Friday, May 13, 2016

A lady-like tablet holder

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but while I'm working I like to have something playing, a movie, or tv show, you know what I mean. Lately, I've been watching Netflix with my tablet propped up against a ratty old paint can. It slips and falls all over the place. So when Gypsy Soul sent me this Business Card Holder I asked if they could hook me up with something for my tablet. And they did!

Tablet holder w/ and Graphic45 - Nichola Battilana

I've embellished mine with Graphic 45's Artisan Style "Decorative Flourish" and added chopped up Ornate Metal Keys, Stamped Metal Brads and Stamped Metal Tag. There's also an elegant strip of Mini Floral Dresden Border. I loves it to bits!

Tablet holder w/ and Graphic45 - Nichola Battilana
A historic moment, no fingerprints on my screen!

I feel like a lady! Watching lady shows, whilst making lady-like things. 

Lah-dee-dah, darlings!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Alice's Altoid Manor House

This month's Alpha Stamps kit is *drumroll* Alice in an Altoids Tin!

I'm really excited to share this particular tin, which I've named Alice's Altoid Manor House, because it's actually quite simple to put together.

I simply applied the Altoids Tin Book Covers to the front and back of the tin. I didn't even bother with the book spine (though I'm sure it'll come in handy for something). Then a Window Pediment - Federal was added to the front top edge and the Window Pediment - Yorktown to the bottom front edge. A snip of Thin Fleur Dresden Border is applied under the top pediment, then whole shebang is painted grey.

The windows are just little paper frames I cut out. I placed some Alice charaters from the Wonderland Rabbits and Hares Collage Sheet in the squares and added a layer of Diamond Glaze to make the 'windows' glossy. The door is framed with some snippets of wood and topped with little bit of filagree that broke off something-or-other that I kept for just such an occasion. Finally I finished the exterior with a Bronze Stopwatch Clock Charm and some Flower Soft.

I've kept the inside fairly simple too.

On the shallow tin lid I just placed an image from the Alice Covers Collage Sheet adjusting the size to fit. Tip: If you want your book/house/tin to close tightly, you'll want to avoid adding much thickness to this part of the tin, especially around the edges.

Finally, the fat portion of the tin. I've taken an image from the Alice Herself Collage Sheet (printed slightly larger to fit the tin) and cut out each of the elements, layering them in a simple paper tole style. The last touch, a little cake made of paper clay and a glass bead 'drink me' bottle.

So now it looks as though I've written a darned novel, but I promise, this was a practically painless project! Sure the sides aren't covered... but the tin opens and I didn't have a meltdown attempting to apply hinges. (I often have hinge related meltdowns.)

Here is your supply round up:
Altoids Tin Book Covers
Blank Altoids Tins
Window Pediment - Federal
Window Pediment - Yorktown
Bronze Stopwatch Clock Charm
Mini Silicone Cake Mold Set
Thin Fleur Dresden Borders - Turquoise
Flower Soft - Peony Pink
Flower Soft - Meadow Green
Creative Paperclay*

An Impatient Matchbox

A wee project to show off today. An altered match box, made while impatiently waiting for paint to dry.

Matchbox Shrine - Nichola Battilana

There's a program on Netflix called Raiders of the Lost Art. It's all about missing or stolen art and touches on the history of the works too. One episode was about Faberge Eggs. I love that those eggs held a secret surprise inside and I especially like that the most elaborate surprises were held within the simplest exteriors.

Matchbox Shrine - Nichola Battilana

The whole idea of a bright surprise inside of an unassuming box is delightful. This little matchbox sort of plays with that concept. A regular old matchbox, a distressed exterior, hiding a colourful story within. People are a lot like this too. Unassuming frumpy grumps hide the best fairy tales.

Standard matchbox
Prima Cigar Box Secrets scrapbook paper
Antique 3D Gold Crowns 
1 Inch Mini Tassel - Gold 
Narrow Gold Fleur Dresden Borders*

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Cure for Monday Blahs

A very short while ago I posted about the Pixie Hill fairies writing to a kindergarten class who were learning about the little people. Yesterday I was delighted to discover some replies from the class.

One of the fairies who wrote to the class lamented about his lost button. It was a favourite button, so his distress was quite understandable. The class very thoughtfully sent replacement buttons.

There were some fine portraits too! Those wings and wands are practically perfect. There were also some very good pictures of jam. And if you're curious, it seems strawberry is the preferred jammy flavour.

I was quite the grump yesterday and it seemed as though the whole day was one disaster after another, but these papery bits of thoughtfulness totally brightened my day (as well as the Pixie Hill fairies!) and I'm certain they've brought a bit of luck with them too.

Thank you Mrs. Butcher and to all the children of your kindergarten class for curing the Monday blahs!

(& thanks to your helpers too!)

Monday, May 09, 2016

Butterfly Meadow Altoid Tin

It's been a long while since I played with an Altoid Tin. I've got heaps of ideas sketched in my notebooks. I even have a prototype of a rather elaborate design... but today I'm sharing this sweet and simple tin.

Butterfly Meadow Altoid tin - Nichola Battilana

I've used Prima's Tales of You & Me-Contes de Toi et Moi for the exterior and flowers. A few of the the flowers and the blue background are from Cigar Box Secrets - Corona.

Butterfly Meadow Altoid tin - Nichola Battilana

The little sentiment "The butterflies danced in the summer meadow." is made up of words cut from a vintage children's book.

I've said it before, if you're looking to add cut phrases to your work, pick up an old damaged kids book. The typeface is usually quite large and they include the nicest words,

Butterfly Meadow Altoid tin - Nichola Battilana

I hope you're having a great day. I'm ready to crawl back under the covers and hide for a while... hopefully it's just a case of the Monday's and the rest of the week behaves.

P.S. If you live near Toronto check out THIS POST and you could win a pair of tickets to Medieval Times.

Prima's Design Team Call 2016 -2017

Seeing loads of entries for the Prima Marketing design team call from fellow crafters I adore, I thought 'What the heck!' and decided to show off some of my projects made with Prima pretties.

Paper Caravan

Happy papercrafting!

Sunday, May 08, 2016

The Pixies Go to Medieval Times & Ticket Giveaway!

A few weeks ago I received an invite to visit Medieval Times, Toronto Dinner and Tournament.

Now, I had never been to Medieval Times, and I am a complete and utter dork for renaissance fairs and fairy tale stuff, so I was beyond thrilled. Seriously, I drove my kid and husband bonkers. "Are you excited?!? I'm excited! How can you not be excited?" It wasn't that they weren't excited... it was that they weren't middle-aged-woman-who-never-gets-out-of-the-house-and-can't-wait-to-eat-with-her-hands-and-a-wear-a-crown excited.

Medieval Times, Toronto Dinner and Tournament didn't just pay for my dinner, they said I can give away a pair of tickets on my little old blog too! So get ready for me to blab endlessly, and then see how you can enter for your chance to win tickets to this jousty dinner and show.

First, we pulled up to the lot and scrounged the $11 for parking. We should have known better since this is Toronto and *I think* paying for parking is pretty much a given. (FYI Toronto is the only Medieval Times that charges for parking.)

Inside there was a long line up for tickets, but we were ushered in right away.

We were given coloured crowns, then had our pictures taken with the Princess. The picture was terrible but that was totally our fault. Me looking like a demented housewife. The kid with a scowl and eyes half closed. The man trying to look manly next to the princess. We were a hot mess.

Next, we were ushered into a large hall where you can buy beer and wine, souvenirs, and everything from pink fuzzy unicorns to swords, crowns and dragon hats. I don't really go in for gift store stuff so didn't buy anything. Although... I was tempted to bring this giant dragon skull home.

I used this pre-show time to visit the ladies room. I'm a bit of connoisseur when it comes to the loo since I tinkle a zillion times a day. It was very clean, not fancy in the least, but served it's purpose well.

People entered the arena by the colour of their crown. These correspond to the seating sections and the knight you root for. We sat in the front row of the green section. You pay extra to sit in the front row, but in all honesty, with their staggered seating, I'm willing to bet you'd have a decent view no matter where you sat.

The show started and the feasting began!

Eats include tomato soup and garlic bread, huge portion of chicken, half cob of corn, half baked potato, two beverage servings of Pepsi or water, then coffee or tea, and a pastry.* Some of the chicken was quite dry and we all thought a little bowl of sauce/gravy would have been a great addition. That said, I totally get that this is not fine dining. They're trying to please 100's of people (including small children) with one set menu, serve it hot, and clear it efficiently. They do a pretty good job of it.

*There is a vegetarian meal alternative. If you have little ones you can ask for juice instead of Pepsi.

The show plays as food is served/eaten. It is largely horsemanship, skill with a little bit of jousting. There's a falconry element that is very cool. A bit of weaponry combat, some knightly chivalry, and that's it in a nutshell. It was highly choreographed, as it should be for the performers safety, but it was a lot of fun.

A few notes:

It did not smell like poo or horses. This is one question that kept running though my mind beforehand so there has to be some other weirdo wondering the same thing. My mother is a horse crazed lunatic and her vehicle always smells like horse. I was expecting that familiar odour in the arena. Not a whiff!

The bad guy. Even his horse looked leery of him.

If you aren't ok with kids, this is not the place for you. I sat beside a family with two little ones and almost got whacked on the head by flashing light up swords at least a dozen times. This wasn't misbehaving, it was kids doing what kids do in a confined space for 2+ hours when given a flashing light up sword. I'm ok with it. Others might not be.

By "sat beside" I mean literally touching the person beside you. Chairs are packed beside one another as tightly as possible. Your space is basically as wide as your place mat. Getting out to use the restroom is a nearly impossible ordeal (as demonstrated by the woman seated next to me climbing over the back of her chair). If you have personal space issues, you'll need to consider this.

I do have one last criticism: the timing of the food. I really wish that there were two serving wenches to dole out the nosh. It would have been nice to have entire courses served at the same time instead of waiting for bread or corn or potato to arrive, while the rest sat waiting on the plate. This is in no way a criticism of our server, Emma. She was an absolute delight and I should have tipped her twice as much as I did. It's simply a matter of needing a second pair of hands.

Where's ma tater and corn?

To be frank, one of the reasons I hadn't gone to Medieval Times before now was the price. Starting at $65.95 for adults and $45.95 for kids, it is not an inexpensive outing. BUT there are deals to be had, like mid week prices (Adults $40 & Kids $30) or their Victoria Day Long Weekend Offer (Adults $41.95 & Kids $29.95) Take advantage of their specials and the cost isn't too far off the price of dinner and movie/show. (i.e. I just checked the price of circus tickets and they run $30 - $50.)

Anywho, it's a fun option for a special occasion. I've included my criticisms here to provide a full honest review, but overall it was a great time. We really enjoyed ourselves and are totally grateful for the opportunity to visit, for the full bellies, and all the laughs.

Oh, for the love of biscuits Nichola!
Stop your yammering and nitpicking 
and get to the give away!!!!

Geesh! Hang on to your knickers!

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to
Medieval Times, Toronto Dinner and Tournament
comment below with the name of your favourite fairy tale.

One entry per person.
Please ensure that I can contact you via email if you win.
(ie. Don't comment anonymously.)
Deadline is 12:01 est a.m. on Sunday, May 15th, 2016
One entry will be selected at random.
Winner will be contacted Monday, May 16th, 2016
If there is no reply by Wednesday, May 18th, 2016, I will select an alternate winner.

Good luck!