Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Future Houses

I am always looking for new ideas for houses. I keep thinking of different shapes, designs to do. Sara of Sara loves paperstuff suggested that I do a Scottish Tower house. I was not familiar with that house, but I googled it and it does seem that it will make a lovely house. She also suggested a crow's step gable. I had to google that as well. Yes, I very much want to do that, but it has some design issues I am trying to figure out.

Here is one of my favorite drawings by the illustrators, Maud and Miska Petersham, showing a famous house in Holland with the crow's step gable.  I can't seem to make the picture larger, but you get the idea. It's from Tales Told in Holland, a book we had when I was a child AND my brother recently found it at our house and gave to me.

Image result for maud and miska petersham illustrations

Still working on the Tudor house, it's not too far from being done. I think it looks really cool. I have another Amsterdam house in the works which is also almost completed. 

My plan is to continue to make houses throughout the year - whatever strikes my fancy. I also want to make some dioramas because I think that allows a lot of creativity as well.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Coppertop Clock House

I finished this house last week - the Coppertop Clock House. It's made from the template I custom ordered from Accucut. I added an extension on the front.


I am unsure about using the horse and buggy in front. I think I will make one in embossed gold and see how I like that. I am also going to add some kind of decoration on both sides of the "Merry Christmas". I haven't decided what yet.

I made the back open so you can slip in an LED tea light easily. I really like the little hinge on the door. That took some finagling to get it right. I think I will be using that some in the future. The down side is that it makes the bottom a little less strong if it is not continuous. I added some extra cardboard so the house would maintain it's square shape better.

Stay dry. We've had rain for days and it's kind of muggy and gloomy for December. It should return to more normal weather later this week. Take care of yourself. Lucy

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Amsterdam House - finished

I think this is one of my very favorite houses. I had fun making it and I love how it looks.

I made this house for a friend of mine who is a very kind therapist. I added the dove for that reason. The fence is based on some drawings I've seen by Maud and Miska Petersham who illustrated a book I remember from my childhood called "Tales Told in Holland". They often signify a brick wall by drawing a few random bricks scattered about. I really like the look so I copied it for the fence.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Amsterdam House

I'm now making a house based on house drawings from Amsterdam.

Here is my template and rough sketch.

And here are the main pieces cut out and painted. I painted it with this lovely Martha Stewart acrylic paint shade called "Surf". I mixed in sand to make the paint look like plaster and have more depth to it. I put a much thicker coat on the front piece partly because I had to cover up some mistakes.

More tomorrow or the next day.

Thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Steampunk Challenge House

One of my Halloween houses was done in a steampunk design - industrial looking with metallic locks and keys. When it sold several people were sorry that they didn't buy it when they had an opportunity. One of my coworkers specifically asked that I make her a Steampunk Christmas house.

I thought about the design for a long time. I decided to use foil covered cardboard for the base which I embossed with several designs - specifically gears and watch faces. Then I colored it with alcohol inks which adhere nicely to metal and used Tim Holtz ideology keyhole frames for most of the windows, gears on top of the chimney and the top windows.

I've been experimenting with making sisal bottlebrush trees so I thought I would frost them with metallic glitter - copper, in the case. I LOVE the trees. I think they are very different and look really good with this design.

I had a keyhole design left over from my steampunk house that I used to function as the pathway. The holly on the sides is to make it just a little more Christmasy. I found some gold glittered deer cutouts that frame the opening to the gold fence.

Happy Holidays! It goes by so fast, doesn't it? Let the people you love know that you love them.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Alright, now TWO houses are done.

I posted that the Blue house is done. I'm pretty happy with it. I think it looks good. There are a few mistakes, but overall it's a cute little house. I think someone will like it. I get happy when I walk by and see it on display. I hope the person that gets it will feel the same way.

Now the Green House is done. I like it as well. I always see mistakes when I look at the photos, but it is a nice little house. I mixed sand with the paint on the house to make it look like plaster. I really like that detail. I love the little pink bricks and the little pink fence as well. I made this sisal tree. I put it in a "pot" which is a small finial painted brown and turned upside down.

The next house I am making I am actually going to enter in an online challenge which I have never done before. I am excited about that. I hope to finish it in a day or two. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Finally, ONE Christmas House is Finished!

I finally finished one whole Christmas house. This is the one I call the Blue Printie. I'm pretty happy with it. The fence kind of looks like someone used it to deflect a snowball fight. It's also not exactly the green color I wanted and the yellow base is not quite the yellow I envisioned, but overall I like it. I'm happy with the tree I made. I glued a jingle bell on the top to give a little pop of color. 

Tomorrow I should have the green house finished. I'm waiting for the glitter to dry now so I can glue down the Christmas tree, then I'll take a picture of that house. The Christmas Candy Corn house is mostly waiting on making a base for it. I'm going to use a ribbon roll for that base.

Have a merry Christmas season. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Christmas House Progress

The Christmas houses are coming along. I agonize over every single one. This one drives me crazy because the yellow in the base is too muddy and the green looked like a bright spring green when painted but now looks olive green with glitter on it. I will have to rely on Snow-tex to improve the color situation. As you can see in the photo above, the fence has just been glued on which explains the pins sticking out. 

Christmas candy corn house is looking good. I like these colors. They would have been hard to mess up. Not impossible to mess up, just kind of difficult to mess up standard Christmas red and green. 

Ok, the next house is tentatively called the Green Printie. It's made from the same pattern as the blue house. I drew the window frames and the door and a few bricks. The color on the roof was a little too deep, hence the large amount of Snow-tex.

I am hoping the green base will tone down a little when glittered. We'll see. The fence is going to be a pink that already looks very good after glittering.

Well, that is my current crop of houses. Thank you for reading. I hope you are having a creatively fulfilling Christmas season. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mess on my Desk

No elf on the shelf for me - only a mess on my desk. I am trying to get some Christmas houses done. I am also trying to be more colorful. Halloween houses are a little easier for me because the color palette is pretty limited - gray, black, some purple, a little orange and if your house isn't straight you can just pretend it's decrepit and falling down and supposed to be that way.

Here is a little progress note.

Below is the blue "printie" house. It is based on illustrations in a children's book. Anyway, that is what it is supposed to look like.  "Printie" cardboard houses were primarily made in the late 1920s to 1930 in Japan. They are so named because the of the lithographed brick sides or lithographed stone masonry doors and windows. I based these on some houses I found in Pete Oehmen's book on Putz Christmas House Collector's Guides. (His guide is actually many guides describing these vintage glitter putz houses from Japan.)

I'm planning a red fence for this house.

The green house below is similar but I decided a clock would be good. And I tried to be even more bold with my colors. The roof is magenta - a color that I am not really familiar with (an extra-spectral color, meaning it is not naturally occurring on the light spectrum; a color made of mostly red pigment with a little blue in it). It looks better in person, but it mostly looked better before I glittered it. The glitter makes it look a little muddy. I guess I am going to have it SNOW heavily on this little house. I'm thinking a pink fence with a white glittered path to the door.

I'll post more photos when I get more done.

Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Birthday card for a 10 year old boy

One of my friends asked me to send a birthday postcard to a 10 year old boy who's having his birthday on Thanksgiving and hates turkey and is having some rough times. She was trying to organize a card from all 50 states. Well, I'm pretty far from Montana so I got drafted for South Carolina. The only problem is that I don't have any postcards. I guess I could find a Furman one or a Clemson one, but I really didn't feel like doing that.

So I decided to make a card. It's a little hard for me to know what boys like so it took a little while for inspiration to take hold. I have a Tim Holtz die of the United States so I decided to make it about birthday greetings from South Carolina to Montana. I used some of my keys left over from the Steampunk Key house and some brads to keep it kind of masculine. I am pleased with the design. I will mail it tomorrow; it will get there probably a day or two late, but that's ok.

I designed it so he can hang it up if he wants. Also he can take the brads off and add his own stuff if he wants to. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Four Little Houses all in a Row - Village Dwellings

I made four little cardboard houses for a friend of mine who recently had triplets. She also has a 3-year-old older daughter. I used the Tim Holtz Village Dwelling die from Sizzix to try to speed up the process of making these houses. It helped some, but I still take forever to get these houses done.

I've got to put some glitter on the front stoop and add a little something to the trees. I bought some beads today at Jo Ann's so I'll see how that looks glued on the trees. I made all the trees myself. I was going to do a purple tree for the purple house (for my friend's oldest daughter), but it was seriously too much purple.

That's what I've been doing lately. I really need to get going on some Christmas houses. Where does time go?

Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Quilt Retreat October 2015

Last year in October I met my sister and my best friend from Montana and one of her friends in Houston to go to the International Quilt festival. We had a blast. This year we decided to go on a quilt retreat where we actually sew rather than just add fabric to our stash. Well, that's what I did last year - add fabric to my stash. The other 3 people do actually make quilts.

I was working on an alphabet quilt for a baby who is now over one year old. It consists of pieced squares for the alphabet. Despite pretty diligent sewing I only got to the letter "P". I was kind of frustrated the last day so everyone else helped me by cutting out the last few letters. I don't think putting it together will be nearly as difficult. No photos of my progress yet. Everybody else got at least one quilt put together, plus bags and aprons and other cool stuff done.

We all bought some Halloween fabric to make tiny twister quilts but since I was on a first grade level where everyone else was in grad school level in terms of sewing skills, I didn't get to make my tiny twister quilt so my friend Lynn came to the rescue.

See the words " Trick or Treat" and "Boo" quilted on the border. I love that.

Close-up of the little twister quilt

Isn't it cute?

I will get the other quilt retreaters to send me some photos from the retreat so you can see the other stuff we (meaning "they") made. And eventually I will post my alphabet quilt in progress.

Thank you for looking at my blog. Lucy

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween - Pictures of my Haunted House Halloween Costume

Here is a pretty good photo of my completed halloween outfit at a coworker's party.

When I added the final touches to the house, the "stairway" piece was folded under the house so I forgot to decorate it. That's why the gray behind the stairway is kind of bland. I think I am going to paint it like stonework. The costume can still be used in the future even as a decor element.

Addendum November 2 - I wrote this before I finished the house.

These last photos are not really blogworthy, but taking a selfie while wearing a Halloween Haunted House outfit is not easy. I'm still working on the costume. I have about 3 more hours to get the roof on and get it a little more polished. The real photos will be posted later. Obviously someone will have to help me get better photos.

Bathroom mirror selfie

Better view of the front of the Haunted House outfit
Back side of the Haunted House costume
The real post will be later today or tomorrow. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Finally, the last 2 Halloween houses

I made 2 houses as gifts for some friends of mine, one of whom has a dog named Josie. I found an online store that had a small ceramic yellow lab that looks like her so I made a cardboard witch hat for Josie to wear next to her Halloween house.

I used the same basic pattern that I designed for Jack's house and the rusted tin roof house. I made a total of 5 houses from that pattern. I don't really like making this particular house because I don't like making the porch, but I sure do like the way it looks when I'm done.

The first house below I covered in weathered wood paper that I downloaded from Cardboard Christmas. Since it printed kind of blue-looking, I painted it with some faded jeans distress paint and a little bit of black distress paint. I really like how it turned out.

You can see how I distressed the paint on this house. 

Close-up view of the rusted roof - made with alcohol inks on metallic tape

The next house I call "Josie's house" in honor of Josie the yellow lab.

Isn't Josie cute?
Side view of Josie's house
I will deliver these houses as a surprise tomorrow. I'll let you know how they react when they get their little houses.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Just finished one more house

Well, just finished another house. This one has a textured roof which looks like slate, I hope. It's the first time I've used a stencil with Tim Holtz' texture paste. I think it looks good. You will have to decide for yourself what you think about this house. This house is for a friend of mine who requested her house a little later and she really liked Jack's house so this is the same pattern, just another variation.

Front view of the house

Glue drying under the pumpkin.

Texture of the roof

Back view of the house. I added the ghost to cover up the bracing I used to hold the tree up.

Cemetery corner of the house. It's a Tim Holtz die that I really love, but didn't incorporate in many houses. 

I have to work early tomorrow. I'll try to write more maybe tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Two More Houses have bases - the Flying Bat House and the Rusted Tin Roof House

I just finished the bases to 2 more houses today. One is the Flying Bat House for my brother. I think it looks pretty good. The fence is a little disproportionate to the house, but it's ok. My brother likes it. He picked out this house because it was the first house with a coffin-shaped door.

The other house is the Rusted Tin roof house promised to one of my co-workers. I really think it is my nicest house. Black Hat Inn is probably the most unique, but I really love the rusted tin roof.

The Flying Bat House with the LaLa Land Scary tree, sculpey polymer clay pumpkins, coffin door
Rusted Tin Roof House - Witch with cauldron (retired Martha Stewart punch) in the window, 13 hour clock, sculpey pumpkins, paper punched leaves, Tim Holtz tree with owl.

I added a thin layer of plastic to the middle of the owl and colored it with yellow alcohol ink to make the owl's eyes stand out better. 

I love this view of the house. 

Good view of the owl in the tree and the witch when it is backlit with LED candles.

I have only 2 more houses that I've promised to people, but I hope to finish a total of 4 more before Halloween. Then I get to do CHRISTMAS HOUSES which I am very excited about. Already thinking of neat things I can do for those houses. It will be nice to have snow cover some of my mistakes and gluing errors.

Thank you for reading.