Monday, 8 October 2018

Welcome to Oz - Miniature Artist's Trading Cube by Julie Ann.

Hello Everyone! It's lovely to be back with you on the Calico Craft Parts Blog. Last time I was here I created a little canvas with some of my own design shrink film Oz characters. I hope you won't mind, but i had enough room on my sheet to create 2 of each so there were enough characters to combine with more gorgeous Calico autumn craft parts and a Calico artist's trading cube to create another miniature project.

I wanted to create a miniature world with plenty of autumn detail. Every facet of the cube involves one of my Oz characters in a story.

If you could shrink to the size of Mr Scarecrow, you might be able to slip inside and slumber among the poppies for a while. I wonder what dreams you would have?

This story begins, as it often does, with Gesso - and a square aperture Artist Trading Block Cube Kit. Once I had assembled my kit, my plan was to add interest to the top of the cube, so I drilled 2 holes with a Dremel and fixed 2 tiny screws into them with a heavy gel medium around the sides to secure them.

The aperture was going to be a feature and I wanted my miniature story block to look vintage so I lined the sides and base with tissue over the Gesso and applied antiquing medium to the corners.

Now, I know this flower is from the flowering Dogwood sprig and there are poppies in The Wizard of Oz, but it did fit perfectly into the aperture. I painted it poppy red and melted clear ultra thick embossing enamel over it to create a glossy finish. By fixing it to the cube with 2 wooden beads, I could make it appear to be floating inside.

I love the Calico doors and windows so much. I've given this one a DecoArt crackle finish and a tiny silver bead door knocker. The design paper behind the window suggests a completely different season behind the door. Right from the start, my plan was to have this door, not on the side of my cube; but on the top to add interest - a door into another world.

On this side I've used a tissue napkin layer over design paper; a little stamping with acrylic paint and a strip of crackled and painted card. I've used the tiny pieces of MDF from between Calico window and door panes to fix on my Shrink Film characters and make them stand out.

It was so much fun creating little scenarios for my miniature Oz characters. Here Dorothy gazes all around her at the wonders of Oz, unaware that the cowardly lion is standing behind her and Toto, who she carries in her basket. The Cowardly Lion has a poppy to offer just in case he scares her when she turns around. I'm not sure if the words, 'Be Brave' around his neck are for Dorothy's benefit or his!

Meanwhile on the other side of the enchanted door is a rather bashful Munchkin with a bouquet of autumn flowers to offer Dorothy - if he can muster enough courage to get past the Lion. That leonine tail appearing around the door is making him nervous.

The Tin Man is oiling his joints ready to go on a quest to find a heart to place in that top pocket.

Glinda, the Good Witch of the South is such a tiny character on my story cube, I'm not surprised that she's casting a wary eye at that little song-bird. He could fit neatly into the palm of a human hand; but to her he's a giant!

I wonder whose house stands all deserted this beautiful autumn afternoon?

The tiny feet on my cube are made from wooden letter beads painted gold. Aren't these Calico hinges beautifully delicate?

Calico Craft Parts used in this Project 
Artist Trading Block Kit 50mm x 50mm (small)
Door Style 13
Mini Windows MDF Wood Shapes
Mini Hinges MDF Wood Shapes
Oak leaf Branch with Acorn wood shape
Wood Mini Sugar Maple Leaf Twig
Flowering Dogwood Sprig

Thank You for stopping by today and lingering for a while in the Land of Oz once more. Until we meet again, Happy Crafting.


  1. your cube is fabulous, Julie!

    1. Thank you, Helen. I had lots of fun creating it.

  2. Another wonderful fantasy world, full of detail and delight. The glossy poppy looks great, glowing inside the cube, and I love the crackled door on top, ready to be opened for a new adventure. And yes, wow, those hinges. I think I have some somewhere... if not, I'll have to go shopping!
    Alison x

    1. Thank you so much, Alison. I'm a huge fan of those little hinges - a real 'must have' as they finish things off so well, I think I can imagine they would look amazing on your work. x

  3. Fabulous Julie! I love all your wonderful characters x

  4. Absolutely fantastic your Oz world Julie!! Ingenious lovely characters and great details, this is one of my favorite in your work. xx

  5. Julie Ann! How magical this trading block has become with your characters, story and the Calico Craft elements you used!
    I love the dogwood as a poppy, I believe it worked perfectly! And the door to another world? What a super addition to the piece and story!
    You never fail to bring me along with your stories and wonderful creations Julie Ann!
    Jackie xo

  6. Oh My! This looks amazing! The characters and the colours are wonderful! Chrisx