Monday 15 April 2019

The Tale of Cottontail Bunny...

Hello friends...

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge! This week are theme is called BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS and we would love for you to join us and play along! So, maybe you will make some flowers of your own using dies, or use stamps within your projects or even embellish your artwork with some gorgeous ready made flowers ~ we hope you'll join us for this fun challenge.

For my project, I was inspired by Beatrix Potter and her wonderful illustrations and books and I chose to create an Easter framed panel that celebrated my childhood, my love for these stories and the tales of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny and the adorable Flopsy Bunnies.

So, let's get creating ~ it's time for this week's challenge to begin...

...and I started with the frame. This is one of Tim Holtz's framed panels and if you haven't used these before, then they actually come in two separate pieces ~ a back panel and the beaded frame. Taking the two sections, I primed the frame and the edge of the back panel with a layer of gesso, heat dried the paint and then added some colour to both pieces, using Weathered Wood Distress Paint. Once the painted layer was thoroughly dry, I then used a small amount of Picket Fence Paint which I dry brushed over the top. Once again dry the paint before applying a third layer of colour, using the dry brushing technique and this time applying Frayed Burlap. Once the the frame was dry, I then applied some Vintage Gold gilding wax over the top, paying particular attention to to the beading as I wanted to accentuate this.
I now have my frame completed and moved onto the background. For this project I wanted to keep the background fairly neutral and not too fussy as I wanted to really showcase Cottontail and the flowers, so I cut a panel of canvas paper, slightly larger in size than the aperture of the frame and applied a coat of Antique Linen Distress Paint over the top. Using a brush, I picked up some Pumice Stone Distress Paint and with long strokes applied the paint over the surface, just allowing the brush to kiss the surface! If you do find you've applied too much paint at this point, don't worry ~ just dry in between the layers and then add more of the Antique Linen using the long, sweeping brush strokes!
I adhered the dry background onto the base board of the framed panel using Matte Collage Medium. To add an inner border to my frame, I attached some Design Tape, applying this to all four sides of the baseboard, sticking it approx 0.5" from the outside edge of the board ~ to ensure the correct positioning of the tape strips, I would just pop the frame onto the baseboard and put a faint pencil line so that you can see exactly where the frame will sit and exactly where you will need to apply the tape to show a border.
Once I was happy, I attached my frame over the top using Matte Collage Medium.

To add more texture to the background, I applied some Ranger Crackle Texture around the edges and to random areas of the background itself. Allow for the crackle to appear and for the paste to set. I am hoping to do a more detailed tutorial sometime soon and will explain how to apply and colour the crackle paste, so...stay tuned for that if you'd like to know more! Now that the paste is dry, scribble a small amount of Gathered Twigs Crayon onto a mat and using a water brush or a damp paint brush, pick up the colour and just apply the crayon over the top, allowing the ink to sink into the crackles.
To complete the background, I applied some Grit Paste through the Speckles Layering Stencil and added the stamps from the Keepsakes Ephemera set and a Clippings Sticker to the top right hand corner.
Now to get to work on that spring garden....

...and create some 'beautiful blooms" and for this I started by making the dimensional flowers using the Funky Florals 3 die set. Taking the spiky flower die, which has two sections on the one die ~ I cut two layers of card for each flower, so there should be 12 layers in total, petals and stamens. The petals are coloured with a light inking of Antique Linen Distress Ink and the stamens are coloured with a combination of Peeled Paint and Shabby Shutters Oxide Inks. Once the inking is complete, I layered my petals, slightly offsetting each petal and attached the stamens to the centres before shaping and curling each layer. I then added a Bauble Adornment coloured with Butterscotch Alcohol Ink to the centres. Using this die set, I also cut some extra pieces of the smaller foliage which I will tuck into the arrangement.
Set these aside to begin cutting some Wildflower Stems ~ I just used three of the dies from this set, the sprig, the leaves and the flower heads. Each stem is coloured with Oxide Inks ~ shades of green for the stems and the blue tones for the flower heads and the sprig is coloured with Gathered Twigs Distress Paint, tipped with Peeled Paint on the bud heads.
Now for Cottontail, and for this I cut the bunny from two pieces of chipboard which I layered together to create one substantial and very solid figure.
I then applied a coat of gesso over the top of the chipboard and once it was dry, I added a layer of Frayed Burlap Distress Paint, followed by a layer of Gathered Twigs ~ because I wanted to create the look of fur and give texture, I used a sponge to apply the darker colour over the top.

After adding the details to the bunny tail, Antique Linen Distress Paint and to her ears, using Picket Fence and Spun Sugar Distress Paints, I added her pearl eye, nose and whiskers drawn in with Dylusions Paint Pens.
To complete Cottontail I attached her bow, again cut from chipboard and painted with Spun Sugar before adding a small pink gem to the centre of the bow.
Then finally, to create some definition to her, I used the Ground Espresso Distress Crayon and just ran it around the edge of the bunny, blending out any harsh lines with my finger.

I always love dimension on my pieces and to create this I used a Scallop Etcetera Trim, which I cut down slightly to fit across the width of the frame. After crackling the trim with Ranger Crackle Texture Paste and fixing it into position across the bottom section of the frame using foam pads, I then added my wildflowers, Cottontail and the Funky Florals flowers and foliage ~ adding some moss, a few bouquet findings flowers that I cut from the stems and coloured with Weathered Wood Distress Spray Stain and some sisal fibres into the arrangement. I also added some Hardware Heads to each side of the Etcetera Trim to create the look that the shelf has been attached to the background.

I also placed a small butterfly onto the background, shaping the wings so it appears to be in flight.
To complete this project, I used the Alphanumeric Label die to cut my lettering from gold metallic kraft stash card and spelt out the wording 'Easter Greetings' which I then attached along the bottom of my scene.
...and that's this week's project finished and I hope it's given you some ideas of how to create some spring panels and Easter projects of your own! It really was such a fun piece to bring to life and Cottontail is simply adorable ~ she is the perfect shape and so elegant in stature!
Don't forget, you can find more inspiration from my talented teamies over on the challenge blog and every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $50 gift voucher from Simon Says StampYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today and hope to see you again soon, love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:

Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous: Scallop Etcetera Trims
Tim Holtz/Sizzix: Alphanumeric Label, Wildflower Stems 1, Cottontail, Funky Floral 3


  1. Emma, this is such a beautiful piece, from the wonderful bunny to the gorgeous blooms, I can’t stop admiring all of the attention to details. This is always what draws me in to each and every piece of your art. I just love this and am so thankful that you shared it! xx

  2. Oh WOW!! what else can I say!! this is absolutely AMAZEBALLS!!! the bunny is adorable and I love the flowers and details, so pretty :-)

    Hope you have a great week!
    Lols x x x

  3. OMG, OMG, OMG ... Cottontail is ADORABLE; amazingly done; must try that technique. What can I say the flowers are soooo pretty; that color combo just whispers Spring Joy !

  4. She is wonderful, with all the attention to detail...I have this little Cottontail on order and so happy that I do...yay! me. Such a great remembrance piece from your childhood. And what a great piece to hand down to a Grandchild one day.

  5. This is absolutely beautiful. That background and the bunny are so cute. Love all the tiny pieces and every detail you thought of. I'd love to get such a postcard :-) Hugs, Macarena

  6. Love your stunning project, Emma. The flowers and the bunny are awesome! :)

  7. What a sweet little project! I love how you created a whole scene here and how it is so perfect for Easter. Lovely work, as always!

  8. Emma, what a gorgeous collage paying tribute to Beatrix Potter! Love that beautiful bunny and the wonderful scene you created for him. hugs, Maura

  9. This is fantastic Emma! I love the inspiration you used and the very sweet bunny. The flowers are lovely and so are all the layers.

  10. Speechless.... this is a perfect Easter project ! Your bunny is totally cute and flowers..... fantastic as always! barbara

  11. beautiful project,how adorable is that bunny sitting amongst the gorgeous blooms, hugs kath xxx

  12. Unique and elegant.
    Tha's all! Fantastic!!! BRAVO!

  13. Gorgeous piece, Emma! Love the pretty bunny and with all those amazing flowers. Hugs, Sandra

  14. Another Gorgeous piece depicting some of your childhood memeories , Emma. Its bursting with beauty, character and vintage charm .
    Big hugs x


Thank you for all your comments and messages, they are all appreciated and I hope you'll come back and visit again soon...
Emma ~xx

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