This is a Happy Life by Amanda Southern


Hi Everyone
This week I have been playing with one of That’s Crafty's recent additions to their MDF range, a fabulous range of MDF shrines in various shapes and sizes. I have been playing with the House shaped ATC art shrine which come in a pack of 3 for £5.99. It also gave me the chance to play with Tim’s new Metropolis Thinlits dies.

Here’s What I Did:

The first thing was to cover the MDF with a thin coat of gesso. I then selected the PaperArtsy Fresco finish paints that I wanted to use and built up the layers of paint using my new best friend a washing up sponge. I have a pack of 10 sponges for less than a £1 and I cut them up to use, the sponge has quite an open texture to it so with a light touch it lays the paint down in a speckled manner, so I just kept changing colours and building up until I was happy. The sponge also leaves a nice texture with the paint.

I then wanted to add some stamped detail to the inside of the shrine and Tim’s new Metropolis buildings reminded me of the fantasy buildings that Azoline designs for Carabelle studio. Now I knew that stamping onto the paint texture I had created wouldn’t probably stamp cleanly first time so I placed the MDF (both sides and the back all lined up) inside a stamping platform tool. I am a reasonably confident stamper but these stamping tools are fantastic for getting that perfect stamp and repeat stamping in exactly the same spot building up the clarity of the stamped image. If you don’t think that you need one, you really do. To transfer the image to the painted MDF took about 5 stampings on top of each other. I actually used the Misti but they all work on the same basis and the Hampton Art one available at That’s Crafty! is half the price of the Misti.

I then added a little colour to the stamped houses with coloured pencils and the roofs have all been highlighted using one of the fabulous chrome pens.

Next part was to die cut all the little Metropolis building from pieces of scrap gelli prints. All the little roof add-ons I cut from ranger self-adhesive foil sheets and then added them to the buildings. I then built my little town up in the shrine. I added the stamped and fussy cut image, again designed by Azoline for Carabelle Studio, to the front and one as a sun in the sky. Then I glued the pieces all together using a good PVA glue.

I then added my decorations to the house shaped front, again I have die cut into the Ranger foil this time using one of the texture dies from the Textures #2 die set by Carabelle Studio. I needed a couple of the die cuts to have enough to add to the front (all the little self-adhesive foil shapes of the waste I have kept for another project). Finally, I added the words which are mostly Remnant Rubs from Tim Holtz and a little few of Tim’s Label Letters stickers.

Here’s What I Used:

Carabelle Studio Stamps Designed by Azoline (All the lime/yellow stamp packets)
Big Shot or other Die Cutting Machine
Scraps of Gelli Prints
Tim Holtz Label Letters from my stash
Washing Up Sponges

Thanks, and I will see you all next Tuesday

Amanda X

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  1. This is captivating Amanda, so much to look at.. I think you may have convinced me that I really do need these ATC Shrines in my stash.. A magnificent work of art. Hugs Tracey x

  2. Fabulous shrine Amanda.. Love all the details xx

  3. An amazing little cityscape Amanda and the amount of detail is fabulous. Love it!
    Fliss xx

  4. Love this! Such a fab cityscape, from the stamped buildings with all their lovely details in the background, to the brilliantly used dies. Gorgeous colours too!
    Alison x

  5. Wonderful....makes me just want to buy a little house right there to live ;)
    Donna xx

  6. it is beautiful and inspiring! xo

  7. Fantastic little montage Amanda!


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