Pagoda Inspired Cottage

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I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I’ve updated this blog! Talk about life just perpetually getting in the way. Quite frankly, between finishing school (and starting school again), getting a new job, and then a huge promotion, art just fell to the wayside. It happens sometimes, but I think I’m back in the saddle and heading out of the chute with a bang! Just check out what I did!

As most know, Kristin, who is the owner of Retro Cafe Art Gallery, designs THE BEST kits on the market. Her latest stroke of genius are these fenced cottages which are meant to store ATCs and Artist Trading Coins. Of course, you can use them for whatever you want. I have plans for this one but need that perfect accent to finish the fenced yard off.

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I absolutely LOVE Japanese and Asian art styles and living here in Okinawa just adds reinforcement to that love. I’ve been hoarding Graphic45’s "Bird Song” collection since it debuted several years ago. When I saw these cottages for the first time, I ran upstairs, pulled it out of the drawer, blew the dust off, and began hacking into it with a frenzy. I knew exactly how I wanted this darling to look.

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As the pieces came together and the details were beginning to work themselves in my mind, I had a nagging thought. I had NO idea what I was going to do with the fence and the roof. I could see what I wanted to do, but Lord knows, I am quite the opposite of a “fine art” sculptor. Instead, I decided to do what I do best. WING IT!

For the fence, I dug into my embossing powder stash. At first, I just had this mossy green layer on the fence. “Too bold and clean,” I thought to myself. More rummaging ensued and I remembered this lovely brownstone inspired powder I had and had not used in aaaaaages. Layering that on top of the mossy green was perfection!

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Finally, things were coming together! Gluing, dresden, assembly, and that nagging roof!

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The best part of putting this together is figuring out the details. Those little details are crucial in making a piece unique. Imagination is the only requirement! And perhaps a stash of leftover resin “pours.” This Sakura is one such piece. I had used resin for something and poured the leftover resin into one of my most favorite flower moulds.

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The gold accenting on the Sakura (courtesy of Inka Gold) ties in the embossed red and gold porthole frame.

Now it was time to handle that pesky roof! Initially, I wanted to replicate the traditional Japanese tile roof. The easiest way to do something like that is to roll out “tubes” of clay and place them side by side all snuggly and close together. I used Aves Apoxie Sculpt because it has an adhesive property that makes gluing unnecessary.

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The roof trim along the top was embossed to match the porthole frames. Back to the clay! I used some tools to make grooves on the tubes and seams between them. Unpainted, they could be tiles or even resemble bamboo. I considered going the bamboo route but thought it wouldn’t go very well with all of the glitz I had on the cottage body.

Instead, I went with my original inspiration source, Japanese roof tiles. Modern houses have black tiles and wouldn’t you know?! I had plenty of black paint. After a layer of gesso, black paint was brushed on using a wet brush.

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Breaking out my trusty Inka Gold and my fingers, brushing the ink onto the black paint helped to tone down the stark contrast the black brought to the rest of the piece. It also helped to accent the general stylization with the Asian patterns, gold trims, and overall “feel.”

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And of course, baby got back! Can’t have a 3D piece and not do the back!

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Yes! The roof has been blown off this joint! Well, mostly because you can use these cottages to store other items like paintbrushes, makeup brushes, chopsticks, or anything else tall.

Any how, thank you for stopping in and checking out my latest endeavor. There is much, much more to come!

Supply list:

Retro Cafe Art Gallery ATC Cottage house Kit Style 3
Retro Cafe Art Gallery German Dresden Border Fleur
Inka Gold Ink “Gold”
ICE Resin
Graphic 45 “Bird Song” paper
Piccolo Embossing Powder “Ruby Red Slippers”
Piccolo Embossing Powder “Brownstone”
Piccolo Embossing Powder “Mossy Glen”
Piccolo Embossing Powder Adhesive
Liquitex Acrylic Paint “Ivory Black”
Gesso