Sugar snow village

Our local weather forecast has said we ‘may’ get snow. Oh that would be just beautiful (clap hands!). I know the reality of snow is that it’s cold and wet and gets dirty and freezes slippy but that first look out of the window to see everything blanketed in pure, white glistening snow enraptures me. So I DO hope they’ve got it right.

Meanwhile, back at paper central here I’ve been making little paper tealight houses like they’re going out of fashion.

The picture below was my first good prototype. I wanted it to look like a little house from a storybook – remember the story about the little girl made out of snowflakes by the old couple with no children? They would live here. There were a few mods to do and little things I wanted changing like the positioning of the tabs and details like making windows bigger/smaller etc. Another use of that Velveteen Rabbit text you’ll see…

I worked on it the day before yesterday and went to bed not quite happy with it but resigned to sleeping on it. … Like the tree? Bottle brush on a cotton reel with a wooden star hot-glued on top. Sprayed and glittered …  don’t give a honk how much glitter I fritter at Christmas!

Up with the birdies, a nice pot of coffee with sultana toast and I was ready to get tweaking! Much better. And am so pleased with the set of charming little houses. They are about 3″ square  and the whole thing cuts out of a single sheet of 12″ x 12″ paper. I used double-sided paper and cut two houses to make contrasting window frames, doorframes, etc from them.  They are simply just outrageously pretty!


Now, my big mission is to find the garden centre my friend told me about – where,  apparently, they stock coloured…. and… SPARKLY  battery tealights! Sparkly – WHAT? Ooh!  This is, in terms of communication theory, perfect! That whole signal to noise ratio –  no degradation!  Perfect!  I hear ya! I must find some nice cake decorations as well, a santa, deer,  robins, etc, a postman or person in the porch would be a delight… I so would like them to come and live in the village. Oh my, do I have a big village now. And a tealight train…. Maybe I should forget the tealights and go straight to the national grid…

I popped into the nearest garden centre Sunday morning but it was the wrong one. They had NO tealights. Not a wasted journey though, I bought a very cute metal watering can with a flower on the side (wanted something to keep writing pens and pencils on my desk in). I didn’t bother having it wrapped and carried it out to the car when I noticed the stowaway  – a spider  on the bottom of the can with his legs spread out like a star. I like spiders (remember I live in a temperate zone so we have no poisonous ones) so brought him home with me. I left the watering can in the conservatory on its side (dunno why – spiders can climb and abseil any which way they like) and he’d vacated the can premises by the next morning. So, the can got filled with my desk junk and spider man is off doing what spiders do. Live long and prosper little boy and gobble up those horrid flies.

Christmas shopping day is Friday.  I am excited but dreading it. Dublin will be heaving with bags and trolleys and people…. It’ll be fun but oh …  the trudging, the burgeoning bags, the throbbing feet…. Gah!  but like Gloria Gaynor, I will survive.

Anyways, I will write the instructions for the house assembly and will be putting the new tea light house up for sale shortly.

Be good and have fun!

Hels x x

Sweet little house on the prairie

A magazine I bought recently included a picture of a box similar to the one above but with no template or instructions. It is basically a box with a rooftop lid and easy-osey to do. You can make it as plain or as fancy as you like but it’s sweet, neat and just right for a treat! It’s one the kiddos and tiddly-winks can have fun helping to decorate as well. A family home, ha ha! In addition to the SVG and GSD templates there is a PDF with the assembly instructions.

Price in euro:

Rooftop Box SVG (€ [price])

Rooftop Box GSD (€ [price])

Many thanks to Coy Dreamer for the floral brushes and Neonescence and Seiyastock for the ABR sparkles and spangles.


This House

This pic is a little more surreal than usual for me but if you look you’ll see it’s actually showcasing another little house I designed recently.

I got carried away, maybe because  the art classes have finished – though I have just started reading and working through the exercises in ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’ by Betty Edwards.  My background, training, work, etc,  is definitely left brain and it’s easy to stay in one groove because it’s familiar, comfortable and easy. But it gets as boring as a pair of lorry driver’s socks. So, I indulged myself, let myself get absorbed and allowed my fancy take me where it would. Is it art? I don’t know but does it matter?!

The little house is a box; the bottom opens up. It’s perfect for a smallish gift. The basic design is simple but it can be dressed up and embellished in any number of ways. I’ll post the files in the next few days – am just working on some scallops to lay in strips to cover the roof with as well as a few different roof options and other bits and bobs to add interest and variety.

A story about Crows

We have lots and lots and lots of  crows in Ireland. Plenty of them round here!  They do tend to get a lot of bad press one way or another.  They are associated with the macabre and the morbid. We’ve even seen them flying off with Fr Jack’s glasses (he didn’t have his Hanratty’s spectacle clamps on!). The collective noun for them is a ‘murder of crows’ … and so these extremely clever corvids are much maligned –  but they are one of my favourite birds.

I was reading myths from the Lenape or Delaware Indians of North America and came across one about the crow. Their mythology told of a time when the world was young and the crow was every colour of the rainbow and sang like a nightingale. They were birds of great beauty to behold and joy to hear.

The winter came and the animals were cold and feared they would die. They decided to ask the spirit whose thoughts brought them into creation to help them. But who would go?  The tortoise was too slow. The fox was too sly and could not be relied upon, and so on. It was decided that the crow should go for he was strong, intelligent enough to find his way and would sing and speak eloquently to the great spirit.

The crow undertook the arduous journey and asked the spirit of creation for something to help them survive the cold. The spirit thought and created fire. It gave the crow a  burning log to carry back to earth. The journey back was long and the log  burned down and singed the poor crow’s feathers badly. When he got back, the animals made more fires and huddled round happy and warm. Except for the crow. He sat unhappy and alone. The infinite spirit looked down and asked the crow what was wrong. The crow cried that his beautiful feathers were black and sooty. His beautiful song was gone for he had scorched his throat.

The infinite spirit thought and honoured the bird for his sacrifice for the other animals. It gave the crow’s feathers a deep, shellac gloss and a special irridescence as a memory of the rainbow he once had.  The spirit told him that man would never cage him for his singing voice, so he would always be free. He would never be hunted for his plumage or his flesh, for, from that day onwards, the meat of a crow would always taste burned and unpleasant.

So the crow caws instead of sings and wears a funereal coat of black but underneath is a bird of great honour and intelligence.

Anyway, I’ve modded the house since I first posted this but here are the templates:

Price in Euro:

Frilly Dilly Cottage SVG (€ [price])

Frilly Dilly Cottage GSD (€ [price])

Pretty 3D Paper Dormer Bungalow

****This house is now for sale:  Dormer Bungalow Tealight Pretty ****I was delighted to receive a photo of one of my little houses that had been beautifully constructed by a chap I know from the local theatre group.  It is so pretty I had to create a happy scene to set it in to showcase it.

When I wrote about the mountain of ironing that was becoming a danger to air traffic control he revealed his Red Adair handbook for managing dangerous ironing piles! He had many tips for tackling the problem, including this one: Don’t bother ironing when a quick rumble in the tumble will sort the wrinkles out. Be ready and waiting with hangers to get the clothes straight on to and they’re good to go.


I used microflute 300gsm (the cream corrugated stock) to mount the embellishments. The brown squares were cut from kids’ craft packs of corduroy paper. It’s not very thick but embosses well with Cuttlebugs. I tucked some cream ‘lace’ round the card then machine stitched (zig-zag)  the brown, embossed squares down, making sure I caught the lace with the stitches, onto the cream card. The paper flowers, butterfly, etc  are mounted with dimensionals. For information, I used the pop up butterfly and fan templates available from Mariva’s website for the card centres, cut from Conqueror metallic champagne.

The second is about how well the marketing of men’s skin products is doing. I note that they are pushed to use moisturiser (cos that’s what it is!) to prevent the 5 (?) signs of tiredness whereas women have the same product, repackaged and rebadged  to fight the 10 (?) signs of aging. It’s a bit like the old saying that horses sweat, men perspire and women glow. Men tire but women age. Not so flattering though.

Well, idle hands and idle minds are the sandpit of Satan so I’d better get busy but I’ll leave you with a final piece of advice from Judge Judith Sheindlin ‘You can’t get blood out of a turnip’. How true.



Fairy house secrets box

This is a teeny-tiny little gift box that would be too small for most gifts (but obviously a big box for the little people!) but is just perfect for some pretty mimsy. It was my friend’s birthday last week and I made this little box to give her my present of fairy earrings and I am giving you the file (SVG and GSD) so you can play with it too.

The earrings fit beautifully in a starry red mulberry paper fairy swag bag:

Fairyhouse SVG (€ [price])

Fairyhouse gsd (€ [price])

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