Dreams really do come true. I found that out firsthand when I recently got invited to join the Alpha Stamps Design Team.
I can’t adequately describe what an honor this is. Nor how terrifying it is. Many artists I have most admired over the years are on this team. Simply put, their work is brilliant.
Austin Kleon says, “Stand next to the talent” because you will only be as good as the people you surround yourself with. He tells artists to hang around people who are smarter and better than themselves. That’s what I am doing–I just fervently hope I don’t fall on my face (subsequently impaling myself with craft scissors or suffocating from all the glitter on my studio floor).
Alpha Stamps is announcing my arrival on their blog tomorrow. For my debut Alpha Stamps project, I created a three-dimensional Altered Art Greenhouse from two 6.5 inch tall House Oddities Boxes, complete with a mossy roof, wind chimes, iron bridge and flower urns. You can see this miniature greenhouse featured on the Alpha Stamps blog.
On each end of the greenhouse, the windows open to reveal a scene.
However, the true magic literally unfolds when you open the box and discover the accordion-fold buildings inside.
One side of the accordion shows the interior of the greenhouse, where shelves are heaped with just about anything a gardener could want to purchase.
After shoppers are done perusing the inside of the greenhouse, they can make their way to the lush grounds on the other side of the accordion assemblage to visit beautiful gardens.
They enter through the center garden gates, with the greenhouse in the distance. Birds, butterflies and a lone turtle are there to greet them.
From there, shoppers can stroll paths filled with flowers, vines and children playfully watering the flowers.
A glimpse into making the Altered Art Greenhouse
I adhered the two House Oddities boxes with light blue, Provincial Mail and Provincial Cobblestone papers using Beacon Fabri-Tac. Then I cut away some of the bricks from the Greenhouse Collage Sheet Set and layered it over the first set of papers so that crumbling brick would reveal a stone foundation.
The entire project required a seemingly endless amount of fussy cutting. This is just a portion of what I eventually cut out.
Making the inside accordion
To make the accordion folds, one could purchase cloth book-binding tape…or one could do what I did and use first aid wrap scavenged from the medicine chest to create a lovely linen binding–heh heh. I marked each of the chipboard houses 3/4 inch up on both sides so I could adhere the tape in a precise line.
The Provincial Mail Scrapbook Paper reminded me of glass windows, so I adhered that to each of the chipboard buildings to create the inside glass walls of the greenhouse. For the lower half of the greenhouse, I used the China Cabinet House Wallpapers Collage Sheet.
I made the hanging shelves freehand and altered the construction on two of the Mini House Shadowboxes to create standing shelves. Then I gave all the windows and shelves a couple coats of white paint.
Making Audrey the Carnivorous Plant from clay was fun. However, fitting those tiny teeth in was challenging, to say the least.
I also found a nifty technique for making miniature flower bulbs. By the way, don’t tell my kids that I stole some of their old Legos to make the white planters. I just hollowed out the inside connection piece and filled it with a mixture of coffee grounds and hot glue.
I added flowing water to the water fountain and watering can by using a technique I learned from fellow Design Team Member Laura Carson.
To construct the itty-bitty fruit crates, I just cut and scored chipboard rectangles. You can see from the picture below how I made them. Then I added Tiny Labels for Crates, Jars and Cans.
Alpha Stamps offers so many darling miniature supplies ranging from hay bales to bunnies, that it was hard to stop filling my greenhouse. But I eventually reigned myself in–at least until the next time I visit the Alpha Stamps store.
You can find my complete supply list here.