Sunday, December 31, 2017

Next Putz House for Habitat

This year I'm going to make a spectacular little cardboard putz house for Habitat for Humanity's fundraiser in October. Last year I sold most of my Halloween houses myself, but one house was auctioned off. It raised $80 which was pretty good considering how small it was compared to the other luxurious items in the display. So my plan this year is to build a house that stands out among all the larger auction items.

My next house is based on an actual house in Greenville, SC called the Wilkins house. The property it stood on was sold to a developer who planned to tear the house down to build an assisted living facility. Greenville rallied and raised money to save the house by moving just around the corner. It is estimated that this 750-ton house is the largest house ever moved in SC. After the move, extensive restoration was done to return the house to its former glory (it had been serving as a mortuary) and list it on the National Register of Historic Places. It is unusual for a home that has been moved to be listed on the National Register but because of its superior design and restoration it was considered eligible and was accepted.

Wilkins House 1910
Historic photo of the Wilkins House from 1910
Wilkins House 1914
Side of the Wilkins House. The porch is very ornate and must have functioned as an entrance. 
Wilkins House ready for the move - photo from
Wilkins House saved
Wilkins House after relocation and restoration - photo from

I figure this is the perfect house to make for 2018 Habitat for Humanity fundraiser. The design will be greatly simplified from the actual home while still trying to convey what is so wonderful about the Italianate design. I am making the home rectangular rather than square to compress its features somewhat.

Some of the design issues I've been wresting with are:

  • How big to make the house?
  • How to make the balusters for the porch?
  • What angle for the roof?
  • How to simplify the complex roof design?
  • How to replicate the ornate decorative brackets and cornices?
  • How to make the quoins (corner stones on each side) individually or as a strip?

More on how the little cardboard version of the house is progressing in a couple of days. Oh, I forgot to say that I am going to make 2 versions of this house - one for Halloween and one for Christmas. They are going to be really cool and raise a lot of money for Habitat, I hope.

It's New Year's eve and I have to work in a little while which is one of the downsides of working in an emergency department. I hope you have a wonderful new year and that it brings you peace and joy.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Gingerbread House Pop-Up Card

Here is another Christmas pop-up card. This time it's a Gingerbread House as the pop-up. I chose to do a gingerbread house because I just got a white gel pen and it's so fun to use. I had to think of an excuse to use it and I thought the icing on gingerbread would be perfect.

Gingerbread House Pop Up Card front

Gingerbread House pop-up house

The other idea I had was to mix cinnamon and cloves in the paint so the house would actually smell like gingerbread. That didn't work out as well as I expected. It has the faint smell of cloves and cinnamon but it's not very strong. I think the paint covered up the wonderful Christmasy smell. I will experiment with that again though. I didn't want to waste too much paint so I didn't mix as much as I should have.

Inside view of pop-up card

I made the house out of the Tim Holtz Village Dwelling Die. It's the basic house without the front gable. On most of the pop-up houses I studied online, the roof is not attached at the wall-roof intersection because it has to float enough for the house to become square during the popping up action. I attached the roof with a folded piece of paper in the center under the roofline. I also cut the roof larger to make overhangs to cover up the gabled ends of the house better.

I made a couple of other pop-up features - 2 gingerbread men, 2 snowmen and one tree from the Tim Holtz Sizzix Mini Christmas Things. I think they are a nice addition to the house. The page the house sits on needs more decor. I will work on that.

Opened pop-up card

The front of the card was fun to do as well. The background is a Tim Holtz Layered Stencil called Crossed where I used crackle texture paste highlighted with Distress Walnut Stain Ink. I used some Christmas papers from paper stash and mini-paper stash behind that. The cardstock inside is scrapbook paper from years gone by. I love the deer from the Winter Woodlands Thinlet dies. And then there are 2 stamped messages - "Wishing You Peace and Joy" and "Happy Holidays". I choose those 2 because it's after Christmas. I'm going to send this to a friend with 2 girls. I think they will enjoy it.

Winter Wonderland deer Christmas card

This card is works much better than my very first pop-up card earlier in the month. It lays flat and opens a little better. Also I glued the flaps that hold the house to the card INSIDE the house this time which looks better. I also think the front of the card looks a little more polished. These cards are experiments for  next year's invitation to the Little House Making Party which I intend to host next November. You know you can't start too early on these kinds of things. Creativity takes awhile.

I am going to add this to 2 online challenges - the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge which is "Anything Goes" and the 12 Tags of Christmas Funkie Junkie Style - tag number 2. Linda's background is what inspired me for this card. I only entered 3 tags in the 12 Tags of Christmas but that is 3 more than I did last year. I'm going for at least 6 in 2018. 

I hope you have a Happy New Year. Take care.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Birdhouse Ornaments

I made ornaments as gifts for the staff at my vet's office because they have been so kind to me while I've spent so much time there this year. The Eileen Hull birdhouses were used because I had so many cute little birds left over from the house making party. I figure the staff at the vet's office would appreciate the little birds. Then I made some Tim Holtz gift card holders for the token gift card. There are a couple of online challenges that I would like to share this with - the Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge "Party" and the last Frilly and Funkie challenge of the year - "Most Memorable Gift".

Cardboard birdhouse ornaments

Gifts birdhouse ornaments

Birdhouse ornament Christmas gift

Tim Holtz Gift Card Birdhouse ornaments

Tim Holtz Gift Cards and the little Christmas Birdhouses all boxed up and ready to go. 

I hope you are having a lovely Christmas season and that all is well. Take care.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Deer Christmas Wonderland

I wanted to play around making a Christmas diorama with some Christmas dies and stamps and ephemera so I could enter it in several online challenges - A Vintage Journey "Winter Wonderland", this week's Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge "Icy Inspiration", the Sizzix 2017 Tim Holtz Holiday Inspiration challenge and the wonderful Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas Challenge.

The basic structure of the diorama is the box from my new Sidekick! I just love boxes and always try to think of a way to use them. I cut out the front a little bit for the stage and lined it with papers left over from recent Christmas crafts. I used the metallic red paper where I had cut out Merry Christmas for my pop-up house card and made that the background. I poked several holes in the back so tiny LED lights could be taped on the back to add some light to the center of the box.

Christmas Deer Shadowbox

Inside the box I placed a streetlight from the newly re-released Sizzix die in the back with some greenery from the Idea-ology ephemera pack, 2 trees stained with Twisted Citron spray stain, and a small set of paper dolls in front of the one of the trees. I put Snow Tex around the bases of the trees and the Merry Christmas in the back.

The front consists of deer from some older Sizzix dies. I love these reindeer. The icicles were made from a Martha Stewart Holiday Icicle edge punch. I think it is retired but still readily available online. I painted the strip with glue and sprinkled with glitter. The ephemera on top is from the Tim Holtz Christmas ephemera - it's perfect for this box. Also it works well with the "Icy Inspiration" challenge.

I made a couple of snowflakes from the Tim Holtz Swirly Snowflakes Framelits Dies and Stampers Anonymous stamps. I stamped them in a brown ink and then highlighted several areas with gold stickles. I love the effect. I used the Merry card from the Christmas flashcard set and Christmas from Idea-ology alpha dies. Various alcohol ink colored baubles were glued all around.

Merry Christmas Shadowbox

The large prancing deer was glued on top with gold stickles to highlight the antlers. The bell is tiny jingle bell on a string. 3 of the trees on top were colored with Tumbled Glass Spray stain and the red one stained with Festive Berries - such a lovely red. I backed the deer with a section of cardboard cut out with the bracket die that was painted with Tumbled Glass and with Stampers Anonymous Swirly Snowflakes stamped in white ink and embossed in white embossing powder. It's a lovely effect that I saw on the Tim Holtz Addicts Facebook page.

Little pieces of greenery were glued in corners.

Christmas Deer Shadowbox

I had fun making this diorama. It says Christmas to me. 

The specific inspiration for the 12 Tags of Christmas challenge #9 is the bold metallic deer which is similar to the emphasis on Linda's tag #9. That means I have 10 more projects to go to complete the 12 tags of Christmas challenge. I hope I can do them all this year. 

So I am sharing this project with Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge "Icy Inspiration", Holtz for the Holidays by Sizzix, A Vintage Journey's "Winter Wonderland" and the 12 Tags of Christmas.

Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Village Dwelling Pop-Up House

You know I have a fascination (obsession) with 3-D little houses. That is clear from my blog. But what you may not know is that I have become somewhat obsessed with Pop-up houses. I've been trying to figure out how to make a good pop-up house for cards. I think it would make a cute invitation for my party next year so that has been my current project.

Below is the outside of the card using 2017 Tim Holtz Christmas products. I used the snowflakes from last year because they were already cut and glittered.

And this is the pop-up inside of the card with a few bottle brush trees trying to hold the card flat.

So that is the first completed card. It's still a prototype, but I like it.

If you google "Pop-Up Houses" you get a pretty good search list that you can go through, lots of videos, but seeing someone make a pop-up house and actually making one are very different things. First, you have to figure out how to adhere the house to your card and you have to figure out how you want the roof adhered because it has to move during the pop-up motion and then you have to figure out how to make the card lay flat. I have not succeeded in the last challenge.

The first house prototype I made just folds flat. It's not designed to be attached to a card. When you make it this way, you learn what needs to move and how it moves in the folding/unfolding process.

The roof is adhered on the back wall on this house so it would not work on a card because the house and roof both have to move to pop-up. It works well if you want to send a flattened house alone. I am considering doing this as an invitation to my party by writing the invitation on the inside flap of the roof. If you are familiar with Village Dwelling from Tim Holtz, you'll notice that I cut the front gable off of the house. I don't know how to make the house with the gable in front. It needs to be simple when you are learning.

If these videos load, they show the pop-up houses. 

I'd like to share this project with a several online challenges.

Sizzix is hosting #holtzfortheholidays and since I love Tim Holtz products so much I had to make something for this challenge. I will add my project on instagram.

Also this month's A Vintage Journey challenge is "Winter Wonderland". You have to see the projects that the design team did for this challenge. They are incredible.

And then the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is "Star Light Star Bright". Again the design team projects are beautiful and certainly worth a visit. The stars in my project are from the Stampers Anonymous stamp I used in the background.

P.S. I have always intended to participate in the 12 Tags of Christmas on the Linda's Funkie Junkie blog. I am going to try to do that this year. This is my first project for the 12 tags challenge.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Birdhouses as Gifts - Mini Marvels for a Vintage Journey

I had lots of birdhouses left over from the party so I decided to use some as gifts. These houses were made for a friend who could not come to the party because her car wouldn't work the first night and then her sister had a baby the second night. This friend has 3 (now 4) nieces so I made a birdhouse for each one.

This is one of my favorite birdhouses. I used some leftover metallic cardboard that I found in some Martha Stewart packaging. It is lovely cardboard. I cut it using a Tim Holtz die called Baroque which works beautifully as a house base. This birdhouse is for my friend who couldn't attend. Oh, the reason I made the girls birdhouses was because they had asked their aunt to make them a birdhouse when she came to the party.

The birdhouse below is made for one of the younger nieces.

And this one is for a younger niece as well. I think the girls are 8, 5, 2 years old and a newborn. 

I worry that this one below is too tacky, but maybe a young girl will like it. I still have affection for the ornaments that we had when I was a child - tacky or not.

I think this one is my favorite of this series of birdhouses. I love the fat little yellow bird, the yellow tree and the smaller bird with the red head on the roof. 

Here are all the girls' birdhouses together.

Many of the trees are from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology line, but I had to order some from Consumer Crafts online because I was afraid I would run out. I wrote a little bit about staining the trees in this post. The birdhouse is Eileen Hull's birdhouse die from Sizzix. The birds are from Factory Direct Crafts. I really love all the miniature birds. They were a big hit at the party. 

This month's challenge at A Vintage Journey is "Mini Marvels". I haven't shared anything with online challenges recently because I've been so busy prepping for the party. I think the little birdhouses count as mini at least because each birdhouse is 4 inches tall and 2 inches wide. The base is 5 inches at its widest so maybe I am stretching the challenge's definition of mini. Whether they are marvels is a different question, but I am going to share them anyway. 

Ya'll take care. Thank you for reading. 

Last set of Houses from the Little House Making Party

I didn't take of a photo of every house though I meant to. This is the last set of house photos that I have. I hope you enjoy looking at them.

Another beautiful church. I was surprised at how different all the churches were. 

The same person did this church as well. I love the color scheme and how beautifully she did the snow. I can't apply Snow Tex nearly as nicely as this. 

I love the way she used a ribbon roll as the base. It almost looks like a carousel.
This snow was very well done also. It's a lovely setting for the little house.
Beautiful bird house in the snow. The chimney was not made to fit this house, but it does and it looks nice on the roof.
Another house in a snowy wonderland. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

More Photos from the Little House Making Party

Here are a few more photos from the Little House Making Party. These are from the second night of the party. I actually did a better job taking photos of all the houses on the second night so there are a lot of houses. I will probably divide them up in 2 posts.

One thing I noticed was that a number of people brought their best friends. I think 3 of my friends who brought their daughters brought along their best friend along which was really cool. It was fun to see the girls working on their houses in tandem. And even one of my co-workers brought her own best friend. I like that.

I ran out of pre-made bases so I bought some inexpensive gift boxes at the craft store and punched a hole in the top so an LED light could be placed underneath. This design is one of my own custom designs on one of those bases. The disadvantage to it was that people had to paint the house rather than cover it with paper. But they did a great job.

This is the Tim Holtz Village Dwelling house painted in purple and pink shades.

Another one of my house designs. I love the color scheme. I just discovered Martha Stewart glitter paint at Michael's recently. It's really fun to use. It's not thick glitter but it leaves a nice coating without the glitter mess.

Here is one of the Eileen Hull Birdhouses on a painted ribbon roll as the base. I love the fat little yellow bird.

This house is made from the Tim Holtz Village Brownstone die.

Ok, what is really unique about this house is that there is an over roof that flips up to reveal a "Merry Christmas" message. Very cool.

This house was made by one of the best friend duos. This child is very creative and very funny. I enjoyed working with her on her house.

This is the best friend's house. All the glue strings kind of tickle me because that's what I do as well when I use hot glue.

I love this house. Beautiful colors.

So I'll write another post with the last few houses from the party. And I'll also write a little bit about what I would do different next time with advice on hosting a crafting party.