Hello all! What a week... it's been busy almost daily here at Words and Pictures - from blustery candle jars to garlanded doors to a peek through Father Christmas's window before wandering off into the sparkling woodlands! And finally we're here on Sunday with a very festive celebration...
We've been playing Secret Santa again this year at A Vintage Journey - swapping cards and/or gifts with one another, with a mystery sender/recipient pairing selected by a random drawing. Not such a mystery when it arrives, of course! If you make your way over there, you'll see all the amazing creations which have been winging their way around the world. But before you go, let me invite you to visit my little cottage in a wood.
I was drawn as the Secret Santa for the lovely Julie of Juliz Design Post (and you can see who my Secret Santa was at the end of the post). We were both at the Andy Skinner Mixology workshop in Coventry recently, and it was lovely to be creating for someone I'd met in real life! I hope she likes what I came up with.
I know Julie has a dollshouse and has done a lot of miniatures crafting in her time, so with that in mind I thought one of Tim Holtz's little houses would make the perfect Secret Santa gift for her.
I glued some patterned paper onto card so that it would make slightly sturdier walls and cut the roof out of double-thickness kraft card.
My brainwave for the roof was to use the Torn Notebook On the Edge die to create my wooden "planks".
I stamped the kraft card with the Kaisercraft woodgrain stamp which I always use for dollshouse flooring before cutting the pieces, and inked them afterwards. I love the rustic look of it.
I used the same woodgrain stamp for the porch step, but for the door I glued the kraft down in narrow strips to create my wooden look. The door knob is one of the Idea-ology Mini-Fasteners.
You probably saw how I used a picture frame to create the base for my musical window box... well, this was the original inspiration for that move.
I've done my usual DecoArt chalk paint crackle to zhuzh up what was a pretty cheap frame, and added washes of paint over the crackle to grunge it.
The crazy paving (do you call it that anywhere else but the UK?) is very simply done - I just inked through the Crocodile Layering Stencil.
I can't remember now whether it's Walnut Stain or Ground Espresso going on to the kraft card - it's probably a bit of both, with some Vintage Photo thrown in for good measure.
And now I have a yard, I need a fence...
Happily the lovely Picket Fence On the Edge die turned out to be just about the right height for the job when tucked down into the frame.
And in the yard stand a couple of fir trees - I think the cottage is probably in a clearing in a fir forest, and these two have just encroached a little too far!
I thought about decorating them as I did the ones standing outside Father Christmas's window, but I decided I preferred the natural, snowy look for this particular creation.
And of course there's a little LED candle to go inside, so that there's a warm welcoming glow after dark.
I love the angled views, especially against the ivy, which delightfully give you that sense of catching a glimpse of light through the trees... such a welcome sight for a weary traveller.
I've always had my doubts about the fate of the rabbit in the rhyme at the end of today's post, though - the old man is a little too eager to welcome him inside, I feel.
I suspect that it's the little old man who's going to have the best of the happily ever after.
So that's my little rustic cottage - I hope you like it, and I especially hope Julie likes it!
And what of my gift? Well, I was thrilled when my parcel arrived, beautifully addressed (even the postman commented on the lovely handwriting!), and I opened it to find this amazing hanging from the brilliant Brenda.
It's full of fantastic rusty effects and crackled delights and cool finishes - a real treat for the eyes and for the fingers - so tactile.
You'll see more of all the amazing details over at Bumblebees and Butterflies, but I had to share just a couple of my favourite parts.
There was also this stunning card in my favourite blues and greens...
Both the gift and the card are just fantastic - and clearly so carefully thought out for the happy recipient. How well she knows me!
I hope you'll have time to visit A Vintage Journey and hop around to see all the wonders created by and for my lovely team-mates. There are plenty of treats in store, I promise, and we all need a break from the hectic Christmas preparations occasionally! For now, after this ridiculously busy week, I'll leave you in peace for a little while. Happy crafting all!
In a cottage, in a wood
Little old man by the window stood
Saw a rabbit running by
Knocking at the door
"Help me, help me!", rabbit said
Before the huntsman shoots me dead
"Come little rabbit, come with me
Happy we will be!"
Traditional nursery rhyme
In a simple and a peaceful cottage with a beautiful view, you will not be dreaming about the palaces or the heaven, because you already have a perfect thing.
Mehmet Murat İldan