Monday, September 12, 2016

Grim ATC Reliquaries

I feel like I've missed out on Halloween for the past couple of years. I've skipped right past it, diving head first into holiday making. Not this year. This year I'm determined to fully enjoy the haunting season.

Today I'm showing off these grim chipboard reliquaries.

I've used these Miniature Reliquaries for the base, which are just about ATC sized, measuring around 2.5" x 3.5" (give or take a smidge).

To embellish, Latin Stone Scrapbook Paper is used to cover the front and back of the pieces.

The images used are from the Skeleton Slide Mailers Collage Sheet and Skull & Bones Collage Sheet .

I've added loads of black Dresden snippets, and some teeny weeny 'crystals', dots normally used for decorating finger nails.

A length of seam binding is tied into wee bows to add one final touch.

So what about you? Anything spooky on your work table?

P.S. If you're interested in making these little bits, you might want to consider the swap that AlpahStamps is currently hosting.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets (Mature Content)

NOTE: A little warning to preface this post. This project contains slightly risque content. There's nothing grotesque or completely vulgar, but if that sort of thing offends you, you may want to skip this post.

I've mentioned it before, but I have the sense of humour of a 12 year old and the mouth of a sailor which often leads to a case of gutter mind. Recently, while looking for words in an old book, I came across this passage:

The book is actually quite sweet, but there are soooo many instances of pent-up yearnings, flushed cheeks, tinglings, and characters ejaculating their dialogue all over the place. "Geesh! Calm down Eleanor!" I thought. (The author being Eleanor Porter.) 

Then I thought that maybe Eleanor didn't need to calm down at all. Perhaps she just needed a proper place for those thoughts, a naughty books of secrets.

Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets - Nichola Battilana

So I made one! A book filled with frisky snippets and sassy vintage photos.

Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets - Nichola Battilana

It does get a bit steamy, but I'll spare us both the embarrassment of over-sharing.

Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets - Nichola Battilana

The text is made up entirely of words and phrases from a beat up copy of "Sister Sue"
which are strung together to tell a new, rather dirty little tale...

...  and a there are some nice bits of old ephemera tucked in there too.
Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets - Nichola Battilana

Also, vintage knickers and underthings are the bees knees! After searching for photos to include I sort of want to lounge around in giant granny panties, silk robes and stockings all day. That's pretty darned unlikely so don't worry, if you visit me I will answer the door looking like a fully clothed hobo.

Eleanor's Naughty Book of Secrets - Nichola Battilana

Anyway, the book was great fun to work on, I've really missed playing with paper like this and creating the cheeky content was wholly enjoyable too. A little naughtiness is just the right thing once in a while. 

Thanks for the reminder, Eleanor.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

A Grotty Goblin Dresser

Grotty. I love that word. It's a word from my childhood.

It was usually said in reference to something I was wearing "Take off that grotty such-and-such!" By definition it means something unpleasant and of poor quality like a dive bar or bad motel.

I would imagine that goblins rather like things that are grotty, and so I've created a little grotty goblin dresser this month for Alpha Stamps.

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

There's a nice little collection of spooky things on top of that dresser. Just the sorts of items that goblins find useful. And there's plenty of space in those drawers for storing rotten eggs.

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

The 'mirror' was made by applying a layer of tinfoil on the base, then adding large flakes of mica around the edge. A bit of staining and then a layer of Diamond Glaze to finish it off. There's a few wobbles and bubbles in there, but one of the very best things about making goblin items is that they don't have to be perfect. In fact, I do believe goblins prefer things that are imperfect!

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

Can you spy the pickled head ticked in the back? It was soooo easy to do, you won't believe it. I downloaded a stretched head picture from Howloweenqueen and then shrunk it down to fit inside the Stout Kitchen Jar with Lid. I just rolled the image up and plonked it inside and added some minor distressing. Voila! A miniature head in a jar. So easy! SO EASY!

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana
You could add just about anything you like to your own goblin dresser. Mine is a bit of a lush and likes to have a nip of something or other no matter what time of day it is so wine was must. There's also a book of Terrible Curses from the Little Library Collage Sheet, because that's how magical goblins roll.

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

Bottles of this and that, a Tiny White Turquoise Skull, and a crystal ball to see what no good things other goblins are up to.

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

Check out those cute Antique Brass Mini Fleur de Lys Handles. The perfect finishing touch for those drawers.

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

I had great fun with this little thing. I didn't go nuts and plaster the whole surface, but I think it looks nicely cluttered (sort of like my own dresser). And if grotty goblin things aren't your style, you could absolutely make something cute and frilly and shabby chic. You know, something to make the goblins feel queasy. 

Grotty Goblin Dresser - Nichola Battilana

Here is the big fat supply list for the bits used in this project. Happy making!

Gothic Dresser 

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Drippy Witch Lanterns

I've been making up a storm lately. There are bits and pieces of half finished projects all over the place and a bunch of completed pieces I can't show off quite yet. The posts have been a bit sparse lately so I made certain to get a little something done last night that I could share right away.

Drippy Witch Lanterns - Nichola Battilana

They are made with the same Industrial Lanterns used in THIS post.

Drippy Witch Lanterns - Nichola Battilana

And filled with moss, Pumpkin Pods and images from this Witch Stock Collage Sheet.

Drippy Witch Lanterns - Nichola Battilana

I've used stained lace trim to cover the sides of the lanterns.

Drippy Witch Lanterns - Nichola Battilana

There's a Black Mini Paper Bloom on top, and a length of fibre tied around the top. Finally I applied some drippy wax to the exterior.

Drippy Witch Lanterns - Nichola Battilana

I've got to add that these were inspired by some amazing pieces I saw on instagram a short while back. I cannot for the life of me find the original post to give proper credit. I'm going to have another search because it's driving me mad that I can't find it. Honestly, I have no idea what I'm doing on social media and it's sort of a miracle that I manage to post at all. (EDIT: I found her! Big fat thanks to Mary Fontones of Once Upon a Fairy for the inspiration.)

Lastly, if you decide to make your own and need help putting your lantern together HERE are the instructions for constructing those chippy lanterns.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Wee Winged Shrines with Tutorial

Can you believe it's the first Friday of September?! (What happened to the summer? Seriously, where'd it go?) The good news is that means it's tutorial day and I have a a fun and fantastical project for you. 

This month I wanted to encourage the spreading of good will, kindness and nice surprises. These little winged shrines are just the ticket! They're pretty easy to put together, and you can get a bit smooshy and sloppy in your mess making and have a lot of fun with them.

Wee Winged Goodness Shrines with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Each of these sweet things uses a Mini House Shadowbox as a base, and Victorian Corners to finish off the peak.

Wee Winged Goodness Shrines with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

Add some wings from the Steampunk Shape Set and then whatever embellishments your heart desires. Buttons, little paper flowers, charms... you name it!

Wee Winged Goodness Shrines with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

The images I've chosen were all selected from She has a lovely selection of images that are free to use. The sentiments are just snipped from discarded books, but you could easily write your own or use a commercial sentiment.

Wee Winged Goodness Shrines with Tutorial - Nichola Battilana

I think these are absolutely the sweetest and I'm sure that given as a gift, especially a surprise for no reason at all, they'd certainly help to spread cheer and goodness.

To help you make your own, here's how I put these cuties together

And here are all of the supplies I used in the pieces above.
Misc. decorative bits & bobs and embellishments
Acrylic craft paint
Instant glue

Friday, August 26, 2016

Nyx and the Benevento Walnut Tree

I finished the work in progress I showed off yesterday. While it could have gone in a million different directions, this piece is all about the goddess Nyx.

Nyx and the Benevento Walnut Tree - Nichola Battilana 
Nyx has existed from the beginning. She is the goddess of the Night and the mother of Light and Day (as well as gods of dreams, sleep, death, pain and more).

Nyx and the Benevento Walnut Tree - Nichola Battilana

In one version of her mythology, she was a great black bird and laid an egg from which Eros, the golden winged Spirit of Love emerges.

Nyx and the Benevento Walnut Tree - Nichola Battilana

At the centre of the piece there's a tree that represents the Benevento Walnut Tree. This magical tree was said to be a gathering place for Italian witches. It's roots reached down to the other world and the witches would draw up its power by dancing around the trunk. Nyx was one of the goddesses venerated at the tree.

Nyx and the Benevento Walnut Tree - Nichola Battilana

There are also some tiny handmade paper poppies in there too, said to be sacred to her.

Nyx and the Benevento Walnut Tree - Nichola Battilana

That little glass bauble? A piece made by my friend and glass artist Marc Bourdon.

When I completed this doodad I slipped outside, into the dark. Despite the sky being covered in clouds, I saw a shooting star whiz by. I'm going to take that as a good omen. Maybe even a wink of approval! And I think I'll keep this piece with me for a while.

The materials for this piece are from all over the place but I'll do my best to list what I can.

Wooden House Frame - from Michaels
Wing Assortment
Small Wings
Bronze Hand CharmFloral Border Sticks
Flourishes 2
Adhesive back pearls
Metal Filigree
Metal Wings
Florist Wire
Old paper
Acrylic paint
Woodland Scenics Clump Foliage
Glass bauble - glass artist Marc Bourdon

P.S. If you're interested in learning more about this sort of thing, goddesses, spirits and the like, Judika Illes' book 'Encyclopedia of Spirits' might be just the resource you're looking for.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rain, toadstools and a WIP

We've had a spot of rain here and the lawn is becoming green and lush once again. Good thing too because the crispy crunchy brown expanse was not doing a thing for me. All the rain has also brought our faeires out of hiding. They've been dancing across through the garden and leaving toadstools in their footsteps.

The one below is called an Earthstar. They are some of my favourites. From wikipedia "The Blackfoot of North America called the fungus "fallen stars", considering them to be stars fallen to the earth during supernatural events" I love seeing them sprout each year near the tire swing, and am always certain they are an omen of something good.

Even the old mushy things are lovely in their own way.

Despite my lack of posts I have been working. Lately I find myself prepping items and then becoming stumped. There's a log jam of ideas trying to get out... but not a heck of a lot is flowing through. That said, this appeared on my table yesterday....

Which got a slap of paint and turned into this last night...

And I *think* I know what it is, but we'll see where the making takes me today.

Hope you're feeling beautiful today...  because you are. Truly.