Friday, August 28, 2015

I'm going to my happy place

So, I sort of lost my mind the other week when I walked past a piece of torn wallpaper.

I'd walked past it a million times before but for some reason this time was the last straw. I started stripping wallpaper, washing walls, plastering, climbing ladders. All this led to painting trim, sewing curtains... basically trying to catch up on things that have been left undone for years. (Still not done BTW)

Why all the fuss?

In a few weeks I have an influx of family visiting. We'll have a very full house including a cousin from the UK, an uncle I haven't seen since I was a kidlet (the brother of the father I have no contact with), perhaps my father in-law, and all of this takes place the same weekend I'm hosting a workshop for 6 awesome kidddos. If I'm ever going to have a nervous breakdown it will be that weekend.

I decided it was probably a good idea to go to my happy place for a while. It so happens that my happy place is a pretty productive atmosphere with happy moons and mossy cottages.

Moon Shrine - Nichola Battilana
Currently listed HERE

Handmade paper clay moon, cottages, mushrooms and ladybugs.

Moon Shrine - Nichola Battilana
Currently listed HERE

A sentiment from a vintage children's book. And THOSE FEET! They're called Demon Box Feet* but I think they're far more like helpful gargoyles.

Moon Shrine - Nichola Battilana
Currently listed HERE

And another... 

Moon Shrine - Nichola Battilana
Currently listed HERE

I love this moons smooshy face :)

Moon Shrine - Nichola Battilana
Currently listed HERE

And some small ones for good measure.

Moon Shrine - Nichola Battilana
Currently listed HERE

Moon Shrine - Nichola Battilana
Currently listed HERE

I feel much better after my romp with glue and glitter and glad to have such a happy, happy place to retreat to.

Moon Shrine - Nichola Battilana
Currently listed HERE

Hope you're all well and good. I miss you.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wallpaper, tea cups and wagons

It has been sweltering here. The hottest days of summer. The heat must have affected my brain because I thought this would be an ideal time to paint. Painting doesn't just mean painting... it's stripping wallpaper, cleaning wallpaper paste from the walls, repairing plaster, sanding, cleaning dust, moving furniture... then there's the painty bit at the end. 

The results? I won't bore you with them because they're just clean white walls... a VAST improvement over the peeling and ripped wallpaper I've been living with, but a little dull.

Instead I'll show you some of the pretty bits I've been working on for a custom order.

Tea cup gardens - Nichola Battilana

A slew of tea cup towns/fairy gardens. HERE is the link to the little flowers available from Alpha Stamps.

Paper Wagon - Nichola Battilana

And here is one of several wee paper wagons I've also been working on. The paper is from Graphic 45, the leaves are Prima and the amazing wheels are from Gina's (the link goes to the straight cut spokes).

Hope you're keeping well. I'll be back and properly into the swing of things quick as can be. xoxo

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Fun Fairy Door for Gina's Designs

A wee fairy door project to share today for Gina's Designs. Isn't it cute as buttons?!

Fairy Door for - Nichola Battilana

To create this adorable fairy entrance I've used Gina's Fairy Door 'Deann', Faux Metal Number Plates and Keys & Plates Shape Set.

Fairy Door for - Nichola Battilana

In this example I've used the stone door frame piece that comes with the Fairy Door as a stencil and applied a layer of spackling to give the texture of a stone doorway.

To create the illusion that the door is made of wooden planks, I've scored the chipboard with a stylus before painting. If you don't have a stylus, you could press very hard with a ball point pen to create the grooves. A light wash of dark paint allowed to seep into the impressed lines will emphasize the effect.

Fairy Door for - Nichola Battilana

The 'hinges' are created by cutting a large keyhole in half, applying to the door and trimming.

Fairy doors are pretty dang adorable and an excellent way to include a bit of magic in your household. Be sure to get creative with them by adding a little plant, a welcome mat and other accessories... great curb appeal will be sure to entice the wee folk into your home ;)

Acrylic paint
Small metal brads

Friday, August 14, 2015

Artist Trading Block Clearance

Just a quick note today. I've added a bunch of Artist Trading Blocks to the Clearance section of the etsy shop. Here's a peek at what's available...

Listing for this item is HERE

Listing for this item is HERE

Listing for this item is HERE

Listing for this item is HERE

Listing for this item is HERE

Listing for this item is HERE

Listing for this item is HERE

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Poison Tin for Alpha Stamps

After months of airy fairy crafting it was a delightfully creepy surprise to get some spooky goodies from Alpha Stamps. And so, I'd like to present, a perfectly peculiar poison tin. 

 Poison Tin - Nichola Battilana

I've used supplies from the Magic Potions Kit and a few other bits and bobs. (The supply list can be found at the end of this post.) You'll notice that the front of the wee tin is lovely and ornate. I've achieved this look by layering Brass Feathery Scroll Filigree*,  some Flower Washers, and a few bezels... none of which were the same colour!

Poison Tin - Nichola Battilana

(Isn't that eye brilliant?! It's a 12mm Glass Cat Eye.)

Want to create a similar effect? Here's the process I used...

• Gather some flourished elements and start layering them, building a composition. Don't worry if their colour doesn't match... we'll help them to get along.

• Glue all of your pieces to the surface of the tin and allow to set. 

• Paint with a base coat of black paint. **Hint: multiple thin layers, given time to dry between coats, will work much better than a single thick layer of paint and preserves the details of the pieces.**

• Apply some silver acrylic paint. You may want to gently sponge off any excess.

• Apply a wash of dark paint to tone down the silver, allow it to pool in the crevices giving an aged look.

• With your finger, rub a little fresh silver paint to the highest areas.

The finished effect should allow you to combine different coloured elements to create piece that looks cohesive.

Let's take a look inside now...

Poison Tin - Nichola Battilana

Teeny tiny poison bottles! 

I do have a sneaky trick to share to save you some aggravation with those shelves. Instead installing the shelf then fiddling around to fill it in that small space, consider gluing the little bottles to the shelf first. Once dried, use the back surface of the bottles to glue into place rather than the small edge of the shelf. If using this method, be sure to consider the depth and height of the space you are filling.

Poison Tin - Nichola Battilana

And if you're itching for a supply list...

Magic Potions Kit
Brass Feathery Scroll Filigree*
Flower Washers
12mm Glass Cat Eye
Round Antique Bronze Filigree*
40x30mm Halloween Poison Cameo* 
Sheet Moss* 
E-6000 Adhesive*
Acrylic Paint

And a quick link to all the products used.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Summer Fun Altered Canvas with Petaloo

I have loads of fresh photographs from our misadventure camping trip last week and I'm celebrating our "Summer Fun" with Petaloo by creating this altered canvas. 


I'm not really a scrapper, but I wanted to celebrate the memeories from our misadventures in camping so this altered canvas was an ideal option.


I know that summer fun often means bright, vibrant colours, but in this instance I'm using the DIY-Mini Mix in Teastained Cream just as they are to compliment the understated colours in the photograph. They add just the right amount of texture, and they pair so well with the natural burlap trim.


Neutral scrapbook papers
Gel medium
Acrylic paint
Feathery Flourishes Set

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Fortune Teller

I finished up this piece I've been tinkering with for ages.

OOAK Gypsy Fortune Teller Booth - Nichola Battilana

The piece measures just a smidge under 13", which is a bit larger than I usually work in. The Gypsy fortune teller inside is free sculpted from polymer clay.

OOAK Gypsy Fortune Teller Booth - Nichola Battilana

She has a wee crystal ball and some tiny tarot cards too.

OOAK Gypsy Fortune Teller Booth - Nichola Battilana

This gal is listed HERE. She's likely to be the only Fortune Teller Booth I'll be doing for a while, and definitely one of a kind.

Partial Supply list:
16mm Clear Glass Marble
Silver Cup Box Feet* 
Gypsy Coin Mix* 
Silicone Mold - Architectural Flourishes* 
Baroque Dresden Borders - Black 

Friday, August 07, 2015

Tall Garden Cottage Tutorial

Every month I create a project with a tutorial for This month it's a biggy...

Tall garden Cottage with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

There are loads of steps and it'll take some time to complete (especially when you factor in drying time), but I think it's worth it.

Tall garden Cottage with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Created from Gina's 3 Story House, you could customize the contents to your own whims and tastes. Filled with little mementos, keepsakes and small photos it would make a wonderful gift for someone special. 

Tall garden Cottage with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Mine isn't quite so sentimental and will be home to little gnome and elf figures and collectibles :)

Tall garden Cottage with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Don't feel rushed with this project. Enjoy the process of making it 'just-so' and the challenge of filling it with lovely little bits and bobs.

Tall garden Cottage with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

I only had one piece of Honeycomb Fleur Cardstock from The Robin's Nest to cover the house, so I'll show you how to be a little sneaky if you're short on paper.

Tall garden Cottage with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

You can find the full video tutorial HERE

If you have any questions or are unclear about anything, don't hesitate to ask.

Gina's Supply List:

The Robin's Nest Supplies:
Calamity Jane Diagonal Glitter Cardstock
Honeycomb Fleur Cardstock

Other Supplies:
White Tacky Glue
Spackling (I used one that goes on pink and dries white)
*And a quick link to all of the products used available via Alpha Stamps

Thursday, August 06, 2015

It could have been worse

Our family motto seems to be, "It could have been worse."

I know things have been a little quiet around here but life got sort of hectic last week with plumbing issues coming out the hoo-ha and the resulting messes. Let's just say that it's a good thing that I'm not above cleaning poop and leave it at that.

It could have been worse.

The plumbing problems could have happened this week while we were unplugged, camping, while my mother looked after the house and animals.

Yes, it could have been worse.

Speaking of camping. This was our drive to Murphy's Point Provincial Park.

We sleep in tents. 
This was worrying. 
But it could have been worse...

The skies cleared when we arrived and we were able to set up camp (extra tarps and all) before the skies opened up once more.

Our first night we heard rustling in our kitchen tent and in the morning found this...

It could have been worse.

Don't worry, that's not blood. We're diligent about storing food in the truck. This footprint is from a single kool-aid packet hidden behind the stove on the picnic table.

The other thing we discovered that morning... our air mattress had a slow leak and the ground was mighty uncomfortable.

But there was a Canadian Tire just 20 minutes from the camp, so it could have been worse.

On our last night the raccoons returned on their evening rounds. This time Mr. Pixie was heard thumping, rustling, rattling and shoo-ing for quite a long time. When he returned he told us that there had to have been 15 raccoons, all over our site! They were in the trees, in the tent and he had even evicted some babies from our trailer!

But when all is said and done, even after all those little disasters... it could have been worse.

In fact, it really wasn't bad at all.