Monday, 5 September 2016

The Poetry Distillery Book Box by Claudia

Hi and servus!

Claudia here as it's my turn on Mondays to inspire and introduce new possibilities to use Calico Craft Parts.

I will soon be visiting a very talented (and very) young lady who writes the most wonderful poetry and short stories and I made this altered book box to bring her as a present.

Calico Craft Parts used:

MDF Plain Cover Book Box Kit Style 1 - Medium Size
Pipework Maze MDF Craft Parts - Small Set
Oval Shape Mini MDF Wood Plaques

Those who know me a little better already know that I have been writing poetry for several years too (and am taking a "poetic break" at the moment - at least when it comes to using words) and to me the process of creating a good poem is rather close to distilling a "best of" when it comes to content, meaning, words, their sounds and the feelings they evoke. Most of the time the first version of a poem is twice as long as the final version - simply because during the process I start to remove what is "too much" and what might narrow down what could possibly evolve in the reader's mind. So less is more (at least for me).

Then there is the technical side of course - you have to know about some rules, count syllables, make sure that emphasis is correct and that you have chosen the "perfect" word for your intended meaning and feeling.

And this is why my Poetry Distillery splits the gathered impressions and ideas (the words that are put into the funnel at the top left) and leads them through two different pipe strings - the one with the techniques "treatment" and the other where the writer's personal taste, inspiration, feelings and talent come into play. At the end the two lines are fused again to form - at least I hope so - good poetry.

Oh, and a light bulb moment (in the centre) always is a wonderful add - that feeling when the right words suddenly evolve in your mind and form the perfect phrase almost effortlessly. And the three little stars resemble a bit of that blessing (because that is what it is in a way - as is the process of creating art in general from my point of view).

But enough "poetical" blurb - let's talk and see facts! The How-To! ;)

1. I played around with my Calico Craft Parts until I was content with the design
and found the perfect positions.

I even used some of the parts from "between the laser cut pipes" to build additional pipes.

2. Everything was glued in place using DecoArt matte Decou-Page.
Only the oval shaped plaques were set aside for special treatment first.

3. I used my computer and printer to create some word tiles. 
After a quick dry with a heat tool they got a thin coat of DecoArt media Matte Medium.
Make sure to only apply in horizontal brush strokes!
(as you can see the ink of the printer still smudged a little, but the matte medium 
prevents it from reacting again during the next steps).

4. The oval shaped plaques were given a coat of DecoArt media white Gesso first.
Then I dabbed some turquoise acrylic paint around the edges using my fingertip.
The cut out words were glued in place and sealed using Matte Medium. 
After that a thin coat of DecoArt media clear Crackle Glaze was applied using a soft brush.
Let air dry!

5. In the meantime DecoArt media Texture Sand Paste 
was applied around the edges of the cover.
To make sure the spine stayed clean I masked it with some

6. Once the Texture Sand Paste had dried, 
I stippled some heavy body Raw Umber acrylic paint onto the cover
using an old stiff bristle brush. 
The stippling of the paint will create delicious extra texture!

7. While the paint was still wet I applied some Quinacridone Orange, 
Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, Dyarilide Yellow and Raw Sienna.

8. A mix of Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide and Titan Buff was used
to dry brush the pipework for more contrast.

9. In the meantime the Crackle Glaze hat dried and I used DecoArt media
English Red Oxide Antiquing Cream to make the cracks visible.
That was sealed with another coat of Matte Medium
and after all was dry the plaques were covered with a thorough
coat of DecoArt media Liquid Glass.

10. The printed out and sealed word tiles were given a wash of DecoArt media
Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide and then sprinkled with diluted Quinacridone Orange
for an aged look.

(just in case you would like to use my self made word tiles -
here they are  as a little printout "freebie" for you).

11. The cut out word tiles were inked around the edges using dark brown archival ink.
Then they were glued in place using the Matte Medium again.

12. Titan Buff was used to paint the "poetry" freehand. 
I also added dashes of DecoArt "Brilliant Turquoise" Metallic Lustre
to the pipes and used it to paint the swirls as well.

13. Some finishing touches like the light bulb's glow
that was painted using Titan Buff and Dyarilyde Yellow wet on wet.

14. I felt my book box cover needed a little something at the bottom - 
so I added three little starts that I painted with the Metallic Lustre
to make them match my design. 

The finished plaques were glued in place - and voilá! 
The cover was done!

The rest of the book box was painted the same way as in step 6. The Brilliant Turquoise
Metallic Lustre was used like paint on the book's spine. 

I left the inside of the box untreated as I like the texture and colour of the pure MDF. 
And if you want to use the box for storing papers, it is better to not have it painted as sometimes the acrylic paints tend to be a little "sticky" (depending on temperatures and climate). 

 I love how the Liquid Glass adds dimension and additional texture to the oval plaques!

Some (good) finished poetry is taking flight. 

And most of the time good poetry only evolves from great moments and wonderful impressions gathered. 

I love the versatility of this book box kit! If you haven't seen the fabulous book box my wonderful team mate Julie Ann made lately, I highly recommend you take a look at it too! The same kit - but such a different project! Check it out (by clicking HERE).

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you have been able to gather some inspiration or technique hints! See you in a fortnight!

Hugs and happy crafting,


  1. Hi Claudia, brilliant! I so love these pipeworks and use them lots. There is so much to play with in the kit, love it! Happy crafting, Angela x

    1. Thank you, Angela!
      Happy crafting to you too! :) xxx

  2. This is such a totally amazing project Claudia!!!

  3. Beyond brilliant - words and pictures to perfection!
    Alison x

  4. Servus Claudia! Wow ... es sieht einfach nur sensationell aus!!!!!
    Ganz toll gewerkelt. Die junge Dame kann sich glücklich schätzen so ein Kunstwerk zu besitzen. Liebe Grüße, Eva

    1. Vielen, lieben Dank, liebe Eva! *freu
      Busserl! Claudia xxx

  5. I love this! What a clever idea, I am sure the young lady will treasure it always.

  6. Fantastic! I love human mind processes and the way you illustrate your poetry creation process is so brilliant! And the way of the tap is just fun and perfect!

    1. Thank you for this lovely laud, Lys! Mwah! XXX

  7. What a brilliant idea, Claudia! This is going to be a really treasured gift, I'm sure! I would have loved a box like this as a young girl, as I loved writing and art equally - and still do! Aren't these boxes a great idea - the possibilities are endless and this one is an imaginative triumph! x

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Julie Ann!
      I loved your version of this book box kit so much - and isn't it exciting to compare the different approaches to the same kit? I always love to see what others do with the same product as it is so inspiring!!!

      Hugs! xxx

  8. Das ist total genial, sowohl von der Idee, der Umsetzung und den gezeigten Techniken. AWESOME!!!

  9. Sehr schön geworden Claudia. Die Farben sind toll und die Idee mit der Glühbirne sehr gelungen.
    Liebe grüße
    Alexa Czar