Spirit House (or) Shrine – Part 4


Part 3 ended with me adding some patina to the inside of the house.  Well, that’s changed a bit now.


I ended up putting a lot more color on those inside seams.  And here’s the reason why.


The picture that I decided to go with for that inside back wall was about a quarter of an inch short on each side to meeting the side walls.  So this was my fix:  first I darkened the side areas of the back wall with a combination of inks – Coffee, Olive and even a bit of Black.  Then I thinly trimmed the edges of the picture using Deckle scissors.  By using Deckle scissors I sort of blurred the line where the picture ends and the tinted wall begins where as a straight cut would be much more noticeable. I also smudged the edges all around the picture to help it blend in when I glued it on.


It worked well, too.  My next step will really hide the pictures ‘short-comings’.


I’ve had this roll of grapevine for years – I just keep nipping off a length here and there, but it’s a very versatile supply and one I’ve frequently been glad to have on hand.  Circled in yellow to the right is the first piece I clipped off.  I’ll leave it as it is, with the dried runners wrapped around it and holding it to a column shape.


Running some hot glue to the back portion of the bundle I press it in the corner until the glue’s cool.  Repeat on the other side, and I also added a thinner bundle of nicely curved sticks to the top area to complete the arched look.  Now it looks like you’re stepping into the shrine and starting down the path.


Time to move up to the peak section.  Tim makes a variety of these Vintage Photo Frames, some have portraits that come with them and some don’t.  These smaller ones did.  I just slid the pic of granny out (I’ll save her for another project) and put a piece of the paper from the inside back wall in her place, tacking it down with a bit of glue.


Using a blob of hot glue my fantasy ‘Trophy Buck’ gets mounted and framed.  Using Aleen’s I make sure I’ve got glue out to the edges and then put the deer up in the peak.


I love the Tonic tools, they’re good sturdy units.  A firm push drives this hole punch through the core board where I’ve marked the placement for the hinges.


Following the same procedure as I used on mounting the hinges to the doors – I mount the doors to the walls.  Remember when I told you the inside of these doors were decorative?  I love that old printing and art and I think they really add to look of this piece.  Also, there’s the buck up in the peak.


And the front so far, with the doors shut.  I’m really liking this.


The drawers are next.  My paper stash is loaded with Vintage-look papers.  The sheet I settled on has some beautiful calligraphy (oh, how I wish that was one of my talents) as well as little snippets of nature like sticks, eggs, etc.  Perfect. I cover the base all around with cuts from this 12 x 12 sheet.


This is my drawer pull stash.  When ever I find pulls on sale I grab up as many as I can ’cause I really go through a lot of drawer pulls in my crafting. Sometimes they’re just decorative and not functional, but this time I want ones that will work but not draw too much attention so I’m going with Tim’s copper colored Hitch Fasteners.  But can you see inside the packages there?  The screws that come with these are pretty short as they are meant to go through, at most, 2mm chipboard.  My foam core board is 1/4 inch thick.


Tim thought of this problem too, and the answer is Long Screws.


Now I’ve got plenty of screw length to cover the depth of the foam core board.  I just want to center these pulls on the drawer fronts, one on each drawer and I’m done!


This is where the front of this project is now – what do you think?


And a look at the back.  That paper went really well with this project but, of course, I also did the edges with Coffee to help pull everything together.


Staying with the nature/feather theme I found a packet of decorative feathers in my stash.  There were three of each style – it’s the ivory colored one’s with script that fit the best.


Right about now is when I realized this project is almost over and I admit every time I hit this point I get a little bit down.  I love being wrapped up in a piece and totally absorbed by the creative process.  Fortunately, this time I have projects lined up back to back so I won’t be able to indulge in post creative blues – hallelujah!


For the back, which has a fairly large area, I decided to use the largest Vintage Photo Frame I had but instead of a picture I wanted to share a favorite quote. I had it glued in when I realized there just wasn’t enough visual separation between the paper and the frame so I pulled it back apart before all my glued dried (barely), and added some faux aging with the Coffee ink again.  I also traced the oval with a Distress Marker in Burlap.  Then I glued it back together again and then glued the back of the frame but when I mounted it I didn’t go for dead center but left a little more room at the bottom then the top.  This is one of those ‘visual tricks’ that help create a more (conversely) balanced look.


See how the top of the photo frame is just a bit higher than where the roof meets the wall?  Looks good, but it’s going to look even better when I get the rest of the accent items on the back of this shrine.


A single twig from the grapevine, but it’s got a lot of little curly dangly pieces that I liked the look of.  And up top, the last of the three feathers with script.  That’s it for the back.


Next I went to the buck in the peak – way to bare here.  More twigs a few extra of the curly dried out runners will add another ounce of Nature here and fill in those unappealing blank spots.  In fact, I was having so much fun with the grapevines I added a number of twigs to the roof.  A step back, let the piece rest for an hour or two and a final critique – yep, it’s done!


This piece is so representative of my style.  I love adding nature to my work but I also like a rich fantasy world with colors and albino bucks with blue eyes.

So I’ll give you a quick tour of the photos I used for listing this piece in my Etsy shop, Old Raven.  I really enjoyed working on this piece and I can definitely see a few more Spirit Houses coming out of the workshop before my imagination gets caught by something new.







Thanks so much for coming along on this adventure with me – hope you liked it.

Now, Craft On.






4 thoughts on “Spirit House (or) Shrine – Part 4

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