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She is fierce!

"And though she be but little, she is fierce."
I made this 5x5'' hanging sign for my long-time friend-forever, Jessie. She posted a photo of a sign with this phrase on it and it suited her so dang well. Jessie is short, but spicy, lol. So I made this and mailed it to her.

I had to put a bird on it, because the phrase also reminded me (and fit perfectly) of my late pet lovebird, Kitty(RIP)! She was tiny, but such a deadly beak. Happy chuesday, friends.

Colorful Monster Pop Up

Stamps: Goat Monster, Whisker Monster with Sign, Little Hoo Hoo, Line Up by Kira Nichols for Stampotique
Hello, hello! I made this monster pop-up card because I was trying to use up paper scraps. It seems like I keep buying more and more paper and my bag-o-scraps never gets any lighter.
So I took a big wad of scrap paper and cut it all up into various sizes of leaf shape
 I folded a sheet of 8.5x11 Kraft cardstock in half and snipped and folded to make a lot of different pop-up levels
 Then I took all the colorful paper leaves and glued them on.
 Cut it out, add monster stamps and voila. And yes, it still folds flat and pops up :)
 I had my birthday this week, and the birthday-day (Thursday) was alright. I was sad because Bobby had to work :( So I pretty much just ate cake and watched TV all day. TODAY,  though, Bobby took me out to lunch and to Lowe's. No, my husband isn't tiny, that's just a comically large mailbox he bought me for my b-day!
And, it's definitely worth mentioning: I treated myself to a ridiculous birthday amount of cute Japanese stickers from this Ebay sticker shop (jreynolds36). I mean, budgies and Mickey Mouse? Could there be better stickers? I bought some grab bags along with some specific lots, and it was SO much fun to sort through them. I put em in a few of those clear coin-collector sheets and that works perfect. Cute overload. I really really recommend, so go sticker shopping in that shop now.

Anyway, I'm having a really nice day. Thanks very very much to everybody for always leaving me such nice encouraging comments. Happy Saturday!

Felty Red Fox and a book review: Wee Felt Worlds

 I have been sitting on this book review for a couple of weeks, then surgery stuff went down and my world just went loco (I'll write more about that in another post soon)... So I'm happy to say that things have finally calmed down enough for me to tell you about some wee felty worlds that aren't so centered around my own!
The book review this time is on "Wee Felt Worlds: Sweet Little Scenes to Needle Felt" by Amanda Carestio. I'll tell you, so many cute things to make in this book, and from plenty of different artists with lots of different but all wonderful style. I already love Aimee Ray (you've got to have seen her work already, and if you haven't, you must), and was pleasantly surprised to see her contributing a little forest scene, complete with squirrel.
 Okay, now the book is filled with eye candy, but also really valuable tips for novice felters like me. The first few introductory pages that tell you about "the basics" of needle felting had me saying "Ohhhh, that's so smart!" at least once per page. I particularly appreciated the tips that tell you to use stuff around the house to make this art easier. Like using a little bamboo skewer to wrap felt around to make your tiny shapes, then sliding them off once they're formed. Now that I know this little gem, I won't be stabbing the heck out of myself when I need to make tiny shapes. Another tip that I loved was using pipe cleaners (or "chenille stems" if you're fancy) as a base so you can pose your figures once they're done. The picture above is of the pipecleaner skeleton before adding the felt outside.

I chose to try out using this method from Heide Murray's cute cute Circus scene.  There were instructions to make a Ringmaster Penguin, Strongman Lion, and Fire-Breathing Elephant, but I really wanted to make a fox, so I followed the armature method instructions to make the body and then went off to fox-town once it came to the details.
 Felting around pipecleaners is tricky business. You have to be really careful to not poke the wire, or your needle can break... It was tricky, but my fox ended up being oh-so pose-able with that pipecleaner skeleton. The book did a really great job of pointing out little tips and tricks on how to do things the right way. You can tell that the contributors actually have the experience and the illustrations of the techniques are SUPER.
Overall, I really, really liked this "Wee Felt Worlds" book. I learned my needle felting basics from YouTube, but I was able to get a ton more specialized knowledge about technique from this book without having a search a ton. It was all right there :) I'm sure there's much more to felting than what's in this book alone, but dang, the possibilities! I learned how I can make moveable bodies, jointed arms and legs, blend colors, make wire armatures... So much. I recommend. I think this is one that I would have considered buying even if I just saw it at the store or if it popped up in my "You might like..." feed on Amazon. I mean, the title has the word "wee" in it. You know me... Anyway... I hope everybody has a great week.

More crafts soon.

Thanks to Sterling Publishing for sending me a copy to review. 

Watercolor Monsters: Sheepy, Feathery, and.. Artichoke!

 It's been a while since I've made any new little watercolor monsters, so I drew some little guys for some Valentine's Day watercolory love for my sweetheart, Bobby.
 Feathery (This one reminds me of Pikachu, so I painted him with yellow)
Artichoke Monster. Man, a nice big steamed artichoke sounds SO delicious right now...

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! Thank you for all the well-wishes and prayers for my surgery. Here's to an uneventful day tomorrow :)

A Spaceman Card, and a Monster Cake Birthday Card

It's card time.

I was going through my photos and realized that I had a couple of cards that I haven't shared yet, and I'm due for a blog post, so HERE!
I made this one using some Viva Las Vegas Stamps images (I can't find which they are, so I can't link, sorry!) to enter a drawing to win 1 lb of unmounted rubber... I didn't win, but VLVS did, because I ended up buying a pound-o-rubber from them anyway. Grab bags just make me happy.... The thrill of the unknown, I guess. And it'll be getting here probably the day after my surgery, so it will be nice to rifle through the stamps in my drug-induced loopity state later in the week.
And this one was a birthday card using AS's Cupcakes collage sheet along with Altered Happy and my Whisker Monster from Stampotique. I cut out his little fingers so he could peek around the cupcake :)

Anyhoo, I have several other posts that I need to do with some new projects and reviews, but I've been fretting worrying preparing for my surgery on Valentine's day. Everything is going to be juuuust fine.

Alice's Wonderland in a Box

How's about something flowery and bright to shake us out of this dreary winter junk?! Have a look at this little Wonderland in a Box I made using Alpha Stamps products.
 I used all sorts of different flowers and leaves to go along with a few images from some Alice Collage Sheets.
 The paper mechanics were such that the box was able to open and shut originally, with some pop-up action, but once I started getting carried away with the embellishing and bloomifying, I abandoned the movement in favor of ludicrous flower content. The levels I made ended up being really great, providing plenty of surfaces to hot-glue flowers and beads and characters. Hot glue was best for this project, so I didn't need to wait for glued-on items to dry before putting in the next layer.
 The flowers were my FAVORITE part. They're paper, and Alpha Stamps has tons of styles of them, some colored and some just plain white. I used the white, because it is SO fun and pretty to paint them yourself and end up with whatever colors you want. To color them, I dipped the flowers in a glass of water, dabbed them on a paper towel to get the drips off, then just used a paintbrush and watercolors to color them. When the paper flowers are wet, they absorb the colors so readily...and the colors blend so nicely... Then I just clipped them up to dry overnight.

 There. Now that's enough flowers to brighten up my chilly winter. I kind of want to crawl into that little box.

And these little character stands are the perfect thing to extend the scene outside of the box. Just glue on a character, and you have a little toy :) Easy peasy. I think these would be fun to use with my monster stamps!!!

Anyway, I hope you're all doing well. And if you want to make a cheery box for yourself, here's a product list:

Singing Bird Stage - Altoids Tin Lid

I like to pry the lids off of my altoids tins before I alter them, so sometimes I have an excess of tin lids... I think they're perfect for itsy bitsy little scenes. I made a sweet little birdy stage :)
Isn't this little birdy cute?  Man, I wish my budgies played the banjo. That would be adorable.
Pipo is a pretty good singer a capella, though. Popcorn doesn't complain.... much.

You can find most of these items in the Alpha Stamps February Kit
Supplies list:

Valentines ATCs

There's a new Alpha Stamps Kit for February, filled with all sorts of pretty stuff to make some sweet valentines. I made this set of ATCs using the hand-picked bits, bobs and collage sheets in the kit. (To have a look at the kit, click here!)
 This first one is a Kissing Booth, tee hee. 
 I think this one is my favorite of the three, because it's sparkliest. 

I'm determined to make today a good day... I hope yours is good, too. 

Crocheted Bead Necklace with Birds

Thank goodness, the last two days have been so much better... I got a migraine on Wednesday and it was ridiculous! But I have been feeling not-so-sick and in a better mood. I had to perpetuate the good-vibes by going sticker shopping on Ebay. Stickers make me happy. Learning new things also makes me happy! Today I made my first crocheted bead necklace.

The whole concept was much simpler than I originally thought. I have seen necklaces like this and have always thought, how the heck do you get a crochet hook through a bead?! How it's done: string on all of the beads FIRST and let them  chill out on your cord! (For this 24'' necklace, I strung on about 50 mixed beads and that was about right.) Then you just crochet the cord like you're chaining stitches at the beginning of a crochet project, slipping a bead in every 2 stitches (chain, chain, bead, chain, chain, bead, etc.). It's kind of awkward because you've got to keep letting go of your cord to slide a bead into your path. Maybe there's a tip for that. If there is, I don't know it yet.

Once I was done with these two strands, I tied on the clasp and added these little shell bird beads using some short headpins. I bought these at the gem & mineral show last year for probably too much money, but I can't resist birds sometimes. At least I finally used them for something.

I'll wear this necklace tomorrow, I think. If you want to take a crack at it, and my silly instructions weren't enough to create an "aha!" moment, here is a helpful youtube video: Bead Crochet Multi-Strand Necklace

I wanted to say thanks and give virtual hugs to everybody who left me such nice comments and words of encouragement earlier this week. They really meant a lot, kind words can really do so much to lift during struggly-times... I told my friend this, "I'm still a wreck, but I'm an optimistic wreck."

Still keep me in your prayers and thoughts, if you would, as Bobby and I keep riding this loco rollercoaster. Countdown to surgery has begun, countdown to finally having a baby or two should commence shortly thereafter :)

Peculiar Monster Card and New UC Challenge

Happy February, friends! This is one of my favorite months...because it means it's gonna be my birthday! But, that's not the thing today... There is a new challenge happening over at Unique Crafters which is "Lace and Fabric"! 

Stamp: Baby Cthulhu by Kira Nichols for Stampotique
For this challenge, I put together a little card/ATC with some lacy background and fabric hills. By the way, just check out that crazy orange printed paper on the very back. I had an appointment 2 hours away in Montgomery, so I went to Joann (we don't have one close-by). I got this big bag of shiny pretty colorful miscellaneous scrap paper from India... I swear, I've been thumbing through the bag non-stop. So pretty.

But anyhoo, go ahead and enter something fabricky or lacy in the challenge! This month is sponsored by Scrapbook Unique.