Monday 1 June 2015

What Makes You Smile?

Good morning all. Today sees a new challenge begin at Our Creative Corner. Our host this month is the very talented Jan. Here's what Jan has to say:

'Close your eyes for a few minutes, relax and think about something that makes you smile..............
It could be a special person, a favourite place, a quote, an incident, the list is endless!

Your June challenge is to create something that will make us smile, it could be a scrapbook or journal page, a canvas, a tag, whatever your imagination dictates.

I am intrigued to see what you might make and look forward to viewing your creations.' 

What a wonderful challenge from Jan don't you agree? I love to look at pictures of my daughter when she was small and we lived five minutes walk from the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline. I can close my eyes and imagine those wonderful warm summer days or the wild and windy days of winter when it was a joy to walk along the water's edge.

I have chosen to use a picture of my 23 year old daughter when she was about three years of age. She's sat on the warm rocks, looking out to see and who knows what stories are running through that little head?!

Here's what I made:

Antiqued box frame with the picture of my beautiful daughter.

The main pieces are die cut and coated with gesso. Some flower centres are made with DecoArt Liquid Glass to add texture.

The frame is painted then stamped with archival ink. Some translucent white is brushed randomly over the frame to tone down areas of the stamping.

The main embellishment die cuts are painted then stamped with Archival ink. Once dry, crackle glaze is applied and left to dry. Burnt umber fluid acrylic is used to antique the crackle.

The outside frame is folder embossed then painted with fluid acrylic in Titanium Buff. Some embossed areas are picked out using gold metallic acrylic. Crackle glaze is added and when dry it is antiqued with gold metallic acrylic. The edges of the postage stamp shape are given a swipe with gold acrylic too.

The inside frame is painted the same colour as the outer frame. It is then stamped with archival ink, crackle glazed and antiqued as before.

Close up to show the stamped and crackle glazed sand dollar die cut. The little 'spines' are a part of a dandelion die cut. Sand dollars don't have spines but I liked the effect so added them!

The die cut seahorse is treated in the same way as the sand dollar. The added spines give the seahorse a mystical look don't they? Some edges of the sand dollar and the seahorse have been swiped with gold metallic paint.

To create the box frame effect, a frame was cut from foam board and covered with tissue tape. Once everything was assembled, all the edges (two frames, foam board frame and backing card) are all sponged with metallic gold acrylic.

At this stage I thought the frame was finished but the more I looked, I felt something was missing. Not one for using many quotes/words on my pieces, I decided to add some little homemade shells to keep with the seaside theme.

The shells are made in silicon cake decorating molds using Fimo clay. This somewhat grainy image shows what they look like before and after. I really should play with this stuff more often!

First shell in place.

Detail shot to show second shell in position.

Detail shot.

Shot to show box frame effect.

Detail shot.

I close my eyes and dream of twenty years ago on a warm summer day by the sea. . . . .

That's my dream when I close my eyes. What's yours I wonder? Join in with our new challenge at let us share your dream. For more wonderful inspiration pop over to Our Creative Corner and see what my teamies have made - you won't be disappointed!

Our challenge is being sponsored this month by the wonderful Tando Creative:

It's up to you now. Don't forget we will be inspiring you with posts about our makes with Tando Creative products. You can also look forward to seeing who won our previous challenge, a secret guest designer and the Top Talent spot from April's challenge. Lots more fun to come so do pop back!


  1. What a wonderful piece of art Julia! This totally makes me smile! I always grab a note pad and pencil when I come to your blog to write down how you made your beautiful creations. You always inspire me to try new things. Thanks xoxoxo Laurie

  2. a really beautiful project, love all that crackle and gorgeous colours and soft textures x

  3. Hi Julia, yes you made me smile! I love that photo, it could be my Granddaughter today! You are the Queen of crackle, amazing effects on your frame. How interesting that we both used silicone moulds with different materials to make shells, must dig out my fimo. Thank you for such a beautiful creation for my challenge. Hugs Jan x

  4. Oh wow - your crackle is amazing Julia - everything looks so great. What a WONDERFUL frame for such an adorable picture! j.

  5. A gorgeous frame for this wonderful photo! The crackle textures are so perfectly made and the shells!!!

  6. A stunning project Julie, the frame looks awesome with the lovely photo.
    Yvonne xx

  7. You've done it again Julia...created a crackle textured dream. Gorgeous frame and a beautiful photo. The colour of the sand dollar and seahorse just perfect. Beautiful work. Ruth x

  8. You definitely made me smile with your beautiful seaside frame showcasing the lovely childhood picture of your daughter! Wonderful colours and textures, thank you for sharing your techniques.

  9. Oh Julia! Such a heartwarming story about your daughter and the walks you used to take with her--It looks like you took this photo of her just yesterday, instead of 20 years ago! It's a gorgeous picture and you've made the PERFECT frame for it! My mouth opened a few times, gapping at the amazing detail you've put into this! I love your layered frame and LOVE the spines you've adorned the sand dollar & sea horse with! Soooo clever and beautiful!! This entire creation is producing smiles all around, I'd say!! Just a wonderful make for Jan's challenge!! HAPPY JUNE!! :) :) XOXO-Shari

  10. Julia, what a precious memory. This frame is toooooo gorgeous. I love what you did with the shells that you cast in cake mould. The frame in all its beautifully detailed layers took my breath away. The crackling on the piece is beautiful and adds a vintagey- melancholic feel to the beautiful photo. Very moving piece. -Candice-

  11. Your sweet photo is perfectly at home in this amazing frame! LOVE those shells!!

  12. Perfectly beautiful Julia!! xxoo

  13. What a beautiful family piece - the photo is lovely, and the vintage crackle frame you've created is simply gorgeous.
    Alison xx

  14. Beautiful work, thanks for sharing your tutorial! BArbarayaya


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Juliax