Monday, 5 November 2018

A Shrine to Stillness - miniature shrine by Julie Ann.

Hello, it's great to be back on the Calico Crafts Blog. When the idea for this little project started to form in my mind, I wasn't aware that it would be going live on November 5th - Guy Fawkes or Firework Night in the UK - hardly an evening of stillness and quiet! 

The project started with me cutting up text from an old book and shuffling the words around on my art table to see what I came up with. The words 'Quiet Moments' really appealed to me. Sometimes I feel, amid the hurly-burly of everyday life, like a bewildered clown caught in the spot-light within the circus ring. This miniature shrine from Calico reminds me that it's possible to create a quiet space for ourselves wherever we might be, where we can float above the surrounding din and just enjoy a moment's stillness.

Inspired by my book text words, I chose the Calico Craft Parts Classic Ornate Shrine Kit. I have used this kit before and it was interesting to create a completely different effect by painting it with black Gesso...

and creating a collection of tiny tiles to decorate it, using Calico Scrabble tiles on the reverse side.

These tiles are a mixture of painted card, crackled over with DecoArt Crackle Medium and some simply collaged with images from a download of playing cards. I gathered various elements: an MDF house shape cut by myself and collaged with my own little clown; a Gothic church style window and some wings.

I experimented with a number of different arrangements before I made my final decision. It can be a good idea to just slot the kit together without adhesive first to get some idea of how things might look when they are in place.

Before fixing the tiles in place, I created a background by first painting the inside walls of the shrine with white Gesso, then adding torn tissue and finally applying a wash of blue water-colour.

Gold paint, broken jewellery pieces and tiny blobs of blue glitter glue helped to create contrast. The feet are wooden alphabet beads painted gold.

'Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself' Herman Hesse.

MDF hearts decorated the sides of the shrine.

Here's hoping that, even if tonight is not the most peaceful of evenings where you are, you will find many havens of peace and quiet in the days and weeks to come. May the stillness in your life yield renewal and creativity. Thank you so much for stopping by today.
Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
Classic Ornate MDF Shrine Kit
Sheet of MDF Engraved Scrabble Alphabet tiles
MDF Heart Mini Plagues
Bluebells - MDF Floral Wood Shape
Art Deco & Nouveau Style Ornament, style 2
Blackberry and Bramble Wood Shape
Window Style 3 - MDF Wood Shape
Sheet of MDF Angel Wings Wood Shapes, style 4


  1. Absolutely stunning Julie. I am always in awe of your creative imagination and this truly does reflect a haven of peace and quiet. xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Jennie. I am always inspired by your beautiful projects, always so creative and exquisitely made. xx

  2. Love your shrine, Julie, and the use of the scrabble tiles is just genius! That mosaic background is so beautiful! Great project and so inspiring!
    Claudia xxx

    1. Many Thanks, Claudia. I really love what you can do with these shrines. xx

  3. Fabulous Julie Ann, love your tile idea and the various very creative design! xx

  4. Thank you so much, Kerstin. xx

  5. Julie, your Quiet Moments shrine does have a wonderful calmness about it. I love those beautiful tiles you created for the inside of your gorgeous shrine! Hugs, Anne xx

    1. Thank you, Anne. The tiles were really fun to create. xx

  6. Julie Ann! This shrine is just marvelous! I understand the quietness need of which you spoke and I would love to be small enough to climb into the magical world and escape the hub bub of everyday life! Thank you for bringing these special places and characters into our lives.
    You really created something special with your Calico products!
    Jackie xo

    1. Jackie your comment means so much to me. I am grateful to Calico for giving me the opportunity to express what I feel through their products. I always have so much fun and so much joy through these projects and it's lovely to have your feedback. xx