Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Village: Paint it up

Hi everyone! Monday, and time for some new Simon Says Stamp and Show inspiration. This week the challenge theme is ‘Paint it up’ – so take out your paints and have some fun. I surely had a lot of fun making a happy little town in a in a recycled toy packaging box, using lots of paint and dry embossing.

I love building little scenes and I have wanted to make a dimensional town with the Artful Dwellings die for a long time and this little shadow box that started its life as a box for kiddies foam stamps, formed a perfect setting. I did a little tutorial:

The box was black and glossy, so the first thing I did was to paint it with white gesso.

The whole box was covered by old book paper using multi-medium.

When the multi-medium was dry, I painted the box with watered-down cream paint. The inside was painted with Soap Powder and a bit of Speckled Egg for the sky and Lettuce for the grassy hill, making sure not to cover up all the text. Then I stamped it with a swirl and a texture stamp using Stazon Olive Green and Ultramarine. The balloon and birds were stamped with Stazon Jet Black.

The houses and roofs were die-cut from grungeboard, with the roofs being cut twice. I placed Mini Openings as windows and doors, where I wanted them to be. The roofs were cut with different On the Edge dies.

All the pieces were dry embossed with different folders.

Then they were painted with paint dabbers, using lots of different colours.

I sanded off some of the paint from the raised parts.

Then the houses were inked with Distress Inks in different colour. The paint resists the ink, so the ink remains only in the parts that were sanded off.

Some of the houses got doors. I added mica for windows and tiny pieces of lace as curtains. Rock Candy Distress Stickles was smeared on some of the houses for shine.

The Branch Tree and On the Fence were die-cut from grungeboard. The tree was painted with Vintage Photo Crackle paint and the fence with Picket Fence. When the paint was dry, the fence was distressed with Antique Linen Distress Stain.

The clouds were die-cut twice from white cardstock. The larger cloud on the Kites set forms a perfect mat for the smaller cloud. The two smaller clouds were embossed with a swirl folder and covered with a bit of Distress Stickles Rock Candy.

The lamp post was die-cut from grungeboard, painted silver and coated with Glossy Accents. I added a little piece of mica to it.

The heart and Word Play letters were also die-cut from grungeboard, painted red and coated with Glossy Accents.

The little couple were stamped on white cardstock and cut out. I also added an idea-ology key.

The bike was stamped on acetate and I found the trimmings roses in my scrap box, they had been dyed pink with Victorian Velvet Distress Stain.

I added two quotes about homes, the one was stamped with letter stamps as part of the title, the other one printed.

I used a lot of foam dots when assembling the scene, creating more dimension. You can see some of them peaking through from the side, but not when you look straight at the scene.

Try placing the embossing folders so that you get the parts of it that you want, here I placed a large clock in the centre of the roof.

I hope you will join us this week! As always, one lucky participant will win a $50 gift voucher at Simon Says Stamps.

Thank you for looking! Have a great week!


Dies: Sizzix: Artful Dwellings, Mini Openings Movers & Shapers, Kites Framelits, Holiday Lamppost, Branch Tree, Wordplay, Hearts Set Movers & Shapers, Sizzix On the Edge: Brackets, Mini Scallop & Pinking, Scallops, On the Fence
Embossing folders: Sizzix: Harlequin & Stripes, Dot Matrix & Gridlock, Diamond Plate & Riveted Metal, Collage & Notebook, Checkerboard & CrackedBurlap & Swirls, Bubble & Honeycomb, Brick & Woodgrain, Curlique & Hearts, Clocks & Print.
Stamps: Hero Arts: Magical Background CG211, Hey y'all,  Past Times AC007, Basic Lowercase Letters LL188; Stamper's Anonymous Tim Holtz: Mixed Media, Mini Ornates.
Ink: Distress Ink: Black Soot, Peeled Paint, Fired Brick, Broken China, Victorian Velvet, Peacock Feathers, Stormy Sky; Distress Stain: Antique LinenVictorian Velvet; Stazon: Olive Green, Ultramarine, Jet Black.
Paint: Ranger Adirondack paint dabbers: Silver, Copper, Juniper, Pitch Black, Lettuce, LemonadeShell Pink, Sandal; Jenni Bowlin paint dabbers: Soap Powder, Speckled Egg, Chili Powder; Distress Crackle Paint: Picket Fence, Vintage Photo
Other: Ranger: Glossy Accents, Matte Multi-Medium; Tim Holtz idea-ology: Locket Keys, grungeboard, Trimmings.


  1. Love love this to bits and pieces! Thank you for the step by homes are SO cute, I really love how this whole scene came together!!

  2. OK, I hope my comment went through but just in case...I LOVE this!!

  3. this is awesome!

    I have these dies, the houses, and forgot how sweet they are. You're inspiring me to pull them out!

  4. Hi there, what a fabulous piece of recycling. Love your houses, so much texture and interest on each house and great details. Love the added heart and your background is fabulous. Enjoy your week. Tracy x

  5. Anna-Karin...your piece is wonderful! There is absolutely so much to see! I can't believe this was a Melissa and Doug puzzle box! Now, that is amazing! I love all of the Tim dwellings and how you've made each one look so different. Love your background and the little picket fence in the foreground. Your sentiment also really ties in perfectly. This is so well thought out and a beautiful piece of art. <3 Candy

  6. Love this! I saw it on Simon Says and had to have a closer look. really like the colours x

  7. What a wonderful piece you've made! Love this happy little city! All the different houses with different colors and textures! The altered toy packaging is briljant!

  8. Anna-Karin, this is just an amazing creation. So much detail and care has been taken to make everything just right. Lovely work and great sentiments. NancyD

  9. That is a cool village! Thank you for explaining what you did! Stunning artwork!

  10. anna-karin...this is amazing...i am new new new to this type of art...i'm trying to teach myself some of this mixed media stuff but OMG, you are the MASTER as far as i am concerned at this point...i don't even know what a die-cut is!!!, yet alone doing it myself...

    guess i need some instruction, classes, etc.

    i love this piece and hope that you treasure it always...i'm bookmarking this page too...

  11. How fun! Love your town, especially all the different houses... great texture and an awesome creation.

  12. Totally fabulous Anna-Karin! The little houses are brilliant - every one a separate, fabulous work of art. Cutting the roofs with On the Edge dies is so clever, and the paint techniques and colours are totally inspirational! Thank you...
    Alison x

  13. Love the brilliant scene you created! Fabulous idea with the shoebox top! Love the layers of houses, fence, clouds, etc. Wonderful!

  14. I AM IN LOVE with this!!!!!!!! So amazing!!!

  15. I love love love your out of the box thinking...your a real inspiration we are so lucky...WOW!

  16. WOW! this is awesome I love all the layers of texture on the houses and the entire thing ROCKS! thanks for sharing..

  17. A great project! I love the saying at the top. All the elements are wonderful! Love it!

  18. This is an absolutely outstanding project! Love the whole scene and all it's many parts...fab work here!

  19. Amazing work....makes me want to jump in a make one for myself! Keep up the great work! and thank you for posting your inspirations!

  20. WOW! This piece is just amazing and I LOVE all those houses and your special touches - just wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing all your steps!!!

  21. Wow, this is so fab. Love the step by step. Was just thinking how cute this would be in my side entry. TFS.

  22. Absolutely stunning piece, Anna-Karin! I really love the layering you did with this piece and the embellishments are perfect!

    Simon Says Stamp!

  23. Amazing piece of art!!! I love every little detail!
    Hugs from Slovenia

  24. Great upcycling project! The house you created are darling. Super sweet details throughout.

  25. I love, love, love your town scene. The detailing is incredible, and your craftsmanship is superb. Blessings!

  26. This town is so great, with so many details nice to see on the pics how you've build it. A gorgeous artwork all together!

    greetings, Alie :-)

  27. Wow Anna-Karin- this project is unbelievable! So much texture and dimension to it... I love this

  28. This is STUNNING!!
    I LOVE it!! :-)
    Came here from Tim's blog!!
    Inky Hugs,
    Michelle xx

  29. WOW! I don't know how I missed this the first go round, but congrats on your shout-out from TH! What an amazing project. Not only am I amazed by your creativity, but I am also thoroughly jealous of collection of stamps, dies, paints, folders... Can I come to your house to play? ;)

    Beautifully done!

  30. This is such a creative use of products! Thank you! I will put my supplies to a another good use!!!!

  31. Amazing project, great detail!

  32. I am amazed with all the techs. you used on this scene!!! I will try to do something similar just using another medium. I love it! Thanks for inspiring me to use that die since I haven't even used it once since I got it. Love love love it

  33. I came across your blog via Tim Holtz,I can see why he said yours was blogworthy! The details and warmth in this colection is fabulous. I will be back to visit again,thanks for sharing tutorial!

  34. This is great, found your link on Tim's blog. Such creative ideas,thanks so much for the inspiration!

  35. Thank you so much for a beautiful tutorial, this is so gorgeous!

    Have a wonderful day!

  36. OH MY GOODNESS!!! This is so beautiful. I love love love it! You are truly an artist!

  37. Gorgeous and amazing work! Have I told you lately how thankful I am to have you on my team at CSI?


  38. The little houses I paint want to be your houses when they grow up. Good work! Nice tutorial too. No small undertaking or small amount of time to share it with us. Thanks a bunch.


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