Thursday 10 March 2016

Fearless Spring!

Servus and welcome back to my little creative spot close to the beautiful river Danube!

To me spring is the "fearless" season as it overcomes winter's "death" and decay over and over again each year. I love it when the first greens and little dashes of colour bravely start to reconquer what has been covered in pale whites, dusky greys and rotting browns for months and I tried to capture the nature of this special time of the year in this little altered canvas:

Emerald Creek products used:
EC St. Paddy's Day embossing powder
EC Easter Parade embossing powder
EC Oil Rubbed Bronze embossing powder
EC Fearless Buckle Charm
EC Skull Charm
Distress paints
Distress markers
Distress stains

As the list above already indicates: this is my DT project for the actual challenge 

Ring in Spring!

The ladies on this fabulous DT have all outdone themselves once more to show you some fresh greens and first spring colours - so make sure you check out their makes!

I really enjoy being on this DT as it gives me the possibility to use my beloved Tim Holtz Sizzix dies and Ranger Distress products! And this challenge theme was perfect for also using a sheet of Tim Holtz' gorgeous "Wallflower" paper stash (I have been hoarding for ages now).

What I did was flip over a small canvas and use it as a shadow box.

To make the sheet fit in with the canvas opening I took the time to exactly measure and draw a template - but the result was, oh, so worth it, wasn't it?

I have taken steps images of this process and of my sketch for the template and will try to write up a detailed tutorial on this during the next few weeks (promise!).

But for now I will just share some of the steps on how I made this specific altered springtime canvas.

Once I had glued my cut to size designer paper in place I started with blending the edges with brown archival ink using a piece of cut 'n dry foam.

You can see the difference that makes. Using archival ink prevents the dried ink from smudging, tinting or bleeding through when it gets in contact with moisture (e.g. from wet paint or other fluid media) afterwards.

Next I prepared the cool Emerald Creek buckle and skull charms I wanted to use on my canvas by cutting off the loop and covering both charms with a thin coat of matte medium (to add some tooth for acrylic paints to hold on to).

The skull was then covered with some dabbed on picket fence and frayed burlap Distress paint and set aside to dry.

The "Fearless" buckle charm was coated with Distress paints squeezed lemonade, black soot and mowed lawn...dabbing on and off the paints until I was content with the look.

The next step was to add some dashes of dark green Emerald Creek embossing powder to the frame...

...and the gorgeous Easter Parade and St. Paddy's Day embossing powders to the die cut crown and flourish:

As you can see I also scraped on some Distress paints (using a palette knife) to repeat the colours of the egg, crown and bird to help fuse all the elements into a coherent piece of art. I did that before I glued all my pieces in place.

The bird on its branch (like the mini crown and flourish also a Tim Holtz design) was die cut from the left overs of the same sheet I used to cover the back of the canvas with and then coloured with Distress markers and stains. The latter were applied using a fine tip soft brush. Colours used were: old paper, fired brick, broken china, frayed burlap and ground espresso.

The little egg and nest were then glued in place using matte medium.

The two word tiles were stamped onto scraps from the used designer paper sheet, inked around the edges and glued in place using sticky foam pads. I also dabbed on some of the paints I had used on the canvas to make them blend in.

Et voilá!

I have to admit I really like how this piece turned out as I tried to capture the feel of that special (and short) time when spring and winter meet and moist dark soil and rotten, bleached grass and leaves slowly get displaced by fresh greens, yellows and blues of crocus, spring snowflake and liverleaf. It is the time when I feel that spring is at the same time very powerful and yet still tender.

But back to challenge you hop over to Emerald Creek Dares you will find out how my teamies interpreted the challenge theme and get some more inspirational hints on how to create your own pieces for this dare! I hope to see you play along with us soon!

Hugs and happy crafting,


  1. Absolutely stunning Claudia! Love the skull!

  2. Das ist ein wundervolles Meisterwerk Claudia - und ich bin beeindruckt von Deiner Geduld extra eine Schablone zu erstellen! Das hat sich wirklich gelohnt! Wunderschön!
    Ganz liebe Grüße zu Dir!

  3. I am in love with frame, Claudia! I keep going back and looking at all the details ~ so inspiring. Using the patterned paper to line the frame is an amazing effect and definitely worth the time & effort.

  4. I am speechless... what an imagination!! Love love love this creation!

  5. Wow Claudia! Your frame is stunning! Love this!

  6. Absolutely FABULOUS Claudia. YES - it was so worth the time to make your paper fit - Wow - it's truly the PERFECT FIT and it looks soooo GREAT too. That is really a pretty piece of paper and just right for your setting. Your bird is truly darling! You are so right - Spring is Fearless... you did an INCREDIBLE job of CREATING SPRING for us! You were FEARLESS too!! XX j.

  7. Such a rich background for a flourish Spring. And what an idea the litle skull! Brilliant!

  8. Hello Claudia,
    I am not commenting much theses days but I just had to type my thoughts on this Shadow box, you are indeed fearless when it comes to designing;to take the time to measure the lining for your creation...Wow, what more can I say. Wonderfully inspiring to anyone who views this amazing piece of Art.

  9. as always your projects make my jaw drop!! amazing!

  10. Claudia, I have been dying to come and check this out!!! (computer problems :( ) Every detail is amazing!!! When I scrolled, my first thought was how the heck did she get the paper down in there, so glad you shared your trick! How brilliant!!! Really love this one. Hugs, Autumn

  11. Glorious Claudia!!! I love all the elements and love the embossing powders you selected to use....make a list.

  12. Wieder so ein richtig schönes und aufwendig gemachtes Kunstwerk liebe Claudia,WOW!
    Bin wie immer total begeistert von deiner Kreativität. Hoffe dir geht es gut und sende liebe Grüße ins schöne Wien.
    Have a nice weekend.
    Sabine xox

  13. I adore this! What size canvas did you use? It is hard to judge by the pictures. I want to make something similar in size using dressmaking designs as have a photograph of 3 women in my family who are nnow all sadly passed. Each one of them is responsible for my upbringing & my interest in craft.

    1. Thank you, Paula!
      I know of the importance of this kind of (female) mentors pretty well and I wouldn't be who I am if my grandma hadn't influenced and supported me whenever she could. I owe her a my love for music, nature, art and words.

      The canvas is 6 by 6 inch wide. (= 15 x 15 cm). xxx

    2. Thanks for sharing. I might try a larger canvas. My mum made all our clothes & her own. Sadly she passed just before I turned 7. My grandma knitted all our jumpers & cardigans she taught me how. My aunt was keen gardener, & tried her hand at pottery. I owe them all & as I moved into my first ever own home I want to create something for one of the walls to honour them. Xxx


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