Monday, 7 April 2014

A New Beginning!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. I was thrilled and excited to be chosen as one of the Top 3 in last month's Country View Crafts Challenge, 'Painty Pleasures'. This means I have the privilege of being Guest Designer here at Country View Crafts and the opportunity to explore the theme of 'New Beginnings'. The other Guest Designers have some fabulous inspiration lined up for you, so please do hop over and see. Then why not create your own interpretation of 'New Beginnings' and link it up to the Challenge, the perfect start to the Spring?
 I started with this wooden heart mobile from PaperArtsy. I painted it with a couple of coats of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish in Little Black Dress.
Next step was to apply a thin coat of Crackle Glaze, using a palette knife. While this was drying I punched out a collection of little leaves from card painted with Frescos in Tinned Peas, Guacamole, Inky Pool and Limelight. I then coated them in Versamark, sprinkled with clear UTEE and holding them in tweezers, heated them with my heat gun from underneath, This gave them the appearance of porcelain and strengthened them too.
I had a little resin figure, which reminded me of a winged cupid, and a resin flower. I painted these with Frescos, using Tikka, Nougat, Beach-hut and Yellow Submarine. I took some Shrink Plastic sheets and painted them with Guacamole, thinned with some Fabric Medium and water and some Yellow Submarine.
Using a Tim Holtz 'Tattered Leaves' die and a Sizzix Butterfly die, I cut butterflies and leaves from the Shrink Plastic, stamping them with the face from the new PaperArtsy Lynne Perrella stamp LPC028. I then shrank them with my heat-gun. I covered the Crackle Glaze with a thick coating of Guacamole in single strokes, being careful not to 'over' paint what I had already done so that the Crackle could really do its work. I used Mermaid Fresco along the edges.
This was to be the back of my mobile, so that when it turned in the breeze this design from LPC012, stamped in Wendy Vecchi Fern Green Archival would be visible.
Here is the front of my mobile. I used PaperArtsy Grunge Paste through a ClearSnaps stencil of birch trees to create the impression of the figure of cupid emerging from a wood. I applied Treasure Gold in Aquamarine to make the tree bark really gleam in the sunlight. Can you see the little leaf in Cupid's hand. He is just reaching to coax a butterfly onto it, but those butterflies always elude him as the mobile turns in the breeze.
What Cupid has not noticed is that his Mother Venus has transformed herself into the shape of  myriad butterflies to keep watch over the little god of love as he flutters out tentatively to make his 'new beginning' in the world. Perhaps not long after this he will discover and steal some delicious honey, learning the hard lesson that sweet as the honeycomb is, the sting of the bee is painful! Artists like Cranach and Durer painted this fable of Cupid stealing the honey and Venus teaching him the moral lesson that there is seldom pleasure in life without pain! Poor little chap! At this moment he is blissfully unaware of all that in his idyllic garden at the dawn of time.

Thank you so much for stopping look at my story of the god of love in his heart-shaped mobile garden. May your week be full of love and springtime pleasures and may pain be as far away as it is from little Cupid's thoughts as he chases his butterfly!


  1. oh wow, Julie Ann - this is gorgeous!!

  2. This is so creative Julie Ann and such a clever idea - a beautiful project. Thanks for supporting us as a guest designer this month. Chris xxx

  3. Well Miss Julie Ann I finally get to see the beautiful photo of my dear Cuz, I love that the most, the heart is SPECTACULAR, the tiny leaves beautiful all the texture , the colors, your are a master with those paints, your signature piece are FANTASTIC, love the butterfly's, thanks for always inspiring me, have a wonderful week, ((( BIG HUGS)))..Cuz...

  4. Beautiful colours Julie Ann and your cupid is adorable!!

  5. Beautiful Julie- Love what you did with those hearts!

  6. Gorgeous hanging so bright and zingy.

  7. Oh my, gorgeous mobile, great colours and fab story as usual:-) xxx

  8. Oh Julie Ann! this is singing a Spring love song for sure! Just gorgeous! Chrisx

  9. Gorgeous creation Julie Ann, I adore the colours & the sweet cupid is perfect. the little story is wonderful... Love it... Hugs May x x

  10. A magnificent project Julie Ann, thanks for sharing the process steps and now I can keep up with you better lol xx

  11. I saw this gorgeous creation over at CVC, & had to come & see how it was created.
    Wonderful step-by-step Julie Ann.
    Alison xxx

  12. This is gorgeous julie Ann!

    Lucy x

  13. Julie Ann, this is so stunning. I love how you shaded your little cherub and added all the detail and shades of paint. Then there is your story, which is always such a delight to read. Off to PaperArtsy now to see what you have been up to there.
    Julie xx


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