The contest begins with a basic kit, and then you finish it as you wish. This year the kit is called "Backyard Bungalow." You can learn more here http://www.miniatures.com/Creatin-Contest.aspx
I was inspired by the Lodge of the Four Seasons at Lake of the Ozarks. Not that I wanted to copy the property, but I love the idea of having all four seasons represented in my build.
A big part of my entry will be the plants and flowers. At a recent Molly Cromwell Miniatures Show, I met Alex of Botiny Miniatures. Her work is incredibly detailed and impressive, as you can see HERE. She explained to me about using rice paper. Seeing her work encouraged me to work harder to make my flowers more realistic.
I'm definitely getting better at making 1:12 plants and flowers. I made the entire arrangement below, including the pot. It's quilled, which means I used paper twisted into a coil and shaped. After I achieved the shape I wanted, I painted the pot with nail polish to make it look like enamel. I love the fact that there are so many beautiful colors of nail polish these days. It's almost like the manufacturers know that miniaturists love the stuff.
Those coiled grasses in the back are thin strips from a mailing envelope. I cut them, colored them, and curled them with a pair of scissors. The purple sweet potato vine is painted rice paper, as are the marigolds and zinnias.
To finish my Creatin' Contest project, I have a ton of work to do--but I enjoy entering because it pushes me beyond my comfort zone. This contest definitely challenges me to be a more creative person.