Thursday, 27 January 2022

'Sailors Valentine' and 'The Octopuss Garden' by Kat Hazelton

Throughout the centuries shells have always fascinated people. They have been used as symbols in art and religion, been made into jewellery, used to adorn tribal costumes, and have been collected by wealthy travellers to put in curio cabinets. During the Victorian period shell craft or shell art became popular with all classes of people, including Queen Victoria. Stately homes often had shell decorated furniture and Grottoes, which where highly decorated with exotic shells and pebbles worked into patterns and pictures. Some society ladies took up shellcrafting as a hobby often buying kits to make exquisite shell dolls and dolls house furniture. Those from a more working class background found there was money to be made by making and selling shell craft souvenirs to tourists. Sailors would often buy 'Sailors Valentine's' to give to their love ones. These wooden boxes or framed pictures, sometimes octagonal in shape, were highly decorated in shells, starfish, seahorses, corals and pearls. Depending on who the gift was for some would come with names, hearts, shell flowers or sea themed scenes including carved mermaids. 

Inspired by Victorian Shellcraft here are two fun shell projects to try. 

First project is a 'Sailors Valentine'. This ornamental seafaring keepsafe has two scenes. On the left a giant sea monster is attacking and pulling down a ship to it's watery doom! The other side a more gentle scene of a beautiful mermaid who in my heart rescued the human crew and maybe fell in love with the Captain! I am a romantic! 

The second project 'The Octopuss Garden' is a lavishly adorned bauble of seacreatures and shells enjoying their underwater home. 

You will need.

Beads and glitter in sea colours.
Clear cabochons for bubbles.
Metallic paints. 

Textured paste. 

Liquid pearlised drops, used in card crafting, or gems stones. 

Watercolour or acrylic paints.
Paint brushes. 
Water colour paper and sheet of glitter foam. 
Reindeer moss and natural string. 
Tacky glue.

For 'The Octopuss Garden' you will need these additional mdf shapes.


I started off by doing two simple paintings. One of ocean waves and one of an underwater scene with seaweed. To add some bubbles to the underwater scene I dabbed the tube of white paint directly onto my paper. These paintings will be used as backgrounds to both projects. I did my paintings on two A4 sized pieces of water colour card which was more than enough for these two projects. If you prefer you can do your painting on smaller sized card such as A5 or A6.  Personally I like to do a bigger painting so I can keep the left overs for other projects and card making. 

I then painted and decorated all my mdf shapes using metallic paints, glitter and liquid pearl drops. 

I also painted my ATCs, frames and baubles with metallic paints. I also added some texture paste to outer side of the ATCs to add some rocky details. I then cut out and glued on my painted sea backgrounds and frames. 

To glue the two ATC scenes together I created a hinge using a strip of blue glitter foam. I glued the hinge to both ATC's directly onto the paintings, making sure the hinge was narrow enough to be unseen once the frames where glued on top. 
I then arranged and glued on my shapes to create the two sea themed scenes. 

Next I glued on creatures, shells and clear 'bubble' cabochons to my bauble to create my Octopus's Garden. 

To hang my pendant I added a length of natural gardening string. 

To add final finishing touches to my 'Sailors Valentine' I added reindeer moss, some more beads, glitter and clear 'bubbles'. Notice I deliberately turned my ATC ship upside down so that the seacreature looked like it was dragging it down to it's doom! The seacreature is in fact Calico Craft Parts furbellow weed!  

'Sailors Valentine' and 'The Octopuss Garden' by Kat Hazelton 2021 

I hope you enjoy another 'Kat make'. 

If you have any questions please feel free to ask, I will be happy to help if I can. I shall be back again soon with another make.

Until then 'enjoy crafting' . 

Kat 😊

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Hope - Hanging Spring Home Decor Inspiration


Welcome in a new creative year!


It's wintertime and every day you see nothing but gray in gray. 

 I discovered first snowdrops in my garden, 

which always give hope for spring, 

that inspired me to this pre-spring project.



some close up's



used MDF shapes


Songbird Trio on Spring Branch MDF Wood Shape

Daffodil Flower MDF Wood Shape

Arched Window

Ancestry MDF Wood Font - Create A Word Hope

Skeleton Tree Duo MDF Wood Shape - Style 1

Sheet of Mini Hares - MDF Wood Animal Shapes

Standard Heart Shape - MDF Mixed Media Board



Thanks for your visit!


Happy crafting!


Thursday, 13 January 2022

'The Coming of Spring' by Kat Hazelton

Firstly may I wish you all a happy new year. I hope you all had a happy and healthy Christmas and enjoyed the festive holidays. I cannot believe we are already half way through January and steadily approaching the half way point between Winter and Springtime, which is at beginning of February. This marks the central point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox and are marked by a number of festivals including Imbolc, St Brigid’s day, Groundhog day, and Candlemas, which is held on the 2nd of February. Even though all of them seem on the surface to have differing religious meanings and traditions when delving further back into history the root of all of them intertwines. All of them celebrate and make welcome the changing of the seasons. Saying goodbye to the long cold dark winter months and welcoming daylight and the beginnings of new life. 

One of the first flowers often seen at the beginning of February is the arrival of beautiful beds of snowdrops and in fields the appearance of hares dancing, boxing and chasing each other! Hares are often depicted as magical creatures, often representing fertility, new beginnings and good fortune.

So for my first project I thought I would celebrate the coming of spring by making a mixed media picture showing a group of hares having fun leaping amongst frosty snowdrops. 

To make your own 'Coming of Spring' mixed media picture you will need. 

Canvas board or panel. 

Paints & paint brushes, I used acrylic paints. 

White mixed media sculpting paste and sculpting tool. I used a combination of palette knife, bamboo skewering sticks and an old paintbrush. 

Calico Craft Parts snowdrops

Calico Craft Parts hares, I used the following. They also have other wonderful hares and rabbit shapes.


Pearl drops

Black fine liner pen. 

Glitter paste or glitter to add some sparkles.

And assortment of moss, twigs, wood bark and charms. What ever you can source in your craftstash or in your garden! 

I started off by adding a layer of sculpting paste onto my canvas board. Using a palette knife, old paint brush and a bamboo stick I added lines and rough grass shapes. I then let this dry overnight. Once dry, using acrylic paints, I added  'grass like' leaves in greens and browns. 

I then painted, again using acrylic paints, my hares and snowdrops. I left these to one side to dry over night. 

To add a tree stump I cut a shape from a strip of tree bark. I then arranged all my pieces and glued into place. To glue the wood bark, moss and snowdrops I used some sculpting paste. I found this worked really well as I wanted a snowy frosty scene so any white showing didn't matter. I also added some details to my hares with a black fine liner pen. 

To finish off my frosty scene I added more sculpting paste and glitter to add some sparkle! 

Finally I added some extra foliage, some pretty pagan charms and some dots of 'snow' with little liquid pearl drops.

The Coming of Spring by Kat Hazelton 

I hope you enjoy my first 'Kat make' for this year. If you have any questions please feel free to ask I will be happy to help if I can. I shall be back again later in January with another make.
Until then. 
 'Happy Crafting' 
Kat 😊