Monday, 8 May 2017

Through the Door - by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone! It's great to be with you again on the Calico Craft Blog. I've been so excited by the amazingly detailed miniature doors and windows Calico recently introduced. Their variety and beauty has to be seen to be believed.  Ever since I was a little girl and I was given a picture book with tiny doors cut into the pages, leading to tantalising glimpses of new rooms beyond, doors and windows have enchanted and intrigued me!

 I had to restrain myself with this project because I wanted to use every one of the new doors and windows on it and there wasn't enough room! I began with 2 MDF shapes like this, which I planned to connect with a tiny dolls' house hinge:

They are approximately 3cm tall. I hope my specs and miniature screwdriver help to give some idea of the scale!

I wanted to add a new character to this little project! He was inspired by some Pinterest images of birds in Elizabethan costume and I used humble 6B pencil and water-colours to create him, before scanning him into my computer and then using him as part of a collage inside the miniature house.

Before creating my interior, I had to think about what I wanted on the outside of the house. I make my own 'designer' paper by scanning sheets of painted, stamped and stencilled backgrounds and printing them out onto good quality matt photographic paper. For the upper section I've used the top layer of a napkin. I have learned so many great collage techniques from on line classes with Mary Jane Chadbourne. The lady is one of my own faces collaged onto a painting with some added sketching and water-colour enhancements. You can see the door and window I eventually chose too.

I aged the door with layers of paint, areas of crackle and an antiquing medium with just a touch of gilding paste here and there. To create the illusion of a garden beyond, I used a scrap of designer paper that had sunflowers and bees against a blue background. In this image, the door is simply resting on the house. I finished off with a strip of blue and gold Origami paper along the join. The door ring is a miniature jewellery jump ring, painted and gilded.

Calico Craft Parts have so many embellishments, which you can add to create imaginative interest. To make that door look even more ancient and interesting, I added one of the beautiful and intricate hinges and a tiny crown enhanced with thick, gold embossing powder.

 Over by the window, a songbird converses with his canary cousin inside. I wonder if her Ladyship might be about to release him into a world of blue skies and freedom? The turquoise brads have been snipped with wire cutters and added for embellishment and co-ordination.

And who should we meet when we open up the hinged house? There's Ava, the Owl against a background of collaged tissue paper - blue skies, butterflies and a black and white pattern at the very top. I positioned Ava so that she had a suggestion of fairy wings.

Ava has a rather elegant companion, Cuthbert Canarius, musician and poet erstwhile resident troubadour in the big house, by appointment to her Ladyship.

The roofs are strips of copper foil. I have doodled on the backs with a hard pencil, then painted and sanded before finishing with thick, melted, gold embossing powder.

Shall we step into the garden and tarry awhile, listening to Cuthbert's entrancing song? I hope the spring time is proving a creative and fulfilling time for you and that you are finding some time to step into the garden and hear the birds sing.

Calico Craft Parts 
Door MDF Wood Shape, Style 7
Window MDF Wood Shape, Style 4
Sheet of Mini MDF Hinges
Sheet of Mini MDF wood crowns
Songbirds on Spring Branches


  1. What a fabulous creation once again! I love the stories you weave too..

  2. Julie, it is incredible , so amazing. Your new friend Birdie, is another masterpiece, and love all your gorgeous details !! xxx

  3. I've also been collecting up the amazing doors and windows - but now they're at home and I'm away - bah! I'm enchanted by this tiny diptych and the characters and stories woven into it against your fabulous self-designed designer paper. Wonderful finishes on the doors themselves, and the birdsong from inside and outside the cage is almost audible.
    Alison x

  4. Thank You for your lovely comments, Helen, Dorthe and Alison. I have lots more projects in my imagination, using the wonderful Calico doors and windows. xx

  5. Stunning magical creation Julie! I love that you use your own beautiful images. Truly enjoyed being in the garden with you today! XO Kim

  6. What an adorable project, julie ann! I love it!

    Lucy x

  7. Thank you so much for your kind comments, Lucy and Kim and many thanks to you both for joining me in the garden today. xx

  8. It's really wonderful and I love your newest character! Amazing inspiration.

  9. Thank You so much, Autumn. xx

  10. Absolutely enchanting teeny tiny house!! How ever you were able to add what you did and still make it look fabulous is beyond me!
    Julie Ann I just LOVE Cuthbert Canarious! He is beautiful and he is the perfect character to be seen on calico's new houses!! Bravo my dear!
    Jackie xoxo

  11. Thank You for your lovely comment, Jackie. xx

  12. You see me stand in total awe of your incredible and sparkling imagination, Julie Ann! You really never fail to amaze me by what you see in and make of the lovely Craft Parts! Love this to bits!

    Claudia xxx