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 5 March 2013

Glampunk Birdhouse

Hello, and thank you for stopping by today.  

Some of you will have seen bits of this Glampunk Birdhouse on the Calico Crafts blog, but here's the roundabout story of its creation, as well as lots more pictures! But it's absolutely not compulsory viewing if you've already had your fill.

I wanted to share these extras straight away, because I'd like to enter the project for two brand new challenges.  

I can't believe my luck at this fitting in with the inaugural Steampunk Challenge set by SanDee and die amelie - they want to see our version of a steampunk cuckoo clock.  I'm not sure this will tell the time very well, but all the watch parts are there!  

UPDATE: Just to let you all know - SanDee and die amelie have decided to include a 3D section to the challenge as well as a Papercrafting one - just make sure you get your project into the right category when you link up - Yippee!!

And another brand new challenge blog is starting at Country View Crafts Challenges and their first theme is Pick and Mix - where you can Pick what you want to do, and Mix your colours any way you like... so basically it's Anything Goes!  For both challenges, you've got the whole of March to play along... 

I loved making this one... setting off without a destination in mind and, after a number of detours, arriving somewhere that I think is really quite fun!

I knew I wanted to alter one of the adorable tiny birdhouses, and I knew I wanted to use some of Calico's gorgeous papers.  And there's one other major ingredient that I'd had in the back of my mind to use, and had completely forgotten about until I suddenly realised it was exactly what the project needed!

These birdhouses are so cute, just over 3 inches tall and two inches deep, so about the size of a 3D ATC, really.

(Don't get distracted by the fellow in the background... that's for another time!)

I honestly didn't know where this might go, so I started with a coat of paint over the whole thing.

I tried doing some stamping next, using the lovely Conservatory set by 7 Gypsies, but it wasn't really hitting the mark for me (though you can see still the remnants on the bottom).

Then I covered the roofs and side walls with some of this gorgeous paper from the Vintage Letters paper pack (and I seem at this point to have forgotten to take any process pictures!).

That vastly improved the papered parts, but I still had to decide what to do with the front and back.  (Useful to have the back to experiment with - you can always pretend you never meant it to be seen in the first place!)

First I painted over my stamped surface using the amazing Liquid Leaf  which gave me a very glamorous look, but still wasn't quite "it".  So I went to my go-to texture technique and grabbed some tissue paper and glued it wrinklily onto the surface.

I then used the paints again to echo the look of the paper - starting with the pale bluey turquoise, and then stippling on some browns before giving the whole thing a good going over with some White Fire Treasure Gold wax.  Now we were starting to cook...

So now I had loads of texture front and back, and the side walls and roofs looked a bit boring, so I whipped out the texture paste and created some interest!

Once it was dry, I inked it and then added some more White Fire wax to gild it.

I was pretty pleased with that, but it still needed something... and it was then I remembered the ingredient I'd always meant to use - the fabulous Steampunk Watch Parts and Findings.  I glued some of the tiny cogs and gears onto the front of the birdhouse... fiddly, but so worth it.

I added some larger gears, with a coat of Liquid Leaf, to the roofs, and a few more watch parts, coated the edges of the roof with some more Liquid Leaf, and sat back to admire the finished effect...

Trouble with that was it started me thinking: "Now, who would live in a house like this?"  And then, of course, I had to find out.

(Trace of Inkypinkycraft's wonderful Steampunk bird  - though probably influential - simply wouldn't fit through the doorway.  I think he's bigger than the whole house!)

I toyed with and discarded a number of ideas before I came up with my tiny glampunk bird. (Yes, I know really he should be steamglam - it's the punk that's been replaced with glamour not the steam bit - but it's just not as good as a word!)

Quite simply, he's one of the tiny bird stamps from the 7 Gypsies Conservatory set, stamped in Coffee Archival onto some card.

I then "coloured in" the rest of him with Liquid Leaf before sticking on some carefully selected watch parts to recreate the whole shape of the bird.

Now to get him to perch in his doorway.  I couldn't glue him straight to the wall, he would just blend in to the background and get lost.  No, he had to sit forward on the perch and balance there - hmmm...

Solved with a straw (and quite a bit of strong language whilst gluing).  I cut the straw to the right length, gave it a coat of Liquid Leaf so that the visible bit would still look gorgeous, and then glued it to the back of the inside wall and to the bottom of the doorway.

My bird then had to be glued to the tip of the straw and to the perch - precarious work, patience and quite a bit of Glossy Accents required - but, again, so worth it, I think!

And my customary tree really is the perfect place to display this particular project - I think it looks right at home...

I hope you've enjoyed visiting my Glampunk Birdhouse.  I've had a ball with these projects for Calico Crafts, and I'm so grateful to Helen and Louise for offering me the opportunity to Guest Design for them.  And thanks, of course, to you too for taking the time to stop by.

Ingredients, all available from 
Calico Crafts - click on the link to find the product:
Americana Acrylic Paint - Indian Turquoise, White Wash, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna
Vintage Letters Paper Pack 6x6
Treasure Gold Liquid Leaf - White Fire
Treasure Gold Gilt Wax - White Fire
Steampunk Watch Parts and Findings
DecoArt Decorating Paste
Idea-ology Sprocket Gears
7 Gypsies Conservatory Clear Stamps
Glossy Accents

I'd like to enter this for the inaugural challenge at the very exciting new Steampunk Challenge created by SanDee and die amelie, where the theme for this month is Steampunk Cuckoo Clock... in the 3D category.  I'm no ornithologist, but I'm going to stick my neck out and claim he's a cuckoo!!
Country View Challenges are playing Pick and Mix for their inaugural challenge - pretty much Anything Goes!
At Crafty Emblies the Altered Art challenge this month is Wings (only one is visible, so I hope it'll count!)
And Simon Says Stamp's current challenge is Anything Goes

“How is the birdhouse coming along, Charlie Brown?"
"Well, I'm a lousy carpenter, I can't nail straight, I can't saw straight and I always split the wood... I'm nervous, I lack confidence, I'm stupid, I have poor taste and absolutely no sense of design... So, all things considered, it's coming along okay!”
From Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz


Debi said...

Very Cool Alison! love all the details on the bird especially :-) debi x

Helen said...

Great to see this is so much more detail, Alison. I still love it loads!

chrissie said...

I see it has a place in the sun and how it deserves that. It is a remarkable piece Alison

Have a lovely day

Best wishes Chrissie xx

House of Bears said...

Oh we just love your work. This is fab, especially your steampunk bird, we love him. How serendipitous that you found the steampunk chalenge too, perfect timing.

Brenda Brown said...

Loved it when I saw it on the Calico site. You created amazing texture and the birdie is brilliant.
Have a great week.
Hugs {Brenda} x0x

Astrid Maclean said...

A wonderful project all round Alison and the wee bird is just the perfect finishing touch!

Claudia N. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brenda said...

What an imaginative piece of artwork Alison and so inspirational.

I've had a mind to do a birdhouse for ages and you just might have nudged to to give it a go.

B x

Claudia N. said...

Next try ;)

This is absolutely gorgeous, Alison,

and I can see why this is a favourite of yours! Love that crumpled paper and "your" colours on it, the texture paste with the gold finish and - of course - the bird!

You really find me chewing over your entry colliding with our challenge rule that we don't accept any 3D altered objects...as we really find it hard to compare these with pure paper crafted projects...
(I was originally thinking of all those Steampunk altered objects that are made using small pieces of furniture or commodities, pimped with a lot of Steampunk embellies, metal finish, etc...)

Now this is 3D too...*sigh.

Anyway I am very glad you are sharing this awesome Steampunk cuckoo clock with us at SanDee&amelie's!

Claudia xx

Gibby Frogett said...

Utterly brilliant - I love it ... Gill x

craftytrog said...

Fantabulous Glampunkness (are they words?! Lol!)
Alison xx

Ginger said...

This is really, really georgous. I had not seen it on the CC site. I two was tempted by the steampunk challenge. I was hovered over the upload button when I saw it was papercrafts an thought S***, its such a shame its a papercraft challenge as I would like a nice new just for fun challenge to do.:(( and your house would have fitted the bill perfectly. x

Claudia N. said...


Me again, dear Alison,

to tell you that we decided to learn and grow and offer an extra 3D/altered objects section with our challenges in the future - so I already moved your entry to that inlinkz-collection (I hope this is ok with you)!

Thank you once again for joining us over at SanDee6amelie's Steampunk challenges and for your patience and understanding. And of course for your awesome support!


Claudia - aka die amelie xx

froebelsternchen said...

wonderful !

Candy C said...

Alison...you never cease to amaze me with your creations! I love your "Glampunk" Birdhouse. I love all of the texture and the colors. The gold accents are so cool and really bring out the texture in such a cool way! Love your metal bits ...the gears, cogs, etc. That metallic bird sitting on the front perch is priceless! SO COOL! I also wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment. <3 Candy

Kim Slade-Fuller said...

Absolutely gorgeous, and super creative!! hugs, Kim, Crafty Emblies DT Member :)

Lin said...

What a transformation, and great photos showing us how you did it! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Simon Says Stamp challenge!

Sarah said...

Even more fun the second time around with all of your photos in a perfect setting with the sun cooperating.

Rosie said...

Oooh, wow, I am in love with your birdhous, Alison. Sooo beautiful

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic, I just love it.

Moira xx

Sophie said...

Meine Güte, Alison, wie wunderschön.
Da wäre ich gerne ein Vogel, und ich würde sofort ins Häuschen einziehen.

Sophie xx

maj. said...

This is gorgeous, such nice details!!!

Chris said...

Superb Alison and I love all those gorgeous crinkles highlighted in gold. xx

Geraldine said...

gorgeous altered birdhouse, love the little birdie, and the watch parts really finish it off.

Keren Tamir said...

Wow Alison I'm speechless. This is absolutely phenomenal!!!

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison, this tiny bird home, is so gorgeous, the texture is amazing -both from the tissue, and the texture paste- and that Fire wax is looking fantastic,everywhere. Love your birdie,too- so cute in all his metalness!!

Sue said...

Fabulous birdhouse Alixon, I love your glampunk birdie xx

Beccalite said...

WOW this is stunning. Love all your elements and you are right same birdhouse but completely different style :-)

Thanks for joining in with our Altered Art Challenge 'Wings' over at Crafty-Emblies

Great Big Huge Hugs

Becca xxx (Altered Art DT Member)

Anonymous said...

Such a gorgeous colour palette and then let me take in all the texture you achieved - wow this is such a fabulous creation and I wonder, does it have pride of place in your home as it surely does deserve it.

Terry said...

Alison, I can send you my address anytime! WooHoo, this is one fabulous altered birdie house! Love the blues and highlighted gold and of course that steampunk dream of a bird! Hugs!

Hettie said...

Wow Alison! This is gorgeous. I just love all the elements. It must have taken you hours to do!!
And to boot a Peanuts quotation!! Love Peanuts!
PS maybe now I will get my birdhouse back off the floor and finish it though I expect it will have daisies on it now! Tee Hee!

Brenda Brown said...

Just popped back to say it's lovely to see your wonderful glampunk bird and house at Country View Challenges this month.
hugs {brenda} x0x

Silvia(Barnie) said...

How cool is this?! I'm really missing words, just wonderful.

Tina Theis of Ivory Moon Designs said...

WOW WOW and WOW ..... What a stunning stunning bird house .... Gorgeous colours and I ADORE the bird .... Really really beautiful xxx

Tina xxx

Bonnie Irvine said...

Wonderful to get more details and photos on this incredible make. It's such a remarkable piece. The bird alone is outstanding and then when you put him with his fabulous house, it's an eye feast. Your eye for detail causes me such delight, Alison.

Redanne said...

I agree with Bonnie, it is lovely to see this in more detail. I always love to read how you do things too. This really is a wonderful creation. Hugs, Anne x

Elaine aka Ellapu said...

Wow what a fabulous make. Love everything about it. Like the 'glampunk'. TFS over at CE this month
Elaine CEDT

Ozawa said...

Wow, Super schön und sehr m Sinne des Steampunk! Toll, dass Du das Vogelhäuschen in 3d umgesetzt hast!

AlexaCzar said...

great work, i love this peace

craftimamma said...

What a brilliant project Alison! You are certainly inspirational and I love every single detail ...... and there are lots. Once again you have lots of wonderful texture and as you say your little birdhouse looks right at home in the tree.

Lesley Xx

cbee said...

wow, wow, wow, that's wonderful! fantastic!! so much details and such wonderful design!

Bärbel said...

Ein Stempunk-Vogelhaus - das ist so wunderschön, liebe Alison, ich bin ganz begeistert!

The Lady and the Stamp said...

Great Job! Thank you for joining the Crafty-Emblies challenge, Jane, Crafty-Emblies DT

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is gorgeous, Alison! I love your birdie, and all the texture you have achieved,

Lucy x

Elly said...

Steampunk nature (:o) The texture looks just brilliant especially the texture paste and White Fire wax part on the roof. Thanks for all your appreciated work with pictures and specifying your creations, i always love to read.(:o)

Maelchen said...

There I find you again, dear Alison. And what I find too, is that you have your own unique approach to translate the motto of a challenge into a piece which, I think, can be recognized as yours only.
Certainly I am awed again by the texture and depth you give to a simple thing like a bird house. Congrats to this piece again!

Neet said...

I love it!! No matter what he is called he is a decidedly glam steampunk bird.

Thanks for showing us your bird house and occupant.

Hugs, Neet xx

Anonymous said...

Flipping BRILLIANT! love love love Everything about it love the colours and also the style! hugs me xx

GlitteryKatie said...


Alexa said...

What a fab bird box & I loved reading all about the stages it went through to create it!! x

Mrs.B said...

Avril xx

Sandy said...

I really thought and think that this is one of the best projects you have made. I tried to order from that company but they do not ship to the U.S.

ria gall said...

this is so much more than fantastic it really is an amazing piece of art and one that has been put together using so many wonderful techniques. It is steampunk/glampunk at it's best

Martina said...

Just fabulous you have outdone yourself, dear Alison! I LOVE your Birdhouse! So beautiful!

Have a nice weekend!

Unknown said...

Such a stunning piece, wow! Thank you for entering it into our first challenge at Country View challenges. Chris xxx

Maelchen said...

Congratulations, dear Alison, for winning the challenge at Country View Crafts. We all know that your work is amazing! You really deserve it!