Monday 27 February 2017

Animal Enchantments, ATCs by Julie Ann

Hello, I'm so happy to be back at Calico Craft Parts blog with some animal-themed boxes and ATCs to share with you. The boxes resemble books and the ATCs are the pages of the tales within. 

This week I'm opening Ava's book casket that I made last time, but before I do, let me introduce you to Ferdinand! You might notice that the Elizabethan miniaturist, Nicholas Hilliard painted a human version of Ferdinand, which he named 'Young Man Among Roses'.

I had so much fun creating Ava's box and her ATCs, I created one for Ferdinand the Courtly Lion! Just as with Ava's box, I used a plain MDF ATC on the lid of the box, collage over a painted, brayered and stencilled background and spangled tissue fixed with fluid matte medium. Ferdinand's hat is from a sheet of Steampunk motifs and the three tiny oak leaves tumbling to the ground and reminding him of the transience of love are from a sheet of acorns. As you can see I used Crackle again, but I retained the little clasp that Calico provide this time.

I wanted to provide an interesting variety of shapes and backgrounds, so I played with combining my own artwork; that of Renaissance masters and the wonderful array of shapes and frames on offer from Calico!

Calico's MDF frames and craft parts have infinite possibilities and you can create such different effects depending on the techniques you choose for decorating them. On Ferdinand's 'Close-up' frame I sprayed with different shades of blue diluted acrylic paint to create a gentle spring-like mood - and one of the Doves of Venus seems to have stopped by to say Hello!

I think that's a thornless variety of rose between Ferdinand's teeth as he dreams of his Love!

Midnight at the masked ball and Ferdinand awaits his 'adored' lioness love in the garden. Here I'm back to using one of the plain MDF ATCs. I just snapped off the end of a Steampunk corner flourish to make the dial. I love what a great substrate these MDF ATCs are - so pleasing to hold! I have used one of my own painty backgrounds on card and stuck it onto the MDF, filing the edges to make them nice and neat.

And now it's time to see Ava's cards in more detail and learn a little more of her story.

Ava's room is in the tower of an ancient castle that has been in her family for generations. The Paint may be cracking, but she loves her home and the sweet-smelling jasmine that grows so abundantly outside her window. It smells sweetest as the sun goes down and Ava prepares to flutter down to the ball-room to meet her love.This little arched ATC originally had a snowflake at its centre, which I cut away. I sanded the arch down to smooth it and painted DecoArt crackle glaze over a turquoise acrylic. To enhance the cracks further, I used clear Americana staining medium with a little dark blue acrylic paint.

So who is Ava meeting at the ball? It's her childhood sweetheart, Theodore. They are truly kindred spirits. For as long as Ava can remember they have shared a love of adventure. They like nothing better still than to pore over maps of distant lands and dream of flying over unknown oceans together.

I loved creating these ATCs that tell a story, using the wonderfully inspiring Calico Craft Parts. I'm sure that these are just a beginning and that I shall be adding to them! Thank You so much for stopping by today. May your week be full of creative adventures.

Calico Craft Parts Used
MDF Plain Cover MDF Book Box Style 1 (small)
Gothic Arch with Snowflake frame ATC wood blank
ATC MDF Wood Blank with Engraved Floral Frame
Sheet of MDF mini Garden Birds
Sheet of mini Wood Crowns
Sheet of mini rabbits
Steampunk Snowflake Wood Corner Embellishment
Sheet of MDF Steampunk Motifs

Saturday 25 February 2017

The Heart of Childhood by Guest Designer Lynne


It is lovely to be here, sharing my second Guest Designer post.

The substrate for my second project is a wonderful primitive style heart. When I selected this item to work with, I was drawn to the shape and knew that along with the other Calico Craft Parts I would incorporate into the project and a stamped focal, the story would unfold.

A young woman, who has one foot in childhood, with another into emerging adulthood, a quiet soul, who truly believes she has wings, wings which will allow her to fly in any direction she chooses in life. She whiles away the hours, imagining where her wings will take her, daydreaming.  Flights of fancy flutter around in her head as though her head is brimming over with butterflies, some of her thoughts floating free into the universe.

Let's leave her to immerse herself in her daydreams, for this young woman has a sweet heart and soon, childhood will be only but a distant memory, for she will move onto a new season of her life.
"Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons"

On the stamped image, a butterfly is perched upon her head which is one of the reasons I layered a mdf butterfly in this area.  It also adds to the notion of the butterfly thoughts swirling in her head and it brings a little dimension to the upper area of the stamp which balances the wings nicely.

Calico Craft Parts give the customer the option of having the primitive heart with or without holes.  I opted for holes but once I started working on the composition of the project, I realised I did not want the hole in the bottom of the heart but that was no problem because the layers of stained laces/trims and papers obscured the hole.

For the top hole, I threaded and wrapped rusty tin wire which was then attached to a piece of driftwood, which I had wrapped with sari ribbon I had stained.  The heart suspends nicely from the driftwood.

Thank you to Calico Craft Parts for having me as a Guest Designer.  I so enjoyed my time here, creating the projects I have shared with you.

For anyone who has taken time out of their day to visit my Guest Designer posts, then thank you so much.

The Calico Craft Parts products used today are:-
Primitive Heart Birch Plywood 200x113mm
Sheet of Mini MDF Wood Wings Style 3
Sheet of Mini MDF Wood Butterflies Style 5


Thursday 23 February 2017

Three Sisters Triptych by Jennie

Hello Everyone and welcome to my project today which is the completion of the Three Sisters I started last month.

At the beginning of January I made this small ATC woodblank and decided that it would become part of a Triptych for a wonderful vintage photograph of my Nana and her two sisters.

You can see the original post HERE.

Now the moral of this story is never to create a Triptych in two stages ........ !! Despite using the same paints and crackle paint I got totally different effects - well not totally different but they really don't match despite a lot of effort in sanding them all and adding inks! But I'll put that down to experience and just hope they look vintage enough to get away with it!

For the middle part of the Triptych - older sister Alice - I have used another ATC blank which did have some wonderful patterns on it but after adding the crackle they disappeared rather. I have poked a few bits out but another lesson learnt!

Each ATC piece was painted with DecoArt Raw Sienna acrylic paint and I brushed DecoArt Crackle Paint over the top. A little ink was then blended around the edges before finishing the edges with a gold pen.

Try as I might I couldn't get this side to match my first crafted piece! I rather like the vintage cabinet look though! Eva is my Nana and the middle sister.

I love the way that many of the Calico Craft Parts can be cut down for smaller ATC sized projects. This little fence is just a perfect size to decorate.

Again more smaller pieces from the Mini's collections which are so useful to have in your stash box.

The little emblem at the top has been cut from this Steampunk Flourish.

Whilst I enjoy using these corners complete, they also have lots of little pieces which can be cut out (very easily) and are perfect additions to the mini plaques.

Well .... a lot learnt making today's project! but that is the creative process.

As always thank you for joining me today.

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts Used

Monday 20 February 2017

HOOOWWWL!!!! by Claudia

It's spooky time! 

It's full moon! Werwolves haunt the forests and their animal friends join in the gathering. Under the pale light of a cold moon they all unite to sing their sad and melancholic wolves chant...

Calico Craft Parts used:

When I saw the amazing new Wolf Wood Shapes over at the Calico Craft Parts Shop I immediately knew I wanted to create a spooky scene with wolves (maybe werwolves?) howling under a full moon. 

The largest size of the Winter Tree Scene fit perfectly into a 6'' x 8'' canvas I had in my stash - so this made the perfect base for my werwolf shadow box. 

As I didn't need two full moons in my project I simply snipped off the larger moon using cutting pliers and a bit of sanding paper.

Then I covered the back of the canvas with scraps of old dicionary pages using DecoArt matte Decou-Page. I also sealed the surface of the glued on pages with a slightly diluted coat of Decou-Page.

Next I painted my moon lit forest background by adding DecoArt media Yellow Green Light, Cobalt Teal Hue and Titan Buff fluid acrylic paints wet on wet with a bristle brush. The bristles of the brush created short vertical patterns that look like forest covered hills in the far back.

Once all was dry I painted on the white moon with DecoArt media Titanium White fluid acrylic paint after I had found the right spot by putting the wood shape in place and tracing it with a soft pencil.

The wolf and forest MDF shapes were dry brushed with DecoArt media black Gesso so none of the beautiful structures would get lost.

I used some heavy black cardstock to cut out some hill shapes to glue the two MDF wolf and winter tree scenes to.

All the black parts for my scene got a wash of a mix of DecoArt media Phtalo Green-Blue, Prussian Blue Hue and Paynes Grey.

Once that had dried I dry brushed the pieces with white DecoArt media Gesso to make all the beautiful inner structures of the MDF parts visible.

And after they had dried I added another thin wash of Phtalo Green-Blue and Prussian Blue Hue on top.

I stacked some sticky foam pads to build my scene inside the canvas and create a lot of depth. The large wolve's head was glued directly to the canvas frame using matte Decou-Page.

The outer edge of the canvas was covered with some washi tape that I added a coat of matte Decou-Page onto so it would not come off.

Using a wide tip black permanent marker I wrote my "HOOOWWWL" and shaded the letters with a white gel pen. I also drew thin white outlines around the inner and the outer edge of the canvas frame for better visual coherence.

On top of the writing and outlines I added another very thin wash of Phtalo Green-Blue and Prussian Blue Hue.

Some close ups:

and once more the whole project in its final state:

I hope you like my little spooky werwolf canvas and maybe you will want to use the background technique for loosely painting a forest background on your own projects. So as always I hope you leave inspired and of course with the extreme urge of desperately neeeeeding those wonderful MDF wood parts. ;)

Hugs and happy crafting!

Friday 17 February 2017

Broken by Lesley

Hey everyone. Lesley here with a slightly personal piece this week.

You may have noticed that i have a love for dolls. Especially the old vintage type. I love their faces.......i always feel they have a story to tell.

The dolls head i have used for this project definitely has a story to tells me how broken you can feel sometimes in life.

Because the dolls head was broken, she needed to be protected, so i used one of the ATB cube kits with the arch face.

I started off with painting the cube with gesso. And then splodging on some umber coloured paint. The edges were all done with black paint.

Using a white paint pen, i scribbled broken all over the sides.

The face was painted white, then a layer of crackle glaze was added. And then black paint rubbed into the cracks.

I love the look the crackle has produced......makes her looks even more sadder and broken!

Two of the mini wings were added to side of the arch.

I mounted the head onto an old building block. Covered it in paper tape and soldered all the edges.
I then added a mini plaque and stamped the word 'broken' onto it.

The cube looked kinda lost on its own, so i mounted it onto a chunky piece of old wood. On the top of the wood, i added some white and grey paint and a layer of crackle glaze.

Thanks so much for reading.


Ingredients used

ATB Cube kit with arch
Mini MDF wood wings, style 4
Mini MDF notched rectangle shape