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...

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Encore - Who lives in a house like this?!

Encore Posts
While I'm away, there are some scheduled posts with new creations coming your way, but I'm also taking the chance to do some catching up here at Words and Pictures.   Projects which made their first appearances elsewhere for Design Team duties or Guest Designer opportunities, but which only had a sneak peek here, are being gathered together in the pages of my virtual scrapbook.  I'm calling them "Encore" posts and they're formatted differently (all the way down the centre), so you can spot them easily.
Please don't feel that you have to comment all over again!

Wow, we're going back a long way again here.  This is one of my projects for my semester as a Guest Designer in the inaugural year of PaperArtsy's Guest Designer programme, and I'm taking you all the way back to November 2013.  As you'll see, it's part 1 of 2.  The follow up will be here in a few days but, for now, here's what I wrote back then.

Hello again... and welcome to post one of two for my second project of November.  I'm working again with the Urban Snapshots Nature plates, but you won't see them until tomorrow.  First things first...

As you know from my "Dolls" Houses last month, I've a soft spot for little houses (what with my history with dollshouses) so it was pretty much inevitable that when looking for fun in my crafting, I headed for one of the fabulous wooden house substrates.  They're also a fantastic bargain at £2.30 I think!

I started with a coat of French Roast on the sides and edges.

Then out with the Grunge Paste, the palette knife and some stencils.  I used my (almost) favourite Chicken Wire on the roof (I'm never sure whether this is the "Reverse" or not, and I've got the packets mixed up now!)...

... and a combination of the Imagination Crafts Leaf Swirl Border and the Crafter's Workshop Swirly Vine - lots of swirling!  And absolutely no need for perfection at this stage... there are going to be many, many layers over it.

Before those layers went on, though, I added some areas of Crackle Glaze...

... mainly in and around the texture, rather than over the top of it.

Once the glaze was dry, and the paste fully set, I started out with my first layer of paint.

Vanilla is a lovely warm cream, and I mixed it with Snowflake.  Unlike yesterday, I applied it with a brush, making all my strokes vertical so that you get a nice "directional" crackle where the glaze was.

But the Vanilla seemed a bit wishy-washy after all, so I added a rough coat of my new favourite neutral, Stone.

Then I started building up layers of earthy browns, starting from the edges with each colour, getting progressively darker, but taking each colour less far as I went.

This way I get lovely dark varied layers at the edges and corners, and leave lighter areas highlighted at the centre.

A bit of dry brushing onto the Grunge Paste texture adds definition to that too.

And on the inside, I used a similar process to add a sense of extra depth to each cubicle.

Now for some colour...  I wanted to stick to quite a natural colour palette.  Well, I was planning to use the Nature stamps, so it made sense to me.

I started with my favourites again - the wonderful turquoises, and using the same method of working from light to dark, but travelling less far, and with less paint on the brush each time, I started working downwards from "the sky".

Then it was time to go upwards from "the grass".  I started with Limelight, and couldn't believe the colour variation from adding just that one colour.  But, of course, since Limelight is translucent it benefits from all the varied layering already present underneath it.  Very exciting!

But I layered in some Hey Pesto too, and added the same colour shadings to the edges of the mini-boxes at the front.  There'll be more layers arriving later, but for now, I turned my attention elsewhere... to the back wall of the display area.

On a separate piece of paper I added stripes of the same paint colours direct from the bottle, graduating them so that they would be at the same height as on the external frame.

Then I used a brush to blend them (pretty roughly and randomly) the full height and width of the page.  

Time to get some ink into the mix.  I used toning Distress Inks, and managed to get both Chicken Wire stencils into play this time. 

I also added some white "clouds" right at the very top with the Prima Chalk Edger, smudging it with my finger for a softer, fluffier look.

I did an approximate cut first of all, before trimming each piece to the exact fit for its compartment.

I'm pretty pleased with the end result - given I was really following my instinct, and hadn't planned this at all.  In fact, I had a whole other plan for the background originally (more on that later!)...

As you can see, I added some of the delicious birds in the grass from Hot Picks 1009 to the bottom of the background.

And I really like the way the colour gradation travels to match the colour gradation on the sides.

Those were all late-night photos by the light of a daylight bulb, so here are just a couple in proper daylight.

I'd also added some more layers of browns by this point, pretty much dry brushing really, highlighting both the texture and the crackle.

And can I just say: check out how close those greens are to the natural mosses and lichens on the stone windowsill beneath!  

And a pretty accurate rendering of stone colour in the centre and brickish browns on the roof... Fresco paints rock!

The sharper-eyed amongst you may have spotted a couple of hints as to the contents of the finished house, but you're just going to have to wait until tomorrow for the full interior.  However, I will give you a head start on some of the embellishments, because they did need some preparation.

I was thrilled to read that PaperArtsy are now stocking the fabulous metal embellishments designed by Anna Dabrowska a.k.a. Finnabair.  Given I was working with Nature stamps, flowers seemed an obvious addition... but I wanted to do a bit of altering first, so I grabbed some rusting powder and got to work.

I laid out my chosen pieces - these are mainly Prima, but a couple of other bits of filigree may have snuck in - on some vinegar-soaked muslin.

I used multi-medium to coat the metal so that the rusting powder would "stick" to it.

Then a gentle sprinkling of rusting powder over everything...

... and a good spritzing of white wine vinegar from a mini-spray bottle.  Apparently you can also use it slightly diluted with water, but I use it neat.

Then all you have to do is wait... preferably in another room, since it's pretty stinky!

Here they are, almost done, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see the finished flowers, and how they fit in to the final project.

Oh, by the way, here's what I'd originally planned to use as my background within the house: the fabulous "leftover" muslin from the rusting process... Needless to say, it's gone into the stash box for future use!


Thank you for stopping by.  As I said, I've scheduled the follow up for a few days time so you won't have to wait long to see the finished project if you weren't following me around in 2013!  I'm still dealing with jetlag and the after-effects of a 13 hour flight from Hong Kong, but I hope to be round to see you soon before I set off on the next leg of my travels.

People become house-builders through building houses, harp players through playing the harp.  We grow to be just by doing things which are just.


Lauren Hatwell said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I really enjoyed your step outs. It's fascinating watching something come together step by step. Lx

chrissie said...

Amazing techniques and a wonderful project that we could all try I'm sure. All I need is a bigger house and I could have lots of these on display--would love that.

Hope all is going well for you Alison

Love Chrissie xx

Anneke said...

I enjoyed looking at you step by step.
The end result looks gorgeous!

sally said...

Just had fun catching up on your last 6 blog posts! We had no internet for our last 9 days at the chalet so I've had loads to do since our return to Scotland - hope your travels are going well .....

Sally x

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is glorious, Alison! I remember it slightly from before and am happy to see it again! I love the stencilling down the side!

Lucy x

Pamellia said...

Wow Alison, what an incredible project! I thoroughly enjoyed your tutorial, the use of the paints and the rainbow style design is so beautiful! hugs :)

Monika Gulyas said...

Ooohh Alison, this is extremely beautiful!!! I love it from top to bottom!

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison, your house is so wonderful full of spring and sunshine colors. I love the finished result.
And wow, the rusted pieces, looks just amazing, as I don`t remember if I have seen this in 2013, I have to wait, exited, for the rest to be shown. :-)

Julia Aston said...

Love your painted house and the rusted bits Alison! - I'm smelling vinegar right through my computer screen!! Hope your travels are going well!! Julia xx

Unknown said...

Love your house!!!

Sandy said...

I guess I have to wait - no choice! Love this house. So much of it is perfect just the way it is. I can see that your really enjoyed creating this!!!!
sandy xx

froebelsternchen said...

What an amazing project Alison! Fabulous!

Chrissy said...

Oh how I love step by step projects Alison..watching it grow in colour and textures..gorgeous.


Dagmar said...

It´s so beautiful!!!!!! Fantastic Colours and structure! Hugs, Dagmar

Lucy said...

Love this project. It is very inspiring. Showing us all the steps really helps too. Thank you.

Redanne said...

I can't quite remember this beauty but if I did see it back then, it is certainly work a second look! It is beautiful Alison and the rusting on the metal looks amazing. Look forward to seeing part 2... Hope the jet lag passes soon. Anne xx

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

I would live there. Can't wait to see the rest.

Juliz Design Post said...

I don't seem to remember this post so I am pleased you have revisited it. Love your house and great techniques.
Hugs, Julie x

Brenda Brown said...

Thanks god sharing these process steps again, it's always great to see how others approach their projects.
Hope you are getting back to UK time ok.
Hugs Brenda xxx

Kasia said...

Wow, what can I say? ;) Wonderful project!

Kay Wallace said...

I love that you share your step-by-step process, Alison! This "home" is just amazing!

maj. said...

A really gorgeous work Alison! The colours and textures are wonderful!

Barbara said...

Stunning project! Alison you are so creative! Love the way you did panels for background! Fantastic colors and textures! Barbara

Paper Profusion said...

This looks wonderful from grass to sky without your putting any decorations inside at all Alison! Looking forward to part 2. Hope you are catching up sleepwise. Nicola x

pearshapedcrafting said...

I do remember this Alison and I love it just as much now! The rusting process still fascinates me! Enjoy your rest before setting off again! Hugs, Chrisx

Sandy said...

Oh - I forgot to say - I live in this little house - I feel quite at home here even though it is not finished.
sandy xx

sarascloset said...

I loved seeing how this came together. That rusting powder is really something else! HUgs!

Cocofolies said...

Fabulous blending of colours and texture on the sides and background, I love seeing the whole process again Alison, thank you for these great 'Encore' posts!!! Hugs again! xx