Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Inspiration Project Ta-Done!

I've had so much fun with this little inspiration project and all the little details that went into it, and I am so excited to share something that I have actually finished with you!

Just to refresh, here was the original photo posted on Instagram that got the creativity monster invigorated...

And here is my finished interpretation...

This is where I left you in my initial post about the project...

And now a little bit about how the accessories came to be...

You may remember that I dug through my stash and came up with these for the basics. And turned them into these...

For the handled urn, I gave it a white wash and a sanding. I made the wire form in the planter using floral wire bent and twisted into shape, and beat it up with some rusty paint. It's a lot easier for me to make things look old and broken than new & perfect! The plant material is plastic stuff from Hobby Lobby, and maidenhair fern shredded to bits then glued in.

The little rusty basket was made from bending wires back and forth to form a zig zag coil. Then I used another piece of wire to gather it in the center and crimp it. Then I took a 3/4" rounded paintbrush handle and formed the loops around it, creating the bowl for the pot. I wound another piece of wire around the handle again to form a coil for the base, then glued it all together. The pot just sits down inside. Not so much a perfect match for the inspiration photo, but a close representation. :o)

The terracotta pot got a white wash and sanding. I rusted up a Tim Holtz flower and attached a twisted wire to secure it into the pot. It's topped off with more Maidenhair fern.

More pots and saucers, and a tiny succulent made from one of Nancy's wonderful kits.

The leaves are so much fun to color and blend!

Rusty tips just like the basket!

I made the green onions in last spring's veggie tutorial for American Miniaturists. I know the inspiration photo uses tulips, but root bulbs are root bulbs, right?

I did my best to mimic the shape of the cutting board, drawing it onto a piece of 1/16" basswood scrap. Then sanded... and sanded, until I was happy. An undercoating of brown, sanded and then whitewashed lightly gave it an old and well used finish.

If it were left up to me, I'd have filled this table to the brim. This is why it is good to copy from a REAL designer - you know when to say when!

I made the pillar candle using some bead caps, a spacer bead and Veranda Spindle. I created a tutorial page here if you'd like to make one of your own. Let me tell you, it couldn't be easier or more fun!

The under table box is a decorative match box, given a coat of whitewash to soften the colors.

The window, desk and chair were treated to a brown wash, a sanding, a white wash, a sanding and then a coat of clear wax. I could have/should have finished the chair a little better to disguise the kit pieces, but I didn't. :oP

And a few more photos just 'cause I took 'em...

And now, I have to go apologize to the Sweet Christmas Cottage for my indiscretion. I hope it will forgive me, though I have decided to make these quick and simple passion projects a regular affair...

To fulfilling our passions! At least the innocent ones!

xo xo,


  1. Fabulous! Fabulous! Golf claps all round for you! I love everything about this project. Fantastically whimsical bits and bobs, I think I like your rusted wire interpretation better than the original. I have to say your photography is wonderful also. Do you have a fancy camera or are you doing this all with your phone? I need to invest in something better than my crappy old Iphone 5 to take photos with... lol.. something to aspire to.. hmm I do have a go pro.. I wonder if that would work better than the low quality shots I'm getting now.. *thinking*
    Anywhooo.. It's all wonderful and I can't wait to see what you do next with the Christmas Cottage. :D

    1. I've never gotten Golf Claps before! Thanks so much, Sam - I feel so special! :O)
      I am so glad you like my interpretations better! It was difficult to make out a lot of the detail, even after studying the photo with my 4x magnifiers. I finally just had to go with what I had and what I could do with it.

      My camera is just my phone, though it is one model newer than yours so I bet it has a couple more megapixels. I am trying really hard to take better photos, and I'll tell you some things I've done to make them better:

      - I have a large white tri-fold project display board that I position behind whatever I am photographing on my table. It reflects the light, and I've found good lighting is key to good photos. I live in a very gray climate, so it it often a challenge.
      - I work in my dining room under a five arm chandelier. I have replaced all the bulbs with LEDs in bright white.
      - Sometimes this makes the camera read the colors funny, so I often diffuse the light with a sheet of mini vinyl time flooring. I often have to ask for help to hold it, cause I need to hold the camera and push the button. What I wouldn't give for a camera with a shutter voice command option!
      - For smaller accessories, I have started to build a platform using a 2-1/2" tall box, foam core on top, and foam core board behind it supported by my big bottle of Gorilla Glue. Having the items elevated seems to help somehow.
      - I take loads of photos, then spend a bit of time editing them. The Photos app in Windows 10 has a lot of things to play around with, so I am just beginning to discover them.

      I hope some of this will help you, but your best bet is to just get the iPhone 8 for yourself Christmas! :O)

  2. I think that YOUR interpretation of the inspiration photo is EVEN BETTER than the Inspiration photo Jodi! There is more contrast between the white walls and the aged furniture elements than in the original, and your translations of the accessories is FAR MORE INTERESTING to look at and to enjoy- what TERRIFIC results with EVERYTHING !!! :D

    1. Thanks so much, Elizabeth! It was so much fun to try to make everything. A challenge is so satisfying when you actually like the results!

  3. Lovely!

    Root bulbs are root bulbs unless you're making soup. :D

    1. Ha ha! Good point, Keli! I promise I'll never substitute the floral variety for anything other than visual consumption! :O)

  4. Hello Jodi,
    It is fantastic! I love the whitewash finish on the wood elements. It looks superb and the pictures look so incredibly lifelike...I am in awe of the succulents. It is a very stylish, serene and welcoming corner. I love it.
    Big hug

    1. Thanks so much, Giac! It is fun to go shabby every now and then! The succulents are very satisfying to make up because there are so many varieties to recreate. I'd love to send you a nice pot of them for the manor - Email me your mailing address! :O)

  5. Just Lovely Jodi, I can only echo all the comments above and congratulate you on your 'quick and simple passion project' Marilyn

    1. Thanks Marilyn! I am sure you've experienced the need to accomplish a small victory when in the midst of a long and complicated build. It really was a nice distraction. Now back to the Sweet Christmas Cottage, or it won't be finished for Easter! :O)

  6. So sweet! Love how it looks. I'm going to have to try the candle stand tutorial!

    1. Thanks Sheila! Yes I am sure the Craftsman could use even more candles! You can never have too many, and they are so fun to make!

  7. Me gusta mucho como ha quedado. Has conseguido dar el ambiente de la foto. Genial como has resuelto toda la parte de la forja y preciosas las plantas.

    1. Gracias Isabel! ¡Fue muy divertido experimentar con un nuevo estilo y algunas cosas que nunca antes había probado! ¡Fue un buen descanso de todas las minis temáticas de Navidad!

  8. It looks great Jodi, just like the real thing! I always try to recreate a real life scene I see but it always goes awry. Maybe I need to try harder!! And I think you are right to take a break from the cottage as you will go back to it afresh.

  9. Thank you, Shannon! I can't imagine anything you do "going awry"! Everything you do is so beautifully and artfully done, it has to be better than the inspiration! I hope I do go back with a fresh mind - that chimney has me really puzzled!