Monday 1 September 2014

Creative Blog Hop

Servus and welcome to my little creative spot!

I was recently nominated by the lovely Kerry from Kezzy's Crafty Journey as participant in a special blog hop that is meant to present crafty bloggers from around the world a bit differently and to provide glimpses behind their creative curtains.

I recommend you visit Kerry's blog too to find out a bit more about her and the other creative minds she tagged! It's really worth it! I definitely love to learn more about the persons behind the makes... ;)

To begin with a little information about me:

I have just passed my mid-fourties (uh oh...fifty's fast approaching) and live in Austria's beautiful capital Vienna with a wonderful husband and son, my lovely dog girly Bluna, three budgies (who have recently started to eat away at our furniture) and some fish in a tank.

Besides taking care of our little private zoo I am a studied arts and crafts teacher (but off the job after 18 years of teaching and not sure if I will get back to it) and at the moment I enjoy being a mom, wife, dog keeper and housewife (which provides me with some spare time to spend at my studio - yay!). 

I started my creative blogging "career" in June 2012 - shortly after I had accidentally discovered crafty blogland and the almost endless stamping universe. It really knocked me off my socks at the beginning...learning that there are stamps and media for almost any occasion...and techniques I had never seen before - being a true old fashioned academic when it came to paints and drawing techniques back then. 

(This is one of the painted projects I did during my art studies back in the 80s and 90s.) 

Discovering and exploring stamping and Mixed Media has freed a lot of creative potential in me. Sometimes I feel that this was the "key" to giving my creativity the right "words" and "tunes" to finally make it "sing" and come to life.

Which brings me to question 1:

How do I create what I do?

Maybe it helps knowing that I started my blogger career as a poetry writer... back then (and having had a heavy painters block - due to my studies at art university), writing poems felt to me like I was "painting with words" - creating images and songs by using those words that evoked the exact mood I was looking for - just like choosing the right colour or texture for a painting. Writing poetry (and learning a lot about the how to and the dos and don'ts) helped me grow at combining single elements to create something that was more than just the sum of all that I put into my poem. 

And most important: I learned that less is more and that leaving "open/clear space" for the reader/viewer would make my poem more "vibrant" in a way. More "alive". 

I hope this makes sense to you - I explain it to you because this is also how I create my visual projects - trying to create more than just an image that shows all the parts I used with it. 

How does my creative process work?

I don't have a finished project in mind when I start working on something - but I have a certain "tune" in my head...a certain mood or impression that I want to capture and show how I see/feel it. Textures, colours and composition are my means to make that certain tune "swing". In fact I am a VERY textural girl - and I love everything worn and weathered - because it tells a story (or sings a tune on its own rather).

So creating in a way is like lending my poets and/or singers "voice" to the materials' and objects' stories.  (And yes - I am a writer, singer and dancer in real life too ;).

Nature is a constant source of inspiration for me too...I also love to photograph when I hike the Vienna Woods or the beautiful Austrian mountains. It is my way of "gathering treasures" other than physically. I also like to gather pebbles, fossils, rusty bits 'n pieces, insects, beautiful pieces of bark...they all inspire me. 

 I love that mixed media are so forgiving! Being able to transform, overpaint, redo and experiment has made my creative process more like a playful dance - or rather like creating a choreography that expresses my inner feelings. 

How do I stay focussed/motivated?

Well, that's a question I once thought I could answer rather easily... but that was before a severe burn out hit me and knocked me off my creative routine.

As some of you already know I am dealing with Hashimoto Thyreoidits - a chronical desease that affects the thyroid. I was diagnosed after about five years of suffering from a lot of minor things that had been growing worse slowly but constantly (like fatigue, feeling flu-ish, stiff joints, lack of concentration, dizziness, heavy weight-gain and other depressing stuff...) and the adjusting of the medication still isn't finished (and caused some nasty side effects during the last year). A lot of things are a lot better now, but finding the perfect dose still is a constant matter of "trial and error" and it led to a burn out in the end (which I only recently found out after suffering from nervousness, depressive periods, trembling, anxiety and panic attacks and other nasty stuff). 

So my creativity has suffered too - creating with shaky hands has too long been more of an effort now than it was fun and being on several DTs didn't make any of this easier. Deadlines started to creep hell out of me (which made my hands shake even more) and so I have reduced my schedule (thanks to the aid and understanding of a lot of real good friends in crafty blogland) to be able to find my own pace again. 

I want to be able to focus on my personal creative needs again as I have learned that the real good projects only "happen" when they are created out of this "need to create" (instead of a "have to"). So focussing on my inside needs is focussing on my art at the same time as they seem to go hand in hand. 

I am sure that this works differently with all of us as people are different. But I think the connection of our inner health and creativity generally is a strong one. 

What am I working on right now?

This 'n that. I have started learning some new techniques during the last year...encaustics for example. 

I love to create texture or embed objects in the wax - but I am still learning and experimenting.As it is a rather forgiving technique I sometimes end up re-doing spots again and again...reheating the wax, stamping into it, colouring it, embedding and removing objects. It can become a rather meditative process.

I am also still practising with the Gelli plate - being the more fiddly type and trained academic painter I still struggle with the right measure between "control" and "happy accident" - but results can be very rewarding:

As many of you might too, I found that my art is constantly evolving, taking side steps and sometimes also arriving at dead ends (which I try to consider a reminder to get back to the roots and work on techniques I started with and have almost forgotten by now). 

It is my art that kind of takes me on a journey - and not the other way round. 


I finish today's Creative Blog Hop post with my most favourite part: by nominating two very creative ladies I had the great luck to meet in crafty blogland and to even get to work with me on my Steampunk challenge blog "SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges"!

Susan Janicula from klistersoster


Agnieszka aka Meresanth from Meresanth Krafts

Their Creative Blog Hop posts will go online next week, on Monday, 8th September! So don't miss it! Of course I recommend you hop over to their blogs right now - you will find a lot of awesome art with their creative spots! Promise! ;)


Thank you for stopping by and for reading this far! 
I hope you enjoyed learning some more about me and my art ;)

Hugs and happy crafting,
Claudia xxx


  1. Dear Claudia

    It's so good to read about you, your thoughts and creativity on your blog hop. I have followed you a long time and seen your lovely creations, which I am very fond of. I think you're very talented and inspiring for us all in blogland. And I am very proud to be part of your Steampunk team. I hope you will soon recover and get your mojo back so you can play in your studio again.

    Hugs Susan

  2. ein echtes Meisterwerk, dein Bild aus vergangenen Zeiten und deine Bastelecke ist eine Inspiration in sich. LG Kerstin

  3. Claudia, it's so great to find out a little bit more about you! I love the painting you showed us - it's quite eerie and reminds me of something, but I just can't put my finger on it... You know, I used to write quite a bit myself, poetry and fiction, but I never looked at that as connected to my crafting experience... but now that you mentioned it, it got me thinking... you really gave me food for thought with what you have shared - thank you for that!
    Sending lots of love your way!

  4. Meine liebe Claudia, sooo lange hatte ich nicht wirklich Zeit, mir meinen Blog und den Anderer vorzunehmen. Aber heute muss ich Dir einfach ein Lebenszeichen hinterlassen! Lange schon bewundere ich Deine Farbzusammenstellungen, Texturen, die Ideen, die hinter Deinen Werken durchschimmern. Kurz, ich bin Dein Fan! Aber heute auch noch ein wenig hinter die Haustüre gucken zu dürfen, die Claudia "kennenzulernen", die sich in diesen Kunstwerken ausdrückt, das war schon etwas ganz Besonderes! Es gehört schon etwas dazu, sich zu entblättern und zu öffnen, ohne abstrakte Kompositionen in Farbe, die vielerlei Interpretationen zulassen.
    Bei mir bist Du da ganz sicher, liebe Claudia! Ich habe mich gefreut, etwas "Seelenverwandschaft" (leider ein fast schon zu oft missbrauchtes Wort) beim Lesen Deiner Zeilen zu spüren, zumindest was die Inspiration durch Worte, Gedichte, die Natur usw. angeht.
    Etwas trauriger stimmte mich natürlich Deine Geschichte von Krankheit und Burnout... Das ist natürlich etwas, was das freundliche Profilbild auf Deinem Blog, das mich gerade anlächelt, nicht aussagt. Was soll ich sagen? Ich wünsche Dir von Herzen, dass Du Dein Gleichgewicht findest, dass Du Kraft aus Natur, Familie und Freundeskreis schöpfen kannst, dass Deine Inspiration hell und licht bleibt und Dich aus manch depressiver Situation herauszieht. Dass Du den richtigen Weg für Dich findest...
    Dass Du für viele von uns Bloggerinnen Inspirationsquelle bist, weißt Du sicher. Halt Dich daran fest! Ich jedenfalls habe heute Deine Naturcollage bei... hmmm, wo war das nu?... na, Du weißt schon...gefunden und ich hatte SOFORT für mich ein Bild, das ich für die Challenge verwirklichen will! SOFORT!!! (Nur meine Mutti, die gerade zu Besuch ist, hält mich von der Blitzumsetzung ab... Aber nicht lange, sage ich Dir!)
    Also bleib weiterhin so schön kreativ, aber mach Dir keinen Druck! Ich freue mich immer, Dich hier zu besuchen!
    So, jetzt habe ich aber allen anderen den Kommentarplatz genommen und muß mich fast dafür entschuldigen! Das war's jetzt aber auch. Ich habe gesagt, was ich sagen "musste"...
    Liebe Grüße
    Deine Manu

  5. Liebe Claudia, ich habe es sehr genossen, deinen Post zu lesen und ein wenig "durchs Schlüsselloch" schauen zu dürfen! Auch ich bin ein Fan von deinen wunderbaren Arbeiten und ich freue mich auch immer ganz besonders über deine wirklich schönen Kommentare. Sie lassen erahnen, welch warmherzige, liebe Person du bist.
    Ich wünsche dir, dass deine Gesundheit bald wieder ganz hergestellt sein wird und freue mich schon auf weitere inspirierende Kunst von dir!
    Herzliche Grüße

  6. So ein toller Post! Bin ganz schwer beeindruckt vom Gelesenen!
    Ich hoffe, es geht dir bald wieder richtig gut denn wenn's mit der Gesundheit nicht passt .... :(. Für die meisten Leute ist das mit dem gesund sein einfach viel zu selbstverständlich.
    Ich bin froh, dass ich deinen Blog entdeckt hab, denn für so ein kreatives Nackerpatzl wie mich ist er eine echte Offenbarung! Ich glaub auf einmal, unbedingt Dinge ausprobieren zu müssen, von denen ich vor kurzem noch gar nicht wusste, das es sie gibt!


Thank you so much for your visit and especially for taking the time to leave me a short comment! This is highly appreciated! xxx