Okay, admittedly, I have been bad, not posting for awhile. In my defense, it has been a bit hectic lately, but I thought I would take advantage of the time between opening gifts and stuffing the turkey to make a few amends to my loyal, if not just a little annoyed readers by making a lovely Christmas post, just for you!
I had a pleasant Christmas morning, and am quite giggly with my gifts. For one thing, there was a Dalek under the tree!
This, by the way, is the "Eternal Dalek" - as per the The Dalek Handbook "its exact function is a total mystery, but it's probably something to do with the Progenitor device and the continuation of the race." Nice!
I also received some fab minis from my dear sister...
I am thinking a lovely scene with a lady's boudoir is in order here - something romantic. Something very girly. I like girly. I do girly VERY well. One of the most exciting gifts to get, in my mind anyway, is one that fires the imagination and leads to greater things. Can't wait to start creating!
One of the reasons I was very busy, other than Christmas activities, shopping, and general mayhem at work leading me to make hissing noises and make the sign of the crucifix at my computer when I walked by on my off time, was a great little commission that I was asked to do. It all started when I made a tiny glitter house, which I was putting into the MECO Christmas party swap. Oh yeah, about that. Forgot my camera. We had a great time, lots of loot. A great time was had by all. I will have to ask you to use your imaginations on the rest. Anyway, back to the topic, I had shown my glitter house creation to one fellow at work, who loved it, and mentioned to his wife that it reminded him of an ornament that his dear mother, now passed on, had as a decoration when he was a little boy. His wife then asked if I would make one as an ornament for him, as a remembrance to his mother. How wonderful! I agreed. This is the kind of commission I love, something that has meaning to the heart.
Then I realized - how do I *make* it into an ornament? Usually when I make a miniature, it is a given there is a house that it will sit in, so automatic container. Not so when you make a mini for a member of the non-miniature crowd. I didn't want to leave the house exposed, as - as good as Martha's amazing sparkle glitter is - it will shed, as all glitter does, and fairy glitter all over one's house does not make one any friends. Plus, being a paper creation, it is a little on the fragile side when it comes to being a tree ornament. I didn't want to make a special homage for someone, and find that it got batted off the tree and chewed on by some misguided pet who loved it just as much, or eventually ripped by accident. I had gone to Micheals the week before, as I had a plan to use the fillable ornaments, which would have been perfect had I found any. Word to the wise - there will be nothing *left* at Michaels a week before Christmas. Especially after their 70% off sale. Literally, there were entire aisles that looked like this guy got there before me...
onestly, he didn't leave as much as a crumb for the who's mouses!
Anyway, my mind raced, what could I use? I got a fellow crafter to go through their stash, just in case they had something cool to spare. Then I went to a pharmacy and lo, there a Christmas miracle! Later of course I saw cool things like upside down wine glasses, cupcake holders, etc., but of course, I was on a deadline and no time to hunt. So, finding this treasure truly was serendipity! And yes, I bought 2...!
Perfect, a clear glass bell, one that looked rather elegant! That was something else I was hoping for, I didn't want it to look like a bargain bin anything. It came with a little glass ball clapper, but I very carefully removed same with a crochet hook and a little patience. Perfect!
I built the little mansion that I found at About.com - one that I had used before. I had also built a small church and bell tower, but as I had limited room (so will appear at a different time), I decided a little house on the hill was perfect, especially since I had limited time to finish this creation.
Again, I had some logistical problems to solve - what will I use for the insert? What should I use for the base? Interestingly, my love for Christmas goodies came in handy for the former. I had purchased a package of butter tarts, and realized, hey, these are, with a little trimming, the perfect size! So I cut one down, added a matboard stage (to have a flat top), and covered the insert with paper towel (glued down like paper machiere (mache? Mash-shay? You know what I mean). I added more matboard to the bottom to achieve stability. I gessoed it, painted it white, and glittered it. The scalloped base was from coasters I had left over. I cut cardboard to strengthen it and build a base. I glittered it, because I glitter everything - eventually. Apparently there are cool circle cutting and scallop making tools, which was nice to find out about but...no time to shop.
From there, of course, I glittered and landscaped. The tree was a cut down brush tree, covered with some sweet little silver stars that were intended to be nail art pieces (found in the dollar store, of all places, but nice enough that apparently the nail artists in town use them - score!). I used bits and bobs of land scaping for the greenery around the yard. The snow man was paper towel that I rolled into balls, and built into a snow man. I painted the eyes and the nose. The hat was a sequin and a bead, which was painted. I made a tiny frosted apple tree in the back (granted, more of an accent - with the original putz houses, scale was more of a suggestion than a rule, and I kind of like to make these little fairy trees). I added a little fence, which is a piece of cardstock that was cut with a border scissors. I frosted it white, and then accented it with pink glitter. Next time, I will glitter the fence away from the main structure - it tried to "pink" the snow, and that glitter I used is beautiful in that the colours are strong. I ended up having to repaint a little to give my snow a little more of a white appearance. I accented the house with tiny little scrapbooking jewels.
The bell glued down over the house. Precious, right? I also added a crocheted snow flake to the bottom, so this ornament could be used on a tree, or sit on a table top and not a) scratch someone's table, and b) not get chewed up, as it is a paper creation. One caveat if you make an ornament like this? Make sure your hair is tied up - tight. In a net if you have to. Nothing - NOTHING is worse admiring your work, realizing that there is a giant loose hair floating around AFTER you have glued the darn thing down (very carefully doing surgery so you could remove the telling DNA out of the commission). I swear, I shed more than the average collie.
This was one of those projects, however, that I felt my hand "guided". Sometimes, you walk in to your war room, and you find everything you need, you have all the supplies you need, very few things go wrong, and the creative juices flow so strongly that you know - just know - you aren't going to be able to BE creative for a week, because you have given your heart to the project just finished. It is a good feeling, however.
Of course, once I finished this, I had time to putz around the internet, finding other examples of things I could have done as well, which I will file away for "later". I did find one clever soul who used plastic wine glasses as a dome . How clever is that! As well, I found ways to light a tiny structure - yes, I said light a mini glitter house and a couple of different ways, too, like this amazing tea light idea from Karin Corbin . By the way, check out her etsy store as well - I guarantee you will drool over the detail of her tiny houses, which rival some of the best putz house structures out there, and they aren't that expensive either.
For a little inspiration, I found this sweet video of a Putz village, with trains and everything. Plus I love the song too - I hope you enjoy it.
Until next time, my little tired elves! Help yourself to a treat on your way out, and I wish you a very Merry Christmas Day, and a Grand New Year!