Thursday, 5 May 2016

Trinket box for all seasons

Hello! Thank-you for your visit.

I'm truly honoured to be amongst the guest designers featuring today over at the wonderful mixed media challenge / teaching blog Anything But Cute. Pamellia and her super talented design team are celebrating their 1 year Anniversary! They have selected eight of their favourite artists from the last year, and guess what, they have included little ole me on the list!! It's a fantastic accolade ladies - thank-you so very much for including me and many congratulations on your 1st Anniversary.

The challenge theme this month is 'Celebrate Your Style'. Along with several of the other guest designers I love both vintage/shabby chic style and all things Nature so have combined these to make a trinket box for all seasons. I hope that you will visit Anything But Cute to see all the wonderful mixed media talent there, and why don't you celebrate your own style by entering their challenge.

Sorry, but a long post follows...for best viewing click photos to enlarge...

I've made a trinket box using a Tim Holtz Idea-ology configurations box. For step by step details as to how to make box please scroll down this post to see a 'how-to'. The box is decorated with papers by Pion Design from its 'A Day in May' and 'Days of Winter' collections. The hardware shown in first photo includes a lock by Prima Metals (Plaque 9), Tim Holtz Idea-ology Feet and a Maja Road key. All have been painted with gesso followed by PaperArtsy paint in 'Nougat'. Then dry brushed with Prima paint Opal Magic 'Rose Gold' and some gold gilding wax.

I created a Spring / Summer scene for the top lid. The papers are sprayed with Prima color bloom in 'Empress Gold' and 'Cotton Candy' as well as Tattered Angels Glimmer mist and Perfect Pearls sprays. There is some stamping, mostly using Katzelcraft script and music stamps. I ended up covering up most of stencilling but you can still see crackled 'Vintage Quilt' by Wendy Vecchi and script by The Crafters Workshop done with a Faber Castell luxe pearlescent paste.

Several MFT Dienamics 'Stitched Fishtail Flags' feature in the layout - interspersed with various lace trims and tulle. The bird sits in a Prima resin frame that I've painted with Twinkling H20s 'Dreams Bloom'. The bird image (Pion Design) is set in Judikin's Diamond Glaze along with Swarovski pearls and gold seed beads. The frame is on some painted Wycinanka chipboard (part of Blueberry Gate) and fibres. I cut one side to open out and dotted it with oodles of pearls.

Wood branches skirt the edges (diecut using Memory Box 'Woodland Branch'). Wild Orchid Crafts' blossoms abound, as do little stamens. There's plenty of foliage - made from a combination of Scrapiniec chipboard 'Apple Tree Blossom' and painted Nunn Design metal leaf charms. The leaves and flowers are lightly dabbed with Twinkling H2Os in 'Mint Julep' and 'Almond Beige'.

The little nest image is in a resin frame by Prima. I sprinkled the nest with lots of Prima's gorgeous micro beads in 'Copper' before setting with diamond glaze. You can see that I am very taken with these microbeads as they feature liberally across the flowers and branches! Finally I placed cream lace around the edges and let Nunn Design gold butterfly and dragonfly charms flutter about. Oh, there are some pearl swirls in the mêlée too!

Here's the box open. A second scene is inside the lid, this time reflecting a snowy winter, but I had thoughts of Ireland's frequent grey rainy skies so that wet murkiness is meant to be in there too.

The delicate ivy chipboard is by Scrapiniec 'Secret Garden Ivy' and Wycinanka 'Corner of Ivy'. These chipboards have been gessoed, gilded and crackle glazed. The background is stamped and heat embossed (again using Katzelcraft stamps). Also applied white Frantage to the background and generally sprayed and splattered it. Stencilling is done using Heidi Swapp 'Tiny Snowflakes' and Agateria stencil 'Pismo'. There are dabs of Snow-Tex too, especially around the rims.

The garden tool charms are by Karen Foster - they are gilded and painted a little. A paint crackled picket fence is on the left side with a Tim Holtz key charm thereon. Over to the right hangs a plywood frame that I've coated with DecoArt white crackle paste. Highlighted the cracks with PaperArtsy 'White Fire' paint. Within the frame is a stamped sentiment that the older I get the more I realise is so true. A rhinestone chain by Spellbinders 'Gilded Life' holds the frame up. The clock hands (Prima) have been gessoed and gilded and are held in place with a Tim Holtz hitch fastener. A Spellbinders 'Gilded Life Treasures Vial', filled with Swarovski pearls, adorns the corner.

Finally, a view to the rear to see more of those lovely Pion papers decorated with a pearl trim by Woodware.

Phew! Thanks so much if you read all above!

~~~How to make Trinket Box~~~

Start with a Tim Holtz Idea-ology configurations box measuring 5.75" x 10.75". Any other size configurations box would work too.

 Paint all edges with 2 coats of paint, including edges of small inner boxes and their outsides. I used PaperArtsy Fresco paint in 'Nougat', as it matches the neutral Pion shades very well.

Adhere paper to surfaces. I used Pion Design papers and Ranger Multi Medium Matte. Use a bone folder to shape paper into corners. It's better to paint the outsides of the small boxes. On a previous box I papered their outsides but then found it quite a squash to fit them into tray.

Adhere scene for topside as a faux lid (better to do this now as it gives a truer sense of weight). I used Aleene's Tacky glue to stick the lid. Appoint an assistant (!) to help you hold the top part of box to lower section of box. Securely tape the two together making sure that whilst it is tightly taped the top can still hinge open (approx 90°) and shut (resting on lower half).

Cover up the masking tape with matching papers.

When inner scene complete, glue it in place with Aleene's glue. (I reinforced both outer and inner scenes with a backing layer of Tim Holtz grungepaper, to absorb all the media I applied. As you play work, the paper may curl, especially if heat is applied. To remedy, weight it for some hours to flatten). The measurements of the outer and inner scenes differ so be sure that the inner scene fits perfectly before you complete it and glue in place.

If you would like to see some of my other trinket boxes you can find them here, here and here.

Again, very many thanks to all at Anything But Cute for including me as one of your favourite artists of the last year. It's been a pleasure to make this trinket box and feature alongside the other guest designers today. Wishing all at A.B.C. many more successful years.

You really should pop over to A.B.C. and enter their challenge this month as they have a brilliant lineup of prizes.

As always, your visit and any comments you may leave are greatly appreciated.

Nicola x

I wish to enter trinket box to the following challenges:

Pion Design - May, Season of Hope
(inspired by Apple Blossom in photo and 'A Day in May' papers)

Live & Love Crafts - Blossoms &/or Butterflies
Simon Monday Challenge - Home Decor
Deep Ocean Challenge - Flowers Everywhere
Scrapyland - Anything Goes (use brand carried by Scrapyland - Die-Namics)
Country View Crafts - Use a Stencil
Apple Apricot - Simply Neutrals #22
Creative Carte Blanche - Wood, Word, Something Wild
(wood = hanging plywood frame + faux wood branches, word = stamped sentiment within frame and wild = just wild about Prima microbeads)


  1. Gorgeous work Nicola! So beautifully decorated and wonderfully presented.
    Paper Talk with Samra

  2. I'm not surprised you have a guest spot over there Nicola as your altered art is always stunning as today's creation proves. Thank you for sharing.

    B x

  3. WOW WOW WOW. Nicola I am completely swooning over here right now!You have combined so many of my favourite things in one stunning project and you have done it in swimming 'Nicola' style!! Birds and flowers, wow...mixed media and Pion papers, wow!!! You really nailed our challenge theme of Celebrating Your Style, I can see all the vintage and elegance just shining from this gorgeous box! What an extra special treat to get to see how you put it together too!

    Thank you so much for all your hard work on this, I am just tickled and honoured to have you joining us for our first blogiversary at Anything But Cute! Thank you for all your support over the last year, your work is inspirational and I can't wait to see what you create in the coming year!! Oh, and thanks for joining us at Pion Design for our May challenge also!! hugs, Pamellia, Anything But Cute DT :)

  4. OMGoodness Nicola, I think I am swooning too! I would never have thought to use a configurations box in this way - what an absolutely genius idea!! Anyone would be honoured and delighted to have this sitting atop their dressing table (or on show somewhere else!). This is so your style too, elegant, beautiful, precise, stunning.... I adore it. You are such an inspiration. I really loved seeing how you put this together.

    This is such a wonderful way to help us celebrate our Anniversary, it is an absolute pleasure to be in the same blog post as you!! Big hugs my talented friend, Anne xxx

  5. Hi Nicola, what a gorgeous box you made.Such lovely details, what a wonderful keep sake which could hold lots of lovely treasure inside.Well done with the guesting.I'm here with both my fellow guest over at ATBC and my Country View Challenge DT hat on...LOL. Thanks so much for joining in with our May Use a stencil challenge and good luck in the draw at Country View x

  6. Nicola, what a happy day for me to be featured in a post alongside of you! This is one BRILLIANT and jaw dropping source of inspiration. The collage on the top would be enough, without all of the beautiful details surrounding and tucked inside of this brilliant creation. I adore the branch dies and the frame you created and the precious framed birdie! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Oh I am so excited about this project - grinning from ear to ear. Biggest hugs and well wishes, Autumn PS. Thanks so much for celebrating with us at Anything But Cute!

  7. Oh my goodness Nicola, this is stunning. So many adorable details, and such lovely color tones. I love the nature -bird theme, you know, and here it is so wonderfully romantic ,too.
    I have not time reading all now, have to go fixing evening dinner--but will come back. So thank you for the tutorial, dear.
    Dorthe xo

  8. Oh my goodness, Nicola, this is jaw-dropping gorgeous!! Wow!! I just want to keep staring at the pictures!! You did such an amazing job with this!! The details are spectacular!! I love how you embellished it, both inside and out!! This is a work of art my friend!! I could just gush about this all day!! I love, love, love it!! Thank you so much for playing along at Scrapy Land!! I hope your neck is okay and you are feeling much better. Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  9. Wowza! what a beautiful trinket box you created - the cover is a work of art in itself - and then you see the sides of the box - and wonderful compartments inside - what a lovely place to put special little things! Julia xx

  10. Wow! Gorgeously whimsical, yet elegant. Love it! Thanks for sharing this obvious labor of love.

  11. Congratulations on a hugely well-deserved spotlight at ABC, Nicola - this stunning transformation is a perfect sample of your inimitable shabby chic style. Extraordinary attention to detail, wonderful use of papers and embellishments to create a piece of glorious vintage style work. I adore what you've done with the configurations boxes here - inspired and inspiring!
    Alison x

  12. Wow, Nicola,there's so much beauty here, I seriously don't know where to start, so I'll just ramble! I think my favorite part is that clock with the delicate clock hands onthe inside of the lid, but then I see those tiny garden tools and watering can, and I'm swooning! but wait, perhaps it's that little bird in the Prima frame that's sitting on the chipboard thing with the little door that opens or the nest in it's own tiny frame! You always put SO much LOVE into your projects and each little detail adds up to the most incredible project! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this box!

    And I'm tickled pink that you would join us for our first year celebration--what an honor to have you join us, and what an honor to have you create such an amazing masterpiece for our celebration! You are such a generous, giving blogger and artist! Hugs!

    PS while I'm visiting, I'll say thank you for joining our Anything Goes challenge at Scrapy Land!

  13. I am almost speechless (for a chatterbox that's quite something!) This really is the most amazing project - truly, everything about this is totally, utterly stunning! Hugs, Chrisx

  14. Nicola, You are most definitely Queen of Shabby Chic! This is a project brimming with love and attention to detail, it is as though you have lived and breathed all things Shabby Chic as you worked on this.
    You deserve to be recognised in this way!

  15. What a WONDERFUL BOX, rich of beautiful details...soon Ada

  16. Wow Nicola! What a gorgeous work of art! Love all the shabby details! You did an amazing job transforming the box!

  17. That is absolutely gorgeous Nicola, amazing details and such beautiful embellishments and papers, so many lovely and perfect touches! Thanks so much for sharing it and congratulations on being chosen as one of Anything But Cute's favourite artists of the year! Deb xo

  18. Yay congratulations Nicola on this very well deserved accolade, your projects always inspire me and I love reading all the details of your process steps. You are an amazing artist and crafter and this wonderful project and post shows how incredibly talented and dedicated you are to your work. I adore your trinket box and admire all the creative ideas you have had and used in its construction. Way to go girl xxx

  19. What an amazing transformation & such a great use of the configuration box!

  20. Nicola
    I am just amazed at this breath taking creating! What a gorgeous gorgeous piece of art, and the fact that you shared the step by step with us is so sweet! I have a few of these an art friend gave me to help my recovery and your project may be just the answer! thank you for sharing your beautiful art!

  21. Hi Nicola. I must say this box is absolutly stunning and gorgious. A great piece of art. Thank you for sharing your method, it's very interesting to follow your process.I love the adorned grid on the right with tiny beads as well as the idea of a link with irish weather. BRAVO, this is an exquisite design requiring a lot of different techniques you master with undeniable talent.
    Friendly greetings from France.

  22. Stunning!!! It looks like it might have been on the dresser of Marie Antoinette! So intricate and divine!!! What a gorgeous make to be proud of!

  23. absolutely surprise that they chose you as a GD...thank you for joining us at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge...hugs kath xxx

  24. OMG, this is totally stunning Nicola, the attention to detail is incredible, what an amazing project! And of course big congrats, a so well deserved honour!! The vintage elegance of this piece is just amazing!! A new favourite I think....

  25. My sweet friend, I am overwhelmed! What to even say about this masterpiece... there is so much beauty that I have no words. The texture is remarkable, the detailing beyond inspiring, and the idea itself is extraordinary. I always love your creations... when there's a new post from you, I know I'm about to fall in love. You are a special talent, Nicola. Thank you for sprinkling my heart with such beauty tonight. Wishing you a weekend as lovely as your box of treasures. :o)

    Hugs and blessings,

  26. Gorgeous work, Nicola! I love that you combined the shabby chic with the nature theme. And thank you so much for sharing with us how you made it, so generous of you! Thank you for joining at Simply Neutrals :) Wishing you a happy day, Wen

  27. Stunning! It is a beautiful box with so much detail. Thank you for the step by step how to. Congratulations on being featured!

  28. Wow...this is gorgeous Nicola! There is just so much detail to look at and I adore the vintage elegance to this piece! Really stunning work...

    Thank you so much for sharing and for playing along with us this week over on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge! xx

  29. Ohhhh wow! There are so many fantabulous tidbits to take in! Every time I look at this stunning design I see something new! Genius way to use the configuration box! That little watering can is awesome sauce and the little bottle with the crown lid and the chippies, not to mention the pearls! Holy moly! Wonderful and bravo! I can only imagine the time and love that went into this project because the outcome is superb!

    Thanks so very much for creating a masterpiece and helping to celebrate our Anniversary! Congrats on being one of our Favorite Artists as well! Smashing success! hugz. ~Niki

  30. Beautiful ! Thanks for joining us over at Country View Challenges!
    Corrie x

  31. This is such a beautiful "work of art"!!
    So sorry to be late in finding you (from your contribution to Wendy's [Appleapricot] linky party)~
    Thank you so much for sharing this masterpiece with us! Truly amazing textures, color; with shabby vintage appeal
    and lovely intricate detail. Karen O

  32. Such a brilliant idea! Love it in every detail, going to dig out a never used configuration box :-)

  33. This is amazing! I have bookmarked it so I can come back! Congratulations!

  34. Gorgeous !
    Thanks for joining us at Scrapy Land Challenge blog and good Luck !
    Maryvonne - DT Member

  35. What a fabulous transformation Nicola x I would never have thought to use the configuration box in this way. I so love those papers and your stunning layout.
    TFS and huge congratulations x your creations are fantastic and loved by many

    Annie x

  36. Congratulations Nicola on the Guest spot and really it's no surprise as your work is absolutely stunning. This is a fabulous alteration and so beautiful with all those gorgeous details, both inside and out.
    Avril xx

  37. This is a stunning trinket box! Just beautiful! Thank you for participating in our May Pion Design Challenge.

  38. Nicola....this is absolutely brilliant! I so love the shabby chic feeling of this piece. This is unmistakably YOU! I can tell from all of the sweet little delicate details! Congratulations on your guest design spot. You've really created a beautiful and useful piece of art here! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely work with all of us at Creative Carte Blanche.

  39. Hi Nicola,
    Congrats on your guest design spot, it's very well deserved. You're a fantastic papercrafter; I always enjoy visiting your blog, and seeing your remarkable creations. This trinket box is no exception, truly a feast for the eye with all those gorgeous details that go so well together. A stunning showcase of Pion's papers. Thanks ever so much for joining LLC.

    Hugz, Sandy
    Owner & Operator @Live & Love Crafts

  40. Beautiful, Beautiful box
    Gr miranda

  41. Your altered art piece is just stunning, I already saw in on fb, and have admired it there, too. You are an amazing artist, dear Nicola.
    Dorthe, xx


Thank-you! Your visit and comment is very much appreciated. Nicola x