Saturday, March 26, 2016

Bunny Houses - More Houses from the Tim Holtz House Die

I just finished 2 more Bunny houses for co-workers. I'll deliver them on Easter morning.  That makes 9 so far - two to more to go. The last 2 I just couldn't get done before Easter. One was a late add-on to the list.

All of these houses were made from the Tim Holtz House die - called Vintage Village or Village Dwelling. It is, by far, the best die you can buy to make a little cardboard house. But still it takes me forever to get these things done. I've worked on these 2 all day and just finished. Other people are probably much more efficient than I am.

The base is the roll from some stickers covered with Easter graphics from Alpha Stamps. The rosette around the base is also a Tim Holtz die. I think it really adds some emphasis to the bottom, more than plain cardboard would. You see my Sculpey eggs once again with some Martha Stewart bunnies all around.

I used glitter paper because this is for children and I thought if I glittered the roof, there would be glitter all over the kids, the house, in their eyes (causing corneal abrasions - wouldn't want them to have to come to the pediatric ER, you know).

And the purple base Bunny House:

That's it for now. I hope you have a lovely Easter. Take care. Lucy

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lucky Stars - Simon Says Stamp Challenge

Lately, I have been looking at some craft blog challenges - where you post your project that fits the constraints of design challenge. I didn't do these for awhile because mostly I was making little houses, but also because I wasn't confident and didn't think I could make anything that would be interesting. What I've learned though, is that sometimes these challenges will stimulate an idea that you feel compelled to act on. My March Tim tag was one such idea. Once it came to me, I felt I had to make it. The Creative Carte Blanche Triple Trouble Bunny House is another such idea.

When I read about the Simon Says Stamp challenge called "Lucky Stars", I had recently purchased a Earth paper cutting die - Sizzix, I think. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I really liked it. But specifically for this challenge, I thought of the view of the earth from the stars and what a beautiful planet it is - our precious blue planet composed of 75% water. It seemed to me that the view from the stars would show the beauty of our world. That was the idea I felt compelled to act on.

I made this on just a piece of cardstock which I painted with Payne's Gray (which isn't gray to my mind - it's a deep, deep navy) and a little gesso so lighten things so that it would look the the sky does when you're in the wilderness and you can see the density of stars in the sky. Then I flicked some Liquitex gold ink on the surface. I cut a few layers of the earth die to make it standout on the background, colored the watery earth with a light blue and edged it with Payne's Gray (the not-gray gray). The land I colored green just to add some color and a little white for the Arctic. I painted my stars gold, printed out my sayings and edged them in Ground Espresso distress paint and glued them down. Wonderful is a Tim Holtz token that I painted gold and used my black distress crayon to accent the word "wonderful".

That's my "Lucky Stars" entry for the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. It was fun and relatively easy compared to some of the other things I've been making. Now it's back to the Bunny Houses.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Triple Trouble Bunny House

I decided that I needed to make more Easter houses for coworkers with children. So I've cut out 10 little houses, made 10 bases, cut out 30+ pieces of grass for the base, cut some 40+ rosette cardstock for decorating the bases, make 60+ Sculpey eggs, etc, etc.

Well, during this prep phase for this next set of Easter houses I read about an online craft challenge that I thought just might work with one of the houses. It's in a new blog called "Creative Carte Blanche" and every month the design team comes up with an idea to stimulate creativity. This month's idea is to combine 3 disparate elements for creative inspiration - the elements are corrugated paper, lace, and metal. You are allowed to make whatever you want and interpret these elements as you want - meaning that metal could be metal tape, metal embellishments, or in my case - metallic paint. The challenge is called "Triple Trouble".

My Triple Trouble Bunny House does have way more than 3 bunnies. That could be trouble in itself.

I cut the Tim Holtz Vintage Village house out of my usual cardboard and then covered it with corrugated cardboard. Corrugated cardboard by itself is not very strong and would not make a sturdy house. I did the roof the same way - making the usual cardboard roof and then gluing glitter paper on top. I added a layer of lace on the roof as well because the folded glitter paper makes an ugly seam and I wanted to cover that up.

I used the blue pearlescent paint as the main color for the house. The base for the house is made like I did for my St. Patrick's Day house. It's a nice thick cardboard tube covered with paper and glued to a 4 inch circle. The top is made in a similar manner but I used a strip of paper underneath to make a rim that would insert in the cardboard tube so you can take the top off. Kids love to take the tops off. If I didn't make it that way, they would. Now a treat can be hidden in there. I cut the grass out of painted card stock to make it a little more sturdy and glued it around the edge. An added layer of bunnies and Mod Podge makes the grass stronger.

I decorated the circle on the bottom with 3 strips of Tim Holtz Mini Rosette paper. Folded in that manner it is very strong and gives some visual weight to the base. Then I glued down some Sculpey eggs including the golden egg and placed bunnies all around. The eggs, bunnies, and the rosette were also covered with 2-3 layers of Mod Podge for extra strength.

That is the first of 10 Easter Bunny Houses. I hope to assembly-line the next 9 houses, but it doesn't usually work that way. I think of some new way I want to do something and it still takes me awhile to finish them. I have ONE week to go.

Materials used:
Tim Holtz Vintage Village Die
Tim Holtz Mini Paper Rosette Die
Martha Stewart Bunny Punches (unfortunately retired)
La La Land Grass Die
Cheery Lynn Anastasia Die for lace
Sizzix Circle cutter 4 inch die
Martha Stewart Cornflower Blue Pearlescent paint
Martha Stewart Scottish Highlands High Gloss paint for the grass
Martha Stewart Scallion Pearlescent paint for the grass as well
Tim Holtz Distress Marker - pink for the bunny noses
Alpha Stamps Easter collage papers
Sculpey - various colors
Mod Podge
Glue - mostly Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky glue, some Elmer's GlueAll
Liquidtex Gold ink for the door and the egg
Cardboard tube
Card stock - various colors

I hope you have a nice, creative day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Summer Country Putz Cardboard House

I call this the Summer Country House. I made it using a Accucut custom die that I designed. You may remember a couple of other houses I've made using the same die that have a front gable - here and here. I did cut off the front gables though to simplify the design (since it is a simple country house).

I used Stampendous stamps to make the door, brick work, and windows. I love these stamps. I stamped them on a piece of paper, then colored them, fussy cut them out and then glued it to the house. I think I should have stamped directly though. The openings for the windows are so small that it would have been difficult to cut them out directly on the cardboard. I cut out a square behind the window stamp to allow light to go through. The bricks I did stamp directly on the house. The bricks, windows and door are colored with some Tim Holtz pens which worked very well.

The roof is a La La Land grass border die that I turned upside down and layered to simulate a thatched roof. I first painted the cardstock with gesso and a beige paint then ochre. I love ochre - maybe it's the name that appeals to me, but I really think it's the color. To make the roof a little more sturdy I painted a layer of Mod Podge over it for protection.

All of that was fun, but the wall was the most fun to make. I made a stencil out of the Tim Holtz Cobblestone die by cutting out a piece of 65# cardstock then covering it with multiple layers of Mod Podge until it was totally covered and sturdy. Then I cut some pieces of thin corrugated cardboard with Tim Holtz Plaque and Postage die for the wall itself. I painted it with gesso and then dark grey paint. Once that was dry, I used the Tim Holtz Texture Paste on my Cobblestone stencil to make the rocks. I let that dry overnight then swiped some Black Soot distress paint and Ground Espresso on the rocks to give more color to them. I think they look like rocks. I love the rock wall. 

Of course, there is more to do. I am planning on adding a tree to the front, but I haven't finished that yet. That should complete the Summer Country House. I'm very pleased with how this one turned out.

P.S. The title is kind of goofy because I wanted it to come up in a google search for either Putz or Cardboard house - not that it matters much really.

Friday, March 11, 2016

St. Patrick's Day House - Tim Holtz Village Dwelling Template

One of my friends who really likes my houses is named Pat. Obviously, I felt compelled to make her a St. Patrick's day house. Since Easter is in March and I spent so much time in February and early March making the Easter houses, I didn't have much time to make a St. Patrick's day house so I used the Tim Holtz Village Dwelling template to make the house.

I made the base out of a roll that kid's stickers come on and covered it with Graphic 45 St. Patrick's Day paper. The top is designed to come off easily. You can rotate the paper to the back which has a framed Shamrock on it.

The fence is just corrugated cardboard cut with a scalloped die, painted gold and then shamrocks and purple flowers were added. The bottom is about the same.

I tried to make a thatched roof using sisal from rope, but I haven't perfected that yet. Soon, I think.  It was a relatively quick house to make (for me) and certainly fun to decorate. I hope Pat will like her St. Patrick's Day house.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tim Tag March 2016

When I saw this month's Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of 2016, I actually had an idea of what I wanted to do. It took me a little while to get everything together - including ordering the Ranger Distress Crayons and the Sizzix mixed media die and the butterfly dies, but I ordered them right away and got to work.

So you can see I made a bell jar to showcase flowers and a butterfly with one gilded butterfly on the outside. The flowers are mainly Tim Holtz punches and tiny tattered florals on cardstock that I painted with a Martha Stewart pearlescent paint. The background is the mixed media die colored with green and blue Distress Crayons covered with a wash of gesso. I liked the cutout part of the mixed media die so I colored that as well and used it as kind of vine through the flowers. 

You can't really tell but there is a piece of acetate forming the glass of the bell jar. In order to allow room for the dimensional flowers I cut out 3 sheets of cardboard with the bell jar die and sandwiched the clear plastic between 2 on the bottom and the one on the top. Then I painted the edges of the cardboard with black to give a little more structure to the bell jar. The stenciled paper on top is supposed to be tattered, aged wallpaper. 

So that's it for this month. I'm not used to being ahead of a deadline, it feels kind of strange. I have some more little houses I'm working on. Then it's up in the attic to work on my insulation before the attic gets too hot to work in. We're having afternoon temperatures in the 70s so the time is ripe. 

I hope you have a good day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Easter Houses are FINISHED.

This is a close up of the Two Bunny Maple leaf Easter house. The 2 bunnies are from an Alpha Stamps digital download printed on regular paper then glued to cardstock and cut out. I kind of bent them a little to curve around the base. I made the grass from a LaLa Land die and glued it around the base of the tree and fence. The eggs are Sculpey polymer clay eggs that I made and glued to the base. I coated them with Sculpey glaze just to give them a little shine. The flowers are from a couple of dies - one from Impression Obsession and one from Tim Holtz' tattered florals.The fence is also a LaLa Land die. It is the easiest fence to die cut that I have found. I glued together 3 pieces of cardboard to make each section of the fence - that means there were a total of 50 pieces glued together to make the fences for the 4 little houses. I did not extend the fence all the way in the front because I wanted the bunnies and the eggs to be seen better.

The vine is a Spellbinders ivy die, I think.

I coated the leaves and the grass with Mod Podge to give a little more strength to the paper. I think it will make the little houses much stronger and long-lasting.

Now for more photos. First, an overall view of the Two Bunny Maple Leaf house.

Now the Brown Bunny Oak Leaf house below.

This view shows the inside of the house with the top off.

Finally, here is the Drummer Bunny Oak Leaf house.

There is one more house done, but truthfully, it is drying in the oven. Sometimes to speed up the drying process, I turn on the oven for 5 minutes (ALWAYS with a timer) and then put the little house in there to dry after I turn off the oven. It is also an oak leaf house very similar to the ones above.

I always look at the houses for a few days before I deliver them. I may add a small section of grass to the front and maybe some flowers at the front corners where there is a little gap in the fence. Details, details. I think the kids will like their Easter houses no matter what - but a little extra embellishment can't hurt.

Thank you for stopping by.


I won one of the prizes for Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of 2016! Now just to be honest, I was one of 12 people chosen at random to win, but still it's exciting. This is the first time I've ever made a tag (and not too successfully at that, though the tags looked ok), so I am really tickled about it.

I was looking for my name on the 12 winners, but it wasn't there so I thought I was not chosen. Then I saw my blog title and realized I actually WAS chosen as a winner. Now I have to email Mario of the Tim Holtz company so I can give them my address and they can mail me a prize. I am so happy about that.

I almost have my Easter houses completely done. There are always little details that I think of at the end - places where the paint doesn't look right, or I decide to put Mod Podge on the rooftop leaves to help make them stronger for little hands to touch, or glue a bird on the top, etc, etc. But really, I should get done today. Absolutely today.

I'm also making a few other houses using my Tim Holtz Village dwelling die and the custom die I had made by Accucut. I'd like to make a St. Patrick's day house because I think the colors would be so nice. The only punch or die I have for that is a Tim Holtz 4 leaf clover. I will have to improvise for other embellishments.

That's it for today. Just had to share the news. Take care everybody. I hope Spring is starting wherever you are. It is pretty nice here. 60s in the daytimes, 40s at night. Really nice I think.