Thursday, 23 May 2019

Red Floral Shrine-by Lesley

Hi everyone. This week I have altered a small shrine kit.

I have used textured paint in rust colours on the box, and painted the inside black.

I gave the shrine feet by gluing together 5 of the blank scrabble tiles.

I cut apart one of the art deco floral ornament. The top part was used on top and the flower part was glued to 2 vintage pastry cases which I had painted gold.

I added some red dimensional paint to highlight.

Mote scrabble tiles were glued together and then to the back of the pastry cases before adhering to the shrine.

Thanks for reading.

Ingredients used

Monday, 20 May 2019

Summer Circus Stars - miniature portraits by Julie Ann

It's lovely to be back at Calico Craft Parts Blog with a project that I found so much fun to create.

I have been taking some on line classes in portraits, as I've always been fascinated by faces. This led me to think about substrates: do portraits always have to be on canvas or paper and does a portrait always have to be landscape or portrait shape?

I was in the mood to experiment, so I grabbed a couple of beautiful, Calico birch ply stars and collaged them with crafting tissue fixed with matt medium.

To create a smooth surface for a portrait, I added a couple of coats of diluted Gesso. It was at this point that I had a rummage through my Calico supplies and found these dolls legs and somehow the idea of Circus Stars took over!

I have been working with photos of my daughter lately, so I took one of my basic sketches from these photos and accentuated certain features, creating a slightly caricatured image. I sketched her first in water-colour pencil, going over this with acrylic ink and a very fine brush. There is also a little shading with grey water-colour pencil.

Now for the fun part! I added colour with water-soluble coloured pencils. Some snazzy leggings and clown's make-up along with a jaunty clown's cap and she is one of the Circus Stars - a group of tumblers and acrobats.

Matilda's companion is Iris who specializes in the high wire. Iris is a character from my imagination, a little face that I just sketched intuitively on to the centre of the star shape. I think she ran away to the circus, although I'm not sure why. One thing I know is, that like Matilda, she is a dreamer. She's at her happiest above the crowd on her high wire, performing an elegant dance, perfectly balanced.

Now I feel inspired to create a whole troupe of characters!

This is such a quick and fun way to create mini portraits/art dolls you could even create a kind of bunting from them. And if you're not into portrait painting or caricatures, you could always create faces from digital downloads or magazine cuttings - maybe you could make a unique face using the features from a number of different images, either your own art or photos? The possibilities are endless. Wishing you a creative time until we meet again here on the Calico Blog in a fortnight's time.
Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
6 Pointed Star Birch Plywood Plaque
Standard Jointed Art Doll Kit Style 1 (Medium and Large sizes)

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Summer Sunshine ATC by Jennie

Hello and welcome to you all. 

We seem to have had some lovely weather just lately which put me in the mood of summer sunshine.  I am not normally a "yellow" person but thought I would give this colour a little outing for a change in one of my favourite ways to craft - on an ATC.

I have layered my ATC with a rounded rectangle shape to give it a bit of interest. I love the way the MDF will take anything thrown at it. This was really yellow when I first added the pigment powders so it took alot of water to get them thinned down to a colour I was happy with.

One of my favourite go to Calico Craft Parts pieces ...... the lovely keys.

And not forgetting the little tags which are always so useful.

A bit of fun and a simple ATC which my friends seem to love in lieu of birthday cards! It is always lovely to see these miniature art pieces adorning a mantlepiece long after the birthday.

As always thank  you for joining me today and happy crafting .... and I hope the summer sunshine continues!

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts used:

Monday, 13 May 2019

Busy Buzzy Tag - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by today!

Sorry for the four weeks break.  Some sudden health issues including a stay at the hospital and a lot of visits with various doctors in the weeks after have been keeping me away from my studio. I am still not back to feeling really well or being my old self again, but at least I am almost back to a normal daily routine by now. And I can finally create at my workdesk again, which is something that always makes me feel better and helps keeping sad or stressful thoughts at bay.

The total loss of any daily routine has also made me loose my creative mojo a bit. But often browsing your stash helps with getting it back - so I browsed my "Calico Craft Parts Design Team Treasure Box" and unearthed the gorgeous Sheet of Mini MDF Bees & Beehives and the Bees & Honeycombs Sheet and decided to use these on a Calico Craft Parts MDF Classic Tag.

Wild Bees have even been nesting on our balcony on the 6th floor during the last years. The first wild bee I saw there tried to nest in one of the holes used to tilt our beach chair , so I immediately went and bought an insect hotel to provide it a proper nesting place.
During the last years we have always had some wild bees nesting on our balcony and I always love it when I find that one or the other has hatched after a long winter.

Looking closer at the "bees" on the MDF sheet I found that some rather looked like wasps and others also a bit like bumble bees - so I united all of them on my tag. And combining parts of the awesome honeycomb parts with a blank Word Element made for a perfect base to put a quote on.

"Summ summ summ" is German (and the title of a very common German children's song) and means "buzz buzz buzz". (You pronounce it like "zoommm zoommm zoommm" with the "oo" spoken rather shortly).

This is a picture of the Calico Craft Parts I've used.

As you can see I have also used the lovely "Wildflower Wood Shape" - so the bees on my tag had some flower to get their pollen and nectar from. As it was the only wood shape on my tag that didn't have any laser engraved texture, I decided to add some texture myself.

To do so I used DecoArt white Modeling Paste, a palette knife and some thin wire (to engrave the leaves and petals patterns into the still wet paste).

I first applied a thin even coat of the Modeling Paste with the palette knife and then "drew" the leaves' veins and petals with the thin wire (I used the wire because it was what was closest at hand. I could as well have used a pokey tool or something else that has a fine tip).

More white Modeling Paste was scraped onto the tag using the palette knife. I made sure I created several layers and a lot of texture.

The Modeling Paste also worked as my adhesive to put the Craft Parts in. First the ones that formed the base layer. Then I scraped on more Modeling Paste to fix the insects to the honeycomb layer.  (I also used matte Decou-Page where I didn't have a honeycomb base).

I also used the Modeling Paste and the very tip of my palette knife to create the look of "filled and closed" honeycombs here and there.

This is how these looked once the tag was done.

But first I had to create a colour base layer. I used DecoArt media Misters White, Orange and Primary Yellow and mixed these wet on wet. 

I started with a thorough white base layer and let that dry and then partly sprayed and sprinkled on the Orange and Yellow Mister paints.

Once these had dried I used an old plastic pipette and cut off the narrowest part of its tip, so I could use it to pick up some DecoArt clear Pouring Top Coat and fill some of the honeycomb cells with it. 

Time for the Pouring Top Coat on the tag (and for me) to rest over night. The next day I went on with painting the wasps, bumble bees and bees and other shapes with DecoArt media fluid acrylics Diarylide Yellow, Hansa Yellow Medium, Burnt Sienna, Carbon Black and Sap Green.

I mixed Diarylide Yellow and Burnt Sienna to create a wash for the branch.

A mix of Diarylide Yellow and Hansa Yellow Medium was used to paint my bee (in the picture below) while I used pure Hansa Yellow Medium to paint the wasps.

The wings were first dry brushed using DecoArt Americana Snow White. Then I added DecoArt media Interference fluid acrylic Turquoise on top (once the white layer had dried).

The wildflower's stem and leaves were given a wash of Sap Green fluid acrylic paint.

The wash especially highlighted the patterns I had engraved into the Modeling Paste.

As I felt I still needed more texture on my tag I mixed some DecoArt media white Crackle Paint with some drops of Hansa Yellow Medium media fluid acrylic paint and applied that mix in several spots with either the palette knife or a brush (in those parts where the palette knife didn't reach).

I let that dry naturally and then went in with my favourite mix of diluted DecoArt media Antiquing Creams Carbon Black and Raw Umber.

 This way the background was toned down which made all the prominent parts stand out and also the gorgeous crackle from the Crackle Paint became more visible.

To finish off my tag I stamped my quote onto the blank Word Element using archival black stamping ink and some letter stamps.


In this picture you can also see one of the sources that inspired me to create this tag and go for that specific colour scheme. It's an empty wasps nest I found on one of my walks with my dog girlie Bluna.

I hope you like my busy buzzy tag! 
See you in two weeks!

Hug and happy crafting!

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Paint Colour Chart- by Lesley

Hi everyone. This week I have a quick and easy project for you......but it is oh so handy!

When I get new paints.....which is quite often! I like to make colour swatches so I know the true colours before using them on my pieces. I always do the swatches on card tags. These always end up getting grubby (I am a very messy person when I create) or they end up dog-eared and pretty much ruined after a month or so.

I had the idea to do my colour swatches on wood tags instead,

I ended up with this!

Each tag was primed with gesso. Then painted with the individual colours.

I hand wrote the names of the paints across the bottom.

They were all then pinned onto my board.

This now lives on the wall above my desk. More paints have now been added to this particular more tags to get and paint and add to the board.
I shall definitely be doing this again for other paints!

Thanks for reading.

Ingredients used

MDF Tag shape, classic