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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Book of the Flowers

Hello everyone.  If you haven't heard the wonderful news that Calico Craft Parts are back... well, where have you been?!  Although I'll always miss Calico Crafts as it was, I'm thrilled that the Craft Parts have arisen from the ashes to live again.  I've been celebrating the wonderful news by sharing some of my Calico Crafts Design Team pieces which used the Craft Parts.

If you're tempted to play with any of these great wood and MDF laser-cut designs, click on the links and you can head straight to the brand new website and start shopping!


I'm adding this altered book box to my crafty scrapbook here at Words and Pictures today but, as always, if you saw this post over at Calico Crafts the last time round, please don't feel you have to comment again.






So, on the outside of the chipboard book (the large one of the Chipboard Book Box Set  - so it's 22.5 x 18 x 6cm) I played with lots of layers of paint and texture.











I knew from the start that I wanted to use the large Wildflower Corner Flourish (knowing what's inside, I know it will complement what's there!).  It's already so beautiful that I did very little to alter it.

There are lots of different Corner Wood Shapes available, and they all come in various sizes, so there's bound to be something perfect for your project.










I just gave it a coat of the DecoArt One-Step Crackle, and once that had worked its magic, I inked it with dark brown ink to highlight those fabulous crackles.










I put some DecoArt Decorating Paste through a stencil from my stash which seemed to work well with the Wildflower Corner, and once that had set, I started adding my layers of paint.













I can't say for sure what colours are involved... I'm pretty sure Warm White, Driftwood, and Raw Umber were in the mix, built up in layers and washes, knocked back and dry-brushed until I was happy with the look.











I thought it would be nice to have a cobwebby look across the "ancient tome", so I pressed the Kaisercraft Crackle Texture stamp into action.












It's stamped in Coffee Archival and then clear-embossed so that there's a dewy shimmer as it catches the light.













I stamped "les fleurs" onto the smallest size of Plaque Shape 1, painted with more DecoArt Americana Acrylics, and I added some flourish stamping before giving that a coat of the One-Step Crackle too.

Again, there are many different Birch Plywood Plaques, all in lots of sizes.








On the spine I added a label using one of my favourite Tim Holtz sentiments: In dreams we catch glimpses of life larger than our own.














And around the edges, there's another Kaisercraft stamp on duty, this time the Woodgrain, which I thought made rather good "pages"!








So, we come to the inside, and some of my absolute favourites of the Calico Craft Parts lines... these gorgeous Wild Grass Shapes.


They've had the same treatment as the Wildflower corner on the cover, with crackle and stain.






I love that the gloss of the crackle intensifies the colour and darkened edges of the laser-cuts, as well as giving a gorgeous shimmer in the sunlight.












For the background I used a natural sponge to add another bunch of DecoArt Americana colours - Indian Turquoise, Spa Blue, Hauser Light Green and Citron Green - so that you travel up the page from grasses to sky.












For some extra detail, I stamped some lovely TH text in WhiteWash, and did some additional script stamping as well as some inking using toning inks through the Tando warped honeycomb mask.











Here you can see the stages of adding the crackle to the meadowgrasses, from left to right - the "raw" shape, easily beautiful enough to use as it is, then with a coat of One-Step Crackle, and finally with the inking to intensify the look of the crackles.











I've used several different grasses: Wild Grass Shape 3 gets its own spotlight inside the front cover...















... while Wild Grass Shape 2, Wild Grass Shape 4 and the Bulrush Grass Shape 8 are all inside the box.












To create the dimensional depth between the flowers I deployed a couple of those incredibly useful little sponges that come as part of the packaging when you buy TH embossing folders.









I cut them to the size I wanted, and gave them a coat of paint too, so that if you catch sight of them it won't look too out of place.  They gave me both the ability to create the dimension and some stability for gluing the stems in place.












Around the bottom I added some lovely Icelandic Moss, a mixture of light and dark green, I think.













The quote is by Ralph Waldo Emerson and bobbed up on a Google search.  It seemed to work well with my beloved meadow grasses: many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers.











It's stamped according to my usual habit, in multiple ink colours, and inked to echo the sponged paint in the background from grass below to sky above.









So there you go.  As you'll have noticed, this wasn't the easiest thing to photograph, but I hope you get the idea.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I hope you've been enjoying re-visiting some of these Calico Crafts projects this week (check out the Garden Tray and Woodcuts ATC if you missed them) but - as I've said - there's no need to re-comment too!

There are more to come over the next days and weeks, and I hope somewhere along the line you'll be tempted over to the new Calico Craft Parts website to see the delights awaiting you there.

Happy Crafting all!



The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
Henry Miller

44 comments:

Rupa S said...

This is a box full of surprise Alison. The neutrals on the outside, cracked and vintage look and then when the book opens. ..The color burst. Just loved it.

Shilpa Nagaonkar said...

Fabulous!! Love your alteration, Alison!!

brenda said...

Had to pop over and take a look at this beauty Alison, fingers crossed I am getting back into the swing of things and soon get caught up on my blogging and everything else come to that.

Hope you have a good weekend.

B x

Helen said...

By the time I got to the end of the post, I realised I do remember this, but it's always lovely to revisit your work, so it's no hardship at all. So sorry I couldn't get to AP last Sunday to see you in action!

chrissies said...

What an amazing piece this is. I thought it was just going to be a book and then the wonders inside were revealed.The shapes are beautiful and you used them so well.

Have a beautiful weekend Alison

Love Chrissie xx

Nikki Acton said...

Loved it before, love it still! Happy weekend Alison. Nikki xx

Redanne said...

I remember buying those grasses after seeing this before.... it is well worth a second look as it is absolutely stunning. I love the way you created the colours of the meadow inside and that stencil on the outside is fabulous! Anne xx

mamablitger said...

Alison this altered book box is awesome. I just LOVE and ADORE the way you embellished it. Inside and outside !!! Gosh it's fabulous !!!!! Thank you for providing such an inspirational step by step tutorial.
Can I ask where you got the chipboard book set from ?? Please.... ( mamablitger@hotmail.com ).
Thanks a lot.
Hugs from Monica..... Spain

Heather said...

A beautiful box Alison created in you own inimitable way!!! A so elegant and classy cover which blow me away when opened with a wonderful colour scheme full of beautiful grasses.
hugs
Heather xx

Lucy Edmondson said...

Everything about this is amazing, Alison! I particularly love the blue and green sponging inside; so effective. Very happy to hear cc are recovering their business,

Lucy x

Annie said...

Your book cover is fantastic Alison but the inside is divine. Beautifully put together and it is great to have Calico back online
Have a lovely weekend
Hugs Annie x

craftytrog said...

A stunning creation Alison, with a wonderful contrast between the neutral shades on the outside, and the beautiful colours of nature inside. I love the dimension you gave to the grasses, nestled in the moss.
Have a great weekend,
Alison x

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Just ONE word! FANTASTIC!
Happy weekend dear Alison!

Lys Scrap said...

A wonderful surprise book! I love the work on the book, and the delicate crackle on the plaque "les fleurs". I just love the patina! And what a joy inside!

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

The cover looks so rustic and elegant...and then that bright colourful inside...a great surprise box/book Alison!
Have a nice weekend, Alie :-)

Pamellia Johnson said...

Wow Alison, not sure where to start! It's spectacular! I love all the small design details like the embossing powder on the crackle stamping and the fun warped honeycomb stencil! There are just so many wonderful details! I'm gaga! hugs :)

Nan G said...

Even more beautiful the second time around, butterfly!

S@ndy Diller said...

Simply lovely and the verse is so true. Love this.

Fliss said...

Alison this is simply stunning and I just love the wildflower flourish and the meadow grasses. Such beautiful art parts and I think I might just be off to look at the website :)
Fliss xx

Dorthe said...

What a most beautiful cover you created using lovely parts from Calico Crafts , I love the fragile look you have acchived with crackle and colors. The inside so fresh and making one want to wander in the meadow !!
So lovely Alison!!
Dorthe, xo

Anita Houston said...

LOVE this, and the inside is a gorgeous treat...a scene to take you back to another day when you were lying on the sands taking in the smells, sights, and sun of the beach!!!

rachel said...

a stunning piece Alison and I love that quote - I love the muted tones of the outer and splash of colour on the inner - beautiful contrast x

Astrid Maclean said...

The outside is really stunning, but it's the inside that really adds that wonderful touch of Springtime surprise! Another one that I remember well!

butterfly said...

Hi Monica! Thanks for you lovely comment. I have just emailed you - but just in case anyone else is wondering... I'm afraid I got the book from Calico Crafts before the fire. They're now focussing on the Calico Craft Parts rather than stocking other products so that won't help you I'm afraid. I found some similar ones on ebay just now just by searching for "papier mache book set", and some on amazon too. I'm sending you links via email!
Alison xx

maj. said...

Brilliant project Alison!!!

Kimberly Cobb said...

Your book is absolutely lovely Alison, both inside and out. I love the crackle and stain on the Calico Craft Parts and the grasses are a must have. Thanks as always for sharing your talent.

Meggymay said...

Gorgeous, its good to revisit inspiring projects.
Yvonne xx

Georgie C said...

Yikes, I didn't know where to look first, what a feast for the eyes Alison - this is one stunner of a project!! You've certainly made me want to try making one of these - I have a little Victorian house and I'm thinking I need a shelf full of these!! Stunning, as always - your work is beautiful and inspiring xx

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Wow, that is amazing Alison! You would never know that book was wood and then to open it and find your magical display, wonderful!

Julia Aston said...

What a wonderfully decorated book box Alison - and your meadow inside is just lovely! I want to walk through it!

massofhair said...

My visits to your blog are always anticipated with a smile as I scroll down to reveal your wonderful projects. Am really happy that you shared this with us, so many little touches that add up to STUNNING :-) xxx

Anneke said...

This book looks gorgeous. Thanks for showing
how you made it. Very inspiring Anneke

itsazoo said...

Gorgeous......

Karen D. said...

gorgeous...such fab details...

sam21ski said...

Oooh fabulous book Alison, and just in your colours - xxx

Evelyn Walter said...

Soooo very beautiful Alison! Love the chalky finish of the cover and all the pretty details!
xxx Evelyn

Shirley Chillman said...

Hi Alison back from my Ally Pally visit and what a make to come back to. Gorgeous and more just pops into my head. Again it is one of those projects that you just want to keep looking at.

Andrew left a comment for you on your last posting that you left on my blog and below is a copy of what he said:

Hi Alison. Can’t see why any reason why you are getting blocked but I have added your email to the spam filter whitelist now so please try to be a butterfly again and let me know if it works!

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x
ShirlsCards.

Sue said...

This is stunning Alison, I love how the natural colours on the outside contrast with the vibrant inside xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

This is so lovely! The outside is fabulous and then the burst of Spring inside - just lovely Alison! Chrisx

Mrs.B said...

Gorgeous alteration Alison, lovely to see it again.
Avril xx

ionabunny said...

Oh this is so beautiful. Was loving the cover and then you open it up to reveal that lovely scene. So sweet. Never thought to use the TH packaging as sponges. Will give it a go. I actually have added a bit of double sided tape to the ends and use them to hold small items that I paint/glitter glue/glossy accent. Hugz

Coco said...

This is a fabulous book... both inside and outside!!!! I'm very surprised because I was sure that I had left on comment on this make Alison. Sending you hugs and much love xxx

Marjie Kemper said...

Oh, like the others have said, this is gorgeous inside and out!

Mary Elizabeth said...

Alison ... the neutrals out the outside make you stop to take a breath when reveal the gorgeous color on the inside. The lovely wildgrasses in browns play off the exterior neutrals so well. I love the stenciling around the edges of the cover that compliment the cut out. And this is such a wonderful place for the TH sentiment to come out and play. -- ME