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Happy New Year!

Only a few more minutes until 2012! This year was a pretty good year. I've got some crafty resolutions for the New Year. The first is to participate in the 50 projects in 2012 craftalong over at, the second is to learn pottery, and the third is to art-calendar-along with Kate over at the Kathryn Wheel. She does some amazing art journal spreads and among my favorites are her art calendar pages. So this year, I plan to make an art calendar page for each month and journal a square a day as I go. At the end of the year, I'll bind them all together into a year-book :) This one is the first! I might change the size, though. Kate's are so roomy and delightful with lots of space for embellishments around the edges.

So how about you? Any crafty resolutions?!

PS. Funny: A squirrel fell down my chimney into my fireplace a few days ago, I actually called the police because I kept hearing sounds and thought there was someone in my house when I was home alone. Tink kept sniffing the fireplace today, so Bobby opened it up and there was a squirrel in there. We let it escape out the back door, and I'm sure he was glad to be OUT!

Kitty Tiny Book

 I made this wee book for my best craft buddy Audio. We kinda have an ongoing swappage, and this summer she sent me an awesome package with 2 excellent tiny books she made. I had been planning on sending her a tiny book, and we share a love of lolcats, thus this tiny book came to be.
 The shapes were cut using my Cricut and Make-the-Cut software and this shape bundle (which I definitely recommend if you've got cutting software).
 I cut out the words and cats from a children's poem book.
 This is my favorite spread of the whole book. There's just something about cut-out cat heads that I like....
 Second favorite. See the phonebook page on the left (free paper!) and the gems on the right.
I hope everyone had the most wonderful Christmas! Mine was spent here in Alabama with Bobby while the rest of my family was over at my sister's in Texas (Boo hoo!). I was sad I couldn't be there with everybody, but Bobby and I had a good day. We spent a lot of this weekend building Peanut a new birdcage which will probably get finished today. It's looking very, very cool! I'll post pics once it's done. I finally got a new computer for Christmas and a new printer :D I'm SO excited about it. Now I get to use better software to make my blog posts cooler. I actually pulled out my tablet that I haven't been able to use for my lack of a fast enough computer, only to find that I most likely threw out the software CD (that included Photoshop Elements, doh!) But it looks like I can download it if I call customer service, AND I found $90 hidden in my tablet case. SCORE! Happy Monday!

Pink Koala and Peanut Glamour Shots

 "My head is not a party," grumbled Koala.

I've been feeling a bit of a creativity dry-spell over the last few weeks. Dunno if anyone has noticed that my posts have dwindled down to about once a week... I feel lazy! But honestly, I sit down at my table with glitter and paper and paint and stuff galore and nothing cool comes out. I'm going to chock it up to winter doldrums and that I was sick this week. Anyhoo, I painted this grumpy pink koala this afternoon after sketching and erasing about 10 different creatures that were all hideous to me and not in a good-hideous way. Koala reflects my sourpuss mood :)

 I also used my new-fangled-light-tent-majig to take some shots of Peanut Button, who just had a bath.
 He didn't really enjoy sitting in that box and was hooting and walking around... These were the best three shots.
Tiny Mr. Crustybeak looks very macaw-esque in this one, I think. Well, I wish you all lots of crafty mojo and good ideas this week! Hopefully mine return to me soon.

Goldfish ornament

 It seems like I've only been making ornaments lately! Not a bad thing, though. Anyway, I saw a giant glittery fuchsia goldfish ornament the size of a taco at TJ Maxx the other week that had super long (like 15") sparkly ribbons for a tail and it was mesmerizing, even though it was ridiculous and way too enormous for any reasonable Christmas tree. I was inspired to make smaller one :)
 The body is sculpted from white polyclay, then I drilled holes for the fins and the tail and then painted the body first with acrylic craft paint, and then iridescent pigment powder. After it was all dry, I glued in the fins and tail that are made out of sheer 1" wide ribbon. Then I glued beads in for the eyes. The loop for hanging on the tree is attached with a eyehole screw (I think that's what it's called!)

Anyhoo, I hope everybody is having a lovely week so far. Until next time.

Shrinky Dink Monster Pendants

I had some time this weekend to play with my new Stampotique stamps some more! There are just so many things you can stamp... So I made three little shrinky dink pendants with little crystal beads hanging off the bottoms.

Here's what they look like before shrinkage. I use Creativity Kits shrink plastic, the kind with a shiny side and a rough side. The tag shape is punched out and then hole-punched at the top, then the bottom five times to attach the crystals. Then I used black Staz-On ink to stamp the monsters onto the shiny side. Staz-On is pretty much like the Sharpie marker of ink pads, totally awesome! If you use regular pigment ink on a real slick surface, it's really likely to smear. But I did use pigment ink (Colorbox) to stamp and edge the color on the rough side which always turns out nice. Stamping on both sides creates a pretty cool 2-level effect once the dinks are shrunk down the oven :) Oh, and the colors on the back darken a bit when shrunk, too!

Happpppppy Wednesday!

Altered Altoids Tins Christmas Ornaments

 Happy Thanksgiving!!! And what a sleepy Thanksgiving it is... I was up until 3ish then awoken by my alarm clock each hour thereafter to check if mysterious Best Buy had posted their Thanksgiving Sale prices yet (They kept it a secret but said "soon" at 11 PM last night! Go figure). FINALLY at 6:05 AM they posted my new computer at a steep discount and I got it. Whew. I'm stoked, because I've been doing ALL my blogging/computering/photo editing on a teeny tiny netbook since 2008. Anyhoo, I have some altered altoids tins to share with you today! :)
 There are four levels in each, the snowy background scenes, then a snowy sparkly microball-covered hillside, the sledding boy, then the Christmas banner. The levels are separated and spaced by a couple squares of sticky-back foam.
 Santa Claus!
 The vintage images were all cutout of old 1950's era children's books.
 I used mod podge to seal sheet music to the outsides of the tins. I used Alene's tacky glue to stick little glass beads along the rim. Took forever to use tweezers to stick those guys on there. After the first bit of glue dried, I added another later of glue along the outside edge to make sure the beads were secure. The glue dried clear, so the beads are still sparkly. I love the look!
 This one is a small tin, the container for Altoids Smalls. Walking in a winter wonderland :)
I don't think that I mentioned that I removed the covers of all these tins. They come off pretty easy.
I hope everyone has a really great and happy holiday season this year! Eat some tonnage today, folks! Happy Turkey Day! 

P.S. I'm thankful for my readers and all the friends I've made through the online crafting community! Love! :)

Floating Dog Christmas Ornament

Folks have been asking... Is this a pug? SURE! (But I guess it could also be a bulldog if you colored him right) I suppose you could even crop the ears off and make it into a boston terrier! But anyway, it's cute with a Santa hat, no?

I made this ornament for a friend who has decided to buy local for Christmas this year! She needed an ornament for a sort of White Elephant game in a few weeks. I used my new Floating Dog stamp (available to buy here) and colored it with watercolors to achieve a pug-like look :) The santa hat is just cut out felt and white pipe-cleaner.

The base is cereal box-turned-chipboard by gluing a bunch of layers together. Then various layers of scrapbooking paper, book page, ink, paint, gems, craft foil, sparkly microballs and ribbon!

I've been working on some Altoids tins that I'll share next week. Have a lovely weekend! OH! And a BIG BIG thank you to everybody who has left oh-so-kind comments of congratulations on my new stamp line :) I always really appreciate your support and sweet words! It means a LOT! I have the best readers EVAR.

Stampotique Blog Hop! Dog House, Bird & Monster Ornaments

Welcome to the Stampotique Blog Hop!

  The Stampotique Design team and I have had the immense pleasure of getting to play with my new stamp line before the release date! But the release date is HERE! TODAY! Hooray! I've been working on a few crafty projects to share with you and show off my new stamps that you can buy over at Stampotique :)
My first project is an altered wooden birdhouse turned dog house! This project features the "Floating Dog" stamp.
 I used my Cricut to cut out some scalloped shingles for the roof, then used pigment powder and gum arabic to paint each row a different color before gluing them on.
 The plain wooden birdhouse came from the $1 bins at Michaels. The paper on the sides is the inside of a security envelope. The black sides were just painted with acrylic craft paints.
 I used white Colorbox pigment ink to stamp this little dude on the back and front sides. 
 More embellishings with paper leaves, circle punches, stick-on gems, sheet music, etc. 
 The second and third projects are a couple of ornaments. Bobby and I just bought a new (fake, but awesome) Christmas tree and it's already up and decorated...Yeah, it's way early, but we haven't had a legit Christmas tree since 2006! Needless to say, I'm excited about having one.

 The monster in this stamp is actually holding a blank sign so you can write in whatever. I added the "Merry Christmas" bit. Do you like his little whiskers?
Last but not least, I made this birdie ornament today! Ah, both this one and the last one, I glued together about 5 of the same shapes punched from cereal box. They combine to create an excellent, thick chipboard-like material that is really sturdy and hey! Super cheap.

The embellishments here are clear microbeads (aka sparkly microballs) on the edges, crystal gems, pigment ink, sheet music and crystal glaze on the bird.

SO! Do you like? Which ones are on your Christmas list?

Want a chance to win some of my new images?  Hop along with the Stampotique Design Team, leaving comments along the way, for your chance to win some flippin' sweet stamps.  A winner will be drawn randomly from one of the blogs and will be announced with our next challenge.

Make sure to drop little comments on each blog you hop to! A randomly chosen commenter will win some of these stamps, so don't be shy! Comment away! And while you're at it, take the opportunity to follow some awesome new blogs :)

  From here, HOP ON to:

Below is a complete list in case you go off the beaten path and need some redirection.
Kira Nichols (You are here!)

Teaser Pic! Blog Hop tomorrow!

Don't miss it! In celebration of my new line of Stampotique Stamps, there's a blog hop tomorrow :) You shall behold projects from many splendid designers featuring images from my illustrations! AND! A chance to WIN some of my new rubber stamps! Come back tomorrow to hop along, friends. Happy Monday!!! (I'm excited!!!)
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Nerd Cat Altered Journal Page

 I'm finally home and the new place is up and organized with a fully functional craft room :) I've been playing with my new Stampotique stamps and it's so much fun! Last night, I broke out the old altered art journal and did a nerd cat spread.

The triangles on the left are cut out from the phone book. I think it's crazy they still pass them out every year... Wasted paper!

 Some ephemera!
I used a lot of crayons in this spread... Behind the blue watercolors, on the borders, blue bubbles! Too fun.

Here's the old art journal... I started it in 2009 I think, but I'll fill it up EVENTUALLY.
And since I forgot to post my pumpkin before Halloween... Here's what the toothy jack-o-lantern looked like! Happy Moooooonday!

And I almost forgot!!! Jen over at the Simply Pretty blog did a kind and lovely feature on some of my projects :) Go Check it out!

Big announcement - Coming soon to Stampotique!

Alright, friends! This is the big announcement that I've been sitting on for toooooo long! My artwork is going to be available in rubber stamp form over at, a delightful little papercrafting and stamping shop specializing in the latest and greatest in papercrafting supplies and fine art stamps! My collection releases on November 15th, and I'm CRAZY excited about it.

I just got mine (early, of course), and the quality is fantastic... I can't wait to get home from Oregon and start crafting with them! They'll all be available as woodmounted, high-quality red rubber.

Cheeeeeeck it out! I also can't wait to see what the Stampotique design team comes up with using my monsters and kitties and whatnot. There will be an awesome blog hop to celebrate, too. Prepare yourselves for mad hoppage.

These are the stamps that will be available to buy November 15th... Which ones do you want? (Go ahead and get them all, I'm fine with that)

:D Happy Thursday!!!
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