Sunday, December 15, 2013

DIY Halloween Haunted Houses

I know that it's a little late to write about Halloween, but I need to show my decorations for this October:)

I found the picture of  beautiful haunted houses on Pinterest and loved it immediately.  The picture was pinned from Boxwood Clippings blog. I've read DIY Spooky Halloween Houses posting  and immediately went to order Paper Mache House set from Hobby Lobby.

I painted them in  matte acrylic  craft paint, glued some tracing paper inside windows. I have a perfect piece of furniture for them - each shelf smaller than the previous one. I wanted the light inside to be orange or yellow so I used orange Halloween lights. It was one string, plugged in on the bottom, then pushed through shelves up and  put in sections inside every house.

These houses are like boxes with roofs as lids. If you put something inside that  goes back outside the lids wouldn't close. So I took x-acto knife and cut slits on the back of the houses. The wires  went trough these slits and the lids closed properly. My little Japanese salt and pepper shakers played ghosts perfectly:)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Halloween decorations. Spray painted bottles and jars.

I've collected  a little more than a thousand  pictures of Halloween decorations and craft on Pinterest. ( Halloween Ideas  and Halloween Ideas 2) this year. It was overwhelming - I wanted to make everything from my folders!

I love the idea to paint  a  bunch of vessels in one color and make a decorative group of them on a mantel. I immediately imagine a group of bottles painted matter black with bizarre  antique looking  labels on them. My initial plan was to paint them with a sponge brush in craft acrylic. Then I saw a blog post about spray painting and thought - I always wanted to try it! This is a perfect occasion! So I went to Amazon and bought the first black paint I saw :
Rust-Oleum 1905830 Lacquer Spray, Black, 11-Ounce.

Now I knew why I collected all this empty bottles and little jars - they were waiting this day! I washed and dried them thoroughly, took them to the back yard and started painting. The paint was a little thin  so I  applied it in  two or three layers checking against light where there was left transparent spots. I was hooked immediately! It was so easy, so fast and bottles came so glossy and dark  deep black! 

 I also painted some sweet gum pods for putting into  an apothecary jar.

Then I thought about putting witch's potions labels on the painted bottles but realized that I liked them as they were. They were so beautiful and glossy and every combination of them was beautiful. So I decided to use them as flower vases. 

 One spot was  near the sofa in the library. The silver plate I bought for Christmas decorations but used for this group of painted bottles with  Asiatic lilies and some acorns and leaves.

The second spot was my kitchen window. I always have flowers on it  so I can see something beautiful when cooking and washing dishes.

Asiatic lilies are perfect for Halloween - they are angular and graphical and color is beautiful orange with dark spots and splatters. 

I looked at bottles at this point and saw something strange!

This is a closeup. The spider was not painted or some kind of a sticker - it's a real spider which came from nowhere and sat at the perfect spot making itself a perfect Halloween touch!

The last bottle went to  bright orange charger  for table centerpiece. The ghosts figurines  are my German friend's gift. The bigger one has a tea light at the bottom and casts bright spots of light around. My dinner table at that time still had all the mess from my decoration projects, sorry :)

Now I'm looking around - what else can be painted? It's such a fun! I've bought  already matter black paint and silver paint and I'm eager to start next spraying project.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Making Halloween wreath

I saw an Edgar Alan Poe Wreath on pinterest and was immediately hooked. Original project by Gwen Moss was found here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

For Ali

These are some illustrations from my and my sister's book about Glikeriya the Mouse. I set it visually in some imaginary time between 1930s and 1950s. The text itself doesn't have this reference - it's just my love for old things and old aesthetics.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Summer hat pink multi strand necklace

I wanted it to be pink and I wanted to use those funny beads that look soap bubbles. The hat pendant fit into the idea perfectly!

Listing on Etsy.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bunny Mother and Baby hand painted on the rock

I looked through the entire folder with the animal pictures on my computer to choose which cute mother and baby company would make a perfect Mother's Day gift. Decided on bunnies. Painted one. Went to choose another stone for different animal and suddenly find myself painting another bunny mother and then another. White and ginger - my favorite colors, how could I not paint white and ginger rabbit? Even better! Two white and ginger rabbits:)

Two of these painted rocks are already sold. Some mothers will have these cute mum and baby bunnies duo for the holiday!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Boho chic multistrand necklace for my sister

I love my sister. We have very similar tastes and views in literature, art and cultural things . We may differ in our other views -- she is more family and home oriented (long breastfeeding, keen interest in adoption, homeschooling, country-living.) She is a well-known children's book author in Russia and loves a boho chic clothing style. I haven't seen her in  a lot of years and I was very happy when she came to visit me last spring . I got her a bunch of boho clothes as a welcome gift, and when she got here we went out to buy more. Long skirts, whimsical jackets, scarves and hats.

She asked me to make her several necklaces for her outfits, and I was happy to play around with my beads. Together we chose  various beads and pendants and I made five necklaces for her, matching her outfits and favorite colors. This is one of these five:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Handmade cards for my Etsy shop

While I'm looking for the proper print cards I have my mini handmade cards for the orders at my Etsy shop. I draw them on the little bits of my favorite paper ( I draw ACEO on it, some of my ACEO can be seen on Flickr here). They are smaller then business cards and add a little personal touch to the order.

Looking for the place to print my business cards

When I decided that I need new business cards I went to the Etsy forums and find a thread where people talked about where they order theirs. I followed all links and suggestions, looked through printing sites and couldn't choose   anything by description only. But then I was happy to discover that all of them send free samples of their work!

So now I have a lot of business cards, promotional cards, flyers, stickers and what not to choose from. Still looking through them:) I guess I'll need different kinds of cards for the painted stones and for the jewelry at my shop Artalika.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Chocolate costume

In different countries there are different occasions and holidays when children dress up in costumes. Purim in Israel, Halloween in the US as we all know. Back in Russia we make costumes for the New Year celebration.  Christmas is not a  national holiday, it's strictly religious and happens after the New Year.

So  the New Year  celebration was the most cheerful, most colorful and most joyful time of the year. Every work place organized a party for the children of their employees in special locations like theaters or sports centers. Each one had  a huge beautifully decorated New Year Tree usually placed in the  center of some kind of  a ball room. After watching a performance on  a stage, the children went to the ballroom where they danced and sang around the New Year Tree. There often was a contest with prizes for the best costume .  There was no stores selling costumes,  almost every costume was hand made.

My daughter was five and the season of the New Year parties was approaching. One day she came to me and said that she had the perfect idea for her costume. "I'll be  a chocolate bar,"  she said, "let's make me a costume."

I absolutely adore chocolate so  I  couldn't resist the idea. It turned out that she had already thought through the design of the costume. "You  need to buy chocolate colored silk fabric, something smooth and slippery, then buy  thick batting, put it between two layers of silk and stitch all three layers in squares - it will look exactly like chocolate squares in a bar!"

The idea was absolutely brilliant!

We went to the fabric store and bought everything: chocolate colored smooth lining fabric, batting, brown chiffon,  a bit of silver lame. In a shoe store nearby we found the perfect pair of brown suede shoes.

She helped me with everything. We made a dress with  sheer chiffon sleeves, the bodice was stitched in smaller squares and the full round skirt in large squares and the small piece of silver lame became a little apron representing  silver foil inside the chocolate wrapper. I cut off the buckles   from the shoes and made chiffon roses like those on a chocolate cake, and attach them to the toes. Her father came up with an idea for a crown. I donated  some chocolate wrappers from my collection  for the occasion ( yes, I have kept every wrapper from the chocolate bars I have eaten during the last 25 years.) My daughter and her dad made a crown from cardboard and decorated it with strips of wrappers.

The costume turned out beautiful with all the rich chocolate colors and various textures. She was the Queen of Chocolate. Not only did she wear it for every kids party, it was also her favorite outfit for the whole winter season. She used to come home from kindergarten, immediately change into her silky dress and dance and sing happily till  bed time.
Unfortunately  we don't have any photos where you can see the costume in detail so I drew a picture.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cyrano on the grass

I took our guinea pig  Cyrano out into the garden so he could run around in the grass. He loves eating fresh grass blades. 

I’m always scared to leave him out there alone, ever since I read a story about a crow that swooped down on a poor guinea pig, plucked it up, but couldn’t carry it and ended up dropping the guinea pig to his death.  So I always cover Cyrano with a spare cage or keep him company outside. 

I thought he would be happy to be in the large open ground and would run around while I was photographing my new jewelry. But he looked around and immediately ran back to me, and propped himself up on my foot and started munching on the grass around it. 

This is him in all his splendor. His hair in the photo was actually just trimmed, it can get twice as long as that in his breed. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christmas window decoration

Deer family for window by Alika-Rikki

I tried to do something winterlike for my Christmas window. I was looking for small deer figurines at ebay with an idea to paint them white. Then I saw this cute family at Michael's, bought them and decided to keep them colored. Flowers in my white vases were changed to fir-trees branches, and sea-urchin became snowbanks.

Now I need some decorative trees. I imagined them - simple but original cones. Didn't find small enough trees  at the stores. Looked through tons of pinterest pages. Decided to make them myself.

Here they are!
Handmade Decorative Christmas Trees by Alika-Rikki

I found  a small ball of perfect yarn - light green with tiny fluffy bits -  for smaller trees.
Handmade Decorative Christmas Trees by Alika-Rikki

Two collage trees are cardboard cones covered with pieces from vintage books.
Handmade Decorative Christmas Trees by Alika-Rikki

 It was fun to make and I love how they turned out!