Thursday, 21 January 2016

"Valentines is not in the air" - Emerald Creek Dares

So good to see you back! I hope you are all doing well and being creative!

With our "Valentines is not in the air" challenge Emerald Creek Dares are catering to the single people.

"This challenge is about hearts being done less lovey Dovey, red being used to represent something other then a significant other. And if you dare try going grey and see where it takes you."


So the challenge still IS about love - as our hearts never stop beating for someone or something we love - a child, a dearly loved pet, our art or any other passion we love to follow. 


Psychology states that you have to be able to love yourself first before you are really able to truly love others. And I believe this is true! To love yourself means you are not dependent on any judgement or thankfulness of an opposite and that the love you give is free of any "bargain thinking"...if you know what I mean. You are then able to give love - no matter how much love you get back at that very moment. Simply because you feel like "lovin'" and because it makes you feel good.

But why is it so much harder to love ourselves than to love others? Why can we for example be so much more forgiving towards others than towards ourselves? Why are we our own and worst critics but accept (or even love) the imperfections and little flaws of others?

I believe that it mostly depends on how we were brought up and what we were "trained" to think of ourselves. And on how our own parents or models behaved towards themselves. Were they proud of what they did or did they always apologize and make themselves smaller and less "good" than their opposites (as my mom did for example)? Were you loved for who you were and at any time (like I was loved by my grandma) or for your accomplishments, specific behaviour or good marks only? Were you criticised for dressing, talking, thinking, behaving,...differently than "one should behave"?

It is all of that and a lot more that makes you who you are. And what makes you love yourself - or being constantly insecure or even displeased with yourself. I have a lot of dear friends and know a lot of people (including myself) who are so well trained to only look at their own mistakes and deficits that they have become real masters at it, without having to spend any efforts on disliking themselves.

So all of these were my thoughts that evolved from this "non-Valentines" theme - and my make (hopefully) resembles some of them - and a reminder to finally start loving yourself to be happier:

So this does not mean you should be more selfish of course! But a good kind-of "selfish" would do great for a start ;)
The kind of "selfish" where you pay attention to your own needs in the first place instead of always putting them behind the needs of others! (guess I don't have to mention that "helping others" can be such a need too).

But enough of that psychological blurb! Let's move on to the how-to for my mixed media heart panel! This time I want to show you how you can use Emerald Creek embossing powders alongside your Distress paints, stains and spray stains to create mixed media art. I hope you like my approach to using Distress differently (I always love to get back to my Distress products and use them in new ways - they are so versatile, it never gets boring to play with them and they always encourage and inspire me to experiment with them and try out new ways of using them - more than any other media!)

I started with applying Distress paints barn door, picked raspberry and antiqued bronze directly onto the wood heart and spraying it with water to get that awesome marbling effect the distress paints create.

While the paint was still wet I sprinkled some of Emerald Creek's awesome embossing powders Iron Stone Red and Pastel Mint on some spots and heated them with a heat tool.

I also applied some strokes of picket fence Distress crackle paint (yes, I still have some in my stash and it still works ;) here and there and while that was still wet sprinkled on some Stampendous Fran-tage "Bronze Glass Glitter".

Once the first tiny cracks started to appear I speeded up drying with the heat tool.

To make the cracks more visible I sprayed on some gathered twigs Distress spray stain and wiped off the excess with a baby wipe once the stain had seeped into the cracks.

Next I inked the heart's edges with a piece of cut'n dry foam and Ranger jet black archival ink.

After that I stamped on some crackle texture for more interest before I glued on my metal "1".

The metal number was a fleamarket find. I covered it with "antiqued bronze" Distress paint (as I did with the nails). The nails were easy to push in as the heart shape is made of balsa wood which is very soft.

To make the nails look more aged I added some black archival ink with a sponge.

I die cut a little crown from cardboard (using the Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations "Mini Crown" Movers&Shapers die) and painted it with brushed pewter Distress stain onto which I dabbed some antiqued bronze Distress paint with my fingertip. The edges were inked with black archival stamping ink too.

I needed a background panel for my heart so I used one from Tando and glued some old book page to it using Ranger matte Multi Medium. I quickly applied some ground espresso Distress stain around the edges and sprayed with water...that made the stain create this watercolour like effect:

Once I had heat dried my panel I added some picket fence Distress crackle paint with a palette knife.

As the Distress stain stays reactive to moisture (unless it has been thoroughly sealed) it tinted the white crackle paint where I had layered it on top - an effect I really like!

I drew a thin frame with a black soot Distress marker and used the brush tip to also darken the edges of the panel.

Finally I dabbed on some tarnished bronze Distress paint here and there and sprayed with water:

Now my background was ready to have the heart be mounted to it! I used matte medium for that (and for glueing the crown and my printed out and cut to size word tiles to my project).

Some final touches of picked raspberry here and there to make it all blend together. Voilá!

I hope you like my Distress mixed media project and forgive me my long blurb (but as you might have noticed this is one of the concerns of the heart of mine).

Please, hop over to Emerald Creek Dares to find out about the makes of my talented teamies and/or to find out about the winner and top bloggers of our last challenge! Hope to see you over there!

Hugs and happy crafting!
Claudia xxx


  1. one of the most stunning pieces ever!!!!!

  2. This is truly amazing! Absolutely gorgeous creation! TFS

  3. Wow!! I love everything little detail about this, Claudia. Another stunning creation filled with oodles of mixed media inspiration.

  4. Stark!!!, da fehlen mir im Moment etwas die Worte. Ich weiß gar nicht was ich mehr schätzen soll, das 'stunning mixed media project' oder die Worte dahinter :-)LG Kerstin xoxo

  5. Love Love Love this! The details are amazing, Claudia!

  6. This is absolutely FABULOUS! I love that you used embossing powder to create texture on the heart, along with the crackle of course. These details make for a super design and gorgeous finished piece of art. Love it!

  7. Love your thoughts in this post Claudia. And this piece is stunning in every way, thanks for sharing process..

  8. Love love love the texture on this!! Awesome work Claudia!

  9. The texture you have achieved on the heart is stunning. So many layers and colours combine to perfection. The background for the heart to sit on is superb.
    Loving yourself. . . . often a difficult concept to grasp let alone act on but I believe it to be true too.
    Julia xxx

  10. Ein absoltes Hammerteil Claudia! AMAZING!
    Hab ein schönes Wochenende!!!
    Liebe Grüße

  11. Truly amazing and I LOVE the un-valentine's day theme!!

  12. Be still my heart because this is my new Claudia fave! I really enjoyed lesrning more about your thought process and the psychology behind it as well. Food for thought. Your heart is to die for and all the details are amazeballs! Love the background as well. You sure do know how to get the most out if those Distress products! Wowzers! Hugz to you muffin! ~Niki

  13. Oooh Claudia...
    I have not much time to see everything as I wrote you a few minutes ago, but this post I took the time to read all your words and admire each and every tiny detail of this "Non-Valentine" project... Just AMAZING and genius!!!!!!!
    Coco xxx

  14. Oh my goodness- I'm LOVING your work! I'm your newest fan!

  15. What a very cool piece, Claudia, and I love your story behind it. Oh how true it is, that loving oneself is so much harder, but so important. Your piece definitely reflects that idea.

  16. Oh, wow - I love it, Claudia! That looks so cool. :)

  17. Wow der Wahnsinn an Oberflächengestaltung liebe Claudia, megaklasse und so fantasievoll gemacht. Ich bin begeistert davon.
    Liebe Grüße

  18. I am in love with this heart ;) amazing work and effects you create, thanks a lot for shearing process
    Ljubica, Belgrade

  19. Oh Claudia, just spend ages pouring over the details of your incredible heart. LOVE the way you've used that blend of Distress Paints with the crackle and embossing powder to get so much gorgeous texture! And as for loving oneself - ah the greatest challenge of them all (well at least for most people ;) !!) Thank you SO much for sharing! Jenny x

  20. My oh my I popped over after seeing the turquoise sunshine heart and I am so glad I did! WOW! I am a newbie to the mixed media genre but this, well this as well as turquoise sunshine I would buy from a gallery. Love, love, love!!!!! So gorgeous and so glorious too. So happy I popped over Karen xx


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