Monday, 16 October 2017

Halloween Chunkies - by Claudia

Hi, servus and welcome back! Claudia here to bring to you another Halloween themed project created with some of Calico Craft Parts' fabulous Halloween Wood Shapes!

I love Halloween and I love ATCs....but even more I love CHUNKY Halloween ATCs! lol
I created my chunkies from thick corrugated card (= packaging left overs that came with our new bed back in June, when we were busily renovating and switching rooms).

Creating the chunky ATCs was great fun - I always enjoy working by the typical Halloween colour scheme with bright greens, red, oranges and purple contrasting gloomy backgrounds...

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Pumpkin Head MDF Wood Shape 
- Ghoulish Monster MDF Wood Shape - Style 1
- Staggering Mummy MDF Wood Shape 
- Witch's Stripy Legs MDF Wood Shape
- Word Elemements - Horror & Halloween
- Sheet of Mini MDF Halloween Motifs - Style 3
- Halloween Wood Words

To create my ATCs I simply got out all my Halloween themed Calico Craft Parts and played around with different arrangements until I was content. (I then always take a picture....just in case I forget which arrangements I finally have decided on ;)

Using a palette knife I scraped DecoArt media black Gesso around the chunky corrugated card ATCs' sides and fronts.

While the Gesso was still wet, I scraped on white DecoArt media Gesso so the black and white mixed and created streaks. When you do that make sure you wipe off any excess from your palette knife before you dip it into your Gesso!!!! Otherwise you will contaminate the Gesso in the pots!

I repeated the same step with DecoArt Americana Neons "Thermal Green":

I set my ATCs aside to dry. In the meantime I dry brushed some heavy body white acrylic Gesso onto the Craft Parts I wanted to use. The white Gesso makes the MDF wood shapes less absorbant and also makes the colours used on them pop. 

Then I picked some of my favourite DecoArt media "Halloween" colours (Sap Green, Primary Magenta, Green Gold, Titan Buff, Dioxazine Purple, Quinacridone Magenta, Yellow Oxide) and painted the ghoul, pumpkin, mummy and witch's legs using a fine tip soft brush.

While the painted craft parts were drying I stamped some crackles onto the ATCs using black archival stamping ink. 

I created drip lines with a mix of DecoArt media Quinacridone Red and Quinacridone Magenta. To help the colours run and spread I sprayed on some water from a bottle. 

Then I added a wash of black DecoArt media Antiquing Cream to the ATCs and the painted craft parts (sorry, I obviously forgot to  take a picture of that step). I only wiped back a little here and there once the Antiquing Cream had dried. 

I sprinkled on red and black DecoArt media Mister paint as a finishing touch for my ATC backgrounds.

The words were glued on with matte DecoArt Decou-Page and then painted with DecoArt Americana Neons (Fiery Red, Thermal Green, Torrid Orange and Scorching Yellow). I added two coats of the Neons paints to make them really pop.


I hope you like my ATCs! I really had a lot of fun creating them (and a happy mess on my crafting
There are a lot more fantastic Halloween Wood Shapes to be discovered at the Calico Craft Parts online shop! Check them out by clicking HERE...and then get yourself the ones you like best and create your own Halloween ATCs! Have fun!

Hugs and happy crafting!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Autumn Prince, ATC by Julie Ann

Hello Everyone! Here we are in October and soon Halloween projects will abound! I haven't anything remotely spooky for you yet, but I am working on it and Calico have some spectacular Halloween themed craft parts available here. For now I wanted to share an ATC I created for our son, Isaac's birthday.

What I love about the Calico ATCs is that you can choose from such a wide range of beautiful and unusual frames all with matching blanks. As well as giving the perfect opportunity for swapping with other artists, these robust blanks and frames make an excellent substrate for creating individual mixed media miniature portraits to give as gifts, or as a more permanent greeting card.

I loved the elegance of this frame with its flourishes. It reminded me of the exquisite frames around tiny Elizabethan miniatures. The addition of blobs of bead gel; tiny oak leaves; miniature acorns and an exquisitely detailed blackberry branch made it even more special. So as to 'pull together' my added details a little more, I gave the background of the frame a coat of Gesso, leaving bare the acorns and blackberries, which I wanted to foreground.

Adding some colour brought the whole frame to life!

Gilding and white highlights were the finishing touches. I really wanted the acorns to be focal, as my son had seen me working with these and remarked on how beautiful they are. Calico do create some fabulous flora and fauna.

Now I needed an image. Our son is a cat lover - just like his sister; but for him I combined one of my cats with a rather elegant Elizabethan youth. The colours in his doublet suggested blackberries to me and the story behind Isaac's ATC became that of the Autumn Prince.

The Autumn Prince was sad and lonely all the long, cold winter. He dreamed through the awakening spring and the hot and drowsy summer, but when the autumn came and the trees were heavy with fruit he twitched his pink nose and caught the scent of wood-smoke, damp leaves and the winds of change. The Autumn Prince was ready for adventure and he had a map to help him on his travels.

Just like his sister, the Pussycat, famous for her voyage with an owl in a beautiful, pea-green boat, the Autumn Prince was now ready to set out in quest for undiscovered lands. What new discoveries will you make this month? I hope they will be ones that bring you joy and enrich your days.
Calico Craft Parts used in this Project
Shaped ATC wood blank with flourish frame
Sheet of mini MDF Acorns and Oakleaves
Blackberry Bramble Wood Shape

Thursday, 5 October 2017

For the Joy of Autumn Flowers : by Jennie

Hello and welcome to my first project this month. I can't believe it is October already and we have been so lucky to have a bit of an Autumn this year with many of the shrub roses still in flower. So my little project today is my "joy" at being able to see these roses so late in the year.

As many of you know I absolutely LoVE the Calico Craft Parts Beer Mats - at 25p each they really are an absolute bargain, will take anything you want to throw at them and are a lovely size to display around the house. This one started with a layer of Gesso and then some texture paste through a stencil. I added colour very lightly using water based infusion powders.

Another favourite CCP piece are these lovely trellis corners and the small size fit the mats perfectly.

The trellis makes a beautiful base for a flower cluster. I made this rose using the colours of one very beautiful rose still flowering in a sheltered spot in the big garden adjacent to the house. It has been a garden in the past and I have tried to bring it back into use, although it is tough work!  The rose doesn't look like this though - I just tried to replicate the colours.

Until a couple of weeks ago we also had butterflies on a calm day, so thought this little chap would also be appropriate.

Finally I added more texture with the gold micro balls and some of the small Gothic letters for my title.

As I love creating with ATCs I suppose the Beer Mats are just an extension of that love! I find the small limiting space really makes you think about what you want to achieve and so there is a little planning and/or picture in the mind required.

I love the depth that even the smallest of the MDF parts can give to a piece.

Sadly I couldn't share a photograph of the wonderful rose in the garden as we have now had four days of horrendous gales, so sadly it is no more. I will just have to wait until next year now.

Thank you for joining me today and happy crafting!

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts Used:


Monday, 2 October 2017

Turn your Handcrafted Houses into Haunted Manors with Calico Craft Parts Mini Wood Shapes! - by Claudia

Well, of course there's still hope for those who "enter" this
Hi, servus and welcome to "my" Monday over here at the Calico Craft Parts blog! I am so happy you're stopping by and today I would like to share with you my first Halloween make for this year. I have finally taken the time to create a little Haunted Mansion and when I found Calico Craft Parts' latest Halloween Mini Wood Shapes I knew these were the perfect size to decorate my finished house and thus turn it into a haunted one - not just an old looking one ;)

There are billions of posts out there who show (much better than I could) how to create these gorgeous little houses - so this post is all about turning them into spooky mansions by adding some ghosts, bats, crows, a spooky tree and a little graveyard - and not to forget about a pumpkin or two ;)

So here's my finished Haunted Manor and these are the Calico Craft Parts I used for decorating:

- Ivy Leaf Garland MDF Wood Shape - Style 2

I played around and picked my favourite Mini Wood Shapes from the sheets... build a little graveyard behind a spooky tree...

...I picked some bats and ravens to have them flying around the house...

... a little pumpkin to sit beside the doorstep...

...and of course I needed some ghosts (or who else would be able to do the "haunting job"?)...

...and last - but not least - I wanted some ravens to sit in the garden and not be impressed by any of the spooky sounds or sights...

The Mini MDF Wood Shapes were painted using DecoArt media acrylic paints, Neon paint, Antiquing Creams and Americana acrylic paints....I mixed and added layers, wiped back, added more, dabbed off,....until I was content with the look. The MDF gladly takes a lot of heavy mixed media trying, wiping off and

To paint the Word Element I mixed a bit of Americana Neons orange paint with white media Antiquing Cream and applied it as a wash on top of my Paynes Grey base coat I had already painted most of the Calico Craft Parts with.  

To finish the sign off, I finally went in with pure orange Americana Neons paint and let it seep into the letters. Then I wiped off the excess with a soft cloth. This way the paint in the letters remained and made them more visible. 

I used an old sturdy book cover as a base for my house to sit on and added some glued on die cut tiles as well as a generous coat of texture paste where there should be grass later. I let that dry thoroughly...

...before I sprayed everything with Carbon Black DecoArt media Mister...

Once that had dried I used DecoArt media black Modeling Paste and a palette knife to glue the tree, the crosses, grave stones, fence and ravens in place. I let that dry overnight. 

Then I dry brushed the grass with different shades of greens.

The path from the garden gate to the doorstep was highlighted using white and patina green DecoArt media Antiquing Cream that I wiped off the tiles with a soft damp cloth once the Antiquing Cream had dried. 

The painted Ivy garland and spider were glued to the house using matte Decou-Page. 

The ghosts were glued directly to the house as well, while the bats and raven were added using thin black wire...

Again I used the black Modeling Paste to fix the wire that I had first bent into tiny loops at one end to the backs of the bat and raven wood shapes...

Once the Modeling Paste had dried I bent most of the other ends into U-shape and inserted these into the chimneys. One bat was fixed to the house by inserting the pointy wire end below one of the roof tiles strips. 

Moss from the home decor shop was added to form some hedges and bushes. The Word Element "sign" was hanged to the fence using short pieces of wire. Et voilá!

I love how Calico Craft Parts' Halloween Mini Wood Shapes make the house look the two storey high building it really is! They're just the pefect size! And the two little ghost fellas are just too cute, aren't they? 

Thank you for stopping by and happy Halloween crafting!