Monday, 30 May 2016

See Glenda, the Bearded Mermaid, riding her giant fox Jasper!!! by Claudia

Stare if you dare, because here comes Glenda, the bearded mermaid!!!

And she is riding her giant fox, Jasper! So try not to faint as you witness the world's one and only team where a magic creature of the dark forest and a wonder from the unknown depths of the ocean unite!!!

So be daring, come over here...yes, yes...It's you I'm talking to, Mylady! Step closer and enter Fraulein Ilse's Freak Show! A myriad of amazing and weird wonders await you for the cost of just 5 Shillings!

(for larger view click on the images)

Calico Craft Parts used:

Lol. Don't ask me where the idea originated from! It just hit my mind when I saw the new fox shapes and the fleur de lis shrine over at the Calico Craft Parts shop site. And I remembered the lovely dolphin shapes....and suddenly it came all together - mainly inspired by the "Freak Show" season of the fantastic American Horror Stories series I have just been enjoying. 

These are (most of) the Calico Craft Parts I used: 

The poor dolphin had his nose chopped off to form my mermaid shape and the fox didn't fit into the shrine, so I cut off his tail and glued it into the shrine as if it were bent to the side. Two mini shells form Glenda's bra and the tiny sea horse she is holding hides the dolphin's fin. 

As you can also see, I made a sketch for the show sign to make sure my title would fit in. You could as well create a sign on your computer and print it out reversed for use as an image transfer, but sometimes I prefer a project to look "handmade" - so little imperfections are welcome and intended and I decided to do it free hand (just following my sketch). 

I started with painting a first coat onto my two creatures and the sign using heavy body acrylic paints for good coverage. 

There's no need to aim for a precise tone at that point as the shapes will be painted over and all the layers and details will cover up most of the ground layer anyway. But it is better to have a coat of paint (that matches the desired look) so the MDF pieces become less absorbant and the added colours will also look brighter. 

Next I laid out all my needed pieces to find the exact spots and also roughly sketch the curtains.

The outsides of the shrine pieces and Art Deco ornament were painted in deep red and buttermilk white. 

Then I applied a wash of DecoArt Media Transparent Red Iron Oxide fluid acrylic to tone it all down and make it look aged and shabby. 

Once that was dry I covered the painted sides with a thin layer of DecoArt Media clear Crackle Glaze and let everything dry naturally (which is important as the crackling process won't work if you speed it up with a heat tool). As it is already quite warm outside it just took about an hour for the Crackle Glaze to do its magic (I finished the show sign in the meantime). To make the crackle more visible I applied a mix of Raw Umber and Carbon Black DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams and let that dry. Don't be afraid if your project looks like this at that point: 

Then I went in with a damp soft cloth and removed most of the Antiquing Cream mix until I was content with the look of my shrine. 

The edges of the show sign were dry brushed with a mix of DecoArt Media Carbon Black fluid acrylic and Charcoal Grey Americana acrylic paint. 

Then I painted the text using soft fine tip brushes (sizes 0 and 1) and DecoArt Media Titan Buff fluid acrylic. A wash of DecoArt Media Raw Sienna fluid acrylic helped tone the sign down once the paint was dry.

To finish it off, I added some yellow dots around the edges (using a fine tip embossing tool) and toned everything down with diluted Carbon Black Antiquing Cream until I had achieved the worn look I was aiming for. I sealed the sign with a thin coat of DecoArt Media Satin Varnish. 

The image above also shows how I used some of the small circles that come with the shrine kit (and are meant to create the feet for the shrine) to create the fool's cap. The circles were painted with a warm yellow, crackled and toned down the same way as the whole shrine. 

I did the same with three stars to mount them to the top and sides of the shrine. But before I assembled the shrine I had to paint the insides first:

I painted the curtains using a warm white and charcoal grey wet in wet. Then I once more toned down the dried painting using a wash of Transparent Red Iron Oxide. 

To assemble the shrine I used matte DecoArt Decou-Page. The feet for my shrine are made from tiny thread spools.  

I sealed the whole shrine with a thin coat of DecoArt media Satin Varnish:

A pompom ribbon was glued around the shrine's upper edge and the painted stars were fixed to the top and sides as well:

Now my shrine looked like this: 

Time to paint my mermaid and the giant fox! I played around with various tones of reds, oranges, yellows and browns, teal, turquoise and blues, metallic paints and other gorgeous colours and really enjoyed this process (so no pictures I'm afraid). 

My son helped a lot by giving directions on how to place the two mini shells properly. ;) 
Then it was time to glue Glenda and Jasper in place after sealing them with some Satin Varnish too. 

I am so glad Jasper could keep his beautiful tail!!! 

So that's it for today! I hope you enjoyed your visit with Fraulein Ilse's Freak Show (and the tutorial too)! If you are inspired to create your own freaks, weirdies and wonders I recommend you hop over to the Calico Craft Parts Shop 

and browse their whole range for possible combinations! ;) 

Have fun!!!
Hugs and happy crafting,

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Best Foot Forward by Lesley

Hey people. Lesley here with a little assemblage number for you.

As usual, i didn't really have a clue where i was going with this piece when i started out. But i did have houses in my head.

I glued the small cube together and gave it a coat of gesso and then a wash of grey paint. There was some printed tissue on my desk, so they got glued down with another wash of paint over the top.

I used the mini plaques in wood and greyboard to decorate the sides of the cube. And then added some texture balls (very messy!) A few little bits and bobs from my stash and some words were added.

The roof is actually a building block donated by my twins and painted. This was placed on top of some driftwood discs. I added a couple of eyes and a rusty spring.

The house looked a bit weeny, so i attached it to a vintage porcelain leg from an old doll. It wasn't too stable, so i mounted it onto a fancy atc.

Finally i added some dots using a white acrylic paint pen.

I can see more houses on legs being made........perhaps a whole street!

Thanks for reading.


Ingredients used
Shaped ATC wood blank
Mini rectangle greyboard shapes
Notched rectangle wood shapes
Artist trading block, small

Monday, 23 May 2016

Calico Farewell - by Alison

Hello everyone.  It's Alison here with a heavy heart, as it's time for me to say goodbye to the Calico team.  My regular followers know that I'm having to make quite a few farewells at the moment.  Life has become very busy - all in a good way, I'm happy to say - and I can't give my DT work the attention it deserves.

I've so enjoyed being on the team here, both when it was Calico Crafts and in the new incarnation... it's been a real honour and a delight to be a part of the renaissance into Calico Craft Parts.  I simply love the Craft Parts - they always inspire me, and lots of the projects I've created with them give me great joy.

So here, as a farewell, are some of my favourite Calico Craft Parts creations.  I hope you enjoy seeing them again as much as I loved making them.  The captions will take you to the posts in case you want a proper reminder, or you want to go shopping for any of the Craft Parts on display!

Apologies if I've missed out one of your favourites - you can always track it down by hitting the Alison Bomber label below, which will call up all my posts here at the Calico Craft Parts Blog.

My thanks go to Helen and Zuzu and all the amazing creatives I've worked alongside here.  With the fantastic new team members joining the stalwarts, I know things will go from strength to strength.  Thank you for having me and enjoy the ride, everybody!

Alison x
Words and Pictures 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Trinket box shrine- By Trish


So.... I ordered a trinket box, with all kinds of box ideas going on in my head. Then it arrived, and I decided to make a shrine with it! Bit fickle, me... :)

So, my 'take flight' shrine...

I think the main reason for just using the base/box part of the trinket box was that I really want to use the lid and the feet/handle parts for another project! A have a fab idea for those....


I glued the box together, then covered it with book pages. I used the 'stamp on tissue paper then Mod Podge it to a background' technique to get the flourish onto the back of the shrine. The whole thing was then covered with a green glaze, all I did was add a drop of green dye ink to some ready made glaze, to give a shiny transparent look.

I created a couple of primitive bird shapes from clay...

Again, the design was done by stamping (in green) onto tissue, then using Mod Podge to glue it into place.

The birds were put on wires, then the wires atached to the box.

Teeny tiny letter stickers were used for the title of the piece...

The shrine was finished by placing it onto a wooden strip. A bit less bonkers colour wise from me today, but it's always good to have a change sometimes!

See you soon!
Trish xx

Trinket Box Kit