Ten of the Best Storybook Cottage Homes Around the World
These 10 fairy tale inspired cottages with their hand-made details call to mind the tales of the Brothers Grimm and other fantasy stories. All of these cottages are real-life homes from around the world. From stunning cottage houses to mystical stone dwellings, these 10 storybook cottage homes provide inspiration and inspire the imagination.
- Hobbit House - Rotorua, New Zealand
- Winckler Cottage - Vancouver Island, Canada
- Akebono kodomo-no-mori Park, Japan
- Wooden Cottage - Białka Tatrzańska, Tatra Mountains, Poland
- Blaise Hamlet - Bristol, England
- Willa Kominiarski Wierch - Zakopane, Poland
- Forest House - Efteling, The Netherlands
- Cottage in the Hamlet of Marie Antoinette - Versailles, France
- Cob House - Somerset, United Kingdom
- The Spadena House - Beverly Hills, California, United States
8-foot giant squid pillow.
- 2 yards of felt
- 1 yard of patterned fabric (I suggest a polka dot-type pattern so it looks like suction cups)
- 1 medium piece of black felt, 1 medium piece of white felt (for the eyes)
- white thread, black thread and thread of the same color as the felt you’re using
- about 5 lbs. of stuffing
- a couple big sheets of paper to draw your pattern
First, you need to draw out your patterns. Here’s a basic template to get you started, although most of the measurements are reasonably fudgeable. If in the likely event you don’t have any four-foot-long pieces of paper lying around, just tape a few pieces together.
Once you’ve drawn out your eight patterns, it’s time to cut the fabric. Pin the pattern to the fabric, laid flat, and cut out the following, leaving a half an inch or so of extra fabric around the edge of the pattern:
FOR THE ARMS: 8 felt and 8 fabric cutouts of piece 1
FOR THE, UH, LONGER ARMS: 2 felt and 2 fabric cutouts of piece 2
FOR THE BODY: 2 felt cutouts of piece 3
FOR THE FIN: 4 felt cutouts of piece 4
FOR THE HEAD: 1 felt cutouts of piece 6
FOR THE EYES: 2 white felt cutouts of piece 7 and 2 black felt cutouts of piece 8
So now you’ve got all your pieces ready, it’s time to start sewing them together. I did mine by hand because my sewing machine is busted and I get a kind of Zen buzz from sewing by hand, but if you have a non-busted one I recommend that you use it as it will be MUCH EASIER. You’re going to be sewing everything with the nice side of the fabric facing in, then turning it inside out to stuff it.
THE ARMS: Pin together one patterned fabric piece 1 and one felt piece 1 (with the nice sides facing the inside). Sew down around the U-shape and back up, leaving the top open. Then turn the arm inside out, stuff it (it’s easiest to do both of these things if you sort of scrunch it up like you’re trying to put on a pair of tights, excuse the non-dude-friendly reference) and sew the top closed. Do the same for the other seven arms and rejoice in the fact that this is the most tedious part. Same deal with the two long arms, they’re just harder to stuff.
THE FINS: Pin together two of your piece 4s and sew together the curvy outer edge. Turn the piece inside out, so the seam you just sewed is on the inside, and start sewing up the other side, stuffing gradually as you go along. You should end up with a triangle-ish puffy thing. Repeat for the other two piece 4s.
THE BODY: Put down one piece 3, then place the two fins you have down with the point up and the curvy side pointing in, then make a sandwich by putting the other piece 3 down on top. Pin it all together and sew around the edges with the two fins still inside, as shown. Turn it inside out and move on to…
THE HEAD: So take piece 6 and the ten arms you’ve already done. Lay the arms, fabric side facing you, out with the arms’ top seams in a line half an inch from the top of piece 6. The order should be arm arm arm arm BIG ARM arm arm arm arm BIG ARM. The legs should be almost entirely covering piece 6. Pin them in place and sew a straight line through the individual legs seams to attach the legs to piece 6.
When you pick up the other side of piece 6, you now have something resembling a really weird untied hula skirt. Sew together the two 9-inch ends of piece 6 with the fabric side of the arms on the outside, and keep it inside out for the moment.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: Fit the open end of the body through the arms (still fabric side facing out) and pull the edge all the way through the felt cylinder so it’s even with the edge that DOESN’T have arms attached to it. Sew around the diameters of the head cylinder and the body cylinder to attach them, then pull the legs down over the head and you’re almost done!
Stuff the body, then seal it off by sewing piece 5 over the open end (even if you do have a functional sewing machine, you’ll probably have to do this part by hand).
THE EYES: Sew the black circles on the white circles and whipstitch the eyes onto the head. You do this last because you can’t tell where they’re going to end up on the end product if you put them on before stuffing the body.
For anyone who wants their own.
The incredibly intricate and captivating custom animal sculptures by Creatures From El, Ellen June.
Fairly certain I have reblogged this before, but I love it so.
If you haven’t seen the new Calendar of Tales site, it really is quite lovely.
To celebrate making it to the shortlist, I’ve put up the pattern and some pictures detailing how to make a July tale wrap dress.
Since I did not take pictures the first time, that means I now have a second dress.
If you would like it, leave a comment on this post. On June 29th, I’ll choose someone and send it out.
Too often, the argument comes up that same-sex marriage should just be enacted in the form of civil unions or domestic partnerships. Not only is this like telling us to use a different water fountain “because it has the same water, right,” this is a fundamental misunderstanding of how our legal…
THIS. I don’t think people realize how involved the difference between ‘civil union’ and ‘marriage’ can be. It’s not just empty words on a piece of paper, it’s a complete change in legal status.
Sadly, I did not take pictures while I was making this. I did not think anyone would notice this piece. There’s so much fantastic stuff going around for this project; I didn’t think anyone would give mine a second glance.
However, I am considering making a tutorial to show people how I did it so they could make their own, but that would involve making a second dress from scratch and learning how to make a tutorial (which could take some time).
Thank you for the kind words! I didn’t expect this to get any attention at all, just a drop in the flowing river of art for this project. The only reason I posted it was because I’ve decided to challenge myself this year and get outside my comfort zone, to share more.
If this were last year, I might have set it aside after the second or third time I had to tear a seam back out because something wasn’t working, and perhaps finished it after the deadline had safely passed. I could have easily told myself I didn’t have the time, that there were Important Things to Do.
But making art IS important, and seeing this project through was its own reward. That it has made other people happy too is an extra bonus in itself.
Wrapped up in a Good Story
So this is what I made for the Calendar of Tales. It’s for the July story, because the idea of being both comforted by and perilously lost in books hits pretty deep with me. Books and stories have been my companions as long as I can remember, and when the world walks out on you, they can be a shelter and an exile.
I designed and stitched this wrap dress in the buttery shade of old paperbacks and wrote out the words to Neil Gaiman’s story on it.
1. How can you tell if the unknown party guest is the Devil?
- He has cloven feet
- He turned the television on to MTV (grandma was right!)
- He’s all like “hey baby, I’m burnin’ up here cause you’re so hot and I’m Satan”
- He’s checking out your copy of the Malleus Maleficarum all casual like it’s not weird
2. Who was Jack the Ripper, really?
- The Earl of Toffee, heir to Her Majesty’s cabbages
- Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the lead pipe
- Moriarty, damn his eyes! He’s the Napoleon of crime!
- El Chupacabra
3. How can I tell thou art a witch?
- For thou hast cavorted with Satan in a sexy way
- Because I could really use thy farmland if thou happened to be a witch
- For the milk has gone sour and I understand science not
- For thou won’t consent to a simple drowning test, the premise “offends thy good sense”
4. Before Jack o’ Lanterns, Celtic cultures used:
- The carved heads of your enemies
- Bog sacrifice of your enemies
- Oatmeal in the shape of a face (of your enemies)
- Jack o’ turnips
5. Which Malevolent Old Woman Spirit from Japan is the scariest?
- Cackling old woman
- Old woman bleeding from the eyes
- Floating head of weeping old woman
- Old woman inquiring about your marital status
6. What is the only thing that can kill a werewolf?
- Silver bulletin
- Rock n’ roll
- Pile driver
7. Should we pick up this spectral hitchhiker?
- Only if he will share his weed
- No way, they’re jerks! You give them a ride and then they vanish without saying thanks
- Only if they’re doing that thing where you stick your leg out
- I don’t trust those spectral hitchhikers, they’re all the same, but I’m not racist or anything
8. Trick or:
- El Chupacabra
9. If you say “Bloody Mary” three times, what will you see in the mirror?
- The Virgin Mary (this answer is blasphemous, circle only if you are willing to go to confession immediately)
- “Bawdy Mary?” this spell is broken
- A bartender who heard you the first time
- A scorching hot hag (if you’re into hags)
10. What do the zombies want?
Please circle your answers in blood (obviously) and submit your papers via séance
I love Kate Beaton. That is all.