La Lavande by Gill Humphrey

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I love shadow boxes in all of their forms and have used the large box from the MDF Shadow Box Set on its own for a number of projects and thus had a number of the smaller ones left to use. I decided that by combining several (one of the middle size in the set with 3 of the smaller ones) to create a diorama using one of the 8 x 8 Provence paper pad and other elements from the collection.

I constructed the mini boxes using multipurpose glue and then glued the top three together alternating between the flat and recessed surfaces. I made sure to carefully line them up along the lower edge to make attaching it to the plinth later on much easier. It is easier to decorate the trio of boxes first and then attach to the remaining small box. 

To decorate the boxes I painted them with Bishop Purple paint and left them to dry before adding Crackle Glaze. Once the glaze was tacky I painted over White Allegro paint - this is a beautiful white and is less stark than using Titanium White. 

Whilst the boxes were drying I then made my dimensional elements using Jewelry Concrete and Garlands and Bouquet and Plates and Hearts moulds. The jewellery clay can be made up in small quantities and sets quickly with a little of the powder going a long way - the moulded pieces are like stone so can be brittle so I would not suggest you use it for filigree pieces but for solid elements it works brilliantly and is a very cost effective way of making your own embellishments. As an added bonus the dried pieces do not need to be primed before painting.

The cast pieces were then painted. The first layer of colour was a custom blend of Bishops Purple and Lilac which was used to cover the entire piece with the exception of the pot. I then dry brushed a little Bishops Purple over the lavender and bows before adding dry brushing with a pinky purple Pentart paint called Blackberry and finally with some White Allegro. The White Allegro was used to paint the pot and Bishops Purple the bow on the pot. I added some touches of green to the lavender to represent the stems using Garden Green. Finally I added some gold wax


To decorate the birds I covered them with black primer paste
before highlighting the details with a mix of the gold and purple wax.

To decorate the front of the box I cut paper panels approximately 1cm smaller than the panels they were going on to and distressed the edges with the blade of my scissors before adhering in place. To the central recess I added some floral elements from the Flowers and Butterflies Decorative Chips. The clay elements were then adhered in place using the front fight panel to hold the plant pot forward of the recessed imagery. 


For the back of the piece I added a panel from the paper collection to the flat surface in the center and attached the birds so then were held in front of the smaller panels. I filled the recesses on both sides with some sisal and faux lavender sprigs adding a sentiment from the moulds to one of the boxes.

The piece was then adhered into place on the final small shadow box centering from side to side but off setting front to back - giving a larger "shelf" at the front. Once this had dried I could tip the diorama backwards so I could add sisal and/or moss across the boxes so that the whole piece linked together. I added more Decorative Chips to the back of my piece and added my title taken from the same piece of paper I had used for the background pieces on the front of the project.

Finally I added a mix of Violet Microbeads and Sparkling Purple Glamour Sparkles to my piece.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this project which I think could easily be adapted to work on any of the MDF Uprights That's Crafty! sell if you do not want to purchase the bigger shadow box sets. Have fun and please share your makes to the That's Crafty! Facebook page.

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