Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Little House Making Party - More Prep and FAQ

I'm starting to panic now, even though things are probably under control. This is normal behavior for me before a party. I have these delusional grand ideas that get me sidetracked and then I have trouble doing what is important. I guess that is normal HUMAN behavior, not just specific to me.

Anyway, here is a photo of some trees that my friends, Kathy and Constance, dyed for me. Aren't they beautiful? Most of the colors are Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stains. They are so vibrant. I love them. My favorite colors are Twisted Citron (the lighter green in the background), Peacock Feathers (way in the background), Festive Berries (the beautiful red on the left side) and surprisingly, Mustard Seed. I didn't expect to like the yellow color, but I do. I think the regular green and purple are colors I made from Rit dye I got at the grocery store. Not sure what spray was used for the pink trees.


Here is the Frequently Asked Question section for my friends who are coming to the party.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where is this party? The Little House Making Party is at Lucy’s house. The address is on the bulletin board at work.

What time is the party? It’s from 5 pm to 9 pm on Sunday, November 19th and Monday, November 20th at the same time. I host the party on 2 days because I work in the ER and I’d like my co-workers to be able to attend on one of the days they are off. 

What about kids? It’s a party for crafting, but that doesn’t mean that kids can’t attend. Some kids will do great making houses. I just think it’s difficult to do small, somewhat detailed crafts with scissors and cutting instruments and hot glue if you are trying to keep your eye on a small child. You decide what works best for you and your kids. There will be at least one pediatrician at the party.

What about food? I will make the 3 things I know how to cook well - Homemade bread, Pasta salad, and Chocolate Chip cookies. So here’s the menu:
Homemade bread and cheese plate
Fruit and vegetable plate with crackers, chips and dips
Pasta salad
Chocolate Cookies with pecans
Soft drinks, wine, beer

What should I bring? You don’t really have to bring anything. If you have a special appetizer that you like to bring to parties, you are most welcome to bring that, but I think I will have enough food here. Also, I have all the crafting items needed to make a really cute house. 

Are there any specific RULES about making the houses? Why yes, there are a few rules: 
Pick one house and finish it before starting another.
Try to share embellishments like 1 big tree or 2-3 small trees or 1 Santa or Snowman or 1-2 birds so everyone can decorate their houses. 
Keep the paintbrushes in water so they don’t dry out and close paints so they don’t dry out.
Put things back so people can find tools and supplies.
Have a good time making the little house.

Will I have time to finish a little house? The houses and bases are pre-made so you should be able to finish in about an hour. You really can't glitter the houses in that short a period of time so if you want to add lots of glitter to your little house, you will have to do it at your home. The fluffy paint called Snowtex also takes awhile to dry, but since it is used more sparingly as the last detail, it will work ok if you can carry it to your house while it is a little wet.

What about all those cats you have? Well, I don’t really have that many cats any more. There will be 3 locked up in a back bedroom hiding from the noise (Sunshine, Baby Girl Blue and Betty Boop). Daisy and Bill Bill (not a typo, his name is Bill Bill) mainly stay outside. I vacuum like crazy to get rid of hairballs, but if you have a cat allergy I would recommend an antihistamine before you come over. 

Are you ever going to finish the renovation on your bathrooms and kitchen? Yes, at this pace both bathrooms and the kitchen will be finished in about 3 years. Right now they are a little dated, to put it mildly.


Any more questions? You can leave a question here or call or text me. 

I look forward to seeing you at the party!


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Little House Making Party Update

Finished the sample house poster for display at the party. I made 3 houses different ways - one coated with paper, one painted and one finished like gingerbread. I also made a little sample bag of windows and other embellishments to go around the house. 

Today friends are over helping me with priming the houses and staining Christmas trees. I realize now that I need more little tiny trees. 






Here are the instructions that I will post at the party, some of them are on the poster. I am going to put the poster on the first table where people pick out the pre-made house. I used Jingle Brads to adhere everything on the poster so I can use it later for another project.

1. Paint house first, let dry. Or you can cover the Village Dwelling, (little square house), the birdhouse, and the Village Brownstone (looks a bit like a church) with scrapbook paper cut to size. 

2. Decorate with windows, doors, garlands, or other embellishments that actually go on the house - felt snow, chimneys, wreaths, or the paper porch.

3. Pick out the type base you want to use. Thick cardboard bases are for houses where you want a small LED light to fit in the bottom of the house (not for birdhouses). Thin bases work if you want the house to fit on in a small place or hang on the tree. They also are for the birdhouses.

4. The two options for bases are paint or cover your base with scrapbook paper. Cut the paper to size, glue on with Mod Podge. 

5. Glue the house to the base with the hot glue gun so it will adhere faster. 

6. Decorate the base with fences, fence posts, figures like the Santa or Snowman, ribbon around the edges, add trees if you want. 


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Little House Making Party Progress

I've been working hard on getting ready for the party where we make little cardboard Christmas houses.

It is a challenge for me for several reasons:

  1. My house is a crafty mess.
  2. I am a nervous hostess. 
  3. I am worried I haven't pre-made enough houses.
  4. I have to cook things for other people. 
  5. AND I have to cook food with carbs in them which I have been avoiding. In other words, I have to cook stuff that I don't need to eat. Fortunately, the only thing I have been craving is the no knead bread. 
Here are the pre-made houses - that's 24 Village Dwellings, 18 Village Brownstones, 26 Sizzix birdhouses, 18 Gable houses (my design - they need the roofs glued on). The cardboard in this photo is to make bases.


I made a sample house for a poster on what the decor options are. The whole poster is not finished yet, but you'll get the idea. I'll post the completed house poster when done - tomorrow probably.


I didn't want to waste a house by gluing it on the poster board, so I made a little bracket and clipped it on with some Tim Holtz little clips. The color scheme is the one recommended by my friend, Lynn in Montana. This color scheme works better on Christmas houses as opposed to Halloween houses.




These are some of the things I am going to put on the poster so people can visualize what is available to go on their houses. Sample roofs, wreaths, trees, cardboard vs. wood porch base, straw for columns, pipe cleaners, etc. I'm going to use clips and jingle brads to adhere these as well so I can use them later. 


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Just Finished Invitations to the House Making Party

I am having a "Little House Making Party" before the Christmas season really gets ramped up. It's a bit of challenge getting everything ready. I just finished the invitations.

Here is the invitation that I put on the bulletin board at work.



I made it using a new Tim Holtz die from Sizzix called Snowglobe 2. It has a LOT of little fiddly pieces so it's not something that I would make over and over, but I think it is perfect for this purpose.

The invitations look like this:


I made 60 of them using the Tim Holtz door painted and stamped to look like wood and then added a wreath on the door. Inside is just a folded piece of scrapbook paper. I included the party info on a slip of paper inserted behind the door. I didn't glue the party info page on because I think people can either use the door as a gift tag or even add a sentiment inside and use it as an ornament or card. I try to be versatile.

I did include my blog address so people could come here and read about the details on the party. I figure it's an easy way to get the information out. 

The Plan for the Little House Making Party:

1. Pre-Made Houses. The houses will already be built and primed. There will be 4 different designs to choose from. I am leaving off chimneys, windows, doors, and the bases so everyone will be able to choose how they want the house to look.

2. Paint the House. Paint will be available for painting the houses. Wear clothes that you don't care if paint gets on them. I don't think there is time to glitter the houses, not to mention the mess involved. I will have some way to dry the houses a little bit faster so crafting can proceed in a timely fashion.

3. Choose Design to cover with Scrapbook paper, if desired. There are a couple of designs that we can cover with scrapbook paper if that is how you would like to decorate your house. I have PLENTY of paper as I am a paper hoarder. You do not need to bring your own. I also have a lot of glue as well. Also you can use Christmas scrapbook paper to cover the bases as well. 

4. Add Decorative Elements to the House. When the painting is done, add windows, porch, columns (probably made out of colorful paper straws), chimneys.

5. Attach to Pre-Made Base. Hot glue to attach the house to its base so it will adhere quickly.

6. Embellish. Use bottle brush trees (about 1 large one per house, you can use a couple more of the smaller ones), Santas, Snowmen, greenery, little birds, sentiments, etc. I have LOTS of embellishments as well.

7. Take Photos at Photo Display.

I am hosting the party over 2 nights so people can choose which night is the most convenient to attend. I figure if I can get my house cleaned up for one night, I can keep it straight for a second night. 

I have 3 more Halloween houses I am trying to finish. I don't think I can get them done before Halloween, but I will have them done before my party in mid-November. 

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you are doing well. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Make Your Own Original Putz House - Part 2



Ok, I drew up new patterns for the house that Katherine asked about. I am calling the pattern Jack's House after the first house I made with this pattern. I also scanned them and saved them as pdfs which are stored on Google docs - click on the link to get the pdf. I could not figure out how to embed the pdfs in blogger. Feel free to use the patterns if you want. Please do not post the patterns themselves on your website, but you are welcome to link back to this blog. And you are welcome to make as many houses as you want from these patterns.

Jack's House Pattern with measurements:
Click on above link to get pdf file to print

Jack's House Pattern - blank so you can shrink or enlarge it as you wish:
Click on above link to get pdf you can print.


Jack's House Pattern with Windows and Extension locations sketched in:
Click on this link for printable pdf pattern


Click on above like to get printable pdf pattern.



I hope this works.

I am busy making invitations to my November house-making party and selling the last few Halloween houses so I haven't made the last 3 Halloween houses  with this pattern yet. I will get to them.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Make Your Own Original Putz House - Part 1

Katherine, a reader of my blog asked me about sharing the pattern for a house I made a couple of years ago. I made about 4-5 houses with this pattern.

Here are a few photos and links to the houses made with this pattern - Jack's house, Rusted Tin Roof HouseRusted Tin Roof House for Josie, and Jennifer's House.





Since I've been making houses for so long, I have actually learned a few tricks to make them much easier to make. The most important thing I learned from Howard Lamey on the Cardboard Christmas forums. If you pay attention to his patterns you will see little details that greatly simplify making cardboard houses. 

Here is the first big tip - make the pattern easy to cut out.  Cutting cardboard with a craft knife can be tough - a simple pattern and straight cuts will make your crafting so much easier. Your hands will thank you.

Initial drawing of the pattern for Jack's House:

Template for Jack's House:

Template for the front gable extension for Jack's House:

You can see that there are all these little cuts that you have to make to make the tabs that I've found are not really necessary. 

Now I would make this pattern like this - basically cutting out a rectangle. 


This is the pattern I am drawing tonight. It's a relatively large house so there are no tabs on the sides because the back piece will be a rectangle with 2 tabs to provide a gluing surface.

Here is the pattern with score lines outlined in red. I made a copy so I can cut it out. 


Now the house pieces have been cut out. See how simple that is!


Here is the back piece with the tabs on each side. It's made from another copy of the pattern.


And finally, here is the entire framework of the house temporarily taped together. This is a very similar shape to the houses above made with a simple gable pattern that is so much easier to cut out and actually more sturdy because the roof  and the gable ends are supported.


I make my houses out of cardboard to make them strong so they will last for many years, but there are a number of people who make their houses out of card stock like this. With paint and glitter and a firm base they are surprisingly sturdy.

The front gable extension pattern can be greatly simplified as well.




I've shown a side view of template taped together to show you that the extension gable is better supported this way. It is much easier to glue on a roof piece with these flaps in place. You may still have to cut the tab pieces a little bit depending on how much light you want to enter the extension.


I'll show you the transfer method to cardboard in the next post. I'll also make a pdf pattern of this simple gable house with the dimensions as well. 



Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Owl Cabinet

Here is my most recent project - The Owl Cabinet that I designed as a Pinworthy guest for this month's a Vintage Journey's Challenge - Crazy for Autumn Colour. I am honored to be chosen as a Pinworthy Guest Designer once again.



The tree is simply a cylinder of cardboard with the base slightly larger than the top covered with paper mache. 



Test fitting the owl and the light behind it.
The limbs are twisted pieces of brown packing paper. 




The tree itself is painted with gesso, then grey paint then Ground Espresso Distress paint. I tried to make the paper mache more "bark" like by using an old brush painting black striations. Then I went over it a little bit with my favorite yellow paint - Distress Fossilized Amber. 


The background consists of gesso, Tumbled Glass, Broken China and then a little Wilted Violet Distress Oxide sponged on in the corners to make the sky look a bit like evening is coming. I painted the sky near the ground with Fossilized Amber to lighten things there. 


I stained watercolor paper and cardstock with various colors of Distress Inks and Stains and then punched out the leaves with the Sizzix Oak Leaf Punch. 


The opening in the tree was sized to fit the owl - oversized really. It needs to be a tiny bit smaller. The owl is a Tim Holtz Ornate Owl Thinlits die which I cut out twice - once with brown inked watercolor paper, once in black and then an outline on clear acetate. I colored the acetate with various inks - yellow and then some gold and white fixative. I tried to make the owl's throat lighter because if you read about the Great Horned Owl one of its distinguishing features is the "neat white patch on the throat". I covered it with Glossy Accents which I should probably go over again to make that layer more even. There are a few birds from the Tim Holtz Scarecrow Thinly Die. They are circling far away because the Great Horned Owl is a ferocious predator. 

I cut a large hole in the back so the cabinet can sit in front of a candle and shine through the owl. 

The frame of the cabinet is just cardboard cut to outline the box. It's painted with black gesso then a generous layer of Crackle Texture Paste - my new favorite texture paste. The top of the cabinet is cut out with the Sizzix On the Edge Plaque and Postage Die. I love how it looks on the top of the project. 

That's about it. I love 3-D projects and paper mache and autumn colors and leaves. This was a very fun project as it incorporates so many of my favorite paper crafting elements.

Thank you for reading. Ya'll take care.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Return of the Two Witches Sharing Recipes

One of my co-workers requested a wall hanging with the Two Witches so I went overboard with this one. It is much more elaborate than the previous wall hanging.


You may recall that I decided to make the witches like the folding paper dolls that we made out of newspaper as kids where you fold the paper like a fan and cut out the paper doll with the hands joined. The first time I did it, I put the edge of the die outside of the fold and cut the witches with the dresses joined. It just looked weird with the witches abutting that way. So next I put the die so that the hat and hands and brooms were joined. Because of the posture of the witches, it looks like they are leaning in to discuss an important topic - recipes!!


I made a cauldron to put behind the witches and gave them a spooky nighttime setting in front the moon. To give the skirt some dimension I folded it before I cut it out and then fluffed it a little when I glued it down. These dresses worked very nicely. The yellow dress on the witch on the right is plain yellow cardstock stamped with one of my favorite new Christmas background stamps - Sparkles. I think it makes a great pattern for the dress.

I used the same Distress Oxides for the background night sky that I used in my previous wall hanging - the Grumpy Back Seat Driver. I added the new Haunted House Sizzix Thinlits die with yellow windows and edged the house and windows with white distress crayon. I also stamped the background with the new Spider stamp using Iced Spruce Distress Oxide, but I made an error here. I stamped over my moon and it just looked weird so I had to make a new moon and glued that on top. Fortunately, my error worked out because it gave the moon so much more dimension.


Once again I used the Sizzix Poison embossing folder. I love how it makes such a creepy label. The sidebar has a spider web and with various tokens hanging from it and a toxique vial. I stamped some Halloween stamps below and then while the ink was still wet I pulled a paint brush through them to mimic streaking or melting. I did the same thing when I stamped the Happy Halloween at the top, then embossed it with clear embossing powder.




I think that covers most of the details of the Two Witches wall hanging. I'm going to be sharing it on Facebook and Instagram for the Sizzix challenge #holtzforhalloween and #timholtzhalloween2017.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you are enjoying this crafting season. Soon I have to switch to Christmas, but I actually have promised 3 more Halloween houses before I do.




Monday, October 9, 2017

Grumpy Back Seat Driver - Halloween Hearse



I got this idea to use the Tim Holtz "Home for the Holidays" car from Andrea Ockey Parr. She's one of the design team members for Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge. She made a flying car with 2 of the trick or treaters from the new Sizzix "Trick or Treat" thinlits. I imagined it would be cool to have the car converted to a hearse by adding more windows in the back and to have a witch driving. The only problem is that all the witch stamps that I have face to the left and the car faces to the right. Well, it was pretty easy to turn the car around as opposed to mirror stamping which I have never done.


I figure a hearse is very shiny and well-polished so I embossed it with some ebony embossing powder then covered with 2 layers of ultra thick embossing powder. That also covered up some of the seams where I added the windows on the back. It's hard to tell from the photo, but I also added a fin above the rear bumper. The chrome is brushed pewter metallic stain in black cardstock. 

The witch from Tim Holtz "Haunted House" CMS308 by Stampers Anonymous. I think her funny, kind of smug smile works beautifully as a driver and the vulture in the back - the grumpy back seat driver is perfect as well. The sentiment - a strange thing happened (referring to a witch and vulture in a flying car) is from another one of this year's Tim Holtz stamps called "Something Monstrous" CMS307. 

I've never masked a background before. I've seen instructions for that technique online, but the specific one I used is from Bobbi of "Vintage Muse Designs" where she made a village graveyard card with a bright yellow moon in the background. I tried to make a background like Shelly Hickox did in this incredible interactive Halloween card, but it didn't look the way I wanted it to. I can use the two rejects for something else. The colors are all various Distress Oxides - Fossilized Amber, Wild Honey, Black Soot, Iced Spruce, and Wilted Violet.



I figured the witch in her hearse would show up better on the lighter colored background so that's the one I chose.. 


Here are the elements before they were glued on the background. 


The witch has to be flying over a city. I used various Cityscape buildings (leftovers from previous projects) with yellow glued to the windows. They were distressed with the same color Distress Oxides I used on the background - Black Soot, Iced Spruce, and Wilted Violet.


For the background piece below the frame I sprayed a piece of watercolor paper with Wilted Violet Distress stain and then inked over it with Distress Oxide Black Soot using the Stampers Anonymous "Batground" stencil.

Then I made a frame with multiple layers of paint and inks and stains (mistake, attempted correction, nope doesn't work, new layer, etc. etc) until I thought it would work. And finally some bats were added from the Tim Holtz Halloween Mixed Media die. It's the easiest way to cut out lots of bats.

That's the story of the Grumpy Back Seat Driver in the Halloween Hearse. I tried to make sure that I credited the people who inspired me for this specific project because we do not create in a vacuum - our inspiration comes from somewhere.



Thank you - to all you artists out there who continue to inspire me.

I am going to be sharing this project with Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge "Not a Card". I neglected to mention that it is adhered to several thick layers of cardboard with a hole placed so you can hang it on the wall - it is not a card. Also I will share it with #holtzforhalloween and #timholtzhalloween2017 on Instagram and Facebook.