Monday 30 December 2019

Julie Ann's Calicco Review of 2019

Hello Everyone and Welcome to my last post of 2019. This year has flown by! I hope that your festivities were joyful and peaceful and that you are looking forward to a new year of hope and happiness. On the eve of 2020, I just wanted to share with you 3 of my favourite projects of 2019.

Back in March I tried working on a larger scale with a fantasy shrine that I named 'Who in the world am I' - a quote from 'Alice in Wonderland'!

While towards the end of February, I looked forward to long summer days and evoked Wonderland with the White Rabbit and Alice in the topsy-turvy land of a reversed canvas.

Finally, as January drew to a close I created a Clarice Cliff inspired doll with a tag body and a Christmas bauble for a head. The blue skies on her dress and the warm rays of the sun reminded me that spring was really just around the corner!

At this point, deep in the winter's cold and darkness, let's remember the bulbs we planted working away underground and pushing upward toward the light. I wish you a Happy New Year filled with creative joy and New Beginnings! 

Saturday 28 December 2019

Kerstin's creative review 2019

Welcome crafty friends!
An eventful year lies behind us and a certainly exciting year 2019 lies ahead.

The perfect time to reflect on the past year. 
Thank you so much for all your support and kind comments through 2019. 
I really appreciate it!!
The winter has just begun and yet one is already longing for spring. 

I combined my two favs:
the themes SEA and HALLOWEEN and
an old drawer from a flea market.

Nobody can always be strong!
There are also times in life when you have to encourage yourself!!

I hope you've all had a great time and am looking forward

 to the next exciting year 2020! 

Creative Hugs from Kerstin  

Thursday 26 December 2019

Magda's Calico Review 2019

Hello creative friends!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas full of love and smiles. Usually it's a very busy time for everyone but hopefully you had a little bit of 'me' time and maybe a few creative minutes?

Today I would like to share with you my Top 3 from 2019. Not many projects this year because I've joined this amazing team not so long ago. Only 9 posts with my projects, on Calico Craft Parts blog, so far but very colourful ones.

I always have got a problem with choosing my favourite projects. I love most of them (I'm not very shy, aren't I? ;)). Art journal cover is a special one, that's why I've chosen it. I combined Calico Craft Parts with stencils designed by me. HERE is a blog post with more photos.

Another project which I really like is a little creature house. This is my first project for Calico Craft Parts. More photos HERE.

That one wasn't published on this blog, I only showed it on my Instagram (studiomagdapolakow). I made that little house for my friend, she loves dogs and seaside.

I wish you all the best in 2020!!!

Magda :)

Monday 23 December 2019

Claudia's 2019 Calico Review

Hi, servus and thanks for taking the time for a short visit today!

I know we're all busy preparing for celebrating Christmas with our loved ones. Christmas is celebrated in the evening of the 24th in Austria (and it is Christkind over here who brings the presents) - so I will be quite busy myself while you are reading this and if you are reading this on its actual posting date (but thanks to the schedule function I can even share my Top 3 of my own Calico Craft Parts makes from 2019 with you while I am preparing for Xmas AND celebrating my own birthday - which is today...and celebrations always are being kept short because I don't have a lot of time to celebrate my own birthday either. But the older I get the less important it has become to celebrate my own birthday - I rather enjoy decorating the tree on this day, listening to Christmas carols and having a cup of glogg (or two) ;)

One of my 2019 favs was not posted on the Calico Craft Parts blog but on my own - as an extra so to say and as the kick off project for the summer special steampunk challenge over at my steampunk challenge blog - and I love it because I had so much fun doing this ATB (Artist Trading Block) and getting crazy with the wiring and with combining some of my most loved bits 'n bobs with the cool craft parts to create my own version of a

My second pick is this little 

that reminds me a bit of ancient Egyptian style furniture pieces
found in Pharaohs' tombs 
though that wasn't intended when I created this piece
(guess it's because of the colours I chose, 
the ornamental patterns and the little spool feet)

and the third project I've chosen 
is this 

done with one of Eileen Hull's journal or book dies
which was the perfect format to properly display some of 
the most beautiful steampunk wood shapes from Calico Craft Parts' wide range

Seems I am a bit obsessed with time travels of all kinds ;)

But then who isn't? The concept of being able to travel through time, making things done in the past undone (or better), finding out about what lies before us...but maybe the latter isn't something I really would want to know...
I think I'd rather live my life instead of ticking off events and achievements on a list I already have. 

But before I get too philosophical let's get back to business and the projects. ;)
These are all close to my heart, the bird box sitting on my writing desk (in it some of my mixed media jewellery pieces I've made), the journal and the ATB being displayed in my "inspirational corner" in the living room. I think they are, because these were all that kind of projects where everything falls into place so naturally, where shapes, colours, patterns and right places find each other and the finished project has become so much more than just the sum of all the parts being used and put together. As if they have developed a life on their own - with a little piece of my heart and soul in them.

If you would like to find out about one of these projects in more detail, please, simply click on their titles and you will get taken to the posts with loads of images and full tutorials - and the lists and links of the Calico Craft Parts used of course.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas 
and a happy new year, dear crafty friends!


Thursday 19 December 2019

Christmas Trinket Box and Canvas

Well......this is my last post of 2019....where has the year gone?!

I altered a trinket box from the shop, using a gorgeous rose gold coloured paint.

The lid was given a bit of height with an ATC and I also snipped a part of a snowflake flourish to adorn it with.

I added random patches of embossed enamel around the sides.

I had a teeny canvas on my desk and a star left over from my last project. Using the same colours as the box, I did a quick Christmas tree using the back of the canvas.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and hope you all have a magical time!

See you next year!

Thanks for reading.

L. X

Ingredients used

MDF Trinket Box style one
Plain ATC Wood Blank
Snowflake Flurry, corner embellishment
Mini wood plaques, primitive star shapes

Monday 16 December 2019

A Calico Christmas Box of Delights - Julie Ann

As Christmas approaches, time seems to evaporate and I know that the very thought of the festive season can send me into a panic . My project this week is to leave all the feverish activity behind and to enter a world of stillness, in a 'box of magical delights': tales frozen in time that I hope will evoke a peaceful, snow-carpeted wonderland.

And buried under the snow, there will be treasures to discover.

The surprise discovery - the treasure in the snow - is a little mosaic of Calico blank tiles, decorated with a mirror-work square at the centre.

I wanted a Queen to gaze out onto my peaceful, winter wonderland so after creating a collage on the outer cube, I painted the shape of her head and shoulders in gesso in the corner, sketching in her features in grey water-colour pencil when the gesso was dry.

For the inner cube, I used only a collage of napkin tissue with a little stamping and a dribble of acrylic inks so that this section would be able to slide in and out easily.

In the stillness of the snow-scape, the deer leads my Queen Hermione to a refuge, a place where she can be safe from cold injustice and unkindness.

Even in the depths of Winter, the hare seems to leap for joy...

I loved creating wintry effects on the Calico parts, using no more than gesso and embossing powders. The new sheets of mini stag shapes have separate antlers. I used these to decorate the outside of the little forest refuge.

While the land sleeps under its snow blanket, life goes on, almost unnoticed: the roots sustain the tree and a single bird offers Hermione its gift of a winter song.

She knows that when the whole world seems gripped by Winter's cold grasp, Hope is strongest.

Ice flowers and frost fronds will melt into spring blossoms and new leaves...

So much life is there, under the ice!

This little box became a meditation as I worked on it, a reflection on how sometimes we need to be still, to observe Nature and to look within and find hope there.

I used a range of Calico Craft Parts on this box, old and new and even those not specifically festive-themed. These craft parts are so adaptable and easily altered to create a winter's tale. You can even just use parts, removing a detail you don't need. I snipped the cat off the end of this branch on my little woodland shrine and added snow to one of the tiny doors on an MDF sheet to make it more festive.

Thank you so much for stopping by today at this busy time of year. I hope you will find some time to create something for yourself in the coming days and that your Christmas or Holiday festivities, whatever and however you celebrate, will bring you joy, peace and hope.
Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
MDF Cube Storage Box Kit (Large)
Sheet of MDF mini snowflakes
Sheet of MDF mini deer and antlers (New)
Word Elements Blanks
Sheet of Mini Alphabet Letters
Sheet of Blank Scrabble Tiles
Mini Tall Shrine Kit
Sheet of Mini MDF Hares
Steam-punk snowflake corner
Rooted Winter Tree and Bird (New)
Cat in a Tree Silhouette
Sheet of Tiny MDF Windows and Doors

Saturday 14 December 2019

Christmas Gift idea by Kerstin

Hello creative friends!

I was inspired to create a home decoration piece in vintage style. 
It is meant to remind of the magic of Christmas.

I've used the
I think it looks like a fairy tale castle too.

 I used DecoArt Weathered Wood crackle medium first, afterwards drying white DecoArt Gesso in different thicknesses. and at the end Distress Spray Stain 'Vintage photo' (Ranger).

I've also used one from our latest beautiful street lamps wood shapes. 

 I have a soft spot for beautiful vintage iron lanterns so I tried my own design for the shop.
 That was only possible with the help of Helen,
the owner of Calico Craft Parts.
Many many thanks!!!

Decoarted with Glamour Dust and Snow Writer (DecoArt)

Even though we've only had a green Christmas in the last years, 
every year we still (or even more) wish for at least a few snowflakes
dancing quietly from the sky

Calico Craft Parts used:


 Gothic Mansion / Cathedral


If you are interested in another inspiration 
using the new street lamps, you can discover it here 

Merry Christmas all over the world! 

Kerstin xo

Thursday 12 December 2019

Winter decorations by Magda


Have you seen new winter and Christmas products? They are amazing! I used some of them, they are perfect for decorating presents.

I used:
Rounded Rectangle Shape - mixed media board
Apothecary Jar Silhouette - small
Mini deer from MDF Sheet of Mini Deer and Antlers

MDF tag shape
Trio of winter fir trees - I used the wrong side of it (I didn't realise that until I finished painting it...), which only shows that there aren't wrong or right sides, both sides work well.

That beautiful reindeer is Leaping Reindeer with Snowflakes - perfect for decorating presents or for a Christmas tree.

Magda :)

Monday 9 December 2019

Believe in the Magic of Christmas - by Claudia

Servus, hi and thanks for stopping by today!

If you are looking out for a quickly done ('cos late) Christmas card tutorial, you've landed in the right spot!
The new (but also all the other and older) pieces in the Calico Craft Parts "Christmas & Winter Wood Shapes" section are all perfect for combining them to build lovely winter-y forest and Christmas scenes - which is exactly what I did on my card.

With only the use of the craft parts, DecoArt media white Gesso, red DecoArt Americana ("Cinnamon Drop" to be more precise) and Carbon Black media fluid acrylic paint and a bit of glue I created a Christmas card that incorporates the natural brown from the plain kraft from the card and from the MDF as an own colour.

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Believe Wood Word in Ancestry Font
- Winter Fir Trees, Deer & Bird Scene - MDF Wood Shape
- Sheet of Mini Deer & Antlers - MDF Wood Animal Shapes - Style2
- Sheet of Mini Deer & Antlers - MDF Wood Animal Shapes - Style3
- Tall Trio of Winter Fir Trees
- Child Pulling Christmas Tree on Sled - MDF Wood Shape

How I did the card is quickly explained. I started with sprinkling diluted DecoArt media white Gesso to my card background using a splatter brush.

While that was set aside to dry, I dry brushed the trees and the quote with the Gesso, leaving some areas uncovered - as shown in the picture.

Some parts were painted in Cinnamon Drop Americana acrylic paint using a detail brush...

...and the two birds (guess they're blackbirds) got a coat of DecoArt media Carbon Black fluid acrylic paint. The deer's eyes and noses were added in using a black fine tip PITT artist pen.

Before I glued everything in place to build my scene, I did some water colouring using the white Gesso again to kind of "mark" the ground the trees, deer and boy with sled sit on. Once that had dried I glued the craft parts in place. The smaller tree trio was stacked partly on top of the deer to the left and I used MDF left overs from Calico Craft Parts Mini Sheets frames for stacking.

I also repeated the black from the birds by colouring the boy's shoes. And the shades of the dimensional craft parts repeat the black too - so everything fuses beautifully in this design.

The antlers were given only a thin layer of diluted white Gesso so the brown still peeps through.
And I love how the differently sized deer help create a lot of depth! I think the boy is so busy carrying home his Christmas tree that he doesn't even notice he's being watched ;)

The snow is gently falling and I can almost hear the creaking of the snow under the boy's boots and the sled...

All deer are standing, stock-still, watching the little busy intruder closely as he makes his way through the snow covered forest...only the flapping of the birds' wings can be heard and then everything falls back into winter-y forest silence.

I will be doing one more post before Christmas - on the 23rd of December (which happens to be my birthday - so I will be twice as busy...preparing for the 24th AND squeezing in a little celebrating), but this is very likely the usual (and scheduled) "my favourite makes of the year" post - so if we do not read each other over here before the 24th and 25th I would like to wish you all

a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!!!!