Sunday 14 August 2016

Flying Matilda - simple birthday card by Julie Ann

Hello, Julie Ann here with a simple idea for a super-quick project this week. My daughter wanted to give her boyfriend a special card for his birthday so I used Calico Craft Parts to create an original greeting that could only have come from Matilda!

I used a sketch based on a photo of my daughter; but you could scan and re-size a photo of friend or family member and re-size it or choose an image scanned from an art-book, magazine or the Internet, of course.

With my image cut to fit just a little bigger all the way round than one of the birch plywood heart plaques, I fixed it with some Matte Medium. You could also use one of the collage glue sticks that are available. It's a good idea to spray anything you've printed out with some fixative before you stick it so that the ink doesn't run and spoil your finished piece. Then, when the image is smoothed down and firmly stuck, I like to sand the edges to give a nice, clean finish. I then paint the face carefully with any additional colour, a little pink water-colour on the cheeks and lips maybe, before finishing off with a glaze or a thin layer of the Matte Medium.

Ever since my childhood, I've loved to create little people from bits and bobs all around the house: scissors, spoons, pegs and bottle openers all became characters in my games of make-believe, so collage and assemblage often seems like that kind of play to me now. My daughter loves old clocks and watches, so what better component to give her for a body than one of the Steampunk clock parts?

 I aged this with sponged-on Acrylic paint, archival ink and gilder's paste. The wings were given the same treatment, and the crown has some UTEE in gold melted onto it. I like to keep a little library of scanned images that I can print out for projects so you might recognise these stripy legs from the woodland muse sketch-book I created a while back!

The background is so easy to create. I took a Craft Card blank, masked off the sides with some tape and then simply brayered horizontally and vertically in white, blue and green Acrylics. I also had some fun spattering diluted paint over the surface with a toothbrush. When the tape is removed - 'Hey Presto' - lovely smooth edges!

It's then just a matter of finding the right stamped sentiment before assembling your elements and arranging them on the card - I like to use a little clear embossing powder so that the stamped letters really stand-out.

Calico Craft Parts give great dimension without being too thick and weighty for a greetings card. I don't create cards that much these days, but I did have lots of fun creating a quick card caricature of Matilda. I like the way she seems to be fluttering out of the card towards us! One of Matilda's friends ex work colleagues referred to her as 'The Little Bird' so those wings seem very apt and she just loves sunny days. Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, I hope that you're enjoying 'Sunny Days' of creativity yourself!

Calico Craft Parts Used
Birch PlyWood Standard Heart Plaque
Sheet of Steampunk motifs (style 3) Clock
Sheet of Steampunk motifs (style 3) Wings


  1. What a wonderful art doll - love how you've combined the steampunk elements to create this virtual Matilda. The simple background allows her to shine!
    Alison x

  2. Who wouldn't welcome a sweet Matilda fluttering toward them, carrying a message of warmth and happiness? She's a tiny harbinger of wonderful things to come!

    1. Thank You Heather! Matilda would be delighted to think of herself as a tiny harbinger of good things! :) xx

  3. Thank you so much for dropping by, Alison! I've now got my thinking cap on about creating a mobile using the same idea - floating steam-punk art dolls! :) xx

  4. Th8s is absolutely delightful Julie Ann!

    Lucy x

  5. She's beautiful! One of my most favest pieces of yours! Simple.....yet stunning.xx

  6. Many thanks to Barbara, Lucy, Ambermog and Lesley for your lovely comments. xx