Friday 28 April 2017

Gilded Verdigris Tags by Guest Designer Alison

Hello all.  It's Alison here again from Words and Pictures with the second of my guest appearances here this month.  (If you missed the first, do take a look at my Springtime Shadowbox.)  I went through a number of stages before I ended up with this pair of gilded verdigris tags, but the Craft Parts can take any number of layers being thrown at them, so it's okay if you're feeling indecisive!

Even though I went the long way round to get there, I really like the antiqued burnished metal look I've ended up with.

And although, as usual, I set myself a photography challenge in trying to capture that look, I think you get a sense of the gleam of the gold in the sunlight, as well as the weathered chalkiness of the Distress Oxides and the oxidising Verday paints I was using.

It all started with some texture paste through a stencil onto a pair of tags, covered with a coat of gesso, applied so as to give even more texture to the look.

I added washes of Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic, along with Pumice Stone Distress Crayon for shading.  I really liked this subtle vintage look, but somehow I couldn't progress any further - other than adding the die-cut cardboard shapes for another dimensional layer.

So next it was on to the Oxides... I challenged myself to step outside my colour comfort zone and try out the Fossilized Amber and Spiced Marmalade, and I found myself really enjoying the golden glow of it.

I thought I knew the two main pieces I wanted to use - from Calico's selection of Flora and Fauna Decorative Wood Flourishes - but I couldn't decide on the finish for them.  You can see here a couple of experiments with some of the Mini Butterflies.  (I only had one each of the Flourishes, so I had to wait until I was closer to knowing what I wanted to do with them.)

And I was also thinking of including some vintage photos at this stage.  I was really tempted - as always - to just leave the Craft Parts "naked".  I do like this version - maybe I should have stuck with it (but with bare butterflies too).

Suddenly I remembered my Verday Paint and Patina - so far mostly used on dollshouse projects - and thought it might be nice to go for a coppery verdigris to contrast with the golden sunshine background.  This is the first coat - a true metallic copper.

Then you add a second coat and spritz that with the patina spray and allow the verdigris to develop as the metal particles in the paint oxidise.  (So we have Oxides and actual oxidisation!)

The verdigris green made me want to experiment with adding a similar shade to my background, so I used washes of Distress Paint (Broken China, Evergreen Bough, and maybe some others in the mix too) to add softer blue-green shadows within the texture.

And having got that far, I decided I really didn't want to cover up too much of these beautiful backgrounds, so the photos hit the dust, and I started to play with arranging the Butterfly & Vine...

... and the Morning Glory Vine & Butterfly with the other elements on the tags.

As I went, I decided I wanted a little more depth and a little more gilding.  So I started adding Treasure Gold in Florentine and Aquamarine to the edges of the Craft Parts...

... as well as to the edges of the tags.  And I also used my Sepia Archival Ink to deepen the burnish of the gilding.

I had to have some spatter of course.  I'd already spattered some Oxide inks in places, but I also used the Broken China Distress Paint.  I really love the look of this as part of the verdigris distressing.

I used a couple of my much-loved WordBands to add the words.

They've each had a touch of the same Treasure Gold waxes to help them tone in.

And they're fastened to the tags (now mounted on sturdy cardboard) with the same fine gold wire which adorns the tops of the tags.

So, it took me a while to get there - and I'll probably go back and recreate some of the earlier vintage look backgrounds for projects in the future - but in the end, I think it's a good look for the Craft Parts.

What do you think?  Should I have stopped at an earlier stage?  Or was it worth continuing down the experimental path?  Either way, thanks so much for stopping by today.

Remember, you can click on any of the links to find the specific items, or you could just go and have a browse at Calico Craft Parts if I've tempted you.  Many thanks to Zuzu and the team and the fantastic Calico Craft Parts owners and designers, Helen and Steve, for having me back to play along again.  I've had a wonderful time.

Alison x
Words and Pictures


  1. What beautiful tags, Alison! I love them!

  2. It might have been a journey longer than you thought it would be but what a destination, fabulous!!
    Amanda x

  3. I love the finished look- am glad you left off the photos so we can see the gorgeous backgrounds. Love the colours

  4. Wonderful effects and gorgeous designs. Xx

  5. I love how they ended up!Those die cut shapes are beautiful.

  6. They're both beautiful Alison! I love the effects you achieved with all those different mediums.

  7. Alison, - from me, a NO, you should not have stoppet at an earlier stage, as this looks totally wonderful. The add of the verdigris, golden and green tones gives a magic feeling to your tags, which ( in my eyes) would have been missed , if stopping with the yellow/orange tones . It is some gorgeous tags, and the coloring suits the Craft Parts so wonderfully.
    Hugs, Dorthe

  8. As always, simply gorgeous!!!

  9. Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Did I tell you how gorgeous these two tags are? Thanks for the tutorial too!!!!
    sandy xx

  10. These tags really look amazing, great colours and details , I really love them both , thank you for showing us all these details!!

    Have fun and a happy weekend !

  11. What luscious layers Alison. And how well the oxides complements the richness. X

  12. In my humble opinion, you were right to carry on because the verdigris look on the flourishes and butterflies is gorgeous!! The Treasure Gold just enhances those beautiful pieces even more. The word bands are a lovely addition and I just love the twisted gold wire at the top of the tags, it finishes them off perfectly! Anne x

  13. Oh, alison, they are great, beautiful tags!!!!

  14. These are beautiful Alison, and perfect! I really love the gold wire too xx

  15. These are just delightful Alison xxx

  16. I think that experimenting is always worthwhile. You learn so much and get so much from the process itself. I love these finished tags - wonderful texture and what a great glow. They are just beautiful down to the very last detail! xx

  17. Gorgeous tags - I love everything about them and would love a video!!!

  18. Bravo ! Fantastic ! Love it !
    Corrie xxx

  19. They both look wonderful, great colours!!

  20. I think you hit it just right, Alison - the gilding and paints/inks lend such a fabulous effect. I could spin all types of stories given these gorgeous backgrounds, and I love that you kept them visible, to show off as well those beautifully antiqued Craft Parts! xxx Lynn

  21. Just wow! Amazing pieces! Barbara

  22. Two beautiful tags, this golden touch is a perfect addition to the verdigris. I love the creative path you went through and told us.

  23. I like that you keep going where I would have stopped (lest I ruin it). I love the patina and oxidation along with the golden glow. It all works together so well.

  24. Alison, I think these tags are outstanding! Glad you left off the photos ,so we could see the beautiful background- good choice,in my opinion! You really do know how to rock those craft parts!!
    Jackie xo

  25. Brilliant tags Alison! Gorgeous the background by the doily stencil and beautiful spring atmosphere images. I love the patina colours. xx

  26. Absolutely gorgeous!!!
    I love your combination of yellow and orange oxides, grey crayon, verdigris and patina paints... and the disposal and use of the Callico elements is just the best as usual! Thanks Alison for this beautiful set of tags!!
    Corinne xx

  27. So pleased I didn't miss these! Beautiful!! Chrisx

  28. Alison, these are truly wonderful! I love that the elements both stand out and blend in, what magic! Such an inspiration, thank you! Hugs, Autumn