Monday, 29 January 2018

Art Nouveau Fantasy - hanging by Julie Ann

Hello everybody! I love browsing charity shops, especially for books! One of my special 'finds' was a huge coffee table book on Art Nouveau. I could spend hours poring over this book, the curls and swirls, the tendrils of vines intertwined with flowing locks of hair. I was really excited when I saw that Calico have some beautiful new designs to add to their Art Nouveau range of craft parts. I decided to put my own 'spin' on Art Nouveau, so please meet cabaret artiste extraordinaire - La Chouette !

I  began by painting one of the oval birch plywood plaques with black gesso and some glorious Art Nouveau tulips with white gesso.

Art Nouveau was influenced by the art of Japan, so I covered one of the birch plywood circular plaques with this white and gold Chiyogami paper.

Now it was time for some fun, selecting the parts that would form my character!

Her shimmering gown was embellished with bead gel and scraps of spangled white tissue.

It's great when the character spreads her wings and seems to fly towards me like this!

At the same time I discovered the perfect wing span to add that finishing touch. I used one of these useful, diy clamps to keep all my layers in place.

Adding tiny fragments of skeleton leaves and sprinklings of gold UTEE, along with touches of gilding paste, I was reminded of flamboyant, fin-de-siecle cabaret performers.

Here is La Chouette, fluttering and stepping into springtime, reminding us to take our seats and look about us, that nature's cabaret is about to begin! In her beautiful gown, glittering with early evening stars and evoking springtime twilight, her low, sweet hooting song thrills her audience! I hope that springtime is preparing for her cabaret where you are. Have a wonderful time, full of creativity, until we meet again!
Calico Craft Parts used
Art Deco/Nouveau Floral Tulip Ornament style 26
Oval Birch Ply Wood Plaque
Mini MDF heart shapes
Circle Birch Ply Wood Plaque
Sheet of mini mdf Wings style 4
Sheet of mini mdf Wings style 1
Sheet of mini mdf feathers style 1

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Desk Tidy Trug by Jennie

Hello! and welcome to my second desk tidy project which is a trug to house lace, scrim, muslin and hessian string on my desk.

I have made this trug to match the Vase I made at the beginning of the month, using the same products.  You can find that post HERE.

I glued the trug together before painting it inside and out with the acrylic chalk paint - as I was not adding any techniques at this stage it seemed the easiest way to do it. As the trug has a larger area than the vase I was able to use one of the larger flowers on the napkin. I am a bit of a napkin hoarder and am known for very carefully NOT using my napkin at friends it going straight into my handbag and replaced by a tissue!

As with the vase I stamped here and there with permanent ink after the crackle glaze was dry. I then added the gold paint on the textured words and around the edges of the drug. Once everything was dry I gave it a final coat of matt varnish.

The trug is just a perfect size to sit on my desk full of a little bit all those things I use in almost every project but hopefully will not now mean opening the big textile drawer and hunting for everything and making a huge mess!

As always thank you for joining me today.

Happy crafting!

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts used:

Monday, 22 January 2018

Winter Delight - an Altered Chocolate Box Canvas - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thank you for stopping by today to take a look at my latest Calico project!

Claudia here and once more I have selflessly made a sacrifice for art and emptied a chocolate box so I could use it as an altered canvas to create a lovely winter deer scene on...

It measures about 6'' x 6'' and I have covered the box with yellowed pages from old magazines that I found at the flea market. 

Calico Craft Parts used:

I used DecoArt "Paper" Decou-Page to cover the chocolate box with the old dictionary pages. This is more fluid than the matte Decou-Page and perfect if you work with paper that is easily torn because it is already old and has become brittle. 

I used the matte Decou-Page though to seal the deer scene and two snowflakes to create a sealant for the crackle media I wanted to use.

Once the glued on paper had dried I toned the yellowed pages down with a wash of DecoArt media Translucent White fluid acrylic. 

After that had dried, I scraped on some DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish "vintage" using a palette knife. 

While that was set aside to dry, I also scraped some onto the deer shape and used the heat tool to dry the paint. 

That was followed by scraped on DecoArt media white Crackle Paste...

...and DecoArt media clear Crackle Glaze, always covering different areas with each new medium
(though overlaps here and there were welcome as they add to the randomly layered look beautifully).   

Once the crackle process was finished (I had put the pieces on the heating to speed up drying time), I applied Titanium and Raw Umber DecoArt media Antiquing Creams to both - canvas and deer scene - to make the cracks more visible. 

I used a soft, damp cloth to wipe back the Antiquing Creams until I was content with the look.

DecoArt media fluid acrylics Quinacridone Gold and Viridian were used to add touches of green to the tree and brown to the deer. I applied thin washes and dabbed off where I had added too much until I liked the look. I also painted a Quinacridone Gold border around the edge of the canvas.

Then I glued the pieces to the canvas using matte Decou-Page and sprinkled on some white media Shimmer Mister and "vintage" Chalky Finish paint using the nozzle's tube and a splatter brush. 

Some close ups to show how the different layers of paint and crackle media work together to form a highly textural mixed media piece:

I hope you like it! There are loads of lovely deer scene wood shapes to find at the Calico Craft Parts store - so you will surely find "yours" to create your own winter scene canvas. I can't wait to see the finished projects and would also love to know which chocolate boxes you usually empty in the name of 

Hugs and happy crafting!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Houses Galore! by Lesley

Hey everyone.
This week I have been playing with little houses. And because the weather is so rubbish......I thought I would use some super bright colours!!

I used lots of different sizes of the house kits. Gluing them all together to begin with.
I then gave them all a coat of white gesso.

I gave a few of the roofs a coat of crackle paste, a one had a coat of sand texture paste. When they were dry, i rubbed coloured wax on top.
Next i painted them all in blue, orange and purple.
The roofs that didn't have paste on, i covered with some flocked covered paper, which i rescued out of the charity box!

I then just let loose with some stamps and paint pens, covering all the sides of the houses.

Next, i took a sheet of the mini doors and windows and used wax to colour them and then glued in place.

I didn't glue them into place on the chunk of wood.....i'm thinking i should maybe add a little fence!

Thanks for reading

Ingredients used
Block style house kit
Block style with wonky roof house kit
Block style house wide with wonky roof
Sheet of tiny doors and windows

Monday, 15 January 2018

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day? - hanging by Julie Ann

It's great to be on the Calico Craft Parts blog with a brand new project for 2018! I don't know about you, but at this point in January the winter seems endless and I find myself longing for spring . I wanted to create something with the beautiful MDF triptychs from Calico, so I combined styles and sizes and allowed my imagination to spring forward to sunny days and blossoming hedgerows and a little spring-time whimsy!

The triptych kits come in different shapes and sizes, with or without tiny holes. I decided to drill my own holes and to create 3 individual hanging arches, which I've displayed in my Grandma's favourite vase.

I combined a domed and an arched kit, using the arch from the smaller kit as a centre panel, covering it with a sumptuous gold paper. For the other pieces, I cracked open a jar of heavy black gesso and painted them front and back.

Those arches suggested an Elizabethan theme to me, so I printed out this painting of a rather elegant gentleman's doublet and attached it to cardboard. A tiny scrap of lace, fixed with some heavy gel medium added the finishing touch to the doublet.

And, for the head, a miniature based on a sketch I did recently of my son.

The frame is gold embossing paste through a stencil. I created the card mask in the centre by drawing around the arched panel.

Spring is the time when poets are inspired to take up their quills. This January I have taken a word to reflect on in my art and the word I have chosen is 'seeing'. My poet has decided to let his heart lead the way and to write about what he sees!

Out of his window he sees hares hopping around among the rose bushes, but - after looking in his heart - every one of them has the face of his love!

There are so many breaths of fresh spring air available from Calico! I combined them with painting and tiny flowered sequins to drive the January blues away! As the hares are in profile, their second ears are chopped off corners of the Maidenhair fern.

Scraps of paper add warmth and colour to the mini windows, and the Calico word element from Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 completes the project.

I used copper wire for suspending the arches. I hope you will be inspired to create a triptych hanging of your own. You might like to combine your own art work or vintage photos with the beautiful Calico flora and fauna. I have included a full list of all the Calico Craft Parts I used in the project. Until we meet here again in a fortnight's time, keep dreaming of spring and have a creative time!

Calico Craft Parts Used
Domed Top Triptych
Arch Top Triptych 
Wooden Word Elements, Summer and Seaside
Sheet of Mini MDF Feathers, Style 2
Sheet of Mini MDF windows
MDF Heart Mini Plaques
Maidenhair Fern Wood Shape
Wild Rose and Maidenhair fern shape
Wild Grass Wood Shape, Style 4
Sitting Hare Wood Shape