Monday, 20 November 2017

A Box of Winter Delights by Julie Ann

Hello it's great to be at Calico Craft Parts and today I'd like to invite you to step inside a winter's world captured within a frame. For some time I've wanted to have a play with one of the Calico Craft Parts Birch Plywood Box Frame kits and I decided to just let my imagination lead me into this winter's tale. There is a list of all the Calico Craft Parts I used at the end of the blog.

As with all Calico Craft Parts, these box frame kits are really adaptable. They come with a glass panel, which you can slip in and out of the frame and you can change the arrangement if you wish. Because I wanted to create a winter scene the viewer could 'step into', I fixed my elements inside. I also preferred not to use the glass for the effect I wanted to achieve.

My imagination was sparked by these winter-themed napkins, which I tore and fixed with fluid matte medium to the back and sides of the box.

For a magical twilight mood, I blended thin layers of teal and light green acrylic mixed with an acrylic glaze.

I had been wanting to use one a little paper-clay head I'd created by making a mould from this German doll's head. You can see that at first I intended her to be a conventional Christmas angel, but I think she had other ideas!

She was much more of a Nature Spirit!

These beautiful window frames from Calico remind me of the glorious stained glass windows we saw on our recent trip to Belgium. I used Japanese paper and gem stones to try to create the effect of them glimmering in the winter evening.

I just used the outer frame rather than the two pieces with glass between and applied a crackle finish.

Winter worlds within worlds was my plan, so I created this little haven, watched over by a guardian angel fox. I had lots of fun creating ice and snow with ice-resin, gesso and acrylic paint dripped from a cocktail stick!

Putting the whole assemblage together was lots of fun and I reached for a few additional Calico details along the way! I wanted to keep the 'rustic' look of the plywood so I simply stamped in paint on the sides and then used a clear embossing powder to add a little dimension to the stamping, sponging the corners with white acrylic with a dusting of distress glitter.

Step through the frame and we're invited into a frost-bound world, but we don't have to be lonely or cold. The choir is singing carols and the sweet sound fills the chilly evening. Angel Fox invites us to join her by a cosy fire and listen to her stories before we step back into our own world.

I plan to display this little scene above my fireplace this Christmas, but the kit does come with the fittings for you to fix it to the wall. I hope you have been inspired to create your own boxes of winter delights to add a little Seasonal Magic this winter. 

There are so many beautiful Calico pieces you could use with your own artwork and found objects. Have fun!
List of Calico Craft Parts 
Birch Plywood Box Frame Kit
Sheet of mini MDF snowflakes
Mini Star Wreath (split into 2 pieces)
Steampunk Snowflake corner embellishment
Window MDF wood shape style 3
Block style Tall House kit
Sheet of mini MDF Label Holders

Thursday, 16 November 2017

A is for ........

Hello Everyone and welcome!

Something a little bit different from me today. I spent a lovely time going through all the Calico Craft Parts Steampunk/Mechanical and Ironmongery parts and decided to make a little project with one of the Steampunk letters. And of course it had to be  A for Atkinson!

As Atkinson is very much a northern England name (although my father in law was very much a Cockney!) I thought this would fit quite nice with the steampunk theme.

The steampunk letter first got a coating of DecoArt Texture Sand Paste here and there and then a coat of a mix of DecoArt Paynes Grey mixed with a little Tinting Medium. I added some darker Paynes Grey here and there.

And then it was in with the DecoArt Quinacridone Gold splodging it here and there to get a rusty effect.  I love how you can keep adding layers with a heavier hand to get a darker colour.

I love how it works with the Sand Texture Paste.

I hadn't intended to do much decoration, but thought this fabulous chap and his dog summed up an industrial age which I am sure the Atkinson's would have been involved in. I rusted a few mini cogs and added these under the photograph to give a bit of depth.

I thought this Word Element was particularly appropriate ! I rubbed more Quinacridone Gold with my finger on the Word Element and then added a little Paynes Grey around the edges to age it a bit. Before adding it to the background I did smear a little gold paint onto the sand textured areas to give it a bit of a glint.

Another close up of the rusting.

This turned out to be a very enjoyable project and I think it would work well instead of a birthday card for a male family member or friend. So .... another 25 letters to go!

Thank you for joining me today and happy crafting!

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts used:

Monday, 13 November 2017

"dulijöh" - by Claudia

Servus and hollerei dulijöh!

Yodeling is a very special form of traditional rural singing in Austria, Switzerland and southern Germany and as I am the Austrian chick on the DT I thought it was about time to create a piece that includes not only some yodeling but also a typical subject of Alpine landscape and folklore painting - a roaring stag in front of high mountain tops covered with snow and ice. Hollodero!

To explain how "dulijöh" is pronounced properly I can only give a kind of approach in phonetic spelling, as yodeling is a kind of singing where the singer changes rapidly between chest voice and head voice and there's no way to write that down exactly.
To "yodle" means to utter the syllable "jo" - or variations like jöh, jeh and others.
[doo - lee - yay] may come closest I guess. ;)

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Oval Shape Greyboard Mixed Media Board - Style 22
- Fancy Plaques 3 - Mini MDF Wood Plaques
- Bellowing Stag MDF Wood Deer Shape - Style 11

There are lots of other beautiful deer wood shapes to use for a similar project (or even create a little series of rural landscape wall boards). Click the link to browse Calico Craft Parts deer wood shapes collection.

I started with priming the oval shape greyboard with white DecoArt Acrylic Gesso. I used a wide bristle brush and made sure I created horizontal brush strokes only (as the lines' texture would look more natural with a landscape painting than vertical lines). 

I used a landscape photograph as my model but changed proportions here and there so the mountain top and hills below would be in the right spots (and where's Bob Ross when you would need some help?!)

Well, I used a soft graphite pencil to sketch the landscape and mark the spot where the bellowing stag would be placed later.

I used mixes of DecoArt media fluid acrylics Titanium White, Cobalt Teal Hue, Cobalt Turquoise Hue and Cerulean Blue to paint the sky.

Then I went in with Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Umber, Green Gold, Sap Green and Viridian and painted the mountain and hills. I diluted the paints where needed to create lighter and darker areas from the same colour tone. At that point the texture from the brushed on Gesso started to add beautifully to the painting. 

The trees to the left were painted with short quick vertical brush strokes and various greens. I always mix the colours I have on my palette to get additional tones for more depth. And the good thing is: as the mixes are always done with the already used tones, they all match perfectly and look quite natural.

To finish the background panel off, I painted a thin outline with Burnt Umber (which was also part of the mix that I used to paint the mountain rock).

The bellowing stag was painted using mixes of Titanium White, Quinacridone Gold and Burnt Umber. Carbon black was used to paint the nose and eye.

To make my stag more prominent I added a coat of DecoArt media Gloss Varnish.

I made sure the the colour of the grass to the stag's feet matched the grass on the painted hill!
The dulijöh plaque was primed with a mix of white Gesso and a hint of Burnt Umber. The red outline around the plaque and the dots around the background panel's edge were painted using DecoArt media Cadmium Red Hue.

I used a very fine detail brush to handwrite the dulijöh with diluted Carbon Black fluid acrylic.

Once the painted antlers were dry I added DecoArt media Liquid Glass to them for more dimension. 

The finished plaque and stag were fixed to the background panel with stacked sticky foam pads. 

Et voilá!

Some details:

Djo diri hollerei dulijöh!!! 
So finally it's finished - yay! 

I hope you like my little rural Austrian project! (As I can't yodel at all you're lucky there's no such thing as audible blog posts....giggle...but the Seven Dwarves can....)

Thanks for stopping by!
Dulijöh and hugs and happy crafting! 

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Don't Be A Face In The Crowd- Lesley

Hey people, Lesley here with an altered plaque for you. And its not Halloween......OR Christmas styley!!

I decided to go bright this time......something i struggle with, i'm normally a dark rusty sort of colour girl!
The board was primes with gesso to begin with. And i started building up layers.

Bits of torn up pages from an old book was first......then a printed napkin torn up.

I dropped watercolours on top and added a bit of water and let it dribble about.

Then i added some stamping. A circle stamp using white ink, and then a face stamp, using black ink.
And then finally, i used an ink pen to doodle little flowers and scribbles.

I painted the mini circles with silver paint and little rub ons of faces on top.
Using wire, i attached the circles to them and then wrapped them around the hand, and glued the arm in place.

I dusted off my Dymo label machine for the wording to finish.

Thanks for reading,

Ingredients used
Square birch plaques
Mini MDF wood circles

Monday, 6 November 2017

Follow Your Dream, canvas by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone! It's great to be at Calico Craft Parts sharing a project with you. November is upon us with its dark nights and chilly mornings! It's sad to bid farewell to the autumn colours and those warm, golden days; but every season has its special beauty and I do love winter's colours too. Today I'm sharing a chunky box canvas (125 mm x 125 mm) with Calico Craft Part details and a winter theme.

The canvas is for a friend who lives in the US. The past few months have been very tough for her. Her family home ended up under six feet of water during Hurricane Harvey and she has been in and out of hospital with Sepsis. She is one of the wisest and kindest people I know and I wanted to create something to cheer her up that she could take back with her when she and her family return to their home.

The first step was to take the top layer of some napkin tissue and stick it carefully to the canvas with a fluid matte medium. I wanted to create the idea of branches faintly visible through wintry mist. I chose the word 'Hope' from the napkin because sometimes it's easy to lose all hope when troubles pile up and the way forward is unclear. My plan was to have that word just about visible through the background layers.

This is the effect I wanted to achieve and I was pleased with the result! I applied layers of different blue acrylics and a touch of pale green and pinky tones, blended with glazing liquid. I then added some white tissue with tiny spangles along the bottom to create the effect of snow.

Now it was time to tell my story with miniature MDF pieces. I laid them out on the dry canvas to explore different compositions. At this point I felt my canvas needed something more.

Owls are special and they symbolise a great deal to my friend and to me. I used one of my own MDF miniature houses and brought it to life with gilded Calico Wings, a tiny Calico oak door and my own art work against a background of Japanese paper. There's a tiny silhouette of an owl from a sheet of Calico birds too.

The finishing touch - some tiny pieces of twig fixed with Heavy Gel Medium and sprinkled with a distress glitter. I created the snow-flakes by dipping a cocktail stick into a puddle of white acrylic and dotting randomly over the canvas. I learned many of these techniques in a class I did a couple of years back with Mary Jane Chadbourne.

With these chunky box canvases, I like to extend the design over the edges too. The path to the house, only just visible in the snow is created from a fragment of tea bag.

I hope you enjoyed our winter walk around the canvas I created for my friend, Christine. If we could open the tiny, snow-covered door I wonder what would lie inside? I imagine a place of warmth, friendship and contentment as the gentle snow falls silently and creates wonder. Have a lovely, creative week, whatever the weather where you are.

Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
Sheet of Mini Owls Wood Bird Shapes
Sheet of Mini Angel Wings Wood Shapes
Sheet of tiny MDF Windows and Doors