Monday, 14 August 2017

Not all those who wander are lost - Artist's Trading Block Cube Kit by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone! It's good to be back at Calico Craft Parts Blog. I hope you've been enjoying a really creative summer. I'm still playing with the tiny canvases I have accumulated over the past few years! They were so miniature (8.5 cm x 5.00 cm) I hadn't been quite sure what I would do with them. For this nautical project, I decided to use one of them as a focal point on a medium size Calico Artist's Trading Block Cube Kit.

I started by creating a miniature mixed media reversed canvas with a nautical feel.

Even though this was a minuscule canvas, I went to town with layers of gesso, muslin, heavy gel medium, bead gel, some pewter coloured grains and different shades of blue and green acrylic paints.

I wrapped the muslin right around - back and front - fixing it down with fluid gel medium. On this side of the canvas, which would normally be the front, I layered some fragments of tea-bag papers and used a touch of pearly glaze to create the impression of stormy seas.

Flipping the canvas back onto its reverse side, I added this wonderful Calico ship in a bottle and some tiny shells.

A little grey-board heart with a face created from my own art work and a golden crown provided the finishing touches.

Once my elements were all stuck down, I put the tiny canvas to one side and started to assemble my cube kit. I like to have a 'dry run', sticking down my papers and assembling the cube without glue to start with, so that I get an idea of how it will look. These papers are copies of old maps from the British Library scanned into my computer and printed onto good quality copy paper. They are stamped and aged with inks and diluted acrylic paint.

I can then take it apart and play around with different Calico Craft Part embellishments until I'm satisfied with the arrangement before sticking everything in place. As you might have noticed, I started with the word element, 'Adventure Awaits' and then went with the slightly more mysterious, 'Not all those who wander are lost'.

This map paper so intrigues me I feel sad that I will have to cover it up. However, because I have scanned the images I know I can use them again on other projects and also tiny pieces appearing here and there can be even more intriguing!

Such a fine galleon I didn't want to cover it up too much! I decided to use a smaller embellishment so that she was mostly visible in all her glory!

I kept the natural wood effect of this shell and simply added a piece of broken jewellery for colour and 'bling'. The block has little wooden beads to serve as feet. As I was creating this piece I could almost hear the sound of the wind whipping at the canvas sails and the cries of the sailors! I wonder who the princess with the heart-shape face might be and where she is bound on these choppy seas?

Although we can no longer venture into uncharted waters to explore new worlds; tropical seas teeming with Queen Angelfish or sandy beaches where no human foot has trodden, every day can still be a magical voyage into the unknown. We just have to navigate by the stars of our imagination and use the compass of creativity.

There are treasures beyond price out there, if we keep our eyes open and steer our course right.

Thank You so much for stopping by today. Whether your summer has involved a sea journey of many miles or simply blissful hours spent dreaming in your own back yard, I sincerely hope it's been a happy time for you. Until we meet again in 2 weeks' time, have fun!
Calico Craft Parts Used
Artist Trading Block Cube Kit, medium size
Wooden Word Elements - Travel and Explorer
Ship in a Bottle MDF Wood Shape, Style 2
Hearts, mini greyboard shapes
Sheet of mini MDF Crowns, Style 3
Sheet of mini nautical shapes, Style 6
Seahorse Style 3 MDF Wood shape
Queen Angel Fish MDF Wood Shape

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Through the Porthole by Jennie

Hello and welcome to a "through the porthole" post!

By the time you read this I should be coming to the end of my cruising holiday on the west coast of Scotland in our yacht Mrs Muir. And hopefully there have been some fabulous views through the portholes .... blue skies, hot sunshine, calm seas ....... But just in case I thought I would make my own porthole using some fabulous Calico Craft Parts and some amazing DecoArt rusting techniques.

I should add here in case my husband reads this that NONE of our portholes are rusty ......... !

So here was the start of my porthole - covered first in DecoArt Texture Sand Paste and then painted with a mix of DecoArt Paynes Grey. I added Tinting Base for the inner to get a lighter colour and on its own for the outer.

Next came a splodging of DecoArt Quinacridone Gold - I say splodging as you need to allow some of the under grey coat to show through.  The little hinge at the side I painted in gold paint and then added a little Turquoise Hue paint to look like a Verdigris stain.

I spent a very lovely evening watching Andy Skinner's rusting videos and I do recommend having a look at them as they are extremely good in getting you started on rusting techniques. They are short - 5 minutes or so - so hold your attention! well mine anyway! I will post a link to the series of videos at the bottom of the post.

I used a different technique on the wheels, anchor and cog wheels, this time trying to get a more Verdigris hue. The eagle eyed of you will notice that the smaller wheel has been painted on the underside. Although it didn't really matter, I did turn it over and paint it again!

And then I layered my embellishments onto the porthole, using some metal stars and a great vintage photograph.

Even this little plaque got a rusty make-over!

I really love this rusting technique it looks so authentic!

It is the skipper's (aka my husband's) birthday while we are at sea and birthday cards are not that easy to keep or hang on board. But I think this would look good hanging from one of the inside portholes. Or for a masculine card the porthole would fit perfectly on a 6" x 6" card.

Safe travels wherever you may be heading and thank you for joining me.

Happy crafting!

Jennie x

Live the Dream

Calico Craft Parts Used:

Andy Skinner Rusting Videos:

Monday, 7 August 2017

Nautical Treasures - by Claudia

I can't get enough of ocean themed projects at the moment! This time I am sharing one of Calico Craft Parts' lovely "Trinket Boxes" in nautical style.

I was mainly inspired by the designer paper I found in my stash and the beautiful Galleon Boat - the first was a find from rummaging through my stash (in search for something else of course) and the latter had been sitting on my table for the last when I saw them both on my desk side by side they suddenly formed the idea for this trinket box to keep my treasures in.

Calico Craft Parts used:

- MDF Trinket Box Kit - Style 2
- Galleon Boat MDF Wood Shape - Style 7
- Word Elements - Summer & Seaside
- Ships Wheel MDF Wood Shape - Style 1
- Sheet of Mini MDF Nautical Motifs - Style 6

The designer paper's colours were my lead, so I aimed for browns, yellowed whites and coral pink mainly.

I measured the bottom and top panels of the trinket box so I could cut two sheets of designer paper to size and glue them to the box lid and inner bottom. 

I used matte Decou-Page (as always) and once that was dry I grabbed a sanding block to sand the excess off. I sealed the designer paper with a layer of matte Decou-Page. 

The box was assembled and set aside to dry. 

The Trinket Box Kit comes with shapes for feet and handles, but I had this lovely ships wheel in my Calico Craft Parts "treasure chest" that I wanted to use, so I combined parts of the box kit with that to form the handle. 

I also glued four little feet to the bottom of the dry box after I had painted the outside with DecoArt Americana Coral Blush acrylic paint (I forgot to take a picture of that I'm afraid).  

The little shell shapes had been sealed with matte Decou-Page too before I applied a thin layer of white DecoArt media Crackle Paint to them with a palette knife. I also scraped some onto the box lid here and there. 

While the shells and box lid were set aside to dry I dry brushed some white DecoArt Acrylic Gesso to the Word Element and the Galleon Boat. 

Once the crackling process was finished I added washes of DecoArt media Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide to the shells, the box lid and the dry brushed Craft Parts. 

I used DecoArt media Liquid Glass as a glue to add a rough cord border to the box lid. 

The back of the Galleon Boat got a coat of Coral Blush paint as well. The insides of the box were left untreated. 

I also partially scraped on some white Gesso to the glued on cord and toned that down with another wash of Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide. A little glued on half pearl was added to finish everything off. My Galleon Boat was ready to set sail! Yay! 

Some detail shots:

and once more the finished trinket box:

Hm......I think I might keep this one ;) 

Hugs and happy crafting!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

a land far, far away.......lived flowers with eyes......

Hey people. well......August is upon us, i hope you're enjoying good weather?
The summer holidays are in full swing for me.....crazy, busy and fun for me and the kids! I find myself creating about 11 at night........only time the house is quiet!
This week, i have altered a printers tray.

The usual start off for me is panting the entire thing with gesso. I then added layers of paint, crackle glaze, more paint and silver wax to the edges. At this point i was going with a sea theme.....hence the colours! But twin number 2 insisted i used these flowers.

I snipped off a few flowers and then used waxes to give them colour.
A layer of hessian was added to the base.....forgot how much i like hessian!

I twisted silver wire to act as stems for the flowers i snipped off, so i could have them popping out of the frame.

Little eyes were then glued to the centre of each flower.

To finish, i added one of the word elements, using wire to attach it.

Not quite the sea theme i was going for.......more certainly Lesley styley! :)

Thanks for reading.

Ingredients used

Word elements travel and explorer
Printers tray style 4
Primrose flower patch style 2

Monday, 31 July 2017

The Road Less Travelled - Mini Canvases by Julie Ann

I can't believe we're already at the end of July! Here in the UK we've had some glorious summer weather with moonlit nights so warm it's been best to be out in the cool of the night.

 And it's the world of Nature after dark that has inspired my project for Calico Craft Parts today.

Have you ever bought the little wooden easels on sale in discount craft stores? They come with mini canvases that I have always put to one side, never quite sure how I might use them. I have been moving a pile of them from place to place in my craft room for some time now, so I decided to create a miniature mixed-media project with a couple of them and some tiny Calico Craft Parts.

I planned to use every surface of these miniature substrates. They measure only 4.5 cm x 7.00 cm, but I wanted to include lots of detail. If you are going to work on any reverse canvas, it's important to remember that this side of the canvas is not primed. I painted the entire reverse side with Gesso and allowed it to dry before making a start.

Working from the inside out, I created little worlds using muslin; heavy gel medium to fix it down and create depth and texture; bead gel; garden twigs and moss.

Building up the layers took several days. I liked to allow each layer to dry before adding the next and then finally painting with layers of acrylic paint; a pearl glaze and some gilding.

As you can see, once I was happy with the reverse side of the canvases, I flipped them over and built up the layers on the outside.

Once I was happy with my layers, it was time to use the exquisite little Calico Craft Parts to bring the tiny world of my canvases to life. Although it is miniature, this owl looks truly dramatic and the tiny hare running to safety looks so full of life.

I added one of my own MDF houses with a mini Calico door all ready to open and allow the hare to escape the hungry owl.

Scraps of napkin tissue; a bottle top; a hand-drawn face under a layer of ice-resin and some beautifully detailed Calico Craft Parts suggest we take the road less travelled. If we do we can expect the unexpected - twists and turns; a glimpse of fairy folk; danger when we least expect it, but help in the unlikeliest of places too!

A Dolls' House hinge kept the two canvases joined to form a miniature diptych.

The moon is a circle of MDF left behind when one of the windows from the sheet of windows was pushed out. Its light turns the owl and the hare into silhouettes as the hare scampers to the safety of the kindly haven up ahead.
Thank You so much for stopping by and looking at these adventures on a summer night. I'm really looking forward to sharing with you again in a fortnight's time.
Calico Craft Parts Used on this project
Word Elements - Travel and Explorer
Sheet of mini MDF Wood Crowns, Style 3
Sheet of mini MDF Wood Wings Style 3
Sheet of mini MDF Acorns and Oak Leaves
Sheet of mini MDF Window Wood shapes
Sheet of tiny MDF window and door Wood shapes
Sheet of mini MDF Bird Shapes (Owls)
Sheet of mini MDF Hares