Monday, 21 May 2018

'Today!' Canvas by Julie Ann.

It's lovely to be back at Calico Craft Parts blog with a new project to share. There's something thrilling about waking up on a May morning, your mind bursting with new ideas for art projects. That's the mood I wanted to create with this chunky mini canvas, which I created as a companion piece to a canvas I called 'Take Flight'. Now, if we stand them side by side they read 'Take Flight Today!' That's something I hope you will feel like doing, but not before you've taken a look at my mini canvas.

I'm so glad that Helen at Calico Craft Parts created the wonderful little house kits. I've found the possibilities for creating not only free-standing 3D miniature wonderlands but also interesting 'stand-out' focal points on canvasses limitless.

For this project, I began with the snowy white bare, chunky canvas and some torn tissue and fragments of my own doodles.

Collage and mixed-media backgrounds have fascinated me for a long time. I love the challenge of integrating what - at first - are little more than random scraps into a cohesive background. This time it was fun to use my own doodles and see how I could transform them by spraying with diluted acrylics and randomly stamping with script in inks and white acrylic. I also did some dripping of acrylics mixed with a string gel medium in blues, pinks and turquoise.

You might remember I used this medium on a tag a couple of weeks ago? l had some left over that I had mixed in a small glass container and covered with cling film and I can report that it still worked well after 2 weeks' storage! I wanted to create the idea of flight and soaring high into the sky so I took one of the doves from the Calico Garden Birds sheet, painted it white and then added a coat of clear ultra thick embossing powder melted with a heat tool. These Calico Craft Parts can take more than their share of altering!

I love how box canvasses allow you to extend over the sides of the project with stamping, dripping and spraying.

Once again, I've left the roof open to the skies. This time I wanted to create the impression that my little bird-house character offers the visitors to her cottage refuge, but without them having to sacrifice their freedom to take flight when they wish. As well as the doves flapping above the open roof, a tiny wren has settled on her hand.

Once they were integrated into the canvas background, I was able to add just a touch of water-colour to the doodles. The face was drawn on to paper that had been stamped and collaged with various scraps of tissue, including paper patterns.

What are your plans for today? Who knows what adventures await you if you are open to all that the world might have in store. Step forward with an open heart and arms wide to embrace the day like my little bird-house lady. Have a wonderful, creative time until we meet again.
Calico Craft Parts Used
Block Style Wide House kit, mini
Sheet of Wood MDF Garden Birds
Standard Jointed Art Doll Kit, Style 1, Small

Thursday, 17 May 2018

A Little Bit of Verdigris by Jennie

Hello and welcome to my second ATC this month giving me an opportunity to try out some newly learnt techniques.

A couple of weeks ago I shared a Rusty Elements ATC and today I am using the same colours but in a different way.

I started, as before, with an ATC blank which I primed with DecoArt Tinting Base and stamped a lovely floral design using an Archival Ink. You may recall that on my last ATC I used a few drops of DecoArt Acrylic Fluid Paints with some water in a spray bottle. 

I used these same sprays but with a lighter touch and got this gorgeous effect behind the stamping.

I then used the same colours on the frame but this time daubing them with a paintbrush and adding in a little DecoArt Metallic Gold. I kept repeating this process until I was happy with the effect.

The tiny little crackle heart was actually made for another project, but I thought the colours fitted perfectly!

I managed to find a vintage photograph which just fitted the frame and raised the frame on sticky dots to give it a bit of depth. I love how the colours all merge together.

I didn't want to add much more other than the quote and the heart and flower.

Another little experimental ATC!

As always thank you for joining me today and look out for me again in a couple of weeks when I will be sharing the third of the experimental ATCs using the same colours but in a different way.

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts used:

Monday, 14 May 2018

A Wonderfully Weird and Wonky House - by Claudia

Hi, servus! How lovely to have you stop by today! It is time for my every-other-Monday project and to be honest I don't have a clue on how to introduce this took a completely different direction than I had intended right after the start and kept doing so during the process and I am still not sure who won - the house or

I wanted to create a house that would not only have a wonky roof but also look as if it had become wonky in itself over looks a bit weird too I think (which wasn't intended...but hey - weird and wonky - that's too Ws and I love I have decided to embrace "weird" and find it wonderful instead!)

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Block Style MDF House Kit - Tall with Wonky Roof
- Sheet of Mini MDF Door Wood Shapes
- Sheet of Tiny MDF Window & Door Wood Shapes
- Skeleton Tree MDF Wood Shape - Style 8

Someone in the house has been counting....years? Months? Days (weeks?) before and after a certain date? Who knows...and what has happened to the tree?

To create the marbled effect on the house I experimented with the new DecoArt pouring medium and Americana paints. The picture shows the three colours that I have mixed with the pouring medium (according to the recipe given on the container) - well, actually the picture captured the moment before I stirred the mixes with some Popsicle sticks.

I had primed my wonky house with a thorough coat of DecoArt Chalky Finish paint "primitive" and covered the workspace with a large sheet of paper before I started pouring the paints onto it. I used a tiny glass bowl to keep my house in a "wonky" angle for the paints to properly run and drip. 

Then I used a skewer to drag the poured on paints into each other and create random "fan" patterns.

The Calico Craft Parts windows, door and tree were placed into the wet paint. Then I left everything to dry for at least half a day. 

Using the same paints again I dry brushed some white onto the door and windows and black onto the tree. I also sprinkled on some red from a DecoArt Red Mister for a bit of contrast. 

Using a detail brush I added some patterns, roof tiles and steps.

I added some red by painting the door and a window with red from the Mister and using washi tape.

Other washi tapes added more black and white patterns to the design. 

Look at the weathered and worn front! Maybe the house has been abandoned. It loos as if it needed a thorough make over and a lot of fixing. But you can still sense traces of the love the owners once had for it.

So here it is - my wonderfully wonky house. I hope you like it - weird as it is! 

Hugs and happy crafting!

Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Secret Garden by GD Kerstin

Hello everyone!

Kerstin from Scrapbook Dreams here again and I'm so excited
and happy to be invited to the Calico Craft Parts blog as a guest designer this month.

I was in search of a little gift for a friend. She loves the children's novel
'The secret garden' just like me.
It's a wonderful story with an old forgotten garden
 which is rediscovered and makes the children happy.

How I did it:

I used the back part of a picture frame and a sturdy solid piece of cardboard, which was covered with canvas and a string. Then I chose some beautiful suitable wooden shapes from Calico Craft Parts.
I thought of the Robin, a friendly bird, the closed old gate and the wild roses and ivy from the story. There are so many awesome craft parts to choose from, so selection wasn't easy.
And then I discovered the new possibility to create your own words from Craft Parts with a special font. The  "Olde English MDF Wood Font - Create A Word - Joy was perfect as addition to this project.

Calico Craft Parts wood shapes used:

 before and after

weathered look technique

 1. use a transparent plastic foil
2. add a thin layer of Matte Medium (DecoArt)
3. now a thicker layer of Crackle Glaze Clear (DecoArt) 
4. glue the window onto the foil
5. use Crackle Paint White (DecoArt) with your fingers 
 for the window frame
6. finally spray all over with Distress Spray Stain 'Vintage Photo' 

 some close up's

 the picture is interchangeable and can also be complemented by a beautiful saying

Thanks so much for your invitation as your guest designer this month,
it was a huge pleasure for me!!!!

Happy crafting!


Monday, 7 May 2018

The Magpie's Nest - by Julie Ann

It's great to be back at Calico Craft Parts Blog at the beginning of the beautiful month of May. I'm still thinking about the birds that come to my little garden, but this week I've been reminded of their cosy nests.Rather like the birds that visit, I love to collect twigs fallen from the shrubs and trees and I'll often add them to a project. I decided to use one of the versatile MDF tags from Calico and a tall block style house to hang above my desk, so that I can always have a supply of twigs to hand to add that finishing touch of tree.

As I was working, I found myself singing an Irish folk song called 'The Magpie's Nest'. Do you ever find a song captures your imagination while you're creating? The doll stepping out of her cottage and into our world might be the little Irish Fairy of the song, I think. 

'For the Magpie's Nest is a cottage neat and clean
And it stands beside the Shannon where the meadows are green
And I never saw a princess
 With beauty such as this
My little Irish Fairy in the Magpie's Nest.'

I started this project with a pointed top tag 50 mm x 25 mm, added Gesso and some scraps of patterned tissue. I love the way that the pointed roof of the tall block house complements the tag shape.

As I wanted the doll stepping out of her cottage to have pose-able arms, I decorated the front of the house before sticking the kit together and drilled 2 tiny holes under the sleeves where I could fix the arms with brads. I really enjoy mixing and matching the Calico kits and craft parts so much!

I wanted to create a 'mixed-media' look for this project, so I cut out a dress shape from a master-board I had made, using scraps of paper-pattern, stamping and stencilling. The arms are painted and then stamped with text. Can you just glimpse the cherry blossom in the background?

Now for a bit of mixed-media experimenting! I gave the tissue background a wash of diluted turquoise acrylic paint before dripping down a mixture of acrylics blended with a string gel.This takes a while to dry, but when it does you have a gleaming background that looks as if your work has been dipped into a rainbow! When it was fully dry to the touch, I stamped some text over it with white acrylic and fixed the 2 art doll legs in place.

All I needed to do now was bring the house and tag together and add a few details. The little wren whispers secrets into the Irish Fairy's ear - is he bringing messages from her lover, I wonder?

This is a project that is dimensional and decorative, but also useful. I love how the drips of paint remain suspended, looking as if they might be wet to the touch! You can see from this angle how I crackled the sides and added miniature doors and windows. Thank You so much for stopping by today and taking a look at my nest-building. Have a lovely, creative week, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
Calico Craft Parts Used
MDF Tag Shape - Pointed Tag 50 mm x 25 mm
Block Style Tall House it (small)
Standard jointed Art Doll Kit, style 1, medium
Sheet of  tiny doors and windows
Sheet of Mini Garden Birds wood shapes

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Rusty Elements by Jennie

Hello to you all and welcome to a bit of a different series of projects from me for this month of May!

In April I was very lucky to be able to attend a workshop run by DecoArt and I learnt a number of new techniques for rusting. So for my three projects in May I thought I would revisit these techniques using Calico Craft Parts ATCs but in my own style and colours. So here is No. 1.

I have used two pieces for this ATC, both of which were painted with DecoArt Tinting Base. I then stamped the top one with Archival Ink and created some texture on the larger piece using a text stencil.

I did not know that the Fluid Acrylics could be be made into sprays ...... ! Wow wonderful news for me as I do like my colours a  little more muted.

And so this is the effect when you spray ...... (I just LoVE this!) .....

..... and a little stronger over the text.

I then used the same colours on my embellishments with the addition of a little Paynes Grey. Each colour was "splodged" in layers with a brush to allow the other to show through.  

And here are a few close ups of the finished ATC.

I really love these effects and the more muted colour appeals to me. 
(Shame about the bit of fluff which got onto the cog!)

Look out for my next two ATCs which will use the same colours but some different techniques!

Thank you for joining me today and happy crafting!

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts Used today: