Friday, 18 September 2015

Home for Christmas

Hi there!

I'm delighted to say that I'm being featured today over at the wonderful A Vintage Journey as one of their Guest Designers (Thank-you ladies!). I was really pleased when I learned that the theme to work towards was 'Home Sweet Home'. Those familiar with my blog are bound to know that Christmas is my favourite topic to craft for. Christmas, for me anyway, is all about being at home, in the company of loved ones. I've created a Christmas home decor project with lots of emphasis on products and techniques from the one and only Tim Holtz. I've been dabbling at the project over several weeks so am happy to finally have it done and dusted.

Please be warned that a photo laden long post follows! Apologies for the different tones in photos. Weather was dismally grey outside up to my sending snaps to AVJ, I've managed to take some sharper pics since.

So first up here's the whole project...

The house is a chipboard 'Large Twin Peaks' by Melissa Frances.

Beginning with the front of the house, I've decorated it using Maja Design papers except for the little muchkin images at the windows from Inkido. Almost all papers have been well frantaged. The centre of roof is stamped / embossed using a Christmas text stamp from Inkido. The outer roof sides are then treated using one of my favourite techniques as follows. First I dry embossed each side with Tim Holtz (TH) 'Tiles' texture fade. I then brayered over Versamark, sprinkled on some EP and heat embossed. Repeated latter stage several times so as to build up some nice thick definition to the raised areas. Also added silver 'pearls' using a pearl pen. Then applied same technique to the eaves on different colour paper.

You'll see lots of tinsel throughout project - all from TH Idea-ology. I suggest leaving tinsel placement until last as one's heat gun can cause it to shrivel and shrivelled tinsel is not a good look! The numerals 25 are silver sparkle embossed. They, and the deer, are diecut using TH movers and shakers. The little deer atop the roof is held in place with an Idea-ology memo pin. Practically everything in the project has been crackled and splattered with gusto!

As soon as I saw the Kaisercraft wooden street light online I knew it would fit perfectly for the house, together with the Idea-ology battery lantern. The street light and fence were an awfully long time coming together. I used 2 layers of cardstock when cutting the fence (a TH decorative strip die). First I made it silver but it didn't contrast enough. I had bought the new TH paint 'Ground Espresso' thinking it would match the roof, which it did, but the fence then seemed too dark for Christmas and more akin to Halloween. So I coated everything in 'Clear Rock Candy' glitter but it was still too dark. Next idea was to spray it with Tattered Angels glimmer mist in 'Sapphire'. This was an improvement but still seemed too dark - navy now. Finally I dabbed on lots of Distress Stain in 'Brushed Pewter' - ta da!! Pleased with result!

The little toys, instruments and several other metal embellishments have been polished with silver gilding wax. I stencilled (TH 'Holly Bough') the front walls and sprinkled on Melissa Frances silver glitter to adhere whilst texture paste still wet. Also hot glued several berries. Decorated the windows with lace curtains and created shutters from some narrow strips of corrugated card that I sprayed with Sapphire glimmer mist. I secured an Idea-ology metal word band to the front using silver string between two TH ring fasteners (having highlighted the inscribed text with white paint). Also sprayed an Idea-ology tree to make it blue and decorated with tinsel and copper star by Nunn Design. Added lace, bows and pearls to eaves.

The beautiful pin in the chimney is made by the lovely Mandy and you can purchase her gorgeous sets here.

Moving around to the right side I stencilled some snowflakes (TH ' Holiday Knit') and coated them with Clear Rock Candy glitter.

Diecut a layered snowflake (by TH), coated with crackle, highlighted with DIs and finished with a centre brad. Also diecut text using Thinlits 'Holiday Words' and painted with 'Ground Espresso' topped with crackle.

Placed an owl charm at top having gilded him with silver wax. Metal box corners are on the roof corners too once I dabbed them with 'antique bronze' distress stain and some stickles. I can see that there is a little gap up at the roof/eaves joining but hey, as Mr. Cohen sings; "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in"!

Let's now turn to the rear...

I've stamped and embossed both the angel and the wise men using TH 'Joyful Song' stamp set. A technique I use to try and define stamped images better is to add a thick coat of glossy or crackle accents over and to the rims of image, it just adds a little relief. I masked the angel and stamped music across the roof with a Katzelkraft stamp. Should have included earlier that the house walls are also stamped randomly with a Germanic Script stamp by Katzelkraft. On the roof are silver star brads with blue gems added to each centre. The wise men have been overstencilled with DIs through the TH 'Rays' stencil and adorned amidst stencilled stars (some of which are white embossed for variation - another TH technique!). The scene is positioned through an aperture cut using the TH 'Baroque' die and 'grounded' with glass glitter. Stamped sentiments are by Cat's Life Press stamps.

Some close ups;

An Idea-ology lightbulb, inked blue, atop a stained Game Spinner.

Tinsel and 'Mercury Glass' Stickles present too!

A gilded Prima resin wing is placed on the stamped Angel's wing.

The Guiding Star dangles from a Ring Fastener on a Game Spinner.

If you are still reading this I'm seriously impressed and very grateful!

Another twirl around to find a faux wooden door chained shut using an Idea-ology Swivel Clasp. The doors hinge open and are held in place with Idea-ology Hitch Fasteners and brads.

Wood effect achieved using embossing folder and DIs. I've used lots of Gesso and Snow-Tex on whole project for snowy effects.

More stencilling evident and lots more metal embellishments. 'No Peeking' is from a Unity 'itty bitty' stamp. Pearls placed on the fence all the way round.

Bet you'll never guess who is behind the door!!!

You can see too that some-one has left parcels lying around for the munchkins inside. 

Finally, let's inspect the very sparkly delivery agents;

The sleigh sides are cut using a die by TH. When cutting reverse sides remember to turn any patterned paper back to front so to speak, otherwise you'll end up having to do everything twice just like me!! Including the Flourish stencilling! Stencil by TH using crackle paste by Decoart. Over-painted sides then with the usual Ranger crackle. The base of the sleigh has been embossed with sliver glitter EP. Created a centre for the sleigh using some blue sprayed corrugated card that was pliable to shape. Again sprayed an Idea-ology tree blue, added berries and painted burlap 'sack' with 'Ground Espresso' - knew it would come in handy.

The dashing reindeer are cut with die by you know who! (I mean Tim Holtz - not Voldemort!) Again, make sure to cut any reverse patterned paper right rather than get it wrong, again, like me!! I've adorned the deer with sprayed Idea-ology wreaths. These are couture, made-to-measure wreaths in fact as the standard size issued by Ranger was too large and required adjustment. (Am I mad entirely?) Jingle bells are stitched to the wreaths also! These cardboard reinforced deer have lovely blingy antlers and lots of crackle and are tied to the sleigh via little Idea-ology Screw Eyes.

Mounted the Sleigh etc. on a wrapped rectangle of chipboard and placed the house etc. on Idea-ology Foundations Feet that have been painted quite a few shades but ended up finally being glossy white.

So what more can I say but:

Huge thanks to all the talented ladies over at A Vintage Journey for inviting me to Guest Design today. This has taken a long time to make, in fits and starts, but I'm pleased with results - a rare happening! You still have plenty of time to enter their 'Home Sweet Home' challenge here.

It is too early though to say 'Hxxxy Cxxxxxxxs' but you know what I mean. If you would like to see any more of my altered Melissa Frances chipboard houses they are here, here and here.

Thanks so much as always for stopping by.

Nicola x

I wish to enter project to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday - Love This Technique
Country View Crafts Challenge - Numbers
Craft For The Craic - Anything but a square or rectangle
The Ribbon Girl Challenge - Everything goes with an Image
Try it on Tuesdays - Add Some Metal
Scrapy Land Challenge - Add an Image plus use die Scrapland sells (Sizzix)
Christmas at Sweet Stampin' Challenge - Festive Decor
Sparkles Christmas Challenges - Oh Christmas Tree!
Creative Inspirations - Your Favourite Occasion (Christmas)
Love To Create - ANything Mixed Media / Creative Goes