Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Fairy House, Revisited...

Well, Dears,

I didn't get quite as much completed (with pictures, anyway) as I thought I would today...
It was a productive day, but nothing has quite come together just yet,
so I'm going to do as I promised a sweet lady recently, and re-run some
photos of the Fairy House and try to better explain how I made it.

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I started with two dried birdhouse gourds, one just slightly larger than the other.
The first step was to cut the top off the gourd (just a couple of inches)

that I planned to use for the main part of the house in order to

 fill it with sand, so it wouldn't blow away outside.

Then, I had Mr. B cut the top off the other gourd

 (approximately half -way down) for the roof ~

I drew on the gourd where I wanted him to cut it, making the roof-line

 go up a bit over where I planned to put the door with the little "arbor" over it.
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Then I began cutting the scales off some large pinecones to use for shingles.
 
I started using scissors but quickly switched to some heavy-duty garden clippers ~
 
This is tough, no matter what you use!
 
 It does get easier after you get a few scales removed, though; it's easier
 
 to get the clippers positioned. Sometimes you can even pull the scales loose,
 
 but be sure and wear heavy gloves...
 
 (some varieties have really sharp little barbs ~ these did)!
 
 ~
 
I then trimmed the scales to about 2", and started hot-glueing
 
 them onto the roof, making the first row (at the bottom)
 
 hang over the edge a little more so the cut edge of the gourd wouldn't show.
 
 Then I just staggered the individual scales; they actually fit back together
 
 pretty much like they do on the pinecone.
  
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Here you can see I've gotten quite a few of the scales glued on,
 
working around a little window I made from polymer clay.
 
 I rolled out a piece of black clay about 1/8", and then cut it into a rectangle.
 
 Then I rolled out a piece of brown clay a little thicker, about 1/4".
 
I cut it into a rectangle the same size as the black clay,
 
and used a little square mini-cutter (Hobby Lobby) to cut out the window "panes",
 
 then I stacked the two together. I used purple clay, rolled to about 1/4" thick for the shutters.
 
None of these are exactly straight, and that's okay; it just adds to the whimsy, I think!
 
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 You can use any clay tool or just household items to add texture to the shutters.
 
I baked these pieces in the oven, then hot-glued them onto the roof
 
 just like the pinecone scales.
 
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I wanted to keep the color of the gourd close to the natural gourd color,
 
 but I did add a little interest to it by dry-brushing on some sienna
 
 and metallic gold acrylic paint.
 
(The base is already painted in the photo above.)
 
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Everything else is polymer clay.
 
 I did the door and windows just like I did the little "dormer" window on the roof,
 
 except I actually laid them on the gourd (turned on its side) to bake them
 
 (for the curvature), and then removed them and used white glue to re-attach them.
 
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All the other little details are either rolled-out-and-cut or "pinched" pieces of clay.
 
 I think texture adds so much!
 
 I used a little clay tool to make the "dots" around the door, the hinges
 
 and on the steps, but you could do the same thing with a nail or hairpin.
 
 The vines are skinny snakes of clay,
 
 and the leaves are little rice-sized bits, pressed on the vines.
 
 I used a needle-tool to make the veins in the leaves.
 
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The roses are the finishing touch!
 
I used two yellows and rolled out a bunch of little pea-sized balls of clay for the petals.
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I then smooshed them pretty flat between my fingers...
 
this makes them really irregular, and that's a good thing ~
 
 they look more like actual petals!
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 Roll one petal fairly tightly for the rose's center;
 
 then continue around, overlapping the petals until you get the size flower you want.
 
 Buds can be just a center roll with only one petal or two;
 
 pinch them to make them a little pointy.
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A completed rose.
 
You can lightly brush the edges with just the tiniest bit of pink
 
 or peach Pearl Ex powder, if you like.
 
 In making the rose, you will probably have pinched a little "tail" on it...
 
use this to connect it to the vines (cover the tail with leaves),
 
so you won't mash the rose.
 
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In making the arbor, I arranged the "vines" around the door
 
 and baked them on the gourd to get the rounded shape,
 
 just like I did with the windows and doors.
 
"Unbaked" polymer clay adheres to "baked" clay well;
 
and, the oven's heat doesn't affect the dried white glue ~
 
This is one of the reasons I didn't permanently attach the roof to the house;
 
I would have had all the hot-glued shingles sliding off the roof if it went in the oven!
 
There are probably other thick, tacky adhesives I could have used,
 
 but I'll experiment with that another day ~
 
After the last baking, I used a brown water-based antiquing gel to bring out
 
the textures on everything except the roses.
 
As for a sealer, you really have to be careful what you use on polymer clay.
 
Most spray sealers will eventually turn polymer clay to goo...
 
and you don't want that!
 
I use a water-based brush-on sealer called Diamond Flecto Varathane (Satin);
 
any water-based sealer will be fine, though. You really don't need
 
anything at all unless you just prefer a little more shine.
 
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The finished house!
 
Until a just a few days ago, actually...
 
Someone asked me if I would consider selling it,
 
and I would, except that I had really only made it for myself,
 
 just to take pictures with in my garden...
 
and there were things that I thought should be "fine-tuned" before offering it for sale...
 
The steps, for instance, didn't go all the way to the bottom of the house,
 
as I had set it down in the soil a little in the garden, for stability.
 
So, I added more steps, "railings", and a few other little touches.
 
~
 
I'll show it in tomorrow's post, along with (hopefully) the finished Ellie ornament!
 
Happy Thursday!
 
 
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46 comments:

  1. Hi Anne: So sweet to see the little fairy house again. What a great Christmas gift one would make..Happy Wednesday..Judy

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  2. It is truly so sweet..I love it :)
    Love xxx

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  3. How enchanting! I love your fairy house,it's wonderful!

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  4. Hi Anne!
    Your fairy house is amazing. I love the pine cone roof.

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  5. I'm so glad you revisited your Fairy House, I LOVED seeing it again. Your work is amazing!

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  6. That's truly a masterpiece, and your photos are just beautiful.

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  7. How beautiful to see it again. it is really spectacular. it must have taken you hours and hours but you can see all the love that went into the making. If it were mine i would never want to part with it! xx

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  8. How beautiful to see it again. it is really spectacular. it must have taken you hours and hours but you can see all the love that went into the making. If it were mine i would never want to part with it! xx

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  9. Just amazing! Your talents are just amazing!

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  10. I am lost for words..lolo That is amazing! One question and dont laugh...how do you dry the gourd?

    Your details are spectacular, love,love,love this Thank you for sharing your Art...♥Debi

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  11. Anne,
    This is so amazing!!!! Words can not describe how much so!!
    ~~xoxo,
    Dena

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  12. Also....I just had to share this post on my FB Page!!!
    http://www.facebook.com/miladyleela

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  13. Oh my goodness, this little fairy house is amazing! What a lot of work you went to, but so worth it in the end!

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  14. Anne, you make it look so easy, but I know it wasn't. Your talent and creativity really showed here--It's really lovely and it's a perfect house for any fairy! :-)

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  15. SO very wonderful and magical!! Can't wait to see tomorrows post! :)

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  16. Anne- I think that is just the most dear little fairy house I have ever seen. I just love it! You did a wonderful tutorial here-thanks so much- I may try one of these next year myself-xo Diana

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  17. This is truly wonderful, Anne and a real work of art! All of your little touches are so charming- I love those tiny roses! Thank you for sharing this! xx

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  18. Such amazing care and detail! Beautiful :) If you ever did sell fairy houses you'd have to price them high, you can tell so much thought and care goes into it.

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  19. Oh, I am so pleased you shared the process. I don't know I would ever try it, but I do love reading how things are done. Thanks, Bonnie

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  20. I love you and your creative mind.

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  21. Dearest Anne...this really is one of the most brilliant things I have ever seen...
    Thank you for taking us step-by-step through the process.
    In addition to the amazing beauty and whimsy, this is made with SO MUCH LOVE!!!
    That really comes across...
    You are wonderful! :)))
    Blessings,
    - Irina

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  22. The detail work is stunning - I am so glad you posted this so I could see how you did it - amazing, girl!

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  23. Wow! Wow! Wow! You are amazing! These little houses are incredible! I love them! So cute! And, so much wonderful detail!

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  24. Wow, that came out amazing you have some lucky fairies. Thanks for sharing your project it's great inspiration. I use plain store bought bird houses then go decorating crazy, gourds are next, we've growing them for that purpose. Thanks.

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  25. These are just adorable !!! Beautiful work !

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  26. What a super fairy house! Great job, Ann

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  27. This polymer clay... what type oven do you bake it in and at what temp? I'm a newbie so please do make your explanation "for dummies" :) :) Thanks a lot!

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  28. Oh my word that is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous!! You're super talented, I'm so excited to try this but know it will never be as brilliant as yours!

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  29. You have completely inspired me. thank you for sharing your work. : )

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  30. I love this fairy house, it is beautiful, and probably a lot harder to make than you made it sound :) Did you use a special tool to cut the gourd?

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  31. I love these fairy houses. I saw some fairy houses at a garden center, took pictures of them and had my dad make me one. Hopefully I can get him to make me some more. I would love to have a whole village of them scattered throughout my flower gardens.

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  32. Such creativity !! Wonderful and fun work ! Thanks for sharing your work with the world.

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  33. Oh my God - I give up right now - I've been diligently creating fairy houses for the last few weeks and now I see they look like ghetto fairy houses next to yours lmho - I simply can't believe you created this from scratch - it's got to be the most amazing fairy house I've ever seen - what an over the top beautiful job ! Saw this on Pinterest only recently
    Hugs
    Suzan

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  34. Wow. This is so gorgeous! I can't get over how it looks like a really expensive Lladro but with bold colors! This is truly amazing, & I'm seriously thinking of making one. If my mom wasn't so ill (Alzheimerz) I would probably start this today, but I'm going to save these directions and do a little at a time if I can.
    Thanks so much for posting this...it's a work of art!
    Sincerely,
    Marlene ~

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  35. You are a true artist. I love your blog, it is so beautiful and tranquil. Are you a photographer also? I was thinking about making a fairy house myself but after viewing yours, I am not as talented as you. Thank you for the post.

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  36. Just found this on Pinterest and wanted to say that this is absolutely beautiful! You did an amazing job.

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  37. Tout simplement magnifique ! Une pure merveille , je suis admirative .

    It's amazing ! So beautiful !!!

    Bonne journée .

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  38. Ciao volevo avvisarti che questo tuo progetto sarà condiviso nel mio blog (con il tuo link) lunedì
    ciao rosa di kreattiva

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  39. Just found this via Pinterest and WOW how stinkin' cute. Love the how to tutorial. Great job!!

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  40. Looking for some ideas for fairy houses on Pinterest, as I'll create some with my students during a project week in June, I found your awesome, cute work. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  41. I clean, prepare and paint gourds myself. I love your idea it is so beautiful. It has inspired me to try something different with my gourds. Thank you for sharing your artwork, it is absolutely awesome.

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  42. Hi there

    I have recently discovered this wonderful fairy house and am collecting all the bits and bobs to make one myself. I am new to this nut know I can do it. I have just been online here in Australia trying to source some GOURDS. The thing is, having never used nor really seen them', I have absolutely no idea whst size they actually are nor whivh size you used so may I ask? I tried to work it lut fom your smashing pictures but Couldnt I am afraid.

    Kind regards

    Sue Key
    Sydney, Australia
    29 April 2016

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I love your thoughts and comments, and I read each and every one! Sometimes life gets in the way, though, and it takes me a while to respond...Thank you for understanding! ♥...Time is precious, and the time you've taken here is truly appreciated!