Sunday 30 August 2015

Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue Plaque - by Alison

Hello all, Alison here again, and I've been playing with some fabulous new designs.  Steampunk fans will be excited to hear that the latest additions to the Calico Craft Parts range offer a wealth of Steampunk inspiration.  There are fantastical cogs and flourishes, quirky characters and vehicles, as well as the pieces I've been playing with... a set of pipes and connectors - so much fun to play with, and here's what I've cooked up on my first go.

It's not where I meant to go, but I rather like where it ended up.

(The post title is there for any West Wing fans - you'll know what I'm talking about with the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue!  It just seemed the right title for this piece.)

The whole thing is on a large plaque, so there's plenty of room for one of my favourite steampunk-style stamp images as well as lots of the pipes and taps and screws from the Pipework Maze set.

The base is one of the Birch Plywood Plaques - the large Rectangle, 30x15cm (12x6 inches for those in old money!).  I had a little play with the pipes and the image to get a rough idea of where I might be headed.

Next step was to cut and emboss some card to fill the plaque around the area for the image, and then I covered that with black gesso from the edges and white gesso from the centre, so that we'd have a nice glowing light at the centre of things.

Then I started adding colour - some ink and mica sprays and some DecoArt Traditions Prussian Blue Hue - before dry-brushing with white gesso to highlight the texture.  (It's all a sort of combination of things learned from Andy Skinner and Finnabair and mutated to serve my purpose.)

I spent a while playing with the pipes, trying out various finishes.  Thankfully, the Calico Craft Parts are more than sturdy enough to take several changes of mind.  Here's one that didn't make it - too dark against the background - but an effect I'll be playing with again soon!

In the end, I've got DecoArt Dazzling Metallics Silver paint with some mica sprays over the top, and a shading wash of the DecoArt Prussian Blue applied with the fingertips down the "dark sides" of the pipes and washer heads and taps.

In places, there's also some Pewter Treasure Gold providing highlights along the inner sides of the pipes, shining in the light cast by our beautiful Steampunk woman.  I love all the stopcocks and pumps and taps (I'm sure there are proper names for them all... I just don't know them!).

And I love that you can pretty much create any map or maze of pipes that you like.

I altered some of the Mini Cogs, Styles 3 and 4, in the same way, and added them to the steam pipe maze...

... along with some metal cogs and screw brads of various sizes.

I was lucky enough to be given some tiny lightbulbs by a friend of my mother's.  I've been hoarding them, but finally some of them have a home of their own.

So the glow of the woman at the centre is not the only source of light in the piece!  She's stamped on tissue paper and glued into place.

You'll probably have noticed that the Pewter Treasure Gold made its way onto the background cog texture too.  It adds a great metallic lustre.

The sentiment is stamped on watercolour paper, tinted around the edges with the same ink and paint colours to tie it in with the rest of the piece.

I can see so many possibilities for these steam pipes.  They'll work on layouts (they make a great framing feature for an image or photo), or on masculine cards or tags.

You could go all out grungy and rusty, but for this particular creation I'm going to claim the Glampunk label again.  I'd intended to go for rust and verdigris, but that just wasn't where it took me this time around.  There's always another day!

I hope you like my Glampunk plaque, and do check out the new Steampunk offerings over at Calico Craft Parts.  You might just find yourself setting out on a Steampunk adventure of your very own.  You can also click on any of the links in the text to take you direct to the particular products in the Calico Craft Parts shop.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I'll see you again soon.

Alison xx
Words and Pictures

Thursday 27 August 2015

Dream by Trish


I like putting things in shadow box frames... and I've discovered the perfect thing for doing just that!

My little lady stands in one of these:
This is a printers tray style 4, basically a tray with no dividing parts! I covered it with book pages, then gave it a wash of blue paint, nothing complicated. Once drawn and coloured, 'Dream' girl was glued in place inside the tray...

She is holding a magic wand, just ready to make your dreams come true! The star is from the mini primitive star sheet, and was covered with red glitter....

'Dream' is a create your own word! Yep, you can have any word you want, in a choice of sizes and 5 different fonts! How cool is that! I'm almost ashamed that I didn't choose something a bit more 'out there'... Dream is hardly an unusual word to choose, but I have a this space..

Have a good day everyone!
Trish xx

Calico Craft parts used:
Printers Tray
Create your own word

Sunday 23 August 2015

Garden Keepers: by Tracy Evans

Welcome to my second Guest Designer post, thank you again Louise and Helen for inviting me along, I have really enjoyed altering these pieces!

This time around I have altered one of the fabulous Calico Craft Parts Arch Shrine Kits, these are a fabulous size and I have so many plans to alter more! I began by painting the Arch with a coat of Gesso and then I applied two coats of DecoArt Dark Grey Value 3 Fluid Acrylic.

Once the layers of paint were completely dry I then added a coat of DecoArt Weathered Wood and once that was completely dry I then added a coat of DecoArt Crackle Paint (Andy Skinner's Mega Crackle Technique); the crackles are amazing. Once everything was completely dry I then applied a coat of Matte Medium to protect the layers.

To add further interest to the inside I also added some stencilling using Graphite Texture paste through a stencil.

This is a flower keepers garden so obviously I added some flowers; these flowers have resin faces for the centre which I coloured with touches of Dark Grey Fluid Acrylic, applying with my finger. I also added touches of Crackle Glaze to the petals.

I added a Remnant Rub to the back wall along with a further resin flower, again adding touches of Fluid Acrylic to colour. I also added lettering to the top of the shrine "Garden Keepers".

I also included another one of my favourite Calico Craft Parts the ATB Cube Kits, these come in three sizes and are absolutely fantastic (I have lots of plans for more of these!). I did not add the top to this ATB Cube as I wanted to use it as a pot to add my flower. I painted the Cube with Fluid Acrylics, added the flower and also included a Prima Doll, along with Remnant Rubs to the body and touches of Fluid Acrylic, applied with my finger.

Two further flowers and a further doll have been added to the opposite side along with some dry moss.

From this angle you can see the depth of the shrine.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Tracy Evans x x

Arched Shrine Kit

ATB Cube Kit

Wednesday 19 August 2015

You Are A Work Of Art by Lesley

The cubes have so many possibilities, but one screamingly obvious choice is to use it as a base.
Boring? Yes! But they are ideal! So sturdy. I have drilled through going through butter!
I altered one of my twins dolls........and he really needed his own platform to stand on!

The base was a little tray turned upside down and the cube was made up and glued to the tray. Before gluing the cube to the base, i added some splodges of Decoart texture paste. Then they were painted with black gesso. And i then rubbed in some gold Inca around the cube. 

Using the mini plaques, i glued down the words and added a mini heart as well.

The doll itself was altered using Decoart texture paste and media acrylic paints. 

I gave him little horns made out of clay. Had a weeny bit left......had to give him a willy, i'm sorry! He has a real textural feel to him. 

To get the doll to fix firmly to the cube, i drilled a hole in one of the feet, and one in the base of the cube. And then inserted a wooden stick and glued it it. Super sturdy.....he's not going anywhere! The wooden dowel was long.......couldn't waste it, so i drilled another hole in the base.

Two of the small hearts were painted and crackle glaze over the top, and then glued into the hole. 
The final piece to add was something for him to hold! Using the last bit of the dowel, i attached a skull to it.

The skull was given a little mohican using texture paste and then painted with Decoart media paints. The wooden dowel fits perfectly in his hand.
I can see lots of the cubes being used as bases in the future! They come in three different sizes, so ideal for all different sorts of art!

He needs a name....the twins suggestion of Herbert just doesn't work for me! Suggestions welcome!

Thanks for reading,

Ingredients used.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Romantic Memories Tag - by Alison

Hello all, Alison here from Words and Pictures, with a bit of nostalgic romance for you today on a tag.  I'd been wanting to use one of the fabulously elegant Calico Craft Parts lampposts for a while, and I finally set about creating a home for one of them.

I started with some torn book pages, one segment tea and coffee-stained, one not, and gesso'd lightly over them, stippling for texture.

After applying DecoArt crackle paint through a harlequin stencil, I did a bit of wrinkle free distress inking, first with browns...

... and then adding some blues for more of a lamplit night time ambience.  I also added some strips of torn book page, tiny clouds scudding across the sky, and layered the whole tag onto a pale background.

The lamppost itself I pressed into Versamark ink and then embossed with black embossing powder.  You get both shine and dimension, which I think gives it a lovely cast iron look.  This one is from the Mini Street Lights and Lamp Posts Style 3 plate, but there are several sets to choose from.

The song wandering through my head as I was making this was Lili Marlene - an old German love song about a girl waiting for a soldier under a lamppost.  It was made popular (with soldiers on both sides of the conflict) during World War II in a version sung by Marlene Dietrich (a favourite of mine).  It was also recorded by Vera Lynn.

So I needed a Lili Marlene to go "unter der Laterne" - under the lamp - even if there's only a snapshot left to remember her by.  And I think that's probably the number of the house at the street corner where she's waiting "vor dem grossen Tor" - in front of the large gate.

In the soldier's memory, cracked and partial now, she's like a moth or butterfly drawn to the light (yes, there's another Marlene song creeping in there for those in the know!).  The Mini Butterflies come from the Style 5 sheet, but there are many others to suit every project.

And I used some trimmings from some of the fabulous Borders, Flourishes and Ornaments available at Calico Craft Parts.  I gave them a light wash of black ink and water for extra depth.

There are so many beautiful styles and designs - I'd be hard put to identify which ones these pieces came from, but they were certainly from one of the Wood Flourish Designs, and I think probably from one or other of the Curled Vines.  They add just a touch of elegant decoration.

The topping is light and feminine to suit her lover's memory of Lili Marlene, and that's your bit of long lost romance for today!

If you'd like to go shopping you can click on any of the links in the text and you'll be taken straight to Calico Craft Parts.  For now, I'll love you and leave you (yes, you see, Lili Marlene and I are very alike!), and thank you so much for stopping by today.

Alison xx