I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Sunday 12 April 2015

Long Live Calico Craft Parts!

Hello all!  I'm absolutely thrilled to share some fantastic news with you... After the awful fire which put the much-loved Calico Crafts out of business last year, I'm delighted to say that the Calico Craft Parts have arisen from the ashes.  This brilliant line of gorgeous laser-cut wood and MDF shapes is now available again, with an ever-expanding range of even more designs to choose from.  Check out the brand new website here.

To celebrate the wonderful news, I thought I'd share some of my Calico Crafts Design Team posts which used the Craft Parts - posts which hadn't yet made it over here to Words and Pictures and need to be added to the crafty scrapbook - starting with one of my favourites, this Garden Tray.  (If you commented last time, please don't feel you have to again!)

The tray itself is part of a range of self-assembly Printers' Trays - they're being re-designed at present and should be available very soon.  It's so cool that you put them together yourself, because it means you can decorate them beforehand, which makes painting and papering much easier.  So here's what I came up with for my first tray - it's a country garden, moving through the seasons, in a tray!  And it uses other wonderful Calico Craft Parts available now.

I'm afraid I forgot to take photos at the early stages... but I started with the DecoArt Chalky Finish Paints.

I gave the walls of the tray a coat of Enchanted - an earthy garden green, then a coat of the Decor Crackle Medium (specially formulated for the Chalk Paints), and then the white Everlasting over the top.

Eventually they had added shading using all sorts of colours, which you'll find out about further down the post.

On the back wall, I glued a piece of the Tim Holtz Menagerie 8x8 paper using the matte Mod Podge from my Mod Podge Starter Set.  Because the pattern on the paper varies, it looks as though I've carefully chosen different papers for different sections of the tray... nope, it's just one piece! 

I decided it was time to glue the tray together.  Because I had added both paper and some quite thick paint layers, I had to do a bit of sanding around the "teeth" where the pieces join to get them to fit snugly.

You might be better not gluing the paper right over the teeth, but just up to the edges of them - that's what I'll be trying next time - you live, you learn! - or maybe that's what they're working on in the redesign!

I added some shading with green paint, a wash of DecoArt Hauser Light Green, on the corners, both external and internal, adding a bit of colour to the background paper too.

Next, I started filling my compartments with lots of rustic goodies.

I altered some Buttons with paint - the Enchanted and Everlasting chalk paints again, a little touch of DecoArt Forest Green - and a tiny touch of Florentine Gold Treasure Gold.

I threaded Rusty Tin Wire through the buttonholes, and layered some of them up over different sizes of the Rusty Tin Hearts. 

The smaller heart is mounted on a cork from a glass vial which smashed.  Naturally I saved the cork, and now it's doing good service creating great dimension in this little section of the tray.

The smallest rusty heart is mounted over one of my favourite Punched Metal Heart Danglies, which has had the same painty treatment as the buttons.  And I curled a bit of rusty tin wire through the hole at the top.

In the tall segment at the top, with the largest rusty heart (mounted on some padded tape), I added one of these fabulous shiny yellow pears, so that became a sort of autumnal section, especially with those pods looking like sycamore wings, of which more later.

Just below that, it's Spring!  I created a little nest of green jungle moss and someone clearly took advantage as there are now some miniature speckled eggs nestled in it.  I also added some of lovely Sun Daisies in Golden Yellow, Yellow, and White and Yellow.

And there are some more daisies up in the summery corner, top left.  These I left with longer stems, rather than chopping them off as I usually do, and I used some masking tape to stick them into a UTEE moulded pot I'd made a while back and which had been sitting on my craft table, waiting for a chance to come out and play.  

The moulded UTEE is painted with DecoArt paints in Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber with a little dark shadow of Raw Umber at the edges and some highlights of Florentine Gold Treasure Gold.

The final touches include some more of the wonderful Calico Craft Parts - one of the grasses, Wild Grass Shape 2...

... and a snippet of seed pods, cut off from the Maple Leaf and Twig shape that I used in the orchard frame which I'll be sharing with you soon.  It's playing the role of autumn sycamore seeds here!

Both of them had a coat of DecoArt One Step Crackle, and then I inked with Vintage Photo Distress Stain to intensify the crackles.  You may also spot little shimmers of the Treasure Gold too (as well as the button hiding in the dappled sunlight behind!).

I used lots of Rusty Tin Wire to attach an Idea-ology Word Band which I'd altered with the Hauser Light Green and Forest Green paints, as well as some Quinacridone Gold paint and Florentine Gold Treasure Gold.

I almost forgot to tell you the paints for the shading on the outside!  I used the Quinacridone Gold and some Raw Umber around the corners of the tray, so that the edges also have a good rustic feel to them.

So that's my rustic garden Printer's Tray for you... From what I hear, various styles of tray will be available at Calico Craft Parts soon - definitely worth keeping an eye out for, and great fun to play with.

In the meantime, I can only recommend that you head over to Calico Craft Parts and see what fabulous bits and bobs are available, and all for temptingly reasonable prices.  You have been warned!

Thanks so much for dropping in, and I'll see you again soon.

Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.

Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.


froebelsternchen said...

A wonderful project with so much details - ADORABLE Alison!
Happy Sunday!

Helen said...

I love this!! Simply beautiful.. I am delighted to hear that Calico are back, I was only thinking about them - and indeed, someone mentioned them only yesterday! Will go and re-bookmark their website!!

carol edwards said...

So beautiful, I love everything you have done

Astrid Maclean said...

I seem to remember this one, great to revisit it! Like you I am super excited to get started again!

craftytrog said...

Thanks for sharing this great news Alison, and good to revisit this wonderful project!
Have fun at Ally Pally today, wish I could be there!
Alison xxx

Redanne said...

Lovely to see this gorgeous project again Alison and it is fantastic that Calico are back, I was delighted when I got their email. I am sure they will go from strength to strength... Anne xx

Rita said...

Good Morning Alison. This project is so beautiful and all the vintage appeal that it offers, with lots of crackle and crackling. Have a Good Day. Hugs Rita xxx

Fliss said...

An absolute stunner Alison and just the ticket on a glorious Spring day too.
Glad to hear Calico Crafts is back too.
Fliss xx

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

Oh wow Alison,this is sooooo rich in detail,it's truly a thing of beauty :)
Happy to hear about Calico,just been on the website and they do have some lovely stuff.....I can feel an order coming on!
Big hugs
Donna xxx

Jackie PN said...

So happy to hear that Calico Crafts is on it's way back!! Yay!! Sending best wishes!
Thanks for sharing your garden piece- perfect for the spring weather finally arriving!! xo

Pamellia said...

Wow Alison, this is fabulous!! So many wonderful details in every cubby and your textures are amazing!! Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments on my blog, you really made my day yesterday!! Happy Sunday, hugs :)

Shilpa Nagaonkar said...

Gorgeous !!! Love the crackle texture on box and all other elements. Beautifully decorated.....
Good to hear that Calico crafts has started again :)

Terry said...

Love this, Alison! Each little window is such a treat and I do love garden delight! Love that moulded pot, love it much. I have a cap from a water purifier that last night I was thinking of adding some flowers to! Happy Sunday and that is such good news to hear! Hugs!

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison, your tray is wonderful, and filled with all kind of great and lovely pieces, from nature and garden, and such a "sunny" piece- showing the joy of summer or autumn !!
I will go look at the website.
Dorthe xoxo

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Gorgeous piece Alison, love that adorable little pot and flowers and the rusty elements are gorgeous. Love the painting and papers too. Lovely piece. Tracy x

Sue said...

This is really wonderful Alison, I love all the little details (especially the plant pot). I've had a look on the web site and there are some fabulous things there xx

Mrs.B said...

Gorgeous tray Alison, just love all the details, nice to se it again.
Avril x

Kirsten said...

This is excellent news, we were only talking about Calico Crafts yesterday, I'm so pleased they're back. I remember this piece Alison, it is stunning, wonderful to be reminded of it. It was great to see you at AP today, hope you enjoyed your day.

Julia said...

Fabulous garden tray project. I like the result using the DecoArt one step cradle glaze, I would love to play with some of that .... Another thing for my wish list. X

Unknown said...

Just loving all your attention to detail - that crackle is the best I have ever seen - may need to check that out!! The miniatures are just the cutest things ever!! And I love the story of you rescuing that little cork, genius way to give it a new purpose!
Georgie xx

rachel said...

this is gorgeous Alison - so much detail - and such good news about the calico crafts being back. wonderful news xx

Gio said...

It's a happy news, indeed! And I remember this artwork, one of my fave ever from you :-)!

Deb said...

What a great project Alison, so many wonderful details! Congratulations to Calico Crafts, I'm sure many folks in the UK are chuffed to bits they are back up and running!

Pawsitively Creative said...

Your tray is lovely and each little compartment is wonderful. I feel like I walked through a small garden! Wonderful design and that crackle is awesome! ~Niki

cathylynn said...

Alison this is one fabulous project! Love all the fun and love you put into this! Great job!
Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh My Alison! Love the tray but then there's all those lovely details to take in too! Fabulous! Chrisx

Kay Wallace said...

This was definitely before I began lurking on your blog, Alison, so I so glad to see it now. Absolutely a wonderful piece of artwork!

maj. said...

Oh, Alison, soooo beautiful !!!

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

What a great alteration...this is a stunning, happy spring tray Alison!
All the best, Alie :-)

hazel said...

An amazing creation.
xxx Hazel.

Nikki Acton said...

Great news Calico are back and this is such a great project full of amazing details. Great to see you Sunday Alison. Nikki x

Lisa Minckler said...

Yeah!!!! That's the best news!! So great to hear about the amazing and better than ever come back!

Anke said...

WOW WOW WOW Alison, fantastic work.

I LOVE IT !!!!


massofhair said...

S T U N N I N G Alison, loving all the seasons and the DecoArt one step crackle is fantastic! I am a tad confused over which of the DecoArt ranges you used, you mentioned the Chalky paint but have you used the Media Line or the Americana line for your other colours? Hope you don't mind me asking :-) xxx

Hettie said...

Yeay! Great news indeed I love this piece Alison and it is nice to see it.
I will have to order some bits, once I have been away next weekend...that is going to be an expensive trip!!

Cocofolies said...

I remember perfectly this fabulous project and tray Alison!!! Thanks for sharing it again with the great news for the owners of this shop! Coco xx

Sandy said...

Am I too late to join the party!!!! I am so far behind Alison - not nearly as organized as you were when you moved. But slowly but surely things are coming together.
Your garden tray is really wonderful! I do love these 3D projects.
Sandy xx

Mary Elizabeth said...

I've been waiting to see where they opened back up for business as a trolled back through your blog. This is awesome news. I was shocked to hear about the fire last year. This is such a fantastic niche for them. You are creating wonderful treasures with their parts. Wish them well for me! -- ME