Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Take the Scenic Route - for Marte Savona

I love this time of the year!

And I love to travel by train - I can sit and look out of the window for hours! There's so much to see and each house I pass by is inhabited by people who have their very own stories. Each forest the train rushes through is inhabited by animals who have their own stories too. Each falcon I see standing midair above a huge field is looking for prey. How long has he already been looking out for food? What will it be this time? A tiny mouse or a common hamster?
And before I can continue to think of the falcon's possible story, we pass by some allotments - new stories start to unfold in my head...

When we go by car, my husband and I also sometimes love to take the scenic route instead of the motorway - just because this way the journey becomes the reward...

There is of course a step by step waiting for you over at the MarteLAB blog - as well as lots of steps images and the list of all products used (which are all available in the Marte Savona online store).

Hugs and happy travelling crafting!

Monday, 12 October 2020

Blair Witch Manor - a Calico Craft Parts Project

Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by, dear creative friends! 

I am finally back after a creative break with a new project for Calico Craft Parts and of course it is a Halloween themed one this time. 

A small cemetery is part of it...

...but the main project is an obviously abandoned manor...

...with a front garden that has taken on a life on its own...

...and it has an uninvited lodger in the basement.

Will-o'-the-wisps light a neglected garden...

...and who's that behind the half open door?
Seems he is already waiting for YOU! 

If you want to find out more about the maybe not totally abandoned manor (and see it by day light) and also about how I've done everything, simply click HERE to get to the Calico Craft Parts blog. A (very) long detailed tutorial with loads of process images is waiting there for you to be checked out. 

I hope you like the tuto and the project!

Hugs and happy Halloween crafting!



I am entering my spooky project to https://www.simonsaysstampblog.com/mondaychallenge/

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Brave Little Robot - Tag - for SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges

Hi, servus and welcome to the start of our October challenge over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges! Once more it is time for a little steampunk crafting fun - and who knows...maybe it is you who will win one of the two prizes we're giving away each month! Please, check out the rules and details - alongside the teamies' fantastically inspiring makes - over at SASPC

I've created a fun tag this time - playing around with DecoArt media fluid acrylics and Crackle Paint, Seth Apter's Wow embossing powders, some steampunk and industrial themed dies, background papers, Calico Craft Parts and the cute "Robot" stamp from Aall & Create

Using stamps with sketchy images is a bit tricky as you cannot fussy cut the stamped images without losing a lot of character from the design - so I decided to stamp the image onto some acetate with StazOn ink and paint the back white - using an acrylic paint marker. 

In a final step the acetate got fixed to the finished tag background using small black sticky foam pads that I covered on the top with some Calico Craft Parts screw heads. 

The background was done first of course - using a designer paper from my holy paper stash (yes, I am trying to use up my long hoarded stuff....lol). That was glued to a sturdy Calico Craft Parts MDF tag with matte Decou-Page glue, trimmed and finally inked around the edges with black archival stamping ink. 

The die cuts were cut from sturdy white cardstock and then got painted using DecoArt media fluid acrylic paints in a watercolour-y way. I layered Burnt Umber, Quinacridone Gold and English Red Oxide quite randomly. Afterwards I partially heat embossed one of them using Seth Apter's Weathered Gold embossing powder. 

In addition to that I spread a little white DecoArt media Crackle Paint here and there on the tag with the very tip of a palette knife. 

To repeat the white from the stamped image and crackle paint I then also used the left overs from one of the die cuts - the white numbers - and added them to the background with DecoArt matte Decou-Page. 

The acetate got fixed to the tag - done! 

I hope my little "brave robot"-tag has put you in the right mood for some steampunk crafting! I promise; the makes of my teamies over at our challenge blog will add even more fantastic inspiration! I hope to see you play along!

Hugs and happy crafting!

Thursday, 17 September 2020

StencilGirl® and Seth Apter - Wow! - Blog Hop

Hi, servus and welcome to an especially exciting blog post today!

As the banner indicates, it's time for another blog hop - this time "WOW!" and StencilGirl Products have teamed up to showcase the new fabulous embossing powders (and Mixed Media Embossing Brush) designed by wonderful Seth Apter and to demonstrate how well these can be used together with StencilGirl stencils to create the most amazing projects with the special wow-factor (sorry, couldn't resist the pun).

Designers from the WOW! and StencilGirl Products design teams are sharing their projects (WOW!'s designers have shared theirs already yesterday...today it's StencilGirl's turn) to inspire you and introduce several ways on how to use Seth's cool WOW! embossing powder Trios and - my favourite - the Mixed Media Embossing Brush (I will tell you why I love it so much a little later in this post in the tutorial section).

At the bottom of this post you will find the links to the other teamies' blogs and projects and learn how to participate in the blog hop and about the great  GIVE AWAY that is waiting for three lucky persons...

But first let's take a close look on Seth Apter's new WoW! embossing powders and how they go together with StencilGirl stencils!
This is the project I have created for this blog hop:

It was all done using - of course - Seth Apter Wow! embossing powders, StencilGirl stencils...and DecoArt Americana acrylic paints.
The panel my altered brush sits on is an old bamboo chop board that I created a background on using Seth's "monoprinting-with-paper" technique (one of my favs).

And as I love to use found objects and left over snippets of previous projects in my work (that I keep in a little wooden box on my desk for inspiration), there is also a left over piece of self made Dresden trim (done with one of the 3D Impresslits folders designed by Tim Holtz), a frozen charlotte, some dictionary scraps and a small piece of linen ribbon to find.

Here are the products and substrates I've used...I always love to have quite a stash of stencils at hand when I start a project so I can pick the ones that fit best while the project evolves and takes me on its own journey (so some of the ones shown here weren't used in the end).

 I've used these StencilGirl stencils to create my altered brush panel: 

- ATC Mixup Apter stencil by Seth Apter
- medium sized stencil from the October 2016 Stencil Club Set by Mary Beth Shaw

The two WOW! embossing powder Trios designed by Seth hold six amazing powders that go by the intriguing names of Blue Moon, Sea of Tranquility and Space Dust (from the "Cosmic" Trio) and Etched Platinum, Weathered Gold and Crusty Copper (from the "Metalz" Trio). The thin bottle with the yellow liquid to the left holds Seth's "Mixed Media Embossing Brush" and an embossing liquid that can be applied to almost any surface by using the brush that is included in the lid.

On my project I went wild and tried the powders and the Mixed Media Brush on as many different substrates as I could - on wood, on paper, on top of acrylic paint, on the brush's bristles and also the metal part, on left overs from chipboard tokens from some board games and on some linen ribbon...and it all worked like a dream!

What I especially love about the Mixed Media Brush is that the liquid has an extremely long open time (compared to other embossing liquids from embossing dabbers) and you can vary the thickness and amount of liquid applied by spreading some of it with the brush on a palette first and using a cosmetic sponge for dabbing only a really thin coat of that onto a surface (which also works extremely well with stencils).
A little of the liquid goes a long, long way and applying too much of it can cause your embossing powders to kind of swim on top and drift away during the melting process. So less is more in most cases, but on certain substrates - like the brush's bristles or fabric for example - you need a thicker coat than a dabber would provide. So the Mixed Media Brush is really versatile and opens up a lot of new possibilities (which makes my mixed media heart sing).

My bamboo board and the ugly red brush were primed using DecoArt Chalky Finish paint "primitive". 

Then I picked some DecoArt Americana acrylic paints and put together one of my go-to colour schemes. I applied layers of paint by first brushing it onto a piece of card stock and then pressing that onto the board - a kind of mono printing technique that is perfect for layering and creating depth and that I've picked up with one of Seth Apter's great online classes.

Voilà - the base for my altered brush and for the next layer that was to be done with stencils and embossing powders was finished!

To tone down my brush I dry brushed it with some dark brown acrylic paint. Then I used the Text and Texture Transform stencil and orange acrylic paint to add the focal word to the brush's handle. I applied the paint through the stencil using a very small stencil brush.

I added more orange words from the stencil to the bamboo panel. Before the paint was completely dry I sprinkled some Sea of Tranquility embossing powder on top, tipped off the excess and heat embossed the traces left on the stencilled words. This added a kind of patina look as it didn't adhere to the whole design.

To create a kind of metal rivets I used two different sizes of left over circles from board game chipboard tokens and heat embossed these with Weathered Gold and Crusty Copper.

The label was heat embossed using Space Dust embossing powder.

Then I fused the smaller "metal" bits with the larger ones by simply putting them together and re-heating. This way the bits on top sank into the molten embossing powder below and once everything had cooled down it was beautifully fused without the use of any glue.

Two stripes of embossing powders (Space Dust and Sea of Tranquility) got added to the very ends of the brush's bristles.

More heat embossing on the panel was to follow! I used Sea of Tranquility again together with a stencil to create the beautiful drip lines. You can see the cosmetic sponge to the very right. Right left to it I had spread some embossing liquid from the Mixed Media Brush flask on my palette (but that doesn't show in the picture). From there I picked some up with the sponge and applied it thinly through the stencil. It gave perfectly crisp outlines!
(I used the left overs on the palette about half an hour later and it still worked smoothly - that's what I really call a long open time!!!)

You can also see the crisp lines from the design from Seth's Urban Insiders Bar stencil - this time done in "Blue Moon" embossing powder.  I had again used the cosmetic sponge through the stencil to apply the Mixed Media Brush liquid from my palette.

Etched Platinum went to the widest section of the metal wrap of the brush and was also used to fix the frozen charlotte in place.

I added some more heat embossing here and there - trying to repeat all the colours used in at least three different spots to fuse everything visually.

Using a fine tip Faber Castell PITT artist pen I outlined some of the designs for better visibility and more interest.

I finally found I needed a kind of frame for my frozen charlotte, so I die cut a circular label holder from heavy cardstock and heat embossed that with Weathered Gold (using the still not dried out left overs from the Mixed Media Brush liquid on my palette!). The label holder looks almost like the real metal thing, doesn't it?!

Three more tiny circle chipboard left overs were heat embossed with Crusty Copper for two nail heads for the label holder and one nail head that was to go on the end of the brush handle.

The piece got finished off by adding some text from the dictionary page scraps and gluing everything in place. Before that I had also added thin stripes of Weathered Gold and Blue Moon the the brush - the latter was applied to the linen ribbon (to the right). With the Mixed Media Brush that was no problem at all.

The brush got fixed to the panel by using thick heavy duty sticky foam pads. The other bits were glued in place using tacky glue and matte DecoArt Decou-Page.

Some close ups: 

My panel tells about stories lost, stories within, stories that are yet incomplete (the stories of our lives), the acceptance of incompleteness in general, it tells about the "principles of trusting" - that come into play when we take a "leap" and put our art (and soul) out there and only dare to do so because we are able to "lean" on our faith in the quality of our own art.

And now let's finally talk about the ...

There's a $35 Gift Certificate to StencilGirl® Products,
a $35 Gift Certificate to Seth Apter’s Shop
AND a $25 Gift Certificate to Wow!

Enter to win by leaving a comment below.
Then be sure to visit the other blogs in the hop and comment to win.

Tina Walker
Debi Adams
Mary C. Nasser
Claudia Neubacher (you are here now)
Kate Yetter

The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN!
Three winners will be chosen at random from all blog comments!
(Only one comment per blog please.)

You have until Tuesday, September 22nd at 11:59PM Central Time to leave your comments.
Winners will be announced on Wednesday, September 23rd.

Good luck, everyone,

and as always

hugs and happy crafting!