Friday, August 18, 2017

Haunted Holtzville Manor - House #3

This is the third house of the 2017 Haunted Holtzville series - a village of Halloween houses made from the Tim Holtz Village Dwelling dies. Named in honor of Tim Holtz, you know. This is one of my favorites. I haven't made a Village Manor since last year when the die came out and I forgot how much I love this house.


I always try to make each house different so I decided to make green crackle siding with the paint color Peeled Paint from Tim Holtz and Ranger. I also experiment each time with the bases. It's a little steeper, but not as steep as the first Bat Wing House and I didn't really cut in steps. You have to scramble up the rock to get to the house. This house is called "Where is the Kitty?" because the kitty is hiding in the foyer behind the doors. I will have to get it set up at night to show you the kitty. I couldn't get the light right today.

I plan on using the silhouette of the kids on Tim's new Halloween Shadows thinlets from Sizzix in front of the house looking for their kitty. I added the bat to the circle around upper roof window so it wouldn't look so much like a wreath.


Side view - I really try to make this straight but I never notice that stuff is crooked until I take the photos. I didn't really center the house on the base quite right. The front stoop is off center, etc, etc. BUT that's why I make Halloween houses mostly - wonky is good.


A little more wonkiness visible from the back.


I love the blue tinted windows. I've said this before, but I covered both sides of the plastic windows (leftover packaging from various craft items) with glossy accents after they were tinted with blue alcohol ink. It makes the windows so wavy and obscures the funky glue blobs and paint splotches inside the house. I also lined the house with metallic tape to reflect light better. Maybe I can take some photos later tonight to show you how nice the light looks and show you where the kitty is.

I said to a friend of mine, "Can you tell I am getting better at painting the rock on the bases?" He looked at me like I was crazy. He's not exactly artistically inclined. Anyway, I think my rock bases are looking better.

To complete this house:
Maybe glue on some moss
Make more polymer pumpkins
Owl or Bat on top
Halloween Shadows Kids in front
May add a little more color to the rock base, tone down the white a little bit.

That's it for today. I have to work most of the night so I gotta go. Ya'll take, please. Spread kindness and love and creativity.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Haunted Holtzville House #2

Just finished the second Haunted Holtzville House. I'm making a neighborhood of houses based on the Tim Holtz village series for this Halloween. Obviously, Haunted Holtzville is named in honor of Tim.

This is the second house. It does not have a name, but the family that inhabits this house has 2 children so they needed the dormers upstairs to give the children a little more room. The parents chose this house for the affordability, the color pattern on the outside and the fact that there are 2 bedrooms upstairs. The rooms are small, but the children don't really need big rooms, do they? That's the backstory on this house.

This house was constructed using the Village dwelling die along with some embellishments from the Village cottage die. I also used the roof die for the shingles. It's hard to see on the front, but there are a series of steps cut into the base to enter the house. The gate is made from one of the new Tim Holtz Halloween dies - the Village Graveyard. I didn't use the actual gate die because it was too big and formal looking for this modest home. The fence is made from 3 layers of cardboard cut from the Village Cottage die.

The texture on the surface is made from a Tim Holtz texture fade - tiles stained with Wild Honey stain and highlighted with black soot on the raised embossed surface.

I made the base my usual way - layers of corrugated cardboard glued together, covered with paper mache and painted with layers of paint. There is a space cut out for an LED light.

Landscaping is not complete on this house yet. I haven't decided what Halloween embellishments to add to the exterior at this point. So I said it was finished, but there is a little more decorating to do.


Side View of Haunted Holtzville #2. You can see the stairs a little better in the view below.


Back view of Haunted Holtzville #2. I haven't decided if I am going to extend the fencing all the way around. I may just make one more sturdy fence and cut it in half so the fencing looks complete from the front at least.


Oh, look! You can barely see the shadow of one of the inhabitants in the doorway below. The family is very shy, you hardly ever catch a glimpse of them. I think they are allergic to daylight.


That's the second house for Holtzville. More to come. 

Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Haunted Holtzville in the Works

I'm making several houses from Tim Holtz Village Dwelling dies for the Haunted Holtzville Village. I've finished the first one.

It's kind of a creepy little house, darker than I intended, but ok. I think the finish looks like embossed leather which I will use again in the future. The house started out using embossed watercolor paper with Fossilized Amber Distress Oxide background and black on the prominent embossed section. But when I tried to make the black highlights darker, it got too dark and muddy. Then I painted over it with black and tried to use the Fossilized Amber over the black, but still too muddy. Then I painted it again with black and then highlighted it with red acrylic paint that I rubbed in with my finger. The red isn't as prominent as I would like, but it's kind of neat.



I need porch supports, but I haven't decided what to use yet. I kind of like the black chimney. I included the view below because you can see through the window which was stained with blue alcohol ink and then covered with Glossy Accents on both sides. It looks like old timey wavy glass.

You can't see in the doorway, but I put a black cardstock cutout of one of the kids from Halloween shadows in the doorway. It shows up nicely with the LED tea light in place.



I scattered a few leaves around to make it more seasonal. The roof shingles are made from off cuts of one of the Village Dwelling Roof dies. I like the spiky look. I've used that before.



That's it for today. I'm working on a lighter colored house now. It should be done in a day or two.

I hope you have a good day. Thank you for stopping by.

Revisiting Halloweens Past

I decided to go back and review some of my old houses - for ideas, to see the evolution of the Halloween houses, and for improvement. Most of these houses are on my home improvement blog - Green in Greenville which I haven't updated in a year.

Here is the first set of Halloween houses I made. This photo is dated October 1, 2015.



This is one of my very first houses covered with Halloween scrapbook paper. My biggest fan has this one.  At first I made them on circular bases from leftover sticker rolls from work.



I love this Halloween paper. I made this one before I started reinforcing the fencing to make it more durable. Now I would make that fence with 3-4 layers of cardstock. The retired Martha Stewart punch won't work with cardboard. The heaviest cardstock it will punch is 65 pound bond.



Steampunk Lock and Key House - I made all the keys and locks with cardboard covered with aluminum tape and then painted them with various paints to age them.



I hand cut these shingles on the house below. This was before there was roof die available from Tim Holtz. I  like the color and the texture. This fence is another retired Martha Stewart punch. I forgot what a great fence it is. I will have to dig it out.



This is my Halloween book. I wrote about it in my second post on this blog. It is still a favorite of mine. I imagine it would look even better now that we have Distress Oxides which do an incredible job on sky backgrounds.



The Candy Corn House - I actually made 3 but this is most successful of the 3. Of course, the top of the base comes off so you can put a treat inside. I made the "candy" and pumpkins from polymer clay.


The first Bat Wing House. The idea certainly evolved from that to the current Bat Wing Houses. The tops does come off of this house as well.


Clockhouse on a Frosty Morn - still love this house.


This is the 3 Gable Gothic House - I really like the book, but the house seems a little bland to me. The house structure is good. It is very similar to the Stone House with 3 Gables.


 The Silhouette House


The house below is one of my very favorites even now. See the silhouette of the witch in the front window? This went to one of my coworkers with 2 little kids. They love the house.


This is Jennifer's house.


The back may be more interesting than the front. I like the darkish green base. I need to remember that for my next house with white (whitish) siding.


Looking back on my blog, I did the same thing last year - reminisced about the old houses. It can be good to look back to get an idea of what you want to do to go forward. I will probably do the same thing next year.

Ya'll take care. Stay cool.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Halloween 2017 - New Stampers Anonymous Stamps

I just got my Halloween 2017 Tim Holtz Stamper's Anonymous stamps. I love them. I planned on making some houses on my days off, but instead I got wrapped up in a Halloween stamping frenzy. It probably doesn't come as a surprise, but I did a framed perspective piece. I think it looks pretty cool, but of course, I would do some things differently if I were to make it again.

I keep experimenting with the frames, making them longer, narrower, sometimes just extending the length. I only had 1/2 inch between each frame so that's 1/4 inch on each side. It didn't give me much space to put my Halloween elements. Also I only extended the width on every other piece. I don't know if that worked or not. It was hard to cut the rectangles close to the same size.


I do like how long and narrow it is. The Distress Oxides formed my color palette again. I think the chalky effect looks very good with this house. I used watercolor paper for the background of the house. I distressed it using Iced Spruce, Faded Jeans and some Black Soot distress oxides and some water spritzing. The house is stamped on the watercolor paper with black ink. The windows were colored with a distress pen in Fossilized Amber. I stamped a bat in the upper right corner and the spooky tree just off the edge the right as well.

The grumpy buzzard stamp was stamped and cut out. I adhered it on the second layer of frames. I added him later in the process. He really needs more plain space behind him to show up better. I decorated the sky with bats I had cut long ago. The owl on a branch is from the Halloween shadows strip die. I don't have this year's Sizzix dies yet (which have a really cool owl die). They have been ordered though.


You can see I used the graveyard die again. I just love this die. And the branch tree. Mustn't forget the branch tree. 

I edged the entire piece in black because the edges of the under layers don't line up as well as they did on my previous pieces. It's supposed to function as a kind of funky frame. 

Just a fun piece playing with stamps and distress stuff and cardboard and glue. Itwas a good day.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Stone Stenciled Clock House

This might be my favorite house. Well, maybe the top 3 (Abandoned Italianate house and the Stone house with 3 gables, although the Bat Wing houses are right up there as well). I started to make it for the PaperArtsy challenge "Aqua" but I didn't make the deadline. I wanted to do a very different roof - different color at least. You have to balance the roofs and the body of the house. If the house siding is very detailed you need a more muted roof. If the roof is very detailed, then the body of the house needs to be subdued. That's what I think anyway.


So here is my stone stenciled house. I made the siding by painting the house with a thick layer of black gesso that was heavily sanded - just using the sand you buy in a jar at the craft store. It gives a lovely, irregular bumpy texture. It's perfect for stone or a rough plaster.

You can see through the window a little. I painted the back side of all the windows with Glossy Accents to make it look like wavy glass. That way you can't see the candle as well. The light just looks spooky. I used the 13 hour clock that I found online. I outlined it with one of the Sizzix Industrial gears.


Then I used the mini-stone stencil from Tim Holtz and Stampers Anonymous and Iced Spruce Distress Oxide for the base of the stone. To give more dimension to each stone I painted over each of them with Hickory Smoke, Pumice Stone and/or Picket Fence paint. The stones are subtle, but I love them. At first I was unhappy with my choice of windows (window frames from the Village Manor) because I thought they covered up too much of the stone, but now I think it's perfect for this house.

I didn't use texture paste for the stones because I have such trouble with the seams between each strip of the stencil. This stencil is much smaller than the front and back of the house. I was able to work around it with the Distress Oxide inks, but it's much more difficult with texture paste. I will keep experimenting with it though.



Here is the back of the house where you can see the graveyard better. I cut out 3 layers of the Tim Holtz Graveyard die and painted them with grey paint mixed with sand. Then I painted the front of one of the cutouts black. I adhered the 3 layers together with the last layer, the black painted layer, slightly offset to give more dimension to the gravestones. Then I used Black Soot paint with a scraggly brush to distress it a little.


The graveyard doesn't really show up on the front. It is there just to add a little interesting detail in front of the tree. The tree is, of course, my favorite die cut tree - the Branch Tree from Tim Holtz and Sizzix. I think it is kind of retired, but you can still find it online.



The gate in the front is the Tim Holtz Gothic Gate. I cut it out of heavy cardstock and glued multiple layers together. I also cut off the posts on each side because they are too tall and I cut the gate in the middle to look like it could open - didn't really need to do that. It would be more sturdy without doing that. I put my standard 2 pumpkins out front. The hilly base is angled such that this was the only place for the pumpkins.


I am going to share this one with the PaperArtsy challenge "Dark to Light" because I think the stones definitely work as dark to light. Also the entire house is outlined in black with the fencing. 

I put some more details about actually making the house on the Cardboard Christmas Forum. If you want to learn about making little houses, this is the place to go. 

Thank you for reading. I do love comments.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Study in Perspective - Again

My project for this month's A Vintage Journey is called "City on a Square". Well, I found the idea behind it kind of interesting so I thought I would make a similar project playing around with dimension and color to improve the depth. This is a photo heavy post, but I think it makes sense to show it this way.

Rather that making a square project, I used a rectangle as the basic shape of the project and the Sizzix Cityscape dies from Tim Holtz. Here is the finished piece.


I tried numerous things trying to increase the illusion of depth - black gesso at the center for the start. Darker buildings in the back, yellow illumination of the some windows in the back, gradually using lighter and lighter colors on the borders and the buildings as they get closer to the viewer and the edge of the frame - all help with depth.  Also, the I layered more buildings and increased the height as the buildings get nearer. I did not erase my pencil lines from making the frames because it's obvious that this is a study in perspective so the lines are ok to my way of thinking. 

Distress oxides from Ranger were used to color almost everything except the very deep black in the back, even there I put a smattering of Black Soot to just vary the color a little. 

Here are a few progress photos so you can see how it came together. Each photo shows the successive layer that was added. I used cardboard for the frames holding the buildings. I didn't add anything behind the cardboard for depth because I was pleased with the perspective as it was. Each frame was one inch larger than the previous one. That gave me 1/2 inch on each side for the buildings (assuming I centered and cut the frame perfectly which is not really my skill).

Layer 1

Layers 1 and 2

Layer 3

Layer 4

Layer 5 - more detailed, more buildings

Layer 6 - increasing the height, more overhangs

Layer 7 - last layer, increasing detail, height and overhangs

I realized that if I extended the building or balcony or tree past the inner edge of the frame that gave more interest to the picture. I tried to remember to distress the angled cut edges of the buildings as well.

That is this week's non-little cardboard house project. Really fun and interesting to make. I am very pleased with it. 

I had 2 challenges in mind when I made this piece. The first one is the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge "You've Got the Edge". This project is all about edges since it is edged frame layered over edged frame. That's how these challenges help you - they make you think of things that wouldn't ordinarily come to mind. They stretch your artistic thinking. 

The other challenge is PaperArtsy "Dark to Light and Contrasts" which is really the basic idea behind "A Study in Perspective". I love, love the samples they show in the introduction. They are so beautiful. This is a wonderful blog for artistic inspiration. They have great designers who design the most interesting stamps.

I hope you are doing well this summer. Will it be cooler in a month? Maybe. 


Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Get In Shape" Challenge - The Tower House

This week's Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge is "Get In Shape". I wish my project was based on getting my own body in shape, but that is not the case. I have been making shapely little houses though. How is this particular house appropriate for the "Get In Shape" challenge? Well, it is a very unique pattern, one which I did not design. This design is from Howard Lamey, the best cardboard house maker. He graciously shares his patterns on the Cardboard Christmas forum. This design makes a tower without having to glue it on the roof. It is an integral part of the building. When I saw it, I thought to myself, that is a special design. A very special shape for a little house.

Here is the house before I added the surrounding wall. The color is pretty accurate in this photo.


The pattern is basically an inverted T with gable ends. The side walls are flaps from the body of the T.  I picked purple just to use a different color for my Halloween houses. I embossed watercolor paper with a Tim Holtz Texture fade called "Tiles" which I glued on the cardboard form of the house. Then I used my Distress Oxide Wilted Violet ink to color the tiles. I went over them with some Black Soot Distress Oxide ink for the spook factor. I really like the pattern. The windows were made from Dark Room Door window stamps on plain white paper, cut out and glued to the window openings. I used a Sizzix die Mini Scallop and Pinking to make the roof shingles. I edged the shingles with Picket Fence paint and then some Wilted Violet paint.

Here's the finished house - the Tower House.
This color may be a little too purply in the photo, but in truth, the house is purple.
Back view of the purple Tower house
Back of the house. I let the ochre paint drip off the edge of the base. I may clean that up a little bit.
I kind of like drippy edges though.

Close up view of the windows and the center door, also the polymer clay pumpkins which I put on almost all of my Halloween houses.

Bird's eye view of the front door.


Well, that is my shapely house. If you've been here before you know I am making a bunch of houses to sell in October for a Habitat for Humanity. I've got a pretty good collection going.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Tree House Prototype Fixed

I made this house about a month ago and it just did not work. No matter how many leaves I glued on the front, it did not look the way I wanted it to. Last night I noticed the house sitting with the back towards me and I realized I could make it into a house I like.

Initial Tree House Prototype - not working
Back of the house as I first made it
Trying to fix the house by gluing on lots more leaves - still not working
The extra leaves framed the house better and the hole in the back for the light could function as the opening in a bird house. Now if I had started out making a bird house, I would have made a bigger opening, centered it better and added a perch. But I figured I could still modify the house so that I would like it.

Much better. 
It is very satisfying to salvage a project, don't you think?