Monday, October 21, 2013

Turning Traditions Upside Down

I have far too many items to paint! Birdhouses of all shapes and sizes, trays, plates, boxes even a few metal shapes ... they sit on the work bench in the garage (those I can't fit somewhere else) reminding me of what's left to be done every time I go out there to start a new project. Tubs of finished projects also line the garage clearly labeled with whats in them.
Winter Fantasy Birdhouse

Of course, this doesn't include all the other items I have purchased with the crazy idea I could glue them on a project and dress it up even more!

A friend brought me some interesting wooden pieces that I started gluing on my projects to "jazz" them up a bit. I've recounted how the simple addition of legs to a cheapie Michael's birdhouse suddenly makes it look much classier, more expensive. And that is before you do anything else to it!

Then at church the other night, there was a big tub of items labeled FREE and of course I just had to look. Inside was a bunch of stuff that wasn't of any use to me except for one small stuffed bag filled with plastic snowflakes and dots. So, I grabbed those and they became a kind of "frosting" on the cake, in this case the birdhouse roof with a few snowflakes as tree toppers on the sides as well. These were white and iridescent purple, teal depending on the light.

Hum. Teal, purple and white. Interesting colors and just enough off of red and green but still a winter's forested look. In fact, as I painted I was watching Kubrick's masterpiece "The Shining" and scared myself all over again. I did notice that in the gloom of The Overlook's snow covered trees, greens became greenish bluish and the snow shades of lavender as Jack struggles to find his son in the labyrinth. Trust me, more than a few strokes went off course!

I also spied an article on decorating Christmas objects and they too were using these colors. Honestly, though we are used to the reds and greens...the colors of holly and such, there are so many variations that would work as well. I began to wonder if shape was more important than color. At Christmas frost is not uncommon and also changes colors. Looking at the birdhouse I designed, I feel that while it could pass for Christmas there is simply no doubt that it is Winter and while colorful the details are what make it work. I kept the palette simple. Basically there are several variations of teal for some of the trees. There are a few variations of purple going from the deep red violet of the roof down to soft lavenders in the trees and tinted snow. There is white but it is softened in the hills whose greys and purples meet the sky with a bluer purple growing darker up to the roof.

Because the snowflakes are either white or iridescent, going from purples to teals, the roof seems to tie it all together making the base of white snow at the bottom tie in with the snowflakes on the roof. Using visible snowflakes seemed more fun than painting patches of snow.

Whether you like it, or maybe not, you need to experiment with the things you know and see what other variations might work as well. What can't be seen in the photo is the glitter paint on every silver tree, the curved lines of glitter paint on many of the teal trees, the dots of green on purple trees that somehow manage to tie it all together. For more photos, please check out WINTER FANTASY BIRDHOUSE on my Etsy store. It was fun but time consuming to do. Hopefully it will be an inspiration to crafters who read my blog!

Thank you for reading!

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