Monday 23 November 2020

Step Right Up! - Artist Trading Block - by Claudia

 Hi, servus and thanks for stopping by today! How about sharing a little crafty inspiration to distract ourselves from all the craziness that's happening in the world these days?! 

Have you already seen the new circus themed craft parts in the shop? They're vintage designs and I fell in love with them at first sight. 

I especially love the monkey, but the director is just as fab! 

Calico Craft Parts used: 

- Artist Trading Block Cube Kit - Plain Cube - large 

- The Ringmaster - MDF Wood Shape

- Snarling Tiger - MDF Wood Shape

- Circus Elephant - MDF Wood Shape

- Circus Chimpanzee - MDF Wood Shape

I assembled the artist trading block (which is really easy as all joining points are marked with matching letters so you can't go wrong) and covered the sides with some striped vintage designer paper (from a Tim Holtz paper stash) using matte DecoArt Decou-Page. I also used diluted Decou-Page on top of the paper after I had inked the edges with dark brown archival stamping ink and a piece of blending foam. 

While that was set aside to dry, I dry brushed all the craft parts with "relic" DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish paint, using a flat, soft brush. This way the engraved patterns started to show beautifully. 

Once the cube had dried, I applied DecoArt media white Crackle Paint with a palette knife here and there along the edges and put that on the central heating to speed up the drying and crackling process. 

In the meantime I started colouring the prepared craft parts with various washes of DecoArt media fluid acrylic "Quinacridone Gold" using a detail brush. 

Then I highlighted some areas with DecoArt media fluid acrylic "Titanium White". 

The crackle had turned out just beautifully in the meantime! I added a wash of Quinacridone to that too. 

Afterwards I went in with a wash of Raw Umber DecoArt media fluid acrylic paint to accentuate the crackle and tone down the elephant's skin. 

Using the Tim Holtz "Alphanumeric Shadow Upper" dies set, I die cut my quote and painted the inner parts of the letters with more Quinacridone Gold (using a fine detail brush). 

Finally I added sprinkles of Raw Umber, Quinacridone Gold and diluted DecoArt "Gold Rush" Metallic Lustre to the showing sides of my block, before I glued everything in place using matte Decou-Page. To help the characters on the top of my block stand, I used snippets from left overs of MDF Add On Sheets. 

I also used the Metallic Lustre to customize the little star stickers I added to some spots. 

Every circus needs its stars and a bit of bling, doesn't it?!

Some close ups: 

I hope you've enjoyed the little visit to the circus! 

Stay safe
and as always
hugs and happy crafting!



  1. Absolutely brilliant! Your fabulous weathering techniques are the perfect partner for these gorgeous vintage circus designs... this is wonderful!
    Alison x

  2. Thanks so much, Alison and Louise! Hugs! xxx

  3. Completely and utterly adorable, I have very eclectic decor and that would fit in just perfectly - would love to try and recreate your design.

  4. Stunning! 💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖