I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Tuesday 22 January 2013

The Dollshouse Collector

Hello all, and a warm welcome to a snowy Words and Pictures today (for the second time, if you've already seen this)...

I'm sharing with you one of the gifts I made for my mother's birthday at the weekend.  It's a small book of words and pictures (surprise, surprise!) about dollshouses.

Some of you may know my mother as Cestina, and have visited her blog about creating a museum in the Czech Republic out of her dollshouse collection.

So as soon as I saw the amazing Our Dollies images from Nicecrane Designs, I knew it was a perfect fit to make something for her with.

Well, almost a perfect fit... Cestina is a big fan of the neutral projects (she's not so keen on my recent turquoise kick), and the images were all very brightly coloured.  So I decided to see whether I could alter them in my photo software and happily ended up with all the images in a gentle sepia.

I hope the lovely Ignacio of Nicecrane won't mind that I've altered his images, but it's good news for fans of neutrals to know that the option exists, I think!

I used my new Tim Holtz Cabinet Card die (happy find in the Christmas sales - I used the mini-version to make my Good Old Days project, which Cestina requested - demanded, perhaps, is a better word - as another birthday present) to cut the pages from chipboard.

To start with, I gave all of them a couple of coats of gesso and white acrylic paint.

For the front cover, I used the Tim Holtz book cover stamp (love this stamp), edged it with Vintage Photo Distress embossing powder for a textured look, and added some highlights with Treasure Gold in White Fire.

The Idea-ology flowers and bookplate also got a little touch of White Fire, and I used the Hero Arts alphabet stamps to stamp the title.

Ah yes, the title is the title of the poem by Jacob Polley which forms the "words" element of the book.  It was found by a friend of ours (amazing Andrea who shares her musings at Eclectic Meandering) who wrote it in Cestina's Christmas card this year, so I borrowed it for this project.

Fortuitously (since I didn't check before I started) the poem has four verses (the whole thing is at the foot of the post as today's quote), so that meant one for each page for the four images I'd chosen to use.

And since my printer is playing up at the moment - I'd had to beg another friend to print the images for me! - I'd've been really scuppered if I'd suddenly needed another picture!

The inner pages were all stamped with my favourite Stampology flower corner, and inked with Vintage Photo, and on each of the the poem pages, I added one of the tiny chipboard windows from Retro Café Art and did some doodling by hand in the remaining space.

For the picture pages, I layered up inked paper doilies, frayed cheesecloth, and the beautiful Memory Box die, Madera Corner, cut from some Basic Grey paper from the Serenade collection.

I tried to get the Madera Corner into a different place on each layout, which meant working out where it caused least obstruction to the picture underneath in each image.

I added corners from the ATC and Corners die to all of the verses and pictures, to look as though they're held in place in an album, and I used some Idea-ology bead chain to "bind" the book.

Nearly there... this is the last verse!  (And don't forget you can click on the photo if you'd like a closer view.)

For a finishing touch, I added some brown gingham ribbon to the bead chain at the front.

As you can see, I had to clear the snow off my favourite tree in order to take the pictures today!

I hope you've enjoyed having a look at my mother's birthday book...  I was so happy to find such perfect pictures for a dollshouse collector.

You can go direct to Our Dollies here, or hop over to Nicecrane Designs for a browse of all the amazing images - there are so many wonderful sets, you're bound to be able to find something appropriate to make cards or gifts for even your most particular friends!  And they really are great value.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today - I so appreciate your visits and your feedback, and though I've been a bit behind with my visiting in the last couple of days, I'm hoping to get back on track as the week goes on, so with luck I'll see you again soon!

I'm entering this in the following:
At Simon Says Stamp and Show they're asking the question What Are You Known For?  Well, very long posts, for one thing... but as much as anything else, I hope it's the combining of words and pictures (hence the blog title), and I guess most people who visit would also recognise the shabby chic vintage look, the distressing and stamping, Vintage Photo Distress Ink overload... and also many of my favourite projects have been handmade books of one kind or another - so this is a pretty good example of all that!
Ah, go on then, a third and final entry for Frilly and Funkie's challenge to Follow Your Muse (see all of the above!!)
At Anything But A Card they've asked us to Tie It Up... in another adventure in "book-binding", I've got the chain tying my pages together as well as the ribbon bows decorating it 
And Out of a Hat Creations want us to show off our Most Useful Stamp - the Stampology Autumn Leaves floral silhouette gets rolled out here at Words and Pictures time and again to add that little touch of magic... it simply delights me!
At Vintage Stamping Challenges the challenge is Vintage, and I'm making this a second entry there

Doll's House by Jacob Polley

A table set with tiny plates,
the chairs around a paper fire:
diminishment has simplified
the aims and objects of desire,
while blinder faith must still provide
the mincemeat in the wooden cakes,

the creaking stair and wind outside.
For you have held your breath to peer
along the shelves of depthless books
lining a room where nothing's read;
and now, effortlessly giant, look
up to the eaves and in at the beds.

Be brave. To live is not to fear
despite the scale of what's at stake.
Two children lie in matchbox cribs.
Next door a couple, stiff as pegs,
are tucked together, rib to rib,
the bedsheets bound around their legs.

What happens if you turn away?
Every god has asked the same,
crouched at a sideboard, just in case
sudden little laughter shakes
a heaven like an empty house
where not a plate nor day will break.


Francesca said...

What a beautiful pressie for your Mum. My Mum always loves the things I make her. Keep warm . love Francesca

mark gould said...

what a stunning present,I love how you have changed the photo's to a more vintage feel, always love how you layer up the textures. you know this would fit this weeks simon says?

sam21ski said...

Oh wow Alison, I bet your mother was absolutely amazed and overwhelmed by this little beauty.

I love how you've altered the colour tones of the images to fit in with your project, I'm sure they won't mind, like you say, you are showing another way to use them.

Sam xxx

Annie said...

Love this fabulous treasure for your mother's birthday. The book plate stamp is one of my favourite's too. Love the wax around the edges. The images are perfect for this project and fit perfectly in subtle colours.

Stunning piece Alison x good luck in the challenges


Annie x

catherine said...

Oh WOW Alison. This looks just so fantastic and love the look to it.
x catherine

Sandra's Spot said...

OMGosh Alison simply stunningbI just love dollhouses too I have one myself. I bet your Mother was thrilled to bits with it. Lovely most useful stamp too. Off to look at her blog now. Thanks for joining the Hatters and sharing this wonderful project Hugs Sandra X

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

What a great layout Alison...the colours are so serene together.

greetings, Alie :-)

chrissie said...

This is so wonderful Alison your imagination is amazing.

Thank so much for sharing it with Out of A Hat we do love to see what you make.

Hope you have had a good day

Love Chrissie xxx

Paper Profusion said...

This is so beautiful Alison - definitely one for your Mum to treasure. Nicola x

House of Bears said...

Wow, what a wonderful gift you made your mum, we love the way you toned down the colour in the images, they look really special on sepia tones.

Laurart said...

Perfect craft piece for the Simon says - It is wonderful as always. The sepia images are exactly right for this book and I know it will be very treasured and much loved xxxxxxxxx

Janet said...

WOW Alison your stamp is fabulous,your Mum will love her present.
Thanks for sharing with us at Out of a Hat
Janet x

Bärbel said...

Ihre Mutter wird von diesem wunderbaren Geschenk begeistert sein, Alison, es ist so großartig gestaltet!
Liebe Grüße, Bärbel

Kate Yetter said...

Love your beautiful little book, Alison. So distressed and vintage! I bet your mum loved it!

Sophie said...

Oh mein Gott, Alison,
das ist ein meisterliches Werk.
Deine Mutter wird sich bestimmt sehr freuen.
Da möchte man Mäuschen sein, wenn sie ihr Geschenk auspackt.
Wunder-wunderschön mit den vielen liebevollen Details.

Umarmung xx

Unknown said...

Alison, love your Mom's book and the sepia tone is a terrific option. Awesome project!!! Hugs

Kjersti said...

Gorgeous Alison! What a beautiful gift, she'll love it! And what a brilliant idea to alter the pictures:)
Wish you a nice week!
Hugs Kjersti:)

May said...

What a beautiful gift for your mum... I love the images in sepia tones.. Fabulous vintage feel...Love it ! Hugs May x x x

toni said...

How lovely to make such a project for your mum I bet she is thrilled. Alison your creativity is superb, great combination of shape, colour and style, gorgeous, a word frequenlty used when I visit your blog x

toni said...

Not good for a teacher, that should be 'frequently' x

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Hi Alison, I always love your shabby chic vintage pieces and this is a beauty and such a perfect gift for someone special. The images in sepia are a perfect fit and like you say effect for the recipient. Isn't that book cover stamp gorgeous, another one I have not inked yet, oops. A beautiful well thought out piece Alison that I am sure will be truly appreciated and treasured. Thanks so much for joining in the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge. Tracy x

Sarah said...

You are producing things faster than I can keep up with you! I've been out of town for 3 weeks and have enjoyed a quick look at your projects and have seen enough to know that they are all fabulous.

Claire said...

This is just beautiful - that tim holtz book stamp looks fab! It must have taken you an absolute age to make but I'm sure your mum will adore it, Claire x

craftimamma said...

This is stunning Alison and I can imagine how touched your Mum must have been to receive it. I love the texture of the Distress EP on the cover and I can see why you love that Stampology stamp. Lucky you finding that cabinet die in a sale. It's long been on my wish list but always seem to hesitate a little too long before clicking the 'Buy Now' button and then 'poof' it's gone, lol!

Lesley Xx

Gillian .... said...

What a fabulous pressie Alison, I adore this Dolls House mini. Beautifully executed as always. xx

Anonymous said...

This is when papercrafting is so very special, those occasions when a creation is so perfectly tailor made for the recipient. You would never have been able to have sourced such a creation in a store.
The way you altered the images makes it all the more perfect.
Absolutely adore this creation.

Redanne said...

Such a beautiful gift for your Mum Alison, all the more special because it was hand made. The pictures are lovely in colour but the sepia gives them a much more aged feel, more suited to your beautiful book. A great way to use that die too, must dust mine off........ your creations are always so inspiring. Hugs, Anne x

Brenda Brown said...

Superb shabby vintage effects and meticulous attention to detail. A truly magnificent creation for a very special present and it shows. I love this.
hugs {brenda} x0x

Hettie said...

Wow Alison. You have done a wonderful job on this book for your Mum! But she is Special isn't she! I am sure she loved it and weren't you good to resist putting in greeny blue colours?
Gorgeous Alison

Jenny Marples said...

Perfectly altered images Alison ('happy birthday, happy birthday'!! - sorry, Claire Grogan fan!) Love that your mum demanded this. It feels so vintage and gentle, perfect for the poem. Hugs, Jenny x
Thanks for joining in the fun at Frilly and Funkie!

Astrid Maclean said...

Another stunning project Alison, my gosh you do know how to keep them coming. Specially love the beautiful cover and the way you have given the images a sepia tone is brilliant! I may have to look at some of the Nicrane designs with new eyes, this certainly open up new possibilities, - very clever!!

Bonnie Irvine said...

A lovely gift for your Mum...lots of love dusting each of the pages. It looks awesome with the sepia toned photos. I'm glad that you showed that possibility with the Nicecrane designs. The texture that the cheesecloth adds is delightful. It's a treasure, Alison.

Anonymous said...

This is just gorgeous! I love the vintage feel and neutral tones, That Tim Holtz stamp is awesome, i must use mine again, beautifully done
Hugs julie P

Shelby said...

What a magnificent creation! I'm sure your mother just fell out when she received this. It's so incredibly well crafted and so personal. Beautiful work as always


Mandy's Crafts said...

Love it.want it. Love projects like this.

Chrissy said...

Stunning Alison, your Mum must be thrilled with this gorgeous and so well designed book...beautiful.


Debi said...

You are just so clever!!!! Love this debi x

brenda said...

A super creation for our challenge Alison.

Thanks so much sharing your inspiration with us at FlonzCraft Vintage Stamping challenges this month.

B x

Asia King (aka Joanna K) said...

Oh Alison. This is such a gorgeous and thoughtful make, your mum will love it. Such lovely attention to detail and beautifyl vintage tones, just gorgeous! xx

Nan G said...

Oh so lovely! Lucky Mum! Had I just seen this outside your blog one would immediately think it was your beautiful work, Alison.

Candy C said...

Alison...this dollshouse book for your mother is really a work of art. I so enjoyed reading your process in creating it. Love the white and brown theme...it's perfect for this vintage piece. The photographs are so beautifully altered to fit your color palette. You always create such original, well thought out projects. This is absolutely gorgeous and one your mother will treasure. Thanks for so freely sharing your art and how you create with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

Janny Jager said...

Wauwwwwwwwwwww Alison what a gerat present for your mother.
So may beautiful pages with great details
A master piece of art.

Greetings Janny

Nicecrane Designs said...

Sorry for the dealy in reply Alison, I was problem with my computer,,,, What a stunning present for your Mum,,,, I love how you altered the picts,,,,,,,to get the vintage effect,,really there are such a lot of possibilities,,,,,,,It take me some minutes to appreciate each detail,,,,,,,,,Your Mum `ll be enjoy this unique gifts,,,,,,HAPPY BIRTHDAY....

craftytrog said...

This is a stunning project Alison, I love the fabric layers! Your mum will treasure it! xx

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

You continue to leave me speechless, Alison. Not only do you make amazing art pieces, I am in awe of how prolific you are as well as what an accomplished blogger you are. I don't know how you do it all and pull it all together with such incredible beauty. This is a sensational piece that your mother will certainly treasure. TFS!


Kezzy said...

Wow your mum is going to love this its gorgeous and amazing. I love the poem, and it goes really well with your beautiful creation. Hugs kerry xxxxx

Francesca said...

My 2nd comment as I'm doing the blog hop. As before fab little book with those lovely images. Didn't realise you spoke german as well. I speak better than write need more practise, but mum away at the mo Love francesca

Donna Gibson said...

Alison, this book you created is breathtaking! I love how you altered the color of the pictures to fit your design. And the poem pulls it all together. Thanks for playing along with us at Frilly & Funkie!

Dorthe said...

What a stunning book you made your mother, Alison,- A wonderful idea for someone adoring doll houses.
The pages are all so delicate in the sepia tones, and I have to admit I love the images,even more after you turned them into sepia. Everything is so perfect-like the corners, and the stamped flowers around every page.
So beautiful, and charming.
Hugs from Dorthe

Sandy said...

Alison you are incredible - such an artist and well versed in language. I have a better understanding of you know after going to your Mother's blog. Oh the wonderful world of miniatures and such a delightful place to live. Fantasy takes flight and art takes form and shape. Everything you do is so fantastic and I am sure your Mother will love this. I need o read more for sure about your delightful Mum!
Thank you for sharing your incredible art work with us.

Netty said...

This is such a delicate gift to give to your mother and am sure she will love it Alison. You were definitely right to change the pictures to sepia for this project. Have a great weekend, Annette x

Sandra's Spot said...

Thank you for the link to Your Mothers blog she is an amazing lady. X

Wordbird said...

Oh My! What a beautiful project!! ;D

pearshapedcrafting said...

I am speechless! This is by far one of your best - made with love for sure! Hugs, Chrisx

Jennie Atkinson said...

A gorgeous project, but even more a wonderful gift. Amazing!

maj. said...

Totally adorable!!!!!!!!!!!

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Wow, I'm missing words, such a WONDERFUL piece of art. Really a master piece. Thanks for joining us at FlonzCraft Vintage Stamping Challenges.

Julia S-W said...

I have to say I prefer the pictures after your makeover - they were too harsh in the colour version and that's from someone who loves colour!
This is a perfect present made with intimate knowledge and love - just beautiful. Never worry about the length of your posts as I enjoy reading every word.
Sorry to have missed some of your gorgeous pieces but hopefully I'm now back!!

Clare Lloyd said...

stunning project! x

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Good daughter! Beautiful album!

froebelsternchen said...

simply fantastic dear Alison!
wonderful book... an amazing soft vintage feel in this piece -
charming and ARTFUL done in perfection!

Marjie Kemper said...

Oh how stunning this is! Your Mum will no doubt treasure it.

Anna-Karin said...

A perfect gift for your mom Alison. She is going to love it. Wonderful stamping, design, details and idea. Thank you for sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show!

Mrs.B said...

A beautiful project Alison, love all the details and how you have changed the colour of the images to give a gorgeous vintage look.
I'm sure your Mum will treasure it.
Avril xx

Ink Art Designs said...

Such a gorgeous creation. I love the colours and the whole vintage design is exquisite. Made from the heart and it shows! Thankyou for joining us at Vintage Stamping Challenges
Dot x

Christy said...

Well this just turned out awesome. I looove the bookplate :) Thanks for joining us at Anything But a Card!!! :) :) :)

Claudia N. said...

Wow, congrats on your truly deserved win over at VSC, Alison!

This is again one artful and lovely creation that's so typical you! LOVE!

(Could you please spare some challenges in the future to give people like me at least a spark of a chance to win too? LOL)


Claudia xx