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Thursday, 17 September 2015

The house that Cazzy built - fit for Tim Holtz?

I commented on a fantastic project by the lovely Alison (whoops, forgot to link to it - I have now), and she came back to visit me and commented on one of my little houses saying if I could make one in the style of Tim Holtz I could enter it into the monthly challenge at A Vintage Journey, so I thought and I thought, and I thought some more and this is what I came up with - eventually! It has taken about a week to make this, and I could probably still finish a couple of bits off like the drawer inside and out!

First of all I cut a house out in kraft card using the Zing and the 3d Houses file from The Cutting Cafe. I decided to make the house opening so lined it with distressed looking "wallpaper" which is from a pad by Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI), and all through the assembly I have used my Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher where I could to strengthen the structure in addition to using adhesives. Sadly the plastic spring on the Tiny Attacher keeps coming off - this is a bit annoying as I haven't had it all that long or used it a great deal. I think it was in a closing down sale too, so I can't complain to the seller.

I decided to use one of my brand new (NBUS) bargain dies from Sizzix, the brick wall strip which is an Alterations long Sizzlet style die. I cut out the "mortar" first and knocked out all of the bricks, then cut it again in a few colours for the bricks. Then the fun bit, I added some of the mortar to carefully selected house corners and began to add the bricks (sticking each one with Cosmic Shimmer glue) - this was a lot more difficult that I imagined.  The die didn't cut properly, or at all using the Crossover, and I had to get the Big Shot out, it still didn't cut right through but I think it was because I didn't have the die facing upwards, will try again on the Crossover to see if that solves it there as I was just thinking I could maybe sell my Big Shot when this happened.
Anyhoo - every single brick seems to be different, so finding the right bricks to fit the holes took several hours that evening.......and the next day..... and next evening......! I really think I could have built a real brick wall in the time it took, and then I decided that the chimney would just have to match so many more hours later..... it was like a nightmare jigsaw, or some sort of mad skills test!

I should add that I live in a red brick house, I love bricks. Our bricks were hand made by a small brick company near Brighton, I remember going down there to get a few more when we built the conservatory, but by the time we built my craft room the small company was no longer, or had been taken over, and now it is really hard to match the bricks we have on the main house.

The panels on the outside are draughtsman type house plans by Karen Foster (I thought of Tim and his plans of things), and I tore or curled corners to expose the bricks, after inking the edges of the plans with Aged Mahogany Distress Ink. Also when we bought this house many years ago it wasn't even built, so we saw another one and the plans!
We don't have any top hatted men however, or even top hats here!

The house base is covered in a panel of an old book page cut out with another brand new die (NBUS) - the Confetti Alterations strip die by Sizzix, which is inked with various shades of green Distress ink, then the puddle holes are painted with Sky blue Distress paint, brown Crackle Distress paint in other holes, then Rock Candy Distress paint on top of the dry Sky. The Rock Candy is a new jar (NBUS?) I won in some blog candy from Katy - thanks again Katy, just as well as the little I had was totally dried up!
On the front apex is a NBUS pocket watch charm from That Craft Place, tied up with some Tim Holtz paper string.

I have made a modification to the box base, I hope Regina doesn't mind, I wanted a little drawer in the middle and it isn't brilliant but it works, and is full of treasure! The drawer knob is a children's wooden bead which was green but has been toned down with Peeled Paint distress paint.

The back of the base has a scene cut with a Sizzix on the edge Alterations die called Townscape. At the front of the house the Sizzix Umbrella man is making his way home, I bought a stamp set with him in too and was disappointed to find that on this first time of using both the die and stamp that they are not the same size at all! Never mind I stamped on the die cut anyway, and filled the gap below his knees!
 See the birds stamped from the same set on the house?

I added Black Soot Distress ink to the chimney bricks, seemed appropriate somehow!

Oh dear Umbrella Man looks a bit bendy!

Peeping out from most of the windows are top hatted men, stamped on a background of the paper used inside of course - so that when you look in the windows you will see what is inside (trick)! The stamp set is another Tim Holtz Stamper's Anonymous set, which I don't think I have used before (NBUS).

Doors and windows are cut from wood grain gold card, inked a little and two brads added for doorknobs.

Round the side I added some On The Edge Sizzix Alterations spooky twigs, and some of the confetti as flowers, some inked with Distress ink. This is the sunny side of the roof, grunge paper embossed with a Texture fade and inked as per the Compendium of Curiousities Vol I. The sunny side had to be the chimney side, anyway it is raining the other side - see the umbrella and puddles?

I've added Tim Holtz Tissue Tape to the rest of the edges of the base.

Now the roof, which as I said opens. I realised after the Christmas box, well after I stuck the chimney on and it was too late, that I should have stuck another roof piece on top of the opening piece so that the sides actually match (so I didn't show the photo of the opening side deliberately). This time I have not only added the relevant piece I have added another layer of Grunge Paper, which I embossed with Sizzix Tim Holtz Texture Fade embossing folders, on one side a sunset and the other arrows, the arrows is a brand new folder and I haven't used either before. I used a technique from the Compendium vol I where you emboss Grunge Paper, ink it with Distress ink with the Ink Blender then swipe it with a Distress Ink pad in a contrasting colour. The reason for the extra roof piece - Grunge paper is a little soft and bendy and I wanted it to be strong and last a long time! I searched everywhere for the Grunge Paper, just so I could do the Inking Grunge Paper technique, and finally when I didn't know where else to look I spotted a dusty folder I had missed!

To the roof on the arrows side I added a Tim Holtz spinner (NBUS), and a Tim Holtz File marker (NBUS) which I recently received in Katy's blog candy that I won. It really is a 9 but upside down is a 6 ("cos" I live at number 6), and I can open the roof with it. I added a star button to the game marker - just felt the urge to add something!

I also used a Word Key by Tim Holtz, and the rest are in the treasure drawer.

I hope I can post this to not only show you but enter in two challenges in particular, A Vintage Journey Home Sweet Home challenge, where all entries must have something Tim Holtz inspired included (I think I have managed that lol), but also the NBUS (Never Before Used Schtuff) challenge at the lovely Darlene's blog which is ending tomorrow! Then I need to choose two more worthy challenges very carefully, there is a 4 challenge rule at NBUS and this is so special it needs special challenges! As I didn't win the NBUS and it is over I am ignoring the rule now - because I found another special challenge.)
At the time of typing  all of this Blogger is refusing to let me select any photos and shouting "Error 400" at me every time! I hope I can add the photos to the words soon, or it will be too late! Sorted, but all my cookies are now deleted so I have to put passwords in all over again etc.

I've added a few charms and some treasure gold to the drawer knob and drawer, and a metal button to the end of the knob.While I was looking for buttons I found a wire twist tag that reads "love begins at home" and added that to the number 6. It's amazing the difference Treasure Gold can make, I am happy with my drawer now.
See the two dogs (one on the way to the front door and one by the bricks on the side - looking at the bone), and a bone on the garden for them? We have two dogs at home too.

Challenges entered:
NBUS -Anything goes
Ike's Art - one for the men (Tues)
Pan Pastels Love 2 Create - #19 mixed media (Sun)
Simon Says Stamp - die crazy (Wed)
Country View Crafts - numbers (Sept)


A Vintage Journey - Home Sweet Home (Sept)


  1. Hey!

    What a truly wonderful house you have built.
    I like it very much.

    Have a lovely day.
    Hug Gurkiss

  2. Wow love this project Cazzy, gorgeous colours and so many lovely details. Thanks so much for joining our 'Anything Creative/mixed media goes' at http://welove2create.blogspot.co.uk/
    Claire xx

  3. What a great little house you created! love the exposed pieces of brick work (what a lot of time it took you for that effort!), the fun drawer in the base and the man peeking out of the window! Thanks so much for joining us in the A Vintage Journey Home Sweet Home challenge Cazzy! Julia xx

  4. what a wonderful idea Thank you for taking the time and sharing your creativity with us Love 'n' hugs Sall IkesWorld Challenges DT

  5. Wow Cazzy,so much work here, I can just picture you sticking all those bricks lol. Your house is amazing, I love all the details like your little dogs. Thanks so much for joining in with our challenge at Country View Crafts. Sue xx

  6. This is crazy great! I could get lost for an hour looking and exclaiming over all the intricate details you used on this fabulous make! Awesome just awesome! Thanks for playing with us at Ike's World Challenge! Nan, DT

  7. OMGoodness - how super cool is that AND it has a secret drawer !!! Fabulous creation :-D
    Thank you very much for coming over to play at IKEsWORLD CHALLENGES :-)

    IKE xx

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  8. This is fabulous!! Such a cute little house! Love it!! Great work!

    Thank you very much for joining us this week at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog!


  9. Cazzy this is genius!!! I'm so glad Alison gave you a nudge and you were inspired to create this quirky house. LOVE that exposed brick work (clever idea!) and the almost 'Dr Suess' look to the whole project. Thank you for entering at A Vintage Journey. Jenny x

  10. Absolutely adorable and so quirky. Thanks for joining in the challenge at A Vintage Journey and good luck.
    Julie x

  11. Cazzy, this is just fabulous! I was mostly joking, so I'm really happy you took me up on the challenge to create a Tim Holtz-style house, and I just love what you've come up with - enchanting! Thanks so much for joining us on A Vintage Journey with this!
    Alison xx

  12. Oh, and thank you for playing along at Country View Challenges too!
    Alison xx

  13. Absolutely fabulous Cazzy! A real Tim Holtz house! Thank you for sharing it with us at a Vintage Journey for our Home Sweet Home Challenge. Jennie x

  14. Well, I'm glad you didn't pull it from the NBUS gallery, Cazzy, or I would have missed it and it is too phenomenal not to be seen!! What an amazing work of art you have created!! Thank you for playing!! Hugs, Darnell


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