I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 15 May 2015

Dollshouse Book






Hello all... No, it's not a miniature book, but rather an altered album which will be the new Visitors' Book in Cestina's dollshouse museum, Small Worlds.

She's just set off back to the Czech Republic to open the museum for the summer season, so I had to make good on my Christmas "voucher" to provide the album before she left.

(If you've no idea what I'm talking about, check out Cestina's Dollshouses for the full story of my mother's dollshouse museum, and/or some of my miniatures posts here, here or here.)

And what else could one possibly have as the Visitors' Book for a dollshouse museum but a house?!

(Just to warn you, you might want a cup of coffee on hand for this one!)











I used some of the techniques learned from Andy Skinner on one of his fantastic workshops to alter a Prima Chipboard Dollshouse Album (I see they think of it as a dollshouse, not just a house... probably what set me off!), creating texture and rust effects galore.

I even added some of my own roof tiles for an extra bit of fun (they're not part of the kit).










Let me show you pictures of some of the stages.

The textures are built up with layers of embossed card, stencilling and DecoArt Mixed Media line paints.










There are lots of great techniques and products involved - drybrushing, paint layers and Texture Sand Paste all play a huge role.












For full details, I can't recommend Andy's workshops highly enough, and there are his online courses (find all the details on Andy's website) as well as videos of Andy demonstrating at CHA where you can get the lowdown from the man himself.











The colour scheme was pretty much dictated by the decor of Small Worlds itself.  If you've seen the photos of the museum (there are some good ones here), you'll know the shelves are all painted in a soft green which sets off the houses really beautifully.













So I went for the greens for this - mixing in a touch of my favourite teals and turquoises as I went.  These are the colours in play, mixed and shaded directly onto the walls and tiles as I went.











For the roof tiles, I followed my own lead.  When I was working on the Tudor Tavern last year, I created terra cotta tiles for my fire places using the Tim Holtz Lattice Frameworks die, some textured sand paste and layers of paint.











I did much the same for these tiles, but instead of conventional terra cotta tiles, I decided to have them tone in with the rest of the greens.  I gave the sand-pasted tiles a touch of black gesso to add extra depth and then set to with my colours.












It took some time to get them positioned to the best effect, but I love the finished look!












The various rust effects are created in different ways...












... some with the DecoArt Mixed Media misters, including the door and the window frames...













... some with layers of the Mixed Media Fluid Acrylics, around the edges of the walls.













In places there's Texture Sand Paste for extra rusty texture...













... including on the door, and the door knob...















... and just look at the damage done by water leaking down from the roof tiles!










The ingredient I can't be without is the Quinacridone Gold Fluid Acrylic, which is absolutely magical!














The windows are lined with tea/coffee stained book pages - we've gone way beyond a "naturalistic" look by now!












On the back of the house, I used Tim Holtz's Bricks stencil with some more of the sand paste to create my brickwork.

Again, I could have gone with standard brick colours (and you can bet there'll be a dollshouse to be done like this at some point in the future - Tim's bricks are exactly the right size for 12th scale work, and the stencil is designed so that you can repeat the pattern and get the right half-brick/whole-brick matching together)...











... but I decided to stick with the Small Worlds colour palette and lots of lovely blue-green shades.














And of course the rusted layers around the edges... eating in to the brickwork a little further where there are holes for the decay to gather around!











As well as the DecoArt colours, there's also a strong showing for Tinned Peas Fresco paint, as that's pretty close to the Small Worlds shelf colour.  I used that as the main colour, with a touch of Phthalo Turquoise mixed in to paint the interior walls of the house.






I stamped the peeled paint stamp from Andy Skinner's Industrial set in French Ultramarine Archival ink, so that you have a distressed look on the inside too.













The Dollshouse Album comes with pre-cut pages, some plain, some kraft and some with faint text on.














I think visitors will be able to write over the text, as long as there's a good enough pen around, or of course you could just snap open the book rings and replace those pages with plain paper.












Rather than let the shiny silver book rings spoil the overall effect, I altered them with some black gesso and alcohol inks so that they would fit the weathered feel.











The main thing is that Cestina (or one of her many willing assistants) will be able to cut fresh pages to refill the album, so that the Visitors Book can be never-ending, which will be just as well if the visitor numbers continue to go up year on year.










I love that it looks like a little faerie house in the woods...

... and I love the gleam of the "rust" in the sunlight, even though the whole thing has had a coat of the DecoArt Ultra Matte varnish to protect it in the busy times ahead.

So there's my (small) contribution to Small Worlds for this year.  Work means I'm not going to be able to get over there to do any substantial dollshouse renovations this time around, though I hope to visit for at least a few days at some point.

I am still hoping I might manage some inhabitants for the Tudor Tavern, including some strolling players - I have all the makings for those here in the UK, but I'm not sure whether time is going to be on my side!

The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson




I would like to enter this in the following:
At Mixed Media World they're playing a Vintage theme, including anything "rusty, crackled and weathered" so I hope this will qualify
Love To Create are playing Anything Creative/Mixed Media/Anything Goes - me too!
The Inspiration Journal is inviting us to Get Pasted - with the embossing paste stencilling on the back as well as used for texture on the tiles and the rust, this should fit the bill.
In the Creative Gym at the Mixed Media Place they are playing with The Power of One - I have one stencil (the bricks), one stamp (the crackle) and one colour (greens).

75 comments:

massofhair said...

Picking Jaw up off the floor!!! How exquisite and magical is your visitors book, i LOVE it Alison. So many layers of texture and your colours and the rust are the magical bit, they look amazing together.

So much amazing inspiration, hope we will see you on the DecoArt international Design Team very soon, we need you on there! :-) xxx

Evelyn Walter said...

This "house" is so gorgeous, dear Alison! The visitors will LOVE it! Wonderful idea for the guest book at the dollhouse museum!
Have a beautiful weekend!
xxx Evelyn

Corrie Herriman said...

Wow, beautiful Alison !
Corrie x

Fliss said...

Wow Alison! My jaw dropped when I saw your stunningly beautiful book! What an amazing idea for a visitors book for the museum and you might get vistors wanting to take it away as it's so gorgeous :)
Fliss xx

Nan G said...

WOW! When can I move in?! What a fabulous welcome to Cestina's museum. Gorgeous jaw-dropping piece, Alison!

Chrissy said...

Brilliant Alison..looks like you could just walk right in..love the colours and the roof tiles are fabulous...fantastic project.

luv CHRISSYxx

Inky and Quirky said...

Blimey Alison,what can I say?! I love it,it's absolutely wonderful in all its rusty miniature glory,I can imagine a little fairy living in there quite happily.
Oh nearly forgot,while I'm here thank you so much for joining us at MMW,lovely to see you over there ;)
Big hugs
Donna xxx

Lys Scrap said...

Alison... And the most beautiful greens maker I've ever seen! These wall background and tiles are just perfect . What a fantastic invitation to come In dollhouses world...

Anita Houston said...

WOW WOW and WOW again! Your mother's dollhouse album is sublime!!! LOVE the texture, the greens, the rust! Gorgeous all over!

Helen said...

Oh.. my.. goodness...this is fantastic!! Love it all, but the roof is maybe my favourite bit!! I am sure the visitors will appreciate it as much as the houses themselves!

sally said...

What a perfect guestbook for your mums dolls house museum!

Sally

Claire said...

Amazing project! Love all the rustiness against the greens - I'm sure it will be well used and treasured :)

Meggymay said...

A stunning book, just perfect for the Dolls House Museum. The visitors will love using this to leave messages.
Yvonne xx

Abbeybufo said...

That is perfect! And couldn't be more apt ...

Joi at RR said...

Dear me - your mom must be so proud.... this is wonderful. I can only imagine how I would feel as a visitor signing this book - it's SPECTACULAR. Your bricks totally look real. The door and windows are just amazing. This is soooo great ButterflyGal. j.

Ingrid Kristina V said...

Oh my!! I adore the rusty edges and the little roof tiles are fantastic! How fabulous! Lovely to read about the processes and I must agree.. Decoart rocks! :)
Big hugs and thanks for joining our challenge at Mixed Media World too! So glad you could join in! Xx

Julie Ann Lee said...

Alison, this dolls-house visitors' book is so magical!. I can't decide which aspects I love the most! The rust and the wonderful texture; the gorgeous greens; the wonderful detail of the roof tiles or those windows! I'm just drooling over the whole thing! Lucky visitors to have such a charming book to record their visit in and what a fine addition to the museum it's going to be - just perfect! I would so love to visit it myself some day. xx

rachel said...

oh my alison - what a stunning book - its the perfect accompaniment to the dolls houses - perfect that its destined to go there - gorgeous in colours and textures and perfect in details - a masterpiece! Love it xx

Terry said...

Knock, Knock beauty abounds! My goodness Alison, the house you have constructed is incredible! You have not missed a detail and all the textures and colors are gorgeous! I just love this and what a great idea! Happy Weekend!

Juliz Design Post said...

Oh Alison, I adore this dolls house project and all the amazing detail you have managed to pack into this magical little house. Stunning.
Have a great weekend, Julie x

Deborah Wainwright said...

Oh my Alison this is delightful. Your rust looks amazingly authentic and I think your tiles are fab too. A stunning project which will add a touch of magic to the museam. I love it xx

Raquel Ayuela said...

Wow... your work is gorgeous! I love the texture and details! Amazing house!

Julia said...

What a fabulous dolls house visitors book. It is delightful. I have some of those Deco Art mixed media paints, aren't they lovely to use.

Lynn Price said...

Fabulous in every way, Alison!! I am stunned by the great rust techniques and the way you've used them here. And what a PERFECT guestbook!! Just delightful to read your post and how this all came together - xx Lynn

Sue Butler said...

Hello Alison
Great texture and rustiness on your piece, The green palette is perfect for the house because it relates such warmth, and that is what one should experience in every house.
Smiles:)
Sue

barbarayaya62 said...

I'm speechless Alison! I adore this book especially the rust looks that you've added to your work ! And , as Always I love your color choice, green & blue are my fav too! BArbarayaya

Amanda said...

Stunning, stunning,stunning!!! There will be a queue to sign this book due to everyone admiring it prior to commentating in it. I totally echo what everyone has said before me a beautiful make indeed.
Love
Amanda x

craftytrog said...

What a wonderful idea for the museum visitors book, it's perfect Alison. I love everything about it! Great rusty effects, that texture sand is brilliant stuff. I'm inspired!
Alison xxx

Astrid Maclean said...

Yummy from beginning to end!! Love the combination of the pure rust with those green tones! The textures are sublime and the whole book is a real show stopper, LOVE it!!! I so want to do a real life workshop with Andy one day......

Deborah said...

Just perfect for a dollshouse museum! I love rust and veridgris and green gold is one my favourite paint colours.

Lauren Hatwell said...

This is OMG A-mazing! Such a feast for the eyes. All that texture!! Wow! Gorgeous! Lx

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is amazing, Alison! It will be absolutely perfect for small worlds. Wish I could visit!

Lucy x

Marianne/skorpionen said...

What an amazing project!! Fantastic texture and gorgeous colors! Thanks for playing with our MMP Challenge!

Marci said...

Oh no, my comment got lost! Well, I'll just say this is wonderful, a perfect gift for your Mom. I think it looks like a house in the woods in a fairytale. The roof tiles are my favorite part!

Andrea Small said...

Oh oh oh! DeLIGHTful!
Andrea x

Dorthe said...

This is amazing ,and you are a master Alison. I don`t know from where you get all these wonderful ideas, and solutions to create them, but you are truly a wonderful artist, and this book will be admired every day when it reaches the Doll Museum and it`s visiters.
Dorthe, xo

Pascale B. said...

What a beautiful cover with so many gorgeous techniques! Thank you for joining the Mixed Media Place challenge!

Pamellia Johnson said...

Good grief, I've been scrolling up and down for a coon's age now! Flabbergasted, that's what I am!! I really want to reach into my screen and touch this one Alison, the textures are just incredible!! All the amazing rust techniques, each one unique and wonderful! This is just a fabulous project and what a perfect idea for a guest book for a Dollhouse Museum! hugs :)

JackieP Neal said...

Wow! I absolutely adore this mini dollhouse book- your layers are fabulous Alison!! Truly outstanding!! So, are you ever going to start having your own online classes? Sign me up!! xoxo

Ruth said...

Wow, wow and another wow! simply stunning visitors book, perfect for the museum. The textures are sublime, would just love the door on its own to look at...rust heaven! Ruth xx

Silvia(Barnie) said...

So sorry that I haven't been around for weeks. You've been very creative during this time and created wonderful works :) Wow, this book is such a fantastic idea, I'm sure all the visitors will love it.

Cestina said...

My apologies for coming so late to the party! I have been out since early today at the most gigantic flea market in the world, in a glorious setting.

On rising from the necessary rest just now I found my wonderful Guest Book starring in today's blogpost. It is every bit as amazing as everyone above has said and I cannot wait to lay it on the table in Small Worlds a week from today.....

(Along with the flea market acquistions ;-) )

Huge thanks and my never-ending admiration

Your proud matka xxx

chrissies said...

This is just amazing Alison and a very special addition to the wonderful museum..I think you should start making a second one immediately as this one will be filled with happy visitors names in no time at all.

Love Chrissie xx

Hazel Agnew said...

Am feeling quite giddy after my texture fest experience! Loads of lightbulb moments for me, so back to my notebook! Just love all the water damage and the textured walls! The door looks Scrummy! Thankyou for this fabulous post and a big Thankyou for your encouraging comments on my blog! Really appreciate your positivity and learn an awful lot from you! X

Dagmar said...

wow wow wow - it´s so fantastic!!! I love what you have create!
Hugs, Dagmar

Riikka Kovasin said...

This is so fab! Loving the colors and the textures are just stunning! Thank you for joining the Mixed Media Place challenge!

Shirley Chillman said...

People will love this Alison and I hope they appreciate all the hard work that went into making it.

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x
ShirlsCards.

Georgie C said...

WOW!! I love this and you have one lucky friend, I do hope she and all the visitors adore this xx

Gio said...

I'm in aweeee! Wow, the door, the windows , the tiles, and the scrumptious texture. It's so beautiful! The museum visitors will be delighted to put a signature on it!

hazel said...

Wow! This is amazing - I love it.
xxx Hazel.

purple_pea_fran said...

This is fabulous! Great tutorial too. Thanks for sharing with Mixed Media Place :)

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

Such a great make, this visitor's book in the style of a dollhouse, Alison...Great idea, love the paint you've used and the great rusty effects! Champ!!!
Greetings, Alie :-)

Shari Trumbull said...

Holy Moly, Alison!! ASTOUNDING!! My draw has literally dropped to the floor with every passing detail that you've shared!! Every single minute detail is AMAZING!! I absolutely LOVE every single thing about this!! What a great gift to make for Cestina and her dollhouse museum!! It is that time of year for Cestina, isn't it!! I would love to be able to sign my name in this guestbook one day!! XOXO-Shari

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh My! This is a splendid work of art(and love)! Such incredible colour and texture! I'm sure folk will be queueing up to sign this!! Hugs, Chrisx

Kirsten Alicia Sheridan said...

Completely & utterly stunning. A work of art.

Coco said...

Wooooow Alison, what a stunning book, fabulously textured and painted, also richly decorated with a lot of imagination and clever ideas. The result is uncredible! I love it to bits!!.. I'm sure your mum will treasure it too, it will be a masterpiece at the entrance of her museum! Hugs xxx

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Alison, that is so wonderful! Gorgeous colours and the textures .. just fabulous. A work of art and heart for the miniature museum!

Lou Sims said...

WOW, stunning project and adore all the details you have added. I am sure the visitors are going to love using your book. Many thanks for joining in with our "anything goes" challenge over at Love to Create. Lou (DT)

Vintagehandmade said...

Wooow, Alison, I am totally blown away! All I want to do is touch that spectacular piece of art!
Hugs :)
Branka xxx

Sue said...

Absolutely amazing! I love your roof tiles and the rusty texures - just perfect for the museum xx

Annie said...

Absolutely stunning Alison. Great effects with the Decoart paints.........wonderful details x x

Tfs and hugs Annie x

Marjie Kemper said...

Oh, Alison, this is fantastic! Love the rich colors and the funky windows and the gorgeous roof tiles. I can just picture the delight on the museum visitors' faces when they spot this extraordinary sign-in guest book.

Redanne said...

At first I thought this was a 3D dollhouse Alison, until I read further and see that it is a guest book - it is absolutely fabulous! I could see straight away that you used Cobalt Turquoise, it gives such a wonderful patina / verdigris look. Your tiles are fantastic and I love the 'rustiness' on the door and window frames. I agree with Margie, above, this will delight visitors to the museum! Thanks so much for joining in at Inspiration Journal this month! Anne xx

Cestina said...

Late news from Small Worlds. The guest book made its debut today and was received with great acclaim. I had been a little worried that people would be scared to write in it because it is so beautiful. But far from it - they queued up to do so.....

Thank you again xx

butterfly said...

Well, that was the general idea, so that's very good news! Xx

Julia Aston said...

I almost missed this Alison! glad that you referenced it in another post so I could click right down here! what a wonderful House registration book! Love the roof tiles - the brick walls and all the wonderful rusted paint! and I see above that it was marvelously received at the museum! hugs, Julia xx

Anna-Karin said...

This is so beautiful Alison! I love the colours you used and of course all the textures and details. I am sorry I didn't visit here for a while.

Candy C said...

Oh my gosh, Alison!!! What an inspired doll house book cover! I totally love the texture. The colors and aging are perfection. Love the roof shingles! Love the rusty door and window panes. The embossed bricks are so textural and look amazing! Love this!!

Sara Barker said...

Alison, what a wonderful book you have made! The texture is just amazing, and of course your rusted borders, the "leak" and the door and window are all just perfect! Great details, and what a lucky friend!

Sara Barker said...

Alison, what a wonderful book you have made! The texture is just amazing, and of course your rusted borders, the "leak" and the door and window are all just perfect! Great details, and what a lucky friend!

Rupa S said...

Lovely book and the colors as always are so eye catchy! Love the rusty textures and the roof tiles. This will definitely draw attention to the visitors to come and have a look and of course open up and write too! Love those window too...

Kasia said...

Wow, so amazing creation! Hugs!

scrappymo! said...

This will be a wonderful guest book. Have not been by your Mum's blog for quite some time. Will try to make it over there later today.

Lisa said...

I find the phrase "Be still my beating heart" rather confusing as that seems to me to be a sort of death wish; unless of course it is the request of said heart owner to have the heart return to normal from a rapid beat; in which case, I fully understand the sentiment then as that is what this project has done to mine! OH GOOD GRIEF how wonderful! You've certainly met your promise with shining colors and much exuberance. I adore this register log and the details knocked me off my feet. It's FABULOUS!
Big hugs to you and best of times to your Mom with her adventures again.
Lisa x

Mary Elizabeth said...

Alison, I know your mom was blown away by this gift. The visitors at the Small House museum will love opening this treasure to leave their comments. I sincerely hope to make another trip to the Czech Republic sometime and visit this museum. So many amazing rusty bits. That door is fabulous. And then there is the texture ... I'm so glad this gave you an opportunity to show off some of what you learned during the Andy Skinner workshop. By the way the sand paste on the brick wall stencil ... perfect texture. I know you are busy ... but I'm sending some good wishes your way for time to travel over to CZ to hang out with your Mom for a few days. So many of us are inspired to great creative heights by the ones that we love. This is evident here. Hugs -- ME