Friday, December 9, 2016

Secret Santa and a Card!

Why helllloooooo lovelies! Can you believe it is December already!?! I sure can't. I am so very thankful that everything is looking up and my family is doing well. We had a scare with my beloved FIL but he is improving every day. Thank goodness! And I am also thankful for such an amazing team at Anything But Cute. Every lovely lady on our team is talented, sweet, supportive, plus we all communicate terrifically. This year we decided to do Secret Santa gifts and my chosen one is Autumn! She is a kind and caring lady, not to mention a totally stellar artist so I had to pull out the big guns for this card! Cards scare the daylights out of me and I always have such a hard time with the design. This little card took me 3.5 weeks! Yikes and haha all at the same time right? Here is my gift to the fantabulous and wonderful Autumn!
I started with brown card stock and cut the TH paper to size. No measurements because I eyeball everything. Then I used my sanding block and sanded the TH paper to help showcase the holiday words. The edges were distressed. 
Next came the Santa picture (a lovely gift from Bubbles, aka Pamellia, last Christmas). I had a play on words since we are doing a secret Santa and thought this pic was perfect for the theme. Not to mention so very festive and perfect for the Holiday!
 I heat embossed the ornate frame with about 4 different embossing powders and then glued the Santa picture to the frame. I also wrote on the back of the frame the year, and date so Autumn remembers where it came from. :)
The front was made to look like glass by using a thick layer of Glossy Accents. Yes, there are air bubbles but that's okay by me. A plaid bow, some jingle bells and Santa is good to go. 

I then heat embossed a chippie word and added some more goodies and a snowflake charm to the front of the car. I think I mostly used hot glue and glossy accents for adhering everything. And of course the "snow" is a circle stencil with some glittery embossing powder sprinkled over it and the snow on the edges of the card is made using the DecoArt snow writer. 

Now for a secret: I just had to add a special touch and make Autumn a keepsake she could put on her Christmas tree so I added Velcro to the back of the ornate frame Santa so it can be taken off of the card. It's an ornament in disguise! Happy Secret Santa Autumn!

And that's all for this cards folks! But, wait there is more! Here is a sneaky peaky of the gift I received from the gloriously sweet and talented Branka of Vintage Handmade. You just have to go visit her blog to find out the amazing details of this rustic and gorgeous design! I absolutely love it!

It looks even more fantabulous in real life and the textures and crackle are spectacular! Thank you very much B and Merry Christmas! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

I would like to share my Santa card with these challenges:

I'm totally celebrating Christmas and the giving season! 

I made a dangle ornament and used a metal snowflake charm like the one in the picture. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Rustic Glam

Why Hello here and welcome to my blog. Today starts a new challenge at Anything But Cute where I am hosting this month, and we have a fun theme but more about that in a minute. I have been re-re doing my master bedroom and have finally reached a color scheme and theme I am thrilled with. DIY planking with gray walls and lots of other DIY's. That is what gave me the idea for the theme this month. Here is my design:

I call it Rustic Glam! Think of Southern charm meeting some Bling Bling. We want you to create a mixed media design featuring rustic elements such as whitewashed wood, chicken wire, burlap, soft subtle tones and neutrals. Don't forget to add the GLAM part with some sparkle and BLING!

I started with the paper mache deer head and painted it white but then I cut it off of the shield it was on. I had a totally different plan at the beginning that involved a burlap canvas and the shield but that quickly changed. 
Once the head was cut off, the antlers were painted metallic silver and I added some art stones to the part of the antlers that touched the skull and painted those silver (had to add some realistic touches here and there). The antlers were then painted with mod podge and dipped into a package of faux snow. Viola! Glamorous antlers! 
Then I went out to my garage and cut a piece of pine board to lay inside the opening of the back of the canvas. Power tools are so fun and using left over boards is a great way to save money!
I stained the wood with MinWax Classic Gray and when it was almost dry I added some Semi Gloss white ceiling paint to parts and also some blue acrylic paint. I then waited for those to dry and hand sanded it to create the cracks and peeled paint look.
The next step was to add the paper frame around the canvas opening. I cut the paper to fit and mitered the corners to create a frame. Then I added some modeling paste with a flourish stencil around the frame. 
Now it's starting to look like something I would hang on my wall! My husband had asked me to make something for our room so this is it! I applied some crackle glaze and I then painted a wash of white, blue and grey over the stenciled frame and glued down the ornate white frame in the middle.
Now I added the pine board to the middle of the canvas and glued the frame to the board. The white mesh inside the ornate frame is from my wonderful friend Sara of Sara's Closet. The deer head was glued to the board and helps to hold the mesh down. The final touch was to add the bling at the bottom.
Here is a close up of the details on the antlers. The faux snow worked perfectly for what I had in mind. And the bling on the forehead adds such a wonderful glam vibe to this design. 
Tres chic? Maybe! I seem to be embracing my more feminine side lately. I can't wait to see what you create! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki
On a side note: This is what my DIY rustic glam wall is looking like so far. I used cedar planks and hand painted/distressed each one to look different but uniform. I absolutely adore this wall!
In the picture above-the green frogger tape is where the studs are in my wall so I know where to shoot my finishing nails. The baseboard molding is designed by me and also almost done. In the picture below more of the wall is done (I added my own version of crown molding) and now all I need to do is caulk the baseboards, add a chandelier, and some DIY remote controlled lanterns that will hang on each side of the bed. And yes, the night stand and the lamp are going bye-bye! Awesome sauce and I can't wait for it to be complete!

I would love to share my Rustic Glam design with these challenges:

I used a canvas and also this white mesh in the middle of the ornate frame behind the head.

My little deer represents a fairy tale come true. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Elements of Nature and Guest Designer

Hello y'all! Happy day to you and what a good one it is so far. I am happy and excited to share some news with everyone. I am a guest designer today over at Stamps and Stencils. Hehe! The very talented team has been challenged to design something inspired by the Elements of Nature! Hop on over to check out what they have created, you'll enjoy looking at everyone's creative talents. I decided to make something that features moss, bark, sticks, rocks, butterflies, paints, and a secret door. Here is my mini garden top hat.
If you would like to see more details and close ups head on over to Stamps and Stencils where I do a step out about the process. 

I used so many materials and tidbits from nature, even some coffee beans for the dirt. The hat is made from crafters foam (that's how all my hats start out). 
And here are some pictures of the sides of the hat. The door was made with polymer clay that was stamped into. The brow edging around the door is leather and the door itself was painted with about 3 colors of brown paint, a white wash and some Emerald Green Viva Decor. 
I wouldn't mind living in this hat! The "feather" looking piece in the picture above is made with polymer clay and an Iron Orchid mold #6. Then it was distressed with the same paints that were used on the door. 

Thank you to the entire team for letting me share in such a wonderful challenge theme! You all rock! Carpe Diem!

I would love to share this top hat with these lovely challenges:

Always use Rubber Challenge #2-Winter/Spring
I used Spring. Flowers blooming, gardens growing, butterflies out and about.

Creative Artiste Challenge #19-Anything Mixed Media Goes

Mixed Media Place #21-Paint the Sky, Make it Yours!
I totally enjoy making mini hats and this design is my new favorite. Anything mini makes me smile and laugh.

Mixed Media World #19-Assemblage/Altered Art

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Scary Fairy Garden

Hello lovelies! Halloween is in my top 2 for favorite holidays and it seems I have started my own tradition of creating interesting Halloween decor. I wanted to showcase some very special embossing powders and art supplies while creating this Scary Fairy Garden. Today I am a guest for Emerald Creek Dares. So excited and honored! Kim and her entire team are fantabulous and so sweet!
Now I have a new hobby with flowers and planting em. I am still learning but I wanted to merge my two hobbies to see what would happen. This started off as just a plain old small garden thing. An ivy plant and another plant. Some rocks were thrown in, a mini white pumpkin, and moss with faux spider webbing. But I wanted more! Bwahaha! 

The spider webbing got me to thinking about Halloween and thus began my Scary Fairy Garden journey. I grabbed some fancy fence chipboard pieces and cut some parts off then double embossed all the pieces with Burnt Copper Leaves EP and then sprinkled some  Charred Gold and Hammered Metal EP randomly on the pieces. Once everything was heated I stuck the chippies into the dirt. The cage was embossed with the same powders but I didn't heat emboss, I just used some Tombow glue to add the powder to make the cage look textured and dirty. 
The Bat Charm and Rose Charm that are on top of the cage were heat embossed with Burnt Copper and Charred gold then adhered to the cage with a glue gun. See what a bit of embossing powders can do to a metal charm! Loves it. :)

 The mice that are hidden throughout the garden are colored with the Ground Espresso distress marker. It makes the mice look wet and stinky. 
The pebble path that lead the fairy to her doom is covered in her fairy dust and Hammered Metal embossing powder. It makes the path look more ominous. This powder was sprinkled on the small white pumpkin as well. Then I painted "Beware" in silver acrylic paint. 
You can see the heat embossing on the fence and the pumpkin better in the picture below. SIDE NOTE-I didn't use the Grim Reaper in the finished design. 
Little spiders and other creatures are lurking throughout the garden so BEWARE or you may end up in the cage. 
The skeleton fairy was one from a dollar store that is on a string with multiple skeletons. I used some hot water to bend the arms and legs into the sitting position you see. Once the appendages were the shape I wanted I plunged the skeleton into some cold water. And that is how you can shape your plastic skeletons. I used a butterfly stamp to make the wings and built a wire frame to shape the wings those were painted with Silks and then added to the fairy skeleton. (Don't mind that random skeleton arm in the pic below, some skeletons were harmed in the making of this design)
The skeleton was painted white and then added to the cage. I did add some small pearl beads for the fairy eyes. 
The scary tree that is near the gate lights up and the light blinks but I couldn't get a good picture. Can you see the small red light in the mouth of the tree?
Here is an over head shot of the Scary Fairy Garden
Does the skeleton look like she is freaked out? I think she does. 
Another overhead shot, let's call it an aerial view.
Thanks for touring the Scary Fairy Garden with me! Hopefully your creative juices are flowing and you can join the fun! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Nikij
I would enjoy sharing this design with these amazing challenges: 

I was inspired by the pumpkins, the metal, the graveyard and the tombstone

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Explore Autumn

Hello there everyone and Happy Fall ya'll! I sure hope you all are enjoying each day to the fullest. Autumn makes me think about Giving and getting together with family, not to mention having a bountiful harvest. My Grandmother has been in the wheat business for years, and the farm has been passed down through generations. Wheat, corn, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, hay rides and so much more are starting here in my neck of the woods and that got me thinking about what to design for Autumn. Here is my canvas:
Today is the start of a new challenge at Anything But Cute and our wonderfully talented Autumn of Sew Paper Paint is our Hostess. She chose the theme of "An Autumn Day" and describes it as follows:
"I could not help but choose October as my month to hostess here at Anything But Cute. This month, we want to see your creations inspired by An Autumn Day.  Anything goes mixed media with an fall color palette, or Autumnal elements.  Be inspired by nature with the sights, smells, and sounds of this beautiful season.  We cannot wait to see the amazing artwork you turn out!"
Perfect theme for this time of year in my part of the world. I started with a flat canvas and then laid down some stencil work using matte texture paste. While the paste was still wet I sprinkled on some clear glitter, and because I am an impatient person, I used my heat tool to help the paste dry faster. :) After it was all dry I added multiple colors of distress inks and kept blending until I was okay with it.
Next came all the embellishments. I was gifted this orangish burlap and had to use it on this design. I cut it into strips and glued it to the canvas with a hot glue gun. 
I pulled some of the threads from the burlap to give it a distressed look and then got my acorns out. I gathered these while visiting my Grandmother for Thanksgiving last year and to celebrate her 90th Birthday. I did have to glue the acorns back into their shells. Hehe! 

The rest of the embellishments are picks from various stores. I added and altered and layered until it looked right to me. 
The bows were made with some leftover ribbon and jute. Those bows took forever to make but persistence pays off. 
The corn husk was inked up and fringed up a bit. The husk part was lightly misted with water and cut into smaller sections that I could curl back. The devil is in the details right? Yeppers.
A couple of metal elements were added and the word "Explore" was added because the cooler days mean exploring more of my town. And voila! Done. Hopefully you all are staying warm and enjoying your day. Carpe Diem! Hugz! ~Niki

I would enjoy sharing this design with these challenges: 

I am celebrating Fall and the harvest of the wheat crop. Not to mention the celebration of the upcoming Holidays. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Vintage Travel Tag

Hello dearies! I hope you are all well and good. We are having cooler weather in my neck of the woods. I miss the 90's and above but most people seem to enjoy the 70's. I spent a little bit of time in my art room to create a new tag for our challenge over at SanDee&Amelie's Steampunk challenge where of theme is Anything Goes Steampunk/Industrial. I haven't created a tag for what seems to be months so thought I would see what happened.
I started with a Kraft tag and added an Andy Skinner stencil with DI.
 Then layered the word panel stamped with an Artistic  Stamper word stamp, heat embossed and crinkled on top of the tag. Then swiped some distress ink over it and around the edges. The metal trinkets were glued with glossy accents. The metal sentiment was adhered with rusty wire and glossy accents. 
I heat embossed the little car with champagne EP and fussy cut it to fit the bottom of the tag. The stamp was a gift from Bubbles aka Pamellia @ mylittlecraftthings. The windows were colored with a black marker.

Hope to see you try your hat at anything Steampunk and be in the draw for some wonderful prizes! Hugz! Carpe Diem!
I would like to share this tag with these challenges: