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


  1. such fabulous pieces of art!

  2. Oh Julie, you are taking me, on a wonderful tour in your special land of wonders , these are just stunning, and Eva`s book is a gorgeous idea, filled with such beautiful stories and figures, that only you can create ! xxx

  3. Julie Ann - the world is such a better place because you are in it, and willing to share your visions of gentle wisdom, cloaked in beauty. Thank you. xox

  4. I love the stories behind the work Julie-Ann. You make me look again and again. Now I'm wondering why the thornless Rose is dangling down? Disappointed love? Wonderful, exquisite images with such depth. Remarkable.

  5. Thank You Helen, Dorthe, Heather, Chris, Chris and Kirsten for your lovely comments. Chris, perhaps Ferdinand's rose symbolises disappointed love, but tomorrow is another day and being a lover by nature, he never loses hope! I think his sad, little smile suggests he's ready to seek for a new love now. :) xx

  6. Absolutely incredible art Julie!! These creations are great pieces and details, the story is fantastic. Your art always fascinates me. xx

  7. Thank You so much, Etsuko. xx

  8. Julie Ann, These pieces are absolutely fantastical and brilliant! Oh how I delight in reading your story adventures and seeing the lovely characters to go along, and those boxes are just AmAZing!
    Outstanding creations ,my friend,! You do Calico Craft Parts proud!! xoxo

  9. Thank You for your lovely comment, Jackie. I really love working with Calico Craft Parts - they are so inspiring to create with! xx