Wednesday 24 June 2015

Grungy Frame Tutorial - a Sneak Peek

Hi and servus to a short sneak peek that is meant to lure you over to the That Craft Place Challenge blog!
It's time for another edition of VonPappe Wednesday and I have prepared a new exclusive tutorial for all the That Craft Place readers and followers.

To find out more about my latest tutorial click HERE.

Hugs and happy crafting,

Monday 15 June 2015

The Ravages of Time - June Challenge at SASPC

Servus and welcome to another mid-month reminder for SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges!

Summer heat has finally (and powerfully) set in and already starts turning my flat and studio into a sauna - so, please, bear with me, when my posts become rather short and less frequent - my brain simply can't cope with the high temperatures (and mojo also seems to have disappeared to chillier regions)....

The challenge theme for June asks you to show us "The Ravages of Time" and as usual our challenges are open to all kinds of media and interpretation as long as the projects entered are steampunk, vintage and/or industrial.

I decided to create another tag. I hadn't done tags for ages and my recent tag for Tim's 12 tags of 2015 really was a lot of fun! So I was up for more! But this one really gave me a hard time - everything I tried didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, I messed up a lot of times and at a point I really thought of throwing it in the bin...but then I followed an advice I have been giving others so many times: just paint over it and start anew!

And I am glad I did because that finally set me on track! Phew!
So here it is: my tag for our "Ravages of Time" challenge - well, I guess it was me who was heavily ravaging rather than

The cogs and gears are a cut off piece from a lovely Creative Embellishments chipboard panel. They were covered with loads of different pastes and paints - some scraped on, some sprayed on, some stippled on...

I had also collaged on several scraps from old photographs and book pages when I started my tag, but they have all been covered up - at least they wonderfully add to the textural feel of the tag.

This close-up shows some of the torn edges that are still visible. The lovely calculations stamp is a design from Carabelle Studio. One of my new favourites for sure!

I also stamped it on some of the painted cogs and gears:

The rough, grainy texture is from a layer of DecoArt Texture Fierro that I had painted over.

The various spray paints that I applied over some coats of DecoArt media fluid acrylic paints created some delicate and worn looking effects. (sadly I won't be able to reproduce them as they were results from an act of desperation rather than controlled use of

I did a lot of sprinkling, smudgeing, scraping on, wiping off and dabbing...I guess the thought of "well, it can still go to the bin if I don't like it, as it had almost been there anyway" freed me from sticking to any ideas or concepts at all - I just applied various media to see what I would end up with - and that was great fun in the end!

So once a "direction" for the design of my tag finally became visible, I just needed to add some finishing touches (like the dabbed on dark edge) and focal points (like washi tape, word tiles and labels and the all-seeing eye) - et voila!

Believe me - I really felt like an explorer while creating this tag! lol
So I hope you like the end result as much as I do and that you will hop over to our challenge blog to see what my fab teamies have made!

Very curiously looking forward to seeing your "ravaged projects" entered to our challenge soon! ;)
Hugs and happy crafting,
Claudia xxx

ooops...almost forgot:

I enter my really very masculine tag to the "Make it Masculine" challenge over at Anything But Cute where Cec is hosting their second challenge. Good luck, ladies!

Saturday 13 June 2015

It's getting hot in here, so take...

... your kayak and head to the New Danube!

None of the usual creative posts today as the heat in Vienna (and in our flat) already makes it hard to focus and enjoy some crafty time in the studio. So this post is all about recreation.

I really believe that - if we can - we have to go out regularly and gather new experiences and impressions so we can move on - and forward (!) - with our artful journeys. Freeing our heads from daily routines and being open for "life" has an influence on our creations and our creativity! Livin' the life (with everything it has in store for us) is nourishment for the artist. Otherwise we end up reproducing the same stuff over and over again (not because we want to but because we have no creative pool to take from). But enough of that art-science

As some of you might already know I recently finally found a kayak that I can easily transport and store at home (instead of having to find an expensive rental place for my old kayak that measures about 11 ft (= 3 1/2 m) and doesn't fit with our basement compartment - and therefore is far away from me, stored away at a farmhouse barn in the Salzkammergut ).

Living close to the Danube (and its lovely sidearms and wetlands) it is kind of silly not to have a kayak or other kind of boat, right? Especially when kayaking is what you love and miss...

So when I found that there are inflatable kayaks that have rigid built in frame parts so they keep track almost as well as hard shell kayaks do, I was sooo happy! They can be stored away in a bag and are put up (and also put away) in about ten minutes!

Then, when I had happily ordered and received my kayak, the weather over here went really cold and really bad. Grrrrrr! But today finally was the day for its maiden trip and it was just perfect!

So this is me...erm, my boat (but with me behind the camera)...paddling on the New Danube towards the city of Vienna. The New Danube is a discharge flume for the Danube that usually has very little drift - so it is our favourite place for swimming. And of course it is also perfect for some relaxed kayak-strolling.

There are even some short side arms that are worth exploring! I saw some really big fish today and also a grey heron  and a cormorant!

Gliding in the shade of the trees alongside the New Danube was so lovely and refreshing!

 And some of the most beautiful spots can't be explored overland - so I was happy to be on the water - in my brand new fab kayak! :)))

And this is how it looks ready to be stored away! There's even space for my paddle inside the bag! And I can still lift and carry it, which definitely is of some importance too (lol). Very cool! ;)

So I hope you don't mind my different kind of post today - but I had to share at least a fraction of the joy and fun I had today!!!
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend too!

Claudia xxx

Friday 5 June 2015

Treasures from Enchanted Places

Hello and servus!

It is time for a new challenge over at The Mirror Crack'd and lovely Shilpa is going to be your host this month. The theme chosen for June's challenge is


which I guess won't need any further explanation. ;)

But first let me share some exciting news with you and tell you that I am a winner at Tim's 12 tags of 2015 with my May tag! Yay! I really, really loved the burlap he used for his tag and playing with distress and idea-ology goodness - so being one of his top 12 definitely means a lot to me! Thanks to Tim and his team for picking my tag! x

Next let me tell you that I have prepared a new mixed media project and tutorial for you on the DecoArt Mixed Media blog! Here's a little sneak peek that hopefully helps lure you over to take a closer look! ;)

But back to the main reason for this blog post: the new challenge over at The Mirror Crack'd - "Shadow Boxes"!

We all love shadow boxes, don't we? Well, I definitely do!!! They always make us (or at least me) feel a bit like we took a peek into places that are special and tiny realms we cannot enter but at least get a glimpse of their magic.

So with this shadow box I decided to create a kind of keepsake shrine-ish project that would show some of my gathered nature treasures from some of my most beloved (and enchanted) holiday places (like Castle Bernstein for example).

The snails houses, lichen and green serpentine I put into my shadow box were finds from the castle's surroundings.

The background was made from pages from an old French botanical school book with which I covered the mini canvas (using matte Decou-page as usual).Then I dabbed on some Raw Umber acrylic paint to emphasize the frame and draw the focus towards the center.

Some white DecoArt media crackle paint was added here and there. Once it had dried I rubbed in some DecoArt media Raw Umber Antiquing Cream to make the cracks more visible.

The label was cut from left over scraps from the dictionary pages.

A piece of driftwood was added to the top of the box to form a kind of pediment alongside with another small piece of lichen.

All the elements were glued in place with the matte Decou-page. I really love that it dries invisible and holds even bulkier items (like the serpentine) in place.

For a finishing touch I added some strokes of DecoArt media Interference Green and Gold paints here and there around the frame. The interference paints add a bit of bling that only gets visible when you look at the project from a certain that's a kind of a hidden "treasure" as well.

I love the idea of expressing (and visually repeating) the fact that all these small and rather "unspectacular" objects are real treasures to me by adding that sort of "bling" that isn't visible at first sight either. You really have to examine and look closer to discover all there is to be discovered (which is the same way in nature, right?)

I hope you like my tiny shadow box with my rather personal treasures I put inside!

The challenge over at The Mirror Crack'd will be open until the 4th of July  and one lucky winner will win a prize of £12.00 sponsored by

 to spend at your favourite Woodware Stockist, either in store or on line.

So I highly recommend you now hop over to our challenge blog and get yourself your bundle of inspiration from the rest of the fab DT I am working on and then head off to your crafting desk to create your own shadow boxes! Good luck and happy crafting!

Claudia xxx