Sunday, January 30, 2011

Altered Alice CHAPTER 1 Challenge: Dress Form or Changing Forms

"Alice crouched down among the trees as well as she could, for her neck kept getting entangled among the branches, and every now and then she had to stop and untwist it. After a while she remembered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in her hands, and she set to work very carefully, nibbling first at one and then at the other, and growing sometimes taller and sometimes shorter, until she had succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height.
It was so long since she had been anything near the right size, that it felt quite strange at first; but she got used to it in a few minutes, and began talking to herself, as usual. `Come, there's half my plan done now! How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm going to be, from one minute to another!"
       -- Chapter 5, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Like Alice we have been through some changes in both location and form (from weekly to monthly), but the challenge chapters remain familiar despite all these puzzling changes!

To reflect all these puzzling changes, the Altered Alice Challenge is to make something that features a dress form, OR to make something that changes in form!  While it is not required that your project include Alice in Wonderland, we do encourage it. If your project does feature Wonderland you will get two chances in the prize drawing instead of one!
And now for the big news - STAMPOTIQUE ORIGINALS is sponsoring our first challenge with a $30 gift certificate for one lucky winner, and their design team is going to play along! Be sure to visit their Stampotique Designer's Challenge blog where you can play every week! They are famous for artist Daniel Torrente's quirky characters, but they actually have many artists and quite a few different styles. Jo Capper-Sandon is my favorite with her wonderful mushrooms, and other lines include Janet Klein's flower characters (click next a few times to see them) that remind me of the garden of living flowers! There is something to please everyone at Stampotique Originals!

My Alice Dress Form:

Inspiration credit for this project goes to The Altered Alice design team member Donna of Meme's Art Place. She makes the most fantastic altered dress forms; in fact Tim Holtz loved one so much that it now lives in his studio!

I started with a little glass bottle; it's shape reminded me of the Caterpillar!  It was not heavy enough to act as a base, so I filled it with glass seed beeds in various sizes then glued the cork in the neck; I do NOT want this bottle opening accidently, LOL! I made cuts in the bottom of the papier-mâché dress form, criss-crossed in an asterisk shape, and pushed the flaps into the body and jammed it onto my bottle. It fit perfectly as it fits snuggly around one of the flared ridges of the bottle!

Then I cut strips of some Nikki Sivils "Something for Everyone" paper and border punched one side (Fiskars Apron Lace punch). I scored the strip every half-inch on my Scor-Pal, then I turned it over and scored in between the previous score lines. This allowed me to fan-fold the skirt into mountain-valley folds.  I machine stitched the top of the pleats down to hold them in place, and glued this "skirt" around the hips of the dress form with Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue.  Later on I decided I wanted the skirt a little longer and to have more detail at the hem, so I border punched a strip of vellum (Martha Stewart Doily Lace punch) and ran it through my paper crimper.  I adhered this strip with the same Fast Grab Tacky Glue, one of my all-time favorite adhesives! I used this same adhesive throughout the project.

The next step was to gather some wide satin ribbon for the shoulders, then I stitched a strip of blue grosgrain ribbon on top to hold the gathers in place. I glued these to the form to form the pinafore-style sleeves.  Then I punched and cut a piece of dotted blue paper for the bodice of the dress. To be able to form the paper to the figure in this highly contoured area, I used an old trick of running the card stock through the crimper in every direction several times, then smoothed the creases out with my fingers. This left the card stock very soft and pliable and I was able to easily mold it to the figure and pinch gathers where needed. I added pieces of the blue dotted paper under each arm and between the ribbon sleeves on the back.

Next was the corset and apron. My original idea had been to make a pinafore like the original Alice illustrations, however the mature shape of the torso made me revamp the concept to the older Alice of the Tim Burton movie!!!  I cut the apron from the 6x6 version of this wonderful pattern and glued it to the front of the torso above the skirt. I could not resist the corset - remember near the beginning of the movie when Alice's mother is apalled as Alice is not wearing one? Sorry Alice! I cut the left and right front panels and punched holes and laced and tied the ribbon BEFORE I glued the front onto the torso. One of my moments of true genius, I can assure you, it could have easily happened differently, LOL! The stripe was from the 6x6 paper pad of the same collection.  After all that, I decided the edges of the apron were too harsh, so I crimped more vellum strips and tucked them under the apron edges, ruffling it up as I glued it into place.

Now for all the embellishments, or maybe symbols would be a better word!

  1.  Key plate and keys to represent the hall of doors, where Alice arrived at the bottom of the rabbit hole! (Idea-ology key plate and key plus miscellaneous key)
  2. Imagine and Journey to represent Alice's Wonderland experience. (Idea-ology Philosophy Tags)
  3. Glass bottle charm - Drink Me! Represents bottle of shrinking potion in hall of doors.
  4. The White Rabbit's pocket watch!
  5. The Mad Hatter's riddle: "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" Found this charm at Michaels but it was yellow enamel over metal. Copics, gotta love them!
  6. The Queen of Hearts' crown! (Idea-ology charms)
  7. Cards were the Queen of Hearts' subjects, so I punched the pips from two playing cards and glued them to the back of a Fragment. Hearts for the Queen and King of Hearts of course. Clubs because the Clubs were the ones painting the white roses red so the Queen would not get mad.  Also, in the final courtroom illustration, the Knave of Hearts is accused of stealing the tarts, but if you look closely it seems the Knave of Clubs is actually standing there!  I edged each charm with black Copic but should have waited until the glue dried as some black wicked into the image. Maybe I should have said, I created a neat distressed edge effect by . . . . LOL! (Idea-ology Charm Fragments)
  8. Mad Hatter's Tea Party! (Hah! You thought it was the White Rabbit again, didn't you?) Remember the Mad Hatter killed Time, so they were stuck in time, it was always time for tea! (Paper Studios Spare Parts Watch Faces, Idea-ology Game Spinners)
I hope you have enjoyed my lovely Alice dress form as much as I have enjoyed making it, and I hope it has inspired you to see how much FUN you can have with a whole month to make your challenge project! Enter at The Altered Alice before 8 p.m. on Friday, February 25th, and check there for weekly inspiration from the design team along the way. Plus there is a fabulous $30 gift certificate from Stampotique Originals for one lucky player!

Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think about my Alice dress form, the new challenge format, or anything at all! I LOVE getting your comments, it really makes my day when I hear from you!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

CHAPTER 47: Back Down the Rabbit Hole, Turning Left. . . Coming to a Fork in the Road....

Today is a BITTERSWEET...although MOSTLY sweet post for Oh, Alice.   It has been almost ONE YEAR since Jess got this crazy little idea one night to dedicate a blog, and a Saturday each week, to Alice in Wonderland because of her deep love of the characters, story, and mostly just Alice.  Over the weeks to follow, she was blessed with an AMAZING "Twisted Team" of sisters, some who've gone on to other things, some who've stayed since the beginning, and some who have been with us for a while now-ALL of whom I think the world of...and here Jess thought she was the "only" one who was THAT crazy about all things Alice until she found out that well, there are LOTS of you out there just the same.  How cool is THAT?!

All that considered, after careful deliberation many of the team decided that it was time to head back down the Rabbit hole; however, as some of us have done so, we found a lovely fork in the road!

Oh, Alice will be closing it's doors this week, but will return next week as The Altered Alice (an Alice in Wonderland artwork blog that I started a while ago) and the challenges will continue on from there. There is nothing to fear!  The Altered Alice will still be bringing you FABULOUS challenges, lovely excerpts from our beloved chapters that tell us so much about Alice's world! The sponsors have been alerted about the change in challenge location and format, so hopefully you'll see some familiar faces VERY soon!
This week's mission is to travel "Back down the Rabbit Hole" challenge-back to the beginning-Create a HELLO card (for OR a "Goodbye" card-it's all about what it looks like on the other side of that Looking Glass, right?
The DT has once again been blessed with a WONDERFUL assortment of Nikki Sivils papers and embellishments to work with (and Nikki has graciously supplied the DT with), as well as a WONDERFUL prize pack for ONE lucky winner (winner will be announced next week on the Altered Alice challenge Blog and also you must link your creations THERE.

In addition to creating a HELLO or GOODBYE card and entering it over at The Altered Alice, the NEW Alice in Wonderland Challenge Blog, don't forget to "FOLLOW" the new "Altered Alice" blog where next week's challenge AND the winner of the last Nikki giveaway will be drawn!

My Card: Hello Deer!

I have had such fun working with this fabulous Nikki Sivils paper and embellishments! The collection is called "Something for Everyone" and it delivers on its name! I printed a digi image, colored it in and cut it out. Then I cut strips of various widths from different patterns and glued them to a base piece of card stock. I cut this collection of strips with a Label One nestie and sponged some Faded Denim Distress Ink around the edges while it is still in the die. I then traced around the die itself on a piece of black card stock and cut it out with a scissors to create a 1/8th inch wide mat. The Hello was generated on the computer and matted on black card stock. All elements were adhered to the kraft card base with thick pop dots.

I cut a slit in the spine of the card to allow the grosgrain ribbon to pass though - it wraps all the way around the card front and is secured with a knot - no glue. This allowed me to slide it around until I decided where I wanted the knot. Then I used a darker green Copic to outline the green letter stickers that go with this collection and stuck "DEER" onto the ribbon. Then some paisley tear drops, trimmed from one of the lovely papers, were added at the bottom to act as quote marks around my pun - "Hello DEER!" Get it? ;-)

Credit goes to my friends Terri and Molly who really helped bring this card together. It turned into a joint effort and is the better for it!  And Terri took a lovely photo of the finished card that really shows all the dimension!

This is a special post - the last as a member of the Oh, Alice! design team. I am happy to be stepping up as the Mad Hatter in the next stage of the challenges and yet I am very sad to be leaving Oh, Alice! behind, and I know many of you will understand! Please leave a comment, this is a big day!

Then go meet the new Altered Alice Design Team!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Oh, Alice! CHAPTER 46: Queen Alice

Click to enlarge
"Hush-a-by lady, in Alice's lap!
Till the feast's ready, we've time for a nap.
When the feast's over, we'll go to the ball -
Red Queen, and White Queen, and Alice, and all!"
~ "Queen Alice", Through The Looking-Glass
 We here at Oh Alice, hereby cordially invite you to meet Iracebeth the Red Queen of Crims and Mirana the White Queen. Iracebeth and Mirana are sisters who couldn't be more different:  While the White Queen is kind and gentle and is loved by everyone, the Red Queen's answer to everything is "Off with their heads!"

To honor our Royal Highnesses, we challenge you to choose which Royal Court you would want to have rule over you, the Red Queen's or the White Queen's???

So the challenge this week, if you should choose to accept it, is to create a card/project that is either mostly white or mostly red.

This week's Oh, Alice challenge is being sponsored by Baby Bud Designs! Baby Bud Designs has not only generously let the DT use her images, but is also offering the winner a choice of TWO digital images from their Baby Bud Designs Etsy Shop!

"The Baby Bud illustrations you see in the shop have been drawn ‘free hand’ by the artist and owner, Mary Anne Wainright. There is never any computer re-imaging involved. Their quirky little imperfections are what make them original, unique and whimsical and reminds the viewer that they were created from the heart."
My Card: Red & White: Divided Loyalties!

Well, having seen these two queens in the new Alice movie, I had a hard time deciding, so I used the red and white striped grosgrain ribbon to represent my ambivalence! Mirana, the White Queen would be a much better ruler. You can see my homage to the White Queen here. But Iracebeth has her points -- after all, you've got to admire a woman who calls for a "dwink" while toasting her tootsies on a warm pig! And she really loved her pets; of course her pets were a Jabberwocky, Bandersnatch, and JubJub bird, but still! But mainly, I had to go with red for aesthetic reasons!

The Baby Bud image of the rosebud is so charming, and I knew I wanted to color her red. In honor of Iracebeth she also has red hair. After coloring her with Copic Markers, I die cut with Spellbinders Label Four and sponged around the embossed edges with blue and green.  I cut up a Spellbinders die cut frame to form the ornate medallion behind the image.

Click to enlarge

There is a scene in one chapter of Through the Looking Glass where the Rose speaks to Alice, so I typed up the quote snippets:

Said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, `I wish you could talk!'
`It isn't manners for us to begin, you know,' said the Rose, `and I really was wondering when you'd speak! Said I to myself, "Her face has got some sense in it, thought it's not a clever one!"

The printed pieces were sponged in Shabby Shutters green to match the Spring Moss card base, which is edged in copper leafing pen.  Red and white grosgrain ribbon and some brads completed the card.

Please visit Oh, Alice! to see the other design team creations!

You have until Friday, January 21st, 8pm CST to submit your creations using the linky tool on Oh, Alice! We look forward to seeing which Queen will win! Not to mention seeing which challenge player will win two wonderful digi images from Baby Bud Designs!

Please leave me a comment, they really make my day!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Oh, Alice! CHAPTER 45: Remembering Holiday Dreams

`Oh, I've had such a curious dream!' said Alice, and she told her sister, as well as she could remember them, all these strange Adventures of hers that you have just been reading about; and when she had finished, her sister kissed her, and said, `It WAS a curious dream, dear, certainly: but now run in to your tea; it's getting late.' So Alice got up and ran off, thinking while she ran, as well she might, what a wonderful dream it had been.
-- Chapter 12, Alice in Wonderland
I hope you have some wonderful holiday dreams to remember! We are still locked in winter in the northern hemisphere, and that makes me think of an icy blue color scheme. It is also time to start scrappng those Christmas and New Year memories!

Our generous sponsor, Nikki Sivils, is offering a huge prize to help you capture those memories! One randomly drawn winner will receive a 6x6 inch pad, 12x12 inch designer paper, and  burlap covered  buttons from the Happy Holly-Days Collection!

So the challenge this week, should you choose to accept it, is to share something that helps you capture your holiday memories, like a layout, mini-album or picture holder of some kind, OR to use an icy blue and white color scheme!

The design team this week will be showing off some fabulous paper from our generous sponsor, Nikki Sivils. They will be using the wonderful  "Something for Everyone" collection in beautiful Alice blue or the Happy Holly-Days collection.

My Card: An Alice Blue Hello!

I am NOT a scrapper, so when I came up with this challenge I cleverly gave myself an out with the icy blue color scheme! This "Something for Everyone collection has such fabulous blue designs and I started by cutting two-inch squares of htem and stitching them into a little quilt!  I also used this wonderful paper to create a rosette with the Tim Holtz die. I love the way the striped paper makes concentric circles! The center is one of the stickers from the matching sticker sheet. 

I saw a tip on SplitCoastStampers about adhering ribbon to cardstock and running it through your old crimper, and I love the way this looks with my silver moonlight colored satin ribbon. It is toped by another strip of the paper from Nikki. The edges of thie strip and the patchwork panel were flicked with a Faded Jeans Distress Ink pad.  The sentiment was created with letters from the sticker shieet, which were stuck to one of the fun oblong shapes which is then stuck to the hexagonal shaped sticker. The stacked stickers and the paper rosette are adhered with thick pop dots.

Alice (Stamp Francisco) was stamped on kraft paper with brown ink and clear embossed. Highlights were added with a white gel pan, and then color was added with Prismacolor pencils. Love how she turned out! I placed her to look like she is holding up the hello sentment, adhered with pop dots, and it was done!

Please go to Oh, Alice! to check out the rest of the design team efforts! 

You have until Friday, January 14th, 8 p.m. CST to submit your creations on Oh, Alice!. Remember you can either share a holiday memory or use an icy blue color scheme, so show us your stuff and one luck winner will walk away with the prize pack from Nikki Sivils!

Please leave me a comment here before you go - I love hearing from you!
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