A Fanciful Twist

A Fanciful Twist

Last, but not least, in our Creative Inspiration Week we have someone I have found to be incredibly creative on a few levels. I am sooooo excited to have her here today! Not only is she a talented artist (her work is even featured in Domino Magazine), but she has crafted a blog that has a unique and creative personality all its own! You really do feel like you have entered an imaginary world when you come to her site, and that hasn’t happened by accident. She has a vivid imagination, that girl!

I was impressed on my first visit and continue to find Vanessa Valencia a true creative genius. And I am not just saying that because she is so nice. But that helps, too. You can have all the talent in the world and be less than charming. She has the impressive combination of a sweet and charming personality AND talent galore. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her, we’ve shared some laughs and some really horrid tales about rodents in our houses. Ewwwww! She doesn’t like them either.

I LOVE what she has to share here today. It is really the perfect inspirational ending to this week (we didn’t plan for this to be the last one, I am not that great at planning, but in a stroke of accidental creative brilliance, it is the perfect ending! I love when that happens!) She has captured the essence of creativity, and I think you’ll be inspired as much as I am by this fanciful post she created for us!

Welcome Miss Vanessa!

A Fanciful Twist

a funny thing that happened to me last week… You see, I was having this nostalgia and itch for an old fashioned toy store… An itch for handmade toys and simplicity… A lost time indeed…. Mr. Lovee and I were talking about how that is really non-existent…

So, I went out to several antique stores.. In search of nothing but little quirky toys or such…. And, in a glass case in an antique store were these little vintage cardboard houses.. I chose two. Then I looked around and found the deer and gnome… I brought them all home, so intrigued by the cardboard houses. They warmed my heart more than any little houses I had ever seen….

A Fanciful Twist

Then this weekend, I decided that I would like to make my own little cardboard house… So I made up a box I had, and cut it in half. I just folded and cut, making a little house as best as I could. No mold, no instructions. Just following the look of one of the little houses I had purchased at the antique store.

A Fanciful Twist

I also decided to make my own gnome (head out of wooden bead :)…. A few hours later after letting my mind wander, making a cardboard house and a gnome, with Pride and Prejudice playing in the background… I found myself having no real life worries… I was just totally in the moment, enchanted by this little creation.

A Fanciful Twist

I covered the glued house in crepe paper… Next time I might use a texturing medium or such… I cut out little windows and put crepe paper in the back of them so you could actually see light through them…

A Fanciful Twist

I had sooo much fun making my very own gnome and house. I am tempted to make more little toys for myself… I used only things I had to make them…

A Fanciful Twist

A Fanciful Twist

A Fanciful Twist

I am so inspired to make more little cone trees and such… Sometimes, we have to just break free from the real world and create something pointless.. No rhyme or reason… Just letting the imagination unravel….

A Fanciful Twist

Thank you so much for being an inspiration, Vanessa! You’re wonderful! xoxoxo –m
Photos and text copyright Vanessa Valencia. Used by permission.


  1. woww!!!! It looks so yummy I could eat it!!!! Gobble gobble. Now I am inspired too! =))

    BTW, thank you soo much for your comments on my very first pattern shown at laissezfaire! I just had a bit of fun photoshopping the patterns into possible applications. =))

  2. Oh My gosh!! This week has been so amazing and definitely inspiring! Thank you for putting all of this together Miss Melissa! Phew, it was really really good!! I am so in awe of all the creativity going on here at your wonderful place!! So many incredibly creative souls! xxo

  3. Melissa – I swear I need to drop by more often – I’m away for a couple of days & miss all this. Thank you so much for going to all this trouble to put together these posts for us to enjoy and learn from:-). You should be a interior decorator lecturer – you are a natural born teacher.

  4. I haven’t been able to visit your site in a few days and wow, have things happened here!! So many lovely things and I don’t think I’ll be able to catch up with more than a few.
    Hope you have a great Friday.
    Love Elzie

  5. I loved this post…..I love the remnants of a time passed by….as we grow up we try to recapture the memories by little tokens we pick up here & there.
    All the best to everyone that is decorating, wrapping & cleaning! (How’s it going Melissa!?)

  6. “Sometimes, we have to just break free from the real world and create something…”

    Amen! I also appreciated Vanessa’s saying that she used only what she had on hand. There are so many possibilities if we allow ourselves to imagine.

    Thanks for hosting this week, Melissa! It’s been a truly inspirational week.

  7. What a fun week of posts this has been! Inspiration, ideas, instruction all wrapped up in a pretty Christmas package:>) Thanks to all of the guest contributors who share their thoughts and genius with us and thanks especially to Melissa for putting it all together!

  8. Jill Flory says

    I LOVE little cardboard houses! I have several and I plan to make my own too — someday! Right now I keep very busy with my 3 daughters ages 2, 4 and 8 plus sewing for a mariad of other people! But I’m dreaming of all the things I’ll make when the girls are all in school!
    Thanks so much for sharing, Vanessa, it is wonderful to see what others create out of things they have on hand!
    It looks wonderful, I would buy it if I saw it in a store!

  9. Thank you, Melissa. I loved them all; thus the problem I have with not being able to put my house together for Christmas. No wonder with all this creativity wafting thru cinnamon scented air. You are a wonderful hostess and a seriously good planner.

  10. Vanessa is the best!!! I ADORE her work and magic style…and she is the sweetest of the sweet!! What a magical treat, that house!! Hooray!! :)

  11. Love the little pink house. We just inherited my husband’s grandma’s vintage cardboard village. I told him I’d like to make a few more buildings. You’ve given me the inspiration & courage!

  12. these are wondrous…as is vanessa…i think she is an architect of dreams come true…blessings, rebecca

  13. Okay….let’s see. I am going to make an aqua one, a pink one, a white one. No matter what my worries when I am crafting I am in another world. It’s good for the heart and soul. Thank you Melissa and all of your guest for such a wonderful, fun, and inspirational week. ~ Lynn

  14. It’s always such a pleasure to stop by your blog. Inspiration is everywhere, and you certainly manage to capture it, AND the spirit of the season. I’ve been thinking about making one of those cute little houses, and now you may have been the final push I needed! Thanks for that!

  15. How precious all of these are! I will try something like this soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. Wow … that is an understatement to be sure… many of us dont take the time to sit back and do something for ourselves… how excitng and fun… I have a feeling there will be many cardboard villages this time next year…

    Thank you once again for the incredible inpiration you have given us… what a gift..a truly love gift…

    And thank you Valencia for your wonderous world of gnomes


  17. Looks like fun and completely beyond my realm. But they’re cute! Thanks for all of the creative geniuses showcased here this week. You are the most fabulous host!


  18. PERFECTLY scrumptious! I love Mz. Vanessa! She is the ruling Queen of imagination! THe house and gnome are fantastical! wheee!

  19. Esther Sunday says

    Thank you, Vanessa. And thank you, Melissa for all your hard work this week! Love, Esther

  20. Sweet Cottage Dreams says

    Vanessa, your affection for the gnomes, deer and houses are like mine. When you have time, stop by and see my little collections. I am posting more today and have a few from this week, too. Your house and gnome girl are so adorable and really creative! Thank you for sharing your moments of creativity with us! Such a rich treat indeed.

    And Miss Melissa, you have really out-did yourself with such beautiful and magical posts all week. You really ROCK! (I sound like an ’80’s has been, huh!?) No, but really, your blog is like turning the pages of a beautiful creative inspired book. Have a beautiful weekend!

    Doogs says, “Bring Winston down for a visit!” smiles….

    Becky and Duhgall

  21. Melissa,
    I wanted to Thank You so much for putting this Wonderful Week of Fascination and Inspiration together! I am honored to be included with the Supremely Talented people you have gathered! Vanessa being one of my absolute favorites, she has theCreativity and holds the talent in her hands to bring to life her Wonderous IMAGINATIONS!
    Happy Holidays!
    Sandra Evertson

  22. i want to visit your little world

  23. This was wonderful! I’ll print it out for use next year. I love those glitter houses – I found two of them last month.

    Thanks Melissa for putting this fun week together!


  24. Wow! creative inspiration at its finest!
    Thank you for sharing such awesome folks this week.

  25. My thanks to each and everyone of these inspirational people! And thank you Melissa for bringing them to us!


  26. MY SWEET MISS V~ i do so love love LOVE her! yes i do!! i just bought her last set of post cards ‘the strange beautiful lady’…which i have been oggling over for some time now!

  27. Melissa,

    This has indeed been a very inspiring week! I especially loved the little cardboard houses & the McMaster & Storm gift-wrapping ideas. Here’s what I did with the inspiration y’all shared: http://ponderedinmyheart.blogspot.com/2007/12/christmas-roses.html

    Thanks for a great week!

  28. Penny, Mosaic Artist says

    That house was amazing! This whole week has been fun and informative. Thank you Melissa and your guest artists for sharing all these wonderful ideas.

  29. Denise Fontaine says

    Wow thank you for tutorial.I know what you mean about escaping from reality.I am going to give it a try.The birds are darling ..I love their hats!

  30. Melissa, I’ve just spent a wonderful hour catching up with your blog! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this wonderful Creative Inspiration Week! So many wonderful decorating ideas … not to mention glimpses of fabulous studios! I’ve bookmarked them all so I can come back to them again and again. Your blog is always so very inspiring! Have a great weekend. ~ hugs, Lynda xo

  31. Melissa, thanks for a great week. The little home made house and gnome are adorable. What a sweet post!

  32. great posts all week, Melissa ~ you rock!

  33. what a darling little creation. Definitely has given me courage to try my own little bit of house building. Can’t wait to try some new glitter colors i just found on my abode. Thanks so much for sharing!

  34. Melissa, thank you so much you have worked so hard to provide us with endless inspritation and it is truly appreciated :) J&J xo Vanessa your creation is beautiful! We loved how when you said you watching Pride and Prejudice and you found yourself ‘having no real life worries’ and ‘totally in the moment’ we love that about creating and decorating more so in our case, and it is an amazing feeling when it happens, if only everyone could forget their lifes worries if but olny for a short time :) Jenn and Jacqui

  35. Vanessa never disappoints!
    I love the little house and gnome girl!!!!

  36. What a wonderful week of creative glory! So inspiring and I loved visiting.

    Thank You,

  37. Thanks for the beautiful “eye candy!” Beautiful…

  38. Wow, what a week! Visions of glittered sugarplums dancing through my head…I will be revisiting this week for additional inspiration. Thank you. Susan at black eyed susans kitchen

  39. Paris Parfait says

    Oh I adore Vanessa and her endlessly creative spirit! My Paris apartment is full of her artwork. She is a constant inspiration. And your blog is so lovely. Just back from London and trying to catch up.

  40. Love the beautiful sparkle house and all the other pretties. Thank you for introducing Vanessa to me. Linda

  41. Yay for Vanessa! Such a gorgeous surprise to come here and see your fabulous work. :)


  42. Wow! Great idea and great final product!!! So adorable ;)

  43. Yes, I agree, I adore Vanessa too! She is such a sweet soul! Great feature!

  44. Dawn-Enigma Artist says

    now that looks like a fun project! It’s on my list!

    Thanks for the great inspiration this week Melissa and for the introduction to those creative women I had not met. More links to inspiring blogs are a good thing!

  45. An inspiration!
    I love the vintage cardboard houses too, and have often thought I might try my hand at making one.
    Best wishes~

  46. I love those little houses. I have some vintage skaters and skiers.

  47. This is my first visit to your site and I am enchanted by what I have seen and read. I will most certainly become a regular visitor.
    Miss Sandy

  48. Vanessa is one of my FAVORITES!!! She’s one of my role models! A great girl and super talented! Great choice to showcase on your blog!!!~

  49. You are so right! Vanessa is one of the sweetest artists on the net. That little house and the story behind it are just precious!

  50. Oh my…where have I been? I have a LOT of catching up to do…..I am going to stay for a bit and READ……….


  51. Vanessa is one of my favorites – not because we have every little thing in common but because she’s wonderfully fun & I enjoy talking with her! She’s so artistic – in everything! I love that. And besides, everyone knows that having every little thing in common would be boring! Thank you, Melissa for all your work! Thank you, Vanessa! Blessings… Polly

  52. What a new amazing blog..found you on My Melange and have added you to my blog list, will pop over again soon..

    Your photos and ideas are brilliant.

  53. Sweet Cottage Dreams says

    Hi Melissa! Just me again. Hey sister, I tagged you, so come over and see what it is all about. Hoping that you are having a wonderful weekend. Hugs,

  54. How amazing is everything here, your work is just beautiful, I be back! I was also amazed at how you made the pink house, I bought one, but you make it look so easy to make, you are so clever!

    I know it asks for website, but I thought I’d give my blog address: adelinecottagecottage.blogspot.com
    as well.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family,
    and thank-you for showing me around.



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