Monday, 16 July 2018

Make Art Every Day, ATB Storage - by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone. I hope you've been enjoying the summer. I've been very busy since we last met, having lots of fun and getting organised with Calico Cube Storage Box Kits.

I'd wanted to create more storage boxes for some time and once I started with these kits, I found that I just couldn't stop! They became not only a way to organise my stash, but also an opportunity for self-expression because each cube can be used like an Artist's Trading Block - a miniature art world to play in and on!

Because this project rather took flight, I've decided to divide it into 2 halves and to look at the top boxes this week and the 2 lower boxes in 2 weeks' time. You can probably see that I combined the smallest storage cube with one of the mini Block Style Cube houses. By not fixing the roof in place, I was able to use this as storage too, as the roof became a removable lid.

I like to keep Calico off-cuts from between doors and windows and so on, to add dimension when fixing figures into dioramas: now I will always know just where to find them!

It's a good idea to have a 'dry run', slotting kits together so that you can have a muse about arrangements, colours, collage elements and embellishment. I put the units together without glue to begin with to see how the drawers looked when they were fitted into the outer cube and that gave me lots of ideas as to how my ATB storage would look and the story it might tell - and where I might add extra Calico Craft Parts without affecting how the drawers opened.

I gave everything a thin coat of Gesso, on the outside only - I didn't want the sides of the drawers to be too tight a fit.

The torn tissue text scraps worked really well against the Gesso background and I used Washi tape around the edges. I kept to this same method for the fronts of each of the cube drawers. Although I didn't really need Gesso on the outer cubes, it provided a nice foundation for my collages

Then it was just a matter of going through my stash of collage materials and devising cube panels that inspire me to open those drawers and create! Stepping through the door of my studio always makes me happy so this panel reminds me that my creative space is my 'Happy Place'. I love the little Calico Bee who tells me to 'Bee Happy'. The Calico sheet of Mini Label Holders are perfect for this project too!

I created miniature tiles using the Calico Scrabble tiles turned upside down and covered with map paper. That way I recall that every project is a voyage of discovery. The Queen of Hearts on this panel is my muse who reminds me that when I put my heart into what I create I feel like a Queen.

Do you sing while you create, or do you have favourite music to work to? I usually have a song that comes into my mind and then I just have to find it on disc and have it playing to inspire me. I love the natural wood look of the Calico Craft Parts and this project allowed me to use them effectively in their natural state as well as painted and gilded. It was such a major project there was room for both.

As we fly away from the project for now, you can see that the roof has a thin layer of gilding wax, a little stamping of medieval script and some Washi tape. In a fortnight's time I will return with the 2 lower storage cubes in more detail. Until then, have a wonderful creative time.
Calico Craft Parts Used in this Project
Block Style Cube House, Mini
Sheet of Tiny MDF Windows and Door
Sheet of Bees and Beehives
MDF Cube Storage Box, Small
Mini Angel Wings Wood Shapes, Style 4
Sheet of MDF Engraved Scrabble Tiles
Sheet of Mini Label Holders
Sheet of Mini Seagulls Wood Bird Shapes

Saturday, 14 July 2018

I will Sea You - by Kerstin

Welcome everyone!

Today I would like to share with you a new inspiration: an idea for a home decoration piece, 
which is also very practical and useful.
Summertime means also holiday time; friends and neighbours are on the road and they all leave you the keys for garden maintenance or mailbox.
 My key chain is quite big therefore,  so I  have to look forever for the proper foreign keys.
To make it easier for me I've built a simple key stand - now I can find the keys a lot faster.

some close up's




Thanks for your visit!
Happy summer holidays!

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Make A Wish ATC by Jennie

Hello and welcome to my first project for this month of July. Having just returned from three weeks sailing on the west coast of Scotland and not crafted for a little while I decided to "ease" myself in by crafting an ATC with bits and pieces as my muse took me.

I covered the ATC first with some old French text paper. It is a lovely vintage brown already so only needed a little vintage ink around the edges.

Some new washi tape was sitting on my desk so that was used next. At this stage I had no idea where this ATC was going!

This gorgeous bullrush grass MDF piece has been sitting in my box for a little while and it was a perfect fit for the ATC. In my usual style I just dabbed it with white acrylic paint and added a little vintage brown paint to the bullrush tops.

 A little butterfly got the same treatment.

I thought some textile bits and pieces would work well too - tea stained lace, muslin and some wood curls, along with some very tiny art stones which looked like sand.

I always love the depth that can be achieved by using the Calico Craft Parts MDF pieces.

A lovely gentle introduction to my crafting table again after my absence and another ATC for my collection. However .....  I have a thought that this might end up on the front cover of a book .........

As always thank you for joining me today and happy crafting!

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts Used:

Monday, 9 July 2018

Pipework Maze Desk Organiser - by Claudia

lol...when I uploaded this image to prepare this post, the following phrase hit my mind: "We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile." (Yes. you're guessing right - I have been a huge fan of Startrek - The Next Generation and Captain Jean Luc Piccard and the Borg back in the 90s...oh dear! Was this really that long ago?!!!)

Well, I should have added a LOT more of the pipework maze parts and used darker colours to really make it a Borg style project, but still...this could be the preliminary model of a Borg desk organiser...(I hope I will remember this idea!!! ...and to order at least three sheets of each of the Steampipe Maze Sheets and Add Ons to do something really Borg-ish).

Calico Craft Parts used: 

- Artist Trading Block Cube Kit - Square Aperture (large)
- Pipework Maze MDF Craft Parts (small)
- Pipework Maze Add On Sheet - Valves and Taps (small)
- Pipework Maze Add On Sheet - Pipes (small)

The cool thing about the ATB cube and these sheets is that the large Artist Trading Block Cube and the small Pipework maze parts go together just perfectly! Also the valves and taps help cover up spots where there are little gaps - so you gain a bit more flexibility when building your pipework maze across the whole cube.

I used matte DecoArt Decou-Page to assemble my cube and to glue the pipes in place. Before I started gluing on the pieces I played around with the pipes for quite a long time. Then I started with the pipes around the opening edge of the cube and moved on to the sides and around the cube from there. 

You will need a lot of the smallest angle pieces from the Pipework Maze Craft Parts sheet. Don't make this rocket science - you can always "cheat" by using a tap or valve piece to cover a spot where the parts do not meet properly. Be playful and have fun!

Here's a detail shot showing how I connected the cube's even works if one of the pipes protrudes a little (but not farther than the MDF's thickness). Simply glue the pipe that continues the maze behind this "overlap".

Some pictures of the process...working my way round the whole cube...

Once all parts were glued in place and the Decou-Page had dried, I painted the outside with DecoArt Bronze Dazzling Metallics paint. I used a soft brush and made sure I worked the paint into all the bends and edges by stippling around and under the pipes, taps and valves.

Then I used DecoArt Americana black acrylic paint to dry brush the whole piece on the outside (for a more worn look and to make the edges of the pipes more visible) and to also paint the inside of the cube. 

The edges were darkened as well. 

Resistance is futile! 

I hope you like my pipework organiser! 

Thanks for stopping by and as always: 
hugs and happy crafting and happy holidays!


Monday, 2 July 2018

Cheers! Tiny House Bottle Topper by Julie Ann

Hello, it's great to be back at the wonderful Calico Craft Parts blog. We've been having some glorious warm days here in the UK and there's nothing nicer when the sun is hot than to settle down with a glass of cool, pink lemonade in a shady spot in the garden.

When I saw this little bottle top lying on our kitchen table, I thought it would be fun to add an individual touch of whimsy to a bottle of homemade lemonade.

The next step was to create a miniature world on my bottle top, one that suggested lazy, sunny days in shady arbours with sweet music playing and fairy folk bringing refreshing drinks and fanning us with their gauzy wings!

I covered the bottle top with a layer of PaperClay, flattening out the surface with the base of one of the Calico Block Style Tall House kits (mini size). I then constructed the house kit, using a good, crafting glue and waited for the PaperClay to fully dry out.

While I was waiting for the PaperClay to dry, I had fun composing these little collages for the house, using Chiyogami papers, my own faces and some Renaissance children's bodies! There's a Calico Bumble Bee and a tiny wren in there too!

I love the shape of these seagulls in flight so I was determined to have them soaring over my miniature world. Also I met with an American crafting friend recently who very generously gifted me all kinds of goodies, including these miniature toadstools. They're on wires so I wanted to have them curling around my bottle top world.

Here you can see how the project was beginning to take shape. I liked the idea of the green wires so much, I stole one from the toadstools and stuck it between two opposite facing seagulls. I was then able to drill a small hole in the base of my house and fix the end of the seagull's wire in here so that he would appear to be flying high.

Moss fixed to the PaperClay with a Heavy Gel Medium, completed the impression of a miniature world at the summit of a lemonade bottle. The pixie has been gathering sweet cherries so they could well have contributed their 'pinkness' to the lemonade.

The narrow sides of the house were decorated with a combination of wide and narrow Washi Tape.

Here is the Fairy Queen Mother who is Chief Bee-Keeper. The honey from the royal bees will have sweetened the lemonade.

I used one of the Calico labels from their MDF sheet of selected sizes to convey a message!

Looking at my miniature creation here, it could almost be a nest! Maybe it's shared accommodation for birds and fairy folk during the summer. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today. I wish you happy, creative days until we next meet.
Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
Block Style Tall House Kit, mini.
Sheet of Mini MDF wood birds shapes, seagulls.
Sheet of Mini MDF wood birds shapes, garden birds
Sheet of Mini MDF Bees and Beehives
Sheet of Mini MDF Tags, Classic

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Gift idea - I'm 'Out of Order' - by Kerstin

Welcome friends!

 It's summertime! Time for vacations and wanderlust!
The yearning for a cool place for a little peace and relaxation is stronger than ever. 

 Not everyone can go to the sea and many of us make holidays in their gardens or on balconies. But when you spend your holidays at home, 
you don't always have the peace you want.  
People always want something - no problem if it's friends, 
but sometimes I'm simply OUT OF ORDER - especially when the last bits of patience have gone. 

That was my idea behind this project. It's a gift and you can use it as door hanger
 or as a mood barometer, so others know if it is safe to disturb ;-).

 some steps images that show how I did it

and suitable for my idea 
some beautiful things that make you think of sun, summer, beach and sea:


 more details

 I used a white crackle paste from Decoart for all the letters and words. I generously applied it with a palette knife to make the surface look like a foaming sea.

Some acrylic paints for the umbrella and a little bit texture with white paste for the chairs 

a color mix for sand toys and for a realistic feeling 
beach sand, deco sand and shells
Thanks for your visit!
Happy crafting!