Saturday 26 October 2013

Art Journaling - "Create Art Every Day"

Still grey in grey over here, but you can always add some colour to your life by art journaling, can't you? ;)

This time I played around with oil pastels, scraps of designer paper and dictionnary pages and white Gesso.

I love to play and create with letters!

I also love the combination of graphic elements with some intense colours against a natural background.

Hope you like it :)

Hugs and happy journaling/crafting!

Claudia x

Friday 25 October 2013

Fog in the Vienna Woods

After almost four long weeks in bed and at home with hurt ribs and then the flu I finally made it out today and enjoyed a wonderful walk in the Vienna Woods.

I love the fog, so I took my camera with me and tried to capture some of the enchanted landscape.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

DecoArt Goes Zakka! Part Two

Welcome back to part two of creating your own mobile phone sleeve from stamped and brayered on fabric and ribbon!

Yesterday in part one I showed you how to stamp and brayer your ribbons and fabric (see image above). Today it's time to sew and embellish to get something like this:

As I promised, you won't need a measuring tape.
But you will need:

- your altered ribbons and fabric (from tutorial part one)
- a piece of cardstock (I took a sheet of heavy copy paper)
- a pencil
- scissors
- your sewing machine (plus thread of course)
- DecoArt So Soft fabric paint of your choice
- a stencil
- a stencil brush
- a black textile marker
- your mobile phone
- some embellishments to sew on if desired

1. Center your mobile phone on the white card and draw its outline using a pencil.

2. Cut out the shape. I used my carpet knife but you can as well use a pair of scissors.

3. Moving your "stencil" over the painted piece of fabric find the detail you want as your front for the sleeve. Lay down (or fix it with some pins).

4. Get your words stencil and place it over the apperture. As I wanted to add some stamped on ribbon on the left I decided to put the "ENCHANT" more to the right.

5. Apply a tiny amount of DecoArt So Soft farbic colour of your choice to the acetate and load your stipple brush. Stipple onto some scrap of paper first to make sure there's not too much colour on your brush - otherwise it might soak under your stencil.

6. Stipple your image by fastly securing your stencil with the other hand.

Clean your brush immediately - as long as the colour is still wet.

7. Let your fabric dry or speed up using your hair dryer or heat tool (don't use your heat tool with fabric that contains any synthetics as they would melt and cause the fabric to crumple!)

Then outline the image using a black textile marker. Fixate (if necessary) following the instructions on your marker.

8. Use the selfmade stencil again to find the desired spot for your ribbon. Sew it down with two straight seams.

9. Then take your mobile phone and wrap your fabric around it so your front side is perfectly in place. Flip it over (with your phone still inside) and use the stencil again to find a good spot for another ribbon for the backside of your sleeve.

As I forgot to take pictures of these steps, I tried to explain by making some sketches. I hope they work for you.

10. Having found the spot where you want your second ribbon to be on, carefully - by holding the ribbon in place - unfold your "mobile phone-fabric-stencil sandwich" and sew the ribbon in place:

Then cut your fabric to size before you sew the upper seam. You can do so by having your phone still wrapped in the fabric (again - no measuring ;). When sewing don't forget to fold in your seam about a small finger's width.
Also leave about a finger's width of overlap on all sides for later sewing.  You do not need a seam at the bottom. (I had it drawn first, but then remembered that I didn't do one as the bottom will be sewn together anyway - sorry for the terribly worked over sketch. But actually this is how I work when I do more complicated projects... a lot of drawing and drawing over and crossing out ;).

11. After you have done the upper seam flip your piece over again ("good side" facing inwards) and wrap it one more time around your mobile phone to find the correct spot for your side seam. Pay attention that you don't make your sleeve too narrow or too wide. Both of it can be rather annoying - having your phone get stuck or slip out too easily.

Take out your phone before sewing ;)
Do the same to find the correct distance for your bottom seam. Then cut off the excess at the bottom and flip over again. You're almost done! Yay!

12. You can stitch on some embellishments if you like to. I added a tiny metal label for example.

I know, I know, my phone sleeve isn't done perfectly and those of you who are well experienced in sewing will do it a lot better, but honestly I sometimes love the imperfection of handmade things (even though I admit that there's a fine line between imperfection's beauty and charm and the kind of imperfection that tells that someone simply wasn't good at what he was doing *lol).

I leave it up to you to judge. But mainly I hope you will enjoy making your own semi-controlled sewing projects and experiences!

Have fun and happy sewing/crafting/stamping/messing!

Claudia x

DecoArt Goes Zakka! Part One

Good morning, dear readers, followers and crafting friends!

I recently decided to take out my sewing machine and try something textile. I also wanted to experiment a little with the fabulous DecoArt so-soft fabric paints and do something else than simply paint with them.

Which in the end lead to some semi-controlled sewing and messing with paints ;)
As I am more the woodworks girl (having taught wood works at school for almost twenty years), my approach to sewing honestly resembles to building up boxes - only from fabric instead of wood *lol.

So if you are on the hunt for a sewing tutorial that works without measuring, using tailor's chalk or complicated seams, this is the right place for you ;)

The result of my messing around was this - a pocket for my mobile phone:

I started with some stamping on fabric which was great fun.

Materials used:

- DecoArt So Soft fabric paints
- fabric ribbons
- clear stamps and stamping   bloc
- cut off pieces of kitchen sponge
- a piece of acetate (from packaging material)
- baby wipes
- scissors

1. I cut various strips of ribbon to desired length. (Actually I cut them about twice and a half times the length of my mobile phone as I had not decided which parts of the ribbon I would use  for my pocket later - and I could use scraps of the stamped ribbons for other projects too for some fabric embellishments).

2. Mount your desired stamp to the acrylic bloc and get acetate sheet, kitchen sponge and fabric paint ready. I started with DecoArt So Soft "Dioxazine Purple".

3. Pour a tiny amount of colour onto the acetate.

4. Spread it (a bit larger than the size of the image you want to stamp) using the piece of kitchen sponge  by dabbing it softly.

5. Gently dip the stamp into the colour several times to cover the stamp. Don't press too hard - otherwise you will squish the colour out on the sides.

6. Stamp. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you want to change to the next colour.

7. I chose DecoArt So Soft "Crimson" next and added it directly onto the Dioxazine Purple.

8. Spread again and stamp the same way as before.

9. For another tone add a third colour. I chose DecoArt So Soft "Indian Turquoise" (which mixed to a light lilac with the red underneath).

10. Clean stamps and acetate using a baby wipe or damp cloth. Rinse the kitchen sponge with clear water.

11. Let dry - about 48 hours (or speed up the drying process using the heat tool - which works perfectly for impatient folk like me. But be careful - if you didn't stamp on pure linen or cotton fabric your ribbons might crumple from the heat!)

That's it so far with stamping the ribbons.
Next I played around with applying colour to fabric by using a brayer.

  Materials used:

- DecoArt So Soft fabric paints
- a brayer
- a piece of acetate
- a piece of single coloured fabric (mine was linen)
- baby wipes

1. Apply some droplets of fabric colour onto the acetate. Try to vary in size and distance inbetween. I used DecoArt So Soft colours "Dioxazine Purple", "Crimson", "Indian Turquoise" and "Canary Yellow". It is totally up to you in which order you use them. But only one colour at a time.

2. Take up some of the colour with your brayer and roll it over the fabric. It will leave various colour traces and by layering them you can add a lot of interest and texture to your fabric.

Clean the brayer and the acetate using a baby wipe between repeating the process with different colours. Let dry for 48 hours before washing.


In Part Two I will show you how to arrange your ribbons and some stencilling on the prepared fabric and how to sew the sleeve for your mobile phone without using a measuring tape. In the meantime: have fun producing brayered fabric and stamping your own customized fabric ribbons!

Hugs and happy crafting!

Claudia xx