Monday, 27 March 2017

Spring Forward! (Spring Shrine) by Julie Ann

Hello everyone! This week I've been reflecting on Change with a Calico Craft Parts Classic Shrine. Last weekend here in the UK we put our clocks forward one hour, which means rising one hour earlier, but gaining lighter evenings. I always have to remind myself with the words, 'Spring forward, Fall back' so that I get that hour right! As with all changes, there were grumbles from our children over the years about one whole hour less in bed; but delight at the prospect of longer evenings playing outside! Now as we 'spring forward' again there are more changes! Our daughter has left home and she is springing forward herself into a new life with her partner. The house is strangely quiet without her, but she gifted me her old room as a studio!




Suddenly I have light, space and 'A Room of My Own'! As I sorted through my stash prior to moving it all upstairs, I discovered this spool of twine lying forgotten at the back of the cupboard.


I was inspired to create a shrine that would not only help me to reflect on change, but also ensure I could always put my hand right on that twine!


As I worked with brayer and stencils, in the light of the window, I thought how windows are opening in my daughter Matilda's life as she pursues a new job and a new life. She has left so many memories behind her in this room -  books, photos and mementos: the writing on the wall of the little shrine symbolises memories as we enter the new season. I used a brayer to create a textured stone effect and stamped the text with a metallic paint.


Outside the spring was moving forward with birdsong and uncurling leaves and opening buds.


My shrine houses a Muse. She represents Change, Creativity, Memory and the Cycle of Nature. Her face is a grey-board heart, crackled by time, but full of Love.


I was really happy with the effect of brayering straight onto the MDF shrine. My Muse had a face now; but she needed a name.


Because the Calico Art dolls have jointed arms, you can create really expressive little figures with them. My Muse has a dress of tissue with spring designs. I used tiny faux gems to symbolise dew drops framing her face.


I hope you can see from this image how much texture you can create on the MDF simply by brayering. I deconstructed the beautiful song birds on spring branches.They look so lovely all in one piece; but I was delighted with the effect of them placed individually around the shrine too. These beautifully detailed tiny acorns from Calico symbolise growing and flourishing - from tiny seeds of imagination what may grow? And the green eye of the Spring time watches over everything.


As our daughter springs into her new life, I know that I must move forward too, challenging myself to create in new ways. I love how this little Calico hare is so full of energy!


When my shrine was complete I still hadn't named the Muse within! All at once the choice was clear - Primavera, goddess of Spring, Creativity and New Beginnings. Thank You so much for stopping by today. Calico Craft Parts have some gorgeous pieces to help you gambol into Spring-time. I hope you will have a creative week of blossoming projects!

Calico Craft Parts used on this Project

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Spring .... (in sepia) by Jennie

Hello everyone and welcome to my second post this month. As we are now officially in Spring (where do the weeks and months go!), I thought I would share a Spring Printer Tray which I had great fun filling with cream spring blossoms.  However, despite intending to be in a more white/green mood, it doesn't take much to side track me into a sepia one!


The tray is a lovely size - not too big, but big enough to be able "fill" the spaces and looks quite lovely standing on the little stand which can also be purchased to go with it.


I started off by painting everything roughly in DecoArt Raw Sienna Acrylic Paint.


The "rough painting" was intentional as I wanted to then overstamp using this lovely woodgrain stamp ....


... which is quite effective using dark brown ink over the painted surface.  I blended a little of the dark brown ink around the edges too.


I found it easier to paint the individual pieces first before glueing it all together.  It also made adding the background paper easier too.


I broke the thistle spray into smaller pieces so they would fit into the frames in the tray and after painting with white gesso splotched bronze paint here and there.

I wasn't too keen on the bronze colour so knocked it back with two or three coats of gesso but some of the bronze is still visible.


I am very taken with the opportunity here at Calico Craft Parts to order single bespoke words for a project and with such an array of different fonts on offer it is very easy to find a one which suits all our different styles.


I had great fun looking for little bits and pieces to fill the shelf spaces.


All the flowers were handmade in order that I could get the right size without being overpowering.  There are a number of tutorials on my blog HERE if you would like to know more.  I have used tiny little stamens normally used for cake decorating, but they are a little more blossom like than the larger ones.


It is amazing how much "spring" themed stash is lurking in my craft room!  From some large sheets of scrapbooking paper I found some lovely little labels, birds and butterflies.


A reminder then that spring should really be on its way! It is certainly later here in the Northern Isles which is probably why I went down the sepia route! Our daffodils are just about the open so there will be some colour in the next few days.

As always, thank you for joining me today and I hope you are having a lovely spring wherever you are.

Jennie x


Calico Craft Parts used:



Monday, 20 March 2017

Cute as a Bunny - by Claudia

Servus, dear crafting friends and Calico Craft Parts lovers, and thanks for stopping by!
It's the "every other Monday" Monday - so it is my pleasure and turn to share a new Calico Craft Parts project with you! ;)

As Easter is fast approaching there are some adorable new Spring and Easter themed Calico Craft Parts designs on the shop site and I just fell in love with this cute cute cute little bunny - so I had to create an Easter ATC with it:




I have used some gold Metallic Lustre on it - but as usual it was hard to capture that bit of bling in a photograph. Here's another attempt:


Ah, well...at least I tried. lol



Calico Craft Parts used:



I usually start with dry brushing some white Gesso onto the Calico Craft Parts I want to paint. That makes the colours look brighter and you need to apply less of them as the MDF is "sealed" (and therefore less porous) by applying Gesso to it. 


On the DecoArt white Gesso I used DecoArt media fluid acrylics: Green Gold, Viridian, Quinacridone Red, Ultramarine Blue, Titan Buff, Hansa Yellow Medium, Raw Sienna and Raw Umber to paint my cute bunny head.
I also mixed the greens and blues to get different shades of greens for the flower leaves. 

I always start with the brightest colour and work towards the darker tones that I mainly use for shading. I work wet on wet as well as by applying paint to the piece and dragging and diluting it with a wet brush. 

The back of the ATC was given a coat of "refreshing" DecoArt Chalky Finish paint and set to dry.


Then I applied a coat of Decoart media Clear Crackle Glaze with a palette knife and let that air dry.



In the meantime I painted the ATC frame with DecoArt "smitten" Chalky Finish paint and once that was dry I applied some DecoArt media Liquid Glass around the frame for more dimension and gloss.


I brushed a mix of Raw Umber and Carbon Black Antiquing Creams (also from the DecoArt media line) onto the crackled backpanel and made sure it seeped into all the crevices. I let the Antiquing Cream dry and then I wiped off the excess with a damp cloth. 


The ATC frame and back were given some dabs of DecoArt "Gold Rush" Metallic Lustre here and there. I also applied it to the sides of the ATC parts using my fingertip. 



I glued the ATC parts together and the bunny and a word sticker in place with some matte Decou-Page. Both were given a thorough coat of DecoArt media Gloss Varnish.





Here's a close up that shows the amazing texture the Calico Craft Parts have:


And here's one more attempt on showing the dabbed on Metallic Lustre...



I think it becomes visible best in this image:



I hope you like my little Easter bunny! Check out the other lovely Easter and Spring designs too! I promise you will love them all! ;)

Hugs and happy crafting!
Claudia
xxx



Thursday, 16 March 2017

Butterfly Book by Lesley

Hey people......Lesley here with a little altered book for you!


I found the book when having a sort out. It had a plain kraft coloured cover.
I started by applying a coat of gesso to the front and back.


Using some powdered pigments......i sprinkled it on spraying water as i went. Once i was happy with the coverage, i dried it with a heat gun.


I used a bronze coloured wax to go around the edges.


In order to have the butterflies in the aperture, i had to glue a few pages together to take the weight of them. When they were dry, i glued a square of metal to the front.


The mini butterflies were covered with glue, then dipped into teeny tiny micro beads. I left them to dry and then added a coat of Decoart triple thick gloss to seal them.


To finish, i gave the covers a coat of matt glaze to protect them.


Thanks for reading.
L.xx

Ingredients used
Mini MDF butterflies style 3
Mini MDF butterflies style 2

Monday, 13 March 2017

Owl Brooch, wearable art by Julie Ann

Hello, it's great to be back at Calico Craft Parts, sharing another little project with you. I'm still focused on wildlife. After last time when we got to know some animal characters, I wanted to experiment with using Calico wood shapes as wearable art! For this project I used the same scanned image of Ava, the elf owl; but this time I transformed her into Felicia, the wise Queen of the Barn Owls!



I took one of the beautifully detailed MDF wood shapes from Calico - the medium sized barn owl.


I decided that this would be the perfect size for a pin, which could add an original touch to a dress, scarf or a hat. These Calico creatures are lovely in themselves; but I wanted my pin to have a character that set her apart from the average barn owl!


Here is Felicia in the early stages! I rested the scanned image on top to get some idea of position, although I knew I was going to have to file those little ears off for my barn owl. For the body, I took some patterned tissue and torn napkins (the top layer only) with garden birds on them. By tearing and fluffing the edges of the napkin, I could create the effect of Felicia's feathers. I fixed the collaged pieces with Fluid Matte Medium, giving Felicia a top coat of the Medium too, when I was sure she was smooth and fairly wrinkle-free. Some of the carved feather shapes of the original MDF piece showed through, which was ideal.



It was sad to see those little elf ears go, but I gave Felicia a majestic crown to make up for their loss! I blended the tissue and napkins in with strokes of diluted white acrylic paint and enhanced Felicia in places with water-colour touches. I sanded off her edges when they were completely dry, using a coffee stirrer with sand-paper fixed onto it to get into those little nooks and crannies.



A coat of black acrylic paint and an old gold, antique style pin plus a touch of gilding paste along the edges gave Felicia a nice finish.



Felicia likes nothing better than to add a touch of style to an embroidered, black top.



Sometimes Felicia likes to perch on a hat and whisper wit and wisdom - she doesn't mind if the owner of the hat takes all the credit!



And she's just as happy perched on a velvet scarf, protecting a human friend from those chilly March winds! She knows it's wise not to shed too many layers at this time of year. Thank You so much for stopping by and getting to know Felicia. She was so quick and easy to make from Calico Craft Parts. Have a lovely, creative week with - I hope - blue skies and glimpses of the Springtime.

Calico Craft Parts used
Barn Owl MDF wood shape
Mini MDF Crown