Monday, 23 January 2017

Mini Book in a Box - by Claudia

Servus, hi, salut and thank you so much for stopping by again! It is my turn today to share another (hopefully) inspirational project with you and this time I have followed my love for tiny projects and created a mini book that fits into a matchbox.

I have made my mini book a birthday calendar as I am one of those persons who constantly struggle with keeping track of others' birthdays and always start little notebooks with their birthday dates and then loose them (which actually means I am storing them in such special places that I never find them again *rollingeyes). So it may seem a bit odd to create an even tinier book for my birthday issues...but my hope is that my love for tiny treasures will help me in this case. lol

And just to give you a more precise idea on how tiny this book is:

It fits snugly with the matchbox - so the gorgeous Calico Craft Parts doors are the perfect size to create little books that can be put into matchboxes...which also makes them perfect little gifts, right?

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Sheet of Mini MDF Door Wood Shapes
- Sheet of Mini MDF Hinges Wood Shapes

And here's what I did:

I measured the doors for creating my accordeon fold pages and marked the width of the two needed strips on my cardstock.

Then I added dots of DecoArt Americana Butterscotch, Sea Glass, French Vanilla and Bleached Sand right from the bottles onto the paper...

...and scraped on the paints using an old plastic card.  The trick with this is to not overdo this step as the paints will start to mix too much and the lovely texture will get lost. But the good thing is: you can let it dry and always add another layer if needed until you are content with the look.

Once the paint had dried I cut the two strips to size and added some floral patterns through a stencil using brown archival stamping ink.

The strips were then folded and the edges of the pages inked with the brown stamping ink too. 

The two doors and hinges were given a base coat of DecoArt media fluid acrylic Raw Umber. 

Once that had dried I added tiny amounts of Vaseline here and there using an old small brush.

I painted on a mix of DecoArt media fluid  acrylics Titan Buff and Cobalt Teal Hue using a very soft brush (so not to smudge the Vaseline too much).

Once the paint was dry I wiped across the doors using a damp soft cloth thus taking off the paint that hadn't dried where the Vaseline had been added.

I finished off the doors by adding diluted Raw Umber and White DecoArt media Antiquing Creams.

Next I painted some DecoArt media fluid acrylic Metallic Gold on the hinges and door knobs...

...and toned them down with a wash of Raw Umber Antiquing Cream. 

Using an ultra fine tip black marker I added the months.

Before I glued the pages and door covers together (using matte Decou-Page) I dabbed on some more Metallic Gold around the book pages' edges to make them match the gold look of the hinges and door knobs.

Then I covered an old matchbox with another sheet of paper that I had done the same way as the book pages....

...and did some more handwriting on the box lid. 


I am sure these books would also look great in a doll's house or as mixed media jewellery pendants.  And of course they can be used for other notes than birthdays. Oh, I see endless possibilities for more mini door books here! ;) 

I hope you like my tiny project! 

Hugs and happy crafting,

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Rusty Flower Art by Lesley

Hey everyone, Lesley here with an upcycled rusty piece for you.

This piece was unbelievably cheap to make! The wooden base was rescued form the scrap wood pile at work last year. I originally thought it a piece of skirting board, but looking at the shape of, it seems it isn't. No idea what it was meant for!

It was painted black to begin with, so i gave it a couple of coats of gesso. I then applied a few layers of rust paste all over the block.

The next bit is where it became super cheap! I used the greyboard round mini shapes with rusty wire to make the flowers. As you may know, i'm a huge fan of the mini's......and if you choose to have the shapes in greyboard rather than MDF.....they are even more of a bargain at £1.20 a sheet!
I took 8 of the circles and painted them brown and then added the rust paste to just one side of each of them. Once they were dried i took long lengths of rusty wire, gluing one piece to the back of a circle and shaped some petals for the flowers, leaving 2 long lengths for the stems. I then glued the another circle to the back.

The little clay face was left over from a previous project, which i glued to one of the flowers. I bent the stems to make an L shape and slotted them in the wood, and poured in a liquid glue to secure them.

Whilst this was drying, i took two of the mini MDF plaques and added some wordage.

These were glued to the front of the block. To finish the piece, i added a long length of the wire, wrapping it around the block several times.

I've said it before, and i'll say it again.......these mini shapes are so versatile.........i can't imagine doing a project and not using them!

Cheers for reading,

Ingredients used
Greyboard round mini shapes
Notched rectangle MDF mini wood shapes

Monday, 16 January 2017

Encourage Your Hopes - ATB by Julie Ann

Hello and Welcome to my first project of 2017 here at Calico Craft Parts blog! It's wonderful to be creating again after the Holidays and what a privilege to have Calico Craft Parts to play with. For this project, I chose to alter an Arch style Artist Trading Block.

I've noticed that many artists and crafters choose a theme word for the year. For this project one word in particular suggested itself - Hope. Hope has always been a significant word to me, but this year - more than ever - I find myself turning the idea of 'Hope' over and over in my mind. 

With all the unrest and shocks of 2016 fresh in our memories, Hope for 2017 is going to be quite a challenge. With this ATB I wanted to encourage myself - and others - to choose Hope over Fear and not to be tempted to give up our individual quests.

The ATB is easy to assemble using a strong, white glue that dries clear. I wanted to enclose two of my own little wooden houses, so I experimented with them inside the ATB pieces before gluing. You can probably see that everything has been given a coat of Gesso as a foundation. I kept the edges clear of paint and Gesso by using masking tape.

To create the impression of an arched window on the plain panels of the ATB, I drew around a piece of card, using the arched aperture panel, stuck this on with a piece of double-sided low-tack tape and then applied Texture Paste through a stencil.

Hope looks both inward and outward, so I wanted my ATB to be a fortress and a refuge, but also a window onto a bright and hopeful world.

As I worked, concepts that give me hope formed themselves: blue skies, birds building with tireless industry and the reminder that Hope is all around us if we will only open our eyes to it.

I like to use hinges on my houses so that I can arrange them in different configurations.

Thomas Hardy's New Year poem about Hope amid Despair, The Darkling Thrush and one line in particular, was like a melody in my mind as I worked, Hardy glimpses the rather bedraggled thrush in a bleak January landscape and muses on his heartfelt singing, wondering if the bird knows  'Some blessed Hope' of which the poet is 'unaware'.

I was very happy with the roofing on the 2 little hinged houses. I used Texture Paste through a stencil onto strips of painted card, with a layer of DecoArt One Step Crackle and a Staining Medium mixed with blue Acrylic Paint to accentuate the Cracks.

My ATB is dedicated to Queen Hope who goes out into the World, gentle but courageous. With her shape-changing powers she can speak to us through Nature, sometimes in the form of a graceful deer...

sometimes through bird-song like Hardy's Darkling Thrush!

She holds the key to a better World...

and she asks us to trust her as we step into the unknown, to keep questing after Peace and Truth and to have the courage to look for answers in the challenging or scary places in our lives. 

Thank You so much for stopping by today. I wish you joy in all your creative endeavours.

Calico Craft Parts used in this project
Arch Style Artist Trading Block
Sheet of Tiny MDF doors and windows
Leafy Vine Corner Embellishment
Sheet of Mini MDF Oval 
Small Standard Art Doll Kit Style 2
Sheet of MDF keys and escutcheons
Sheet of Mini MDF crowns
Birds on a branch
Running Buck Shape

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Three Sisters by Jennie

Hello ! Jennie here with you today sharing a very small project but one which is destined to become part of a bigger one!

My original intention had been to make this small ATC wood blank into a little vintage hanging.

However, once I started looking for a photograph it struck me that it would make the start of a perfect triptych for a wonderful family photograph of the Three Holder Sisters - my Nana (Eva) and my two wonderful great Aunts Mary and Alice.

So this is Mary!

I started by painting the  ATC wood blank with a dark brown acrylic paint before adding DecoArt crackle paint very thinly.

As you can see there is a lightly etched pattern around the top and I didn't really want to lose this under a lot of crackle. It didn't show up too well so I painted it in with some gold paint. It's not great close up but it adds a vintage feel.

The smallest fleur di lis fence panel is just a perfect size for these ATC panels and it is easy to cut to size with some strong scissors. I like just dabbing these beautiful pieces with acrylic white paint - about three/four coats - to get this lovely vintage speckled covering.

I used the same technique on the mini Alphabet letters.

When everything had been assembled I ran a gold pen around the outside edge.

A very small project to share with you today, but I'll be back with the other two sisters fairly soon!

As always thank you for joining me today and I hope you are having a great crafting week!

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts Used: