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by Julie Brooks

Polite notice. All designs are copyright protected. I hope you will be inspired by my designs but please do not copy them. Thank you.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Boxing Day!

Hi folks

It's been a while - how time flies! 

Firstly I have an announcement to make. Sadly this will be my last blog post for the moment. I've had to reassess my life a little recently, for various reasons which I won't bore you with, and have decided that I will no longer be blogging about my creations, at least for the time being. It hasn't been an easy decision to make - I like sharing with you what I make on the occasions when I do get time to make anything. But my life is going in a different direction now from a year or two ago and so it's time to make changes, this being one of them. That's not to say that I won't be back at some point in the future, it's just that blogging is being re-prioritised downwards for now!

Phew! Glad that's out of the way! It's never easy starting with sad news!

So, here in the Brooks household we've been busy in our continued quest to progress the kitchen revamp which has stalled to an extent because hubby discovered a crucial little bit of kit missing when he got to the stage of cutting and fitting the work surface, and so we're currently awaiting delivery of said item. We've also been trying to keep our young man occupied and happy during these long weeks of the summer school holiday which is not easy with kitchen assembly taking priority but we have involved him as far as possible in putting bits together, etc.At the same time we've been trying to clear out boxes of books and such like which have been stored in other people's garages since we moved house 3 years ago(!), keep the garden tidy, keep up with the household chores, look after our guinea pigs and fish, and harvest our mange tout, sugar snaps, broccoli and cauliflower before they completely go over and are no good to eat (they do all come ready at once don't they?!). The kale and perpetual spinach have grown so rapidly that we can't use it up quickly enough and the spinach, which hasn't been covered with netting, is being munched merrily by the various buggy visitors in our garden - ah well, at least someone/something is benefiting from all that fresh green goodness. Our lettuces have to an extent fallen prey to the beautiful white butterflies which we have in abundance this summer, who have been cheerfully laying their eggs all over the yummy leaves to give their babies a good start in life (sorry guinea pigs but sometimes you have to share with others!), and the raspberries and blackberries are coming thick and fast now too. And I have been trying to grab a little crafting time! It's a real juggling act, I can tell you. And I can't believe that in only a couple more weeks hubby will be off working in Milan and I'll be back to teaching my son who is now at Key Stage 3 level (right on schedule).

What a summer!

Still, I did manage to grab a little crafting time and give a couple of boxes a makeover - hence the rather cheeky title of this post!

I decided to use PaperArtsy Chalk Acrylics, Crackle Glaze and Satin Glaze, VersaMagic Chalk Inks and Memento and Brilliance Inks, together with a few gorgeous blooms from The Ribbon Girl, along with stamps from Kaisercraft and Urban Stamps by Papermania.

So, these boxes all started out as kraft boxes which I picked up for a bargain price at The Range. This first picture shows the largest (it was a nesting set of 3). I painted it all over with Vintage Lace chalk acrylic paint and then stamped on the flourishes, butterflies and hearts using Night Sky chalk ink. I then did a little masking! I masked the butterfly and stamped on a sheet music stamp using Malted Mauve chalk ink. So the butterfly looks like it's sitting above the music - I love this layered look.

I then took it a step further and added some Crackle Glaze here and there, waited for it to dry and then painted over with another coat of Vintage Lace. I was going for a subtle distressed look, and I think it's worked quite well. You can see the distressed sections in these next few photos - what do you think?

I added some Star Dust Stickles Glitter Glue from Ranger to the hearts and the dots on the butterflies' wings just for a bit of sparkle, and finally applied a layer of Satin Glaze all over to seal it all.

I'm really pleased with how this turned out, but what do you think?

This next box is the middle sized box of the 3 and I went for a completely different design on this one.

I covered this box with Snowflake chalk acrylic paint. I took the large LOVE stamp from the Urban Stamps set and inked it in two different shades of pink - Love Letter and Rose Bud - before stamping it diagonally onto the lid. I love the subtle two-toned effect on the letters. I then added the gorgeous flowers from The Ribbon Girl along with a couple of buttons, plus a couple of wooden heart buttons (again from The Ribbon Girl), which I first inked up using Brilliance ink in Rocket Red Gold.

I then stamped the border design around the sides of the lid and again around the bottom of each side of the box.

Now, the inks I used on this were not chalk inks, but I still gave the box a coat of Satin Glaze to seal everything. This has had the effect of "diluting" the inks somewhat so that the images are softened and the detail not quite so crisp, and although this sounds negative and would suggest it was a big mistake, it still looks ok! That's not to say I would do the same again, I'm just lucky it turned out ok - it's all part of the learning process isn't it?

I did a third box, the smallest of the set of 3, and simply painted that over with Snowflake Chalk Acrylic paint and stamped the flourish and butterfly which I used on the large box, again using the Night Sky chalk ink, and it looks lovely, very clean and crisp, but I don't have a photo to share because I took it late last night and the light was artificial and it turned out yellow and looked awful! So you'll just have to take my word for it on that one!

So, I hope you like my two boxes.

That's it from me for the time being but even though this is my last post for now, I'd still love to hear from you so please leave me a comment.

Take care and happy crafting.

Love from me xx