Thursday, 5 December 2019

Christmas Tealight Holders - by Lesley

I've had these plain tealight holders in my stash for a few years, thought they deserved the Christmas treatment!

I didn't go mad altering them, due to them holding a candle!

I used the mini stars and glitter on the painted silver one.

And the holly and berries on the gold painted one.

Simple, but Christmassy!

Thanks for looking


Ingredients used

Holly and Berries
Primitive mini stars

Monday, 2 December 2019

Finding Kay - Winter Circle Plaque by Julie Ann.

How are your Holiday preparations going? Last night I dreamed it was Christmas Day and I hadn't purchased a single gift! I'll try not to worry too much about that possibility and share with you an idea I've had for Christmas/Winter décor this year.

One Christmas Day many years ago I watched an animation of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Snow Queen. Gerda's courage and determination in her quest to find her childhood companion, Kay dwelling in the icy halls of the coldly beautiful Snow Queen left a deep impression on me. I have read different versions of the tale myself and then aloud to my children, watched dramatizations and listened to radio plays based on the story and it still captivates me. I decided to create a seasonal assemblage with the story's young heroine at the centre.

All stories begin with a blank page - a snow-covered field waiting for us to make our mark. Calico MDF mixed media boards withstand anything you care to throw at them - a good thing, as I was about to turn this snowy circle into an explosion of colour!

After applying several coats of gesso to my mixed media board and then sanding it off, I took the top layer of a selection of Christmas napkins and fixed them onto the board with fluid matt medium. It really doesn't matter what this collage looks like as it largely disappears and provides just hints of text or pattern and texture.

What a mess! This is the collage coated in a thin layer of gesso with Gerda's face sketched out roughly so that I can gauge the position of the eyes, nose, chin and hair. The very first layer comprises acrylic inks dribbled over the surface and sprayed with water. At this stage I tilted my mixed media board in all directions and had lots of fun with the flowing inks.

Several layers of inks applied over the top of the chaos with different sized brushes and a pen for the finer detail and I have something resembling Gerda as she stands on the threshold of the Snow Queen's palace.

I added snowflakes, which I  stamped onto the board using white acrylic ink. I also doodled white gel pen lines. I like how, when the ink is diluted, the layers beneath give a life to the face and hair. I used a photo of my daughter for reference. Her hair is like a warm, flaming hood, melting the fading snowflakes.

For the snowflakes, I used a combination of white gesso, white embossing powder and shaved ice frantage.

In this close-up you can see some of the frantage on the ivy leaves in Gerda's hair and the texture of the piece with the spattered ink effect.

As I look at my little Winter installation, I think about the closing pages of Hans Christian Anderson's story, when the Snow Queen's enchantment melts, little Kay can see clearly once more and love unites the two friends:

Gerda's song opened the strong gates the sharp northerly winds had created and she saw Kay, a tiny, frozen figure in all the icy splendour of the Snow Queen's halls. She ran to her old friend's side but he was little more than a tiny lifeless statue bent over a pile of jagged ice shards and Gerda cried hot tears as she hugged him. One of her tears fell against Kay's chest and melted the ice that locked his heart. He cried then and as he did so his tears washed the piece of enchanted mirror from his eye and he could see Gerda again and he could see the Snow Queen's Palace for the barren, empty place it truly was. He said, 'What am I doing here? Where have you been?' He clasped Gerda's hands and they danced there in the freezing, echoing halls. And the shards of ice danced with them and formed themselves into the word that was the very puzzle Kay had been trying to solve!

Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
Round Circle Shape MDF Mixed Media Board
Mini MDF Christmas Snowflakes
Snowflake Wood Shape style 5 
Ivy Leaf Corner Garland

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Time flies - Mixed Media Tag by Kerstin

Hello  creative friends!

 I know,  I know,... Halloween is past already.... what a pity :-)

I love to think out of the box though,
so why shouldn't it be possible to use these hands from the Halloween craft parts section
 for grungy projects of all kinds?!


When I saw one of the latest awesome MDF Add On Sheets

 Arms and Boots

Zombie Arms and Boots - MDF Add On Sheet 

I was instantly inspired to create a new mixed media tag in a grunge weathered wooden style.

The hands were just perfect for my theme! How often do we wish we could just stop the time
 in very special moments.

some close up's

 you can find a tip on
how to make those little candles




Create a simple roof and shelf

I used a fine saw and split the shape into two parts.
I did the same for the shelf on the bottom edge.

Rectangle Shape with Notched Corners - MDF Mixed Media Board 75 x 38 mm
 Roof suitable for a classic tag 200 x 100 mm

Glue in place at an accurate angle with hot glue or wood glue 

Rectangle Shape with Notched Corners - MDF Mixed Media Board 100 x 50 mm 
for the shelf

For a better stability of the shelf, glue the second part right underneath


Calico Craft Parts used:
  Zombie  Arms and Boots

Roman Numeral Clock Face 
Clock Hands - MDF Add On Sheet

 I hope I could inspire you 

to have your own out of the box ideas!


Thanks for your visit!

Happy crafting!




Thursday, 28 November 2019

Art journal - Ocean by Magda

Hello crafty friends!

We love being on boat. I've got special art journals, always taking them with me when sailing. Not all of them have finished covers but slowly getting there.

For this one I used:
Wooden Word Elements - I love them! I would use them on everything and all the time, if I could.
Scalloped Triptych Kit - I only used the biggest, middle part of it. Smaller parts I'll use for something else or on the other side of art journal cover.
Anchor Silhouette Style 4 - that one is great. I used size medium which is perfect for cards and covers. I need to try other sizes too!

Magda :)

Monday, 25 November 2019

Christmas Home Decor Box - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by today! I am sharing my first Christmas make for this season and it comes along with a cool way of creating your own (almost) real looking mini-icicles to decorate your Christmas projects with!!!!

It is a trinket box with one of the lovely houses from the Town and Country House Kits section in the Calico Craft Parts store and it has a lot of glittering snow - but that only shows when you look at the project from a specific angle or when you move around looking at the box and the house. But I've managed to capture a bit of the festive bling in these pictures:

And I have also discovered a really easy way to create icicles that almost look like the real thing....

Cool, huh? Of course I am sharing the how-to with you in this post ;)

But first let's talk about the

Calico Craft Parts used:

- MDF Tea Caddy - Storage Box Kit (small)
- Church - School House - MDF House Kit (small)
- Christmas Tree MDF Wood Shape Style 4 (small)
- a left over piece from the Winter Tree Scene MDF Wood Shape - Style 7 (large)
- Santa & Sleigh MDF Wood Shape - Style 7 (large)

The School House Kit comes flat like this...

...and is really easy to assemble within a few minutes. There's an instructional PDF file on the shop site with the House Kit that shows in which order to put the pieces together and how to assemble the little bell tower. I used DecoArt matte Decou-Page - my go-to glue and sealant. I use a small size worn flat brush to apply the glue to the glue tabs and edges.

While the house was set aside to dry, I assembled the Tea Caddy and set that aside to dry too. The Decou-Page dries really fast - so it takes less than ten minutes until you can continue working on the pieces.

Using DecoArt white Acrylic Gesso I dry brushed all the flat pieces and painted the house's in- and outside and tea caddy's outer sides. I gave the house and the tea caddy two coats of white Gesso and also dry brushed the reindeer antlers really carefully using a soft brush and rather dapping the paint on instead of brushing it.

While the Gesso dried I applied stars all around the tea caddy's sides using a stars stencil and DecoArt media white Modeling Paste. I used a long flat palette knife to thinly drag the paste across the stencil and make sure I had even coverage before I carefully removed the stencil. Of course I could always do just two sides at one time - so I continued with the house on the tea caddy lid in the meantime and then came back to do the other two sides.

More white Modeling Paste was used directly on the box lid and I applied a generous coat with the palette knife, creating an uneven surface that I placed the house in while the paste was still wet. This way the modeling paste also acted as a glue. The Christmas tree was also put into a little "heap" of "snow" (=modeling paste).

I also used a pointy palette knife to drag some of the modeling paste off the heap and onto the tree base to make sure it stayed in place and was standing upright.

As the reindeer antlers and the horse-gear are quite fragile and thin, I used a thin strip of cut to size acetate and glued that behind the wood shape using DecoArt Liquid Glass (as it dries up transparent and adds to the sturdiness).

The strip was of course visible on the back side of the wood shape but my plan was to cover that up with a die cut banner with a Christmas greeting stamped onto. But first I continued with adding much needed snow to my little winter scene.

I think I applied almost one third of a small pot of DecoArt Snow Tex to the roof, but I wanted to create the impression of a lot of snow and not just a thin layer. The more snow the better, right?

While the Snow Tex was still wet, I placed Santa and his reindeer into the little heaps on the roof -
this way it was glued in place without the use of additional glue.

Then I let my snowed on house dry over night. Once the Snow Tex had cured, I lightly inked the edges of the house, house roof, box and box lid with brown archival stamping ink using a piece of blending foam. Then I took a soft brush and applied a thin coat of DecoArt Ice Crystal Glamour Dust to the roof and the snow on the ground around the house.

On the evening before I had also started an about making icicles using Liquid Glass and applying it to my non-stick craft mat (where it would hopefully cure and be easy to peel off and glue to my house the next day)?!!

So what I did was to kind of "draw" icicle pieces using the Liquid Glass tube's nozzle as I would use a pen. I made sure I added quite a thick layer and didn't make the icicles too thin. Then I left that to cure over night as well.

Tadaaahhh! This was what I got when I checked my craft mat the next day! Yay!

So I measured the house roof's sides and "drew" more icicle borders on my craft mat and waited for that to cure as well. I love how close they are to the real thing!

All I had to do was cut a straight edge where necessary and glue the icicle borders into place using a bit of matte Decou-Page that I applied to the window frames and the roof's edges. The result was definitely worth the wait (for the Liquid Glass to cure, which takes at least two hours I'd say).

Once the icicles were glued in place I only had to die cut and stamp my banner to cover up the acetate strip on the Santa & Sleigh wood shape. I used an old Tim Holtz Sizzlits die and blended the banners' edges with vintage photo Distress ink. The Christmas wish was stamped using letter stamps and brown archival stamping ink.


Obviously I forgot to adjust the white balance when taking the steps images, but I found out before I took the images of the finished piece - so these are much closer to the real look. 

I hope my little snowy Santa scene has put you in the right mood to get on with your Christmas crafting and maybe there is someone you know who would love to get a winter or X-mas themed trinket box for Christmas... ;) 

Hugs and happy X-mas crafting!