Tuesday, 7 January 2014

A Box for Kezzy

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven, Followers and Friends. It feels like ages since I last blogged - I think it's actually five days! Now that the Christmas festivities are over, I've found some time to create, so I decided to do two things. Since I started blogging I've met some phenomenally creative and interesting people who have inspired me tremendously, and one of these has been Kezzy from Kezzy's Crafty Journey. Before Christmas she suggested we challenge each other to create something, setting a colour scheme and swapping some stash. Then over at Our Creative Corner, one of my favourite Challenge Sites, Claudia has set the quest is to use your 'shopping sins'. I want to combine both challenges and decorate a little box. Here - without any more rambling - is my inspiration! I should like to enter the result in the Our Creative Corner, No More Shopping Sins Challenge.
It's almost spooky, to quote Dame Edna Everidge, but somehow the friends I've made in Crafty Blogland seem to know exactly the colours, images and textures that will inspire me! The image Kezzy sent for my colour scheme took my breath away. She sent so many wonderful bits and pieces too that I was spoiled for choice: I think there is a whole other project that I haven't even started yet! There is only so much room on and in a box so I took the little bird first and some tiny leaves because they seemed to be fluttering out of the picture and asking to be used! Now for my shopping sins! Even though I am a Magpie and I love to hoard, I think they were asking to be used also!
I bought these three Prima embellishments in a pack at Ally Pally back in the Autumn. I had no idea what I would use them for and since then I have used only one on a tag. I kept thinking that I wanted to use them in an original way - but how? The ones with the blue glass bead hanging did remind me of the mottled effect of the leaves, mist and sky on Kezzy's image, so I held onto that idea. I was going to create a box that said, 'Autumn Twilight.' You can see over on the left I tried experimenting with a large bead in the middle of one and then covering with Treasure Gold, but I wasn't happy with the effect. Those embellies were going to be used on this project and they were going to be altered. I was determined that this project was going to be one where I took crafty risks! Putting them to one side, though,  I started by playing with a Tim Holtz Tattered Floral die.
I wanted this to evoke the colours and the light in Kezzy's image so I cut it from Paper Artsy Crunchy Waxed Paper, which I then coloured with Treasure Golds in Aquamarine, Rose Quartz and Classic, edging it with Inky Pool Fresco. I painted some card with Fresco Finish Inky Pool over Antarctic and then sprinkled with Shabby Blue Frantage. I then punched out little leaves which became tiny petals. I secured my flower with a Prima Brad, another Ally Pally 'shopping sin' I had been hoarding, and added tattered leaves die-cuts from Acetate coloured with Alcohol Inks and sprinkled with Aged Copper Frantage.
Then it was time to start creating that Autumn twilight on my box. I used a little hinged box I had bought at The Range. I painted it with a couple of coats of Nougat and then tinted some Paper Artsy Grunge Paste with Spanish Mulberry Fresco and applied this through a 'Stencil Girl' stencil of little birds. Then for the fun! I haven't done very much spray painting and I wasn't sure of the effect I might achieve other than accidentally decorating my clothes and the furniture (!), but I wanted to give it a go! I mixed three misters of diluted Inky Pool, Blood Orange and Guacamole and, when my GP birds and branches were dry, I started to spray!!! When I liked the effect, I distressed the edges of my box with dry brushed colour: Blood Orange, Chocolate Pudding and French Roast Frescos. I then highlighted my relief design in Copper, Green Amber and Aquamarine Treasure Gold.
Here is my box with the flower added and some foliage and you might just be able to see what I did with the first of my shopping sins! First, though, what of the sides of the box?
First I painted the sides with Little Black Dress Fresco. I then Crackle Glazed with a thin layer of Paper Artsy Crackle Glaze. When this was dry I over-painted with Paper Artsy Antarctic Fresco. I then stamped the mini Paper Artsy Feather Stamp 98 first in Wendy Vecchi Cornflower Blue Archival and then Geranium. I stamped over with mini 84. The final touch was to stamp the mini feather on Shrink Plastic painted with Antarctic. I used Ranger black Archival for this. I cut out four feathers, heated them and fixed them to the sides of the box.
And my shopping sins!? I dared to alter them! I painted Kezzy's little bird with Spanish Mulberry Fresco and then highlighted her with various Treasure Golds. I gave her a tiny green gem eye. I then fixed her to the centre embellishment. I added interest to those either side with shrink plastic Tudor Roses stamped onto Polyshrink coloured with Cheesecake Fresco, blending around the edges with Aquamarine and Classic Treasure Golds.
 Here is the Lynne Perrella stamp I took them from.
The inside of my box was important too! Kezzy had asked that I use some tissue that she sent. There was some that I really adored with Renaissance style heavenly choirs so I tore this and painted the back with a layer of Old Gold Fresco and a layer of Fresco Autumn Fire before sticking it into my box - also painted with a blend of Blood Orange and Autumn Fire, using Satin Glaze. I punched out lace from some music script paper from Kezzy's beautiful stash and trimmed my edges with this and some narrow ribbon. I also added two oval medallions of Lynne Perrella ladies, their head-dresses surrounded by domes and birds. It was quite difficult to photograph the inside of the box because of the shine from the Glossy Accents glaze on my medallions.
It was so liberating to actually use and alter all these beautiful things. As I worked I thought about all the new and special friendships I have made since April and how creating has become so much more about sharing the hopes, joys, delights and difficulties that life presents us with than about simply making something from paint and wood. Those two ladies at the centre represent the meeting of minds that crafty blogging is all about!

The Internet comes in for much criticism, but I have found it a magical place. Blogging has made it possible to meet artists like Kezzy who have become my friends. I believe craft has enabled us to take flight like the birds on the box and that colours and textures have made a huge emotional impact on our lives. Kezzy has been quite poorly lately and I hope this blog post will serve as a gift to thank her for all the inspiration that her friendship and her blog have given me. I know that, as soon as she is well enough, she will create something lovely and from her heart because she always does.
Thank you to Our Creative Corner for encouraging me to break open that packet and use those 'shopping sins' on my project and Thank You to my much appreciated Followers and Friends who have stopped by to read this post.


  1. This is a fantastically written blog and the work matches up to the text. It is a very brave project. The combos of materials , colours etc is totally unique and would be out of my comfort zone but it absolutely works a treat. Love it all. I agree about the stimulus on here and long may we all continue to create! X

  2. Awesome! And I am really proud that I could make you break open your shopping sins (which aren't sins anymore by the way ;) for this fabulous make! LOVE IT!

    Thank you so much for sharing it with us at OurCreativeCorner!

    Claudia x

  3. How fabulous is this !!! When I looked at colours you started with I just wasn't sure if it would be for me. But as I read and scrolled down your post, I realised colour combinations were so perfect for this and how you have altered items is so cool. I just love it.
    Good luck with the challenges, Julie x

  4. this is gorgeous Julie Ann.love the colours and the way you've used the prima bellies!!

  5. Wow fab box Julie Ann, bet Kezzy will be pleased

    Sam xx

  6. It's magnificent, Julie Ann - the birds look absolutely stunning - and I love how you've incorporated both your (expiated) sins and the gorgeous bits Kezzy sent - what a fantastic swap.

    Thanks so much for sharing the results with us at Our Creative Corner!
    Alison x

  7. Very beautiful piece. Best wishes to Kezzy.

  8. Omg Julie Ann this is truly, I'm crying, I know it's became I feel rough lol, but your friendship means so much to me and I am sure fate as well as blog land has bought us together as our past problems are so alike and I feel for the first time I can talk freely to someone who understands. This box looks so special and the techniques you used are amazing, but the most important thing and the thing that has made me cry is the fact I know you made this with so much love, everything you make means something and this to me is really special. I have got your bits out today as I am using some of it on my first page of my new journal for 2014. I want this year to be the year I find myself, in my art, my friends, my demons and my health. And I knew straight away that I wanted to use some of the things you sent as your the person that Kezzy can be Kerry Ann, your the person who listens and doesn't judge and your the friend I can be myself with. I have been really poorly today and even though I have been quite positive, this evening I am on the sofa (can't be in bed with ade as I keep him up all night as I can't sleep). I felt so alone and thought I would check my messages as I haven't all day and the first thing is your blog post (receive post through email) and wow it has made me smile, feel so much better and I certainly don't feel alone. Lots of hugs Kerry Ann xxxxxxxx

  9. WOW...Fabulous box Julie-Ann, the texture & colours are so beautiful... reading Kezzy's reply your act of kindness has made her very happy....Kezzy will treasure this always I'm sure (I would)...Beautiful work...Hugs May x x x

  10. This is such an amazing piece of art Julie Ann!
    Alison xxx

  11. Fantastic Blog post Julie Ann, a fab read & a unique gift from your heart to your friend. Amazing box, so much interest & texture it is a winner in every way:-) xxx

  12. Such a fabulous altered box, great details and texture.

  13. Hello Miss Julie Ann, what a gorgeous creation, all made with love and it shows, looooove the texture you created on the box, the colors are just stunning, the special little bird, loooove the back with the feather, the bobbles look fabulous hanging on them, the inside ia beautiful, this is a master piece, and I see Kezzy love it already, this was a fabulous swap, thanks for sharing it with us, and good luck on Creative Corner, hope you have a wonderful day, I'm off to swimming, ((( BIG HUGS ))) My Friend..

  14. What a gorgeous project with such lovely goodies! Love the tissue lining! So glad that you cheered Kezzy up too! Chrisx

  15. I always love reading your blog, your talent for words matches that of your crafting. This an wonderful piece of art but after reading the link to Kezzy it becomes even more than that. You're both very lucky to have such a great friendship. xx

  16. Beautiful box Julie Ann! You used lots of techniques and it had harmonious. Also it had story I love it. The box is great gift. xx

  17. Beautiful box--absolutely gorgeous, Julie Ann!


  18. I've not had much time or energy for visiting my fave blogs for a few weeks so missed this beautiful project by a couple of days Julie Ann. Glad I've caught up though as I love reading your blog posts and how you detail the journey through the creation of each of your projects. The colours and textures you have used on this gorgeous box definitely echo the inspiration picture from Kezzy.

    Lesley Xx

  19. This is just stunning Julie Ann, I am in love with all the beautiful stamping and color! xx


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