Friday, June 23, 2017

Hipster Inc.


Tim Holtz is the designer of the Stamper's Anonymous Hipster stamps and Sizzix Hipster dies. Sizzix and Tim Holtz teamed up for "Get Hip for Summer" encouraging craftsters to use the stamps and come up with unique projects with these dies and stamps. This is my first attempt. Hipster summer extends until July 21st so I hope to enter one or two more projects later.

I've been working on this Hipster idea for awhile. It took me a few tries to draw a suit for the Tim Holtz Hipster cat. The Chuck Taylor shoes required a few attempts as well. I've also been working on making my backgrounds more interesting - even to the point of taking an online class by Marjie Kemper at Craftsy. Finally, I am getting better at backgrounds.

I will enter this Hipster cat in the Sizzix "Get Hip for Summer" on Instagram and in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge which is "Use a Patterned Paper". The Simon Says Stamp challenge specifically wants you to use a printed patterned paper rather than making your own patterned paper so I used both. The patterned paper I used is from a Tim Holtz pack and I used it behind my Hipster Cat to make him a little more prominent.

That's it for today. Next project - either a tutorial on making trees or perhaps a new house.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

House Guardians for the Halloween "Tree" House

I decided that the trees around the house looked like they are guarding the house so I call them the "House Guardians". I glued a crow in one of the trees as a guardian as well.

I've talked about this before how what you plan in your head is not often what comes out when you complete a project. Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes it's a bust. (The previous "tree" house was not a successful design.) This house does not look like what I envisioned, but I am very happy with this iteration.


The trees are pretty rustic-looking which is ok for this design. I really like how all the leaves pop and provide color to the house. I made the leaves by coloring watercolor paper with various stains and sprays then used a Fishers leaf punch to make the leaves. Since I used watercolor paper there was a conspicuous white edge to the leaves so I distressed some with Walnut distress ink (one by one - my fingers are still stained brown 24 hours later) and others I sprayed Fossilized Amber and smooshed them around in the stain to obscure the white edge.



In my original house plan, I didn't put any windows except the circular ones and I realized after gluing the house together that that was a mistake. So I cut out some window frames and backed them with black cardstock and glued them on the house.


This is the back of the house. I usually leave a hole in the back just like in the Japanese putz houses, but my base has a square cut out large enough for one LED tea light. I drew the boards on the house  with a fine tipped pen and then distressed it with some dilute black gesso. You can see one of the tree roots extending over the edge of the base just to increase the creepy factor a little bit.

I enjoyed making this house. Next will be a much more complicated design based on a house I found on pinterest.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Better Trees for the "Tree" House

Ever since I made my tree house prototype, I have been trying to figure out how to make some spooky trees. Earlier this year I made one with wire and polymer clay but I didn't like it. It was too clunky. I couldn't seem to make the branches thin enough.

So I've been going over ways to make a tree. I saw lots of wire trees on the Pinterest that were very cool, but I didn't want my trees to be made exclusively from wire. And I didn't want to have to cut 100s of pieces of wire. I can do some tedious things, but that is not one of them.  Also I don't like to have to buy supplies which is ironic considering how fast I will order dies and stamps and paints and stains, but I cannot make myself buy cardboard or mat board, for example.

As a result I came up with a way to make trees that satisfies the creative and thrifty sides of my personality. 

Basically it's a variation on the wire trees I found on Pinterest. Cut some wire (only 5-8 pieces per tree), wrap the wire in paper, salvaged brown packing paper in this instance, paint, wind them together and voila! a spooky tree. 




I think they work very well with this abandoned house. I may call this house "Tree Guardians". I have two more trees to glue on. Then I have to decide about placing leaves and any other decorations. 

What do you think?

More on this house in a day or two. Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

"Tree" House - House Prototype

I've had this idea for awhile and just decided to make a quick house to see how the idea works.

The idea is based on some abandoned houses I've seen where it looks like the woods are taking over the house - trees and vines growing along the lines of the house. I used a tree die to cover the house and then painted it and added some maple leaves from an old Martha Stewart punch. I used Fossilized Amber distress stain to make the yellow and sprayed some Rusty Hinge and Barn Door and walnut stain on top to age the paper for the leaves.


I glued the trees on and then painted them. It looks kind of messy to me. I don't think there is enough contrast between the trees and the house itself. The maple leaves are a little large as well. But this is a prototype - just playing around so it's a perfect way to experiment. There is also an online challenge that works with this house - Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge which is "Touchy Feely". I think there is certainly a tactile component to the house, especially seen on the side view where you can see the leafy shingles on the roof. 






I will probably try to make one more house like this, but using paper mache for the tree rather than the Tim Holtz Branch Tree die. I love this die, but I think a paper mache tree will have more dimension and may be easier to paint. Also I will try some smaller leaves. I have a punch of leaf punches including a number of oak leaf punches that I think will work better.

Another reason I haven't been around very much is that I actually was asked to be a guest designer for an upcoming post on A Vintage Journey - a very big honor. I've made one project but I may make 2 others just to see which one works the best. At first I was really scared because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to come up with an idea, but I immediately had 3 ideas that I was excited about.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Chateau finished with Pumpkins!

I finally got around to baking some polymer clay pumpkins for my crop of Halloween houses. The pumpkins aren't yet coated with glaze and they aren't glued to the houses yet, but at least they exist and I got to use my oven for baking a food-like item.  I think they add a lot to the houses.

I've placed 4 around the chateau. I'm not sure if I'm going to put 2 of them on the posts around the gate or not, but they add a nice bit of color and define it more clearly as being for Halloween. What do you think of the pumpkins on the posts?


I like this treetop view of the house. I had to add some cardboard to the top of the roof to provide more support for the weathervane. I will probably add two pennants to the spires on top of the turrets.


The round window on the roof breaks up the shingles and adds a nice detail, I think. You can see the stenciled walkway below. It's from a spiderweb stencil, but it just looks like stone which is ok, but not what I intended.


I found a cut out section of a spiderweb that I glued on the back. I need to cut out another one for the other side.


Well, that's the Chateau finished except for maybe a few little changes. I hope you like it.

I am going to take a brief break from making little houses and work on some other crafty items. I don't want making them to get to be a burden. So far, I have had a great time making the houses, but I'd like to keep them fresh.

Ya'll take care. Thank you for stopping by.