Monday, 25 March 2019

Who in the World am I? Toadstool MDF Shrine Kit

Hello - it's great to be back at Calico Craft Parts with something of a first for me! I usually like to work with miniatures and - although I'm a great fan of Calico shrine kits - so far I've concentrated on small/mini shrines and houses. This week I decided to dream BIG!

There's miniature work inside, of course, but the large sized Calico Toadstool Shrine Kit gave me the opportunity to decorate a bigger area and incorporate lots of detail. There was more room to allow my imagination to roam through an enchanted forest!

 There's something so 'otherworldly' about coming upon a bright red Fly agaric, dotted with white in a quiet woodland spot. I loved the impression of a grassy bank cut from the MDF with those magical mushrooms rising out of it and I wanted to make the most of this feature, so I used patterned tissue with a butterfly design to create interest without detracting from the outlines - tissue is nice and easy to file away from intricate areas.

Eventually I added several layers of different translucent greens and coats of fluid matt medium before the background dried and I could use a nail file to sand off the edges.

Because I wanted my shrine to have an aged appearance lots of sprayed diluted craft acrylics and sponged layers were applied.

I used a white gel pen and a black fine liner for adding leafy details.

For the interior, I wanted a cracked and aged look, reminiscent of gnarled forest trees. I used a crackle glaze over black Gesso with a final coat of light green.

I love to paint over cracks. So often they form features almost without our help! The translucent, diluted craft acrylic was very much like tree bark.

Calico Craft Parts are so beautifully made I like to use them just as they are; but sometimes I close my eyes, take a deep breath and break them up to create something a little bit different. On this project quite a few pieces were split for different effects.

The focal point of this shrine was a tiny shrink plastic figure of a fairy pierrot. I created her from one of my sketches, scanned and printed onto ink jet printable shrink plastic.

Although this project is not overtly based on 'Alice in Wonderfland', I have tried to capture something of the mood of this book, which has always been one of my favourites. The quote on the blank 'word element' is from the novel and there is a white rabbit - or is he a March hare - bounding into view?

The flying house is my own invention, created from some scraps of paper; a house I cut from MDF and some shrink plastic wings. Perhaps in this enchanted wood there is a rare breed of butterfly who - snail-like - carries her home on her wings. I wonder what other curious creatures might be waiting to make our acquaintance?

As you can see I split yet more Craft Parts to create an impression of depth: dog roses and leaves frame the entrance to the enchanted forest.

The branches snapped from the skeleton tree make the perfect place for the mysterious owl sisters to hide away on the sides of the shrine. Who in the world are they and what stories have they to tell?

Thank you so much for stopping by today and taking a walk with me through my enchanted forest. I wish you a fortnight of wonder and creativity until we meet again. 
Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
Large Toadstool MDF Shrine Kit Style 9
Flowering Dogwood Sprig
Skeleton Tree Style 5
Skeleton Tree Style  8
Sugar Maple Leaf and Twig
Sheet of mini Hares
Word Elements Blank



  1. What a fabulous combination of the MDF shapes and your unique designs Julie Ann. As usual you are full of wonderful ideas. The butterflies are so effective.
    Very impressed with your technical skills adding your image to the shrink plastic.
    Another magical piece. Xx

  2. Thank you so much, Hazel. I had so much fun creating this. xx