Here at Anything But Cute we love to see all the seasoned and expert mixed media artists, but we also want to encourage those who are just getting their feet wet. Our design team will always be on the lookout for these exceptional artists, and you just never know when we might be giving out something special to a talented mixed media newcomer.
Make sure to put 'newbie' after your name in the linky so we know who you are.
(new refers to 'new to mixed media' NOT 'new to our challenge')

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Feature Artist - Summertime Fun - Welcome Coco!

Hello Everyone!

Sara Emily here, and I'm pleased and so excited to introduce to you our Featured Artist for July. She was the winner of our Celebrate Your Style challenge in May. Please welcome Coco of Les folies de Coco!!

Coco is a fabulous, inventive mixed media artist who has a deep love for creating. Each piece of her beautiful artwork expresses her passion, and she loves to try new techniques and play with varied styles and mediums.

Coco has created this awesome, detailed 3 dimensional scene for Anne's Summertime Fun challenge. Feast your eyes on this amazing little treasure!

Hello all! I was absolutely delighted to be invited to guest here at Anything But Cute. I think it's a brilliant challenge, the team includes so many fantastic crafters and artist ladies, and the inspiration projects are always incredible.

I'm Corinne, from Les folies de Coco... more known as Cocofolies or simply Coco – my nickname - on Craftyblogland. I'm a French self-made wanna be artist at heart, and a free-lance teacher and demonstrator in Mixed Media art since early October, 2015. A dream come true. Working full-time with craft papers, my beloved rubber stamps & art supplies in my messy space, with my - always on my table, truly! - cup of coffee make me just so happy!!! All that is just a fundamental need for me.

I have a confession to make. Unlike many of us, though I have always be an admirer of Art and felt I had an artistic temperament, my love for getting messy with paint, ink and stamps is not a great passion from my early childhood yearsInstead, since I was good at school I followed advanced studies, and I've become a research engineer in telecommunications systems and security for many years... But in early 2009, sadly, I lost a wonderful little girl of almost 5. My passion for creative things goes back to the months following that terrible loss, where crafting helped me continue to go ahead.

Today I'm thrilled to bits to be able to create every day and share my techniques and my love for Mixed Media in my area too, and not only on my blog. I have no particular style, I just love what is beautiful, detailed, colorful, and sometimes a bit quirky or whimsical which is my world basically maybe. I always pay a lot of attention to the details. I could spend hours on tiny details… Even if I’d love to be more C&S sometimes, I’m sure I’m not! :-)

I live in beautiful France, in a small Breton village. I am just 50, but some days feeling much younger (I’m the mum of two lovely twin girls being only 8), and some other days much older… like if I was almost 100 haha!!! (This is because of my dynamic twins, but also because I have two grown children, the eldest one will be soon 26… Being a mum of a large family takes so much energy!). But I have a wonderful hubby, I’m so thankful to him. Without his support, I would not have been able to fulfill my dream.

I’m proud to be designer member for Crafty Individuals, also very proud to have designed in the past for Tando Creative and Katzelkraft. The only reason why I stopped was the lack of time to manage several DT commitments at the same time....

I create every day even if I have not the time to share all my artworks day after day, being so busy, with my workshops to prepare, DT job, and my big family to take care for the rest! I have not a minute free for myself for other things than my consuming passion. But I love my new way of life… I try publications now to be more known, I’m already in Craft Stamper and French magazines. But what I prefer and continue to do, is playing along with my worldwide friends and entering challenges that I love as much as possible. They are so inspiring, and I have learned so much myself on some fantastic challenges blogs like this one! - I’m very grateful for that; I mean for the generous share – generous because it represents a tremendous work. I still love myself to share tips, techniques and ideas wherever possible on my blog, Pinterest, FB and IG social networks.

Thank you so much again Pamellia and the team for choosing my Art journal pages as a winner! This is really an honor for me to be the feature Artist today on ‘Anything But Cute’ challenge blog and share with you a small 3D project that I have loved creating for the occasion. It was really so much FUN, thank you Anne too for choosing the theme of ‘Summertime Fun’!!!

Knowing the theme for this month I remembered that I had in my stash a little wooden cabin offered by a very good crafty friend of mine... We had planned for the fun to create our own version individually and share them on our blogs at the same time when finished. Thought it was the perfect occasion for me to achieve this project!

And to add to the fun as this is the theme, I have created a full seaside scene in 3D. Hope you will appreciate it. If it could be inspiring for you that would be lovely. Here’s the how-to of my project. I made an heavy-photos project, my apologies to all of you for the length of this post.... :) 

I started with a bit of recycling, as I wanted to create a base for my beach hut.

I chose for the support a polystyrene food tray. After a good coat of Gesso (I also gessoed at the same time my little cabin and sanded it too), I glued a sheet of Crafty Individuals Background Paper Book from the Seaside collection. It has the right size to cover the flat surface of such tray, so it was perfect.

I painted all around in Titan Buff and slightly the edges and the back too; Then I mixed a bit of white and pale yellow paints with extra heavy gel and applied the mixture with a palette knife roughly, to imitate coarse to medium grained sands. I had fun to embed in it small beads and natural seaweed and tiny shells coming from the beach of St Malo, a famous city of privateers!

Now for the cabin: I wanted some texture on the roof… I chose a lovely Dinky stencil, and applied DecoArt crackle paste over each side. Taping my painting knife also randomly on the walls. Once dry, my roof and cabin were painted with many layers of Decoart fluid Acrylic Paints, I chose bright and gorgeous colours. You can have an idea of the process by looking at the four photos above.

At this stage, I changed slightly my mind… Decided that my blue was really too dark for a beach hut!!!

So I repaint it with a lighter blue shade from a yummy Dylusions paint can.
And decided that I wanted also a distressed look... so a bit of crackling was added at this stage, but with the help of a Crackle background CI stamp…

But I was not totally satisfied yet... Finally, I masked some strips and repainted some other ones in white.
Then I put aside the beach hut to continue with the 3D project. Working on the tray again, fun part now!

I used Modroc plaster to create a wavy border, for a more realistic look of the scene (believe me or not, it was my very first trial despite I have this stuff for ages in my stash!!). 

I really enjoyed this step, it was so easy, and really fun to do. After shaping well with my fingers to adhere well to the base and in a way I was satisfied, I let the whole tray dry all the night.

Once dry, I repainted the extra edges in Titan Buff and pale yellow colors. I painted further the back side and edges, starting roughly at the middle of the tray with blue shades, plus a drop of purple…

Next another fun part. I stamped on heavy watercolor paper a lady with a parasol and two beach chairs, also a kite and its reverse side (by stamping on an acrylic block first and then transferring the image onto paper). Clear embossing and cut out everything (leaving a little border all around) and next colored all the elements with distress inks and Derwent inktense pencils. 
I glued my lady on a piece of recycled cardboard painted in blue (previously stamped using the same image but fussy cut out for the purpose of staying invisible behind the lady) and adhered the whole to the ground with a bit of heavy gel mixed with paints… Like if the woman was sinking in soft sand and in a little puddle of water. 

At this stage, I started to be pleased with how things turned! So I decided to create also a tiny folded book, as a cute addition, with a true leather cover and lovely stamped pages inside. This book opens the door to seaside dreams..

The images speak themselves on the way I created my small book. I played with some small CI stamps that I love to create the scene, on both sides of the folded paper. I had a lovely playtime to do it, highlighting some areas with my pencils, paints and fingers… and dreaming of summer, beach and sea of course!

I poured a bit of gold and yellow glitter on the sand parts. Adding beads and a charm on the cover at the end for the finishing touch...
And back to the tray again, as I love working on details. Thought it needed some addition! Here you can see how I have embedded some waves on the back edges. I stamped several wavy borders from a new CI stamp on tissue paper (quickly painted a bit first with some remaining blue paints, but I should not do that, because the tissue paper is no more easy to tear into pieces easily using a small brush after that!!!) adding a bit of neutral shimmer EP to simulate shining reflections on water and heat set slightly.. I then glued parts of them in place using gel medium, giving also a good coat of this on the whole tray to seal.  
I used Primary Cyan to highlight the waves, to make them pop out more.
Next, I dry brushed some white and buff paints over the hut and the edges of the tray, like if sand had been carried by the wind.. I also poured a few inches of shimmery at some places… 

For the final touch, a few embellishments have been added, like the beautiful little anchor partly painted and distressed that you can see above on the door.
Or the little nautical knot at the back… and ooo, here are my two deckchairs glued side by side! I was inspired by my teammate Florence Langley at Crafty Individuals to add a lovely dot paper to cover the hessian…

Work in progress to enrich the decor… I created a large ocean background paper with some leftovers, - very quickly done, paper piecing and a bit of black and yellow paints and glue and all done - and fussy cut one quirky bird stamped on it… Couldn’t resist to adhere it at the back of my tray looking at the scene : -)

The complete project in pictures! Hope you like.

And finally, better to place my 3D project directly in the sand box to take the best pictures!

The little book can be set at any place and open…

Or closed… or opened again, and put on top of the roof! Made me smile!!

Hopefully you will now feel even more inspired to create your own Summertime Fun! project and share it here at Anything But Cute. I really enjoyed working with this theme. Huge thanks to Pamellia, Anne, and the Design Team for inviting me to be a Feature Artist this month. It’s been an absolute joy!
WOW! what a fabulous beach scene with so many great details! Thank you so much, Coco, for inspiring us with your artwork! It has been such an honor having you here with us today and great to learn more about you.

I hope you all are as inspired by Coco's beach scene as I am and will join in the fun for Anne's challenge Summertime Fun!

You have until the 4th of August to play - and you'll find all the challenge details as well as lots of inspiration from the brilliant Anything But Cute design team by clicking on the challenge link.

Happy Crafting
Sara Emily


  1. Fantastic project Coco. Amazing detail :)

  2. How very fun is this! So wonderful to have you join us Coco! You did an amazing job on this project. Every detail is delightful. Hugs, Autumn

  3. Great to hear more about the lovely Coco - and what an outstanding summertime project too! Love the scene you've created, Coco - and every detail is a delight!
    Alison x

  4. Fabulous project! So many details and techniques... must have taken hours of toil! LOve it!

  5. Coco, your beach hut is just delightful!! I love every single little element, the tray looks fantastic with the sea and the beach, the little book you created is superb and those little deck chairs are adorable. A totally brilliant project! Thank you for sharing your talent with us! Hugs, Anne xx

  6. Wow! Coco's beach is realy stunning! Such a fabulous piece of 3D art! I really enjoyed all the process, thanks for sharing!

  7. Thank you so much Sara Emily for your beautiful words about me and everyone for the lovely comments!!! You made my day!
    I had a blast creating this little 3 dimensional scene for Anne's challenge, loving the theme and so proud to create for Anything But Cute! Thanks again for the invitation.
    Hugs, Coco xxx

  8. What a stunning piece of 3D art with an absolutely beautiful design! Brilliant summertime project! I am so excited to hear more about amazing Coco! Hugs! Branka xx

  9. Coco, your piece has just taken my breath away! What an absolutely amazing 3D project idea, and what a fantastic ride watching you put it together!! Thank you so much for all of your hard work and for being such a great inspiration to all of our followers and the whole team too!! It's an honour to have you here as our Feature Artist! hugs :)

  10. What a triumph from Coco!! Spectacular creation with exceptional detailing!! Absolutely gorgeous! Think the dinkie deck chairs are my favourite! Nicola x

  11. Oh my, Coco, this is absolutely stunning!! I want to move into that beach hut by the sea!! The details are amazing!! I love every single thing about this!! It makes me happy to look at!! What a spectacular project this is!! Love, love it!!

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  12. Thank you so much again everyone!!!

  13. Speechless! Overwhelmed! Your gorgeous introduction of yourself, you've just opened your heart to us, Coco. And the artwork, nothing to say, too too stunning. And see the whole process, even the Modroc!!Really thank you for sharing :-)

  14. An absolutely incredible project Coco. Stunning creative details into every corner and an absolute delight to drool over. Love everything about this and thanks so much for sharing.
    Hugs, Julie x

  15. Coco, this little beach hut is one of the most incredible 3 dimensional summertime projects I've seen! It really was such a pleasure to read your delightful post and see all the details brought to life! than you so much for all your hard work both on this fabulous project and on the detailed post! Hugs to you!

  16. Once again, thank you so much Gio, Julie, Sara and everyone. It has been a real joy and pure delight to design for you all here!!!
    Hugs xxxx

  17. Oh my gosh, this is adorable!!