Sunday, August 02, 2015

Sparkly Floral Crown with Petaloo

I found some simple wooden crown cut outs at Michaels. They have a little stick to hold the crown shape above your head during photographs or when meeting crown worthy dignitaries, all the while preventing unsightly 'crown head' hair.
Sparkly Floral Crown with Petaloo Blooms - Nichola Battilana

I thought the shapes were cute and a great kids project. After all, even if you can't find these wooden cutouts at your local craft store, it would be easy enough to create your very own from some cardboard and a bit of doweling. They would make a totally adorable "make and take" for birthday parties.
Sparkly Floral Crown with Petaloo Blooms - Nichola Battilana

I began by painting all of the pieces white, then sploshing some paint on them. Sploshing doesn't require being neat or tidy so it is perfectly appropriate for little hands. Eat a cookie or fresh fruit salad and wait for that sploshing to dry before adding some glitter (Tip: good quality glue will help avoid glitter from loosening). For this crown I've added Fancy Trimsalong the bottom edge and a coordinating Teal Burlap Blossom
Sparkly Floral Crown with Petaloo Blooms - Nichola Battilana

For this crown I've used a DIY-Mum which you can colour to match your project. (Note: I coloured this blossom with watercolour paint then dipped it in tea to soften the colour) Then I added a length of tulle to gussy up the handle.
Sparkly Floral Crown with Petaloo Blooms - Nichola Battilana

Those DIY blooms are pretty amazing and colouring them could be a fun project for kiddos in and of itself.
Sparkly Floral Crown with Petaloo Blooms - Nichola Battilana

Working with kids can be a lot of fun and there are many ways to include them in crafting. Let them make decisions about colour and trims. Let them do the sploshing. You can set limits if you like "Let's pic three flowers to add" but let them have some control. Be sure to have those little people help clean up afterwards too.
So get out there and make some crowns with your littles. And don't forget the tea party photo shoot afterwards.

Supply List:
Misc ribbons and trims
Wooden Crown cut outs or DIY crown shapes

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Tooth Fairy Letters

The other day I happened to run into the Tooth Fairy and we had a little chat. She said that she has been very busy lately and run ragged with all of the tooth collecting. Her schedule is so jam packed that she doesn't have time for any other fairy activities! Such a shame. I asked if there was anything I could do to help...

Tooth Fairy Letters - Nichola Battilana

I am asked about Tooth Fairy letters fairly regularly. While I do enjoy creating little the letters, they often take up quite a bit of precious limited time. Toothy and I (that's what I call her, we're pretty tight) came up with an idea.

Tooth Fairy Letters - Nichola Battilana

We created a template, an 'official Tooth Fairy sanctioned' correspondence, that parents and caregivers can print and assemble to give Toothy a bit of relief and help her get caught up.

Tooth Fairy Letters - Nichola Battilana

The PDF includes two letters (a 'thank-you' note and an apology for late tooth pick up) envelope template, tiny stamps, seals and a wee certificate for tooth collection completion.

The download is available in the etsy shop HERE.

P.S. Toothy asked me to remind you to brush at least twice a day and don't forget to floss.

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