Monday, 22 January 2018

Winter Delight - an Altered Chocolate Box Canvas - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thank you for stopping by today to take a look at my latest Calico project!

Claudia here and once more I have selflessly made a sacrifice for art and emptied a chocolate box so I could use it as an altered canvas to create a lovely winter deer scene on...

It measures about 6'' x 6'' and I have covered the box with yellowed pages from old magazines that I found at the flea market. 

Calico Craft Parts used:

I used DecoArt "Paper" Decou-Page to cover the chocolate box with the old dictionary pages. This is more fluid than the matte Decou-Page and perfect if you work with paper that is easily torn because it is already old and has become brittle. 

I used the matte Decou-Page though to seal the deer scene and two snowflakes to create a sealant for the crackle media I wanted to use.

Once the glued on paper had dried I toned the yellowed pages down with a wash of DecoArt media Translucent White fluid acrylic. 

After that had dried, I scraped on some DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish "vintage" using a palette knife. 

While that was set aside to dry, I also scraped some onto the deer shape and used the heat tool to dry the paint. 

That was followed by scraped on DecoArt media white Crackle Paste...

...and DecoArt media clear Crackle Glaze, always covering different areas with each new medium
(though overlaps here and there were welcome as they add to the randomly layered look beautifully).   

Once the crackle process was finished (I had put the pieces on the heating to speed up drying time), I applied Titanium and Raw Umber DecoArt media Antiquing Creams to both - canvas and deer scene - to make the cracks more visible. 

I used a soft, damp cloth to wipe back the Antiquing Creams until I was content with the look.

DecoArt media fluid acrylics Quinacridone Gold and Viridian were used to add touches of green to the tree and brown to the deer. I applied thin washes and dabbed off where I had added too much until I liked the look. I also painted a Quinacridone Gold border around the edge of the canvas.

Then I glued the pieces to the canvas using matte Decou-Page and sprinkled on some white media Shimmer Mister and "vintage" Chalky Finish paint using the nozzle's tube and a splatter brush. 

Some close ups to show how the different layers of paint and crackle media work together to form a highly textural mixed media piece:

I hope you like it! There are loads of lovely deer scene wood shapes to find at the Calico Craft Parts store - so you will surely find "yours" to create your own winter scene canvas. I can't wait to see the finished projects and would also love to know which chocolate boxes you usually empty in the name of 

Hugs and happy crafting!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Houses Galore! by Lesley

Hey everyone.
This week I have been playing with little houses. And because the weather is so rubbish......I thought I would use some super bright colours!!

I used lots of different sizes of the house kits. Gluing them all together to begin with.
I then gave them all a coat of white gesso.

I gave a few of the roofs a coat of crackle paste, a one had a coat of sand texture paste. When they were dry, i rubbed coloured wax on top.
Next i painted them all in blue, orange and purple.
The roofs that didn't have paste on, i covered with some flocked covered paper, which i rescued out of the charity box!

I then just let loose with some stamps and paint pens, covering all the sides of the houses.

Next, i took a sheet of the mini doors and windows and used wax to colour them and then glued in place.

I didn't glue them into place on the chunk of wood.....i'm thinking i should maybe add a little fence!

Thanks for reading

Ingredients used
Block style house kit
Block style with wonky roof house kit
Block style house wide with wonky roof
Sheet of tiny doors and windows

Monday, 15 January 2018

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day? - hanging by Julie Ann

It's great to be on the Calico Craft Parts blog with a brand new project for 2018! I don't know about you, but at this point in January the winter seems endless and I find myself longing for spring . I wanted to create something with the beautiful MDF triptychs from Calico, so I combined styles and sizes and allowed my imagination to spring forward to sunny days and blossoming hedgerows and a little spring-time whimsy!

The triptych kits come in different shapes and sizes, with or without tiny holes. I decided to drill my own holes and to create 3 individual hanging arches, which I've displayed in my Grandma's favourite vase.

I combined a domed and an arched kit, using the arch from the smaller kit as a centre panel, covering it with a sumptuous gold paper. For the other pieces, I cracked open a jar of heavy black gesso and painted them front and back.

Those arches suggested an Elizabethan theme to me, so I printed out this painting of a rather elegant gentleman's doublet and attached it to cardboard. A tiny scrap of lace, fixed with some heavy gel medium added the finishing touch to the doublet.

And, for the head, a miniature based on a sketch I did recently of my son.

The frame is gold embossing paste through a stencil. I created the card mask in the centre by drawing around the arched panel.

Spring is the time when poets are inspired to take up their quills. This January I have taken a word to reflect on in my art and the word I have chosen is 'seeing'. My poet has decided to let his heart lead the way and to write about what he sees!

Out of his window he sees hares hopping around among the rose bushes, but - after looking in his heart - every one of them has the face of his love!

There are so many breaths of fresh spring air available from Calico! I combined them with painting and tiny flowered sequins to drive the January blues away! As the hares are in profile, their second ears are chopped off corners of the Maidenhair fern.

Scraps of paper add warmth and colour to the mini windows, and the Calico word element from Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 completes the project.

I used copper wire for suspending the arches. I hope you will be inspired to create a triptych hanging of your own. You might like to combine your own art work or vintage photos with the beautiful Calico flora and fauna. I have included a full list of all the Calico Craft Parts I used in the project. Until we meet here again in a fortnight's time, keep dreaming of spring and have a creative time!
Calico Craft Parts Used
Domed Top Triptych
Arch Top Triptych 
Wooden Word Elements, Summer and Seaside
Sheet of Mini MDF Feathers, Style 2
Sheet of Tiny MDF windows and doors
MDF Heart Mini Plaques
Maidenhair Fern Wood Shape
Wild Rose and Maidenhair fern shape
Wild Grass Wood Shape, Style 4
Sitting Hare Wood Shape

Thursday, 11 January 2018

House Kit Vase by Jennie

Hello everyone and welcome to what is a bit of "thinking outside" the box for my project today. 

I am not a great one for New Year Resolutions but I did decide to tidy up my desk and create a better working area with some nice things around me instead of stacked pots of paint, gesso and sprays! So this is the first of three desk tidy projects which I am going to share with you over the next few weeks.

It really doesn't take much imagination to look at many of the Calico Craft Parts kits and visualise them in another form. 

My vase is actually the Tall Block House Kit but without the roof. I really liked the shape and thought it would make a great vase for some of my handmade paper flowers.

I started by glueing three sides together and then painting the inside with acrylic chalk paint.

I knew that my "vase" would need a little bit of help to stop it from falling over when full of flowers and my husband found me this piece of lead in his workshop which fitted perfectly. Now not everyone has that sort of access I realise, but a stone from the garden or beach would make a good substitute.  I glued it in to stop it from rolling around.

After painting the outside in the same acrylic chalk as the inside I layered this rather gorgeous napkin piece across the front and around the sides.  A texture paste word was added on top of this layer before leaving everything overnight to dry.

The next stages seem to happen quite quickly  (although there are some long drying times involved!). All four sides got a coating of DecoArt Crackle Glaze and when this was dry I used DecoArt Antiqueing Cream to highlight the cracks.

Before sealing everything with a coat of DecoArt Matte Varnish I added a little stamping here and there, painted my texture paste word with DecoArt Metallic Gold paint and also added a little gold paint around the edges to make it look time worn.

I really love how even the texture paste takes up the crackle and of course the darker colours of the napkin look most effective.  All these techniques work so well as the MDF will take such a lot of product without any signs of warping.

And so there you have it - my little vase which is just perfect for these handmade paper hellebores and which looks very pretty on my desk.

Thank you so much for joining me today and I look forward to sharing my second desk tidy project in a couple of weeks time. Have a great crafting time till then!

Jennie x

Calico Craft Parts used:


Monday, 8 January 2018

An Industrial Style Smartphone Stand - by Claudia

Hello, hi, servus and welcome to my first Calico Craft Parts project for this year! I hope you've all enjoyed lovely holidays and that Santa and Christkind have brought some fab new craft items, paints or other cool craftsy stuff for sparking new creativity for a new year! xxx

I am kicking off the new year with an industrial style make that combines a lot of effects I love to create: faux rust, cool crackle, a worn and grunge look and a bit of rubber stamping...

Maybe you know the (little but serious) problem that often comes with getting new things for your creative hobbies - there's no more space left in your studio for storing them properly...well, I definitely found that I really(!!!) need to do some proper and heavy decluttering, reorganising and tidying up this year. lol

That of course means one has to browse and sort the whole stash and rummage through boxes, tucked away bundles of "maybe I will use that for .... one day"-stuff and other forgotten treasures...which most of the time leads to surprising this awesome birch plywood smartphone stand that I had (no idea why!) stored away in a different place than my other Calico craft parts:

Cool, huh? And it just screamed for an industrial style make over! I think this will make for a great present for a man. And as you can take it apart and store it flat in your bag, it can easily be taken along too.

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Birch Plywood Smart Phone Stand
- Sheet of Mini MDF Hardware Wood Shapes

I started with painting the front sides of both pieces with DecoArt Student Acrylic Burnt Umber.

Once that had dried, I added a thin coat of DecoArt Americana Weathered Wood and let that dry to the touch. 

Then I gently added a layer of DecoArt Americana premium Titan Buff acrylic paint with a wide, soft brush.

The crackling started almost immediately and I put the pieces to the side (onto the radiator) to let them dry naturally.

In the meantime:

I had already glued together some screw heads from the Mini MDF Hardware sheet and combined them with die cut screw nuts (while the Weathered Wood had been drying)... I stippled on some DecoArt media Texture Sand Paste with a small, worn bristle brush and let that dry.

Then I stippled on a coat of Burnt Umber Student Acrylic...

...and once that had dried I dry brushed the screws with mixes of DecoArt media Quinacridone Gold, DecoArt Americana premium Vermillion Hue and Primary Yellow.

By then the crackled smartphone stand had dried so I continued with adding a thin coat of DecoArt media Ultra Matte Varnish and used the heat tool for drying.

Then I filed the slot opening wider as I knew I was going to add more layers of acrylic paints and varnishes to the second piece that was meant to fit in there.

Using black archival stamping ink I stamped on my chosen images and words and heat dried everything before I painted around the image's outlines with DecoArt media Yellow Oxide fluid acrylic to make the image stand out from the crackled background.

I had made a thin cardboard mask for the stamped image, because I wanted to add tiny splatters of DecoArt media Quinacridone Gold with a splatter brush, but wanted the image to stay "clean". 

Then I added washes of DecoArt media fluid acrylics English Red Iron Oxide, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide and Prussian Blue Hue. I added and/or dabbed off until I was content with the look.

I created drip lines by adding a wash of Quinacridone Gold to the screws. To finish off the piece I dabbed on some Burnt Umber Student Acrylic paint for a kind of chipped off paint effect.

The screws were dry brushed with DecoArt Americana premium Carbon Black.

I used permanent spray paints to colour the backsides.

A last layer of DecoArt media Ultra Matte Varnish was added to make the phone stand more durable.


Thanks so much for stopping by!
Hugs and happy crafting!