Thursday, 28 February 2019

Mixed Media Notebook- by Lesley

Glad to be back with another Calico offering. This time with an altered notebook.

It started out as a plain kraft coloured book. Clear gesso was used as the base. And a gun metal grey swooshed over the top.

I used a stencil and embossing enamels to create a bit of texture.

Lots of craft parts were used to decorate the front of the book. The plain circles are actually the baubles with the hooky thing snipped off. 

They were all painted black, and then dry brushed with some silver. Some purple embossing enamels were added in random patches.

Thanks for reading

Ingredients used

Plain MDF bauble, style 1
MDF wood cog, style 3
MDF wood cog, style 6
Art Deco & Nouveau ornament, style 8

Monday, 25 February 2019

Down the Rabbit Hole - Reversed Canvas by Julie Ann

It's lovely to be back at Calico Craft Parts blog with a little box canvas I had so much fun creating. When I was a child one of my favourite books was 'Alice in Wonderland' and I've returned to it again and again throughout my life. What I found fascinating about the Alice stories was Lewis Carroll's ability to create worlds with their own dream-like logic. The stories are just perfect for creating miniature worlds where our perceptions of shape and size are challenged: a little girl can shrink so she can converse on a level with animals one moment, then grow to the size of a giant and be in danger of stepping on them the next!

Instead of tumbling down a rabbit hole, I took the less dangerous option of reversing a canvas to see where my imagination might lead me with Plaster fabric; some ink jet printable shrink plastic and a collection of Calico Craft Parts.

After applying Gesso to my reversed box canvas, I marked where I wanted these craft parts to be positioned. You can see the plaster fabric I used for the project just over to the right of the picture.

By cutting the modelling fabric into strips and moistening them in warm water, I was able to mould them into the shape of gnarled trees to form a frame. The fabric adheres to the canvas without adhesive and if you leave it over night it's solid and can be painted with Gesso.

I love gathering my bits and pieces together. I don't always use every single piece I pick out. In the end I decided to leave the rose for another project, as the arrangement would have been a little crowded if I'd used it. I created the rabbit using a blend of my own art work and the body of a Victorian gentleman which I printed onto Ink jet printable, shrinkable plastic.

You can create magic with plaster fabric! With a little acrylic crafting paint, ink, moss and heavy gel medium for sticking, a frame can come to life! I loved this napkin tissue my friend Melissa sent me all the way from America and I thought the bird would would look perfect beside the miniature components I planned to add.

One of Calico's wonderfully adaptable house kits - a tall one with a suitably wonky roof became the house Alice literally grew out of! I often snap pieces of craft parts off intentionally. It was such a shame to do this to the beautiful skeleton tree, but eventually it did provide excellent dimension and interest.

Here is Alice, enhanced, filed down and ready to become part of a miniature world that becomes 'curiouser and curiouser'.

 I used a tiny piece of MDF - possibly a foot from a box -  to stick the rabbit to the house so that he appears more dimensional. You might also see that I've used one of the keys from a sheet of mini keys and escutcheons and a tiny MDF tag with the words 'Drink Me' written on it.

Almost complete, the canvas is still drying. I expect you can see the blobs of extra heavy gel medium. You can also see where I added the tree branch too.

My white rabbit seems a little unsure as to whether he's a rabbit or a hare, but then this is the crazy world of Alice!

I love the tiny tags from Calico! You might just be able to see a miniature chess piece on the right of the picture. This was in my Christmas cracker back in December - I knew I'd find a use for it!

I like to be able to view a canvas from all angles, so I paint the sides and the top too.

Thank you so much for entering the curious world of Alice. I hope you will be inspired to enter magical worlds and to create your own stories using Calico Craft Parts.
Calico Craft Parts used in this project.
Block Style Tall House Kit with Wonky roof
Wooden Word Elements - Blank
Mini Keys and Keyholes
Sheet of Mini Crown Wood Shapes Style 3
Sheet of Mini MDF Tags Classic
Skeleton Tree - MDF Wood Shape Style 10

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Winteralbum Part 2 by Kerstin

Hello everybody!

As promised today I am sharing the second part of my latest mini album in wintery mood.
I love this handmade album where I collect not only some 
amazing photos from our sunshine doggie 'Filou', 
but also it's a very good possibility to work with some small wooden shapes
in connection with natural material and leftovers (Denim, knitted wool).

I also used some cutting dies, stencils, stamps 
and some papers from Maja Design from my stash.

A winter tree silhouette in the background - made with a cutting die from Sizzix, 
where I used the negative form.


 Round winter photos in a frame of wood patterned paper

 some details


 A moon made from textured paper, in the background I have used a silver skeleton leaf


 Calico Craft Parts used:

editing tips:
  • the deer were firstly coloured with Metallic Acrylic Paint 'Rich Espresso' from DecoArt
  • and dried with a hot air blower until it formed bubbles
  • dry brushing technique done with white gesso
  • a tree shape left untreated and glued on top of a white feather

Many thanks for your visit!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Parisian Decoupage by Jennie

Hello to you all and welcome to my second project this month.

After teaching a workshop here in Shetland using napkins quite a few were sitting out on my craft desk so I decided to use one of them to completely cover the lid of one of the small Trinket Boxes.  This is one of my favourite napkins and I thought it had a bit of a boudoir Parisian feel. I normall cut out the flowers on the napkins but I loved the background and didn't want to lose it.

I started with texture paste on the sides of the box. I find it easier to keep the pieces in their packaging to first add the texture paste.

And to add a light coat of gesso. This coat isn't very light! I was getting to the bottom of the tub and I should have added some water into it!

I painted the box with acrylic paint (a light vintage pink) and then picked out the texture paste with gold ink. I blended brown ink around the edges to give it a more vintage feel.

The lid was covered completely with the napkin and then I added DecoArt Crackle Glaze. I was a bit heavy handed with the glaze and it didn't crackle as well as I had hoped.

Using white Antiqueing Cream didn't highlight the crackles very well so I threw caution to the wind and wiped brown ink over the whole thing ....... and it worked, highlighting the cracks and giving a really vintage feel.

I stamped the inside pieces of the box before glueing it together and added another piece of napkin into the bottom of the box. I painted more gold metallic paint around the edges of the box and the lid.

The trinket box looks very pretty sitting on the dressing table and has put an idea in my head to see what other home decor dressing table pieces I might be able to make to go with it ...... join me next month to see more!

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

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts used:

Monday, 18 February 2019

Bird Box - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thanks for stopping by!

I know there's a movie out now that goes by the same title (and is an awesomely done post-apocalyptic thriller film with fabulous Sandra Bullock), but my bird box has nothing to do with it. On the contrary - it is a quite colourful and joyful project that was inspired by a newly bought book from amazing artist Geninne D. Zlatkis, which is about painting birds in watercolour and ink.

She adds beautiful white line drawing to her watercolour birds and that was something I wanted to try too! I had this lovely Bluebird wood shape in my Calico Craft Parts stash - and have been hoarding it for quite a few months now...just knowing that I NEEDED this bird shape and wanted to create something lovely and gorgeous from it. So when I stumbled across Geninne Zlatkis's book, I finally knew what do do with it!!!

Calico Craft Parts used: 

- MDF Cube Storage Box Kit - large
- Bluebird - MDF Wood Bird Shape - small
- Square Shape - Mini MDF Wood Plaques

As you can see I also used some mini thread spools as feet and some wood letter cube beads from the Euro store on top. And a lot of DecoArt products and paints of course ;)

But let me take you through the steps.

Assembling the storage box works best when using a fast drying glue (I like to use DecoArt matte Decou-Page) and laying out the pieces already in correct order, so you don't have to fiddle after the glue has already been applied to the edges.

I use a small size wide flat soft brush to apply the Decou-Page and work my way from back to left and right side and then the front.

VoilĂ  - the glued together box and drawer - ready to be set aside to dry.

In the meantime I painted my bird that I had already primed with a thorough coat of DecoArt Chalky Finish paint "serene".

To colour my bird I used DecoArt media fluid acrylic paints and watered them down, so I could use them like watercolours and achieve the same look.

I started with Phtalo Turquoise on the front wing...

...then added Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Teal Hue and Phtalo Blue to different parts of the bird in watercolour technique again (using a soft detail brush size 3).

To add the white line "drawing" I used DecoArt media Titanium White, which works just perfect - if you use a detail brush size one. ;)

I have taken steps images of this process so you can see what has been added in which order.

I added bit of media Green Gold for more depth and interest (not paying attention to resemblance to any real living birds).

Once the paints had dried I applied a generous coat of DecoArt Triple Thick to my bird and put it on the heater to speed up the natural drying process.

The front of the drawer had been given a coat of "refreshing" and the outer box a coat of "heritage" Chalky Finish paints. I always use a wide, soft flat brush to apply the Chalky Finish paints to get even coverage with no visible brush strokes.

While my bird was sitting on the heater to dry, I painted the thin front edges of the box in Phtalo Blue and added white little stripes to repeat the white line theme of my box. I also painted a thin white outline around the drawer front.

Wonderful Seth Apter calls this "if you do it once, do it twice" - I like to teach my pupils the "law" of "binding together by repetition", which is always a good thing to do to visually fuse your elements and pieces. Repeat patterns ,shapes and colour tones, but vary in size and amount so it doesn't get boring. This will give all the elements of your project "meaning" and make them essential parts of your composition.

Once the Triple Thick on my bird had dried, I also covered the front of the drawer with a generous coat of it and simply set the finished bird on top - using the Triple Thick as the glue to fix my bird to it while it dried.

I love the contrast of glossy surfaces against the chalky finish effect on the sides!

I wanted more bird paintings on the sides of my box and something on top of it, so I used more "refreshing" Chalky Finish paint to prime two little Calico Craft Parts MDF squares and DecoArt "Patina" Vintage Effect Wash to tone in my letter cube beads.

Using a soft pencil I drew two birds heads to colour in with DecoArt media fluid acrylics.

More Triple Thick to repeat the glossy effect from the drawer front!

After I had glued the dried letter cubes to the top of the box I found that I needed more white line drawing to add more interest to the orange sides. So I used more Titanium White media fluid acrylic and a fine detail brush to draw a thin white outline around the top. To steady my hand I used the Chalky Finish paint container as it had the perfect height.

The little spool feet got some painted on white and orange lines and dots patterns as well ("binding together by repetition" ;) ...

...and I also filled in the letters with white paint to fuse these with all the elements on my box.

With the same intention in mind I added a white dots border around the glued on bird images on the sides of the box (for more repetition of the patterns I had used in the bird paintings).


The two small bird panels on the sides close up:

I haven't decided yet whether I will keep the box (as I am more than happy with the outcome) or if it will become a present for my wonderful niece...ah,

I hope you like my little bird box drawer as much as I do! Birds are always a rewarding subject to paint, aren't they? And there's a wonderful wide range of beautiful bird shapes in the Calico Craft Parts store to choose from!!!! I would love to see any of your bird paintings - so, please, share these (either on here in the comments section or over at my blog....I will love to visit)!!!

Hugs and happy crafting!