of tea stained cross stitch canvas. Easy peasy!

Now, I know she's not a perfect match to Elsa Lanchester's 'Bride', but given that I'm not a doll recon artist and that she is a bit of a Frankenstein's monster made with scraps, I'm quite proud to tuck her in with my collection weird and wonderful things.

P.S. Hope you have a gorgeous day. I love you to bits.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Grim ATC Reliquaries

I feel like I've missed out on Halloween for the past couple of years. I've skipped right past it, diving head first into holiday making. Not this year. This year I'm determined to fully enjoy the haunting season.

Today I'm showing off these grim chipboard reliquaries.

I've used these Miniature Reliquaries for the base, which are just about ATC sized, measuring around 2.5" x 3.5" (give or take a smidge).

To embellish, Latin Stone Scrapbook Paper is used to cover the front and back of the pieces.

The images used are from the Skeleton Slide Mailers Collage Sheet and Skull & Bones Collage Sheet .

I've added loads of black Dresden snippets, and some teeny weeny 'crystals', dots normally used for decorating finger nails.

A length of seam binding is tied into wee bows to add one final touch.

So what about you? Anything spooky on your work table?

P.S. If you're interested in making these little bits, you might want to consider the swap that AlpahStamps is currently hosting.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets (Mature Content)

NOTE: A little warning to preface this post. This project contains slightly risque content. There's nothing grotesque or completely vulgar, but if that sort of thing offends you, you may want to skip this post.

I've mentioned it before, but I have the sense of humour of a 12 year old and the mouth of a sailor which often leads to a case of gutter mind. Recently, while looking for words in an old book, I came across this passage:

The book is actually quite sweet, but there are soooo many instances of pent-up yearnings, flushed cheeks, tinglings, and characters ejaculating their dialogue all over the place. "Geesh! Calm down Eleanor!" I thought. (The author being Eleanor Porter.) 

Then I thought that maybe Eleanor didn't need to calm down at all. Perhaps she just needed a proper place for those thoughts, a naughty books of secrets.

Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets - Nichola Battilana

So I made one! A book filled with frisky snippets and sassy vintage photos.

Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets - Nichola Battilana

It does get a bit steamy, but I'll spare us both the embarrassment of over-sharing.

Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets - Nichola Battilana

The text is made up entirely of words and phrases from a beat up copy of "Sister Sue"
which are strung together to tell a new, rather dirty little tale...

...  and a there are some nice bits of old ephemera tucked in there too.
Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets - Nichola Battilana

Also, vintage knickers and underthings are the bees knees! After searching for photos to include I sort of want to lounge around in giant granny panties, silk robes and stockings all day. That's pretty darned unlikely so don't worry, if you visit me I will answer the door looking like a fully clothed hobo.

Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets - Nichola Battilana

Anyway, the book was great fun to work on, I've really missed playing with paper like this and creating the cheeky content was wholly enjoyable too. A little naughtiness is just the right thing once in a while. 

Thanks for the reminder, Eleanor.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

A Grotty Goblin Dresser

Grotty. I love that word. It's a word from my childhood.

It was usually said in reference to something I was wearing "Take off that grotty such-and-such!" By definition it means something unpleasant and of poor quality like a dive bar or bad motel.

I would imagine that goblins rather like things that are grotty, and so I've created a little grotty goblin dresser this month for Alpha Stamps.

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

There's a nice little collection of spooky things on top of that dresser. Just the sorts of items that goblins find useful. And there's plenty of space in those drawers for storing rotten eggs.

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

The 'mirror' was made by applying a layer of tinfoil on the base, then adding large flakes of mica around the edge. A bit of staining and then a layer of Diamond Glaze to finish it off. There's a few wobbles and bubbles in there, but one of the very best things about making goblin items is that they don't have to be perfect. In fact, I do believe goblins prefer things that are imperfect!

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

Can you spy the pickled head ticked in the back? It was soooo easy to do, you won't believe it. I downloaded a stretched head picture from Howloweenqueen and then shrunk it down to fit inside the Stout Kitchen Jar with Lid. I just rolled the image up and plonked it inside and added some minor distressing. Voila! A miniature head in a jar. So easy! SO EASY!

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana
You could add just about anything you like to your own goblin dresser. Mine is a bit of a lush and likes to have a nip of something or other no matter what time of day it is so wine was must. There's also a book of Terrible Curses from the Little Library Collage Sheet, because that's how magical goblins roll.

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

Bottles of this and that, a Tiny White Turquoise Skull, and a crystal ball to see what no good things other goblins are up to.

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

Check out those cute Antique Brass Mini Fleur de Lys Handles. The perfect finishing touch for those drawers.

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

I had great fun with this little thing. I didn't go nuts and plaster the whole surface, but I think it looks nicely cluttered (sort of like my own dresser). And if grotty goblin things aren't your style, you could absolutely make something cute and frilly and shabby chic. You know, something to make the goblins feel queasy. 

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

Here is the big fat supply list for the bits used in this project. Happy making!

Gothic Dresser 

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Drippy Witch Lanterns

I've been making up a storm lately. There are bits and pieces of half finished projects all over the place and a bunch of completed pieces I can't show off quite yet. The posts have been a bit sparse lately so I made certain to get a little something done last night that I could share right away.

Drippy Witch Lanterns - Nichola Battilana

They are made with the same Industrial Lanterns used in THIS post.

Drippy Witch Lanterns - Nichola Battilana

And filled with moss, Pumpkin Pods and images from this Witch Stock Collage Sheet.

Drippy Witch Lanterns - Nichola Battilana

I've used stained lace trim to cover the sides of the lanterns.

Drippy Witch Lanterns - Nichola Battilana

There's a Black Mini Paper Bloom on top, and a length of fibre tied around the top. Finally I applied some drippy wax to the exterior.

Drippy Witch Lanterns - Nichola Battilana

I've got to add that these were inspired by some amazing pieces I saw on instagram a short while back. I cannot for the life of me find the original post to give proper credit. I'm going to have another search because it's driving me mad that I can't find it. Honestly, I have no idea what I'm doing on social media and it's sort of a miracle that I manage to post at all. (EDIT: I found her! Big fat thanks to Mary Fontones of Once Upon a Fairy for the inspiration.)

Lastly, if you decide to make your own and need help putting your lantern together HERE are the instructions for constructing those chippy lanterns.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Wee Winged Shrines with Tutorial

Can you believe it's the first Friday of September?! (What happened to the summer? Seriously, where'd it go?) The good news is that means it's tutorial day and I have a a fun and fantastical project for you. 

This month I wanted to encourage the spreading of good will, kindness and nice surprises. These little winged shrines are just the ticket! They're pretty easy to put together, and you can get a bit smooshy and sloppy in your mess making and have a lot of fun with them.

Wee Winged Goodness Shrines with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Each of these sweet things uses a Mini House Shadowbox as a base, and Victorian Corners to finish off the peak.

Wee Winged Goodness Shrines with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Add some wings from the Steampunk Shape Set and then whatever embellishments your heart desires. Buttons, little paper flowers, charms... you name it!

Wee Winged Goodness Shrines with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

The images I've chosen were all selected from She has a lovely selection of images that are free to use. The sentiments are just snipped from discarded books, but you could easily write your own or use a commercial sentiment.

Wee Winged Goodness Shrines with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

I think these are absolutely the sweetest and I'm sure that given as a gift, especially a surprise for no reason at all, they'd certainly help to spread cheer and goodness.

To help you make your own, here's how I put these cuties together

And here are all of the supplies I used in the pieces above.
Misc. decorative bits & bobs and embellishments
Acrylic craft paint
Instant glue