Saturday, September 24, 2016

Light and Magic in the Cemetery

I've always spent time in cemeteries. As a child I'd practice math by figuring out the age of the deceased while wandering through the rows. As I grew older it was the history, the beauty of those places, the artistry and symbolism of the stones that appealed to me. Now, it's the quiet, and an appreciation of natures ability to wear down those strong edges, the lichen blurring the facts of death.

There is a small cemetery very close to my house. The Bullis', the people who built our house, now reside there.

All of my visits have been during the day... until last week.

I was running late and it was nearing dusk, but I wanted to get in a quick walk with the dog. Walking up the entry lane way to the cemetery I saw a single light shifting colour near one of the gravestones. I thought it was a bit weird but as I made my way deeper into the yard more and more lights revealed themselves. 

Stringed lights, colour changing lights, lights shaped like humming birds, white lights, red lights, green lights... you name it! All over this tiny little cemetery lights glowed beside the headstones. 

You would think that a graveyard might be a frightening place to visit in the almost dark, but that yard was pure magic!

It was like a celebration!

And I've been back there, soaking up that magic... bringing extra lights for those graves still dimmed.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sweet Spookiness

It's the first day of fall, Mercury is out of retrograde, Mr Pixie gave me a crystal ball for our anniversary, and all is right with the world.

Today's spookiness is on the sweet side.

It's a coffin, and sure those are a bit creeptastic but inside...

... is a very sweet town overlooked by a happy autumn moon.

The wee houses are some of the clay ones I pit fired in the back garden. The moon is handmade from paperclay. The starts are Tim Holtz Mirrored Stars. The little pumpkins are THESE amazing pods. (They are absolutely one of my favourite products from AlphaStamps.)

And if you're in need of sweet spookiness, this wee thing is listed HERE.

Happy Equinox lovelies! I hope the new season is good to you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Unsticking the Stuck and The Road Less Traveled

I've been trying to push my boundaries and try new things. There was a time that I was quite fearless, but comfort seems to have softened that edge. Don't get me wrong! There's a goodness to that comes with softening, but I think that a certain amount of courage is needed to live with enthusiasm.

One of the things I've been doing is leaving the house. Every day I go for a walk, long or short, something to get me out into the world. Today I saw this sign.

I have seen the sign before, but today I decided to go down that road. This, by the way, is the road...

It is a road in the very loosest sense, it is a way, but I followed it nonetheless.

Every so often the trees to the sides would clear, showing off views of the surrounding farm land.

Wildflowers sprouted here and there in a showy display.

I even found what I believe to be an honest to goodness faerie house.

It was beautiful and quiet (except for my terrible singing). The temperature was perfect. The breeze made the greenery dance.

And before I knew it, I had reached the end of the road.

As with all of the other things I've pushed myself to do, the road less traveled wasn't that scary.

That path even gave up a few nice surprises to think about on the comfortable road back home.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Internet Strangers and Mad Max Contraption Crafting

My internet buddy and I decided to jump in with both feet and meet in person with two days of drinks, giggles and crafting. It was just the greatest experience. There's a lot of weirdos on the internet, and apparently that's just my type ;) Seriously! I love all of you nuts.

I was trying to think up a craft we could do together and when Paula mentioned wanting to see Mad Max I knew exactly what to do. 

Creeptastic Dollarstore Hot Rods - Nichola Battilana

Ever since seeing Mad Max in the theatre I've had the urge to make little versions of those fantastical vehicles. So we headed to the Dollarstore and bought some plastic cars and a boatload of Halloween skeletons...

Creeptastic Dollarstore Hot Rods - Nichola Battilana

We disassembled, reassembled, and glued this to that. It was serious business!

Creeptastic Dollarstore Hot Rods - Nichola Battilana

Then a good coat of matte black spray paint. As soon as that paint is on there, things start to take shape and we felt like total bad asses!

Creeptastic Dollarstore Hot Rods - Nichola Battilana

Finally we added layers and layers of colour. I am absolutely thrilled with how these turned out.

Creeptastic Dollarstore Hot Rods - Nichola Battilana

Such a fun project that really lends itself to being messy and just enjoying the process of making and tinkering.

Creeptastic Dollarstore Hot Rods - Nichola Battilana

The final pieces are sort of Mad Max meets Geiger meets DeMeng and I'm crazy about all of those things so I'm a-ok with that.

Here's Paula's fantastic contraption...
Creeptastic Dollarstore Hot Rods - Nichola Battilana

 Isn't it just so great? And she claims she's not a crafter! Pffft!

Creeptastic Dollarstore Hot Rods - Nichola Battilana

I am particularly smitten with this car because it lights up and makes vrooomy noises.

Creeptastic Dollarstore Hot Rods - Nichola Battilana

Such a fun project. Such a good time.

Yay for internet strangers that become good buddies.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Taking over Graphic 45 with fairy flare

This week the Graphic 45 blog has been taken over by it's Alumni Design Team members and today it's my turn!

I am totally tickled to be playing with gorgeous goodies from G45. While I was sorely tempted to make some spooky Halloween goodness with Rare Oddities I couldn’t help but create some fairy magic with Enchanted Forest. Sooo, I’ve created three enchanting projects fit for a fairy princess.

(Note: jump all the way to the bottom of this post for the supply lists.)

Fairy Tale Projects with G45's Enchanted Forest - Nichola Battilana

Recycled Fairy Tale Tower

Fairy Tale Tower with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

This tower is made with an old potato chip can as the base. I’ve used Medieval Splendor for the tower portion and elements from the Enchanted Forest Tags & Pockets are used for the window and door. Additional decorations are added with Enchanted Forest Journaling Chipboard

Fairy Tale Projects with G45's Enchanted Forest - Nichola Battilana

To create the roof, I simply created a cone and then glued rounded squares of Sumptuous Floral in place like shingles. It does take a while to complete, but I think the effect is totally worth it.

Fairy Tale Projects with G45's Enchanted Forest - Nichola Battilana

The tower is placed on a wooden plaque base and finished off with moss and faux berries and flowers.

Fairy Tale Projects with G45's Enchanted Forest - Nichola Battilana

AND I have a tutorial to create this version of the fairy tale tower.

Fairy Tale Tower with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Here is the template to create the cone roof (click for full size)

Paper Crown

Fairy Tale Projects with G45's Enchanted Forest - Nichola Battilana

Every princess needs a crown… even if it’s made of paper. With Dazzling Damsel I created a paper crown using A Gilded Life - Petite Monarch Crown Long Die and some strips of paper. A 1/4 Inch Gold Metallic Braid and Lace trim were added which gave some additional stability. 

Fairy Tale Projects with G45's Enchanted Forest - Nichola Battilana

Next, a piece from the Enchanted Forest Journaling Chipboard was added to the front centrepiece and moss and flowers added. Finally, a tiny fussy cut fairy is nestled in the moss and two butterflies from Botanical Tea are fluttering about too. 

Fairy Tale Projects with G45's Enchanted Forest - Nichola Battilana

Dragon Egg Box

Fairy Tale Projects with G45's Enchanted Forest - Nichola Battilana

Some people may think dragons are for boys but I say pish-posh to that. Dragon Eggs should be on every princesses ‘must have’ list. I’ve nestled a handmade dragon egg inside of a Mixed Media 5x5 Box-Black, which is basically a perfect dragon egg display. 

Fairy Tale Projects with G45's Enchanted Forest - Nichola Battilana

You can keep your eye on the egg to watch carefully for hatching, but also display it most regally. Brilliant Gem paper, loads of dresden trim and metal embellishments and you’re ready to hatch a Romanian Longhorn or Hungarian Horntail!

Fairy Tale Projects with G45's Enchanted Forest - Nichola Battilana

Phew! That's an awful lot of princessing., but I enjoyed every minute and am totally grateful to G45 for inviting me to play. It's been a fun week and I'm glad to be in such good company.

Now here's your supply lists... start a-makin'!

Recycled Fairy Tale Tower Supplies
Graphic 45Enchanted Forest
Sumptuous Floral
Medieval Splendor
Gilded Grandeur
Enchanted Forest Tags & Pockets
Enchanted Forest Journaling Chipboard
Enchanted Forest 6x6 Patterns & Solids
Empty chip can (ie. Pringles)
Wooden Plaque
Twig Vine Garland
Faux berries and eggs
Leaf Charms

Paper Crown Supplies
Graphic 45: Enchanted Forest
Dazzling Damsel
Enchanted Forest Journaling Chipboard
"Botanical Tea"
1/4 Inch Gold Metallic Braid
Lace trim
Faux Leaves
Petaloo Anenome Flowers
A Gilded Life - Petite Monarch Crown Long Die

Dragon Egg Box Supplies
Graphic 45Enchanted Forest
Brilliant Gem
Medieval Splendor
Mixed Media 5x5 Box-Black
Ornate Metal Key Holes
Thin Fleur Dresden Borders - Black
Tiny Embossed Gold Dresden Borders
Leaf Charms
Metal Feet
Handmade Dragon Egg

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Found Bones

I've been working a bit manically lately. Grabbing this, gluing it to that, adding a dash of such-and-such. Last night I had my way with this shadowbox tray from 7 Gypsies, deciding to FINALLY do something with the fat jar of bones I've been collecting.

Found Bones - Nichola Battilana

We dig up and find a lot of bones on the property. It used to be farm land so we get a few cow bits here and there. We also live in an area with loads of wild life and nature does take it's course.

Found Bones - Nichola Battilana

Found Bones - Nichola Battilana

A number of these bones were found on Gull Island. It's a strangely magical place with bones and holed stones, and rare birds.

Found Bones - Nichola Battilana

Found Bones - Nichola Battilana

I didn't do much to the base shadowbox, preferring to let the bones sing for themselves. The pages that provide the backdrop are from hymnals from around 1900-ish. I used THIS Fast Finish Decoupage adhesive from Beacon. It darkened the pages significantly, I didn't mind and darkened them even further, but it's something to keep in mind if you decide to try it yourself.

Found Bones - Nichola Battilana

Found Bones - Nichola Battilana

I find myself on a bit of kick, wanting to get beloved stuff out of my stash, to use it and celebrate  it and appreciate it and show it off. Fat lot of good it does sitting in a box or jar. Am I right?

Found Bones - Nichola Battilana

That's sort of the story with these bones. I've picked them up because I saw value and beauty in them... and then they sat in a pile, and that's just not good enough.

Maybe I'm feeling a bit like that too. Tucked away. Hidden beneath a pile. And I'm trying to climb my way up and out. And some days that's really hard, but I keep trying. 

Found Bones - Nichola Battilana

I suppose I find comfort in these bones. They are mementos of strength and delicacy all at once. Reminders that we're all built from the same strange magic.