Sunday, March 29, 2015

One Little Thing - I Believe

If you want to create a faith based project around this weeks theme of "I Believe" that's a-ok... but don't feel that this is a religious prompt. Belief in Bigfoot, fairies, Santa, equal rights, evolution, and thing crazy little called love are equally valid.

What do YOU believe? Create one little thing to express something you feel passionate about.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ornate Miniature Marie Theatre for Alpha Stamps

The theme this month over at Alpha Stamps has been Marie in Wonderland. Given that I've been on a bit of a Marie Antoinette kick lately, I had a lot of fun dreaming up a little project for them. And so I present an ornate Marie theatre... in miniature.

Ornate miniature theatre with tutorial - Nichola Battilana

The stage is created with a Tiny Paper Mache Box and embellished with pretty golden dreseden trims. The curtains in this box are cut up frocks from the collage sheets included in the kit. There's Raw Brass Flourishes* and a Small Man in the Moon Charm too.

Ornate miniature theatre with tutorial - Nichola Battilana

The piece is quite tiny, measuring in at just 2.25" tall and in actual fact I created two of the wee things...

Ornate miniature theatres with tutorial - Nichola Battilana

I used the second to create a step-by-step snapguide you can use to make your very own! Visit it HERE

And here's the supply list of items I used creating these little theatres:
Marie in Wonderland Kit 
Tiny Paper Mache Box Set*
Thick cardstock
Scrapbook paper

Tall Paper Theatre and Curtains Collage Sheet
French Ballet Costumes Collage Sheet
Dresden borders

Raw Brass Flourish* 
Small Man in the Moon Charm 
Dragonfly Wing Beads 
Acrylic paint

Monday, March 23, 2015

An Easter Bunny Home with Petaloo and Authentique

Does the Easter Bunny visit your house? He hops to our place every year. He leaves so many treats for our kiddo that it is obvious those goodies are intended for sharing. Good guy that bunny. In his honor I've created a bunny abode. Down the rabbit hole we go!

Upcycled bunny home for Petaloo & Authentique - Nichola Battilana

The base of this piece is a gift box turned on it's head. The lid is now acts as the base, and the bottom is now the top and home to a pretty Burlap Blossom garden.

Upcycled bunny home for Petaloo & Authentique - Nichola Battilana

Follow the ladder and you can spy where that clever bunny keeps his eggs! Create your own ladder with long and standard match sticks. Those little baskets are simply crocheted with Natural Burlap Trims.

Upcycled bunny home for Petaloo & Authentique - Nichola Battilana

The exterior of this piece has been covered with "virtue" from Authentique's Treasure collection. You'll also find an assortment of Petaloo Fancy Trims, more Burlap Blossoms and some Botanica Petite's too.

Upcycled bunny home for Petaloo & Authentique - Nichola Battilana

Inside, more papers from Authentique's Treasure collection: "enhancements", "cheery", "adorable" and "synthesize". The floor is covered with "darling" which I've toned down slightly with a wash of white paint.

Upcycled bunny home for Petaloo & Authentique - Nichola Battilana

And that's that! I do hope the bunny visits us again this year because heaven knows all of the sweets here will need to be replenished ;)

Sturdy gift box
Match sticks
Easter eggs

Spring Fever Blog Hop

I was pleased as punch to have the opportunity to create a Graphic 45 project for the Spellbinders Spring Fever Partner Blog Hop a'happenin' right this minute.

Here's my wee contribution, a fairytale stage for an altered art cutie pie. If you jump over to the Graphic 45 blog you'll find the full supply list and a snapguide tutorial so you can create your very own.

Fairytale Stage with Graphic 45 and Spellbinders - Nichola Battilana

Be certain to visit the Spellbinders blog also. Gander at all of the great bits of inspiration they are showing off and maybe take advantage of a giveaway... :)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

One Little Thing - Junk Drawer Challenge!

This week I have a real challenge for you!

Your mission this week is to create one small thing using at least one item from your household junk drawer. You can doodle with an old golf pencil, paint on a penny, sketch on an old envelope... anything goes so long as you use an item from a 'junk drawer'.

Good luck!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Me! Me! Me! and a Botanical Tea House too

I'm featured over on the Graphic 45 blog today. If you hop over there you'll find an interview in which I share my regularly occurring crafting mishaps. I have a lot of mishaps.

I'm also showing off this project. Supply list and tutorial link are at the bottom of this post :)

Botanical Tea House with tute - Nichola Battilana

I’ll say my forte is mixed media or altered art... but really it’s just playing with paper. I’m also fascinated by miniatures and love to create little worlds. Sooo, I thought that I’d create a little tea house with Botanical Tea inside a Mixed Media 5x5 Box and show you how to make your own too. 

Botanical Tea House with tute - Nichola Battilana

This project is easily adaptable and you could create a whole little town if you like. Perhaps a pet shop with Raining Cats and Dogs, or a train station with Come Away With Me.

Botanical Tea House with tute - Nichola Battilana

You could also adapt this project into a dollhouse for little crafters by keeping the embellishments and fiddly bits to a minimum.

Botanical Tea House with tute - Nichola Battilana

The snapguide tutorial for this project is available HERE

Botanical Tea House with tute - Nichola Battilana

And now for the totally massive (not really as bad as it looks) supply list

Graphic 45 Botanical Tea Birds of a Feather

~ Tiny faux flowers ~
Petaloo Petites Teastained Pink
Petaloo Botanica Petites

Chess Piece, Domino, Checker
Wooden stir sticks
Wooden tongue depressor
Acrylic paint

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Paper Moon Shrine with Tutorial

It occurred to me that since I already scanned the clouds I had created for my Vintage Theatre Moon Shrine, I might as well go ahead and make an entire collage sheet. AND if I have a collage sheet prepared, I might as well create a project to go along with it. AND if I have a collage sheet and a project, I might as well get some video practice in and do a tutorial too. 

Here's the project...

Paper Moon Srine box with video tute - Nichola Battilana

It has the same sort of feel as the Vintage Theatre Moon Shrine but without the hard to find vintage embellishments.

Those lovely billowy clouds are part of a collage sheet available exclusively via Alpha Stamps. It hasn't officially been released yet, but I asked very nicely and they agreed to list it early so I could share it with you.

Here is the supply list:
Theatre Clouds Collage Sheet
Small Paper Theatre Boxes 

Thin Fleur Dresden Borders - Black 
Star Tinsel* 
Rusty StarsMetal Hands*
Graphic 45 Artisan Style: 
Patterns of the Past
Thread / craft yarn
Black and blue acrylic paint
Extra fine glitter (I've used Recollections Peacock Blue)
Black ink pad

Here is the video tute that goes along with this piece. It's long and I'm sorry about that, but for those who often have a million questions, it is a thorough walk though. Pinky swear I'll do my best to keep the time down from now on.

Good Luck! And be sure to let me know if you give this a try! I'd love to see the results.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Vintage Theatre Moon Shrine

I was watching the Sophia Coppola film Marie Antoinette the other day. It's a lush flick to watch. So much eye candy! One of the things that REALLY caught my eye were the opera sets. I set to creating my own little theatre out of a wooden box and all manner of bits and pieces.

Vintage Theatre Moon Shrine - Nichola Battilana
Unable to find just the right clouds for this project, I painted my own, scanned, printed, and cut them out. You may notice that they have a bit of a Terry Gilliam, Monty Python feel. I'm a big fan of Terry's work. The top curtain is from an existing Alpha Stamps theatre collage sheet.

Vintage Theatre Moon Shrine - Nichola Battilana

The box has had one side removed and the lid upturned to become the stage floor. The end pieces at both the bottom and the top are vintage earrings. The round 'medallion' like shapes flanking the 'wings' are the heads of ornate  ornate metal upholstery tacks. Loads of dresden embellishment adds a fine finishing touch to the box.

Vintage Theatre Moon Shrine - Nichola Battilana
The entire piece measures around 3.75" x 6".

This piece is currently listed HERE.

P.S. If you like this piece, please check back later this week! I'm working on a little something you may enjoy.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Springtime Fairy Frock for Petaloo

The ground is STILL covered in snow here. I'm longing to see some grass poking through the white. I'm sure spring is on the way. I can hear her coming, the birds are heralding her. That doesn't make the wait any easier. So what's a girl, starved for blooms and blossoms to do? Make a fairy frock of course!

Spring Fairy Frock for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana

The base of this dress is cardboard. I created a sort of hourglass shape, painted it white and the rest is just embellishments. 

Spring Fairy Frock for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana

First, working from the bottom up, layer of petals to form the full bottom of the dress. Next, a snippet of lace to forms the bodice. (THIS is the lace I used.) A bit of rickrack from Fancy Trims is perfect for little shoulder straps. Finally, tuck all sorts of Petaloo blossoms and leaves within the petals to complete your magical gown.

Spring Fairy Frock for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana

I think this might tide me over until I see real blossoms in my garden.

Spring Fairy Frock for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana


A little announcement...

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be working with Gina's Designs as a Special Design Educator for the next wee while.

What does this mean? I'll be using some of Gina's products and posting a new project and tutorial on the first Friday of the month.

I'm genuinely excited. Gina has some great products that are perfectly suited to mixed media, altered art, ATC's and all sorts of themes close to my heart. Here are a few of the projects I've created in the past that include Gina's Designs Lasercut elements. Hint: Click on the titles to visit the original posts.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

One Little Thing - Luck

With St. Patrick's Day approaching I thought we'd explore "Luck" this week.

Feel free to create something, anything, with a "Luck" theme as you interpret it.

Remember, there is no wrong solution to this challenge! The most important thing is that you take a few moments to consider the theme, and to get creative... even if it's only doddling for a few minutes!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Very little (but quite happy) moon shrines

I finished this series of tiny moon shrines yesterday. I created the moony faces a while ago but have been lacking the gumption to complete their starry skies. I'm blaming the wintry weather that seems to be dragging it's heels and preventing springs return for my laziness.

Happy little moon shrines - Nichola Battilana

Here they are now, happy as clams in their new tiny homes. They are small, the square ones measuring just 3", but tiny places are important so we won't  hold that against them.

Happy little moon shrine - Nichola Battilana

The moons are created with polymer clay, the houses and toadstools are paperclay.

Happy little moon shrine - Nichola Battilana

I've used two different types of glitter too. Above is lovey long strands, which remind me of Van Gogh's starry night. Below, a more traditional variety of fine glitter that are like pinpoints of light in the sky.

Happy little moon shrine - Nichola Battilana

I'm not pleased with the photos. My camera doesn't seem to know what I want. It refuses to see what I see. It's frustrating. The little shrines are far nicer in person. The moons don't care, they are just happy to have their skies to hang in.

Happy little moon shrine - Nichola Battilana

All of the wee things above are available in my etsy shop HERE.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

One Little Thing - Green

This week's challenge is to explore the colour green.

Easy peasy! I know you'll do great :)

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Spring cleaning

I started organizing one little plastic container and lost my mind.

Perhaps it's a longing for open windows and sunshine and frolicking and singing on our grassy hill a la Julie Andrews, but there was a sudden and immediate urge for spring cleaning.

Before too long I regretted it. The sheer volume of things in my stash! Not helping matters in the least was that I ventured into the closet of doom. I had exactly 3 gazillion things in there.

And then I reached this point...

This was where I sat and wanted to turn back time and wished I had not started organizing that one little plastic container.

I went and had a cup of tea and slice of cake. Tea and cake always helps.

If you ever feel badly about the state of your creative space, think upon the picture above and remember that I somehow survived.

Anyway after 2 days the joint is clean and organized.

And I won't be able to find a flipping thing for a week and a half :)

P.S. I'm using this as my "happy place" project because a) it is my happy place and b) 2 days worth of anything has to count for something.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Take your wife to work day

My husband needed to pop into work yesterday so I tagged along for the ride. I took my camera with me, hoping to get some shots of the vineyards at Casa-Dea Estates Winery but it was too blasted cold and I am a wimp. Instead, I snapped some pics inside the barrel cellar and production area.

It's actually a lot like a mad scientists lab in there. There are loads of stainless steel contraptions and tanks, there are beakers and tubes. I supplied the evil laugh.

Here are some of the pics I took. The equipment isn't really rusty and grime covered. Everything needs to be shiny and clean for winemaking, so the pics are photoshopped to the ends of the earth to add a dash of ominousness.

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

And one last pic of the mad scientist himself :)

Casa-Dea Estates Winery - Nichola Battilana

Sunday, March 01, 2015

One Little Thing - Happy Place

Whether it's a place in time, an imaginary place, a physical location or a quiet spot in your mind, this week's challenge is all about your 'Happy Place'.

Take a few minutes this week to think about your personal 'Happy Place' and create something based on your reflections.

Remember, there is no wrong way to complete this challenge. Any form of creativity is game! Write, make, glue, paint, doodle, sing... it's all good!

Have fun!