Thursday 30 June 2016

Home Is Where The Heart Is - by Trish


Have you seen all the FABULOUS houses in the Calico Craft Parts shop? Love love love them :) The mini houses are just totally adorable..... and led me to think a little outside the box for my project today!


Another view....

It's not as hard as you might think to create either!

Firstly, glue all the bits together APART from the bottom!

When TOTALLY dry, drill a hole through the apex of the roof! This is easily done using an Archimedes drill. (really cheap from Ebay!)

The main 'stem' part of the drill remains in a vertical position, and you use your fingers to move the bit at the top (the bit that looks like it has rings around it) up and down. Drills holes through MDF like butter :)


To make the bail, twist the end of some wire into a large 'lump' (any shape that won't go through the hole!)

Then thread it through the hole....

Twist the top into a loop shape and trim off any excess wire...

Then you can glue on the bottom!

I then covered the whole thing with book pages...

All ready to decorate!

I kept it fairly simple, a clear glaze with added brown dye ink to age the house slightly, then a large red heart attached by wrapping wire around both it and the house..

The finishing touch was a cut out word: 'home'.

So.... Home Is Where The Heart Is. Geddit?!?!

There will be many more houses to follow.... so brace yourselves :)

Trish xxx

CCP used:
Block Style MDF House Kit Short : mini version

Monday 27 June 2016

Looking Inside the Box is Looking Outside? by Claudia

Hello, servus and welcome back to our inspirational Calico Craft Parts home!

How can "inside the box" be "outside" at the same time? Well, there's nothing philosophical to it (or maybe there is) - in this particular case it means that by looking inside my little diorama box you are looking out of the submarine you are in.

....depending on the light source it can also look like this:

And this is my "looking inside is also looking outside the box"-box in whole.

As you can see it isn't too big (just 13cm x 13cm (5.1'' x 5.1'') high and wide and 6cm (2.36'') deep).

These are the Calico Craft Parts I used:

Ships Porthole MDF Wood Shape - large
Sheet of Mini MDF Nautical Motifs - Style 1
Hammerhead Shark MDF Wood Shape - small

I just love this ships porthole (and have already used a small one on this project HERE)! It forms such a beautiful "frame" for countless imagineable ocean scenes, so I started with this one and decided to create a kind of tunnel box with several layers that are meant to create the impression of looking deep into the ocean "out there".

First I laid out all the shapes I wanted to use to find their best positions for the different layers and holes:

The front and the four other layers were made from heavy black cardboard.

I cut five squares of 13cm x 13cm.

I used an embossing folder and my Sizzix to create the textured front panel in which I had die cut the largest hole. As you can see I used the smaller hole next in size for each following layer. (I had to make a little change of plans later during the process and glued the kraken to the back of the box and all the other animal shapes to the smaller holes instead). So I used just three layers with die cut holes in them (and not four as shown in the image above), a front and a back panel .

The porthole was given a dry brushed coat of DecoArt "Teal" Dazzling Metallics and a wash of DecoArt Media Carbon Black Antiquing Cream afterwards (to tone it down a little).

The animals were painted using DecoArt Media fluic acrylics in various blues and greens plus Titan Buff for the shading. I simply mixed away on my palette and used whatever tones I came up with. The fact that they were all created from the same few basic colours guaranteed that they would all go together well.

For the finest details I used a Size 0 fine tip brush that is normally used for painting miniatures. These were the colours I used. The little splash of red and orange (for the diver) adds some contrast that makes the blues even more intense.

The front panel was painted with "Moss Pearl" DecoArt Dazzling Metallic paint ..

....and then dry brushed with Carbon Black to give it a worn look and to make the texture more visible.

The other panels were painted using heavy body acrylic paints in various blues and greens. I simply added some dots of paint directly from the bottle onto the cardboard...

...and spread the paints with a wide palette knife in top-to-bottom motions, mixing the colours directly on the substrate. (If you are not content with the result, simply add some more drops of paint and repeat the process).

Using a rubber stamp and white stamping ink I added some bubbles. As the white from the first print would have been too intense I first stamped onto a scrap of paper and then used the "ghost print" from the stamp.

Next I added some splashes of DecoArt Media "Turquoise" Shimmer Mister by unscrewing the bottle and letting the paint drip directly from the lower end of the nozzle's tube.

To build up my box I cut eight strips of 1.5cm (0.6'')width and 13cm (5.1'') lenght of thick foam board. The 1.5cm distance between each layer guaranteed that no details would be covered up by the layer in front.

I carefully stacked my layers using matte DecoArt Decou-Page, paying attention to the perfect positioning of the animals ( a bit of overlap creates beautiful depth, too much overlap hides too much detail of the painted shapes).

The sides of the box were then covered by embossed and painted panels of 6cm (2.36'') x 13cm (5.1'') (done from the same heavy black cardboard). And to hide the white foam board that was visible on top of the box I covered it with two thin strips of embossed and painted cardboard.

I didn't cover the whole top though so my tunnel book box could be lit from above - like sunlight that lights the upper zones of the ocean:

I love how different lighting creates totally different moods! 

Some more close ups:

See that bit of sparkle of the Shimmer Mister drops on the back panel?

And this diver is eye to eye with the sperm whale! (Divers who experienced this all said it has changed them forever). 

The hammer shark is obviously peeking inside your submarine cabin and now pretending that it didn't. 

And look at that beautiful jelly fish! (I have tasted jelly fish when I was in Hong Kong...and found that it is NOT edible - unless you have teeth made of steel! No - to be honest, not even then. lol)

See the teeth of the sperm whale? It's such a gorgeous wood shape! (I cut off the little fountain it came with because it is underwater and not breathing at the moment). 

Well, time to say good-bye for now. I hope you like my maybe-philosophical "looking inside is also looking outside" submarine box! I can also imagine this kind of project as a little book with pages to flip over...ah, so many ideas - so little time. ;) . See you in two weeks! 

Hugs and happy crafting,

Go shopping:

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Love Lives Here by Lesley

Hello peeps. Lesley here with an easy peasy home decor piece for you!

There are new goodies in the shop, and i am so in love with the little houses. This is what i came up with......

Super speedy to make. I started out by gluing the houses together, and then priming them all with a coat of gesso.

Next i gave them a couple of coats of white paint. Once they were dry, i added ink to all the edges.

Using the end of a paintbrush, i added some small dots with red paint, just to add a pop of colour.

I couldn't find my blackboard paint i free hand painted a square of plain black chalk acrylic onto each house. Then i used Decoart chalkboard paint on top. This is fab stuff, it enables any surface to become a blackboard basically!

I added some words to the top of the houses and used a chalk board pen to write on them.
Obviously can write what ever you feel like on them......changing it daily!

Thanks for reading!


Ingredients used.
Block style house with wonky roof

Sunday 19 June 2016

My Woodland Muse, Sketchbook Cover by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone! I still have to keep pinching myself to check that I'm not dreaming and that I'm really here at The Calico Craft Parts blog having so much fun! This is my second project and it's a very simple one. 

Do you have a Muse? A being, real or imaginary, who inspires you to create? If you do, you might find that she sometimes goes 'walkabout' and leaves you feeling uninspired! I've decided to try to evoke my muse, Daphne, by creating an image of her in her natural habitat on the front of my sketchbook!

I like to take a sketchbook with me when I walk in the woods so that I can capture the shapes of roots, leaves and branches and sometimes I hear Daphne whispering in the leaves or in the form of a little brook burbling at my side, hinting at all sorts of ideas for projects!

I wanted to evoke that woodland mood every time I opened my sketchbook for inspiration so I painted a sheet of card with a range of greens, applying the acrylic paint with a credit card and a brayer to give texture and a 'random' feel - this was my 'master board'. I stamped these trees and some script over the top, using acrylic paint rather than ink. I wanted an impression of shadows, sunlight and branches. I simply cut it to fit the front of the book and stuck it in place with a strong, white multi-purpose glue, creating a border cut from the same 'master-board'.

Now for the fun part - creating Daphne! I used one of the wood oval shapes and stuck a little hand-drawn face onto it. I used my own art-work, but an image from the internet, re-sized to fit would be just as effective - when you see your muse's face, you'll recognise her! I formed her body from two baroque decorative corners. As you can see, I snapped off the ends of the top one and added them to the skirt to give it a flare. I gave her wings - I want my Daphne to fly on the wings of pure imagination - unlike her mythological namesake who was transformed into a laurel and rooted to the ground!

 I drew her some legs and feet and positioned her little toes on the edge of one of those branches ready to take off.

Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish Daphne from the trees all around her, so it's hardly surprising that a little wren perches on her hand and a butterfly forms her sash. I didn't want to add too much colour because I wanted her to resemble the myth of Daphne, at the point of transformation by her father into a laurel as she fled Apollo's advances: I added just a hint of neutral acrylic paint and a touch of gilding paste to her wings and skirt. The suggestion of lace and buttons on the bodice of her dress is achieved with the point of a cocktail stick, dipped in white acrylic paint.

I like to add  a little extra colour with water-colour pencils once the face is in place, and a touch of fluid matt medium forms a protective glaze. To create the little wren's eye, I dipped the tip of a cocktail stick into first some white paint, carefully applied it to the little eye socket and then added some black over it. I added just a touch of brown acrylic to his body, but these shapes have such a natural, woody finish, less is more if you want to create a woodland atmosphere. I used some antlers from one of the stags to make Daphne a true Spirit of the Woods.

Daphne stands on a branch at the entrance to the forest. Scrabble letters, touched with a hint of brown acrylic and gilder's paste are strung across the branches to spell out the word FOREST. It's difficult to capture how the gilder's paste glimmers in the sunlight, but I think you might just be able to glimpse this on the right hand edge of her leafy skirt.

Thank You so much for dropping by today and meeting my Woodland Muse. I hope if you know your Muse already, you will be inspired by her and that - if not - today might be the day that you meet!

Calico Craft Parts Used
Mini Wood Shapes (oval)
Baroque Corners
Antlers from Stag
Scrabble Tiles

Julie Ann xx