Monday, 29 May 2017

Keep Out Sign for the Young Marine Biologist - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thank you so much for stopping by today! And I would also like to thank you all for the lovely comments you always leave with my projects - they're highly appreciated! :)

Today I want to share with you a "Keep Out" sign that I made for my son's new room. We have been busily renovating during the last weeks and my husband and I are switching rooms with our son. So he will soon have his own bedroom and small living room (and we are going to have a brand new bedroom with new all are more than happy). 

Those who already know a bit about me and my family may remember that my son wants to become a marine biologist and that he especially loves sharks, whales and the coealacanth. So making a shark door sign for him was quite an obvious thing to do with Calico Craft Parts' awesome shark wood shapes

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Great White Shark MDF Wood Shape (please note: this design is now discontinued but link takes you to other shark wood shapes)

I wanted to create a vintage style sign, so I browsed the net for images of vintage signs and studied their colours, designs and font styles before I decided on which products and colour tones to use.

Then I started with adding some Burnt Umber heavy body acrylic paint and white DecoArt Acrylic Gesso to the plaque and the shark shape. 

Once the plaque was dry I added some DecoArt Weathered Wood to it with a soft brush. 

While that was set aside to dry I painted my shark using DecoArt media Titanium White, Phtalo Turquoise, Qinacridone Magenta, English Red Oxide and Cobalt Teal Hue fluid acrylics. 

I mixed some Titanium White, Quin Magenta and English Red Oxide to paint the mouth's inside. Once that was dry I dry brushed the teeth with Titanium White. 

In the meantime the Weathered Wood had gotten dry to the touch - perfect for quickly applying the top colour with a soft brush. I chose DecoArt Americana Sea Breeze as I think it is the perfect vintage colour for an ocean life themed sign! 

I let the painted plaque dry naturally before I mixed some DecoArt Americana Primary Yellow and DecoArt media English Red Oxide to paint a thin frame around the plaque. 

Once that was dry I drew a thin white border using a white gel pen. 

To make sure the font and letters were in the exact spot where I wanted them, I drew a template by outlining the plaque and the shark with a pencil and cutting it out. Then I marked the height of the letters with lower and upper lines that followed the shape of the plaque. 

I sketched my words on that template and then transferred them onto my plaque using DecoArt Americana Transfer Paper. I used a ball point pen for sufficient pressure and traced my letters precisely. 

They were then painted with DecoArt media Phtalo Turquoise using a fine tip brush. 

I also added two greyboard stars that I had painted with English Red Oxide. 

Everything was glued into place using matte DecoArt Decou-Page.

For a final touch I painted a very thin outline with English Red Oxide to repeat the colour of the stars and the shark's jaw. 

I drilled two holes using my Dremel to fix some rough cord for a hanging loop.

I simply tied a knot into the cord's ends. 


My son loves his new sign for the door to his new "realm". And I hope you like it too (and I am quite sure that there are a lot of future marine biologists out there who would love a "keep out" sign like this too). 

See you in two weeks!
Hugs and happy crafting!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Batting Her Eyes by Lesley

Hey people, i have an upcycled piece for you this week.

This piece originally started out as a hanging tealight holder which i picked up from a supermarket for 50p.

Because it is china, there was a good chance any paint would scratch off, even if it was primed with gesso. With this in mind........i decided to cover it in torn bits of printed tissue pieces using a matt medium. And the inside was coated with two layers of gesso.

I added a was of red paint to the entire piece, and then applied texture paste through a stencil. Once it was dry, i rubbed some gold wax over the raised areas. A few little rub-ons were added as well.

The bats were painted black and more gold wax added to the edges. I used a length of thick wire, and wrapped it around the bats and then around the top of the holder.

The dolls head was primed with gesso. And i then added black, red and white paint to her.

Using the last bat i had, i wrapped a length of wire around her neck, bending it around so that the bat sat in front of her eyes.

To finish it off, i added a length of chain so it can be hung.

Thanks for reading,

Ingredients used
Flying bats colony

Monday, 22 May 2017

Anchovies Tin Shrine by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone. It's great to be here at Calico Craft Parts Blog. Today I'd like to share a project inspired by something that happened 30 years ago! My husband and I were visiting Russia and during a tour of the Kremlin we lost the rest of our party and found ourselves alone in a snowy courtyard. An old woman, typically Russian with a vivid floral headscarf brightening her drab layers of warm clothing, appeared out of nowhere and beckoned. She led us to a vast, heavy oak door, which she pushed open to reveal a tiny, dimly lit chapel. We gasped to see a vast array of be-jewelled icons, glimmering with gold - magnificent yet unexpectedly intimate . She spoke no English, but simply swept her hand around proudly, clearly enjoying our wonder and delight.

 A humble anchovies tin among my collection of 'alter - ables'; some bits and pieces discarded from past projects and some Calico Craft Parts inspired me to try to re-create in miniature a fragment of that moment, reminding me that sometimes beauty awaits us in unexpected places.

I always enjoy the early stages of a project - the excitement of gathering the elements that will go to make up the finished piece.

The heads from 2 small doll kits would combine to make the Madonna and Child, with a scrap of Dresden for a halo. I decided I would frame my anchovies tin with this beautifully decorated ATC frame. I wasn't absolutely sure how I would do this, but I wanted different layers to my shrine and I envisioned the ornate cross projecting out a little from my background.

I began to add more to my frame and centre-piece, although I was still not sure how I could create the glimmering, mosaic background I recalled from the tiny chapel. I love the shape of the Calico keys, which recall the heavy wooden doors and the significance of keys in Christian iconography. Bits of broken jewellery, crackle and gilding were beginning to evoke ancient splendour in an intimate setting.

Now it was time to create that background. I painted my tin with acrylics and decorated the interior with fragments of doily, touched with gilding paste and bead gel. My mosaics were created by stencilling with 3D gloss gel, allowing this to dry and then painting and gilding it before snipping it into squares and fixing to my background with heavy gel medium.

Time to bring the whole piece together. I found a little wooden cube I could adhere to my tin and also my cross so that it would stand out from the background. I am indebted to Alison Bomber for this tip! I was pleased with the way that my anchovies tin shrine seemed to invite the viewer in with welcoming arms. I hope that you will find time this week to create something from an item or items you might normally have thrown away. Thank You so much for stopping by today.

Calico Craft Parts Used

ATC with Engraved Fleur de Lis Frame
Curlicue Flourish Cross, small
Standard Jointed Art Doll Kit, small, style 2
Mini Greyboard Hearts
Sheet of Mini Angel Wings, style 1
Mini Keys and Keyholes

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Miniature Paris Couture by Jennie

Hello fellow crafters and welcome to a miniature project here on the blog today!

This Gothic Arch ATC is a super cute arch and great for incorporating some of the mini craft shapes.

This is really a Christmas ATC Arch with a Mistletoe embellishment but I thought I would show how versatile all these wonderful wood blanks are at any time of the year. It is very easy to snip out the embellishment for using elsewhere on the project.

I recently coloured some old text book paper with chalk paints, vintage inks and some texture paste. This was a small book I picked up in Rome on a market stall - well it was in a box under the stall as it had pages torn and missing. I couldn't tell the stall holder why I was so pleased it was in this state - my Italian is pretty non existent! - and I think he thought I was rather odd wanting to purchase it for 2 euros!

I had to fiddle around a bit before I could find a place for the arch to get as much of the textured words as possible. It was easier to glue this down with multi medium glue as the text paper was very thin.

I then added some watery vintage inks. I prefer to do this after I have stuck the paper down as the mdf gives the paper a bit of strength and allows the inks to settle instead of buckling the paper.

The outside frame was painted with chalk acrylic paint and then overstamped with a linen style stamp.

I then stuck the two pieces together and added some washi tape around the edges - I did this with one piece of tape cutting into the corners and snipping around the curved pieces. Washi tape is very maleable and just perfect for this type of project.

The  mistletoe embellishment was painted first with a chalky white acrylic and then the leaves with  DecoArt Raw Sienna Acylic Paint.  You can also just about spy a mini key there in the background dabbed with gold paint.

I finished the top of the arch with another mini and this hides where the mistletoe had been snipped off!

A fun little piece to make and despite being "miniature" not too fiddly for arthritic fingers!

As always thank you for joining me again and happy crafting!

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts Used:

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Happy Prince - by Claudia

Well, actually the short story "The Happy Prince" was written by Oscar Wilde, but my project for today is my interpretation of it.

Servus, hi and welcome to "my Monday" over here on the Calico Craft Parts Blog. :)

As you may find, Lesley and I both are into assemblage art using dolls heads and I always love seeing how differently we approach similar themes and objects to use with our art. So if you haven't seen her latest and very awesome Calico Craft Parts project I highly recommend you scroll down to the previous post to check it out. Two dolls heads - two totally different takes. We didn't plan this - but obviously we were down the same tracks at the same time.

But back to my happy prince!

When I was a kid we had an illustrated children's book of Oscar Wilde's short story and I remember I (almost) always teared up when my mom read the story to me. In the story the "Happy Prince" is an iron statue, all covered in gold and with a ruby on his sword and sapphires for his eyes. The place he stands in is reigned by poverty and despair, so he is very sad having to watch people being in misery. When a swallow (that was left behind by its flock on its way to Egypt) rests at his feet a teardrop from the prince's eye falls on him and the prince tells him about the poor people he has to watch everyday.

I was too young then to understand why the prince would be "happy" - he gave his ruby and then his sapphire eyes and all his gold so the swallow could help the poor. Without his sapphires he was blind. (I still remember the image of his gentle face with the empty eyes...which made me very sad - and obviously was the most impressive part of the story for me back then).

Then the swallow freezes to death because he is already too weak and it has already become too cold to continue his travel to Egypt. As the statue isn't beautiful anymore it is melted, but the prince's broken heart does not melt. An angel takes both - the dead swallow and the heart - to heaven and both live in God's paradise forever.

The idea for my interpretation of Oscar Wilde's story originated from browsing my collection of Frozen Charlottes and porcelain dolls heads while the middle size cube from the stacked ATB cube kit, the Ivy Leaf Garlands and the Art Deco ornament were on my desk - put aside some days ago for later use. I used the two other cubes from the stacked ATB cube kit on this project HERE and another one HERE.

I started with applying a thorough coat of Burnt Umber heavy body acrylic paint to the insides of the ATB cube and white DecoArt Acrylic Gesso to the dolls head.

Then I dry brushed more white Gesso onto the Ivy garlands and the Art Deco ornament.

The box was assembled using matte DecoArt Decou-Page and then painted with "muted gold" DecoArt Americana Satin multi-surface paint. 

The dolls head was sprayed with Carbon Black DecoArt media Mister on the inside and some of the paint that seeped through the eyes and mouth was used to paint the face too.

I applied DecoArt media clear Crackle Glaze to the outsides of the box using a palette knife and let it air dry. 

I added a wash of "muted gold" to the ornament and the garlands and once that was dry added a thin coat of clear Crackle Glaze too. 

Using my palette knife again I loosely spread some DecoArt media "Gold" fluid acrylic paint to the dolls head making sure I left some of the black paint visible (as the prince gives the gold leaf he is covered with bit by bit to the poor too).

I used Carbon Black DecoArt media Antiquing Cream to tone down the leaf garlands, the ornament and the box. I applied a thin coat of the Antiquing Cream (a few drops will go a long way!) to the parts, let it dry and then wiped it back with a damp soft cloth until I was content with the look.

With my fingertip I added some dabs of "Gold Rush" DecoArt Metallic Lustre to the box and the other Calico Craft Parts.

The "sapphire" was glued behind the eye's opening using matte Decou-Page. Once that was dry the dolls head was glued in place using my hot glue gun and the other pieces were fixed to the box with more matte Decou-Page.

The swallow was snipped off the gorgeous 
   and painted with Carbon Black Antiquing Cream, white Gesso and "muted gold" Satin acrylic paint. Then I fixed it to the top of the Art Deco ornament using the hot glue gun again. I also used hot glue to fix the sapphire the swallow is bringing to poor people. 

Et voilá!

Thank you for stopping by today and for reading this far! I hope you like my interpretation of "The Happy Prince"! For those who are interested you can find the whole story HERE.

Hope to see you again soon!

Hugs and happy crafting!