Good morning peeps! Boy do I have an awesome project to share with you! I have been in a weird mood lately. I’ve gotten the altered art and mixed media bug….BIG TIME! I decided to finally do a birdhouse. But I didn’t want to do a plain ol’ birdhouse. I wanted to do one that was fun and edgy, but a bit softer too. What I came up with is a birdhouse done in a rustic vintage steampunked style. And I love it!
Rather than cover the whole dang thing with paper, I decided to use some Glimmer Glaze and stain it. There were some wonderful wood grain patterns that I didn’t want to cover up. I used “Cowboy” for most of the house and accented the trims and between the slats of the roof with “Chianti”. Both of these colors are rich and saturated and really warm up the papers and metal embellishments. At the same time, it gives the house a rustic and softer appeal and tones down the steampunk nature of the rest of the elements.
Below are some close-ups showing the details along with a “how-to” of sorts. This photo is of the the other side and shows the butterfly and some of the dimension that the front has. There was a little bit of cutwork involved in putting this together, but not as much as I thought. For those of you that want to try your hand with fussy cutting, then this is a good warm up project for you. Most of the embellishments were cut from the sheet of tags that are a part of the paper line. The size of the elements were perfect in comparison to the size of the house.
To keep the butterfly in unison with the rest of the theme, I simply added a Tim Holtz game spinner as the body. You can soften the edges by inking them, not to mention inking them hides any blemishes in your cutwork as well ::wink::.
The next photo is of the back of the house. The lady is pop-dotted out a bit, also for dimension. This Steampunk Madam, as I called her, is cut from one of the larger tags. I love her color and the fact that she is draped in a white flowing robed helped me to keep the house a bit softer and not so industrialized or overly victorian. Her steampunk details are subtle and not overwhelming. The color saturation she has works perfectly with the stains I chose for the house and accents the “Chianti” color gorgeously. Instead of being “matchy matchy”, try working with what “goes”.
The next several photos show the detail work on the front. I used Ranger Crackle Accents in some places to give some distressing and texture. I love how it made the pieces look broken and cracked once it dries. I even added it to the wood trim on the front of the house.
As I mentioned earlier, using pieces that go instead of that match can make a huge difference in your work. It’ll give it some personality, YOUR personality. Instead of just sticking to clocks, gears, chains, and cogs, I used a filigree flower by Prima. Because the flowers are made of metal and are of the same color palette, brass, they go with the flow of the house without being too matchy. The steampunk details are subtle and yet speak volume. The ball chain I added to the house is also by Tim Holtz and instead of applying it in a straight line, I softened the house even more by draping. It also adds visual interest and movement, literally.
I hope you enjoyed looking at this house and that you were able to pick up a few tips and techniques on how to make a “hard” style a bit more user-friendly. Remember to be adventurous and bust out of the “matchy match” box. Think in terms of color, styles, textures. If you use anything you picked up here, I would LOVE to see your end result. Link it in the comments section and I’ll be sure to drop by, take a peek, and leave a bit o’ love.
If you’re interested, I plan on completing 3 more Grapic45 birdhouses. Be on the look out for them as they will also have little tid-bits of technique information as well!