Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"Enchanted Forest" Medieval Castle with Mini Album

I was so excited when I got my "assignment" this month for my Alpha Stamps design team project. I was to make a piece using the newly released Graphic 45 paper line "Enchanted Forest." I love this paper line - I think the prints are beautiful - and, as always, the Graphic 45 papers are of quality and can stand a lot of wear and tear during construction! Because of the Renaissance nature of the collection, I decided to create a large free-standing castle which would also house a photo album mini-album. Lots of work - lots of fun - and lots of paper!

I decided to challenge myself to make the piece almost entirely from the paper collection. With just a few exceptions, I kept to the challenge and am pretty pleased with the results (hearty pat on the back to myself here, haha).

The main structure consists of a set of stairs leading up to double doors and a balcony which is populated with Renaissance faeries. The rooftop is finished off with a royal golden crown with a strand of strung aqua beads, as well as two finials. There are miniature flower pots with greenery, blooms, and crown charms sitting on the stairs, which separate two tower structures which feature double shuttered arched windows and balconies with fair maidens awaiting the return of their knights on white steeds!
This photo angle shows the towers and the castle from the 3/4 side view, allowing you a peek at the photo mini-album stored behind the double doors.

Also, the roofs on each of the towers come off to reveal shelves to store jewelry, love notes, or special trinkets or memories. Having none of those things, I put small battery powered candles in them and they look terrific in the arched windows!
The flower pots are miniature clay planters with saucers (I left the saucers off so they would fit on the stairs) from Alpha Stamps filled with Mini Fern Garland, Tiny Tree with Pink Blossoms, Small Bright Pink Mulberry Blossoms, and Twiggy Leaf Garland - all from Alpha Stamps. The planters were decorated with molds made from paper clay and architectural molds I had on hand.

As you can see, I used a lot of the Gold Ric Rac Dresden Borders Sets to outline the corners of every seam in the towers and the stairs. The red trim balcony railing and door decorative 'molding' is from the Enchanted Forest paper pack, die cut with a Sizzix die. The ornamentation above the door is another mold I made from an architectural mold and paper clay that I had on hand.
Here are the double doors, which are outline with an on-hand piece of leather and trimmed with White Mesh Rhinestone Ribbon that I colored with Caramel Tim Holtz alcohol ink. As door handles, I used the Antique Brass Lion Door Knockers with a dry brush of black paint over them. I used the set of Curved Brass Hinges on the doors with a black paint and steel wool finish.

This photo shows the castle doors open, and the photo mini-album revealed. It is a perfect fit, and again is constructed entirely from the Enchanted Forest paper collection and decorated with a plethora of images from Alpha Stamps collage sheets. They will be individually identified in the supply list!
This is the album in front of the castle, and you can see the fussy cut images from the Enchanted Forest papers on the back wall - they are really lovely graphics and so perfect for this ... or any Renaissance or faery tale project! Let's take a look at the photo album and some of the pages. I'm never quite sure why these are called "mini-albums" - they hold dozens of photos - I'm not clear why they're mini!. This one has a completely closed cover that opens from the front. There are no pages visible from the sides of the outside of the album.
 Each page includes one large area to the left for a larger photo to be placed.
 Each page includes two small flap pages that allow for small or special photos or mementos.
 Also each page has a complete pull-out insert that will allow for two larger photos or journaling or memento/souvenir placements.

 In addition, each page has a flip up feature which allows for double sides for even more display space. There are really dozens of spaces for your photos in this album!
Thanks for taking the cook's tour of my Enchanted Forest castle and mini-album storage. I hope you will check out Alpha Stamps remarkable selection of miniature marvels and craft supplies and create something special from this wonderfully romantic and olde world style paper collection! Everything needed to create this castle and mini-album you'll find by clicking here.

Now...go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan

 Back of castle,with embellishments and a pocket for storing more photos, poems, journaling notes, or the perfect spot for a giver/receiver gift tag.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mistakes and Hot Messes Are Okay!

I confess: I cannot take credit for this hysterical and highly educational blog post. It is the work of Christina - or Chrissy, The Twisted Muse.

When I read it, I laughed right out loud - and immediately contacted her and asked if it was okay to share it with my readers. I told her straight out: I wasn't going to change a word of her post - just cut and paste it the marvelous way she had put it together.

She gave me her blessing - so, dear friends, grab a cuppa and enjoy - just be careful not to spray the monitor at the good parts.

Mistakes and Hot Messes are Okay!

Have you ever had this great, fantastic, mind blowing vision in your head and then you start to work your magic.  You start to see your vision come to fruition through your fingertips.  You find your groove.  You are totally jivin' and feelin' it come to life.  Then, the moment of realization occurs.  You take a step back, tilt your head, look at your completed "vision" and think, "What the hell have I just done??!!"  Don't lie.  We've all done it.  We've all had these great ideas but something happens during the process and a disconnect sets in and once it's completed, you end up with a hot mess that you can't believe just flowed through your hands and all you can say is, "WTF?"

I've had them many times and as luck would have it, I just finished one right on the heels of making it onto one of the hottest mixed media teams around.  Yep.  My project can only be titled as, "WTF happened??!!"

Behold!  The hot mess that can only be described using the words of a very good friend of mine, Jess, "Oh damn!  A whole lot of work for it to look like a snow cone!" hat.

Aaaaah.  Just look at that in all it's Easter gone tweaker glory!  Flowers, flowers, wings, and color.  Just an explosion of "Oh my gaud(y)!" all over the place.
 Because what every hot mess needs to make it look even more chaotic is GLITTER!  Loads and loads of glitter makes everything exponentially......worse.
 If you EVER feel the need to play "mad scientist" with your sprays, DON'T!  You end up with this psychedelic trip gone horribly wrong in the end.  JUST DON'T DO IT!  And no matter what, a very prettily embossed Relic will not "make it all better."

Not sure if you can tell in the photo, but why not highlight the mind altering "WTH" with some.....LED lights!  Because every train wreck of a project should be lit the heck up so all can see and wonder whether you were drunk or unconscious when you put this together.

I can't tell you where or when the vision in my mind turned into a snow cone on acid, but I will say this.  MISTAKES ARE OKAY!  Not every project is going to be awesome and beautiful.  But in those mistakes and visions gone horribly wrong is where we learn, grow, and hopefully find some humor.  Every single person who creates, no matter if they are on a design team or not, has at least one project in their closet where they look at it and all they can do is shake their head and toss back a shot of vodka.  This one is mine.  Enjoy and salud!



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Having Your Cake and Wearing It, Too ...

Say goodbye to the stereotype of the starving bridezilla! 
Now you can have your cake and wear it, too.
Presenting "The Weddible Dress."
Okay, it's not actually a dress. It's a cake sculpture shaped like a dress — meaning no one will ever actually wear it down the aisle. However I classify this piece of edible art, it's ringing all my bells.
The dress was created for Cake International, a U.K.-based cake-decorating and baking show. The artist, Sylvia Elba, was asked to produce an exhibit out of wafer paper to show its versatility as a crafting tool.
She enlisted friends and fellow cake masterminds Yvette Marner and Ilinka Rnic, and the three got together to play Project Yum-way.
Roughly 300 hours later, they came away with a life-size piece of cake couture that we could mistake for a designer gown if we weren't paying attention.
As requested, the dress is made predominantly of wafer paper — about 2000 sheets, to be exact — with embellishments made of fondant and cake lace. It's held together by Fabriliquid, which is also edible. That's one serious sweetheart neckline.
It also weighs about 150 pounds. So not the most practical wedding-day choice, though it could be a good defense against runaway brides.
This collaboration includes Yvette Marner, a multi-award winning cake sculptor and founder of Fun N Funky Cakes; and Ilinka Rnic, who has an Art, Design and Photography background and is also multi-award winning cake designer.
The lifesize edible dress, plus accessories is being created from fondant, cake lace and wafer paper which will be ‘sewn’ and fabricated with Fabriliquid.
The mannequin is 170cm tall and the dress core circumference is 220cm. To make the ruffles for the dress they will use approximately 1-2000 sheets of wafer paper, 10 bottles of Fabriliquid, 30-35kg of fondant and 3 kg of cake lace.
The Weddible Dress team would like to say a special thank you to the sponsors Dummies Direct, Renshaw, Magic Colours, The Cake Decorating Co. and Selba ltd

Now, go make something beautiful...
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´ 
(¸.•´♥ Tristan