Thursday, 24 November 2016

Major Manor Building Programme

At the end of last week the dies that I had been absolutely desperate to get my hands on finally arrived.   They have been so hard to get hold of because as soon as they come in stock with suppliers here in the UK, they get snapped up and go out of stock in the blink of an eye.  But I got them!  YAY!

The dies in question were the Tim Holtz Village Brownstone and Village Manor. Mi am absolutely IN LOVE with the Manor and have spent 3 day's closeted in my craft room. Husband has had to fend for himself and we've been eating from the freezer or getting Chinese food delivered, I am obsessed.

The first one I built was a 'Shabby Manor'.  I had received a sample pack of papers with a craft magazine - Mr Smith's Workshop' by Papermania, and the brickwork paper therein was perfect for this.

The next day I made a very Christmassy house. This is more glittery than the photos show,

Very, very Christmassy!

But my favourite is this little Steampunky Water Mill.  I made the millwheel from the core of a roll of washi tape, 2 Finnabair cogs by Prima Marketing, and some tiny pieces of card for slats.  And patience. Lots of patience.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Pardon Me

It has been a while since I blogged anything, mainly because I'm now working in my new post with the fire service and it is SO not what I'm used to.mi get home most evenings and fall asleep on the sofa, so it has been a while since I've made anything.  My craft room has been tidy for weeks!

However, yesterday I was determined to get down to it and make something.mdidnt know what it would be, but it would be a SOMETHING.

I had a rake through a few boxes and put a pile of interesting 'things' on my desk.

I found the piece of clock insides at a car boot stall, as also was the doll head which was from a bag of 12 assorted dolls in national dress, bought for 25 pence.  Love these dolls, I've used quite a few 'body parts' in various projects, and the materials in the costumes are also interesting.  An old iPhone box, and various bits of junk got my mind ticking over.

I knew the doll head needed a makeover, so I took her hair off and sanded her down, before covering in black gesso.  Once that was dry I rubbed on some Silver Spark DecoArt metallic lustre wax, and added touches of Treasure Gold metallic waxes in several colours. I did the same for a doll arm, and added liquid pearl 'rivets'.  I glued the arm to the clock works, along with several gears and other Ideaology items from Tim Holtz. 

The box was painted with DecoArts burnt umber paint, and the outside covered in DCWV Tattered Time paper. I edges the front with some tissue tape (Tim Holtz).

I had intended to call this 'Are you awake, my love' and have this written on the heart, but once I put the head in the box and turned the key at the back to move the arm, it looked so much like the arm was covering her mouth as the head was burping that I had to change the title, and add the knife and fork to the mechanics. 

I wish I could post the video of it moving, but don't seem to be able to do that.  I hope you like it

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Scottish Tower House, another go

I tried to make a tower house at Christmas, but it was a rush job and turned out pretty badly. It's been bothering me ever since, as I just knew I could make a better job of it.  So this weekend, when I really should have been catching up on housework and doing a proper supermarket shop, I sat down and made another.

Scottish tower houses are really little castles. There are quite a few of them around East Lothian (where I live) and many of them were until recently just ruins, four walls, no roof or floors. But over the last 20 years or so some lovely people have come along and rescued them.  I think it must be magical to live in one of these homes. Not too big and not too small, usually locatedk in an elevated position with a lovely view.  I can dream.

Anyway, my house is based on Tim Holtz Village Dwelling die, but I've made this into a 3 storey building using an extra layer of card at the base and building up 2 layers of houses, and added a circular stair tower with a turret. I also decided to make an enclosed courtyard at the back.   

I went over the walls with a very thin layer of DecoArts texture paste to look like the harling you find on these buildings, and then painted with American craft paints.

 The stonework, including the stairs and coping stones on the wall around the courtyard is all mmade from grunge board, I've used various colours of distress inks and pens to add colours on walls, roofs and in the courtyard.

I wanted to put some kind of decoration on the front of the building.  This is actually a plastic button that has been covered in gesso, painted to match the wall and embellished with a very tiny black and white coat of arms.

I'm glad I did another of these, I'm pretty pleased with this one.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Wee Country Cottage.

Still obsessing about little houses, so here is another experiment. It didn't start off looking like much, as I wasn't really planning to do what I ended up with.  I used a bit of cardboard that came from some packaging to cut some of the village dwelling house shapes from, cut them up a bit, stuck them together and it just sort of grew into a not quite 3D version of a friend's lovely little cottage.

Because I used striped cardboard, and the patched bits were fairly obvious I covered the lot in texture paste from DecoArts. It clogged up the windows a bit so once it was dry I had to go over each window to clear the excess paste. Neat I am not.

I have forgotten take any further photos of the process. Doh. But what I did was put a layer of gesso all over then painted the stonework with various paints ( American crafts and ranger distress colours). I went on to google street view to get a good idea of what the cottage looks like and tried to stick to that as far as I could.

The window frames are from Tim Holtz village winter die, and I used some frosted paper behind them.

The green plants growing up the walls are made using some fluffy stuff I was given by my sons partner Jill. I think it was originally intended for use on fingernails, but not sure if that's right and NO idea what it is called.

I used vintage photo distress embossing powder to make the gravel at the front of the house. And the doorstep is a small square of grunge board. I coloured this with some distress inks, and also used a distress pen to colour the brick edge. Also a distress blue pen around the Windows.

It wasn't planned that way but the finished cottage fitted perfectly into an IKEA frame. I added a torn paper landscape behind (pretty much the view from the back garden, of Garleton Hill and the Hopetoun monument near Haddington ) and gave it to my friend who was thrilled with it.

I've now got an order from a friend who lives in a thatched cottage with dormer Windows. I think I will have to wait for Tim's new village dwelling release, which has a dormer window die, before tackling that one.

Monday, 18 January 2016

New Year, New Tag, New Job and an Old Resolution

I love that Tim is revisiting previous tags this year, and I remember both the tags he is using for inspiration this month. The November 2013 tag - I did that one, kind of, but I didn't have any chalk. But the January 2014 tag - Industrious Metal - was the tag that really clicked with me and started me doing the tags in earnest so I was very pleased to see that again and any excuse to get my metal tape out is okay with me!

I started a new job this month, same employee but in a new role, and I've been a bit unfocused on crafting because of that. But I had my crafty friend Louise (aka Zuzu) over yesterday so we decided to do the tag for this month together. It's fun to have company when crafting.

I did have the embossing folder that Tim used but we both decided to do something different.  I used the ATC sized Rays folder. My tag has a travel theme (again, from someone who rarely goes anywhere because hubby doesn't have wanderlust in his soul but hope springs eternal) and I used the globe blueprint stamp, and overlaid it with the vintage globe die cut and then again with the continents from the same die, this time using embossed metal.  Easier to see then explain...

And I STILL don't have any chalk so I had to revert to the same substitute I used before, which was a pale silvery embossing powder from Zing, and Louise used a white pastel crayon for her tag.  

Louise's tag is based on the compass stamp, and she used the pocket watch die.

Here are both our tags, mine on the left. I put a little colour on the continents with alcohol inks and a slight amount of red paint on the Rays.

I am looking forward to revisiting previous tags, and maybe catching up with ones I didn't do. Great idea Tim!

Here's the supplies I used:

And the finished tag

Been drooling over all the sneak peeks and CHA releases that Tim has been blogging. Oh, I want them all but particular the distress crayons and the add on items to the village dwelling collection. Can't wait to build more houses! Hurrah!

Oh, old Resolution? To do all the 2016 tags, like I did last year.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

What have I done?

I seem to have messed up the links to my blog. I really shouldn't fiddle with technical things I have no clue about.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Castle Keep

Before I put my Christmas Village away until next year, I just had to make a castle.  This one is based on a Scottish Tower House, and there are many of these dotted around the countryside hear abouts.  Particularly in the Borders area of Scotland (near the border with England) as there were many cross border skirmishes and lots of cattle rustling in days gone by. These houses were built as defensible strongholds, no windows near the ground and usually only one door to defend. Livestock would be kept secure on the ground floor and people lived up high, away from fire and arrows.

Here's a couple of real tower houses, but I not sure what the names are..

Gorgeous to look at, but probably not very cosy to live in.
Back to work tomorrow. Blurgh.