Monday, 23 April 2018

Take Flight, Canvas by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone. I have a canvas to share with you today, inspired by the birdsong I can hear outside my window as I create. Blackbirds and robins mingle their songs as the day gives way to twilight, so that my heart wants to take flight too and join them high in their tree-top nests.

In this mixed media piece I wanted to experiment with different media and to explore a combination of flat surface and 3D to create a dream-like effect.

I began with one of the chunky 12. 5 cm x 12.5 cm box canvases I love. This is the stage I enjoy - choosing different scraps of tissue I've hoarded and fixing them onto the canvas with a fluid matt medium. There's some random stamping in brown archival ink on there too.

The canvas started to take on the dream-like quality I wanted when I applied diluted acrylics in different shades of blue. I added some stencilling and stamping with paint rather than ink. Throughout the process, I kept to the theme of wings, feathers and birds.

That little bird was my inspiration, so I kept the paint well diluted and light in colour when I applied it over him. To add interest, I spattered some darker blue paint over my background, using a toothbrush dipped in acrylic wash and flicked - make sure you're wearing an apron when you do this!

Now it was time to turn to my Calico Craft Parts to add a touch of whimsy. I love to mix and match the craft parts to create something a little different and I had a fun time arranging different components on my box canvas.

You can achieve a completely different look depending on where you place the arms and legs from the doll kit. Although, for this project, I decided to dispense with the arms, this 'play' has definitely given me ideas for future canvases.

As you can see, the body I eventually chose for my flying house fairy already had arms, but I'm planning to create some art work to which I can add arms on future projects. The block style house includes a roof, but I kept this one open to the skies. This was so I could fix the little blue, magic feather inside and give the impression that the sky is the limit where the imagination is concerned!

I am pleased with the possibilities the box canvas and the 3D kit give to see different details from different angles.

The mini tags covered in design paper were a great way to add a message to the canvas. I used a fine line marker to create the effect of strings attaching them to the fairy's wrist. The misty, twilight effect along the bottom of the canvas is created with tea bags attached with fluid matt medium. I hope the birds are singing outside your windows too and that your heart and your imagination will soar with them in the coming weeks.
Calico Craft Products Used in this Project
Block Style Tall House Kit (mini)
Standard Art Doll Kit Style 1 (small)
Sheet of Mini MDF Tags (classic)
Sheet of Mini MDF Wings Style 4
Sheet of Tiny Windows and Doors

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Sepia Tag by Jennie

Hello and welcome!

I seem to be in a bit of a sepia mode at the moment and today I am sharing a tag which I thought would make a welcome change for my friend's birthday instead of a card.

The new selection of MDF tags are just perfect for combining for a special project and it is lovely to know that their sturdiness will ensure a longer life than perhaps a card.

I gave the tag a couple of coats of gesso before using my palette knife to add DecoArt Crackle Paste here and there. Once it had done its stuff and crackled I added some stamping in the spaces and a little vintage ink around the edges.

I love these gorgeous flourishes and knew that this one would be just the perfect base for a flower cluster.

The crackle glaze hasn't gone on too well as the flourish is very finely cut but there are crackles here and there.

However, I did add some gold wax to it later as it looked a little lost on the tag.

I used one of the smaller mini tags for my sentiment giving it the same crackle treatment as the large tag.

I love the chunkiness of the tag!

And that so many things can be layered on top of it without it buckling.

Hopefully I will be in a more colourful mood next month !!! At the time of posting this we are still waiting for Spring to arrive here in the north. The daffodils are almost open and the grass is slightly greener than it was last month, but it does still feel as though we are living in a sepia photograph!

As always thank you for joining me and happy crafting !

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts Used:

Monday, 16 April 2018

Spring is King - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by!

I hope by now Spring has finally arrived over at your places too! It really has been a long, long and cold winter (though over here in Vienna it hasn't been snowing as much and long as in other places, but still much more and longer than usual) and everyone has already been longing to see the first greens and Spring flowers to finally pop from the ground. So when I saw this new lovely ATC blank with the "Field of Tulips Frame" from the awesome range of Calico Craft Parts' ATC Wood Blanks I simply had to create a little Welcome Spring ATC with it.

So starring in today's project there's just one Calico Craft Part, which is the 

Plain ATC Wood Blank with Field of Tulips Frame

and as you can see it already comes with all the lovely linework needed to simply paint your tulips the way you like them.

I went for a deep red as I found a matching designer paper that I wanted to use for the background. 

I used matte DecoArt Decou-Page to glue the designer paper to the ATC's back panel. Then - as always - I drybrushed white DecoArt media Gesso to the frame before I painted the tulips' blossoms, leaves and stems using DecoArt media fluid acrylics (Quinacridone Red, Naphtol Red Light, Green Gold, Viridian and Cobalt Teal Hue). I also mixed some more greens and reds on my palette.

To add a bit of interest to the frame I stamped it with very small text using dark green archival stamping ink.

Red stamping ink was used to add the quote. That was framed with dark green again, using a circle stamp (from my huge collection of circle can never have too many circle stamps, can you?)

I finished my ATC off with some doodling with a white gel pen and adding DecoArt media Liquid Glass to the tulips' blossoms (for a bit of shiny bling and dimension). I you use Liquid Glass be patient and best leave it to dry over night. If you touch it too soon (to check if it has already cured), you will leave nasty fingerprints and dull the shiny surface.

I really love how this turned out! 

I hope you like my little Spring Welcome as much as I do. Check out all the fab Spring ATC wood blanks from the wide Calico Craft Parts range - there's one for (almost) every occasion!

Hugs and happy crafting!

Monday, 9 April 2018

Magic House Hanging by Julie Ann

Hello, it's great to be back at Calico Craft Parts blog. I hope your Easter was a happy and relaxing one. I've been having lots of fun being inspired by the versatile tag designs Calico have introduced. Not only do the individual tags come in all kinds of exciting shapes and sizes, but the sheets of mini tags have so many possibilities.

 I grabbed a handful of tags and shapes and started to let my imagination run wild! This is what I came up with - a magic house hanging/art doll!

This project all began with one of the pointed top MDF Tag shapes, which really reminded me of a tall house!

The quality of these beautiful tags is such that you can paint straight onto them and create excellent effects. Before doing that, though, I wanted to experiment with arranging different elements onto the tag.

Here is one of my faces glued onto a birch plywood heart-shaped plaque. The pair of Paperclay hands are created from moulds taken from metal matching hand charms.

These tiny tags from the sheet of mini tags looked so much like little doors! Although Calico has a sheet of tiny doors and windows, these will also work equally well on house projects of all kinds. I've combined them on this project with one of the incredible Calico door designs and a couple of miniature windows to show the possibilities when you mix and match Calico Craft Parts. A tiny silver bead becomes a giant door handle for a fairy!

Returning to my pointed top tag, I blended different shades of blue acrylic paints before stencilling in cream and brown through a doily style stencil.

I was pleased with the effect of stamping some script and some lace onto the painted tag with a brown Archival Ink pad. A few, old gold sequins and a scrap of lace provided my heart lady with her pretty collar.

I'd been waiting to use this lovely sunburst door for some time. I decided to crackle glaze over it with DecoArt One Step Crackle and then age it with some antiquing medium blended with a chocolate brown acrylic paint. A quirky flying house goddess seemed to be taking shape!

Meet Melissa, the domestic goddess of hearth and home! She flies towards you with open arms, offering you iced, heart-shaped cookies; the birds are always singing outside her windows and she invites you in to her cosy haven of kindness, comfort and magic.

The 2 tag doors are attached by copper wire, threaded through a couple of holes I drilled into the bottom of the tag. You could create a tag like this to attach to a 'Good Luck in your New Home' gift with a special message written on the back. It could even make a hanging in its own right for a cosy nook.

With birds building their nests and new beginnings everywhere, it's not surprising that Spring is traditionally the time for moving house. If you know of anyone moving at this time, you might like to create a tag or a hanging to wish them happiness in their new home. I hope this spring will be a time of opportunities and doors opening onto new vistas for you too. Have a lovely fortnight until we next meet at the Calico Craft Blog.

Calico Craft Parts Used
MDF Tag with Pointed Top
Sheet of Mini MDF Tags Classic
Sheet of Mini MDF Tags Rounded Top
Standard Heart Birch Plywood plaque
Door MDF Style 11
Sheet of tiny doors and windows
Songbirds in Spring Branches

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Romantic Arbours by Jennie

Hello and welcome to another project using one of the Calico Craft Parts new kits. This is actually the boat kit but instead of thinking of Harbours my mind went down the Arbours route instead! The slatted sides just reminded me of an Old English Church Porch and so the idea of a sepia "wedding photo" was born.

I decided to paint the inside of the "boat" with chalk paint and started with the slatted sides. For the outside I wanted a vintage sepia look so used these gorgeous papers. I cut enough paper vertically for the five pieces and then cut them into strips. This way the pattern on the paper runs up the side of the arbour.

 A little light sanding around the edges exposed the white inner core of the paper.

 You can see how well the pattern runs up the sides despite being individual slats.

There is no need to glue the slats other than lightly onto the base as it is the top arch which holds everything together. I had intended to put a seat into the arbour but decided against it in terms of the photograph I wanted to use (It was easy enough to cover the slats up!)

Before sticking everything together I had used the base and arch as a template to cut my paper for the inside. I have used the sander again to whiten the edges of the front arch.

A few flowers and leaves .......

..... and a horseshoe.

Now I wondered which way up to put the horseshoe ....... if facing upwards it brings good luck and if facing downwards it showers good luck on those below ...... apparently !!

Finally I added a little fence in the front to fill in the space and hold in the muslin. I really love the "raw" colour of the MDF which suited this project perfectly.

I think this would make a lovely wedding present or wedding anniversary present particularly if made with the colours of the bride and bridesmaids. It was certainly great fun ..... next time I might make a boat !!

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

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts Used:

Monday, 2 April 2018

Happy Easter Tag - by Claudia

Hi, servus and Happy Easter Monday!

I hope you've been enjoying lovely holidays so far!

Today I want to share a tag with you that I made using Calico Craft Parts' new Tag Shapes! As most of the Calico Craft Parts these are made from MDF - which makes them perfect for any mixed media technique you want to do - from collage to even encaustics! I took the opportunity to use up some of my hoarded designer papers to create the background for my Easter scene:

Calico Craft Parts used:

- MDF Tag Shape - Classic (largest size)
- Sheet of Mini MDF Tags - Pointed Top
- Butterfly Bramble - Flora & Fauna Flourish Style 3
- Sheet of Mini Hares - MDF Wood Animal Shapes
- Oval Shape - Mini MDF Wood Plaques

I used the largest size of the new MDF Tag Shapes, which is about 10 cm wide and 20 cm high. 

I started with rummaging through my 6x6 designer papers box, looking for green and light blue sheets to build the hills and sky with. Then I cut the top edges into different hill shapes and made sure I left enough length at the bottom, so I could layer the sections without having the MDF pop through. 

(as always: click on images to enlarge)

Before I glued the cut out pieces to the MDF tag with matte DecoArt Decou-Page, I darkened the edges with black crayon. 

Time to find the right spots for all the craft shapes I wanted to use in my tag! I especially liked the small tags with the pointed tops as these made pefect little houses to put in the far back! I always take a picture once I am content with the lay out, just in case I forget where I wanted the pieces to go in the first place. 

I added additional texture with black archival stamping ink and some script and scratch pattern stamps. 

Then I scraped on some white DecoArt media Crackle Paste here and there using a fine tip palette knife. 

I repeated the process with DecoArt Americana premium Cadmium Yellow Hue to add the idea of daffodils' blossoms.

As always, I first primed the craft parts with two layers of white DecoArt media Gesso, so the colours from the paints would pop!

I used DecoArt Americana premium paints Cadmium Yellow Hue, Diarylide Yellow, Primary Magenta, Green Gold, Cobalt Teal Hue, Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna to paint the hares, houses, egg and flourish. 

Final touches were drawn in after having glued the pieces in place with matte Decou-Page, using a white gel pen and a fine tip black permanent ink marker (like the windows and doors and the hares' faces and tails).

Et voilá!

Happy holidays and happy crafting!