Monday, 30 April 2018

More Wonderful Storage for your Tags and ATCs - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by today!
Claudia here to share another storage project (I promise this one will be the last for until at least late you can never have enough cool storage boxes to display and use on your studio desk and shelves, can't you?)

I just HAD TO have and alter this cool container to store some more ATC blanks and tag wood blanks in! It's the "Birch Ply & MDF ATC/Tag Storage Box" and as the name indicates you can either choose to have it made from Birch Ply or MDF.
It is just one of the cool storage and display boxes from the Calico Craft Parts range which you can check out by clicking HERE. If you have missed the other display boxes that Jennie and I have shared during the last weeks, simply click HERE and HERE for comparison.

If you find that the single pieces' openings are a bit too tight, simply use a small file to sand them a bit wider. If you manage to put the pieces together without any sanding they will fit very tight - so no need to add glue to put the sides and compartment dividers together! (click on the images for a larger view)

 I used DecoArt matte Decou-Page to assemble my storage box. It is my go-to glue and sealant when I am looking for short drying times and strong hold.

I used designer paper to cover the outsides of my box and glued that on with matte Decou-Page as well. After the glue had dried I cut off any excess around the edges, but you can also sand it off for an even more distressed look.

Using a hand drill I added some holes to fix my label pull and numbers plaque to the back of the container. To cover up the ends of the brads that were used for fixing the embellishments to the container, I glued another piece of designer paper to the inside of the box. Then I sealed the outside with slightly diluted Decou-Page for further treatment.

To accent the edges, I darkened them using a black distress crayon and smudging it with my fingertip.

The untreated dark brown MDF edges of the single wood panels were painted black using a permanent black marker with a wide flat tip.

Then I got messy. I mixed some white DecoArt Crackle Paint with some drops of Raw Umber media fluid acrylic paint on my palette and loosely scraped that mix onto the sides of my box.

After letting the Crackle Paint air dry, I also scraped on some Carbon Black Americana premium acrylic paint.

To add additional crackle and texture I scraped on DecoArt media Clear Crackle Glaze and highlighted the cracks later (after the Crackle Glaze had properly cured) with a mix of Carbon Black and Raw Umber DecoArt media Antiquing Creams.

Here's a better view of all the layers:

I love how the designer paper and the scraped on paints and media fuse into one beautiful worn looking surface! I haven't inserted a label yet, but will do as soon as I know what I want to store in this box.

I hope you like this new keepsake of mine! If you want to browse the Calico Craft Parts shop for more alterable items and kits, simply click HERE. See you soon!

Hugs and happy crafting!

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Take Flight, Canvas by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone. I have a canvas to share with you today, inspired by the birdsong I can hear outside my window as I create. Blackbirds and robins mingle their songs as the day gives way to twilight, so that my heart wants to take flight too and join them high in their tree-top nests.

In this mixed media piece I wanted to experiment with different media and to explore a combination of flat surface and 3D to create a dream-like effect.

I began with one of the chunky 12. 5 cm x 12.5 cm box canvases I love. This is the stage I enjoy - choosing different scraps of tissue I've hoarded and fixing them onto the canvas with a fluid matt medium. There's some random stamping in brown archival ink on there too.

The canvas started to take on the dream-like quality I wanted when I applied diluted acrylics in different shades of blue. I added some stencilling and stamping with paint rather than ink. Throughout the process, I kept to the theme of wings, feathers and birds.

That little bird was my inspiration, so I kept the paint well diluted and light in colour when I applied it over him. To add interest, I spattered some darker blue paint over my background, using a toothbrush dipped in acrylic wash and flicked - make sure you're wearing an apron when you do this!

Now it was time to turn to my Calico Craft Parts to add a touch of whimsy. I love to mix and match the craft parts to create something a little different and I had a fun time arranging different components on my box canvas.

You can achieve a completely different look depending on where you place the arms and legs from the doll kit. Although, for this project, I decided to dispense with the arms, this 'play' has definitely given me ideas for future canvases.

As you can see, the body I eventually chose for my flying house fairy already had arms, but I'm planning to create some art work to which I can add arms on future projects. The block style house includes a roof, but I kept this one open to the skies. This was so I could fix the little blue, magic feather inside and give the impression that the sky is the limit where the imagination is concerned!

I am pleased with the possibilities the box canvas and the 3D kit give to see different details from different angles.

The mini tags covered in design paper were a great way to add a message to the canvas. I used a fine line marker to create the effect of strings attaching them to the fairy's wrist. The misty, twilight effect along the bottom of the canvas is created with tea bags attached with fluid matt medium. I hope the birds are singing outside your windows too and that your heart and your imagination will soar with them in the coming weeks.
Calico Craft Products Used in this Project
Block Style Tall House Kit (mini)
Standard Art Doll Kit Style 1 (small)
Sheet of Mini MDF Tags (classic)
Sheet of Mini MDF Wings Style 4
Sheet of Tiny Windows and Doors

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Sepia Tag by Jennie

Hello and welcome!

I seem to be in a bit of a sepia mode at the moment and today I am sharing a tag which I thought would make a welcome change for my friend's birthday instead of a card.

The new selection of MDF tags are just perfect for combining for a special project and it is lovely to know that their sturdiness will ensure a longer life than perhaps a card.

I gave the tag a couple of coats of gesso before using my palette knife to add DecoArt Crackle Paste here and there. Once it had done its stuff and crackled I added some stamping in the spaces and a little vintage ink around the edges.

I love these gorgeous flourishes and knew that this one would be just the perfect base for a flower cluster.

The crackle glaze hasn't gone on too well as the flourish is very finely cut but there are crackles here and there.

However, I did add some gold wax to it later as it looked a little lost on the tag.

I used one of the smaller mini tags for my sentiment giving it the same crackle treatment as the large tag.

I love the chunkiness of the tag!

And that so many things can be layered on top of it without it buckling.

Hopefully I will be in a more colourful mood next month !!! At the time of posting this we are still waiting for Spring to arrive here in the north. The daffodils are almost open and the grass is slightly greener than it was last month, but it does still feel as though we are living in a sepia photograph!

As always thank you for joining me and happy crafting !

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts Used:

Monday, 16 April 2018

Spring is King - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by!

I hope by now Spring has finally arrived over at your places too! It really has been a long, long and cold winter (though over here in Vienna it hasn't been snowing as much and long as in other places, but still much more and longer than usual) and everyone has already been longing to see the first greens and Spring flowers to finally pop from the ground. So when I saw this new lovely ATC blank with the "Field of Tulips Frame" from the awesome range of Calico Craft Parts' ATC Wood Blanks I simply had to create a little Welcome Spring ATC with it.

So starring in today's project there's just one Calico Craft Part, which is the 

Plain ATC Wood Blank with Field of Tulips Frame

and as you can see it already comes with all the lovely linework needed to simply paint your tulips the way you like them.

I went for a deep red as I found a matching designer paper that I wanted to use for the background. 

I used matte DecoArt Decou-Page to glue the designer paper to the ATC's back panel. Then - as always - I drybrushed white DecoArt media Gesso to the frame before I painted the tulips' blossoms, leaves and stems using DecoArt media fluid acrylics (Quinacridone Red, Naphtol Red Light, Green Gold, Viridian and Cobalt Teal Hue). I also mixed some more greens and reds on my palette.

To add a bit of interest to the frame I stamped it with very small text using dark green archival stamping ink.

Red stamping ink was used to add the quote. That was framed with dark green again, using a circle stamp (from my huge collection of circle can never have too many circle stamps, can you?)

I finished my ATC off with some doodling with a white gel pen and adding DecoArt media Liquid Glass to the tulips' blossoms (for a bit of shiny bling and dimension). I you use Liquid Glass be patient and best leave it to dry over night. If you touch it too soon (to check if it has already cured), you will leave nasty fingerprints and dull the shiny surface.

I really love how this turned out! 

I hope you like my little Spring Welcome as much as I do. Check out all the fab Spring ATC wood blanks from the wide Calico Craft Parts range - there's one for (almost) every occasion!

Hugs and happy crafting!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Magic House Hanging by Julie Ann

Hello, it's great to be back at Calico Craft Parts blog. I hope your Easter was a happy and relaxing one. I've been having lots of fun being inspired by the versatile tag designs Calico have introduced. Not only do the individual tags come in all kinds of exciting shapes and sizes, but the sheets of mini tags have so many possibilities.

 I grabbed a handful of tags and shapes and started to let my imagination run wild! This is what I came up with - a magic house hanging/art doll!

This project all began with one of the pointed top MDF Tag shapes, which really reminded me of a tall house!

The quality of these beautiful tags is such that you can paint straight onto them and create excellent effects. Before doing that, though, I wanted to experiment with arranging different elements onto the tag.

Here is one of my faces glued onto a birch plywood heart-shaped plaque. The pair of Paperclay hands are created from moulds taken from metal matching hand charms.

These tiny tags from the sheet of mini tags looked so much like little doors! Although Calico has a sheet of tiny doors and windows, these will also work equally well on house projects of all kinds. I've combined them on this project with one of the incredible Calico door designs and a couple of miniature windows to show the possibilities when you mix and match Calico Craft Parts. A tiny silver bead becomes a giant door handle for a fairy!

Returning to my pointed top tag, I blended different shades of blue acrylic paints before stencilling in cream and brown through a doily style stencil.

I was pleased with the effect of stamping some script and some lace onto the painted tag with a brown Archival Ink pad. A few, old gold sequins and a scrap of lace provided my heart lady with her pretty collar.

I'd been waiting to use this lovely sunburst door for some time. I decided to crackle glaze over it with DecoArt One Step Crackle and then age it with some antiquing medium blended with a chocolate brown acrylic paint. A quirky flying house goddess seemed to be taking shape!

Meet Melissa, the domestic goddess of hearth and home! She flies towards you with open arms, offering you iced, heart-shaped cookies; the birds are always singing outside her windows and she invites you in to her cosy haven of kindness, comfort and magic.

The 2 tag doors are attached by copper wire, threaded through a couple of holes I drilled into the bottom of the tag. You could create a tag like this to attach to a 'Good Luck in your New Home' gift with a special message written on the back. It could even make a hanging in its own right for a cosy nook.

With birds building their nests and new beginnings everywhere, it's not surprising that Spring is traditionally the time for moving house. If you know of anyone moving at this time, you might like to create a tag or a hanging to wish them happiness in their new home. I hope this spring will be a time of opportunities and doors opening onto new vistas for you too. Have a lovely fortnight until we next meet at the Calico Craft Blog.

Calico Craft Parts Used
MDF Tag with Pointed Top
Sheet of Mini MDF Tags Classic
Sheet of Mini MDF Tags Rounded Top
Standard Heart Birch Plywood plaque
Door MDF Style 11
Mini Wings Style 3
Sheet of tiny doors and windows
Songbirds in Spring Branches