For safety reasons, I've used one of the little battery tea-lights you can buy very cheaply at the moment. The sprig of greengage blossom is from the tree in our garden, a reminder of Nature's subtle beauty.
I wanted my project to have a simple interior with enough space to hold my tea-light, so I chose one of the Calico Artist Trading Blocks - a medium-sized plain cube kit. I planned to use only 2 of the side panels and not the top. Calming shades of blues and greens recalled sky, water and leaves gently ruffled by warm breezes and I chose a stencil to complement this mood. I created a little figure to guard the shrine. She is one of the medium-sized jointed child dolls. I didn't use the arms that come with the kit, preferring to paint her some in the position I wanted, adding crackle to her face to suggest she was a garden statue that had weathered many seasons.
Matilda's statues were not only inspiration for my project, they were useful too! I made moulds of their faces and then created some little Buddha heads from these in Paper Clay.
I sealed them with a coat of white Gesso before adding some colour and a touch of gilding.
We have a beautiful book of photographs of Tibet and I wanted the reverse of the panels to suggest the colours and weathered wood in these images. I always use masking tape along the edges of the kits to avoid paint getting along the seams of the cube or shrine.
Texture Paste through a stencil added interest, but because I wasn't creating a cube I needed something to finish off those edges. I experimented with Dresden trim, but I decided to reserve this for just 4 edges and finish off the others with narrow borders of painted card.
The little guardian of the shrine offering us a lotus blossom, has some bead gel to create the impression of a dewy head-dress and I gave her a rusty diadem. I really enjoyed decorating her outfit with layers of diluted acrylics and water-colours.
A touch of gilding on the bead gel, some pearls on the dress and painted railings add the finishing touch.
Tiny gems and sequins bring the project alive when they glimmer as the sun catches them. Thank You so much for stopping by and spending some peaceful moments at my little garden shrine. I hope your days will be full of worthwhile activity, balanced with moments of reflection and stillness. Have a lovely, creative week.
Calico Craft Parts used.