Friday, July 24, 2015

A Fairy Godmother House

Ladies and gentlemen, "A Fairy Godmother House".

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

The base of this house is the "Buttercup" by Greenleaf. The assembled size is 17" x 11” x 18”. If you're considering this model to create your own little masterpiece, there are a few notes at the very bottom of this post you may find helpful.
Now that's out of the way...

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

The "sort-of-thatched-roof" was done with coconut fiber from the garden centre, the same material used for hanging baskets. You can buy it in lengths just like fabric! It's pretty easy to work with, but it's messy (you have been warned). There's pretty paper flowers dotted all over the piece including my favourite, Petaloo Botanica Blooms.

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

There are loads of handmade ladybugs too. Peek in that window you'll see some golden eggs.

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

I thought about doing a red door but opted for yellow instead. It seems so cheerful, yet is said to be the colour of insanity. I imagine fairy godmothers to be joyful and little kooky so it seemed the perfect colour choice. Above the door a Giant Brass Bee, which I really adore.

And now the inside.

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

Many of the miniature pieces I've done recently have used proper scale... that all goes out the window in this project. A fairy godmother lives here after all! The focus is on whimsy and magic, and scale doesn't matter one pip.

Let's look upstairs first...

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

I sort of showed this off the other day. Glittery shoes, miniature "Fairy Godmother Romance" magazines, and a big fat bottle of red. BTW I do have 'scale' wine bottles in my stash, but this one seemed to be appropriate for my idea of a fairy godmother. Same goes for the shoes. They're big if you're looking at 'scale' but who's to say the gal doesn't have huge feet?

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

Tucked into the little peaked alcove, a tiny fairy frock in icy blue.

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

In another corner, a tiny pink castle that has been waiting for just this moment to shine.

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

 And handmade books. LOTS and LOTS of books stacked here there and everywhere. 

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

On top of the little dresser is a fairy journal and pencil, golden eggs under a Miniature Glass Dome, a wooden wand, and Golden Crown. That pretty bird is from Birds of a Feather from Graphic 45's Botanical Tea.

Let's go downstairs...
Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

I LOVE the colours on the first floor. If I were a brave woman I would totally decorate in this colour scheme in my own home. I'm a wuss so that won't be happening. 

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

The furniture I've used in this piece is inexpensive wooden play furniture. I don't care that it's wonky. I don't care that it doesn't match. And it doesn't matter one bit that nothing is to scale. I'm more concerned about the impression and sense of fun rather than anything else. Plus, it's good to let go and just have fun with your work once in a while :)

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

A celestial window seat for reading and daydreams.

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

On the opposite side of the room there's candy, a year-round Christmas tree tucked into the corner, a crafting tables, shelves of books and buttons and bottled things. 

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

A good view of the fairy godmother's teapot collection.

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

On the crafting table: a knitting basket, a tin of button, scissors, bottles of glue, fussy cut elements for a little card, and scrapbook paper... Graphic 45's Botanical Tea if you must know ;)

Fairy Godmother House - Nichola Battilana

That's the grand tour. There's bits I missed... but there's just so much jammed into that wee house it's hard to capture it all. Not focusing on scale (or sense) was great fun and I highly recommend it if you try a wee house of your own. I'm also pleased as punch that so much long-term stash finally found a home.

I'll be taking this piece with me to the open house this weekend (I'm doing tea readings there... you should come visit!) and then it'll be off to Port Hope to show off at impresario.

The house is currently listed HERE

Inspired? Huzzah! Here are some of the products I used that you might find useful:

Miniature magazines
Miniature Wine Glasses
Graphic 45 Bohemian Bazaar 8x8 Pads (used for bunting)
Antique Bronze 3D Gnome House Charms* 
Birds of a Feather

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be taking a bit of a break from the airy fairy and making a few things to satisfy my inner weirdo.

**Notes about the kit: fairly easy to assemble (slot and tab) and at under $30 it's a great price. However, I did find the wood dry and didn't like the 'feel' of it. Also, the trims are a bit 'chunky', not entirely my cup of tea, but you could certainly hobble your own. Finally, despite being 'true miniature scale' 1:12, it's a very awkward space to stage. Between the number of windows and the slanted ceilings, there is very little space to put larger furnishings. Just some things to keep in mind if you decide to try your hand at this model.**

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I spent most of yesterday working on my August tutorial for Gina's Designs. I can't show it off yet, but I think you'll really like the project. It's a biggy, but the results will be worth a little bit of extra time. That goes live on August 7th, so be sure to pop by for a peek.

My evening was dedicated to my newest house. I was feeling stumped on how to fill this latest abode but I seem to have hit my stride and now have more ideas than space.

Fairy Bed - Nichola battilana

Here's a quick look at the floral bed with it's mossy pillow. You note the bottle of wine, red sparkly shoes and romance magazine beside the bed. 

I'll work into the wee hours again and think this one will be wrapped up soon. Then, I'm setting my sites on something less airy fairy to appease the weirdo in me ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fairy Godmother Magazine PDF and Tutorial

As per usual, when I should have been doing something else entirely, I spent way too much time on this PDF and tutorial for creating the fairy godmother magazines.

Fairy Magazine PDF & Tute - Nichola Battilana

The downloadable file is available in my etsy shop (currently listed at $3US) and includes pattern pieces for creating seven openable fairy godmother magazines measuring around 1" x 1.25". If you're a stickler for 1:12 scale, printing the sheet at around 75% will get you down to the proper size.

Fairy Magazine PDF & Tute - Nichola Battilana

There's a tutorial to help you along.

Fairy Magazine PDF & Tute - Nichola Battilana

And although it may take you a few attempts to get them "just so"...

Fairy Magazine PDF & Tute - Nichola Battilana

 ... the result is a collection of super cute, openable, fairy godmother magazines.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Slow progress on another house

I've slowly been tinkering with this house for a couple of months now.

Progress has been pretty slow... other things keep distracting me.

But it's starting to com together.

The outside is coming along nicely.

Little by little.

The inside has taken quite a bit of pondering. There are a number of things I want to include but I can't quite make out where this one is going just yet.

One thing I KNEW I needed was magazines. So most of today was spent designing some fairy godmother titles to be strewn about the place. There's GQ (Glitter Quarterly), Fairy Godmother Romance, Dwelling, Petals & Blooms, Wing & Wand, Beau Monde (for fairy fashions) and Godmother Weekly. And yes, they do open...

**Edited: The magazine download is now available in the etsy shop and there's also a tutorial to help you along.**

P.S. Hope you're fine and dandy and that life is being kind to you.

Friday, July 17, 2015

More paper caravans!

"Nichola, didn't you already post a paper caravan yesterday?"

I know, I know...  yes, I did... but they're so cute and fun! Just look at them gathered on my front stoop.

Paper caravans for very small gypsy - Nichola Battilana

Note: Although they look darling outside with the flowers and such, these are not appropriate for outdoor garden decorations. The chipmunks would surely try to ride off in them!

A paper caravan for very small gypsy - Nichola Battilana

There were a number of requests for a tutorial... which I will consider, but it will have to wait a while. Tutorials take up sooooooo much time that I'm limited to doing about one a month. I do have a big fat tute coming up in a couple of weeks that I think you'll like very much *fingers crossed*.

A paper caravan for very small gypsy - Nichola Battilana

If you're interested in one of these lovelies they are listed in the etsy shop HERE.

A paper caravan for very small gypsy - Nichola Battilana

And here's a terribly incomplete list of some of the supplies used:

Petaloo DIY flowers
Sanctuary Scrapbook Paper (beautiful and thick!)
Graphic 45 Ornate Metal Label Holders 
Junque Gypsy 6x6 Paper Pad* 
Prima Fly Away Resin Birds Set
Spellbinders Shapeabilites ‘Bow Elegance’ s6-017
Tim Holtz Thinlits Mini Labels Die Set
Wooden wheels
Vintage buttons

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Paper Caravan with DIY Petaloo Flowers

Given the chance to play with Petaloo's DIY blooms I tried a few different colouring techniques. I used dyes, acrylic and watercolour paints with great success but my favourite results didn't come from paint at all. 

Tea Dying Petaloo DIY  Blooms

The flowers that I was most smitten with were ones that were simply dipped in tea. They looked warm and worn, perfect for vintagey type pieces, or for a softened look.

Tea Dying Petaloo DIY  Blooms

To add a little variation, I gave some of my blooms a light wash of pink or yellow acrylic craft paint before dipping them. The result was perfectly subtle. The hardest part? Allowing those cuties to dry before using them.

Note: You could absolutely use coffee for staining, but I find that the smell lingers. Tea on the other hand has almost no noticeable scent.

So, what did I use these cute little blooms for?

Paper Caravan with Petaloo DIY Blooms - Nichola Battilana

Embellishing a little shabby chic paper caravan!

Paper Caravan with Petaloo DIY Blooms - Nichola Battilana
Here's a better look at those pretty tea stained flowers.

Paper Caravan with Petaloo DIY Blooms - Nichola Battilana

Paper Caravan with Petaloo DIY Blooms - Nichola Battilana

Here's a complete list of Petaloo goodies I used:

P.S. Although I didn't use them in this project, I did colour some the flowers in the DIY-Mums & Butterflies 1650-015 and they are absolutely lush and I would totally recommend.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Wortcunner's Shed

A little roombox to show off today, measuring just 8" x 6" and 5".

The Wortcunner's Shed for Herbalist Fairy Folk - Nichola Battilana

Let's peek inside!

The Wortcunner's Shed for Herbalist Fairy Folk - Nichola Battilana

I've called this piece "The Wortcunner's Shed". A wortcunner is sort of an old fashioned word describing someone who works with herbs. The term would generally be applied to wise women, though some modern witches who use herbs magically use the term too.

The Wortcunner's Shed for Herbalist Fairy Folk - Nichola Battilana

In every little room or house I create there is always something that I am most proud of. It may not be the fanciest or best part... but it's something I love. In this piece it's the little woodstove. The pipe reaches up through the ceiling and out to a mossy roof.

The Wortcunner's Shed for Herbalist Fairy Folk - Nichola Battilana

And upon that roof of wild moss there is a trail of toadstools and purple flowers blooming. I suspect it's a good place for a picnic.

The Wortcunner's Shed for Herbalist Fairy Folk - Nichola Battilana

Here's a better look at the interior. It's not jam packed, but rather comfortably cluttered. Many of the little bits and bobs come from AlphaStamps. I'll put a list to any little piece you can find there below.

The Wortcunner's Shed for Herbalist Fairy Folk - Nichola Battilana

For the base I used a Frame Front Box made exclusively for me by Gina's Designs. What I LOVE about the boxes is that they are made from thick chipboard that is sturdy enough for embellishment, but can be cut so that windows/doors can be added where ever you like. They are available from Alpha Stamps if you'd like your own to play with.

The Wortcunner's Shed for Herbalist Fairy Folk - Nichola Battilana

I'm pretty pleased with this little room. It reminds me of a warm and worn cabin in historical reenactment / living history villages.

This piece is currently listed for sale HERE.

If you want to create your own version, here are some of the supplies I used are listed below or you can check them all in one place HERE:
Frame Front Box
Amber Resin Potions Bottle 

Ghoulish Green Mini Resin Jars 
Green Resin Perfume Bottle 
Mini Clear Resin Whiskey Bottle 
Miniature Tea Kettle Charm* 
Miniature White Table with Baskets (basket used, not table)
Miniature Garden Tools - Rake & Shovels 

Tiny Green Leaf Garland 
Mini Bird Eggs* 
Tiny Magic Books & Potion Labels Collage Sheet
Little Potions Collage Sheet

Holly Berry Garland 

Mini Rose Buds - Red* 
Mini Rose Buds - Pink Cream Variegated* 
Miniature Silverware Set 
Brick Wall Stencil
Clay Planter (not the actual one used but close and cute as buttons!)

Also used:
Natural bark
Tongue depressors
Handmade toadstools

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

"Sing Together" Altered Canvas

Sing together, sweet and beautiful - Nichola Battilana

A little textured canvas today. Four inches square, covered with pieces from Gina's Texture Sheet Gears and Gears Shape Set and some paperclay bits made with this Silicone Mold. Painted white and sploshed with Silks Acrylic Iridescent Glazes. Finished off with some beautiful Botanica Flowers from Petaloo. The final touch, some snippets from a vintage children's book. 

This piece is listed in the etsy shop HERE

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

A Pixie House Shrine

I altered this cute House Shrine Box for a colour challenge that I totally missed the deadline for. 

Pixie House Shrine - Nichola Battilana

I used to be terrified of colour but plowed through that wall. Now, I'm trying to consciously add texture to my pieces. This piece is chocked with textured elements. 

Here's the texture of the walls of this wee house. I've layered Cardstock Doily Set Intricates, painted them white and then added a smidge of colour with some ColourArte silks and H20's. I'm pretty smitten with the way it turned out.

Pixie House Shrine - Nichola Battilana

For the roof I used sturdier chipboard pieces. There are some Feathery Flourishes (quickly becoming one of my favourite embellishments!) and Steampunk Fan blades. Again I painted them white and added some colour with ColourArte products.

Pixie House Shrine - Nichola Battilana

The piece is finished off with some super cute Water Dew Drops from The Robins Nest, handmade ladybugs, a sweet winged vintage girlie and more. Here's the whole supply list kit-and-kaboodle.

White acrylic paint
Vintage image

This gal is currently listed HERE in the etsy shop.