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Monday 27 July 2020

Rusty Rustic Houses

Hello all!  Thank you so much for the lovely feedback on the ongoing daily leaf studies for World Watercolour Month.  Sadly, that seems to be almost the only thing my creative mojo is up for at the moment.  An exception is when I meet up on Skype with Brenda Brown of Bumblebees and Butterflies and Nikki Acton of Addicted to Art.

We had another of our online gatherings recently and Brenda's husband Ken got involved too!  He generously offered to cut Nikki and me a trio of wooden houses each, like the ones we'd been covetously admiring when Brenda showed us them earlier in lockdown.  And then we each got to play as we chose...

Yup, no surprises about where mine landed up... some delicate wildflower stems and tendrils and some rusty wire, not forgetting the crackle.  It's a long one, so you might want a nice cup of tea or coffee to hand before you continue...

Funnily enough, despite the joy of having the little wooden block houses (which Brenda had kindly posted), it took us two sessions to get these houses done.

For some reason we all ground to a halt the first day, and agreed to meet up again in a week's time and hope that the creativity would start to flow again.

I think you'll agree when you see the other projects that we did not hope in vain!

I'll take you quickly through my creative steps... chiefly so that I have a record so it doesn't take me so long next time to get my house(s) in order.

I forgot to take a picture of the wood blocks completely unadorned (but I bet one of the others will have one).  My first photo here is of them with a wash of white.

I wanted to keep the woodgrain showing, so I used DecoArt's Vintage Effect Wash rather than an opaque acrylic.

Now a little bit of decorative tissue paper - this is one of the Christmassy Idea-ology rolls, but I tore around the overtly festive stuff just to get some nice text and a few leafy shapes.  That also got a wash of white over the top to blend it in.

Next up, some inking.  I used Coffee Archival so that it would be nice and permanent, blended on with a blending tool.

And then (no apologies for inking it up yet again!) I stamped my favourite Rubber Dance Weed Love tendrils in Olive Green and started to add little flower heads... just tiny dabs of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Paint in Lavender and Wisteria.   (Wisteria only in this photo, I think.  You can see the darker Lavender added below.)

Once I'd added flowers all over, that's when I ground to a halt.  I really, really, really wanted to add some crackle, but I knew that would mean a big pause in my making while I waited for it to do its thing.  And beyond crackle I really couldn't see where I was headed next.  Thankfully, I wasn't the only one struggling and Nikki and Brenda were more than happy to throw in the towel and try again another day!

So we magically jump a week to where my crackle has crackled, and had some dark paint trickled over it to highlight that glorious texture (a dirty wash of Raw Umber, Quinacridone Gold and Paynes Grey). 

I added the same paints to the roofs - delighted that the wash was translucent enough to leave those woody whorls and lines perfectly clear.

It was still slow going, but gradually I fought my way through.  I'd always known I wanted some rusty wire wrappings (of course) but nothing else was particularly clear.

Part of the problem was I really liked the houses in their very simplest form.  I could easily have stopped at the whitewash and inky edges stage!

But these tiny strips of butterfly and script Design Tape over some torn Tissue Tape were a big step forward.  I decided the corners would be my focal focus rather than having the houses decorated flat-side-on.

(Funky, but not so easy when it came to photographing them - if you have to have them at an angle to see the corner, you pretty much always get one side in shadow!)

But once the tapes were on, things started to fall into place more easily.  Obviously the wire-wrapping was next - always a delicious moment - and I kept things simple with a few cogs and bolts and some short Small Talk sticker phrases.

The largest of the three houses got a Philosophy Tag all to itself.  (I suspect these have been discontinued, but I still have a small supply.)

And I really like the words on the big house too... going around the corner.

I thought it would be too cutesy to have them all going round corners.  Besides, the positioning of the cogs wouldn't allow for it.

So for the two smaller houses the words go on the front side - one high, one low, so that overall we get a nice balanced look.

I'm so happy with my trio of houses now.  The crackle is fabulous, though I do say so myself!

(Such a relief... at first it looked as though it wasn't going to do anything, but I put a bit more of another kind of crackle paste over the top and away we went.)

I love the simple stained rooftops with their slightly rusty undertones to complement the rusty wire.

Of course I love the rusty wire!

And I'm really happy with my little blue flower vines too.  (If some of you are thinking this looks familiar, I was shamelessly CASEing one of my favourite tags from earlier this year, Rusted Hope.)

And given that I'd wanted to stop at a much earlier stage, if I really want things even simpler then I can just turn my three houses around and enjoy them from behind...

Best of all possible worlds!

Well, that's more than enough from me for today.  Just take a look at how differently Nikki and Brenda's houses turned out.  Do hop over to their blogs to see all the magic happening... you'll find Nikki's fabulous trio here at Addicted to Art, and Brenda's adorable little scene here at Bumblebees and Butterflies

I'm so grateful that these online crafting sessions have nudged me into mixed media action, otherwise things would have been even more sluggish around here lately!  It's always such fun to chat and laugh and set the world to rights, even when the crafting isn't going well... and even more so when it is!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I hope you're finding ways to nudge your creative mojo into action, or just enjoying taking some time for yourself now and then.  I'll see you again soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.  Stay safe, stay well all.

Houses are like people - some you like and some you don't like - and once in a while there is one you love.
From Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery

I'd like to share these at Country View Challenges for the theme Do What Makes You Happy - all my favourite things, and eventually they made me happy!


My name is Erika. said...

I like these houses Alison. The blue flowers forming a vine along their walls is a fabulous addition. They look like they belong in a little village in the middle of summer. And I always find it fascinating how multiple people doing the same thing can make equally beautiful but so different examples. Happy new week. Hugs-Erika

Christine Alexander said...

OMG these are amazing, I wish I had a table saw :) I'd end up making a hundred of these.
Your little houses are so cute. I gota try one of these!!!!
Hugs Christine

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful little houses Alison. Have a good, new week, Valerie

Helen said...

beautiful houses, Alison -and Brenda's and Nikki's too. Hope you have a creative week

Dorthe said...

They are out of this world , an d your tiny houses with the crawling blue beauty , so adorable , the rusty pieces taking away the risk of it becoming toooo cute ,- and the words ever so fitting . Beautiful- xoxo

Quirky Shepherd said...

Love these little houses and the rusty wire, thank you for sharing and inspiring x

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

The crackle and the rusty wire are what did it for me. These are wonderful little houses and it was great how you painted the roofs to look like roofs. Simply stunning art, as usual, Alison, and great 3-D fun.

Hazel Agnew said...

Your houses are so crustylicious Alison. And yummy rusty wire....not unearthed mine for some time. I love the contrast between the climbing weeds with crackle and the simple but beautiful stained roofs!
Off to dig out my rusty wire. By the way, since you advised us to stamp with archival in order to heat emboss rather than use embossing fluid I have been much more successful! Cheers, Hazel xx

Karen said...

How fun ~ I love all the words and the rust along with the crackle paint ~ All three projects are unique and so creative! Fun that you can create together too. I like Brenda's nail chimney & fence addition. Have a wonderful creative week!

Lagene said...

Awesome creations!!! I love the crackle, the vines, the wire, love it all. What platform do you & your friends use to virtual craft together?

butterfly said...

Glad you like them. We've been doing group calls on Skype, Lagene x

Mac Mable said...

What a fun thing to do and craft virtually with friends Alison x.
Your block houses are fabulous and so very you....wonderful attention to detail, wispy flowers, crackle, rusty wrappings and fabulous quotes.
Two weeks of creativity and so worth it x.
Nikki and Brenda's creations are fabulous too x.

Fonda said...

I love the delicate flowers on your houses. They turned out quite well!

kathyinozarks said...

These are awesome

craftytrog said...

Ooh! These little houses are gorgeous Alison. I love the blue flowers climbing the walls.
Alison xx

Craftyfield said...

These houses are fabulous! Love the crackle, of course and the Rubber Dance weeds, lovely rust wire too... Brenda's version makes me think of Provençal houses for some reason. Have a great week, Alison! x

Cocofolies said...

Wow, fantastic to discover three different but all beautiful versions of these wooden houses!
I absolutely adore your delicate flower heads in lilac all over your three ones... This is gorgeous.
This creation is simply exquisite, and I guess you really enjoyed doing it with your friends :)
Lots of love and hugs,
Corinne xxx

Amanda said...

Love your little houses, they look like they would be at home on a remote Scottish island with roaring fires inside. Beautiful
Amanda x

Redanne said...

Your two sessions were definitely not in vain, your little houses are very striking. I really love the texture of the crackle and then the delicacy of the blossoms. The rusty wire is a delight too! A delightful trio Alison. Anne xx

Margaret Mifsud said...

Wowsers!! Your little houses are so adorable and sooo gorgeous Alison! Doesn't matter how many sessions it takes .. when you see results like this, it's all worth it!! I so love those delicate little wildflower stems and they look amazing here. Love the rusty wire, the little cogs and the lovely words too. Absolutely adore the makes from the other girls too. Absolutely delightful post!! xx

Annie said...

Love your tiny houses Alison and the wonderful aged paint and crackle, together with the stamps and words of inspiration x Always nice to get together for a chat and creative time xx

Sending best wishes
Annie xx

Let's Art Journal said...

Oh my, your houses are so charming! I love the pretty blue flowers trailing around them and the crackle looks so amazing 😀. Such a lovely way to spend your time together too - perfect! I hope you're having a lovely week! Happy wishes! Hugs, Jo x

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

So nice of Ken to cut these, and WOW what a gorgeous and chic design in your signature blues and creams. Oh the textures too. LOVE!!!

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

These are just so adorable. I bet you had a great time making these and how kind of Ken to prep these for you. Maybe he should start a business selling them. Sending hugs, Angela xXx

Sue said...

Wow these are fabulous, you must have the best time on your Skype sessions. Take care, Sue xx

Neet said...

These are so adorable. I love house shapes and these wooden ones will look lovely sitting on a wide sill in a window. I can just imagine them adorning some cottage with those thick walls to the windows and the sill just crying out for decoration.
Love how you started with crackle and then used a dirty wash, perfect, and just what was needed before you began to add those pretty winding and wandering sprigs of vine. I can well imagine your excitement when you saw the difference to the crackle.
The addition of the rusty wire and the cogs was just enough and I love the word 'inspire' you added along with the stamped words.
A beautiful trio and so different from that of the others.
Hugs, ~Neet xx

Patty O'Malley said...

Your houses are fabulous, Alison! In fact, all three of you ladies did fantastic work.

nwilliams6 said...

Wow. The houses are so awesome! Love the crackle paint and all your other wonderful steps (thanks for sharing so many details). Lovely stuff. Hugz

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

How nice to create on surfaces cut by Brenda's hubby, all three sets look fabulous with those individual twists. Life's really put a strain on my mojo right now so I understand completely where you are coming from Alison. It sounded like a great excuse to have a skype meet up all over again. Beautiful piece's with the trailing wildflowers I hope these will accompany you when you finally make that move.
Hugs Tracey xx

Mrs.B said...

Love the wild flowers growing up the tiny houses, it gives them such a vintage look.
Avril xx