Saturday, April 30, 2016

Show Us Your Metal - Spooky Abandoned Farmhouse


I have entered another craft challenge - the Simon Monday Challenge entitled "Show Us Your Metal" meaning include some metal in your work. Ok, another challenge that immediately stimulated an idea  which included a little house, of course. I am working on my houses for Halloween and Christmas because it takes me so long to get my collection together. I thought I would combine the craft challenge with the houses I am making to sell for the fundraiser.

One house that everyone talked about from last year was the rusted tin roof Halloween house so I decided to make a variation on that house for the metal challenge.



I am very pleased with how this house turned out. I often name the houses - this one is the Spooky Abandoned Farmhouse (with a wrought iron fence). So the house has a tin roof and a metal fence to fulfill the requirements of the challenge.



I used my custom die once again to make the house but I cut off one of the front gables because I wanted the house to be a little smaller. My plan is to make most of my houses smaller since now some people have more than one and they may need the room for display.

I painted the house a streaky grey with purple window panes. Just wanted to try some purple. The roof is metal duct tape rusted with Ranger alcohol inks. The base is just layers of corrugated cardboard covered with card stock painted ochre (my favorite craft paint color, I don't know why) and streaks of Tim Holtz Black Soot distress paint. The tree is the Tim Holtz Branch tree which is absolutely perfect for every Halloween house. The fence is a La La Land die. I added some spider web scrollwork on each gable from a La La Land die that looks a bit like this one. I just cut it to fit the gables.



The leaves are from various punches in different colored card stock or card stock colored with spray inks.

So that is my latest craft challenge. I am always happy when I make the little houses. This one was really fun. The next house will be a cuckoo clock.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Middelburg Netherlands house finished and on its base

I debated for a long time what kind of fence to use on the Netherlands house - the St. Joris Doelen Guild House. I even stenciled a cobblestone base and made a small simple fence to go with it, but I thought it detracted from the house. Finally I settled on a simple light-colored base - ochre and white gesso, antiqued a little with some Tim Holtz distress paint, Ground Espresso. Then I glued together several layers of the Martha Stewart Iron Gate edge punch and painted them the same color as the roof of the house. I am very pleased with how it turned out.






I am also tickled with how nicely the door works to insert the LED light. I think I'm going to use that on most of my houses.

Next - a small Halloween house and the a Christmas house that will be really cool, I think - assuming I can build what I envision.

Take care everybody.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Butterfly Vintage Print


I have been expanding my crafting repertoire by entering some online challenges (a total of 6, I think - three 12 Tags of 2016, one Steampunk Challenge, one Creative Carte Blanche and one Simon Says Stamp Challenge) so I would stretch my artistic wings. Often the deadline passes long before I have an idea I want to act on. But sometimes, the idea is in my mind almost immediately after reading the challenge. So this week's Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge is "Butterfly Beauty" as in use a butterfly in your crafty piece. I immediately thought that I would do a house with butterflies on the roof like the way Monarch butterflies cluster together. It took a day for me to decide that I really couldn't execute it the way I envisioned it. So idea no. 2 came pretty quickly, how about a vintage butterfly print?



So I found a vintage print online that I would use as inspiration. I drew the plant in the background, put it in the copier and copied it to cream colored card stock, antiqued the card stock with various Tim Holtz Distress inks - vintage photo being the main one.













I used a Martha Stewart butterfly punch for the butterflies and colored with them with various inks and pens and crayons and then glued them to a black card stock butterfly for a little more dimension. I glued them to the antique botanical background and then drew the antennae and the description for plate 32 - Polyommatus Arion, Polyommatus Alcon and Polyommatus Corydon. Probably not anatomically accurate, but the coloring is pretty close to the print.

I am really happy about this design. On to the next challenge - loading it up correctly. Last time I tried to add my entry to the Simon Says Stamp blog, I messed it up. But I have been studying the directions and I think I can do it right this time.

Enjoy your challenges! Lucy

Addendum - I think I did it! You can see the Butterfly Beauty Challenge here.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Tales Told in Holland - Middelburg Building

I am progressing on my most recent putz house. I've almost got it done.

Here are some progress photos.



This is the front of the building. As you can see I decided to add red shutters to both the first and second floor windows. The current building does not have shutters on the first floor though it probably did in the past. I just love the pop of red. I think it makes the building look so festive - like Christmas in any season. I also antiqued the trim around the windows a little bit with Ground Espresso distress paint. I don't know if that looks dirty or if it gives it more dimension. I really can't decide. I was going to draw in some random bricks like in the Petersham's illustration, but I think that would add unnecessary detail. I may try in on the stepped gable sides where it wouldn't be too obtrusive. I can always paint over it.

I made a door that opens to put a light source inside the building. I think it looks pretty good. I'm going to cut out some clip art and put it on the inside of the door.





Here is a quick photo of the house as it stands. Some stuff drives me crazy, but overall I think it looks pretty good. I'm kind of sloppy painter so there are some globs of paint on the building. I didn't line up the roof shingles as I should have. Some of the white on the roof is glue drying so that problem will be solved. The chimneys are a little too wide proportionally. I made about 3 different ones before I settled on this one. Still it should have been maybe an 1/8 of an inch narrower. I don't know what the black lines are on the building, but they break up the white space so I decided to add them. Now I have to add the building date on the front 1582 and add one coat of arms. There are supposed to be 6 windows with 2 coat of arms above the windows, but I miscounted because I didn't count the door. Crazy. Anyway 5 works very nicely though.

So that is my Middelburg Zeeland Sint Joris Doelen Guild House in the Netherlands. I am working on the base tonight. There is a brick-paved walkway or square in front of the house which I will try to replicate in some fashion. The real house abuts 2 other buildings, but I'm going to make it a free-standing building with the fence of some sort.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

New Putz House in the Works

I am working on a house that I have been planning for months. I saw this building on a pinterest site when I was looking at children's book illustrators for putz house inspiration. I read about Maud and Miska Petersham and vividly remembered their illustrations from several books from my own childhood, specifically, Tales Told in Holland. The book is available as a free download on Project Gutenberg so I think (I hope) it is ok to post the photo without violating copyright rules.



The original building called the St. Joris Doelen Guild House in Middleberg, Netherlands was built in 1582 as you can see on the front of the building. It was destroyed during World War II, but the facade was rebuilt in 1969. I just love this illustration. Maud and Miska Petersham altered the buildings around it but were very faithful to the building itself. Below is a photo of the building as it looks now.



As you will see, my design alters much more than they did. I am making much narrower windows so I have some space for the shutters. I am going to skip the little dormers on the roof as they are pretty complicated. There is a statue on the top of the facade of a horse rearing up - not happening on my house. I just can't manage that. There are 2 crests on the front lower section that I might I will ignore or at least simplify, but I hope to include the date. The things that look like arrows on the top facade are medieval crossbows, I think. I may leave them out.



This is the base front piece which provides support and goes under the facade. I cut out the windows on this layer and then glued the facade on and used the under layer as the guide for the windows.



The front facade before it was glued on and the windows cut out.

Below is a better view of the top part of the facade and the template I used to cut it out.





Above are the front and back pieces. I have glued the front facade and side facades on. The flaps seen under the stepped gable ends will fold back and support the roof.

I made a door that flips open so you can slide an LED tea light in the back to illuminate the house. The door will be installed with brads after I've done all the painting on the house.



This view shows the front door that will be glued on to give it more definition. I haven't decided if I want to do half shutters like the windows on the original building or the illustration. I also have not decided about shutters on the first floor windows - they are no longer on the building.

Anyway, that's where I am on my current little house. I will keep you informed as I progress. I am excited about this house as it's been stored in my imagination for months. It's fun to bring it to life.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tim Tag April 2016



My April version of the 12 Tags of 2016 includes a dinner plate setting on the wood grain background. I didn't have the wood grain paper so I embossed a piece of cardstock. I painted the little Idealogy forks and knives to look like silver. You know I wrote one blogpost about my Tim tag failure at some of the monthly techniques that were demonstrated. Well, I think this one mainly worked. I don't think I did the resist part exactly right, but it looks the way I wanted it to look - as an old tabletop. That counts as success, right?

I ordered the mosaic kit because I wanted to see how that worked. It's pretty cool. And the mosaic glaze works exactly as advertised. It does not drip past the margins of the paper. It is amazing how it outlines each paper tile. It does take some time to dry, however. The grout looks nice as well.



I was thinking a teapot and/or teacup would look nice with this technique as well. Have fun if you make an April Tim Tag.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

My Biggest Fan

Here is a photo of my biggest fan holding his latest house. He is so proud of them and takes such good care with every one of his houses. He even took it to school. His teacher thought it was so cute how he held it like a treasure. It was stored in his cubby during the daytime so no other children could touch it. Of course  I did get permission from his mom, one of my co-workers, to post this photo.


Doesn't he have the cutest smile?