Sunday, 17 June 2018

Where's the Garden Twine? Tiny Spool House by Julie Ann.

Hello! It's lovely to be back at the Calico Craft Parts Blog, where today I'm sharing a miniature project with a practical purpose.I love summer days spent among the fragrant roses, philadelphus and geraniums in my garden, listening to the hum of the bees and the birdsong as I weed and dead-head. I like to use bright, colourful twine in the garden, so I decided to create a very distinctive spool that would ensure I could always lay my hand on it. Please meet Flora who always reminds me of the jobs that need to be done in the garden.

Like me, Flora is drawn to the window by the sounds of birdsong and the scents of the garden wafting in on the early morning breeze. She can sit for hours watching the grass blow, or the bees visiting their favourite blooms.

To make Flora's garden home, I glued together one of the mini Calico Craft Part Block style tall house kits and applied a coat of Gesso to an antique style spool. I like to leave the roof open, either for storage or for adding interesting bits and pieces inside.

The next step was to create Flora using pretty floral, Chiyogami papers and some of my own artwork.

Here she is after her edges have been filed and I've added some definition to her face using water-colour crayons and fine graphic pens. I've also drilled a tiny hole in the bottom of the house and threaded some copper wire through. This is for one of Flora's bees to hover and fly when the spool is moved.

I wanted my project to look as interesting from the back as the front, so I chose these Calico windows. The Chiyogami paper behind this one gives a lovely, warm glow. We can't see Flora through this window, but I expect she is inside flipping through seed catalogues in the lamplight.

The turquoise paintwork on Flora's windows has crackled a little with the years, but they still remind her of bluebells nodding in the spring-time breeze.

To create the bumble bee hovering among the swishing grasses, I sandwiched the end of the copper wire between two bees, liberally coated with crafting glue. Here you can see that I painted over the Gesso on the spool with some green acrylic paint and dry brushed with a touch of peacock blue.

What I really needed here was a video so that you could see how the bumble bee does his  'waggle dance' among the grasses.

Moss helped to create the impression of a garden around the house. Little white brads made great door handles. I took apart some of the Calico Craft Parts - the branch and the hive from the MDF sheet, some fern fronds, grasses and the songbirds on a branch - to create the impression I wanted. Although they are very delicate and detailed, the craft parts break cleanly and look very effective when they are secured down in different arrangements.

Thank you for stopping by today and meeting Flora, my garden helper. If you have some spools in your stash, why not give them an individual look with a Calico Mini House? Wishing you sunny days and refreshing rain in the weeks to come.

Calico Craft Parts Used in this Project
Block Style Tall House Kit, Mini
Window Style 16
Window Style 17
Sheet of MDF Bees and Beehives
Songbirds in Spring Branches
Wild Grass Wood Shape
Maidenhair Fern Wood Shape


  1. It is such a wonderful creation, - whimsical and filled with lovely spirit, and as always so many wonderful details, - of course I love the crackled windows, and your bee :-) trying to deside where to sit in all the meadow grasses. Gorgeous, Julie. Xx

  2. Thank you so much, Dorthe. I love the bees and I'm very fond of meadow grasses too. x

  3. She is so fabulous! I can imagine how the bee buzzes among those wonderful plants, the beautiful blue house parts add to the wonder of this awesome creation!

  4. Thank you so much, Ann. I'm so glad you liked my little project. The house parts are so lovely to work with. xx

  5. This is exquisite, Julie Ann! Flora's face is beautiful and I love the birds arranged around the top of the door,

    Lucy x

    1. Thank you so much, Lucy, for your lovely comment. x

  6. Julie Ann! This is so delightful! As always, I love to read what you have written to go along with your creation and this one just sings to my soul!
    What a fabulous creation- I just love the openness of the roof and the window that allows Flora to look out! And, I love those sweet little birds- how precious they are!
    Jackie xo

  7. Thank you so much, Jackie, your lovely comments are always much appreciated. xx

  8. What a great helper Flora is and she is so beautiful! Chrisx