Saturday, 30 November 2013

Jo so Inspiring!

Hello and a warm welcome to Magpieheaven. I've been busy helping my mum with correspondence and making her new flat homely, but I've still found time to craft and to enjoy looking at all the beautiful Christmas makes around Blogland. This week over at Paper Artsy Jo Myhill has created some fabulous Christmas creations and at Fashionable Stamping Challenges there are some lovely Shabby Chic Christmas themed makes. I should like to enter both these challenges with this blog post.
I loved Jo's Paper Artsy  house that she created for her tiny, vintage Christmas tree decorations. I have some of these and it's years since I used them on the tree. As Jo said, they are so mini they tend to get lost among the branches. I find Jo's work so inspiring that I really wanted to play along - I loved what she did with Grunge Paste and glitter on her canvas too. I don't think I could have fitted one of those little houses, gorgeous as they are, into Magpieheaven...but on Thursday while shopping at the Range for new home-ware for my mum I saw these little wooden decorations just begging to be altered!
If you click on the image you will see that I've placed one of the little wooden decorations in the middle. I had intended using them on these little bird-houses - maybe sticking them into the the circles in the centre, but when I played around with them they just didn't look quite right. In the end I put them aside for another project. As projects often do with me, these houses were starting to tell me exactly what they wanted me to do with them! The two techniques I wanted to play with from Jo's projects would fit well with an idea that was forming itself - little, shabby-chic Christmas bird-houses decorated with Russian dolls. I painted the roofs with Little Black Dress Fresco paint; Old Gold and French Roast because I wanted to see if the Crackle Glaze would appear very much different with differing colours underneath. I also punched out some lace with an X-cut border punch and painted this Old Gold. Lying it across the roof I liked the shabby effect this created, especially as the card was green and I did not cover it entirely.
I then stamped the Lynne Perrella russian doll from LPC016 onto some white tissue napkin backing and painted it on the reverse side with Frescos. I've wanted to use this stamp in a different way for ages, but I was never quite sure of an original way in which to incorporate it into a make. I love it because it reminds me of my honeymoon spent in Moscow, twenty-six years ago - Mr Magpie and I ate Caviar on Christmas day and watched the snow glittering on the golden cupolas of the Kremlin.
Before sticking my tissue dolls onto the houses with Satin Glaze, I tried out Jo's idea of spraying with Frescos and a little water. I painted the houses with Nougat first, edged with just a touch of London Bus and some Distress Inks - Vintage Photo and Evergreen Bough, then sprayed with Lake Wanaka and Antarctic. Mr Magpie and I bought lots of presents on our trip all those years ago, but I treated myself to this little lacquer box, which I loved because it seemed to be illustrating a story: I would love to know what it is. I wanted my houses to look as if they belonged to the same world as this box and also the forests and wooden churches we had passed on our train journey from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. I used Grunge Paste and Classic Treasure Gold through a stencil of snowflakes, which I made with what remained after punching out snowflakes. I was a bit too nervous to create the really thick, 3D background that Jo did on her heart creation, but I did add some dry distress glitter to my Grunge Paste.
I was really pleased with the effect of the spray painting and the Crackle used with script which I adapted for the roof. I kept the heart theme, but created my hearts - and leaves too - from shrink plastic painted with Frescos and stamped with Paper Artsy images: Ink and the Dog, Pierrots and the lady from LPC 004. I added lots of Shabby Blue Frantage, which I just can't do without on my Christmas projects at the moment. I painted the the wooden bobbles with London Bus and some Rose Quartz Treasure Gold so they looked like winter berries. I kept the coarse string as it had a shabby chic look.
 Because the Russian Matryoshka doll had a hole in her tummy I really wanted to create another little doll to fit inside, but this would be so difficult to do properly. Then I had an idea! These are bird houses - those holes could be a little door for a robin to pop in and out of. I painted some curled wire with Gesso and added Frantage and made shrink plastic robins by die-cutting the Tim Holtz cage bird and turning him into a robin with alcohol inks.
 I also made shrink plastic snowflakes and placed tiny green gems in the centre. The robins have green gems for eyes too. I am gradually making the mantel-piece into a winter wonderland and these little houses are hanging over the fireplace. I should like to enter them for the Paper Artsy Challenge and the Fashionable Stamping Challenges, Shabby Chic Christmas. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking a look at them today. I hope all my visitors have a lovely creative weekend!



20 comments:

  1. wow,how gorgeous are these! At the Christmas market today we kept seeing things for huge prices, and all went "we could make that" "we could make that too.."

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  2. Totally fantastic, Julie Ann - the painting of the images, the adorable little houses - and I'll always go for a trio.

    And on the FJ 12 Tags front... I'll bet you could fit them all in. Come on, I've only done two so far, and both those were in the last two days - and you have until the 22nd!!
    Alison xx

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  3. Beautiful post Julie Ann, fab recollection of your honeymoon & a wonderful way to display the Russian dolls & the shrink plastic robin:-)

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  4. Hi Julie Ann, I love the way your posts always have a story attached to them and the way that they are often your inspiration for your artwork. Your little robin is so cute looking for a warm place to roost. Hugs Mo x

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  5. Just amazing, really love every bit of these, the addition of the birds on curly wire is genius.

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  6. Fabulous three bird houses. Those idea is great. I like the project of your white, also the effect of it too, It's fantastic.I agree Darcy,I love robins on curly wire too.

    Etsuko xx

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  7. What gorgeous bird houses you made. I like how your russian dolls turned out, they are very pretty used this way!
    xx Monique

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  8. Oh Julie Ann these are so gorgeous and such a beautiful sory of your honeymoon. They look so beautiful in that russian icon style. Really great - am I gushing too much? Jo xx

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  9. and thank you for your lovely comment about my work. xx

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  10. these are truly wonderful - the amount of detail you've incorporated is amazing. xx

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  11. The amount of details is just fantastic, all these ideas.... Totally with you on the Frantage, I would so love having more colours!

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  12. Oh these are just gorgeous Julie Ann lots of beautiful elements used and of course the stamped dolls are just divine.

    Thank you for sharing with us at Fashionable Stamping Challenges.

    Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x

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  13. Gosh, you really are so imaginative Julie Ann and these little house hangers are wonderful. Absolutely adore the little robin and how you incorporated so many techniques. I bet these look gorgeous hanging from your mantlepiece. Thanks you for sharing your honeymoon memories too. What a wonderful place to visit for it.

    Hugs
    Lesley Xx

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  14. How amazing are your decorations and what a transformation of the little houses you purchased in the home store.
    I love all the details and the pop of colour here and there - isn't your home going to look amazing when those decorations are on display, bringing festive cheer.
    Wishes
    Lynne

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  15. brilliant Julie Ann. the robins are an inspired touch and I love the main image and the way you coloured it.

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  16. They are so beautiful, I love the Shrink plastic robins.

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  17. These are enchanting Julie Ann! xxx

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  18. Wow wow wow absolutely gorgeous as always. I love how you have used the Russian dolls and the whole where the bird is, was a brilliant awesome idea, I love it. The background is so elegant and the little shrink plastic snowflakes are amazing. Lots of hugs Kerry Ann :-) xxx xxx

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