Monday, 29 February 2016

Doll Exhibition - Printer's Tray by Alison

Hello all, it's Alison here again from Words and Pictures - and though I'm far away from the UK as you read this, I've a very English Rose to share with you today.  I've used one of the Printers Tray Kits (open without any sections, though there are kits with compartments too) to create a small vignette, and since you can now add an easel support if you choose to, it will stand up beautifully on a shelf too, without having to be propped up.

It seems I was on a bit of a floral kick before I set off on my travels (so glad you liked my extravaganza of a card last time out).  But rather than all those opulent flowers, this piece has a more restrained tea-party-in-the-garden look.  It does have hidden depths though, so watch out.  I blame the Frozen Charlottes - you have to keep your wits about you when there are scary dolls around!

I started by lining my as-yet-unassembled Printers Tray Kit Style 4 with some vintage papers with additional text stamping, and then added DecoArt Crackle Paint through a stencil.

When that had crackled nicely, I glued the whole thing together and added some paint shading to give it more depth.

Then I started putting things in place.  If you look closely at this one, you can see where I discovered I could use the zigzag waste from pressing out the printer's tray as the frame around the photo.

As often happens once a photo is in play, my mind took one of its fanciful turns.  I'm afraid our young lady is on show - Exhibit A - the prize for the highest bidder so that her father can climb the slippery pole of social popularity.

Her stiffened pose echoes the frozen stillness of the broken dolls.  Her childhood will soon be lost and forgotten - she is a doll to be passed from owner to owner.

And yet the roses still bloom and the music still plays...

... though that music is trapped in the glass bubble of having to perform to perfection to impress the various suitors, and the roses are trained (that is to say, cut) to climb their trellises in precise formation.

This young lady will never have the freedom to grow and travel in any direction she chooses, as these vines are threatening to do.

(These are cuttings taken from the Ivy Leaf Corner - one of many Corner Wood Shapes designs - painted with various shades of green over a gesso base.)

Her future is already planned, pruned and perfect in the eyes of her parents.  She is governed and confined.  (Here's a closer look at that "waste" frame around the photo, given a rough touch of paint and gilding wax.)

I'm guessing there will come a time when this English Rose begins to show her thorns.  But for now she is caught in the imposing dark wood frame (simple to create on the MDF surface - some Raw Umber paint and ink-stamped woodgrain).

It may be decorative - these Deco Vine Corners are ornate and fanciful, like her dreams - but it is a frame which contains her as effectively as any prison bars.

Perhaps like those twining tendrils she will wind her way to an escape somehow, some day.

It seems wrong to us now that such a vital young girl should be trapped forever as a trophy, an ornament to her husband, with no real life of her own.

I think that's quite enough of that, don't you?!  Of course if you're creating a vignette it can be whatever you like.  It could be a wonderful display case for your own personal family photos, a great gift for special birthdays or weddings or anniversaries... an altogether more celebratory affair!

As I mentioned you can now get a stand to go with your Printer's Tray.  I've altered this one with paint and stamping to match the wooden look of the outside of my vignette tray, and I glued it at a tight angle to support the narrow upright position of the frame.

So with her splendid display stand, I hope like those flowers she will blossom and bloom, and then use those thorns to forge her own way out of the formal gardens and into the wild meadows beyond.  The fresh greens and gentle blush of the roses seem to say she has youth and energy enough for the struggles ahead.

If you're inspired to create a vignette of your own, then you can click any of the links in the text to go direct to each product, or just head over to Calico Craft Parts and browse through their fabulous range of designs and kits.  Have fun!

Alison x
Words and Pictures

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Alice In Wonderland Secret Book by Mark

Morning all Mark here and I am finishing of my Guest Designer spot this month with an Alice in Wonderland secret book using the MDF Plain Cover Book Kit-Style 1.
I would like to say a great big thanks to Calico Craft Parts and The Ladies on the DT for having me along this month, I have thoroughly enjoyed my month playing with all the goodies I was sent. x
I have used the small ATC sized book, Ok confession time, I was working on the medium sized book but num nuts here, after gluing and base coating the book I managed to knock it of my craft table and it of course had to land on the corner and broke my cover off :-(.
Anyway,  grabbing the smaller box I just down sized my idea and made the better half a little secret valentines card, I got her tickets to see a modern version of Alice In Wonderland and they fit perfectly inside.
The book has been decorated with the Decoart Media Fluids and a little bit of their crackle paste.

The cover of the book was given a couple of base coats with Decoart's Media Tinting base and the Image was stamped. Using a small Shabby Diamonds stencil the crackle paste was applied using a pallet knife.

After being allowed to dry naturally, the crackle paste can not be forced as you will interfere with the cracking process.
A lot of the colours in the media line are transparent or if watered down a little can become so. This means you dont have to worry about covering the lines of the stamped image.
The media fluids go a long way when painting like this o I used a fine detail brush and just dipped the tip into the unscrewed cap to pick up paint, even one drop of paint on the craft mat ill be to much.

To give an aged look to the book I blended dark to light starting with raw umber followed by some Quinacridone gold and finished with a little transparent yellow oxide. Using a stiffer paint brush I really worked/scrubbed the paint into the surface leaving a nicely blended finish.

To paint the crackled diamonds I placed the stencil back over the diamonds and stippled the paint using a stencil brush. This helped keep the paint of the main part of the book and also left a nice shabby look where the white can still show through in places.

A little bit of washi tape fit perfectly round the box part of the book, I didnt distress this down as I quite liked the contrast and the subtle colours of the tickets.

The inside of the box and inside cover have been given a dirty stamping of a couple more Alice images.
To get a toned distressed look to the image start by inking the stamp with a Sepia archival ink colour then lightly swipe a little Black archival ink across the stamp in places.

Using a safety pin as a clasp to hold the book closed a little clock charm was also added.
Luckily I survived Valentines Day so I guess she liked it ;-).

Thank you all for stopping by and joining me this month as I have shared my little makes. Keep checking back to see what the ubber talented Dt come up with next.
And again a big thanks to Calico Craft Parts and the Dt for having me. xxx

Monday, 22 February 2016

Longing for summer.... by Astrid

Hello all, Astrid here with a project for you today.

I know, winter is still in full swing (at least in the parts where I live), but I cannot help but long for Summer.....

This started out as an experimental piece, playing with backgrounds and texture and might have become part of a journal, until I decided to use it for showcasing some of the amazing craft parts.
Here is how it started out:
Using various sprays over a background of texture and crackle paste with some gesso thrown into the mix.
The texture was achieved by pouncing into the wet paste with a scrunched up bit of aluminium foil.
My main embellishment was this lovely corner piece, it's the Lily MDF Wood Corner Embellishment - Style 38, size large,  you can find it HERE. First I just coloured it dark brown with some ink.
Next I adhered the piece to my background and with some Decoart Media Acrylic paints and a small brush I coloured the flowers inside the openings.
When the paint had dried I filled the openings with Glossy Accents and let it dry for several hours, the flowers (they look much nicer in real life than in the photo) now looked like glass.
The main focal point became a stamped and layered sunflower, I stamped it several times, fussy cut the individual flowers, coloured them with Distress Inks and then layered them up together.

Next I took a Curled Vine Fancy Flourish MDF Wood Shape - Style 3, coloured it in matching colours to my background, broke it apart in places and arranged them around my sun flower.

A bit of stencilling in one corner, to fill in a rather empty space

A sentiment and some background stamping

And with that my project was complete...
Well, hope you like my it and thank you for your visit. The shop is full with all sorts of new Spring and Summer craft parts, - do check them out!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Let Yourself Grow by Lesley

I've stepped right out of my comfort zone this week, and used COLOUR!! A lot of colour!!

I started off with the of the largest of the cubes and gave it a coat of gesso. Then i dry brushed orange and turquiose paint over it. Next, i added a few layers of different stamps.

The wildflowers were painted and glaze added to bits of it.

All four sides of the cube were decorated with flowers.

On the front of the cube......i added some wording. Quite apt i what is growing out of the top of her head!

The head was given two coats of gesso, and then bits of paint were added here and there.

Using the most super fine nibbed pen........i doodled all over the head.

And also added some doodle flowers.........

Finally, i added some words.

I filled her head with different coloured moss, pulling out some in her eye gaps!

Cool hair!!

And thats my funky moss-dolls-head-on-a-cube!

Thanks for reading!


Ingredients used.
Large ATC cube
Wild flowers and butterflies
Poppy flower.
Knapweed flower