Category Archives: Houses

Colourful houses


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You may remember a month or so ago, me revisiting the ‘little houses’ genre for a swap I was hosting at Paper Traders…..we’ll day by day, over the last little while, villages of little houses have been arriving, (16 groups in all) which has been great fun.  Somehow or other, some people got the instructions a little ‘confuzzed’ (easy to do) & some of the artists made atc’s with houses on them, as opposed to houses that fit within atc dimensions……….no worry, they were all mixed up a bit & look lovely together, but to tie the theme together & as a RAK, I thought I’d make ATC’s with houses on them to go out with the swap.  Not one to make anything much in multiples (the whole reason for not joining some groups!! LOL!), I needed to find some way of ‘expediting’ a large output of cards, but still making them different.  So, I got some paste board, & collaged up some backgrounds using paper scraps, postage stamps and vintage music & book pages, which I then sliced up in ATC sized pieces. 

Using acrylics, crayons & pens, I added houses on top & finished with more pen work & some rub ons. (luv ’em)


Little Houses


IMG_0575_resizeI don’t know whether you have ever been ‘bitten’ by this bug – but little houses are such fun to make!  I am hosting a swap at Paper Traders at the moment & I set myself up a little ‘hotel studio table’ on our recent trip and made up my swaps.  It may seem a little over the top, but as I have described before, my DH is a BIG sleeper, especially when we go away anywhere (can you imagine my frustration being in ROME & him SLEEPING until 10am???  LOL!!!) so I always take art projects ‘in a bag’ with me when ever we go away.  Houses & ATC’s are such easy ‘take aways’ because they don’t require anything overly big & I often just use my bits ‘n’ bobs box off my desk, which has all kinds of leftover scraps in it.

(you may notice on my ‘hotel studio’ table there is a red book – that’s my new Alice project – more about THAT in my next post)

Hotel Studio

So these little ‘treasures’ have literally, primarily been made out of scraps (including mARTy’s christmas party hats! – thanx M!).  Mind you (guilty gulp!) that goes no where near helping to reduce my pile of scraps & bits I need to use up.  I JUST don’t have it in me to throw them away!  I think that being a mixed media artist has slowly turned me in to a hoarder.  Luckily we are moving house soon as I will HAVE to purge then….however our next home will be our ‘forever’ house (you know, the one they carry you out in a box from!)  I can almost imagine people having to turn sideways walking down my hallway to get past all of the boxes of my ‘treasures’!@  OK – I HAVE to do better at this!  LOL!!

ART TO GO – travelling with art supplies

I have been asked alot about what I take when I go travelling, so I I’d write up, the things I take, it changes a little each time, depending on what projects I am taking with me & whether we are driving or flying to where ever we are holidaying.   I keep a ‘travelling studio’ list in with my travel list – computers make this sort of thing SO easy – I have an excel spread sheet – there is a trip we make annually – to the same place for a conference – but some times we have different accommodation.  Each time we go away – I review the list when we come back & make notes – so that I don’t have to give it any head space the next time we go – it’s just print out the list and tick it off.

I usually just travel with two bags – a scrapbooking/craft tote on wheels that’s like a small fat suitcase (a bit bigger than carry on size) and the 13 x 13in zip up paper holder, that fits in it.  I don’t always bring the paper holder – it depends if I need full size (12 x 12 paper) – this time I was meeting up with an another artist & we were doing book making – so I wanted to have whole sheets on hand for end papers & such – when I am taking it, I DON’T put it inside my wheely tote (I can’t fit it in!), I take it separately.  The FIRST thing is to think about what you might like to do.  I DEFINITELY have a ‘mourning’ knowing that I am leaving my art supplies behind – there is a tearing about what is left behind – but I have gotten better at it.  Having the right containers for your supplies helps – it prevents damage to your supplies and stops them contaminating other supplies.

My storage is in 3 ways – plastic clip lid boxes, which I use to keep breakables in; soft packing cells, I use mostly for paints & mediums – & clip lock bags – for papers & bits n’ bobs.  I usually take extra clip lock bags (small, medium & large) incase I need it to keep half completed projects together in one spot – or if I need to isolate a problem (a leaking bottle or something)

I have some heavy bodied Golden paints decanted into some small air tight ointment jars – I can fit about 4 – 6 tablespoons in each one & it lasts indefinitely.  I went to Kathmandu (don’t know if you have them – but a mountaineering/hiking shop) – and got some lightweight zip up packing cells. (just strong pencil case type things with a clear top & about a 2in wall.  (see pic)  I can fit about 12 pots in one that is only about 5in x 8in.  Depending on what I am doing – sometimes I take gel medium or other mediums.  As you can see – I use masking tape over the lids – back them a row at a time in a clip lock bag, then seal the packing cell.  ABSOLUTELY no risk of paint migration due to a spill or opened lid.

AS well as that – I usually decant some PVA & Matte medium into sturdy travel bottles.

My other staples are

  • watercolour pencils & watercolour pad (often just the postcard size (can get 2 ATC’s comfortably out of this size with a little to spare – unless I am planning something specific using this – then I take the size I need for what I am doing)
  • caran d ache Neocolours II (selected fav colours)
  • selection of drawing pens & pencils – Stabilo marks all black, brown, blue & white, F, HB, 3B & H pencils, Pitt pens (aquarable), Sakura Pigma Micron (water fast), gold & silver pens (I like Pentel the best)
  • 6 x 6 pads of scrapping paper
  • a few stamp pads – staples are tim holtz burlap & versamark fine black – but I usually add in a couple of colours
  • some unmounted stamps (text, music, mini alphabet, ornamentals, birds, trees – depends what I’m doing) – they all go into a zip up pencil cases
  • ome sparkle – a couple of H2o’s; perfect pearls, some lumeier – again – just depends on what I am doing – but like ALL magpies & bower birds – I like a little bit of something sparkly!
  • a ‘bits ‘n’ bobs clip lock bag – some vintage music in various sizes, some vintage text & dictionary pages, old photos, interesting postcards & or magazine clippings, a few transparencies  (this is basically just left over bits & scraps that are from projects through out the year – I have a big wide drawer that I ‘swipe’ it all into to get ready for the next project – then when we are going away any where, or I want to put together something quickly – I have a plethoral of colours, styles, textures & design. 
  • Some of my own preped papers & card that I use for backgrounds, tags & bases for other things
  • A few sheets of rub ons that work with what I am doing
  • a little jar of trinkets – beads, vintage buttons, charms, jewels, brads, eyelets, etc
  • some little bags of paper flowers,
  • PROJECT specific bits – ie – if I was doing Gothic arches – I may print out some images or transparencies of Renaissance stuff; because I was doing houses this time – I packed chipboard both precut & some for individual add ons or designs.
  • an art journal or some pages to work up into a book at some later stage (some times when I get to our destination – I am inspired to make something totally different than what I planned because of some experience or stimulation I have had)
  • small cutting mat, paint brushes, small & large scissors, exacto knife, bone folder, steel & see through ruler (I like my patchwork 12 x 4in one – as it is grided which makes it easy to square things up if you need to)
  • disposable tools – roll of waxed paper (use to protect surface, as a palete, also to wrap up anything that isn’t quite dry when you need to pack up / move on) – tooth picks, baby wipes, pop sticks (I scoop a little paint out on to the pop stick & use it straight from the stick if I have just a small painting project), gause,
  • AT LEAST ONE – but sometimes 2/3 (depends on how much space is left in my bag) I usually throw in a NEW (don’t peak) cloth paper scissors, Somerset Studios/Gallery mag & a book or two with good eye candy

It’s not really a staple – but easy and cheap to get and it’s a lifesaver if you need it – a small, portable light – I use an LED book reading light that takes recharagable batteries.  It’s GREAT!

The Last Houses for Now


Houses_5_web_2 Firstly an apology……I am sorry if this is taking an UNUSUALLY long time for you to download – as I continued to reduce these little houses to fit them to my typical 100kb file size, they just lost all definition & you couldn’t make out much of the detail……..but I am glad to report…. finally, there is some relief from the heat!  The temperature has dropped to a more comfortable level today & it is bearable to be infront of my ‘heat emitting’ computer!  (oh, and it is content to work in the cooler weather!)

This is the last batch of my houses.  I may come back to them at a later stage, however, for now, I need to move on to some other projects that are calling……..The first house on this street, is not REALLY a house – it’s No. two & a half!  It’s a lean to that’s been turned into a chook house (3″) in honour of my dear art buddy Jenene who loves chooks & supplies my DH [who believes God created chickens JUST so he could have eggs!] with some of her special free range eggs that are amazingly delicious!)  The twin houses next door (4″) belong to the Laxton sisters……like the rest of their family, they have remained in the horticulture business & the girls are hoping that there will be some benefits from their brothers’ service to the Royal household.  (I did these two pieces when we visited the Community Gardens) Their neighbour is the Mad Hatter (3″)  who is COMPLETELY foolish & unreasonable & totally refuses to have an EVEN number for his house, despite being on that side of the street.  Further on is the Hunderwesser house.  (3″) This is TOTAL fantasy, but SO fun..apart from it’s organic shape & onion dome on the top I have added wings to it – I KNOW – every one is over wings, but I wanted to add something totally whimsical & nonsensical……which is how some of this style of art seems to me.  ….then the houses of Light & Shadow (3″) ….not all of our days travelling were good days & the house of light & shadows was a depiction of that………the last home on the street is that of the Queen of Hearts (5″) , who malevelantly poisons people who get in the way of her plans!

Post script:  I have had a comment from a special new art friend Peggy Louise that you don’t get any indication of scale from my scans, so I am going back over these posts to enter it in.  I have entered the size in brackets after each house.

Hot House!


It is HOT, HOT, HOT here today in Melbourne……our front rooms (which face west) were 48 degreesHouses_4_web C (118 degrees F) when I got home…………OMG it is hot.  YES WE DO have airconditioning……but even it is struggling in this heat & we have resorted to fans with wet cloths over them….My poor garden, once a lush mountain garden filled with old style plants, shrubs & trees is not well at all……in fact, it has a rusty, distressed look about it…..& sadly, the only thing that prospers is the weeds.  It defies logic that they grow so well despite the drought we are experiencing……& so many plants die………..when you see my 365 pics for this month, you will see that I have taken skeletal flowers & leaves today…….that were once flowers & plants.  This is my 2nd last lot of houses……….It’s the winter house that is home to the queen’s sister (4″), the palace itself (5″) & the home of the Royal Gardeners….The Laxton Brothers  (4″) (who, by the way, still have ‘Bedford’ in their advertising to infer some heritage or claim to patents of nobility. Bedford was where most gardeners of nobility came from, however it was known by several reliable sources that the Laxtons came from Jarly.  It is ambitious to describe their time at Bedford as brief, if one was being kind.  They said they kept the cottage next door (3 1/2″) as a holiday home for when distant relatives came to stay, however the real reason was they planned to build a grand house as their name became known as the Queen’s gardeners.

Post script:  I have had a comment from a special new art friend Peggy Louise that you don’t get any indication of scale from my scans, so I am going back over these posts to enter it in.  I have entered the size in brackets after each house.

Around the Corner


Around the Corner

Houses_1_web If you pop your head around the corner when you reach the end of the last street…….here’s what you’ll see.  Rose Cottage (4″)-  is the home of Emma Trot.  Her’s is a big house, one of the largest in the village, but she lives alone….& pines for a love affair of long ago,….No 7 is Red Robin’s Bird House (3″), the next house belongs to a gyspy (2″) , but no one know’s when he’ll be back from his travels…..some say it is 24 months, others 44 months, but I know it was 26 months since he left & I believe he was heading to one of the Poles…….but I am not sure which one………his neighbours (2″) don’t mind, they share a garden & now that Pierre has proposed, Evelyn will be glad of the extra space for fruit trees & a goat.  On the other side is the new church building,(4″) then the dressmaker (3″), Mrs Wadsworth’s work room & home.

It has been such fun creating these special little houses & dreaming up who their resident’s might be……….I think it is an extension of playing with paper dolls……I used to love doing that as a kid!

Post script:  I have had a comment from a special new art friend Peggy Louise that you don’t get any indication of scale from my scans, so I am going back over these posts to enter it in.  I have entered the size in brackets after each house.

The Next Street


Houses_3_web After you turn the corner from the Dairy, you will run into the House of Mirth (5″)…….made when I first arrived at Nelson in the South Island.  The image is from a card of a print by local artist Chris Barkway.  Her work is whimsical & fantasy like, with a fabulous use of colour – without the ‘creepy’ mystical look…..the trim is vintage from my VERY fav. find……Libby at ‘Trees’ in Wellington……….The next house is A House of Encouragement (1 1/2″) House of Wisdom.(4″)………just came on a day of reading……….School House (3 1/2″) was inspired by this tiny little one roomed school we encountered in the far North Island of NZ……….Then we have Fish House (2″) & The House of Music(4″)……..for no particular reason except for the water & birds I was experiencing on our travels.  Thanks for the kind comments from everyone – I have really loved making these!

Post script:  I have had a comment from a special new art friend Peggy Louise that you don’t get any indication of scale from my scans, so I am going back over these posts to enter it in.  I have entered the size in brackets after each house.

Home Sweet House


Houses_2_web OH there is NOTHING as nice as your own bed – YUM – it’s fabulous!!!  It is lovely to be home…….amongst my art things, enjoying the familiarity of home & our precious babies that have made huge developmental leaps just in a couple of weeks – how I have missed them! Here at last is some new art – some of the ‘houses’ that I made while we were away…..the first is The Time Keeper’s House; (made using the gorgeous new letter split pins from Alpha Stamps…. then there’s The Movie House; then A House of Cards; then the Dairy.  In Oz we know a Dairy as a place where milk is taken to be processed, however in NZ, a diary is a kind of mix between a convenience store & a bakery – guarenteed to tempt you with something nice & fresh to eat at a reasonable price.  I have spent ages tonight scanning & adding backs & finishing details to my little collection of houses, so this is just the first of them…………I had such fun making them while I was away…I took my ‘desk top box’ with me, which is a box I have that has off cuts & remenant bits’n’pieces from old projects in it, that I have cleared from my work table, so there are all kinds of odds & sods in it.  As we were travelling around, I would be inspired by something or other & this would be the spring boards for that evening’s creation where possible.  I look forward to sharing with you some more of my houses soon.  Keep an eye out!

post script:  I have had a comment from a special new art friend Peggy Louise that you don’t get any indication of scale from my scans, so I am going back over these posts to enter it in.  All of these houses are made cut out by me, except the Alice one.  The Timekeeper & movie theatre are about 3″ tall – Alice’s house is about 4″ and the dairy inbetween.