Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Study in Perspective - Again

My project for this month's A Vintage Journey is called "City on a Square". Well, I found the idea behind it kind of interesting so I thought I would make a similar project playing around with dimension and color to improve the depth. This is a photo heavy post, but I think it makes sense to show it this way.

Rather that making a square project, I used a rectangle as the basic shape of the project and the Sizzix Cityscape dies from Tim Holtz. Here is the finished piece.


I tried numerous things trying to increase the illusion of depth - black gesso at the center for the start. Darker buildings in the back, yellow illumination of the some windows in the back, gradually using lighter and lighter colors on the borders and the buildings as they get closer to the viewer and the edge of the frame - all help with depth.  Also, the I layered more buildings and increased the height as the buildings get nearer. I did not erase my pencil lines from making the frames because it's obvious that this is a study in perspective so the lines are ok to my way of thinking. 

Distress oxides from Ranger were used to color almost everything except the very deep black in the back, even there I put a smattering of Black Soot to just vary the color a little. 

Here are a few progress photos so you can see how it came together. Each photo shows the successive layer that was added. I used cardboard for the frames holding the buildings. I didn't add anything behind the cardboard for depth because I was pleased with the perspective as it was. Each frame was one inch larger than the previous one. That gave me 1/2 inch on each side for the buildings (assuming I centered and cut the frame perfectly which is not really my skill).

Layer 1

Layers 1 and 2

Layer 3

Layer 4

Layer 5 - more detailed, more buildings

Layer 6 - increasing the height, more overhangs

Layer 7 - last layer, increasing detail, height and overhangs

I realized that if I extended the building or balcony or tree past the inner edge of the frame that gave more interest to the picture. I tried to remember to distress the angled cut edges of the buildings as well.

That is this week's non-little cardboard house project. Really fun and interesting to make. I am very pleased with it. 

I had 2 challenges in mind when I made this piece. The first one is the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge "You've Got the Edge". This project is all about edges since it is edged frame layered over edged frame. That's how these challenges help you - they make you think of things that wouldn't ordinarily come to mind. They stretch your artistic thinking. 

The other challenge is PaperArtsy "Dark to Light and Contrasts" which is really the basic idea behind "A Study in Perspective". I love, love the samples they show in the introduction. They are so beautiful. This is a wonderful blog for artistic inspiration. They have great designers who design the most interesting stamps.

I hope you are doing well this summer. Will it be cooler in a month? Maybe. 


Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Get In Shape" Challenge - The Tower House

This week's Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge is "Get In Shape". I wish my project was based on getting my own body in shape, but that is not the case. I have been making shapely little houses though. How is this particular house appropriate for the "Get In Shape" challenge? Well, it is a very unique pattern, one which I did not design. This design is from Howard Lamey, the best cardboard house maker. He graciously shares his patterns on the Cardboard Christmas forum. This design makes a tower without having to glue it on the roof. It is an integral part of the building. When I saw it, I thought to myself, that is a special design. A very special shape for a little house.

Here is the house before I added the surrounding wall. The color is pretty accurate in this photo.


The pattern is basically an inverted T with gable ends. The side walls are flaps from the body of the T.  I picked purple just to use a different color for my Halloween houses. I embossed watercolor paper with a Tim Holtz Texture fade called "Tiles" which I glued on the cardboard form of the house. Then I used my Distress Oxide Wilted Violet ink to color the tiles. I went over them with some Black Soot Distress Oxide ink for the spook factor. I really like the pattern. The windows were made from Dark Room Door window stamps on plain white paper, cut out and glued to the window openings. I used a Sizzix die Mini Scallop and Pinking to make the roof shingles. I edged the shingles with Picket Fence paint and then some Wilted Violet paint.

Here's the finished house - the Tower House.
This color may be a little too purply in the photo, but in truth, the house is purple.
Back view of the purple Tower house
Back of the house. I let the ochre paint drip off the edge of the base. I may clean that up a little bit.
I kind of like drippy edges though.

Close up view of the windows and the center door, also the polymer clay pumpkins which I put on almost all of my Halloween houses.

Bird's eye view of the front door.


Well, that is my shapely house. If you've been here before you know I am making a bunch of houses to sell in October for a Habitat for Humanity. I've got a pretty good collection going.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Tree House Prototype Fixed

I made this house about a month ago and it just did not work. No matter how many leaves I glued on the front, it did not look the way I wanted it to. Last night I noticed the house sitting with the back towards me and I realized I could make it into a house I like.

Initial Tree House Prototype - not working
Back of the house as I first made it
Trying to fix the house by gluing on lots more leaves - still not working
The extra leaves framed the house better and the hole in the back for the light could function as the opening in a bird house. Now if I had started out making a bird house, I would have made a bigger opening, centered it better and added a perch. But I figured I could still modify the house so that I would like it.

Much better. 
It is very satisfying to salvage a project, don't you think?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

All Squared Up Challenge

I was a pinworthy challenge winner from A Vintage Journey's The Magic of Three Challenge. Very excited to be chosen. AND I was chosen with some incredible artists - Barbara who posts on a blog called YaYa Scrap and More and with Nate who has a blog named Le Scrap de Nate. So when you are a pinworthy challenge winner that means you get asked to be a guest designer for the blog sometime in the future. Well, that is today - the challenge is titled "All Squared Up".

I was told the challenge topic about 2 months ago and I was so relieved to have an idea to work on. I recently read that Vincent Van Gogh used a frame device to help with perspective. I always thought great artists like Van Gogh just instinctively understood perspective and that his drawings were flowed from that. Now I don't really know how his device worked, but it gave me an idea to work on perspective using framed squares. I used the Tim Holtz cityscape buildings as my objects that get larger as they get closer to the viewer.

This project is called, naturally enough, City on the Square.





I cut a bunch of squares each one smaller by 1/2 inch. I cut out the centers to make the frames. Every frame was painted a different color. The plan was for the background to recede so I made it darker, then the rest were successively lighter. I played around with the Distress Oxide colors for these frames.

The cityscape buildings were stained with various Distress inks and Distress Oxides.

Then I arranged them on the edge of the frame to get bigger and bigger as the frames got larger. I also cut the bottom of the building at an angle. I glued some strips of cardboard on the back of each frame to help them protrude a little to emphasize the perspective.

When I conceived of the idea, I wasn't sure how it would work, but once I started placing the buildings on the the edge of the frames, I realized it did work. Kind of a fun artistic exercise for me.

Thank you everyone at A Vintage Journey for picking me for this challenge.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hip Roofed Square Farmhouse Finished with Landscaping

The latest Halloween house is finished. It's the one with the hip roof and square sides that was inspired by A Vintage Journey's "All Squared Up". Each side is 3" x 3", each window is square, the pathway is made with squares and the fence posts are square. Oh, and the base is a square. Lots of squares.


I found some moss on the side of the road which kind of looks like tumbleweeds. I glued it down here and there.


This is the back of the house with the light hole open. I glued the fence posts in and let them dry for a day before I looped wire around the posts. The best wire I had was silver which needed to be distressed with dark brown and orange alcohol ink as well as some Prima Rust paste in brown and orange.


I made a red door just to give a little surprise color then I figured it was too bright so I toned it down with a little Black Soot distress ink. Better, I think. I made the square stepping stones out of a thick cardboard that one brand of kitty litter comes in. It has such a nice lumpy texture and looks like stone to me.

One of my online blogging buddies, Laney of Sugarplum Patchwork, asked me about what I use for the base of the siding. (Check out her work, she makes such beautiful putz houses.) At first I used the same cardboard that formed the structure of the houses. But lately I've been using 110# black card stock. It works really well with the crackle medium. The siding that is on this house consists of leftovers from a couple of previous houses. That's why there different degrees of crackles and colors. I think works for this abandoned house.


See the straw bundle on your left. I was trying to get the glue to dry with a heat tool so I could take photos and almost set the straw on fire. Sometimes you have to be patient and just let things dry on their own. You can't see the browned bottom edge from this view.

That's about it. I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the Hip Roofed Farmhouse. I'm going to share it with this month's A Vintage Journey challenge.

I have some ideas for the next house. I really have to get a move on because I think I only have 14-15 houses for the sale and I really want to have more than 20 completed. Fall will be here before you know it.

Thank you for stopping by.