Sunday, February 15, 2015

One Little Thing - Family

Tomorrow is Family Day in Ontario.

'Family' means different things to different people. For some it's blood relatives, for others friends are their chosen family. Lets not forget the important role that 'fur babies' play in the lives of many.  

This week your challenge is to create one little thing using the theme of 'Family'

Have fun! And enjoy creating :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Forever Bouquets for Petaloo

Forever Bouquet for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana

The hubs and I have been together forever and we don't really celebrate Valentines Day. The sweeping romantic gesture in our house will be pizza and beer. Anyway, I really wanted to create a project that could be for any occasion, a sweet little something so say "I think you're nifty." So I made these little 'forever' bouquets with Petaloo's amazing faux blooms.
Forever Bouquet for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana

I'll probably keep these, maybe tuck them in the guest room, so that there are pretty blooms to look at year round. A few drops of essential oil and they'll even smell great too!
Forever Bouquet for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana

This little bouquet is in a small galvanized metal can. Inside I've placed some oasis, carved the top into a sort of dome shape and glued the blooms in place. So easy and cute as can be!
Forever Bouquet for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana
Perfect little blooms that don't need water and will never wilt.
Forever Bouquet for Petaloo - Nichola Battilana

This tiny arrangement was created in a mini mason jar. I painted the inside of the jar white, allowed it to dry, then added my oasis. Again, so simple and very sweet :) 
Be sure to hop over to the Petaloo blog for more gorgeous (though non-pizza related) ideas for your lovely.
White paint
Floral Oasis
Small jars or tins
Hearts or other small embellishments
Optional - Essential oils

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Lovers

My one little thing sort of got a little out of hand this week. I spent a long time on this piece. I probably could have spent forever on it and still be fiddling. But there comes a to time to let things be. You may have noticed that this piece is a tiny bit DeMeng-y. You'd be right. I'm a big fan of his work and keep meaning to sign up for one of Michael DeMeng's online classes... but... well... I keep getting distracted. Soon!

Anywho, without further a-do, The Lovers...

He opened the door of the old cupboard and saw a single item sitting on the shelf.

The Lovers Totem - Nichola Battilana

He had no idea what the object was, but he was hit with the instant realization that he had been completely wrong about it's creator.

The Lovers Totem - Nichola Battilana

He had been dismissive. At times she had been indistinguishable from the background. He had missed her magic altogether.

The Lovers Totem - Nichola Battilana

If only...

His regret was of no consequence. There would be no lovers totem for him.

It was not resentment for the lack of affection or attention. She did not share her bed, heart or mind with anyone who did not appreciate her value.

She knew her own worth.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Altered Altoid Tins Revisited

A very nice surprise yesterday when Scrapbook Expo shared my Secret Garden tins. I thought perhaps it would be fun to look back and share some of the altered Altoids tins I've created over the years.

Secret Garden Altered Altoid Tin - Nichola Battilana

Halloweeny Altered Altoid Tin - Nichola Battilana

Evil Dead Altered Altoid Tin - Nichola Battilana
E is for Edward (Gorey) Altered Altoid Tin - Nichola Battilana
E is for Edward (Gorey)

Secretive Altered Altoid Tin - Nichola Battilana
Wicked Circus Altered Altoid Tin - Nichola Battilana

221B Baker Street Altered Altoid Tin - Nichola Battilana

Haunted House Altered Altoid Tin - Nichola Battilana

Haunted House Tin
This project is over on craftster but the images links are broken.
I stink. I know.

And that's about it. There are a few others, but this is the bulk of them. Perhaps it's time to pick up work on the last ones I was working on...

Sunday, February 08, 2015

One Little Thing - The Lovers

Next Saturday is Valentines Day and I've chosen "The Lovers" as this weeks theme.

Wait! Wait! Wait! Hear me out on this one...

If you are the lovey dovey type and go in for flowers and boxes of chocolate and romance, by all means, go ahead and get your Cupid on! Pull out the pink paint and hearts!

BUT if you're disinclined to jump on that bandwagon now is the perfect opportunity to do some really creative thinking. Just because the prompt is "The Lovers" does not mean that they have to be particularly good lovers, or nice, or well suited or that their tryst lasts very long at all.

Have fun with your making this week!

Saturday, February 07, 2015

My One Little Thing "Fruitful"

Here is my one little thing for this weeks 'fruitful' theme. It's not at all what I intended but there's two lessons from this sketchy mess.

My kiddo actually asked me to make with him this week. My kiddo isn't much interested in art or making. I suppose that being surrounded by mum's 'work' sort of takes the appeal out of it. Or maybe he's just more interested in other things... like food... and sports... and youtube. So when he asked me to sit down and draw with him all other plans went out the window.

So, lesson 1: ALWAYS draw or make with your kids when they ask. Not only is it time spent together, it places importance on creativity. You are showing them that making is valuable. That's the whole point of these 'one little thing' exercises, to give value to the time, any time, spent creatively.

Lesson 2: I used terrible waxy crayons for this picture. Awful things placed in those kids kits of 1001 art supplies on sale for $5. I swear they are one step away from drawing with a candle.

It occurred to me that anyone looking for a way to focus on the process of making rather than end result might find using bad supplies helpful. It would give you permission to just have fun without the expectation of an exceptional result. I'm not saying that blaming tools is a wise (or honest) excuse for bad work... but it just might be helpful if you've forgotten how to scribble and just want a bit of fun ;)

P.S. You may have noticed I missed last weeks post. Yep. But that's ok! We all have hectic weeks we can't fit it all in... myself included.

Friday, February 06, 2015

A place for Maman Brigitte

It's been AGES since I've talked about anything pagan-ish but I did a redo of a shrine the other day so I suppose I'll make good and chit chat about it right this minute.

I have several shrines in my house. Unprejudiced in my beliefs, I celebrate gods, goddesses, spirits, saints and deities from a variety of faiths and paths. Some people prefer a singular path, but this mishmash works for me.

Shrines are a space to contemplate, to show gratitude, to ask for guidance... but most mornings I simply light some incense and say a little 'hello'. It's nice. Like a daily visit with friends. 

My shrine to Maman Brigitte was in much need of a makeover, so I'd like to show off the much improved sacred space...
A shrine for Maman Brigitte - Nichola Battilana

Google her and you'll find phrases like "death loa" and "dark goddesses". Those words can be frightening to those who don't fully comprehend their meaning. It's a little unfair. To me, Maman Brigitte has been like a bawdy talking, no nonsense auntie. She's funny, fierce, and will stand by you when you need her support. She is a protector and fair in her judgement... but she'd put you in your place if need be too.

I thought perhaps the same might be true of this shrine. It might seem 'dark' to some. So I'd like to walk you through the items on it, what they are and why they're there.

A shrine for Maman Brigitte explained - Nichola Battilana

Incense: may be used for a variety of reasons including cleansing or purifying the area, to represent the element of 'air', so that thoughts may be carried upon the smoke, as an offering, to attract or call up spirits.

Hot Peppers: I've used hot peppers here because they are directly associated with Maman Brigitte. She likes rum infused with hot peppers.

Decorations: These are simply artifacts, small gifts or tokens that made me think of her.

Water: may be included to represent the element 'water', as an offering, or refreshment

Clay dish: a place for small offerings. For Maman Brigitte this could be little purple items, nuts, cigarettes, feathers. Natural clay objects may also represent the element 'earth'.

Graveyard Dust: This is earth from a graveyard. Maman Brigitte looks over cemeteries, the departed and in particular those graves marked with a cross. They are sacred places to her.

Flowers: I've used small purple flowers because Maman Brigitte likes purple and what lady doesn't like flowers? If building your own shrine, it's good to keep in mind that flowers and herbs can have different meanings, significance or uses. Hyssop for cleansing, rosemary for remembrance...

Imagery: Maman Brigitte is a manifestation of Brigid.

Bell: This bell is here simply because it has a rooster on it and there is an association with Maman Brigitte BUT bells may be included because they can attract the attention of the spirits (kind of like a doorbell), or chase away negativity.

Candles: represent the element of 'fire', used as offering and for honoring. They are also often used in spells and charms

Skull: Again, a little nod to her connection to cemeteries and the dead.

Prayer Card: These little cards have images of Saints and a prayer on the back. Some spirits are associated with a specific saint or it's imagery.

Floral Water: water infused with essential oils. May be used in spell work or as an offering. This is orange water, smells very nice and is said to lift the spirits :)

Rum: Maman Brigitte likes to drink. She especially like rum spiced with hot peppers!

Coffee: Another favourite of Maman Brigitte. When I make myself coffee in the morning, I first pour a small cup for those spirits who favour it. A polite 'good morning, I'm thinking of you'.

Tobacco: Maman likes to smoke strong cigarettes. No ciggies on hand this day, so loose leaf tobacco will do.

Feathers: Maman Brigitte is associated with black hens. When we culled a black hen last year I saved a few of the feathers specifically for her shrine.

And that's it in a very simplified nutshell! A shrine is really sort of like guestroom for the spirit or deity. A space filled with sentimental items and things that make them comfortable. There WILL be differences based on peoples personal practice, beliefs, culture or paths... but this is a pretty basic and honest breakdown.