Friday, 30 July 2021

GrungyFlower Still Life - a StencilGirl Project and Video Tutorial

 Oh, well...hey there....long time no thank you even more for stopping by! ;)

As you may have noticed I haven't been spending much time in my studio(s) during the last months but now and then inspiration still likes to strike (at least a little) or one or the other design team project "forces" me to indulge in some creative me-time and I really always enjoy that (and am thankful for it as it keeps me going and in touch with my creative side). 

I am still in the middle of exploring and re-defining myself and my life, being in a new location and also health (or rather meno-pause)-wise forced to find new approaches to enjoying myself and everyday life. The new home close to the lake and the mountains helps a lot with this and I am enjoying my little garden, riding my kayak and exploring new sections of the lake's shore. Hail from one of the last heavy thunderstorms has done some superficial damage to the house and garden, but it is definitely nothing compared to the massive damage farmers and market gardens are dealing with! 

This weekend my son will get his second dose of Cov-19 vaccine and then the three of us will all be on the safe side and relaxed. So we are all well and safe - I hope you and your loved ones are too! 

I am sharing a flower still life with a video tutorial today - done for StencilGirl and with their wonderful stencils of course. If you hop over to their StencilGirl Talk blog, you will learn about what subconsciously influenced my painting - I was amazed myself how much I am obviously visually influenced by my new home and surroundings! 

The ten-minute video shows the whole process and also offers hints on composition and other helpful information on paints and tools used - so I hope you will like it! Enjoy your summer! 

Stay safe!

Claudia xxx

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Two Rusty Crusty Tags for SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges

 Hi, servus and welcome to the start of a new challenge over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges, dear friends! 

A new two months long challenge is waiting for you to be faced and with my inspirational project for May and June I decided to get rusty again! 

I was given some delicious chipboard pieces to play with by lovely Glenda from boozybear - one of our two prize sponsors: two cool gentlemen from the "Canes" set, the beautiful "Umbrella" set, a fine selection of awesome cogs and gears and the fabulous "Stacked Suitcases"! 

Of course these had to be used with some steampunk/industrial style travel theme tags! 

I started with die cutting two #8 size tags from old packaging cardboard using my "Tag&Bookplates" die designed by Tim Holtz - one of the very first dies I bought and still one of my most often used ones. 

I ran them through my BigShot using an embossing folder from Carabelle Studio and another from Spellbinders (I think). 
Then I added a base layer of red-brown acrylic paint - which already gave a great rusty appearance. 
I enhanced that by dry brushing the dried tags with Carbon Black acrylic paint and adding sprinkles of a very dark grey that I mixed by adding a tiny amount of white acrylic paint to the black paint left overs on my palette. I also painted the chipboard pieces with that dark grey tone. 

The hat, shoes, umbrella and suitcase handles were heat embossed using black embossing powder. The buckles got painted using DecoArt Extreme Sheen "Vintage Brass". I also added sprinkles of that to the tags before I fixed the finished pieces in place. The umbrella man and suitcases got a bit of shading with a detail brush and black acrylic paint for more depth and dimension. 

To fix the elements in place I used some chipboard left overs that I glued to the backs. 

The second gear was heat embossed with Ranger "Rust" embossing enamel. 

I found the umbrellas needed to be painted over with Yellow Iron Oxide acrylic paint - as this tone has a bit of a green-ish touch it makes the orange rusty tones pop even more and it also forms a great contrast. 

The quotes were stamped using Tim's "Noble Gent" stamp set. 

Some detail shots: 

I hope you like my two tags! I made these in my new (and not yet fully equipped) studio in our new home in the countryside! I love this spot so much and moving in kept us busy during the last months - so this was one other reason for my being absent for quite some time (besides struggling with break down, exhaustion and depression after an obviously too long struggle with health issues and many nasty side effects from tried out medications...but I won't bore you with that now). 

Here's a first view of my new creative spot at Lake Atter! So far I've managed to put together a base equipment that allows me to play whenever time allows and creativity comes by for a short visit (which isn't too often at the moment, but it is slowly returning). 

Two thirds of the shelves are still empty - and I guess these will only get filled slowly as it is a slow process to find out which things I want to keep and use in my Vienna studio and which ones in our country home. The room also serves as a guest room - therefor the sofa which can be turned into a comfy bed. 

I intend to buy less new crafting stuff, but one item had to bought again - the BigShot. I found I couldn't do without one in either spot! I remember when I got my first one...I was a bit sceptic if I would use it a lot, but I found it really took my creativity to another level and I wouldn't want to miss it now. 

And here's a first picture of the lovely view from my studio window - taken several weeks ago when winter came back for a short but hefty surprise visit after spring had already set in. 

But back to our steampunk challenges! The team and I are waiting for your entry over at our challenge blog! I hope to see you play along with us soon!

Hugs, stay safe and happy crafting! 

Friday, 30 April 2021

Time to Reinvent - a New Studio and StencilGirl Project

 Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by my little (recently quite quiet) creative corner!

Today's post is not just  a kind of update on my creative journey that has come to a sort of halt last autumn but also an invite over to the StencilGirl Talk blog, where I am sharing a new project (slowly getting back into the saddle it seems) and tutorial but also a short video tour around my new studio in my new countryside home at Lake Atter! 

We're keeping our Vienna home and my studio there too - so moving in the house and setting up another studio from scratch there is quite a challenge - especially as I need to decide which materials and tools to leave in Vienna and which ones to move to the new studio in the countryside. 
Deciding which of these to take to the house or leave in the flat still is a challenge I need to meet. Generally I find it hard to nail criteria for dividing stash by as it means you need to know first which kind of projects you will prefer to do in one spot and which in the other. But how do you do this without the feeling of limiting down yourself in both places? 

(impressions from the new studio - more details in the video over at StencilGirl's blog)

So far I have come to the conclusion assumption that I will rather do nature-inspired projects in the new countryside studio and focus on Distress and stencil techniques in the city studio...but what to do with the stencils that are nature themed for example?...I think I will have some items that will need to travel in the future. ;) 

 For now I have put together a kind of base equipment that will allow me to tackle a variety of themes and project types with some of my favourite techniques, inks, paints and products, but I also re-discovered items while browsing my stash that I had either forgotten about or that were among my first acquisitions when I started this hobby and got (mentally) replaced by newer ones over the years. I found these were well worth using again - so I hope they will get to be loved again in the new studio. In the last years I slipped into the habit of "needing" - needing to try out this new product or that new technique or theme...which led to some themes or loved items slipping out of focus...some having been real loves of mine. 

I re-discovered a lot of old texture and nature themed stamps that have been accumulating dust in some forgotten corners in my studio. By forgetting about these I also forgot of themes and project types that fuelled my imagination in the first place...and that still do. 

I have also been feeling lately that I've reached a kind of dead-end with my creativity in many ways - maybe that happened because I somehow lost track of the creative path I originally started on but then found myself trying out too many side trails at once and also designers highways where the urge of new high speed impressions replaced in-depth adventures and a journey that would lead to myself rather than to feeding the "needs" artificially created by something quite shallow - something that is ruled by online marketing thoughts and strategies and not needs of a creative spirit. 

So I am quite thankful for the health crises I am struggling with at the moment, as that forces me to think over a lot of things and re-invent myself and the way of how I want to live my creative side. Setting up a new studio in a new home that also brings me a lot of joy and inspiration from the beautiful nature it is surrounded by is the perfect help! 

The new project for StencilGirl was done in the Vienna studio though (remember - stencils stay there or will travel with me) - and gladly it was a project that brought back my joy in creating after the long break, too. Just me, myself, the beautiful designs, my favourite DecoArt paints and products and the joy of playing with colours and putting together something new to use in my new studio! 

 I hope you will visit the StencilGirl Talk blog too to take the short studio tour and check out the tutorial for this desk tidy! 

Stay safe!

Saturday, 9 January 2021

New Year , New Paths, New Hopes and a New Steampunk Challenge

 Hi, servus and thanks for stopping by my quiet creative corner! I hope you've all had lovely holidays and I wish for us all that 2021 will bring everything we've been hoping for! 

Those who have been following me might already know that I have been struggling hard with health issues (mainly caused by menopause in combination with my chronic thyroid illness) during the last twenty months or so - panic attacks and nervousness with shaky hands having made crafting almost impossible at times. I am now trying to tackle that differently (after having tried different ways of medication during the last months which turned out to cause severe side effects instead of improving health) by seeing a therapist (so much better than flooding the body with chemicals it obviously cannot take) and I believe that things will get better step by step - maybe slowly but for good and with a lot of improvement on the personal side. 

That will very likely also lead to new, different ways of living and expressing my creative side I main goal with this is that I will get back to enjoying the creative process - free from any pressure or struggle with shaky hands and nervousness. During the last months I have already cut back when it comes to design team work, but luckily my favourite design teams I am on are very understanding and wait for me to return! 

Speaking of design teams - our first challenge for 2021 has just launched over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges and there are some changes there as well: due to Corona pandemic DecoArt cannot send out prize bundles for now. As requests on certain products have exploded during Corona pandemic, they had to adapt to that and cut back on other specific product lines - one of these being our prize bundle paints and products. DecoArt and I have decided to switch to two-months long challenges until everything is back to normal (which we all hope will be in or around April) and prizes can be shipped out again as usual. We will of course draw prize winners for all our challenges, but ask our DecoArt prize winners to be patient as their prizes will be sent out later this year. 

My mojo is still on vacation - not only because of my health issues...but also because I am currently busy with moving in our newly bought holiday home at Lake Atter in the beautiful Austrian Salzkammergut!!! My husband and I were incredibly lucky to find and buy our dream house in our dream location this autumn - I am still pinching myself! It's not a big house - but it has everything we need and is a modern house made totally of wood! I love that! And it offers everything I had wished for - located close to a lot of hiking trails and even a skiing piste, just a two minutes drive from the lake, with forests and mountains and the view at the lake (and the very top of the amazing Dachstein glacier) just around the corner! 

But back to mojo and challenges - I am sharing this older steampunk project to inspire our steampunk challenge players; one that hasn't been shared via the challenge blog but on the Calico Craft Parts blog - HERE. There is a full tutorial to find there as well as loads of images and a list of products used. 

It's a notebook I've made using one of Eileen Hull's cool book dies and Calico Craft Parts. The metal and weathered effects were created using DecoArt and DecoArt media paints and products (more info on these in the blog post over at Calico Craft Parts). 

The covers were die cut from heavy grey board and I found some little journals that fit perfectly as signatures (so I do not need to make my own). 

Well, that's it from me so far! The team over at SASPC are waiting for your visit and entries! 

Make sure you check out the different rules that apply for our two-months long challenges (Maura, your current challenge host for January and February, explains everything in the blog post)! Good luck and joyful crafting!

Hugs and a successful, healthy and happy 2021!



Monday, 7 December 2020

A Little Bit of Xmas Crafting

 Hi, servus and thanks for stopping by today! 

How's everyone getting along with Christmas preparations? I hope you can all enjoy the advent season and find some relaxed time off real life with Corona pandemic and the usual hectic rush before Christmas! 

This is another invite over to the Calico Craft Parts blog where I am sharing some really quick Christmas projects today - all done with wood shapes from the wide range of winter and Christmas themed craft parts! 

The list with the craft parts (and few DecoArt products) used and some short explanations (honestly not a lot needed regarding the simplicity of the makes) can be found on their blog too. Hope to see you over there! 

Hugs and happy Xmas crafting!