"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." --Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


No, I'm not talking about the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament...though I am doing quite well with my brackets. I would be doing better if Florida State hadn't lost in the first round.

March has turned into a bit of a crazy month. First it snowed, then I was sick for about a week, and in all of this I have been working madly making bottlecap jewelry for a sale at the end of April. I feel like I have so much to do!! Oh, did I mention my daughter has been off school for three weeks due to the "year-round" schedule she is on? She goes back next week and we have done a boatload of cleaning out in her room (it's looking great!). I did manage to accomplish one creative thing, and another is in the works which I hope to finish this week. Above is the house I made for Gabriela for the bi-monthly house swap on Textile Challenges. This is the same swap that is scoring me the gorgeous tropical beach cabanas. I am so grateful that it is bi-monthly!! Gabriela's theme was "homes around the world" and of course I could not pass up the opportunity to represent Guatemala!

If you google "Antigua Guatemala house" (or "street") you will see images from the colonial capital that inspired me. Antigua's streets are cobblestone, bordered by narrow sidewalks and connected house fronts. The walls are generally stucco and brightly painted. I used clear caulk on blue fabric to represent the stucco and then lightly rubbed a darker blue to give some detail to the roughness of the paint. The homes generally have a large wooden door, which I represented by some hand painted and stamped handmade paper. The window (often just one) is often shuddered and protected by iron bars ... as much to protect from road debris as from rifraf.

The roof is spanish tile - which I represented with a gorgeous coppery fabric. I fused the fabric to paper and ran it through a crimper to get the grooves, then brushed copper paint on top to accentuate the raised areas. It's hard to see in the photo. Some of the houses are topped with a cupola, but never a pointy roof. The only hint to the gorgeous courtyard that awaits those invited in is the cascade of flowers spilling over the roof. These were punched from an aluminum can.

I really had a lot of fun representing the homes of Antigua Guatemala in fabric. I think my challenge for May is "Victorian". I'm glad I have a while to think about it!!


TracyB said...

This turned out excellent!!
I'm not sure I could keep up with that challenge. Making one maybe, but more than that, UGH!!

Threadhead said...

The pics don't do it justice...the stucco is so realistic, and I love the roof and the wrought iron windows...just beautiful!

studioGypsy said...

wow! this is gorgeous! amazing! LOVE the room and all of it, really! xo

Elizabeth said...

Your house for Gabriella is fabulous!! Clear caulk on fabric- now that is another one that I ahve to try!! Fabulous job girl- sorry to hear that you were sick- hope that everyone took good care of you!!
just put you in my blog post about crayons and fabric!!

needlewings said...

Cool! I know Gabriella will love it!

Karen said...

Nice Michelle and I hope things ease up a bit for you and you're not so rushed.

Margarita Korioth said...

lovely casita!

jgr said...

Hi Michelle,
I've just discovered your blog. I read many of your recent posts and I have to say your crayon pieces are lovely! WOW, you've inspired me to get a craft iron, too. Thanks for the inspiration.

p.s. I'm posting a "give-away" soon, pop over if you're interested.

Vivian said...

I really like the house you made! Very creative! Hope things slow down a bit for you, but how exciting to sell the jewelry!