Sunday 11 October 2015

Autumnal ATBs - by Alison

Hello all, Alison here with some Autumnal ATBs (and a very alliterative post title) for you today.  We're pretty picture-heavy, so grab a coffee and carry on!

One of my (pleasurable) problems with the Craft Parts is I'm always torn between altering them and not altering them.  There are so many options for altering, and it's great fun, and they look fantastic... but then they also look so beautiful "naked" too.

With this project I think I've found a medium which gives me some of the best of both worlds - pastels (I used my Pan Pastels, but I would think any sort would work).  By shading only partially, you get the colour but you can also keep some of the natural earthiness of the Craft Parts surface too.

I've used a complete set of all three sizes of the Plain ATBs (they also come with various apertures) and a just some of the wide range of glorious Leaf & Twig Shapes, and Fungi & Mushroom Shapes to create my autumn tower.

Putting the ATBs together is made very easy by the labelling and letters engraved onto the inside surfaces - just match them up and glue.

There's some full-on altering on the ATBs themselves.  I've used the DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish paints and crackle medium.  The base coat is a combination of Relic and Rustic, then I applied the crackle glaze - quite thickly so that I would get a good chunky crackle with lots of texture - and then some of the warm-white Lace colour over that once it was dry.

I shaded an autumnal sky downwards on each side using various pastels, and an earthy mulch upwards, leaving some white space available to give a cool light to the autumn day.

I combined more greens, browns and purples onto the leaves, starting with one colour...

... and building up the layers until I liked the look of them.

And, as I said, I tried to make sure I didn't "colour" the whole piece each time, so that there would still be some "naked" Craft Part visible too.  It's such a lovely warm brown that it doesn't need covering up.

Since the leaves come in all sorts of sizes, you can get them to fit every size of ATB (or layout or card or tag, or whatever project you're working on).

The large ATB is 10x10x10cm, and so I've used the larger sizes - the Sugar Maple Leaf & Twig in large...

... the large version of the Mushrooms Style 9 (this little clump of fungi puts in an appearance in all three sizes)...

... the large Red Oak Leaf & Twig...

... and the Maple Leaf & Twig.  Since most of these are about 12cm at their largest point in the large size, they extend over the edges of the ATB in a way that really pleases me, but meant I had to be a bit careful about juggling them so that the ATBs could still stack properly.

The Ivy Leaf Garland puts in an appearance in its small, medium and large versions, draped across the top of each ATB.  There's also an Extra Large which, at 15cm, is too big for my ATBs but would be brilliant for a layout or large journal page.

The medium ATB (7.5x7.5x7.5cm) has the Maple Leaf & Twig,

the Red Oak Leaf & Twig,

and the Mushrooms Style 9 again all in medium size...

... but also has the Chestnut Leaf & Twig for a bit of variation.

And on the smallest ATB (5x5x5cm) you can see the Mushrooms,

the Sugar Maple Leaf & Twig,

the Chestnut Leaf & Twig...

... and, to ring the changes just a little once again, the Pin Oak Leaf & Twig all in the smallest size.

Some tiny pine cones sit on the very top (having just tumbled off the tree and landed serendipitously!).

And I added some words (of course) to tickle the brain and heart into action as you revolve the tower.

I'm not going to lie... this creation makes me very happy!

I hope you like it too.  (If you love these leaves and fungi as much as I do, you may want to hop over and go shopping - no problem, just click on the links in the text!)  Thanks so much for stopping by today and I'll see you again soon.

Alison xx
Words and Pictures


  1. What a gorgeous creation, Alison - love the fungi!!

  2. A fabulous Autumnal make Alison, showing off all those fantastic CPs to perfection! Like you I am always torn between to alter or not, and using pastels is a great solution!

  3. Beautiful Alison , a lovely interpretation of the autumn season! Love the crackle on the stacked ATB's and all of the delicately coloured woodland parts compliment them beautifully. Thanks so much for sharing it! Deb xo

  4. This is a wonderful creation! The boxes and leaves are beautiful with the crackle and Pan Pastels.

  5. Lovely autumn boxes Alison! Love the wooden embellishment against that crackled background!
    Greetings, Alie

  6. Alison, your carry more creative thoughts around in your head than the law ought to allow! I never would of thought about using Pan Pastels on the wood and it looks so good. Your whole project is delightful -- Hmmmmm, you have me thinking, this would make a good base for a Halloween project. Of course if I did less thinking and more making I would be a lot better off!
    Sandy xx

  7. This is just AMAZING Alison! Gorgeous!!!

  8. Oh what a gorgeous Autumn project, Alison! The crackled ATBs look absolutely wonderful with all the leaves! Love the added pine cone topping and those mushrooms! Absolutely beautiful! Hugs!

  9. This is gorgeous! What is not to love? Fall and crackling! Woo hoo!

  10. And I was right! Beautiful. Love the shading with the PP's
    Amanda x

  11. a beauriful atb stack. i love this to pieces! those mushrooms are my fave i think. mellow and fruitful just like autumn xx

  12. Fantastic project Alison..I have seen all your latest work, but your comment box has gone on my end and have not been able to leave some blog love..I e- mailed you about it..but at least I can leave some love here..I adore those leaves and toadstools and brilliant it.

    luv CHRISSYxx

  13. A wonderful work on background with panpastels, a gorgeous composition though I'm not a fan of ATB... I would love to make this discovery in an Autumn forest!

  14. A fabulous Autumn project, Alison! The leaves and mushrooms are amazing.

  15. Love your gorgeous Autumn creation, Alison. The colors and texture are fantastic! :)

  16. A really fabulous stack of Autumn atbs, I love how you coloured the leaves! The gorgeous crackle along with the mushrooms. ...perfect! Chrisx

  17. Gorgeous Autumnal ATBs butterfly! Love the fungi, if only calico craft parts were in the really be broke. Hugs

  18. What lovely stacked boxes Alison! love the crackle and all the leaves and mushrooms - wonderfully inked! Julia xx

  19. Alison- so beautifully done! Your crackle gives the perfect background for your organic looking nature elements! Beautiful! xo

  20. Beautiful! The PPs are so effective.

  21. Autumn and fabolous boxes, created with your wonderful sence for beauty.
    The leaves partly painted looks fantastic, and the crackled background gives the craft parts a gorgeous way to pop !! Gorgeous, Alison . xxx

  22. Alison, this is just fabulous! The colours on your tower remind me of that special quality of the light on early evenings in Autumn when it's just growing dark. I love the fungi and the leaves and what a great idea to leave some of the art parts exposed. As always you are the Queen of Crackle! The idea of an autumn tower is perfect too. xx

  23. Fantabulousis! (sorry I think that is a made up word!) Alison this is gorgeous. I have recently done some shopping at Calico Crafts but may have to have another look soon. happy crafting, Angela x