“Springy Summer” Santos Birdcage ATC Shrine Doll

Santos ATC Fairy 1
It seems that Spring is in full swing and Summer is hot on its heels.  Here in Okinawa, that means we are in rainy season as well as the early part of typhoon season.  It’s been rather dreary lately so I needed a burst of “Spring Meets Summer” sunshine in my life.  Cue my “Springy Summer” Santos doll complete with an ATC birdcage bottom.

Santos ATC Fairy 2
She is just so peaceful and serene.  Just looking at her makes me smile and just savor the moment.

Santos ATC Fairy 4
Her not-so-gilded cage holds what I think to be hope for a bright and full bloom sunshiny season.

Santos ATC Fairy 6
And because I’m a sucker for details, we can’t leave out her vivid body and it’s adornments.

Santos ATC Fairy 5
How did I put her together?  It’s actually quite easy and I use techniques and products you probably already have in your stash!

Step 1:
Find some lush paper you just can’t get enough of.  Trace the outline of her rather svelte torso.  Cut and adhere using gel medium.  Don’t have gel medium?  No problemo!  Bust out that glue stick or tape runner and get to stickin’.

Tip:  If you use a digital collage like I used from Tumble Fish Studio and printed it out using an inkjet printer, spray a fixative over the top before applying the gel.

Santos ATC 1
Step 2:
Grab yourself the beautiful “Wings” collage sheet from Retro Cafe Art.  Adjust the size of the wings using editing software.  Simply cut, paste and apply some sparkly goodness to make them shine.  I used some Stickles on mine.

Santos ATC 2 copy
Step 3:

Let’s give this li’l mama a face!  I find the best mould for these types of faces is by Sculpey.  It’s the “Art Doll” mould.  Squish some polymer clay into the mould and pop it out once you’re satisfied with the shape.  Bake your clay castings on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper in a preheated oven at 275*F.  Typical baking time is 15 minutes per 1/4″ thickness.  Once your clay has cooled completely, mix together some acrylic paint to achieve your desired flesh tone.  Set aside to dry completely.

Tip:  No parchment paper? No problem!  Just cover your cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Also, her headpiece in the finished photo is cut from the “Valentine’s Day Patterns” collage sheet.

Santos ATC 3
Step 4:
Let’s get busy on this cage!  Dig through your stash and pull out those ancient embossing powders because they are going to get a workout today!  I used powders by Piccolo because I love the depth of color they have but you can use whatever your heart desires.  Apply and emboss just like you used to do back when heat embossing was cool.

Santos ATC 4
Step 5:
Once your pieces have cooled, glue the doll to the top of the cage and attach the hanging chain for the flower piece using hot glue.  Cut a piece from the Black Scroll dresden trim.  Remove any undesired pieces so that your scrolly piece fits nicely at the doll’s waist.

While you’re at it, spray some of the Mini Scalloped dresden trim bright yellow.  Let it dry to the touch and glue it onto the top of the cage.  You can glue it all the way around if you choose but it might make assembly of the cage a little difficult.  For this step, I only glued the front border.

Santos ATC 5
Step 6:
Now it’s time to work some magic.  Grab the pieces of the cage and apply Verday paint according to the instructions on the paint.  Since I wanted a two-tone look on the door of the cage, I taped off the center design so that it wouldn’t be affected by the iron paint.  Once the iron paint had oxidized, I went ahead and used brass on the inside.

Tip:  I tried a little experiment to see if the oxidation process would be affected if I used a heat gun.  The answer to that is a resound, “YES!”  It not only hampers the process; it completely nullifies it.  Let the patina spray do its magic, which means you have to have some patience and about 4 hours of time.  Since I did a two-step process, total curing time was about 8 hours.

Santos ATC 6
Step 7:
Just look at all of that patina goodness!  Patience really does pay off when using this paint.  Now it’s time to glue together the pieces of the cage.  For this step, you want to use a really strong adhesive.  I busted out my “mama means business” glue, E6000.

Santos ATC 7
Step 8:
I hope you left your glue gun plugged in.  To apply the mossy floor, just squirt that glue all over the bottom and press the moss directly into it.  Remove any glue strings and watch your fingers.

Tip:  When gluing the moss, be mindful of the cage door that needs to close.  Don’t apply the moss all the way to the front edge of the cage.  I’m not saying that *I* made that mistake, though there is a very strong possibility I *might* have. ::sheepish grin::

Santos ATC 8
Step 9:
Dig through your stash or just go ahead and pull the trigger on the “Flora” Relics & Artfacts® set you’ve had in your Retro Cafe Art cart for ages now.  Lay down a coat of gesso and let it dry.  Once it’s dry, apply a coat of whatever color you choose.  I went for a tone on tone look to get some depth on the flower.  That Royal Red metallique paint looks simply lush against red acrylic paint.  Just sayin’.

Tip:  Use Inka Gold paint in Lava Red for added pop on the edges of the flower.

Santos ATC 9
Step 10:
Attache a good sized jump ring and hang your flower from the chain.  Glue butterfly to the flower if you decided to add one like I did in the finished photos.

Santos ATC 10
Step 11:
Doodle away!  I doodled on the door of the cage, the scrolly piece on the doll’s waist, and the doll’s wings.

Santos ATC 11
And there you have it!  It seemed complicated right?  But it’s not.  It’s mostly a lot of “paint drying” time but the patience totally pays off in the end.

Cheers!

Supply List:
3-D Articulated Birdcage Doll ATC Shrine Kit
“Wings” Digital  Collage Sheet
“Valentine’s Day Patterns” ATC Backgrounds Collage Sheet
“Art Doll” Faces Sculpey Push Mold
Sculpey III Polymer Clay
Black Scroll Decorations Dresden Trim
White Mini Scallops Dresden Trim
VerDay Paint & Patina Set
“Flora” Relics & Artifacts®
“Royal Red” Metallique Paint 

Other Supplies:
“Cut ApART” digital kit
“Mossy Glen” Piccolo embossing powder
“Lemon Zest” Dylusions Spray
“Butter” Heidi Swapp Color Shine
White Signo pen
E6000 Glue
Moss
Acrylic Paint
Hot Glue

Enchanted Castle Antiquity Shrine

Castle ShrineThe magical, enchanted and mystical world of fairy tales is one that is always nostalgic and wondrous.  I decided to create my own piece of magic using the Castle Antiquity Shrine from Retro Cafe Art.

Magical right?  This shrine houses a Coat in Arms all dressed up in my favorite paint system ever, VerDay.  The shield is part of the Mythos set of Relics & Artifacts.  To give the shield that regal “coat of arms” look add a battle axe and sword from the Medieval Weaponry chipboard set.

For the Griffins standing guard, break out that ol’ heat tool and those embossing powders you keep stashed away and put them to work!

Castle Shrine 5simply covered the castle pieces in beautiful paper from “Enchanted Forest” by Graphic 45 and embellished with Dresden trim.

Castle Shrine 3Some beautiful ball chains or chain from old necklaces add a nice medieval inspired touch.  Just be sure to adhere them with a good, strong adhesive like E6000.  For our evil and menacing dragon, get out that heat tool and embossing powder again.  It really is that simple.

Castle Shrine 6I love bringing the magic of fairy tales to life in my own way.  Why not reach into your imagination and bring some magic to life?

Cheers!

Supply List
Large Castle Antiquity Shrine
Dragon Cut-Outs
Heraldic Griffins Cut-Outs
“Enchanted Forest” 8×8 Paper Pad
“Mythos” Relics & Artifacts Set
Dresden Border Assorted Designs (Gold)
VerDay Paint & Patina Set
Ideaology Ball Chain Set

Other Supplies
Jewelry Wire
Piccolo Embossing Powder
Heat Tool
Adhesive
Prima Chalk Ink Pad

Summery Dream Catcher

Oh man!  Summer is right around the corner.  The temperatures are rising.  Days are getting longer.  Margaritas and pina coladas are flowing.  It’s time to don the brights, let loose, and parrrrrtay!

DreamCatcher1-2Aaaaaah.  It’s so colorful and whimsical.  And yes!  It’s made from an embroidery hoop.  This makes me want to whip up a Rum Runner or a Mai Tai.  OR WHY NOT BOTH?

DreamCatcher2All I did was slap some black and white gesso onto the hoop.  The weaving is actually very easy to do and it’s even more fresh with color variety.  The easiest thing I have found to do the weaving with is hemp cording.  It’s also best to do it sober as well.
DreamCatcher3Now just look at that Flora piece!  That is from the “Flora” set by Relics & Artifacts.  Sometimes the best thing to do is just leave things as is.  Which I didn’t do!  I added some black and white striping and some of the coolest flower beads.  Just pile glue in and cram ’em in!
Cheers!
::hiccup::

 

“Spring Has Sprung” Fairy Shrine

Hello everyone!  Spring has sprung!  ::insert Beavis laugh::  My post is full of whimsical awesomeness.
FairyShrine1-1Just look at all of that springy color!  Makes me all giddy and bubbly inside.  You know what else makes me giddy?  How easy it was to put together!  Now it’s important to tell you that I got all sorts of caught up in my mojo groove and forgot to take step out photos.  Talk about horse blinders!
FairyShrine4-1Start out with your Ornate Flourish ATC Shrine Kit.  That would be the beautiful “Bohemian Bazaar” collection from Graphic 45.  It cover the shrine inside and out, just cut from the papers and fussy cut the designs.  Adhere with your handy dandy pop dots for insta-dimension.
FairyShrine3-1Cover unsightly and unfinished edges with some fancy and purty dresden trim!
FairyShrine2-1Spice up the flourishes with a simple and BASIC TECHNIQUE!!  Heat embossing, yo!  I used a live green embossing powder for my flourishes.  As for the fairies, I don’t know about you, but I suuuuuck at painting human features so I always go with a silhouette.  I busted out some chalker ink pads and more embossing powders and went to town!
FairyShrine5-1Who doesn’t love finishing details?  I snagged one of the treasure chests and cotton spun ‘shrooms and made some magic.  Glue a bit of moss down and stuff your box!  Glitter your pedestal with some fierceness and call it done!

Cheers!
Supplies:
Bead Spray (Prima)
Chalk Ink (Prima)
Magenta Acrylic Paint (Liquitex)
Embossing Powders (Piccolo, Ranger)
Glitter (Doodlebug)
Moss (my stash)

 

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.
FailHat4-3Aaaaah.  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.
FailHat2-1If 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.”
FailHat1-1Not 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.
FailHat3-1I 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!

Cheers!

Rock Star Ambassador with Sandra Evertson

Good morning and what a good morning it is indeed!  I have been holding on to this news for about a week now but I can finally shout it from the rooftops.  I am joining the outstanding Rock Star team over at Relics & Artifacts!
1460252055805-3I never in a million years would’ve thought that I would be part of such an outstanding group of talented artists.  I love these products and truly believe that no matter the artist’s skill level, they will open up a whole new world of creativity for anyone who plays with them.  I look forward to sharing this creative adventure with all of you and hope that you will join me and my fellow Relic & Artifacts Ambassadors for what is sure to be an inspiring journey.

Cheers!

Autism Awareness Day: Bright Ideas!

Today is National Autism Awareness Day.  To commemorate ASD awareness, every year the team at Ribbon Resource hosts a blog hop exhibiting projects; some are functional and others are to bring focus and awareness.  This year, the line up does not disappoint.

My project is dedicated to two women I know who are strong, resilient, and have children with ASD.  Bethney (the Ribbon Lady herself) and Carrie, who I was in the Marine Corps with.  Both of these moms have made no secret about the struggles they have faced with special needs children, especially with the needs of an ASD child.  These are women who I admire.
I decided to use a light bulb and fancy a hot air balloon out of it.  
You recognize the iconic puzzle pieces and of course the color blue.  For the sensory aspect, I went with soft, flowy feathers and rough glittery spirals.
To catch the visual senses, blingin’ rhinestones and gold paint are surefire eye catchers.
The puzzle pieces are painted with the Verday Paint system.  There is a puzzle piece at each joining of the pearlized beads, which plays more to the tactile senses.
A Sandra Evertson’s Relics & Artifacts piece adds as the focal point with layers of color and depth.  The wired pearls just adds to the whimsy of my light bulb and just seemed like a perfectly playful addition.
Bethney and Carrie, if you read this, know that you are amazing women and the best mom’s your kids could have.  Your strength and love shows through their strength and love.  I admire you for the grace and love that got you through the challenges you have faced every day.  I light up blue for Makayla and Michael.
With Love,
Chrissy
Supplies Used:
Relics & Artifacts “Regalis” Set (Retro Cafe Art, Sandra Evertson)
Verday Paint System (Retro Cafe Art, Sandra Evertson)
PearlEx Mica Powder
Liquitex Gel Medium
Light Bulb (local hardware store)
Filigree Piece (my stash)
Puzzle Pieces (my stash)
Gold Accent Paint (Tulip Brand)

Queen of the Dead, “Maria”

I love doing things out of season.  I also love it when a potentially awesome idea falls apart and turns into something else all together.  Take a look at this bad boy!  Allow me to introduce “Maria”.
DOTDDoll4-2Isn’t she just divine?  She actually started out as something completely different but ended up as this! I’m not going to say what my original idea was only because I hope to be able to bring it to fruition in the future.

I used the large Santos Cage Doll from Retro Cafe Art.  She’s a whopping 16″ tall!  I have a brief tutorial below.  I didn’t get all of the details because that would cause this post to be daaaaaays long.

The easiest way to add some zing to a piece of masonite, chipboard, paper, whatever is BEAD GEL!
DOTDDoll2While that is doing it’s thing and drying (overnight), wrap your posts in sari ribbon.  You can use ribbon or fabric scraps as well.
DOTDDoll1Now it’s time to get on with the details.  I love subtle little details and this one is an easy one to do.  Grab your beads and some wire and to wrappin’! An easy way to secure the first and last bead is to send the wire through twice.
DOTDDoll3When your bead gel is dry, go ahead and assemble the cage portion using a strong adhesive like E6000.

I used the Vintage Halloween Skeleton collage sheet for the upper body and arms.  It’s easiest to print it out onto cardstock and use gel medium to adhere.  You can leave it white or use inks to “stain” it like I did.  Grab your journaling pens and get some doodlin’ on those bones.
DOTDDoll6For the face, I used a skull from the Ancient Soul set of Relics & Artifacts.  The design is done using micro seed beads.  It wasn’t nearly as tedious as I thought it would.  I didn’t even develop a facial twitch.

To finish off the bottom, the easiest thing to use to hid unsightly edges is dresden.  I used the Assorted Design package.  Use some regular liquid adhesive to make it stick.

If you have some the awesome Picado pieces lying around, paint those bad boys up with some acrylic paint and give them a spritz with some shimmery spray.
DOTDDoll7Ok, so who doesn’t love dangly things?  There’s a big dangly ornament in this doll.  Grab the crown from the same set as the skull and the rose from the Flora set.  I painted mine with acrylic paint and added some beads and wire. (It was really hard to get a good photo.)

DOTDDoll8

I finished my doll off with a lace panel draped like a cloak.
DOTDDoll5I love that this doll is my debut post as a designer for Retro Cafe Art Gallery.  Thank you for the warm welcome and I hope you stick around for more!

Cheers!

Supply List:
Large Santos Cage Doll
Vintage Halloween Skeleton collage sheet
Papel Picado Cut-Outs
Assorted Dresden Design (Gold)
Ancient Soul Relics & Artifacts
Flora Relics & Artifacts
Carved Stone Skull Beads (Colorful Mix)
E6000 Adhesive

A Regal Crown

Hola Muses!  Boy do I have a stunning project to share with you today.  Remember the two crowns I did last year?  I’ve finally finished the third and I think this one might be my favorite!
RustedCrown2-1Wanna see the rest?  I used the Regal Chipboard Santos Crown from Retro Cafe Art and some of the Crosse Icons from Sandra Evertson’s Relics & Artifacts line.
RustCrown1-1Look at all that glorious paint!  I used the VerDay paint system to get that rust finish on the chipboard crown.
RustedCrown6-1The dresden is also all dressed up.  You see, it started out as gold.  Then I painted it with brass VerDay and went over it with Finnabair’s absolutely GLORIOUS Opal Magic paint.  The Crosses are all dressed up using black acrylic paint and more of Finnabair’s Opal Magic paint.  The secret here is to apply with your fingers and get an uneven application.  This way, when you apply the Opal Magic paint, you’ll get both of the color effects this paint is known for.
RustedCrown5-1The flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts.  Would you believe that they were originally pink and white?  I slapped a very generous amount of the Iron from the Verday paints and sprayed them to get the texture from the rust.  Once the flowers are completely dry, I painted them with more of the Opal Magic paint.
RustedCrown4-1Just look at all of the drama goin’ on back here!  The chains are all old necklaces of mine that I haven’t worn in years.  More VerDay and more glorious color effects!

Final touch was to glue faux pearls into the flower centers.
RustedCrown3-1I cannot believe how amazingly beautiful this piece has turned out.  It also is even more beautiful with my oldest daughter, Madi, modeling it for me.

Cheers!

Supply List:

Regal Santos Crown (Retro Cafe Art)
Crosse Icons Relics set (Retro Cafe Art & Sandra Evertson)
VerDay Paint System (Retro Cafe Art & Sandra Evertson)
Flowers (Wild Orchid Crafts)
Dresden (Retro Cafe Art)
Opal Magic Paint (Finnabair)
Chains, Pearls (my personal stash)

Haunted Hotel Pocket Page

Hello everyone!  I wanted to take a break from the “off the page” projects and get back to some scrapbooking.  I used my visit to the haunted Royal Hotel as my inspiration.

Here on Okinawa, we have many interesting and creepy places to visit.  One such place is the Royal Hotel which is rumored to be haunted by angry spirits.

The story goes that the owner started construction on this hotel against the wishes of local monks who warned him that it would anger the spirits that resided in a sacred cave on the hotel grounds.  The business man continued with construction anyway and the project was riddled with unfortunate accidents resulting in workers’ injuries and deaths.  The owner decided to spend the night on the site to prove that his workers were being overly superstitious.  There are a couple different accounts as to what happened to the businessman.  Some say he went crazy and was admitted into an asylum.  Others say he committed suicide.

HH2-3
I have more pictures of the inside of the Royal Hotel that I will be sharing in a mini album.  Be sure to stay tuned as I will be telling the story in more detail.

Cheers!

Supply List:
Journaling Cards (Becky Higgins Project Life)
Dresden Borders (Retro Cafe Art)
Black/White Striped Ribbon (May Arts:  424-18-10)
Alphas (Thickers, Pink Paislee)
Embellishents (stash)
Chipboard (Creative Embellishments)
Inka Gold Paint (Retro Cafe Art)