Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Altered Shamrock Catcher

Hello there, Sin City Scraps fans. 
 It seems there is always something to celebrate, so my first thought was, of course, St. Patrick's Day.  I love my new stamp plate from Sin City Scraps, Fairies Plate 2
 There are so many images on these plates, and I still have not used them all. 
 Some of the flowery like images called out to me... SHAMROCKS.  And then, there are the fairies.  Well, what better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than to find a fairy and catch a few shamrocks for good luck. 
Just how do you catch a shamrock?
  With a mouse trap, of course.  I am too much of an animal lover to use them for anything else than catching shamrocks or altered art.
In case you were wondering about fairies vs. leprechauns and St. Patrick's Day, I found this little bit of information on the internet at
The truth? There is no such thing as leprechauns in Ireland so apologies to any would be believers in magical crocks of gold. The whole leprechaun thing was more of a Disney invention that came along with the likes of bad ‘oirish’ accents in films such as ‘Darby O’Gill and the Little People’.....
But fairies....they do exist, Oh yes and here in Ireland we do not mess with the fairies, ever! They are known to live in very special places called fairy rings, which are raised earthen circular mounds that you will see all over Ireland.  You are welcome to visit them, walk around them, make a wish by all means .... But it is thought to be very bad luck to interfere with these mounds. Driving motorways through them, Bad Very Bad....Certain trees are revered too, especially hawthorns which country people will never chop down or remove for fear of disturbing the fairies who often live underneath and who are likely to wreak havoc if disturbed? ie, sour milk, cause crops to fail, animals to sicken and die.....
So don’t say ye haven’t been warned !
So, now that the history lesson is over, let's begin.  Here is my version of a shamrock catcher.

First, I found these 4-packs of mouse traps at my local Dollar Tree store (with art in mind, of course).

Choose a piece of plain green paper from the pad, stamp image with Versamark ink, heat emboss with Emerald Green embossing powder.

Here is a little tip I learned years ago ... coffee filters make wonderful embossing powder catchers.  They don't seem to have any static in them and form a funnel shape easily for returning the powder to the jar.  Use them over and over again.

Fussy cut the stamped image, leaving a tiny edge of the paper so you do not cut into the embossing powder, which will cause it to chip off.  Fold each petal in half, as shown.

Cut along one fold line up to the center.  Accordion fold each petal, as shown.  Are you seeing a shamrock yet?

Trim a small piece of the white cording and spritz with the emerald green smooch spritz.  Adhere to the back of the shamrock to make the shamrock stem.

Stamp the fairy image with white pigment ink onto another piece of print paper, heat emboss with clear embossing powder.  Add Distress ink colors in shaded lilac and peacock feathers.  Fussy cut the fairy.  Glue her to the top of the trap, as shown.

I love the fairy saying on this plate, but it is too large for this piece.  So, what to do?  To make it smaller, I stamped it onto a piece of shrink plastic using black archival ink and added a light coat of peeled paint distress ink.  The color will intensify as the plastic shrinks.

I used a spellbinders die to cut out the phrase and punched a hole in the side for hanging.  Make sure to punch your hole a bit larger than what you need, as it will shrink to a much smaller size.

Pre-shrunk shrink plastic
Use your heat gun to shrink the plastic.  It will curl and look awful, but it always straightens itself out.
When completely shrunk, you can flatten it with the back of your wooden stamp or acrylic block.

Completely shrunk shrink plastic
For the mousetrap:
Carefully remove the metal trap parts from the wood base and set aside.  I used a heavy duty awl to lift the staples up and out.  A screw driver may also work for this.

Cover the front of the mouse trap with another piece of print paper from the pad.   I used a good white glue to adhere the paper to the wood.

Turn the trap over and use a small pin to mark your holes on the front again.  This will help you re-attach the metal parts.

I distress inked the edges of the trap with peeled paint, and added a coat of some glittery green nail polish to the edges.  I thought this finished off the sides very nicely.
Re-attach the metal parts to the trap base.  Place the shamrock beneath the clip to "catch" it.  I used a jump ring to hang my saying from the top of the clip, as shown.  At the last minute, I decided the metal was too shiny, so I added some gilder's paste in copper and verdigris.

Supplies Used:
Sin City Scraps Fairies Plate 2
Kaisercraft 6-1/2" x 6-1/2" Blae & Ivy paper pad
Spellbinders die-Labels 25 (size 3)
Emerald Green embossing powder
Clear embossing powder
Versamark ink pad
Black archival ink
Colorbox Frost White pigment ink pad
Distress Ink Peeled Paint, Shaded Lilac, Peacock Feathers
White PPA glue
Maya Road white paper twine cording
Smooch Spritz Emerald Sprinkle
Beacon 3-in-1 glue
White shrink plastic
Copper jump ring
Emerald green glittery nail polish
Light green tulle
Baroque Art Gilder's Paste - copper, verdigris
I sure hope you like my project today.  I had so much fun making this.  So be sure to check out the Sin City Scraps online store for more of their fabulous stamp designs and stamping products.  And be sure to come back to the blog often for more inspiration from the talented design team.
Have a wonderful weekend, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Good luck to all,

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