Tuesday, 5 March 2013
Hello, and thank you for stopping by today.
Some of you will have seen bits of this Glampunk Birdhouse on the Calico Crafts blog, but here's the roundabout story of its creation, as well as lots more pictures! But it's absolutely not compulsory viewing if you've already had your fill.
I wanted to share these extras straight away, because I'd like to enter the project for two brand new challenges.
I can't believe my luck at this fitting in with the inaugural Steampunk Challenge set by SanDee and die amelie - they want to see our version of a steampunk cuckoo clock. I'm not sure this will tell the time very well, but all the watch parts are there!
UPDATE: Just to let you all know - SanDee and die amelie have decided to include a 3D section to the challenge as well as a Papercrafting one - just make sure you get your project into the right category when you link up - Yippee!!
And another brand new challenge blog is starting at Country View Crafts Challenges and their first theme is Pick and Mix - where you can Pick what you want to do, and Mix your colours any way you like... so basically it's Anything Goes! For both challenges, you've got the whole of March to play along...
I loved making this one... setting off without a destination in mind and, after a number of detours, arriving somewhere that I think is really quite fun!
I knew I wanted to alter one of the adorable tiny birdhouses, and I knew I wanted to use some of Calico's gorgeous papers. And there's one other major ingredient that I'd had in the back of my mind to use, and had completely forgotten about until I suddenly realised it was exactly what the project needed!
These birdhouses are so cute, just over 3 inches tall and two inches deep, so about the size of a 3D ATC, really.
(Don't get distracted by the fellow in the background... that's for another time!)
I honestly didn't know where this might go, so I started with a coat of paint over the whole thing.
I tried doing some stamping next, using the lovely Conservatory set by 7 Gypsies, but it wasn't really hitting the mark for me (though you can see still the remnants on the bottom).
Then I covered the roofs and side walls with some of this gorgeous paper from the Vintage Letters paper pack (and I seem at this point to have forgotten to take any process pictures!).
That vastly improved the papered parts, but I still had to decide what to do with the front and back. (Useful to have the back to experiment with - you can always pretend you never meant it to be seen in the first place!)
First I painted over my stamped surface using the amazing Liquid Leaf which gave me a very glamorous look, but still wasn't quite "it". So I went to my go-to texture technique and grabbed some tissue paper and glued it wrinklily onto the surface.
I then used the paints again to echo the look of the paper - starting with the pale bluey turquoise, and then stippling on some browns before giving the whole thing a good going over with some White Fire Treasure Gold wax. Now we were starting to cook...
So now I had loads of texture front and back, and the side walls and roofs looked a bit boring, so I whipped out the texture paste and created some interest!
Once it was dry, I inked it and then added some more White Fire wax to gild it.
I was pretty pleased with that, but it still needed something... and it was then I remembered the ingredient I'd always meant to use - the fabulous Steampunk Watch Parts and Findings. I glued some of the tiny cogs and gears onto the front of the birdhouse... fiddly, but so worth it.
I added some larger gears, with a coat of Liquid Leaf, to the roofs, and a few more watch parts, coated the edges of the roof with some more Liquid Leaf, and sat back to admire the finished effect...
Trouble with that was it started me thinking: "Now, who would live in a house like this?" And then, of course, I had to find out.
(Trace of Inkypinkycraft's wonderful Steampunk bird - though probably influential - simply wouldn't fit through the doorway. I think he's bigger than the whole house!)
I toyed with and discarded a number of ideas before I came up with my tiny glampunk bird. (Yes, I know really he should be steamglam - it's the punk that's been replaced with glamour not the steam bit - but it's just not as good as a word!)
Quite simply, he's one of the tiny bird stamps from the 7 Gypsies Conservatory set, stamped in Coffee Archival onto some card.
I then "coloured in" the rest of him with Liquid Leaf before sticking on some carefully selected watch parts to recreate the whole shape of the bird.
Now to get him to perch in his doorway. I couldn't glue him straight to the wall, he would just blend in to the background and get lost. No, he had to sit forward on the perch and balance there - hmmm...
Solved with a straw (and quite a bit of strong language whilst gluing). I cut the straw to the right length, gave it a coat of Liquid Leaf so that the visible bit would still look gorgeous, and then glued it to the back of the inside wall and to the bottom of the doorway.
My bird then had to be glued to the tip of the straw and to the perch - precarious work, patience and quite a bit of Glossy Accents required - but, again, so worth it, I think!
And my customary tree really is the perfect place to display this particular project - I think it looks right at home...
I hope you've enjoyed visiting my Glampunk Birdhouse. I've had a ball with these projects for Calico Crafts, and I'm so grateful to Helen and Louise for offering me the opportunity to Guest Design for them. And thanks, of course, to you too for taking the time to stop by.
Ingredients, all available from
Calico Crafts - click on the link to find the product:
Americana Acrylic Paint - Indian Turquoise, White Wash, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna
Vintage Letters Paper Pack 6x6
Treasure Gold Liquid Leaf - White Fire
Treasure Gold Gilt Wax - White Fire
Steampunk Watch Parts and Findings
DecoArt Decorating Paste
Idea-ology Sprocket Gears
7 Gypsies Conservatory Clear Stamps
I'd like to enter this for the inaugural challenge at the very exciting new Steampunk Challenge created by SanDee and die amelie, where the theme for this month is Steampunk Cuckoo Clock... in the 3D category. I'm no ornithologist, but I'm going to stick my neck out and claim he's a cuckoo!!
Country View Challenges are playing Pick and Mix for their inaugural challenge - pretty much Anything Goes!
At Crafty Emblies the Altered Art challenge this month is Wings (only one is visible, so I hope it'll count!)
And Simon Says Stamp's current challenge is Anything Goes
“How is the birdhouse coming along, Charlie Brown?"
"Well, I'm a lousy carpenter, I can't nail straight, I can't saw straight and I always split the wood... I'm nervous, I lack confidence, I'm stupid, I have poor taste and absolutely no sense of design... So, all things considered, it's coming along okay!”
From Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz