Thursday 5 May 2016

Celebrate Your Style at Anything But Cute

Hello Friends!

At Anything But Cute it is time to celebrate!!  The whole of the DT are hosting the challenge this month, which is Celebrate Your Style.

As we celebrate our 1st Anniversary, we want you to celebrate what you do best..... mixed media!  This is your chance to do it your way, in your favourite style... so pull out those inks and paints and show us what you're made of.  You can make anything you want, just as long as it has some mixed media products on it.  HAVE FUN!!

We have some special treats too this month.  Along with our DT projects, we have invited some Favourite Artsts from last year, to come and celebrate with us - they have created some wonderful projects to inspire you!  We also have a wonderful line up of PRIZES from some amazing Sponsors (details HERE).  Please do join us for a chance to win some wonderful goodies!

I wanted to celebrate my style by creating a sea themed project.  Seahorses are my favourite sea creatures so I used three beautiful Seahorse knobs to adorn a mini cabinet, which I altered, Andy Skinner style and I used some clay from my stash to make an Octopus ....

This is how the cabinet started, I can't remember where it came from but it is made from several different kinds of wood and was a bit tatty looking.  It measure approx 12" x 5".   I was given one of these beautiful Seahorse knobs by my friend Carole and I scoured the world trying to find some more - thank goodness for Etsy!

I started by giving the cabinet a good coat of DecoArt Gesso.
Once dry, I painted the cabinet with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic in Cobalt Teal Hue.  When this was dry I applied a layer of Weathered Wood Crackle Medium.
Next, I painted the pieces with DecoArt Crackle Paint and left it to dry.  This is Andy Skinner's Mega Crackle Technique.  It really does create wonderfully large crackles.
 The whole cabinet was then painted with a layer of DecoArt  Ultra-Matte Varnish.  This will seal the work and help prevent the crackles from coming loose. It is best to leave this to dry naturally.

I made two 'washes', one in Quinacridone Gold and one in Cobalt Teal Hue and washed over the whole of the cabinet and left it to dry.  Here is a close up of the Teal wash.
It was a bit too pale for my liking so I painted the pieces with a good coat of DecoArt Media Antiquing Cream in Patina Green.  I left this to dry (it dries but does not cure) and then I wiped over with a damp baby wipe to reveal some of the underneath.
I moved on to the Octopus next.  I had some Sculpey Clay in my stash and after watching a couple of YouTube videos, I formed the clay into the shape of an Octopus.  Once I was happy with the shape, I used seed beads to form the suckers on his tentacles (Tip:  if you make an octopus, put the suckers on before you attach the tentacles, it is very fiddly otherwise!).
After shaping him I baked him in a cool oven (130F) and let him cool down.  I painted him with DecoArt Media Fluid in a mix of Quinacridone Gold and Pyrole Red (just a dot of the red).
To give the seahorses a bit of a lift, I mixed some Mica powder in a sea blue tone in a little water and randomly applied it, giving them a lovely blue hue.
I cannot decide whether I like the Octopus on top of the cabinet but it took me so long to make, I think I will leave him there and decide later!  Sadly I had to remove a couple of his legs so he would fit in the top....apparently there is a species of six-legged octopus, so I don't feel too bad!

So, I hope you like how I celebrated my style!  

We would love to have you join in with us at Anything But Cute, to help us celebrate our 1st Anniversary.

Thanks so much for looking!  Hope to see you again soon, well tomorrow in fact!

Hugs, Anne xx


  1. Ooh! Anne I just adore this cabinet, the close ups show off all the gorgeous mega crackle beautifully, and your altered seahorses are devine. I just love your octopus, he makes me smile and I think he definitely deserves a place on top of the box. Your idea of using seed beads for his tentacles is pure genius and they look so realistic. Looking forward to seeing this up close this weekend. Mo x

  2. Oh wow, this is so absolutely amazing, Anne!! I love, love it!! What a transformation of the cabinet!! The octopus is stunning!! Polymer clay was one of my first crafty loves and now I want to make one!! He looks so cute on top of the cabinet!! The seahorse pulls are gorgeous!! This is just spectacular!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  3. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!! Do I love this little chest of drawers or what??? Oh my, Anne, you made that octopus so perfectly, I am still trying to pick up my jaw off the ground! Love it!
    Paper Talk with Samra

  4. I agree with Samra about the extended WOW!! This is just incredible Anne, and soooo your style!! I am completely blown away by your octopus, I can't believe you hand moulded that gorgeous embellishment (even if he does only have six legs) lol. Your mega-crackle turned out so well, the aquas really work with the distressed look for a sea themed project! Such an amazing transformation!!

    I am honoured to have you here on the team with us as we celebrate our first blogiversary Anne, here's to many more wonderful challenges getting to know one another through friendship and art! hugs :)

  5. What a wonderful little cabinet - I so love your Sea themed projects. I'm sure your octopus wont mind losing a couple of legs so that he can sit comfortably LOL.
    Toni xx

  6. Ooooooooooh, Anne, this is outstandingly beautiful piece of art! What a stunniņg transformation! Your octopus is out of this world awesome! Those mega crackles turned out perfectly and I just adore your sea horses! I wish I could create something like this! It's brilliant!
    Happy Anniversary!
    Big hugs to you! Branka xx

  7. Anne, this is just an amazing transformation of a humdrum cabinet into a wonderful work of art! Your mega crackle looks fantastic with those colors, and my, this project must have taken you the entire month! Your octopus is a work of art unto himself, and I'm so glad you decided to keep him! Anne, this is totally YOU--blue,precise, perfect, neat, and 3 dimensional, with a touch of seahorse! Everything just beautiful to celebrate your style! I'm amazed you were able to find 2 other identical seahorse drawer pulls! I know who I'm calling when I need something!

    I am so grateful for these past months, having you on the team and getting to know you better. I love calling you my friend and am honored when you call me that, too! Big hugs!

  8. Happy Anniversary! ABC and Anne you have created an amazing celebratory piece . Love how you have transformed you mini cabinet with all that yummy crackle and used some of my favourite colours . Wow! Your seahorse drawer knobs are so unique , especially since you added a little touch of 'Anne' to them. Your Octopus, wonderfully crafted and painted looks mighty grand sat in his quiet corner. I reckon his two 'missing' legs are hiding in the drawers!! hehehe!
    Utterly fabulous! Anne
    hugs xx

  9. More octopus please! He is so smashingly awesome sauce and the little beads for the suckers is a stoke of absolute genius! I was very curious about those. Thanks for the info and the details on how you made him because he is fantabulous! You turned this tatty old cabinet into a mother of pearl wonder full of sea life and wonder. The mega crackle turned out stunning! Love the washes you added for more depth and the paint details to the knows. I used to sell knobs like those but bronze in color. I say leave the octopus on top because I love him but you can always take him off if needed.

    I am so happy to call you a teamie and to get to know you through our blog. You are a delight and 3D Queen! Such an inspiration and so full of cheer and vigor! Happy Anniversary and cheers to this next year dearie. You rock! Hugz to you muffin! ~Niki

  10. Oh Anne, this is brilliant! I love him there, he looks right at home. He is cool as mud - as they say in the South. LOL! I totally dig it and think it was wise to use the seed beads rather than hand sculpting the suctions. The mega crackle is fantastic - totally makes this a show stopper! I'm so thrilled to get to work alongside of you and call you my teamie! What a fantastic birthday celebration project for Anything But Cute! Hugs, Autumn

  11. You are definitely an artist Anne - now who in the world wants to make an octopus! You did an amazing job with this yucky creature too. Speaking of yucky, that box was definitely yuck and you turned it into a work of art. Now how don't know how you jump from those sweet seahorses to an Octopus - what a leap. your octopus looks so real!!!!! He is a creature that roams around the deep looking for ship wrecks and pieces of gold!
    Now my friend above said "as they say in the South - cool as mud" I believe the statement is clear as mud! But what do I know, I am only 72 years old.
    all I know us that your Octopus looks amazingly real!!
    sandy xx

  12. WOW!!! What a transformation ...... I love it. The colour and texture looks fabulous, your octopus looks amazing and I love those seahorse handles on the drawers. Another work of art Anne xx

  13. OMG, what an incredible transformation Anne. LOVE all your painting and crackles, what work you put in with all those painterly layers until you got it just so. It looks fabulous! Then I LOVE your seahorse knobs - how very cool and apt! As for the octopus - well your vision and creativity knows no bounds!! Batted outa da park again!! I really will remember your tip about his tentacles! I can only imagine your anguish when you had to do two amputations!! But he does look fan on the the top. Stunning make Anne - you are soooo talented and it is a delight to share a blog post with you! Nicola x

  14. Completely and utterly awesome transformation! To me, you are the queen of alterations; your work is always wonderful to look at and most defintiely inspirational. {{Hugs}} xoxox

  15. Oh, wow, Anne! The transformation of the chest of drawers is fabulous enough - wonderful crackle - and the seahorse handles are delightful, but then you get to the pièce de résistance, that marvellous octopus... of course he must sit there, taking pride of place - he's amazing. Love the seed bead suckers - inspired! - and the bronze glow to him, and we can always imagine those other two tentacles are folded away underneath! Brilliant work.
    Alison x

  16. OH MY GOSH!!! I cannot believe you made that octopus (well, of course I can believe it because you are SO talented Anne!) but I thought when I saw it - "I wonder where she bought that cute little octo!!" Beautiful crackle over the pretty blue paint - and the seahorse drawer knobs are perfect! What a great place to store everything 'small'!! Julia xx

  17. A wonderful transformation Anne and I love your Octopus.....very clever finishing touches with the seed beads. He sits perfectly nested on top of your cabinet.
    Julie x

  18. this is wonderful Anne - the megacrackle looks amazing and that octopus is sublime! Awesome work! Love it! Hugs Rachel x

  19. What a gorgeous box Anne, wonderful texture and that octopus is just brilliant even if he lost 2 legs ;0) Hugs xx

  20. A brilliant performance from your octopus - even if he broke 2 legs instead of the customary 1! He certainly is a beauty with those seed bead tentacles! I love this fabulous transformation of the box and that crackle is amazing! Hugs, Chrisx

  21. As always - you don't disappoint with your project. Love this shade of crackled blue. It was lovely to see how you transformed the original piece into this beautiful tiny cabinet. Loved the seahorse pulls too. Amazing work on your clay creation, but have to 'fess up, this creature is not one of my favorites. I think it must be those tentacles! You did a great job in molding & sculpting him, he's just too believable! Well done, once more in your creative efforts. TFS & Hugs (oh yes, I don't eat calamari or squid!!!)

  22. Bravo! Anne this is amazing and so very you! I am bowled over by every detail, as much as I love the colours of the seahorses, it is Mr Octopus who has caught my eye. He is brilliant and you brought great character to him.

  23. Fantastic, love everything about it. The octopus is brilliant. Happy crafting, Angela x

  24. Oh Anne this is so cool! Love all the crackle and fab colour. The seahorses are gorgeous and the octopus you made is awesome! I have learned something too, I didn't know there was a species of six legged octopus! Thank you! xxc

  25. You are too much, Annie! That handmade octopus is remarkable! As I said on FB, I think you must have once lived the life of a mermaid! You have such a natural talent for transformative nautical art!! Hugs, Darnell xxoo

  26. The miraculous transformation of the box-chest,Annie! And the octopus just won my heart! Thanks!

  27. Those seahorses are so you!!! What a find, and love the octopus!!! Gorgeous transformation!!!

  28. Wow Anne what a transformation. Loveeee the finished look with the crackles and then the gorgeous sea horses and incredible octopus bring it to life. Xxx

  29. Oh bless! In all of this your concern was that you removed legs from your fabulous octopus! I had no idea how many legs a regular one has and frankly this one is just perfect as he is - as is the whole of your transformed cabinet! Anne you've worked wonders again and taken the seahorses to a new level too. Even Gary went 'Ooooohhh' when he saw it - which takes some doing!!! xx

  30. Wow, this is simply fantastic! I love the crackled finish! And Congratulations!

  31. Your octopus is so wonderful, it was really a great inspiration, many thanks Redanne!

  32. Really beautiful transformation! Love the color so perfect. The octopus is so cool, love him!Great inspiration, thanks for sharing!~kim

  33. Speechless! There is so much I love about this - that crackle finish! Stunning!!! Your octopus is wonderful - so clever! Your finished project is very inspiring.

  34. Beautiful patina on the wood and that octopus is wow! Love your nautical inspired home decor!


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