Sunday 29 July 2018

Make Art Every Day, ATB Storage Cube - by Julie Ann Part 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of my Storage Cube Odyssey! I hope you've been having a lovely summer and  managed to fit in some voyages of discovery yourselves since we last met. 2 weeks ago I shared some ATB storage cubes with you and here is a reminder of how they turned out.

Last time we concentrated on looking at the top 2 boxes in the stack and this week it's the turn of the bottom ones. Because only the little house at the top is attached you can arrange the boxes individually or pile them up on your shelf or table.

I worked on this project over quite a while, coming back to it and adding once the basic layers were in place.

Although I've always admired Steampunk style, it's not something that I've played with much myself so far. This panel, which features my own artwork, however, does have something of a steampunk look. To me it suggests the little cogs and wheels moving in my brain when I'm creating! I used extra thick embossing enamels on 2 of the cogs and some gilding on the one in the middle. Tiny faux pearls appear to fix them onto the cube.

I used Black Gesso on the tops of the storage cubes and Washi tape around the edge. The cubes are coordinated with little Scrabble tiles covered in map paper. I have a bag of stamped words left over from other projects and I used these ready-stamped elements along with scraps with design papers, my own art work and beautifully detailed Calico Craft Parts.

Here is my Muse gathering wild berries before taking me by the hand and flying into new adventures with me!

The King of the Beasts reminds me that sometimes you have to be brave and step out of your comfort zone if you want to challenge yourself.

I don't know exactly why it was but this panel was the one it gave me most pleasure to create. I used the galleon from some map paper in the background, stamping and collaging  my own art work with classic painting. I was really pleased with how the canary appears to be toying with the idea of joining his friends up in the trees.

For this panel, I combined the mini seagulls from the sheet of birds with one of the individual wood bird shapes of a seagull in flight. There is real lace on the lady's dress and a tiny wren looks on at his cousins in flight.

Sea-horses have always intrigued me and I love the way they feature on this Calico frame. It fitted the cube perfectly too. Once again, I especially liked the effect of melting ultra thick embossing powders onto the Calico Craft Parts. What's great about these cubes is that I can keep adding to them whenever I need storage. The possibilities for personalising them are endless too. You could do as I did and combine your own art work with collage materials, or you could use rubber stamped and coloured faces and figures; downloaded images or digital collage. I hope you'll have a go at creating ATB Cube Storage just for you, or as a gift for a creative friend. Have a happy, creative time until we meet again.
Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
MDF Cube Storage Box Kit, Medium
MDF Cube Storage Box Kit, Large
Mini Steampunk Motifs, Style 1
Sheet of Mini MDF Angel Wings, Style 4
Sheet of Mini Crown Wood Shapes, Style 2
Sheet of Mini Bird Shapes, Seagulls
Soaring Seagull Wood Shape
Songbirds in Spring Branches Wood Shape
Nautical Multi Frame - Seahorses and Sea Foam
Mini Label Holders MDF Wood Shapes
Sheet of Engraved Scrabble Tiles
Sheet of MDF Mini Garden Birds

Saturday 28 July 2018

Vitamin SEA by Kerstin

Hello crafty friends!

The time is right for a new inspiration featuring some amazing products from Calico Craft Parts. Today it's a One sheet minialbum (the template can be found here ) - a really simple and very impressive project. You can use it for example as a little surprise for a friend, who spends his holidays at home.

Outside (folded)

focus point

Shaped ATC Wood Blank with Scroll Cut Out Frame

 Dolphin Duo MDF Wood Shape - Style 03

I love it to work with this amazing ATC frames, not only suitable for ATC's,

But you can use it also for photos or sayings as a focal point. 

The Dolphin shapes were painted with white gesso, then I added a crackle stamp.


Inside, unfolded

Sheet of Mini MDF Nautical Motifs Style 1

 Sheet of Mini MDF Nautical Motifs Style 2

Sheet of Mini MDF Nautical Motifs Style 3

The Mini motifs are always perfect as little special 3D highlights 

jellyfish, seahorses, anchor, compass

some close up's

I used the small crabs together with a brad
to close the album flaps.

Behind the whale there are magnets

our sunshine dog 'Filou'

Thanks for your visit!
Enjoy the summer time!

Wednesday 25 July 2018

A Little Girl's Dream by Jennie

Hello and welcome to something a little different!

Today I am sharing a collaborative ATC!  Our four year old granddaughter Caitlyn (soon to be five) and her brother stayed with us at the beginning of the month and she had a wonderful time going through all the drawers and cupboards in the craft room. She particularly loved the Calico Craft Parts drawer! and so I asked her to gather together some bits and pieces that I could make into a project.

So here is an ATC made by me .... but all the elements chosen by Caitlyn! She fell in love with the beautiful shaped ATC as it reminded her of a mirror. And the little photograph had already been chosen as being how she would like to look when older ...... a little blue flower found its way to the pile along with a tag, white ribbon and a little muslin.  So .... this is what I did with them.

I painted the outside of the decorative ATC frame with blue paint to match the dress in the photograph and then splodged white paint over the top for a mottled blue and white look.  I blended a little vintage ink around the edges.

I try and keep the "splodging" as light as possible in order not to lose the fabulous etched patterns.

I didn't want to overwhelm the photograph so opted for some text paper which I dulled down a bit with the vintage ink.

A couple of you have asked how I manage to get such neat edges around the ATCs. I am not sure that it is that neat!  but I normally glue the paper page onto the MDF and when dry roughly tear around the edges. It is easier on the straight sides as you can tear right alongside the edge. Then I use a light sanding block to take off the edges. It works reasonably well, but if you are a little over zealous you can take off more than you want - note the bottom edge!

However, once the top is layered over the base you can't really see the edges. A gold pen around the edge is useful in hiding all the joins.

The little tag was splodged with white ink (I do love to see the natural brown showing through!) and the sentiment added. Caitlyn likes the word "dream" so I think this will meet with her approval.

I managed to fit all these little pieces in the corner in one of my usual clusters.

I think Caitlyn has a wonderful taste in colours and vintage elements as this has all come together very beautifully.  It would have been lovely to have still had her here while I made it, but the week went all too quickly. However, I am sure it will find it's way into her birthday parcel at the end of the month!

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

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts used:

Monday 23 July 2018

Shell Notes - by Claudia

Servus and welcome to a holiday themed project today over here on the Calico Craft Parts Blog! Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer!

I have made another little notebook (not as tiny as this one over HERE, but still quite small) - this time with a seaside theme - using two of the smallest size of the gorgeous Scalloped Seashell Wood Shape, some scrap paper, a bit of ribbon and thread and DecoArt media fluid acrylics.

It is actually that small...

...but you could as well use the larger sized wood shapes to get a larger notebook.

I used the wood shapes like a mask I traced around with a pencil to make my signatures and pages. I mixed different papers like index cards, designer papers, kraft glassine paper and copy paper and made three signatures with about eight to ten pages.

I primed the shell wood shapes by dry brushing them with white DecoArt media Gesso.

I have used only four colours of the media fluid acrylics - Yellow Oxide, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, Transparent Red Iron Oxide and Quinacridone Magenta (and a mix of the two darker tones) to paint my shell covers.

I started with the lightest colour...

...and worked my way towards the darkest, blending the applied paints in with a water loaded brush.

The insides of the covers were painted with a wash of this mix as well.

To darken the edges of the signatures I dipped them into the paint left overs on my palette.


I poked three holes as shown in the picture into all my signatures...

...and sewed them to a short piece of rough linen ribbon. I started with the hole in the middle from the inside, then went back in from the outside through the left hole, crossed over on the inside to the right hole and went out again. The final stitch was done from the outside to the inside again through the centre hole. I made sure both ends were on the adjacent sides of the thread, so I could tie a simple knot.

In the meantime the paints on the shell covers had dried. I added a final layer of DecoArt media Gold Interference paint to the covers for some subtle bling (which is - as always - impossible to capture in a photograph...but it's there...depending on the angle you look at it from).

Once that had dried, it was time to glue the ribbon with the sewn on signatures to the insides of the covers with matte DecoArt Decou-Page. I only glued on the ribbon's ends, but you could as well glue on the whole first and last pages if you like. This way the ribbon's ends get covered up by the glued on pages.

VoilĂ ! My finished shell notebook! 

I hope you like it! The Scalloped Seashell Wood Shape can be found (alongside many more beautiful shell wood shapes) in the Seashell Wood Shapes section of the Calico Craft Parts online shop.

Hugs, happy holidays and happy crafting!

Sunday 15 July 2018

Make Art Every Day, ATB Storage - by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone. I hope you've been enjoying the summer. I've been very busy since we last met, having lots of fun and getting organised with Calico Cube Storage Box Kits.

I'd wanted to create more storage boxes for some time and once I started with these kits, I found that I just couldn't stop! They became not only a way to organise my stash, but also an opportunity for self-expression because each cube can be used like an Artist's Trading Block - a miniature art world to play in and on!

Because this project rather took flight, I've decided to divide it into 2 halves and to look at the top boxes this week and the 2 lower boxes in 2 weeks' time. You can probably see that I combined the smallest storage cube with one of the mini Block Style Cube houses. By not fixing the roof in place, I was able to use this as storage too, as the roof became a removable lid.

I like to keep Calico off-cuts from between doors and windows and so on, to add dimension when fixing figures into dioramas: now I will always know just where to find them!

It's a good idea to have a 'dry run', slotting kits together so that you can have a muse about arrangements, colours, collage elements and embellishment. I put the units together without glue to begin with to see how the drawers looked when they were fitted into the outer cube and that gave me lots of ideas as to how my ATB storage would look and the story it might tell - and where I might add extra Calico Craft Parts without affecting how the drawers opened.

I gave everything a thin coat of Gesso, on the outside only - I didn't want the sides of the drawers to be too tight a fit.

The torn tissue text scraps worked really well against the Gesso background and I used Washi tape around the edges. I kept to this same method for the fronts of each of the cube drawers. Although I didn't really need Gesso on the outer cubes, it provided a nice foundation for my collages

Then it was just a matter of going through my stash of collage materials and devising cube panels that inspire me to open those drawers and create! Stepping through the door of my studio always makes me happy so this panel reminds me that my creative space is my 'Happy Place'. I love the little Calico Bee who tells me to 'Bee Happy'. The Calico sheet of Mini Label Holders are perfect for this project too!

I created miniature tiles using the Calico Scrabble tiles turned upside down and covered with map paper. That way I recall that every project is a voyage of discovery. The Queen of Hearts on this panel is my muse who reminds me that when I put my heart into what I create I feel like a Queen.

Do you sing while you create, or do you have favourite music to work to? I usually have a song that comes into my mind and then I just have to find it on disc and have it playing to inspire me. I love the natural wood look of the Calico Craft Parts and this project allowed me to use them effectively in their natural state as well as painted and gilded. It was such a major project there was room for both.

As we fly away from the project for now, you can see that the roof has a thin layer of gilding wax, a little stamping of medieval script and some Washi tape. In a fortnight's time I will return with the 2 lower storage cubes in more detail. Until then, have a wonderful creative time.
Calico Craft Parts Used in this Project
Block Style Cube House, Mini
Sheet of Tiny MDF Windows and Door
Sheet of Bees and Beehives
MDF Cube Storage Box, Small
Mini Angel Wings Wood Shapes, Style 4
Sheet of MDF Engraved Scrabble Tiles
Sheet of Mini Label Holders
Sheet of Mini Seagulls Wood Bird Shapes