Thursday 24 March 2016

Forest Love - Part Two - by Claudia

Servus and welcome to my second guest designers appearance over here at Calico Craft Parts!

I am so happy, honoured and thankful to be invited and I have already told about my excitement in my first post over HERE two weeks ago - so I will spare you the repeat (as I am sure you all know how wonderful their wide range of fabulous wood shapes and craft blanks is) and directly move on to presenting my second project to you.

Here's "Forest Love #2"!

Calico Craft Parts items used:

Artist Trading Block Stack Kit 
Art Deco Ornament Wood Shape - Style 6
Oak Leaves and Acorns Border Wood Shape
Ivy Leaf Garland Wood Shape - Style 1 

Sheet of Mini MDF Wood Insects Style 3
Sheet of Mini MDF Wood Crowns - Style 3
Sheet of Mini MDF Wood Wings - Style 3

I couldn't resist choosing the ATB Stack Kit as I love shrines of all sorts and Calico Craft's with the pointed arch opening was especially appealing to me. 

The ideas for my "Forest Love" projects mainly emerged from discovering the amazing Mini MDF Wood Insects shapes - as they are what I admire and love most about the forest (or nature in general): tiny living jewels and miracles right in front of your toe-caps! So finding how detailed and intricate these wood shapes were, immediately led to the idea of creating a shrine to capture everything I love about the forest in.

I started out with painting the crown, wings, flourishes and insect shapes using DecoArt Media fluid acrylics mainly.


I very much went into detail with that as I wanted to have my insects and floral pieces look as close to reality as I could.

 The Earwig was first given a coat of a dark red and then some strokes of lighter orange at only one side of each section to give the impression of dimension.

Shades in black and white highlights were added with a very small fine tip brush to enhance that impression.

My caterpillar and the other insects were done the same way.

 Red Forest Ants are just amazing. We spend our summer in a region where there are a lot of them along the hiking paths and we always spend a long time watching them being busy and carrying fallen leaves and pine needles to their awesomely large ant hills.

 A Cherry Stink Bug.  (I still think they deserve a less derogative

A small stag beetle. He must be a young one as he is still quite small. If you have ever seen two grown up males fighting you will never forget how impressive (and gigantic) they looked (and how lucky you were to become witness to this as they are really rare around here).  

I also immediately fell in love with the fragile beauty of the enchanting Oak and Acorns flourish:

I added some dashes of DecoArt Media Interference Gold paint on the flourishes and insects here and there to imitate that special "bling" when sunlight hits the forest ground to reveal another treasure.

Also the entire ATB tower was given a gold interior to resemble that. The outside was first painted with a dark brown, then given a coat of DecoArt Weathered Wood Crackle Medium and then painted with a Medium Beige. I dabbed on some dark brown along the edges using my fingertip and also added some smudges here and there for a more natural feel.

My main goal was to have the outside give the impression of birch tree bark.

The crown, wings and flourish were dry brushed using Medium Beige and a bit of Venetian Gold DecoArt Dazzling Metallics.
 The Ivy Leaf Garland was cut in two and glued to the middle and upper cube.

 The largest cube was filled with found forest treasures that were all glued in place with matte Decou-Page.       

 The middle and upper cube were filled with some painted over acorns and mushrooms from the dollar store. 

 I placed the painted insects on my ATB shrine the way they looked as if they were just about to crawl over and into the project...

The flourish also was given a coat of DecoArt Media Raw Umber Antiquing Cream and then wiped back to give a bit of a weathered and aged feel to it. 

So that's it - my Forest Love Shrine. I hope you like it as much as I do and are inspired to not only craft away but also browse the wonderful and wide range of fantastic Calico Craft Parts to discover all their wood shapes and craft blanks treasures! 

Thank you so much for stopping by and also for the wonderful comments you all left with my previous Forest Love project!

Hugs and happy crafting,


  1. Another BRILLIANT project Claudia!! What you did with the blocks themselves looks amazing already. All the insects and other elements look so realistic, stunning work!!

    1. Thank you so much, Astrid! :)
      Happy Easter to you! xxx

  2. Hach ist das aber ein schönes Dekokunstwerk. Mir gefallen die krakelierten Kisten sehr, aber auch der schöne Fliepi und das Schneckenhaus und die Krabbler drumherum sehen total klasse aus. Sagenhafte Idee dieser Dekoturm. Könnt ich klauen, zu schön.
    Schöne Ostertage und liebe Grüße
    Sabine xox

    1. Herzlichen Dank, liebe Sabine!
      Auch dir frohe Ostern und liebe Grüße,
      Claudia xxx

  3. What a gorgeous nature feeling, so much beautiful details, a fabulous inspiration!!

    1. Thank you so much, Kerstin!
      Hugs and happy Easter!!!

      Claudia xxx

  4. Oh Oh Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh - I just want to be able to shrink and go play in your creation Claudia. I would go inside the first one and then climb up to the next. What a FABULOUS creation. Such depth and texture and those bugs are just INCREDIBLE. Wood, shells, so many embellies... just makes it sheer PERFECTION. If the Easter bunny was that size, he would be hiding his eggs in there too!!!! XXj.

    1. You should take a ride on the caterpillar too!!! lol
      Thank you so much for this lovely comment, Joi! Mwah! XXX

  5. Amazing !!!! Such a fabulous creative project, I love this !!!! Toni x

    1. Thank you very much, Toni! Happy Easter! xxx

  6. What a gorgeous project, Claudia! I'm totally in love with what you've created using these art parts. Once again you've captured the essence of the forest! xx

  7. Amazing crackle on the boxes and brilliant use of all those wonderful creepy crawlies - fabulous!
    Alison x

  8. I just love this! It's one of the best creations lve seen in a while! Excellent!

  9. Love it, wish I could own it! The details is just amazing and your art is just getting better and better Claudia - it is so fabulous! Karen x

  10. I love this ! So brilliantly done !

  11. Thank you all so much for the lovely comments, Alison, Denise, Karen, Lisa and Jannet! They mean a lot to me! Mwah! XXX