Friday, October 20, 2017

Make Your Own Original Putz House - Part 1

Katherine, a reader of my blog asked me about sharing the pattern for a house I made a couple of years ago. I made about 4-5 houses with this pattern.

Here are a few photos and links to the houses made with this pattern - Jack's house, Rusted Tin Roof HouseRusted Tin Roof House for Josie, and Jennifer's House.





Since I've been making houses for so long, I have actually learned a few tricks to make them much easier to make. The most important thing I learned from Howard Lamey on the Cardboard Christmas forums. If you pay attention to his patterns you will see little details that greatly simplify making cardboard houses. 

Here is the first big tip - make the pattern easy to cut out.  Cutting cardboard with a craft knife can be tough - a simple pattern and straight cuts will make your crafting so much easier. Your hands will thank you.

Initial drawing of the pattern for Jack's House:

Template for Jack's House:

Template for the front gable extension for Jack's House:

You can see that there are all these little cuts that you have to make to make the tabs that I've found are not really necessary. 

Now I would make this pattern like this - basically cutting out a rectangle. 


This is the pattern I am drawing tonight. It's a relatively large house so there are no tabs on the sides because the back piece will be a rectangle with 2 tabs to provide a gluing surface.

Here is the pattern with score lines outlined in red. I made a copy so I can cut it out. 


Now the house pieces have been cut out. See how simple that is!


Here is the back piece with the tabs on each side. It's made from another copy of the pattern.


And finally, here is the entire framework of the house temporarily taped together. This is a very similar shape to the houses above made with a simple gable pattern that is so much easier to cut out and actually more sturdy because the roof  and the gable ends are supported.


I make my houses out of cardboard to make them strong so they will last for many years, but there are a number of people who make their houses out of card stock like this. With paint and glitter and a firm base they are surprisingly sturdy.

The front gable extension pattern can be greatly simplified as well.




I've shown a side view of template taped together to show you that the extension gable is better supported this way. It is much easier to glue on a roof piece with these flaps in place. You may still have to cut the tab pieces a little bit depending on how much light you want to enter the extension.


I'll show you the transfer method to cardboard in the next post. I'll also make a pdf pattern of this simple gable house with the dimensions as well. 



Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Owl Cabinet

Here is my most recent project - The Owl Cabinet that I designed as a Pinworthy guest for this month's a Vintage Journey's Challenge - Crazy for Autumn Colour. I am honored to be chosen as a Pinworthy Guest Designer once again.



The tree is simply a cylinder of cardboard with the base slightly larger than the top covered with paper mache. 



Test fitting the owl and the light behind it.
The limbs are twisted pieces of brown packing paper. 




The tree itself is painted with gesso, then grey paint then Ground Espresso Distress paint. I tried to make the paper mache more "bark" like by using an old brush painting black striations. Then I went over it a little bit with my favorite yellow paint - Distress Fossilized Amber. 


The background consists of gesso, Tumbled Glass, Broken China and then a little Wilted Violet Distress Oxide sponged on in the corners to make the sky look a bit like evening is coming. I painted the sky near the ground with Fossilized Amber to lighten things there. 


I stained watercolor paper and cardstock with various colors of Distress Inks and Stains and then punched out the leaves with the Sizzix Oak Leaf Punch. 


The opening in the tree was sized to fit the owl - oversized really. It needs to be a tiny bit smaller. The owl is a Tim Holtz Ornate Owl Thinlits die which I cut out twice - once with brown inked watercolor paper, once in black and then an outline on clear acetate. I colored the acetate with various inks - yellow and then some gold and white fixative. I tried to make the owl's throat lighter because if you read about the Great Horned Owl one of its distinguishing features is the "neat white patch on the throat". I covered it with Glossy Accents which I should probably go over again to make that layer more even. There are a few birds from the Tim Holtz Scarecrow Thinly Die. They are circling far away because the Great Horned Owl is a ferocious predator. 

I cut a large hole in the back so the cabinet can sit in front of a candle and shine through the owl. 

The frame of the cabinet is just cardboard cut to outline the box. It's painted with black gesso then a generous layer of Crackle Texture Paste - my new favorite texture paste. The top of the cabinet is cut out with the Sizzix On the Edge Plaque and Postage Die. I love how it looks on the top of the project. 

That's about it. I love 3-D projects and paper mache and autumn colors and leaves. This was a very fun project as it incorporates so many of my favorite paper crafting elements.

Thank you for reading. Ya'll take care.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Return of the Two Witches Sharing Recipes

One of my co-workers requested a wall hanging with the Two Witches so I went overboard with this one. It is much more elaborate than the previous wall hanging.


You may recall that I decided to make the witches like the folding paper dolls that we made out of newspaper as kids where you fold the paper like a fan and cut out the paper doll with the hands joined. The first time I did it, I put the edge of the die outside of the fold and cut the witches with the dresses joined. It just looked weird with the witches abutting that way. So next I put the die so that the hat and hands and brooms were joined. Because of the posture of the witches, it looks like they are leaning in to discuss an important topic - recipes!!


I made a cauldron to put behind the witches and gave them a spooky nighttime setting in front the moon. To give the skirt some dimension I folded it before I cut it out and then fluffed it a little when I glued it down. These dresses worked very nicely. The yellow dress on the witch on the right is plain yellow cardstock stamped with one of my favorite new Christmas background stamps - Sparkles. I think it makes a great pattern for the dress.

I used the same Distress Oxides for the background night sky that I used in my previous wall hanging - the Grumpy Back Seat Driver. I added the new Haunted House Sizzix Thinlits die with yellow windows and edged the house and windows with white distress crayon. I also stamped the background with the new Spider stamp using Iced Spruce Distress Oxide, but I made an error here. I stamped over my moon and it just looked weird so I had to make a new moon and glued that on top. Fortunately, my error worked out because it gave the moon so much more dimension.


Once again I used the Sizzix Poison embossing folder. I love how it makes such a creepy label. The sidebar has a spider web and with various tokens hanging from it and a toxique vial. I stamped some Halloween stamps below and then while the ink was still wet I pulled a paint brush through them to mimic streaking or melting. I did the same thing when I stamped the Happy Halloween at the top, then embossed it with clear embossing powder.




I think that covers most of the details of the Two Witches wall hanging. I'm going to be sharing it on Facebook and Instagram for the Sizzix challenge #holtzforhalloween and #timholtzhalloween2017.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you are enjoying this crafting season. Soon I have to switch to Christmas, but I actually have promised 3 more Halloween houses before I do.




Monday, October 9, 2017

Grumpy Back Seat Driver - Halloween Hearse



I got this idea to use the Tim Holtz "Home for the Holidays" car from Andrea Ockey Parr. She's one of the design team members for Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge. She made a flying car with 2 of the trick or treaters from the new Sizzix "Trick or Treat" thinlits. I imagined it would be cool to have the car converted to a hearse by adding more windows in the back and to have a witch driving. The only problem is that all the witch stamps that I have face to the left and the car faces to the right. Well, it was pretty easy to turn the car around as opposed to mirror stamping which I have never done.


I figure a hearse is very shiny and well-polished so I embossed it with some ebony embossing powder then covered with 2 layers of ultra thick embossing powder. That also covered up some of the seams where I added the windows on the back. It's hard to tell from the photo, but I also added a fin above the rear bumper. The chrome is brushed pewter metallic stain in black cardstock. 

The witch from Tim Holtz "Haunted House" CMS308 by Stampers Anonymous. I think her funny, kind of smug smile works beautifully as a driver and the vulture in the back - the grumpy back seat driver is perfect as well. The sentiment - a strange thing happened (referring to a witch and vulture in a flying car) is from another one of this year's Tim Holtz stamps called "Something Monstrous" CMS307. 

I've never masked a background before. I've seen instructions for that technique online, but the specific one I used is from Bobbi of "Vintage Muse Designs" where she made a village graveyard card with a bright yellow moon in the background. I tried to make a background like Shelly Hickox did in this incredible interactive Halloween card, but it didn't look the way I wanted it to. I can use the two rejects for something else. The colors are all various Distress Oxides - Fossilized Amber, Wild Honey, Black Soot, Iced Spruce, and Wilted Violet.



I figured the witch in her hearse would show up better on the lighter colored background so that's the one I chose.. 


Here are the elements before they were glued on the background. 


The witch has to be flying over a city. I used various Cityscape buildings (leftovers from previous projects) with yellow glued to the windows. They were distressed with the same color Distress Oxides I used on the background - Black Soot, Iced Spruce, and Wilted Violet.


For the background piece below the frame I sprayed a piece of watercolor paper with Wilted Violet Distress stain and then inked over it with Distress Oxide Black Soot using the Stampers Anonymous "Batground" stencil.

Then I made a frame with multiple layers of paint and inks and stains (mistake, attempted correction, nope doesn't work, new layer, etc. etc) until I thought it would work. And finally some bats were added from the Tim Holtz Halloween Mixed Media die. It's the easiest way to cut out lots of bats.

That's the story of the Grumpy Back Seat Driver in the Halloween Hearse. I tried to make sure that I credited the people who inspired me for this specific project because we do not create in a vacuum - our inspiration comes from somewhere.



Thank you - to all you artists out there who continue to inspire me.

I am going to be sharing this project with Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge "Not a Card". I neglected to mention that it is adhered to several thick layers of cardboard with a hole placed so you can hang it on the wall - it is not a card. Also I will share it with #holtzforhalloween and #timholtzhalloween2017 on Instagram and Facebook. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Jeremiah's Stone House

This is a custom house I made for someone who didn't get their first choice last year. It's a modified pattern from the Stone Stenciled Clock House. His requests for this house included a clock in the tower and a stone base - easy to incorporate both of those features.

Here is a close-up of the mandatory clock. It's a 13-hour clock I found online. I just enlarge it or shrink it to fit the circular opening of whatever Halloween house I use it on. I framed the clock with one of the gears from the Sizzix Bigz dies called "Industrial".



And the mandatory rocky outcropping as the base is seen below. It's paper mache over corrugated cardboard painted with various layers of paints to mimic stone. I decided it was a little too barren so I cut some stepping stones from Tim Holtz Sizzix Thinlits Dies Set - Mixed Media #4. I wanted them to really look like stone so I painted them with thick grey paint heavily laced with sand. They are bumpy and have a stone-like texture. I highlighted them a little bit with Picket fence paint. In order to make the stepping stones stand out better, I ground up some moss I found, mixed it with Peeled Paint and mushed it between the stones when they were glued in place. I am very pleased with how this turned out.



I even used the moss on the back graveyard. Later moss was added all around the house, but I took these photos before I did that.



The walls are stenciled with the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Mini Layering Stencil Set #28. I love this stencil. I painted the house with a dark grey (almost black) paint also mixed with a lot of craft sand. The texture is wonderful, I think. And it makes the house very substantial. The first color layer of the stenciled stones is Iced Spruce Distress Oxide - a color I never thought I would use, but it's so perfect for stones that I use it all the time. Then I used Tumbled Glass paint and did the highlights with Picket Fence Paint.



I wanted to do the Village Manor window frames a little different from the Stone Stenciled Clock House so I needed a different color - how about Brushed Pewter Stain? Another color that surprised me. I love the subtle shine.



The roof is made the way I do all my metallic roofs - metallic duct tape (also called metal dryer tape in the home improvement stores) on cardboard, grit texture paste, alcohol ink. I made this one darker and not so rusty-colored because the color of the house is in the blue-grey family. I also added some Brushed Pewter stain as well.



The fence is the Sizzix On the Fence edge die - a staple I cannot do without. The fence base is now covered with the Peeled Paint moss.

I added some embellishments from the new Tim Holtz Village Graveyard set. They were also painted with sanded grey paint and glued in place with moss at the base.



I think that covers most of the details of this Halloween house. There is space underneath the house for 2 LED lights so it lights up nicely. My friend is very happy about it. He loves Halloween so this adds to his collection from last year. Um. I just noticed that pumpkin looks like it has grown a tail. I don't think it is that conspicuous in real life. At least I hope not.

I am sharing this project to a couple of challenges - Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge this week is "A Walk on the Dark Side" featuring Tim Holtz products. Yes!! I love that theme. And then I will also add it to the Sizzix challenge for Tim Holtz Halloween 2017.

I hope everyone is well. Please take care of yourselves.










Thursday, September 28, 2017

Two Crones Sharing Recipes


The inspiration for this project was a bat garland I saw online that was made by cutting out bats from folded paper where the ends of the wings remained connected. You know, you probably made a paper doll garland that way as a child. Well, I had an idea that maybe the new Tim Holtz Witchcraft die might work in this way.

Here is my first attempt at cutting out the witch paper dolls.


I call them the "Butt Sisters". The two witches make a good solid connection, but stylistically it doesn't work.

After that I decided they would have to be connected face to face which looks like they are talking intensely to each other.



I cut out 4 sets of witches with the intention of making a garland with each one on a separate background piece. And then in my mind, things began to escalate into a big complicated project that would have taken until Halloween - multi-layered backgrounds with intricate decor elements. These are not my forte.

Finally, my more rational mind took over and decided to just make one panel that I could enter in some of my favorite online challenges - Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge and the Paper Artsy Challenge both of which involve metals. Also I could add another project to #holtzforhalloween.



I wondered if I could fold some paper and make the skirt 3 dimensional. That idea was because the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge for last week was "Pop It Up". I missed that deadline, but I did discover a kind of cool technique. I folded the paper for the skirt kind of like a fan and then laid it on the die and only cut out the skirt part. Then I re-folded it a bit to fluff it up and glued it to the witches. It worked!! I also used some leftover paper for the shoes. I've seen some great online projects where the witches have wonderful shoes glued on.





I used the Tim Holtz Sizzix Poison embossing folder for the base that the cauldron and the witches stand on. It's distressed with 3 Distress Oxides - Walnut Stain, Black Soot, and Peeled Paint. I added the Peeled Paint to make it look a little more toxic. The edges were torn and distressed with the paper distressed. I drew the cauldron and cut it out of black card stock and then painted it with Brushed Pewter Distress Stain. Can you believe that I don't have a cauldron die? I was kind of stunned by that realization.

Here are the other metallic elements for my project:



There is a Spells and Fortunes word band with White Distress Crayon, a spider token which has a piece of colored paper glued on the back, a POISON key highlighted with Distress Crayons and a vial with metal beads in it. 



Since I work in a hospital, every once in awhile I ask a nurse to save me an empty medication vial that I can use in my projects. I coated it with Crackle Glossy Accents and added a small ephemera label.



I kept adding background layers until I figured the project was done. So that is the piece called "Two Crones Sharing Recipes". It is one of my very favorite Halloween projects. I still love making little houses, but it sure is nice to make something that doesn't take an entire week. And I can make the deadline for these online challenges:

Thank you for visiting. Take care.