Monday, 26 September 2016

Spool City - Mini Shrine Storage!

Hello, it's my favourite Monday - the one when I get to play with Calico Craft Parts! This time I'm thinking about the coming months when I'll be creating Christmas gifts and wrapping them with twines and ribbons. My stash of trims and twines on wooden spools remind me of a little city, so I decided to brighten up my crafting area with a fantasy Spool City! Who lives inside the houses and how do they help me with my gift wrapping, I wonder?

My 'go to' material when it comes to attaching a tag or tying a package is good old, rustic twine. There's something very special about the combo of 'brown paper packages tied up with string', so my city is presided over by the beautiful, practical Twine Goddess always there to dispense string to her followers.

To make her, I combined one of the new doll kits from Calico - I am completely besotted with these - and a shrine kit. I used just the torso of the smallest sized doll and her arms. For the inside of the shrine, I painted with light acrylics and then made circle marks. The tiny circles are made by dipping the plastic packaging from a paint-brush into puddles of yellow paint and then printing with it! I try to keep to the rule of having the interiors of the shrines lighter so that they are easier to see against the darker outside walls.

I chose a warm coral for the outside with some vintage style tape in a complementary colour. The halo is from a sheet of mini Steam Punk shapes. I used one of my own hand-drawn faces for the roof/Goddess's head.

Lace scraps, stiffened with heavy gel medium and brushed with a touch of gilding wax made her sleeves and skirt. I added tiny blobs from a lilac pearl pen to finish her off.

Who doesn't love surprises? The Goddess has a neighbour, Chance. She adds to the mystery and excitement of gift giving! She plays with miniature die and flies on the wings of imagination.

This tiny house is decorated with patterned tissue, embossed copper foil and little scrabble tiles transformed into vintage playing card tiles with digital downloads of vintage playing cards stuck to the reverse, plain side of the Scrabble tiles. Mini windows and an all-seeing eye help her in the quest for the perfect gift and the prettiest ribbon to tie it with.

I stamped the walls with text and white embossed to create contrast against the Jade walls. Edging with Gilder's wax helps to create a vintage feel, which goes well with the dark wood of the spools.

Here's a glimpse of what she looked like before her home was fixed. As with all Calico 3D pieces, these shrines are so easy to assemble with a little white, non-toxic super glue applied to the edges before you slot them in. I use a wooden barbecue skewer to apply the glue.

  The third shrine is home of the Knave of Hearts. He reminds me that it's important to wrap a gift with love and to be as creative and imaginative as we are when making or choosing it. I cut the words from a sheet of designer paper. There's some map paper and some vintage style tape on the roof and the clay roses are from home-made moulds.

Now I just need to start making those Christmas gifts! I wonder if someone might actually like a spool shrine in their stocking? Have a lovely, creative week whatever you choose to do and thank you for visiting my Spool City!

Calico Craft Parts Used
MDF Plain Tall House/Shrine Kit (Small)
Standard jointed Art Doll Kit, Style 2 (Small)
Sheet of Mini MDF Steam Punk Motifs, Style 3
MDF Plain Tall House/Shrine Kit (Mini Kit)
Sheet of MDF Wood Scrabble Tiles
Sheet of MDF Wood Wings
Sheet of tiny MDF doors and windows

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Beach Secrets : Guest Designer : Jennie Atkinson

Hello Everyone and thank you for joining me for my second project this month.

As we sail around the west coast and islands of Scotland every summer I am always picking up bits and pieces on the beach and decided I needed a little box to keep them in. I love altering boxes and these small ATC sized kit boxes are just great for a small project or gift.

The kit boxes are very easy to assemble and after giving the outside a couple of coats of gesso I applied DecoArt Crackle Paint to all the outside surfaces.  Once this had dried I then applied DecoArt Cobalt Turquoise Hue Fluid Acrylic using a baby wipe. I like this way of getting the paint onto the crackle - the baby wipe makes it watery and gives you time to keep adding more layers until you find the colour you want.

Before assembling the box I had painted the inside pieces with the same Cobalt Turquoise Hue and used some beach themed stamps to create a little interest.

The sea shells and anchor were dabbed with white acrylic paint. Sometimes one coat is enough so that you can see the wonderful markings, sometimes up to three or four coats is needed to get the effect you want. I dabbed a little Turquoise Hue around the anchor with the coloured baby wipe.

All the elements were layered on the top of the box with some netting, muslin, found shells (on the beach and in a shop!) and some seed beads.

I ran a gold pen around the edges of the box here and there to add to the "old" driftwood feel the crackle had created.

I just love these small letters and thankfully they fitted on the little plaque. Again I just used white paint in various layers to keep the washed out beach feel.

The inside of the lid was decorated as well with this little sea shell poem.

And finally the first inhabitants! Not found on the beach but both given to me by my husband this year. One which represents established love and given to me on our 40th Wedding Anniversary and the other my birthstone which I received on my birthday. Beautiful treasures and most unexpected at the time!

Many thanks again to the team here at Calico Craft Parts for inviting me as Guest Designer and the wonderful opportunity of working with more of their wonderful products.  Thank you too for visiting and for the wonderful comments you left on the blog for my first project.

Happy Crafting!

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts used today:

Monday, 19 September 2016

"Don Consuelo" - The Tattooed Man - by Claudia

Servus and welcome back to my fortnightly share of Calico Craft Parts projects from my usually crammed and devastated looking workdesk in Vienna!

Calico Craft Parts have recently released a lovely series of beautiful art doll kits - and I couldn't resist to lay hands on (at least) one of them (for starters...)!

Please, give it up for "Don Consuelo" - The Tattooed Man!!!

You can tell by the look on his face that he knows exactly about his looks and the effect it has on his female audience...

...and pure honey he is, isn't he? ;)

If you - like me - still have some decou-page glue for Serviette-technique and a load of unused flourish stamps at home THIS is the project for you. It is as easy and fun as it is quick!

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Standard Jointed Art Doll Kit - Style 2 - medium size

But I started with two different art doll kits as I couldn't decide at first which one suited my idea of a tattooed man best. So I compared the above kit to the Standard Jointed Art Doll Kit - Style 1.

For a muscle man I found the style 2 kit more suitable, but I am sure I will find the perfect project to make from the style 1 kit too! (giggle...the right doll is looking as if it was scratching his bum...I only see that now that I am writing this post...naughty boy!;)

I wanted to keep this project as simple as possible and also achieve the impression of a tattooed man as shown in this photograph from the early twentieth century. So I decided to use black and white only and started by adding a thin layer of white DecoArt media Gesso to the pieces.

As the white DecoArt media Gesso is quite liquidy, it mixed a bit with the MDF which brought a lovely brown-ish tint to my art doll. I could of course have fixed this by adding a second layer of white Gesso, but I loved the look - so I only added one layer and let that dry.

In the meantime I stamped some flourishes and other smaller detailed images onto a paper tissue using black archival stamping ink.

I found that some matched the shapes of my doll's body parts perfectly!!!

Slowly it all came together...

The stamped face was too small actually, but I simply cut the eyes and mouth-and-nose-bit apart and placed them on the head shape as needed.

His hair and smaller details were added using DecoArt media Paynes Grey and a fine detail brush, ...

... a fine tip black china ink pen and a white gel pen.

Small dark brads were used to join the doll parts ...

... and the head was permanently glued in place.

He would make a cute jumpin' jack too...

...but I think he looks very much like a modern guy (maybe even a little too modern) when he poses like this, doesn't he?

Thank you as always so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed your visit! 
Hugs and happy crafting and see you in two weeks! 

Claudia xxx

Thursday, 15 September 2016

House on the Cliff by Lesley

Hey everyone. Lesley here with a little house for you. (i'm still quite obsessed with these!)

I've been wanting to use this slab of wood for awhile now. To resembled a cliff, where it has been chiseled i knew a house had to sit on top of it.

 The house is a large block style cube one. I gave it a coat of gesso and then attacked it with rust paste.

The roof was heat embossed with rust embossing powder.

The windows were painted grey and then black dabbed over the top. And then i added some little screwheads.

And the door was coated in crackle glaze with black rubbed into the cracks.

 I trimmed the fence down to fit and left an opening where the door is. I left this plain, as the natural colour of craft parts is rather scrummy!

 I added a smidge of colour by adding a little tree, which consisted off a rusty screw, a blob of glue and some green moss type stuff.

 I think i may have one more house idea up my sleeve............

Thanks for reading.

Ingredients used

Mini MDF doors
Mini MDF windows
Block style MDF house
Mini MDF hardware
Picket fence panel

Monday, 12 September 2016

Calico Frida! by Julie Ann

Hot sunny days, cloudless skies and vivid flowers will soon give way to the muted tones of Autumn, so I wanted to create something of a 'farewell to summer' with a burst of brilliant colour. I was really excited to see that Calico have introduced 3 beautifully adaptable art dolls and an idea for my project was born - a Frida Kahlo doll! This isn't my first attempt at capturing the spirit of Frida. One of my first projects on the Calico Team was Frida inspired!

I love Frida's flamboyant style - it always reminds me of sun-baked summer days. With this project I had lots of fun creating a colourful character, holding her own little 'Day of the Dead' skeleton doll with a friendly exotic bird to whisper secrets in her ear!

Here's my work-table with some of my pieces laid out! The dolls are so easy to assemble! I chose the medium sized doll with holes. I gave everything a coat of Gesso and then painted what was going to be the back of the doll, black. I'm a great fan of antique Santos and the ancient crackled paint you find on their faces, so I crackled Frida's face using a coat of black acrylic, a layer of glaze and thin layers of water-colour over the dry crackle. The birch plywood heart painted black was going to be Frida's elaborate hair-do and that little scrap of doilie was a stencil for her bodice.

With the little holes you can position the limbs any way you choose using brads. I decided that I would like Frida's head to be fixed, so I glued it into place with a non-toxic superglue and pressed my 2 surfaces together using one of these useful plastic clips. Her beads were created using tiny blobs of glitter glue, and the floral pattern and white edging were created very quickly using cocktail sticks dipped into white acrylic paint. For larger petals you can use the eraser from the end of a pencil, or the flat circular ends of brushes or pencils dipped into paint. You can achieve some great prints using everyday objects, or you can use a rubber stamp with paint as long as you make sure you clean the stamp thoroughly straight away.

To add interest and different tones to Frida's skin, I went over the acrylic base with light layers of water-colour, creating the impression of a collar bone, cheek bones and so on. Frida's head with its centre parted dark hair was glued to the black heart, which I painted with a pink ribbon. For the fine detail on Frida's face I used a black pigment pen. The red rose is paper clay created from a home-made mould and Frida's earring is a little hand-painted charm.

And here is full-length Frida! I used my little drill to make a hole in the heart plaque so that I could attach a cord; but you can buy the plaques with ready-drilled holes if you prefer.

Frida's skirt is a scrap of lace covered with heavy gel medium to make it stiff. I finished it off with a line of pearly, rainbow sequins.

'Feet, what do I need you for, when I have wings to fly?' Frida looks down on us from the boughs of my apple tree! I added a touch of glitter glue to create the impression of glittery slippers. I hope that you've spread your wings this summer and the coming autumn days will be filled with creativity!

Calico Crafts Parts Used
Standard Doll Kit Style 2 
Standard Heart birch plywood plaque
Skeleton MDF Wood Shape (small)
Sheet of MDF Garden Birds

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Hold on Tight to your Dreams : Guest Designer : Jennie Atkinson

Hello everyone and I am thrilled to bits to be here Guest Designing this month at Calico Craft Parts. Those of you familiar with my style will know that I love creating vintage style layered pieces and for my first project I decided to use some of the fabulous vintage steampunk shapes on an altered plaque.

I chose this fancy edged birch plywood plaque as my base as it has such a wonderful vintage 
feel to it.

Everything got a coat of gesso and (with a bit of an idea as to where I was going to place the steampunk clock face) I used a stencil and crackle paste to create a larger clock face as a background.

I brayered DecoArt Fluid Acrylics randomly over the plaque but as the colours were quite harsh (particularly the blue and brown) I had to use a lot of white and  yellow ochre to knock it back. The beauty of the birch plywood is that it will take as much as you want to throw at it without going out of shape.

I love this steampunk clock face and flourish - such wonderful detail. I generally give these pieces two or three coats of white paint (just dabbing it on with a round stencil style brush).  I find the paint reacts with the burnt residue on the wood to give a bit of an aged feel to the pieces. The small letters are a wonderful accessory for any project and I decided to leave these in their natural colour.

I gathered a few pieces of patterned papers and distressed them with inks and the edge of my scissors. They were still a little bright so I gave them a coat of watered down gesso.

A few more bits and pieces from my vintage stash box! I like to gather various bits and pieces even though I might not use them in the final design.

And then it was time to layer everything onto the plaque. As some of the pattered papers have been raised with foam pads I did the same to the flourish and covered up the area with ribbon and a flower! You will also see another little Craft Parts Flourish tucked in under the tag. This was just a piece of leftover leaf flourish but I felt something darker was needed in the corner.

I layered the clock face over the crackle clock with foam pads as well. (Spot the mistake - I stuck my "O" down on its side ..... blame my new glasses!).

I love the way the plaque has taken the paints and that as it was wood I could play around with as many coats as I liked until I got the effect I was looking for.

I would like to say a huge "thank you" to Helen, Louise and the team for my spot here this month and thank you too for visiting. I will be back later in the month with another project.


Calico Craft Parts Used Today: