Monday, 22 July 2019

Rise and Sparkle ATC - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by!

Today I would like to share a quick ATC that was inspired by one of my favourite summer places in and around Vienna to go to - a small swimming spot in the southern Danube Wetlands. There are always loads of beautiful demoiselles (a European damselfly) and I love to watch them "dance" across the water and sparkle in the sun.

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Plain ATC Wood Blank
- Sheet of Mini Insects MDF Wood Shapes - Style 1
- Wild Grass MDF Wood Shape - Style 5
- Daffodil Flower MDF Wood Shape

The ATC was quickly and loosely painted wet on wet with "treasure" DecoArt Chalky Finish paint, "Navy Blue" and "Light Buttermilk" Americana paints. The other wood shapes were - as always - dry brushed with Light Buttermilk to create a base layer and prime the MDF.

Using a detail brush and DecoArt Metallic Lustre "Cosmic Blue" and "Elegant Emerald" and "Teal" Dazzling Metallics alongside media fluid acrylic paints Dioxazine Purple, Carbon Black and Titanium White I painted the damselflies.
The left overs from the Titanium White were diluted and sprinkled onto the ATC background.

I "murdered" a lovely Daffodil Flower wood shape from my stash to create the grass for my largest dragonfly to sit on...

...because I wanted to put an additional grass layer behind the beautiful wild grass shape to create more depth. In the picture below I have put it on top, but it actually was to go behind it.

The grass was also painted quite loosely using DecoArt media fluid acrylics Sap Green, Green Gold and Americana "Golden Straw" acrylic paints wet on wet.

Back to my demoiselles....

These still needed some detail on the wings, so I painted that using a size zero detail brush and slightly diluted Titanium White and Carbon Black media fluid acrylic paint.

Once the paints had dried, it was time to glue all the pieces in place (using matte DecoArt Decou-Page). To layer smaller wood shapes I like to use little MDF pieces that I cut off the left overs from used up Mini Craft Sheets.

The printed out quote was cut to size, inked around the edges and blended with Distress ink before I glued it in place to finish off my ATC.


The metallic sheen and sparkle on the wings (from the Metallic Lustres and Dazzling Metallic paints) was - as always - hard to capture in a picture....I think this one was the closest I could get ;)

Looking at the ATC from the other side the painted in white highlights become more prominent. Adding these on top of the Metallic paints was no problem at all (I was a bit worried because I wasn't sure if other paints would adhere well on top of the Metallic Lustres...but no problems at all !)

I hope I managed to capture at least a bit of the sparkling of the wings (and of the sunlight on the waves), of the volume of traffic in the air and of the extreme summer heat amidst the reed. It's such a magical place at that time of the year (especially when you manage to get there at a time when it isn't too crowded...well, I am not the only one who thinks this place is magical...sigh).

Have a magical summer! 

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Gratitude Book-by Lesley

Hey everyone. Only a few more days until my kids break up for the summer holidays....which means it teacher present time! Whilst making thank you presents for them, I created this little book as well......

I used two of the mixed media boards as the covers. I covered them with patterned tissue paper and a watered down coat of white paint.

The rose bud stem was given 5 layers of embossing enamel. 5 layers...…...and the wood didn't buckle what so really can do anything to these craft parts!


I did the same with the butterfly on the back. A few rub-ons and more embossing were added.

I added some handmade paper for the middle and finished it off with some ribbon.

Thanks for reading

Ingredients used
Rectangle mixed media boards
Rosebud flower stem
Butterfly and vine

Monday, 15 July 2019

A Happy Summer Birthday - Hinged ATC by Julie Ann.

Hello, Everyone. I hope you're enjoying some carefree summer days taking time to smell the flowers. This week I have a miniature birthday card with a difference to share with you.

I decided to combine this beautifully detailed Calico ATC frame with an MDF ATC blank; but to drill tiny holes at the edges of the frame and the blank and to create a hinge, using copper crafting wire. I was really pleased with the sense of depth this creates when you stand it on a shelf.

To begin with, I took an MDF ATC blank and gave it a couple of coats of white Gesso.

For the reverse side, I used a heavy black Gesso. You can then write your greeting on this side with a white Gel pen.

Calico frames are so beautifully detailed, it doesn't take more than a little paint to create a magical, fairy-tale effect. Gold metallic paint adds the finishing touch.

As this is a summer birthday card, I painted a miniature Flora in a leafy bower. She is taking a moment in the long, summer day to enjoy the fragrance of a wild rose.

The wooden beads cover any sharp ends on the copper wire.

I used a combination of gesso, acrylic inks and acrylic paint with white gel pen and water-colour pencils for the final touches. The golden owl in flight and the running hare provide a sense of movement and suggest that perhaps that long summer afternoon is gently fading into twilight.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and look at my summer birthday ATC. Wishing you a wonderfully creative time until we meet again.
Calico Craft Parts Used in this Project
Plain ATC Wood Blank with Woodland Fungi Frame
Sheet of Mini Owls Wood Shapes
Sheet of Mini Hares

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Summer frame by Kerstin

Hello everyone!

Today a new inspiration for Calico Craft Parts.
 It's a sea inspired picture frame.

And the best thing is: A frame
like this in altered art can be made easily 
 and quickly and can be used as
a creative Birthday present for your family or friends.
A beautiful holiday photo of your loved ones in the middle,
 only three parts that are quickly painted with some acrylic colours and altered with distress inks
 and ready is a special gift.

I bought a picture frame, which I found very nice in the original. But everyone else could have had it and it should always be something special and unique.

 That's how I started.

Have you seen our option to create your own word
I chose  'Sea You' in Ancestry Font.


Happy crafting!


Thursday, 11 July 2019

Let's Go to the Beach by Jennie

Hello and welcome!

I thought I would celebrate the summer by making a beach themed banner using some of the fabulous smaller mini MDF pieces.

I just love the Mini Sheets of themed MDF and I think the To the Beach is one of my favourites.

I wanted a washed out beach colour so brayered my paints onto the banner and beach hut.

I added a little pop of colour by painting the lifebuoy red. And ..... the seagull is hiding the East part of the compass which I managed to snap off while painting (I am very heavy handed at times!).

It was fun to use some of the lovely sea shells I manage to collect on our sailing holidays around the West coast of Scotland.

A great fun project which is a lovely reminder of summer even if the weather is not that great!

Thank  you for joining me today and happy crafting!

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts used:

Monday, 8 July 2019

Nautical Themed Travel Journal - by Claudia

Hi and servus! I am so happy to see you pop by today!

Summer is in full swing and everyone is longing for a refreshing cool breeze and a lake or ocean to hop in and not get out again until the dog days of summer are over. ;)

I have still four more days until I will be able to soak myself in the fresh water of my beloved Lake Atter, but I have already tried to capture this hard longed for feel in today's project - a little Travel Journal, made from packaging material and embellished with loads of gorgeous Calico Craft Parts!

I was inspired to create this album cover by the recent makes of my wonderfully talented good friend, Kerstin, who is part of the Calico Craft Parts design team too and whose makes you all surely know and can easily recognise, as her style is quite unique and mainly inspired by scrapbooking - something I cannot do but admire a lot.

So on this journal cover I tried to do at least a bit of that awesome layering she always does so delicately well and has it look so easy, natural and beautiful...the Nautical Multi Frame with the Ships Portholes already had that layered look, so that was the perfect starting point for a scrapbook numpty like me. ;)

Calico Craft Parts used: 

- Nautical Multi Frame - Ships Porthole
- Sheet of Mini MDF Wood Birds - Seagulls
- Sheet of Mini MDF Nautical Motifs Style 2
- Sheet of Mini MDF Nautical Motifs Style 1
- Ships Wheel Compass - MDF Wood Shape
- Word Elements - Art & Journaling

The size of my journal cover was chosen after the size of the Multi Frame shape I used as my base element. I went for a square format and used heavy scissors to cut the cover from old packaging cardboard scraps from my stash.
The corners were rounded using a corner punch.

Once I had cut the cover to size I continued with die cutting the two holes for my printed out Captains' images (I used royalty free images from the internet). To find the exact spots for the holes I put the Multi Frame in its planned spot and traced the holes' edges with a pencil. Then I fixed the circle dies with washi tape to the cardboard so they stayed in place during die cutting.

The printed out images were given a coat of DecoArt Antique Decou-Page, which added a light vintage brown-ish tint and also sealed the images.

Once I had found all the spots for my craft shapes to put them in, I removed them and generously spread DecoArt media white Crackle Paint with a palette knife across the whole journal cover. The craft shapes that built the base layer were pressed into the still wet Crackle Paint to glue them in place.

The other craft parts that were to go on top of base layer craft parts were glued in place using DecoArt matte Decou-Page. I also used tiny scraps of left overs from Mini MDF Wood Shapes sheets to stabilize some of the craft parts. The little shark shape for example has one of these underneath as it only partially sits on top of some of the base layer craft parts.

Once the crackling process was finished my cover already looked quite appealing.

Time to prime the glued on craft parts by dry brushing them with DecoArt Titanium White Americana acrylic paint. This time I didn't go for thorough or even coverage, so the brown from the MDF still remained more visible in some areas.

This was important because the next step I was going to do meant spraying on self made spray paint that I mixed with a few drops of DecoArt media Cobalt Teal Hue and water to create a very light tint only.

In those areas where I had applied more Titanium White the Cobalt Teal Hue became more visible, in those where I had just loosely covered the MDF with the Titanium White the brown mixed with the Teal and gave some beautiful subtle shades of greens.

Once the sprayed on paint had dried, I added traces of DecoArt Brown Vintage Effect Wash here and there and sprayed these with water from my spray bottle to create drip lines.

Some of the smaller craft parts came off where I had used a lot of water, so I glued these in place again with matte Decou-Page. I also added sprinkles of Titanium White, Cobalt Teal Hue and Brown Vintage Effect Wash.

The printed out images were glued behind the openings. Then I cut out two more sheets of cardboard, using the finished cover to trace its shape (so I didn't have to do any measuring).

One of the cardboard sheets was glued to the back of the cover.

To create my back cover for my journal the other one was covered on both sides with some left over prints from one of my latest gel plate printing sessions. Gluing paper of the same weight to both sides of the cardboard saves lined cardboard from ugly warping.

To add a bit of contrasting texture to the lovely crackle on the cover, I poured some DecoArt Triple Thick directly from the bottle into the Ships Portholes so it covered the glued behind images and added a glossy quality.

Now I had to be patient until the Triple Thick had fully dried. The hardest part is to NOT touch the surface to check if you can already touch it (because in most cases you can't). lol

The binding of the journal is quite simple - I used a hole punch kit to set two holes and threaded a piece of linen ribbon through these to put the covers together. I only tied the ribbon with a bow, so it can always be opened again to add pages to the journal.

The inside - without pages -, ...

the back cover...

...and once more the finished travel journal.

Some close ups:

Thanks for stopping by! See you in two weeks!

Have a wonderful summer!