Sunday, 12 August 2018

Bloom on a Driftwood Island - Mini Tall House by Julie Ann.

Hello, it's great to be back at Calico Craft Parts blog. I hope you've been finding somewhere cool to create if the weather has been hot where you are! I seem to have spent  some time seeking out shady nooks when I've been out and about! Earlier in the Summer I took a workshop with Stephanie Rubiano, where I learned how to create miniature shrink plastic characters using vintage photos and my own art work. Having created a collection of tiny folk, I needed somewhere to house them and Calico Craft Parts provide some brilliant little houses and shrines. In this project I created a shady retreat for Fifi, the feline pierrot to relax after entertaining holiday makers on the pier.

The project began with me discovering that Fifi was exactly the right size to fit into the smallest Calico MDF Tall House shrine kit.

I set about creating a little mural for inside her shady retreat, using acrylic craft paints on the inside of the shrine.

I wanted to create a weathered look for the exterior of the shelter and I chose bright summery colours.

By using a crackle glaze with a fuchsia pink first coat and a turquoise top coat, I was able to create a home for my little pierrot that looked both bright and vintage.

I love the texture and shape of driftwood sculpted by the sea and the sun, and this piece was the perfect shape and size to accommodate Fifi and her shelter. I created a base for the house with some PaperClay, shaped and moulded to fit the driftwood. This takes about 24 hours to dry fully. As you can see I added a little branch of dogwood while the clay was still moist.

It's a good idea to seal the PaperClay with Gesso once it's completely dry. I then added a layer of Heavy Matte Gel Medium as an adhesive for the moss. The crown decoration is made from an 'off-cut' of shrink plastic with 2 tiny Calico oak leaves either side. I used a wooden tile to fix Fifi to the back of the house so as to bring her forward out of the shadows.

These tiny calico seagulls are perfect for adding atmosphere.

Now, between shows, Fifi can bloom rather than wilt in the afternoon sunshine. I hope you manage to find some cool and shady spots yourself as this heatwave summer so many of us have been experiencing reaches its peak!
Calico Craft Parts used in this project.
Plain MDF Tall House/Shrine Kit (small)
Sheet of Mini MDF Acorns and Oak Leaves
Sheet of Mini Wood Birds - Seagulls


  1. Fifi and her Seaside Retreat are utterly charming, Julie! I love the way you painted the backdrop against all sides of the shrine interior: just lovely! xoxo

    1. Thank you so much, Heather, have a lovely, creative week. xx

  2. Oh that's adorable! I love how you created the shrine,

    Lucy x

    1. Thank you so much, Lucy. These shrines are quite tiny, but quite perfect! x

  3. Wonderful, Julie, love your painted inside and the whole idea, especially your blooming background with fuchsias, one of my favourite garden plants.
    Enjoy your day! Kerstin xo

    1. Thank you so much, Kerstin. I do love my fuchsias. x

  4. This looks fabulous Julie Ann! Such a lovely place to shelter! Chrisx

  5. Absolutely enchanting make from Julie Ann!
    Dear sweet Fifi and the adorable shelter are just wonderful! And I love the seagulls as well- they are a perfect addition!
    Jackie xx