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...

Friday, 3 November 2017

Mini Marvels

Hello all!  Time to set out on the next leg of A Vintage Journey.  The wonderful Anne is our host this month and she wants to see your Mini Marvels.  You can read all the challenge details over at A Vintage Journey, but basically she'd like you to apply your creativity to anything four inches or smaller in size.  My fellow Creative Guides have, as usual, provided a wealth of inspiration but before you hop off and take a look, here's my offering for you.


If anyone mentions miniatures to me, my mind goes immediately to dollshouses (unsurprisingly) - so I headed for tiny houses and this is what I ended up with.  You might want to grab a cup of tea if you're planning to see all the details!







My little houses range from four inches in height (the peak of the tall, thin house's roof) to a tiny two inches high (the smallest of the houses), so they fit right in to Anne's Mini Marvels rules.













They're made with some Calico Craft Parts house kits - they have a lovely range of dwellings in different shapes and sizes.













Depending on how you're decorating the houses, it may be easiest to do some work before gluing the houses together...  (Here's proof, in case you need it, that they're all smaller than four inches!)













... but since I wanted to work with paint and mediums, I glued them first and then started with gesso and then white acrylic for my first layers.














Next up some book page fragments and tissue tape scraps.














I have these great Inkylicious Greyboard Wildflower Silhouettes, which work with the matching stamp set, so I thought they'd make a nice focal point on the front of each house.














Then I used the complementary stamps on all the other sides.














It's only rough stamping since there are more layers to come, and a perfect image won't be necessary.














I inked some Broken China through the That's Crafty Distress Harlequin Dinky Stencil.  These tiny stencils are perfect for small scale work - the diamonds are sized perfectly for a Mini Marvel!















I clear-embossed the inky Harlequins, so that they'd stand a chance of making it through the layers still to come.
















Next I started playing with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - washes of Prussian Blue coming down from the top, and washes of Raw Umber coming up from the bottom.










Some more stamping - a Tim Holtz stamp in white acrylic paint this time...


... as well as one of my all-time favourite TH script stamps in Jet Black Archival.  (It comes from his Apothecary set).








I sealed all those layers in with a coat of DecoArt Satin Varnish.














At this point, I stuck on my Wildflower pieces and gave them a couple of coats of white paint.














I then used a paintbrush and my fingers to add DecoArt One-Step Crackle around and about the place, and then coated the whole lot with Antiquing Cream in Titanium White.








That's always a bit of a heart-in-mouth moment as you see all your hard work disappearing, but the Antiquing Cream will always wipe away with moisture...














... other than in the crackles, which is the whole point really.















I love my spidery white lines breaking up the darker areas of paint.













And you can still see all the way through to those earlier layers underneath.













Now for the roofs... Since we're working in a small scale, I dug out some very finely corrugated cardboard - the usual size folds would look a bit out of place on such tiny houses.














I cut and trimmed my roof panels to fit each house, and used Distress Crayons to add some darker shading to them.












I also added some Distress Crayon to the edges of the houses, as well as to the edges of the flowers.













When you spritz the applied crayon colour with water and then rub with your finger, you get a great distressed look.

The flowers then had a coat of Triple Thick Gloss Glaze by DecoArt, and over that glazed layer I stamped Wendy Vecchi's Spatter Background stamp - again stamping in white paint.













I sought out some suitable phrases from the Idea-ology Clippings stickers and glued them on.














And then the penultimate step was to outline the words and the flowers with some pen work and shading.

















And finally - of course - plenty of white spatter.













I'm so delighted with the outcome.













My little houses make me very happy.

I'm going to go through a quick view of each house, side by side (mostly so I've got a record of them here!).  As always, you can click on the photos if there's anything you want to see in close-up.









Everywhere you look there are different details taking centre stage...


... sometimes the Harlequins, sometimes the crackle...


... sometimes the stamping, sometimes the words...



... sometimes the flowers, and so on!


They also look great with a tealight standing in front of them.  The flickering flame allows the glossier areas to reflect the light and brings them to life in a different way.





I'm afraid I utterly failed to capture the effect on camera, but you can get an idea of it from how they catch the light.









I'm sorry it's been another mammoth post (even longer than my Love This Life journal a couple of days ago), but I hope you enjoyed visiting my tiny dwellings, and if you're looking for more inspiration do check out the wonderful projects my fellow Creative Guides have come up with for their own Mini Marvels.

Our sponsors this month are the Southern Ridge Trading Company.  Our randomly drawn winner will get a generous $50 selection of their fantastic chipboard and wood veneer laser cuts.




Or you might get chosen by the Creative Guides to be one of our Pinworthy projects and join us somewhere down the road as a Guest Guide, so get your miniature thinking caps on, and do come and join us on A Vintage Journey this month.


Thanks so much for stopping by.  I'm on another travelling spate at the moment, but I'll be doing my best to catch up with you all here and there and now and then.  In the meantime, happy crafting all!

For the person for whom small things do not exist, the great is not great.
Jose Ortega y Gasset

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.
Napoleon Hill

I'd like to share this at the That's Crafty Challenge Blog where the theme is Forever Floral
At Stamps and Stencils this month they are playing with Pastels - I hope these will fit in

47 comments:

S@ndy Diller said...

Wonderful make Alison, love all the details and photos of your process. These are truly Mini Marvels. Hugs, S@ndy

Margaret Mifsud said...

I am gobsmacked! These little houses are just awesome!! I am a big fan of dollhouses and I have wanted to make some little houses for a long time now but never seem to get around to do it. These are spectacular Alison!! Each of the layers is just gorgeous (especially the crackle) and, as you say, there are different details taking centre stage everywhere you look. Absolutely amazing and totally stunning!! Love, love, love these and have bookmarked them in the hope of some day creating my own! Thank you so much for the inspiration and your posts ae never too long. Wouldn't want to miss a single detail. hugs x

Monika Gulyas said...

Beautiful houses, Allison!!! I love your idea to use the corrugated board for the roof!!! xx

Helen said...

wow, what a gorgeous miniature village you have created! so many details to look at and such crisp wintery colours.

Clare Lloyd said...

They are gorgeous

brenda said...

I'm totally blown away by these Alison, I have read, re- read and then again all the steps you took and today I AM going to get inky. Not done too much crafting lately as the will has not been there but I think you just may have pushed me into action, thank you.

B x

hazel said...

I love everything about your mini houses Alison, they’re amazing.
xxx Hazel.

Brenda Brown said...

These are absolutely adorable Alison, prussian blue and raw umber are two of my most favourite decoart colours and then crackle as well with all the other elements combine for the most wonderful finish. Love each one xxx

Astrid Maclean said...

Oh I had not spotted those little CCP houses yet, - they are delightful and the way you altered and finished them is just lovely! The different layers, stamping, crackle and texture look wonderful!

Pamellia Johnson said...

Wow, these are so gorgeous Alison! The textures are amazing, I love the white crackle showing through the rich tones of the background! Your wood flourish flowers are so beautiful and I adore all the sentiments you used! From the corrugated roofs to the splashes of white, every inch of these is amazing! hugs :)

Dorthe said...

Alison, I could look at your adorable houses, for hours. There are the most sweet and most amazing details, on them, and your colors and whits crackle , OH - they make me think of cozy days ,with snow falling quietly from the sky, and I love all the beautiful layers, to see !!
Hugs, Dorthe

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh My! I need these CP houses! I found a little 'village' I made ages ago and thought I would like to make another - they would make things easier for me to make a start! I love the colours you have used and that crackle, Oh that crackle!!! Enjoy your travels! Hugs, Chrisx

Kirsten said...

They are stunning. I love all the layers of texture.

Julia Aston said...

what a beautiful little village you have created Allison! In your wonderful signature colors and layering of paper, stampings and stems. Such lovely texture and the look of snowfall on each side. I'm sure you are having a fantastic creative time in Greece - SO jealous!! Julia xx

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Gorgeous Alison, I love how you incorporated the corrugated card. The wildflowers are gorgeous and I love the delicate colourway. Hugs. Tracy x

froebelsternchen Susi said...

They are soooo pretty - ADORABLE Alison!
Your fantastic techniques and use of colours both together is simply terrific!
And a quote for you could be:
You do all things wether small or great in a perfect way!


oxo Susi

Meggymay said...

Absolutely stunning mini houses. Each surface looks fabulous and the photos showed them to perfection.
Yvonne xx

rachel said...

stunningly beautiful mini marvels alison - I adore them and love the how to pictures too - beautiful theme and beautiful make xx

Patty O'Malley said...

I love these sweet, adorable tiny houses, Alison! Makes me smile!

craftimamma said...

What a delightful set of little houses ~Alison and so much detail packed into such a tiny space too. Beautiful soft colour and so much texture and contrast they are stupendous!

Hugs
Lesley Xx

Amanda said...

What a fabulous collection of little houses, love everything
Love
Amanda x

Kate said...

Gorgeous little houses. I love the details and of course that crackle!
Kate

Marci said...

These little houses are beautiful!

Craftyfield said...

So beautiful, Alison! The colours (your colours methinks!), the delicate crackle, the chipboard flowers etc... love it all! καλό Σαββατοκύριακο xx

Jenny Marples said...

These are fantastic Alison! I love the white highlights on the flowers to make them really stand out and the corrugated roofs are just perfect xx

Redanne said...

I enjoyed every single moment of looking at how you brought together these gorgeous little dwellings Alison, they are so dinky and yet you packed them with so many wonderful elements! I love the stamping, the book page elements and of course the fabulous crackle, the white antiquing cream really brings those wonderful crackles to life. Gorgeous little dwellings Alison! Anne xx

Mac Mable said...

I so enjoyed reading your post. Amazing layering, fun elements and great colours and fabulous techniques. Absolutely love your mini houses, great attention to detail too x Thank you for the wonderful inspiration x

A Pink said...

These are absolutely fabulous! Alison. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how they developed thank you for sharing. So many layers of wonderful creativity in such small spaces - Loving those spidery white lines! Your mini dwellings are so charming.
hugs x

craftytrog said...

A gorgeous little Winter village Alison!

maj. said...

Fabulous artwork!!!!!

Mary Elizabeth said...

Hello my friend. I have a lovely cup of coffee, an extra hour (thank you Fall!), and a gorgeous autumn morning to hang out on your blog. I'm listening to the birds sing and letting the images and words wash over me as I read through the details of these incredible little houses. Thanks so very much for all the pictures. The details are breath-taking and mesmerizing. No wonder they make you happy. Simply divine. I am going to have to get some DecoArt One-step Crackle. Seriously ... how am I supposed to grunge without it? I can say that I was a bit taken aback when I saw all of that antiquing cream go on. Whew! Incredible detail that it brings to the overall pieces. I found myself looking for the adorable harlequin stenciled image. Brilliant idea using the embossing powder to bring it out at the end. I am still amazed at your final product after all the layers. I managed to end up with an overworked mess when I try something like this :) You are an incredible artist! Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth

Mrs.B said...

These little houses are absolutely fabulous. Love all the layers and you've added so much texture to such tiny spaces. They make a fabulous display.
Avril xx

Fliss said...

Alison these little houses are absolutely stunning! So much amazing detail on each one and love the splashes of frosty white.
Thanks so much for joining in our challenge and wishing you lots of luck.
Fliss xx

Gio said...

These are so lovely, and so different on every angle. With your unique style you turned them in little treasures. Love them!

Jennie Atkinson said...

An amazing miniature village Alison ! Fabulous make over of the CCP kits and I love how all the different elements peep through depending on how you look at them. So many wonderful layers too. Just gorgeous. Jennie x

Gaby Bee said...

These little houses are amazing, Alison! LOVE the miniature village you have created! Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing your creative process!

Jannet said...

What a gorgeous little village of houses they are just adorable. I would like to move in !

Nikki Acton said...

First Anne's incredible dinky decoration now your amazing quartet! My jaw is still on the floor. I would have been happy half way through your layers but you continued and wow - the crackle, the splatters, the stencilling, the stamping etc - all just make these incredible! I am not surprised they make you happy - happy you should be! xxxx

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

oh these houses are adorable Alison, I love their oddity and their sizing is so twee! Decorated beautifully with that incredible colourway. They make me HAPPY too.. Thank you for sharing & best wishes in the Forever Floral Challenge over at That's Crafty.. Hugs & Wishes Tracey DT x

Jackie P Neal said...

Omgosh!
I just love these lil houses! Can't remember if I said so before, but if I did I'll say it again!
Love!!
Jackie xo

Ruth said...

Such amazing mini beauties, I had to keep checking back to the first photo to get an idea about the size, gorgeously decorated, love the texture and splatters, tiny corrugations of each roof and the glossy crackle glaze. Superb and of course they fit in with the pastel challenge!! Thanks so much for sharing and joining in with us at Stamps and Stencils. Ruth xx

Sara Barker said...

Well, Alison, you have really created some Mini Marvels here, with the emphasis on Marvels! I am totally floored that you have been able to capture such detail in these tiny homes! The layers of texture and color are awe inspiring and the colors, well, they are so YOU! An amazing post and followed by an apt quote by Napoleon Hill! Love these tiny treasures, Alison! Hugs!

Christine Alexander said...

wow, such beautiful little houses, love the grungy blue tones so awesome. Thanks for the step by step instructions, they are now on my wish list

Let's Art Journal said...

Oh my, your little houses are amazing! I loved following along to see how you created all those wonderful details - beautiful 😁. They are absolutely stunning! Thanks so much for all your kind comments on my blog and wishing you a lovely week! J 😊

Carol said...

Aww such cute houses so beautifully decorated too xxx

Etsuko Noguchi said...

Stunning houses Alison, It's a very cool these texture effect and coloues. I really love them.
Thank you so much for your warm comments for my blog and so sorry I could not response.
I was in the third hospitalization again, this time I had peritonitis and hospitalization prolonged, even after discharge from the hospital I did not completely recover due to side effects of antibiotics. I finally recovered now and I can do a little handicraft. Scheduled for cecal resection surgery in January next year
and I hope I will back to my health. Much love xxx

Deb Riddell ~ Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Sorry to be so late visiting Alison, I absolutely adore your little village of inspirational houses. So many beautiful layers and details on each little dwelling, what a treat for the eyes! Thank you so much for sharing them with us, Deb xo