Hello all! Alison from Words and Pictures here, and I'm delighted to be back at Calico Craft Parts to share a couple of projects with you this month. I was so sad when other commitments meant I had to give up my full-time DT post, so it's lovely to return as a guest. In my usual fashion, it's a photo-heavy post, so grab a coffee and enjoy the ride.
I've been uplifted by spring lately - the fresh plant growth, lighter evenings, soft blossom, and birdsong, and even occasionally some sunshine... and all that is reflected, I hope, in this first creation.
I used one of the fantastic Printers Tray Kits and lined the inside back panel with some paper from the Tim Holtz Wallflower stash.
I painted the interior walls in DecoArt Americana Whitewash and added torn strips of tissue tape covered with light washes of paint to echo the papers behind.
Being able to do all this before you glue the tray together makes it so much easier.
Already I'm pretty happy with the look!
I laid out the Craft Parts I was planning to use, just to check they would all work in the various positions. I love them in this "naked" state - it's always tough to take the next step, as I think they already look lovely.
But it was time to get going with some paints. First of all, I gave everything a touch of white to allow the colours to pop over the top.
You'll see the birds only got touches of white. The MDF is already a great bird colour, and the decorative carving means you get all that detailing included. And the branches can just stay exactly as they are.
I used this delightful Songbird Trio on a Spring Branch in the medium size on an ATC recently (a perfect fit). This large one works beautifully across the width of the Printers Tray, I think.
The fresh, bright green of new leaf growth is such a wonderful part of the springtime palette - so bold and zingy. And again the laser-carved detailing makes it so easy to make the leaves look good.
The stems of the Wild Rose Vines are also done in nice bright greens, with flower heads shaded in Whitewash and Media Fluid Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide.
Who'd have thought that something with such an industrial name would be so pretty added to florals?!
There's a romantic couple - billing and cooing like turtle doves in one corner.
And one of my favourite sentiments in another niche.
I wanted my Photobooth photo and my sentiment to stand proud of the back wall, rather than be stuck down deep in the shadows.
I glued some alphabet dice to the back - picking the least useful letters! - to raise them up.
This adds even more dimensional layers to my tray.
Underneath the sentiment lies an egg, nestled safely in its mossy nook. (Given what day it is today, I guess we'd have to say it's an Easter egg, no?)
And the moss found its way into the other niches too, adding another touch of nature to the look.
I couldn't resist just a few "naked" Craft Parts. After all, I needed some more of that rich wood-brown around to echo the unadorned branches on which the birds are sitting.
So there are a couple of Butterfly Wood Shapes fluttering round the rose vines. I could have painted them, of course, but I love the dark accent they give like this.
I think these are both from the Mini Wood Butterflies Style 5 set. You get so many butterflies to play with on each sheet, and they're just lovely.
And on opposing corners of the tray, I've got the beautiful Deco Vine Wood Corner twining and curling its way around the edges.
I absolutely love this intricate swirling corner decoration and use it often, though if it's not quite your style there are so many more Corners, Flourishes and Ornaments to choose from, and always in multiple sizes, so you can get just what you need for a particular project.
Which reminds me... I should just quickly show you the exterior too, shouldn't I? Sorry, I warned you we were photo heavy!
Crackle, what else?! I used the Decoart Americana Chalky Finish Paints and Crackle Glaze, with greens as the base layer, adding washes of more greens over the top.
Finishing touches... the blossoms scattered around, light accents amidst the earthy greens, browns and greys. And of course plenty of white spatter to bring it all to life.
And that's pretty much that. I hope you like this springtime tray. It was a joy to make, and it makes me very happy to look at now - almost as good as looking out of the window at the real blossom trees!
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Remember, you can click on any of the links in the text to go shopping for the specific items, or just have a browse around. I was amazed at how many more designs there are available even than when I was here full-time - there really is something for everyone! I'll be back in a couple of weeks, so I'll hope to see you again soon.
Words and Pictures