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


  1. Oh Julie I do love your reversed canvas. Using the Mod Roc to mold the frame is so clever reminding me that I have rolls of this stuff unloved for so long. Your composition is stunning, from your hand drawn Alice to your dapper Rabbit, you really have set the scene with this wonderland project.
    Thank you for sharing this stunning creation.
    Creative wishes Tracey x

  2. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Tracey. I do hope I've inspired you to use that Mod Roc and to maybe combine it with some craft parts on a project - it's great fun to use, although it can be messy, of course! Have a lovely week and thank you for stopping by. x

  3. You always light a fire of inspiration! Love this project and the reverse canvas! Truly a Wonderland all its own! 💖♥️❤️

    1. Thank you so much, Kim. How lovely that you stopped by. :)

  4. This is absolutely Amazing Julie Ann!!
    One of my favorite parts is Alice peeking out and the branch in front of her- perfectly,perfect!
    Jackie xo

    1. Thank you so much, Jackie, for your lovely comment. I had so much fun creating this it's a real delight for me that you liked it too. xx

  5. Oh Wow! Love it! So much to take in I looked twice!! xx