Make Your Own Corner Store

I thought it was time to add another store to the village. I love having the houses in my holiday village surround a downtown park lined with businesses. And once again I wanted a real building for my model, so I found a picture of a cute corner store in England that I thought could be used for any kind of shop. While I wanted to make a little bodega like the ones I see when I visit my son in NY, I believe this building could easily adapted to make a coffee shop, little liquor store, or even a restaurant.

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Guest Designer Cheryl Sablotny: Mary’s Greenhouse

Last month Cheryl shared her Attached Greenhouse with all of us. This month, Cheryl has designed a freestanding greenhouse she named Mary’s Greenhouse.
Cheryl used a stencil and texture paste for the trim, floor and stepping stones. We are still working on an accessories blog post to complement the greenhouses which should be available shortly. Besides the few accessories I am designing, like the wheelbarrow in Cheryl’s pictures below, Cheryl will also share some of her landscaping ideas.

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Guest Designer Cheryl Sablotny: Add An Attached Greenhouse

I hope that you are as excited as I am to have Cheryl back as a guest designer! I was afraid I had exhausted her after her design of Moss Lodge, but she has actually been designing additional patterns faster than I can keep pace. I need to find her a class on learning Inkscape.

This is the first of two greenhouses that Cheryl has designed. The second one will be for a freestanding greenhouse. Since I had greenhouses on my list of future items to design, I was very happy when she decided to make them. I am wondering how much more of my list I can casually suggest to her. Ahem… church…schoolhouse…bait shop on wharf…

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Make Your Own Holly Manor With Bay Windows

Last year after my friend Hollie opened a craft boutique locally where she sells my kits on commission, she asked me to design more beginner kits for the store. Holly Manor was the first of these designs, and is very easy to make. Yet almost immediately I had people who read my blog asking for bay windows for the building – an element I consider Intermediate instead of beginner. So I decided to make two story bay windows that you can add to Holly Manor.
Even if you made Holly Manor previously you can add on the bay windows as a later addition. The only other addition I made to the house is a deeper porch with roof instead of a step to the front door.

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Guest Designer Cheryl Sablotny: Make Your Own Moss Lodge

It has been almost a year since I last shared a pattern from a guest designer. I really enjoy working with other designers and wish that more were interested in sharing their patterns. I understand their hesitation, though. First, it is a lot of work to design a pattern to share or sell. I have made as many as 15 drafts of a building before being happy with the design. Also, when you know you are going to share a design you have to measure and be precise – you can’t just make a little change with your scissors and move on. You have to go back and revise your pattern for every little change – sometimes over and over again! Lastly, most designers I meet that don’t have their own blog or sell their patterns are only interested in making their pattern once for their own village and then moving on to the next building. Cheryl and I have spent most of this month working on the pattern and the models for Moss Lodge.

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3D Mailboxes

While I have been steadily working on models and tutorials for more house designs, I also have several other models I have previously made that I need to finish landscaping. For one of them I wanted a US Mail drop box. While I thought I could cut one out by hand fairly quickly, I realized that it might be an accessory other people would want for their village, particularly if you made Teri Hanson’s Post Office that she designed for Putz House Monthly. You can’t have a Post Office without mail drop boxes out front!

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Make Your Own Cheryl’s Place

Recently, I received a request to design a L-shaped house with a porch in the L. Since I also needed to design another beginner kit for the local shop where I sell my pre-cut kits on consignment, I decided I needed to keep it fairly simple. So no bay window, no stairs (only a step) and no multi-angled intricate roofs. Like Holly Manor, while there are multiple roofs in this design, they fit together fairly simply.

I built the white Kraft Board model for the local store first. Then, for the first time since breaking my arm, I built an aluminum can model.

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A Question of Scale

I frequently get asked questions about the scale of my designs, especially in regards to my kits. Sometimes this is due to people wanting to buy accessories to go with their houses. Other times they are concerned on whether the houses will fit well with a train layout, or vintage Putz Houses. With the new Tim Holtz Village Dies, another question is how much to shrink my patterns so they are the same scale as the new dies.

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3D Street Lamp

Every once in a while, someone writes me with a specific request. If it is for a building , I put it on my very long list of to-dos. If it is for a village accessory, I give more thought to bumping it up the list. About three weeks ago I got a request for a 3D street lamp. My first thought was that I could make one using the slot method I have been using for the trees. I played around with a couple of designs but wasn’t too excited. There are battery operated street lamp sets made by Lemax that you can add to your holiday village. I too wanted to make street lamps that would light up.

I ruminated on it for a while, cut a whole bunch of patterns that didn’t work, and then suddenly it clicked. I made a lamp post that is hollow, so you can push fairy lights up into the lamp. Run the fairy lights under the bases, and suddenly you have a Main Street lit from one end to the other!

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