Sunday 30 July 2017

The Road Less Travelled - Mini Canvases by Julie Ann

I can't believe we're already at the end of July! Here in the UK we've had some glorious summer weather with moonlit nights so warm it's been best to be out in the cool of the night.

 And it's the world of Nature after dark that has inspired my project for Calico Craft Parts today.

Have you ever bought the little wooden easels on sale in discount craft stores? They come with mini canvases that I have always put to one side, never quite sure how I might use them. I have been moving a pile of them from place to place in my craft room for some time now, so I decided to create a miniature mixed-media project with a couple of them and some tiny Calico Craft Parts.

I planned to use every surface of these miniature substrates. They measure only 4.5 cm x 7.00 cm, but I wanted to include lots of detail. If you are going to work on any reverse canvas, it's important to remember that this side of the canvas is not primed. I painted the entire reverse side with Gesso and allowed it to dry before making a start.

Working from the inside out, I created little worlds using muslin; heavy gel medium to fix it down and create depth and texture; bead gel; garden twigs and moss.

Building up the layers took several days. I liked to allow each layer to dry before adding the next and then finally painting with layers of acrylic paint; a pearl glaze and some gilding.

As you can see, once I was happy with the reverse side of the canvases, I flipped them over and built up the layers on the outside.

Once I was happy with my layers, it was time to use the exquisite little Calico Craft Parts to bring the tiny world of my canvases to life. Although it is miniature, this owl looks truly dramatic and the tiny hare running to safety looks so full of life.

I added one of my own MDF houses with a mini Calico door all ready to open and allow the hare to escape the hungry owl.

Scraps of napkin tissue; a bottle top; a hand-drawn face under a layer of ice-resin and some beautifully detailed Calico Craft Parts suggest we take the road less travelled. If we do we can expect the unexpected - twists and turns; a glimpse of fairy folk; danger when we least expect it, but help in the unlikeliest of places too!

A Dolls' House hinge kept the two canvases joined to form a miniature diptych.

The moon is a circle of MDF left behind when one of the windows from the sheet of windows was pushed out. Its light turns the owl and the hare into silhouettes as the hare scampers to the safety of the kindly haven up ahead.
Thank You so much for stopping by and looking at these adventures on a summer night. I'm really looking forward to sharing with you again in a fortnight's time.
Calico Craft Parts Used on this project
Word Elements - Travel and Explorer
Sheet of mini MDF Wood Crowns, Style 3
Sheet of mini MDF Wood Wings Style 3
Sheet of mini MDF Acorns and Oak Leaves
Sheet of mini MDF Window Wood shapes
Sheet of tiny MDF window and door Wood shapes
Sheet of mini MDF Bird Shapes (Owls)
Sheet of mini MDF Hares

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Art Deco Door Hanger by Jennie

Hello Everyone! and welcome to my mixed media Door Hanger which layers a number of Calico Craft Parts pieces to get this sumptuous effect.

As some of you will know I recently attended a wonderful mixed media weekend workshop with Anna Dabrowska, France Papillon and Marta Lapowska and over the weekend we layered a lot of wooden and metal parts in our pieces. I came home fired with enthusiasm to try the same effect with some of the wonderful Calico Craft Parts I seem to have collected over the last year being on the DT.

I decided to use a Door Hanger as my base as I do love the way I can use these around the house without having to sort out nails for hanging!

Once the Hanger had been given a couple of coats of gesso I started my layering:  some texture paste through a stencil, then a layer of builders mesh and finally some bits of lace which had been cut up for another project but not used.

I then went through my little box of Calico Craft Parts Pieces - hearts, keys, ironmongery, little plaques and started layering these over the Hanger. Finally I added this wonderful Art Deco Ornament Shape as my final layer.

Then everything got coated with gesso. It needs a couple of coats and you need to get your paintbrush into all the nooks and crannies. In fact I was wishing that I had done my gesso coats before adding the final ornament! But that's the artistic flow for you ..... well for me anyway! After this photograph was taken I decided to add a few flowers which also got coated in gesso.

And then I started spraying with some water soluble pigments and LOTs of water, mopping up here and there until I was happy with the colour.

Text stamping filled in the white gaps and I did edge the Hanger with some brown ink to give it a bit of definition.

And finally, the addition of some micro beads - I really really love these, but I still don't have the hang of getting them necessarily where I want them!

I really enjoyed this project and am thrilled with my door hanger which is hanging on my craft room door at the moment. I was so pleased that the Art Deco Ornament with its wonderful etching pattern has taken the water dye pigment just so beautifully - I wasn't too sure whether I would lose the etched pattern but the combination of gesso and water based pigment has resulted in a light covering.

Thank you so much for joining me today. This is actually a scheduled post as by now I will be sailing around the West Coast of Scotland (hopefully!) in our lovely boat. These colours remind me of the wonderful turquoise seas and sandy beaches we encounter most of the time. We always feel very lucky.

Happy crafting!

Jennie x

Live The Dream

Calico Craft Parts Used:

Monday 24 July 2017

Mini Greenhouse - by Claudia

Hi and welcome to a really quick and easy little project today!

I would like to show you how to build your own mini greenhouse from Calico Craft Parts' beautiful Window and Iron & Wood Fence Panel Shapes.

I especially fell in love with the beautiful Gothic style window Helen included as a little extra with one of my DT orders (thank you so much, Helen. Mwah! XXX).

Window MDF Wood Shape - Style 3

It pretty sure it is a fantastic piece to include with scrapbooking or art journaling - but as I am no scrapbooker at all (and don't do a lot of art journaling either), I had it sit on my table for quite a while until I suddenly knew what I wanted to use this beauty for. I just knew that I LOVED it and HAD to use it in some way! The perfect idea finally hit me right out of the blue (as is often the case. I use to have alterable and other craft pieces sitting on my desk so I can look at them until inspiration strikes - - and most of the time it strikes when I am NOT trying hard to come up with something truly

So I ordered an additional Style 3 Window (the largest size) and also four Decorative Post Fence Panels (the small sized ones) to build my greenhouse with.

I had left overs of an old roll of transparent "mobile foil" (mobile not as in "mobile phone".... you know...balancing bits and pieces hanged on bars that hang on other bars with balancing bits and pieces...) that were perfect for covering the greenhouse with. I simply measured along the window's edge from top to bottom and multiplied that by two to get the length of the foil strip I needed. 

The width of my greenhouse equalled the width of two post fence panels. All I had to do is cut out my rectangle piece of mobile foil and fold it in half (which would form the roof ridge). I used a bone folder to get an exact folded edge. 

Using my fingertip I covered both sides of all my wood shapes with DecoArt Black Shimmer Metallic Lustre. 

For a bit of a corroded look I added tiny black spreckles of Carbon Black DecoArt media Mister by pressing down my Mister's nozzle only halfway (which creates tiny spreckles instead of an even mist).  

I just love how the Metallic Lustres create the impression of real metal! 

To glue the fence panels to the foil I used (very little) DecoArt media Liquid Glass, so the backs of the fence panels and windows would still be visible from the other side (through the glued on foil).

I used heavy books to keep everything flat and in place while the Liquid Glass dried and waited until one side of my greenhouse had dried before I continued with the other. Both window shapes were glued in place at the same time and held in place with heavy books and dictionaries. 

 Et voilá!
Quick and easy, right?

I hope you like it! 

Hugs and happy crafting!

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Teacher Thank You Gift by Lesley

Hey people. A quick post from me this week.

End of term is looming and its a crazy time in my many things going on!
Twin number one decided that she wanted to make her teacher a gift to say thank you for a great year. This got left to the last minute (and got left to me!) So.......i incorporated The making of a gift with my Calico make.......and this is what i rustled up!

This is the larger style of the MDF trug kits......wouldn't fit many sweeties in the smaller one!

I started by priming all pieces and both sides with gesso......and then literally just doodled with paint on the four sides and handle!

I wasn't quite happy with my random i heat dried them.......and carried on doodling on top!

All the doodling was done with acrylic paint. I then used a watercolour to fill in any white spaces.

I then used a black fountain pen to add a few dots and circles.

The entire piece was then covered in a glaze to stop the water colour from running should it come into contact with water.

Now, all i have to stop Iris from eating all the sweets before handing over her little thank you gift!

Thanks for reading.

Ingredients used
Plain MDF Trug Kit in large

Sunday 16 July 2017

An Owl Princess - altered anchovy tin by Julie Ann

Hello, it's my Monday at Calico Craft Parts Blog, my favourite place to be! Today I have another little anchovy tin shrine to share.

An old friend and I have been researching fairy stories together, exploring recurrent themes and situations and then coming up with our own tales. I'm fascinated by stories of metamorphosis that often seem to express how we long to emulate animals with their gifts of flight, speed and agility. I love to create hybrid creatures in my art work and for this project I created a human princess, imprisoned by her evil magician uncle. By night she escapes through her casement window to become wise queen of the owls, counselling the creatures, free to glide above the trees in the moonlight.

The craft project provided me with plenty of ideas for my story! Here is my anchovy tin, painted and lined with some card with stencilling in clear 3D Gel Medium. Behind it you can see the branches of one of the beautiful,large Calico skeleton tree MDF shapes. I just loved the effect of those branches stretching out and I knew I wanted this as my basis. I painted the tree in different shades of green acrylic and melted gold UTEE on the tips of the branches to symbolise the moonlight.

Next it was the fun part, gathering Calico art parts that would help me tell my story. I am completely in love with these little grey-board hearts. They are so adaptable. At first I had intended to use the blue, stamped heart as a skirt until I changed direction and decided to really emphasise the Princess's owl wings.

Here are the wings, some of her owl attendants and the rambling roses from around her bower.

Bead Gel either side of the tin helped create a textured background. These tiny keys have been threaded through with fine copper wire and - with some gilding - they have the look of real metal keys. I used layers of paint, sanding and dry brushing with a translucent brown acrylic to age my tin. I touched the owls' wings with gilding to suggest the moonlight on their feathers.

The rose patterned heart became the Princess's coat of arms in the finished project. Fragrant roses climb about the walls of the tower where she is imprisoned and grow through the lock on her door.

My story is still a work in progress, but I have fixed a hook on my anchovy tin shrine and have it on the wall close to my desk to inspire me as I write my fairy tale. Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope you're enjoying your summer. I will be returning in a fortnight's time with a new project to share with you. Until then I wish you happy and creative days!
Calico Craft Parts used in this project
Skeleton Tree MDF Wood Shape Style 10, Large
Thorned Rose Scroll, Flora and Fauna Flourish Style 24
Sheet of  mini MDF wooden keys and escutcheons
Sheet of mini MDF wood wings style 3
Hearts mini Greyboard Shapes
Sheet of mini MDF wood owl shapes
Flying Barn Owl Wood Shape style 3

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Sweet Art Doll by Jennie

Hello everyone and welcome to a fun little project today!

I had so much fun making my glamorous (Gibson) art doll that I thought I would try a smaller one to keep her company.  I have tried some slightly different techniques this time but I must say she is a bit contrary in terms of getting her photo taken! 

I wanted to use some old book paper for her body and it was very easy to draw around the shapes in the board once the body had been popped out for painting.

As she is one of the smaller dolls I used chalk paints to paint the rest of her body as I felt crackle might be a bit overpowering.

Her skirt is made up of three leaf stamps which I have stamped on linen and then layered over some netting.  A piece of narrow ribbon and then the flower hides all the glued edges!

Unlike some of the team here I am absolutely no good at drawing and painting faces so I went through just about ALL my stamp collection to find a head that fitted! It was a lovely exercise and I actually discovered stamps I had completely forgotten all about.  This was one of my very first stamps purchased about eight years ago. 

I think she will make a good companion for my Gibson girl even though they couldn't sit alongside each other for a photograph !

As always thank you for joining me.

Happy crafting!

Jennie x

Live The Dream

Calico Craft parts Used: