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.