Monday 7 February 2022

A Little Handmade Gift, a (not so) Secret Watcher and an Invite

Hi, servus! So happy to see you pop by my little creative corner! 

I hope you are all well and safe! Austria still isn't back to normal concerning Cov-19 rules and restrictions (due to still not enough people being vaccinated) and this year winter isn't a very charming or romantic one (at least not around our corner) - it has been storming for actually weeks and temperatures are too warm for snow that would last. But I am still hoping for at least a few winter walks in the forest with my dog girlie and in the meantime we are mostly staying at home, making cosy fires in our new fire place and I am bit by bit approaching a new crafting routine that fits in with the new life with two homes (and two crafting spaces). 

My mother-in-law has celebrated her birthday with us this weekend and I had altered a splint box to give to her as a little handmade gift. I really love her a lot as she is a good friend and also mother to me and a really great grand-ma to my son! She is a true treasure! 

I used Tim's gorgeous "Bloom" Colorize Thinlits dies set and the BigZ XL "Vintage" Alphabet die for the Initials. 

I started with priming my splint box with a thin layer of DecoArt Raw Umber Student Acrylic paint and after that had dried I applied an uneven coat of DecoArt Americana Crackle Medium and let that dry too. 

In the meantime I die cut all my pieces from the Bloom dies set from white cardboard using my little Side Kick (one of my most beloved tools I've ever bought to be honest. When I bought it, I thought of it as a pure luxury gift to myself, but it has turned out to be my go-to die cutting machine for all my smaller dies). 

I didn't cut the parts for each layer from coloured papers (which is of course the most clever way to do it), as I had planned to paint all the twigs and blossoms intuitively (and maybe slightly differently), starting with the twigs and then picking each next colour from my DecoArt Americana and media fluid acrylics stash as I proceeded. That meant a lot of fiddly painting of course, but you know me - I love me some thorough meditative fiddling from time to time. ;)

I arranged all the tiny die cut pieces in an embossing funnel tray, so I could see at one glance which layer would go on which base piece. 

In the end I used mostly colours that matched the vintage feel I was aiming for. Only the initials and stamen got a layer of bright yellow. I also used mixes of colours already used - this way everything just fused nicely. 

The box lid still needed a matching crackle background for my blooms and twigs - so I picked DecoArt Chalky Finish Acrylic "vintage" and applied a very thin layer with a soft wide brush to the totally dry crackle medium. The crackling process started almost immediately and as I had applied the medium by using random brushstrokes that went in many different directions, the cracks did so too. 

While the crackling chalk paint was drying, I glued all the painted plant layers in place (using a small detail brush and matte DecoArt Decou-Page) and heat dried everything. Then I added a slightly diluted wash of DecoArt "Patina"Vintage Effect Wash on top to tone it all down a bit and fuse it with the vintage crackle background. 

I heat dried that again and then it was time to glue everything in place with more Decou-Page! 

As a final touch I added a thick layer of DecoArt Triple Thick to the rose bloom and the initials and let that dry over night. 

I had added some DecoArt clear Crackle Glaze to the painted Initials and highlighted the cracks with Raw Umber Antiquing Cream afterwards, before I glued these in place and added the Triple Thick. 

At that time it started to get dark outside and I took a look out of my window - only to discover a secret watcher in a tree in our neighbour's garden...

A pheasant had already prepared himself to go to sleep. The picture isn't sharp, but the colours are there! Isn't he beautiful? He sat there and watched the workers at the site nearby and seemed quite relaxed. I learned only a few years ago that pheasants sleep in trees (to be safe from foxes and martens)...and I think they look a bit funny too (as they seem to be too big to sit high up in trees on thin branches). 

The next morning the Triple Thick on the box had all cured and my splinter box was done! 


I was really pleased with how it had turned out! The design of Tim's Bloom and Alphabet die goes so well with the vintage colour theme, doesn't it? 

So before I wish you some happy crafting there is just one more thing to do: invite you over to the PaperArtsy blog, where I am sharing my first project as a new design team member (just in case you haven't seen it on social media yet). 

The actual theme over at PaperArtsy is "Pattern Play" and my teamies have all come up with some really cool projects and ideas on that one too! So hopping over and checking it all out is a really rewarding and inspiring thing to do! I hope to see you over there! 

Hugs and happy crafting!

Stay safe!



1 comment:

  1. What a great box, lovely design. I also love working with decoart americana.


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