Monday, 24 April 2017

Calico Cat Box - Julie Ann

Hello and Welcome to the Calico Craft Parts Blog. I've been having fun creating animal characters by 'collaging' my own sketches onto bodies from classic portraits. These combinations suggest all kinds of stories to me. Here is a cat portrait I had been working on. All I needed was the right body for my feline friend - and some beautiful Calico Parts to add dimension!

At first I was convinced I had created a feline page or minstrel!

Until I placed the head on this elegant 18th century lady's body, replacing her human hands with paws; arranged the portrait against part of a master  board I'd already created and fixed it to a Calico MDF plain egg...

A completely different character took shape - an elegant white kitty with clear, blue eyes; a love of gossiping with her feline friends or conversing with feline poets, musicians and wits at her famous salon.

Feathers and fine silks came to mind; lace and the scent of exotic balms and perfumes; the chink of bone china tea-cups; the glint of gold leaf; the purr of sophisticated voices and above it all the trill of a pet canary. I reached for a sheet of Calico feathers, experimenting with dragging a cocktail stick dipped into acrylic paints through a tiny blob of pearl glaze to create a marble, feathered effect.

The character taking shape could have been a decorative plaque, but I was beginning to imagine her at home in the boudoir of a fine lady of fashion in the eighteenth century.

I chose one of the Calico trinket boxes and used a Crackle glaze to age it.

Some delicate, script stamping in black, and some gilding along the edges provided the finishing touches.

A tiny brass cabinet knob would help make the box lid easy to remove or replace...

and I added feet in the form of 4 little wooden, blue beads.

I wonder what my box might contain? I imagine it to be an 18th century comfits box. Comfits were nuts, fruits or seeds coated with candy and a very popular confection in the 18th and 19th centuries, or perhaps it contains tooth powder to keep Mistress Kitty's teeth as white as a string of milky pearls. What do you imagine the contents to be? Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, I hope you're feeling inspired by the scent of Spring in the air. Have a great week and see you back here in a fortnight.
Calico Craft Parts Used
Trinket Box (plain, style 2)
Plain MDF Wood Egg Shape
Sheet of Mini MDF Wood Feathers


  1. oh, how gorgeous! love the crackle on the box and how your "lady" turned out.

  2. Oh, tooth powder - or maybe a collection of the very tips of the tails of all the mice she's "adopted" over the years! An enchanting journey with you through the creation of this wonderful C18th box. I love this incarnation of the cat, and those wonderful marbled feathers are a stunning finishing touch.
    Alison x

  3. Clever way to use your own imagery Julie. The feathers are a clever touch and I love that little bird. The touches of gold give it an opulent touch. Tracy x

  4. This elegant Therianthrope is such a gorgeous example of your Magical Vision, Julie...her stance, her ease with her power, and her delicacy are perfectly delineated in every line...those EYES! xox

  5. Thank You so much, to Helen, Alison and Tracy for your lovely comments. I will convey them to Mistress Kitty! :)

  6. Julie Ann!
    Your characters and Calico products, absolutely belong together!!What an exquisite lady Mistress Kitty is!
    So beautiful my friend!
    Jackie xx

  7. Thank You Jackie and Heather for your lovely comments, which made my day! xx

  8. Oh this is so beautiful julie ann!

    Lucy x

  9. I love your gorgeous cat lady and what you did to the trinket box, Julie Lee!
    It's amazing how naturally all the parts fuse - it looks as if it has always been meant that way - the gorgeous crackled box with the lovely cat lady on top. And the box feet are just pefect too!

    Claudia xxx