Monday 14 January 2019

Encourage your Creative Soul, Calico Banner - Julie Ann Lee

Hello Everyone and Welcome to my first Calico post of 2019. I hope that this will be a year of creative discoveries for you. I decided that I would start this new year with a bit of creative encouragement in the form of some Calico Craft Parts bunting. I used 5 of the MDF triangle bunting shapes, but there are also birch ply bunting shapes available.

The banner reads 'Encourage your Creative Soul Each Day' and I hope that, hanging above my fireplace, these little muses will remind me to keep a flame of creativity glowing on the darkest winter days.

I wanted to create warm, fun backgrounds on my bunting so I unearthed my oil pastels and had a great time blending warm colours and melting them with a heat tool. Warning! Don't touch the surface until it's cooled down - I almost burned my finger in my eagerness to blend while the pastels were still warm!

You will notice that I gave the bunting a coat of Gesso first to provide a nice foundation for the oil pastels. I used the purple lid to draw around. Eventually I sprayed the bunting with a fixative so that those rich, warm colours would remain stable.

Next step was to create a focal point for my bunting. I collaged these bodies from Renaissance art onto the larger tags on a sheet of Calico Mini MDF Tags with pointed tops.

With the addition of mini hearts for heads the little characters start to introduce themselves...

and they really come alive when you give them arms and legs from one of the small Calico doll kits.

I played for some time, decorating and assembling the legs and bodies...

and experimenting with different word stickers to create a positive message. Gold Ultra Thick Embossing Powder provided another layer of warmth. I dipped my circle lid into an embossing ink pad, pressed it onto the bunting and then sprinkled over the gold granules and melted them with a heat tool before coming to a final decision as to where to place my muses and what words to use.

Who are my Muses? This is Gaea, reminding me to look to the Earth and the Natural world for inspiration.

  Charis will remind me to treat myself and others with kindness.

Psyche reminds me to look into my heart and soul for inspiration and to make self discoveries.

Athena might look shy and diffident but underneath she has courage and boldness: she just needs a little encouragement to leave her comfort zone and shine!

Finally Vesta, goddess of hearth and home reminds me that there is inspiration to be found in our everyday lives.

Thank You so much for dropping by today. I hope you will be inspired to create yourself or a friend an encouraging banner of 2019. Have a happy and creative time until we meet in a fortnight.

Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
Sheet of Mini MDF Tags - Pointed Tops
MDF Triangle Bunting Shape
MDF Heart Mini Plaques
Standard Jointed Art Doll Kit (small)
Leaf from Songbird Trio in Spring Branch


  1. oh,Julie Ann...these powerfully benign personages are just the thing to encourage us to be our best selves! Thank you for the beauty, and the always fascinating glimpse of your inner world. xoxo

    1. Thank you, Heather so much, for stopping by. You're always welcome to my world. xx

  2. Wow - those oil pastel backgrounds look amazing. I don't think I've ever tried using the heat tool with them to help the blending. (Thanks for the tip about not burning yourself!) Your art doll muses look fantastic, and with that touch of gold to catch the light, I'm sure they'll bring you lots of inspiration each time you glance up.
    Alison x

    1. Thank you so much, Alison. I really enjoyed re-discovering the pastels, which I hadn't used for quite some time. x

  3. Just adorable! I’ll have to try melting my oil pastels too...and also try displaying some of my dolls on banners.

    1. I think your dolls would look amazing on banners, Linda. Thank you for your lovely comment. x

  4. This is marvelous pennants Julie!! Love dolls faces and great idea outfit and stockings. I love love it. xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Etsuko. I'm so glad you liked them. x

  5. Such gorgeous penants and dolls Julie - your are just SO talented in being able to draw such wonderfully expressive faces. And thanks for the tip re the oil pastels. I must get mine out! Thank you for such fabulous inspiration.

  6. Thank you so much, Jennie. I had so much fun using the oil pastels again. I hope you do too, if you get yours out again. x

  7. WOW! What a fabulous banner!
    Your muses are sure to provide the inspiration one needs on a daily basis~these are just delightful!
    Julie Ann, I love that you used the heart shapes for their heads-brilliant!
    Jackie xo