Monday 24 December 2018

Calico Craft Parts Christmas

Servus and merry, merry Christmas, dear crafty friends!

Over here in Austria we celebrate Christmas in the evening on 24. December. And we only put up the tree today - so while you are (possibly) reading this post I might well be climbing up and down a ladder to decorate the tree...or be finishing the last dishes for our Christmas dinner...or be hunting for spider webs in forgotten corners (lol).

My Calico Craft Parts Monday has accidentally fallen on this very day, so there's a short post with my personal annual Top 3 makes as a member of the Calico Craft Parts design team over at the Calico Craft Parts blog. I would like to use the opportunity to thank Helen and Louise for having me on this amazing team and for being given the opportunity to work with the wonderful craft parts! I still love using them a lot and they still are a wonderful source of inspiration and a wonderful product to add to my artwork! I am looking forward to an inspiring and fantastic 2019 with loads of new inspiring designs! Thank you so much, ladies! Mwah! XXX

I loved browsing the images of this year's projects and I have made a collage of (almost) all the Calico projects I've made this year - three of these have made it into my personal Top 3, which are being presented over at the Calico Craft Parts blog. Click HERE to get to the post.

Merry Christmas 
and a 
Happy New Year!

See you in 2019! 
Hugs and happy crafting!

Enjoy the holidays!


Tuesday 18 December 2018

A quick self made last minute Christmas present and card - a StencilGirl DT Project

Hi, servus and welcome to an invitation over to the StencilGirl Talk blog, where I am sharing a tutorial on a Christmas card and a little self made present (just in case you are in need of something hand made to give to a loved one) - done with two lovely Christmas themed stencils from their wide wonderful range.

Here's a little sneak peek image to lure you over to the blog ;)

Simply click HERE to get taken to the post with shots of the finished card and present and a detailed step by step.

Hugs and happy Christmas crafting!

Monday 10 December 2018

A Very Vintage Christmas with Calico Craft Parts

Hi, servus and sorry  for being a bit late with my usual invitation over to the Calico Craft Parts Blog, where I am sharing some self made vintage Christmas decoration pieces that can be used to decorate your tree or your Christmas parcels.

I've been struggling with a nasty and persistent gastrointestinal bug for about four weeks now and finally it is starting to get better, but I have been very tired and feeling exhausted during the last weeks - so there's a lot of household keeping and Christmas preparations to be done and caught up with. I hope you are enjoying the Advent season and are already in a festive mood!

This lovely cardinal on my little tag is just one of a small series of tags I've made. There's more to be seen and even another project with a short tutorial!
Click HERE to get taken to the post at the Calico Craft Parts blog with loads of images and the full how-to!

Hugs and happy crafting,

Saturday 1 December 2018

SanDee&amelie's Winter Special Challenge Reminder and an (almost) Steampunk-Christmas-Tag

Hi, servus and welcome to a little "reminder-tag" today that I have made for our reminder post over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges. Our winter special challenge is in full swing and there's one more month left (until the end of December) to play along. Some of my wonderful teamies have created a little steampunk-Christmas something for you too - so I highly recommend you hop over to our challenge blog to check these out as well! ;)

Over there we're also announcing the new DecoArt prize bundle for 2019...erhemm...erhemm... ;)

I haven't taken steps images of the creative process this time, but the pictures of the finished tagshow the process pretty well too...

I hope I could at least catch a bit of the bling from the cool DecoArt Glamour Dust paints I have used on top of other DecoArt paints and blingy products. ;)

Here's what I did to create my tag: I started with DecoArt premium white Gesso that I scraped onto the die cut cardboard tag using a palette knife. I tried not to work too evenly so some streaks remained visible. The die cut hills were given coats of dabbed and scraped on premium Texture Medium. Dabbing the palette knife into the wet Texture Medium and lifting it and repeating that process all over the surface created a lot of lovely texture that I later dry brushed with DecoArt premium paint Quinacridone Gold Hue.

This way the texture became visible just beautifully! I later added a thin coat of DecoArt "Ice Crystal" Glamour Dust paint on top to mimic the glittering snow on the hills...

To create the rusty houses I painted the die cut house shapes with Viva Decor Rusty Paper and also added a very thin layer of Rusty Patina once the "rust" paint had dried. Stippling on the paint instead of brushing created a gorgeous textural surface that enhances the impression of rusty metal house shapes beautifully.

I painted the sky's background with DecoArt Vintage Effect Wash "Patina". This paint is very translucent and a great medium to add just that tad of vintage feel to your makes (it is meant to be used on top of home decor pieces...but you know I have used Vintage Effect Wash "Beige" on the bow (and traces of DecoArt Gold Rush Metallic Lustre on top).

To have my die cut "Merry Christmas" quote really pop and look festive, I used DecoArt Extreme Sheen "Bronze" that I applied with a thin soft brush before I glued the quote in place with DecoArt matte Decou-Page. I also used the Extreme Sheen on the little star on the Christmas tree...

The rusty clouds were given a light coat of Rusty Patina as well and the sky also got a coat of Turquoise Sparkle Glamour Dust for even more glitter from the falling snow. Using Titanium White DecoArt premium paint and a splatter brush I added the falling snow once all had dried and was glued in place. Only the bow and quote were fixed to the tag afterwards so they had no white paint sprinkles on them.

Dies used were from a set of little houses, clouds and trees (that I do not remember the name of), the hills and quote are from the Sizzix "Home for the Holidays" dies set by Tim Holtz and the bow is a Tim Holtz die too (from the "Fold Up Bows" set).

The SASPC team and I wish you a...

HERE's the link that takes you to our challenge blog ;)

Happy holidays and happy crafting!

Monday 26 November 2018

There's a Howling in the Forest - a Calico Craft Parts Project

Servus and welcome to another invite over to the Calico Craft Parts Blog!

This time I am sharing a quick hand made birthday present I have made for a dear friend named "Wolfgang" - so his favourite (or totem?) animal is a wolf of course.

Calico Craft Parts have some awesome wolf and forest wood shapes - so it was really fun and easy to create a beautiful little somethin' for him. Full tutorial and project can be found HERE. ;)

Hope to see you over at the Calico Craft Parts Blog! ;)

Hugs and happy crafting 
and have a good start into the week! 


Monday 12 November 2018

The Illustrated Forest at Calico Craft Parts

You all know about my love for the forest and autumn always is the time I love the forest most - it's as if an artist has covered a damp and soft canvas with all of his favourite tones and textures, the leaves explode in one final burst of colour before they begin to rot and fade away and all the little insects try to catch some warmth from the last shafts of sunlight before they start searching for a good place to hide and spend the winter in ... and you can almost smell it coming - but not yet.

I have already shared a forest themed project on the Calico Craft Parts blog two weeks ago - so, please, bear with me as I am sharing another today. I just can't stop making these. This one's totally different though - I promise! ;)

 It has all my favourite textures and techniques on it though...some good crackle, some hand painted insects, moths and butterflies and obviously mushrooms and - last but not least - dimension (as I have layered the Calico Craft Parts again to create a diorama like effect).
 On the Calico Craft Parts blog I have done a detailed write up about the painting process - and there are of course images as well. A lot of images to be precise (especially more close ups and ones of the finished project of course ;)

 I love wild bees and the fluffy orange bumble bees! They can be found in the meadows all around the Vienna Woods - but they have even found their way onto our balcony on the sixth floor and are nesting in my bug hotels!

I put these up two years ago when I discovered that one tried to nest in the top latching holes of our beach chair there and I accidentally destroyed the nest because I saw it too late. :(
 The story with me and mushrooms is: I hardly ever find any, but I always smell many...

But I love them, as they are a species on their own - not animal, not plant...and I love that they help the trees in the forest to communicate, building a forest-wide web below the earth (where the main part of a mushroom lives as what you see above the ground is just the fruiting body).
I love the many shapes they come in, some of which are really weird - but always breathtakingly beautiful. I love their adventurous names like Powdery Piggyback, The Pretender (reminds me of a TV series ages ago), The Humpback, Dewdrop Dapperling, Devil's Finger, Bug Sputnik or Vampires Bane.

And what wood would a forest be without mushrooms? No place for magic or fairy tales - that much's for sure!
And if you listen closely you can hear toads and salamanders crawl underneath the fallen leaves. You just have to stand still and be patient! What a wonderful thing to do - come to a halt and wait for magic to happen and enchant you!

Even the smallest moth carries the most beautiful wing canvasses with it! It's all in the detail - and forest life is all about the tiniest details. There's texture and patterns everywhere! There are not many other places I find as inspiring as the forest. Well, maybe this is because my grandma implanted in me the love for the forest and all the wonders you can find in me it is the place where I feel happiest and most relaxed and good. And if I have managed to capture just the hint of all of that on my project, I am more than happy!

I hope to see you over at the Calico Craft Parts Blog!

Hugs and happy crafting!

Thursday 1 November 2018

Wrapped Journal Double Whopper Post - SASPC and DecoArt Blog Projects

Hi, servus and welcome to a double content post today!

As is sometimes the case I have two projects to share with you today - one being the monthly inspirational project for our industrial and steampunk style challenges over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges and the other being my design team project for the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog which goes live today as well.

The really fun (or strange?) thing about this double whopper post though is that not only the dates for the two projects have accidentally fallen on the same date, but I have also worked on the same substrate. I only realised when my steampunk blog project was done (because I had done the DecoArt Blog project some weeks earlier and forgot that it was to go live on the same day)...but I think it may even be interesting to see how different results can be with projects done on the same substrate (which is a Wrapped Journal done with Eileen Hull's Wrapped Journal die) made of recycled heavy cardboard from large sturdy envelope packages). There are how-tos for both projects - one right here in this post, the other over HERE on the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog.

I have used DecoArt products on both as well as some cool Tim Holtz Thinlits dies (the Ravens & Feathers on one and the "Metropolis Cityscape" on the other) - but in totally different ways and with totally different results and looks. So I am kicking off this post with an image of my finished steampunk Wrapped Journal for SASPC...

...and a detail shot...

...and have that followed by two images of the  other Wrapped Journal I made for the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog.

The full tuto for the Book of Crows can be found HERE alongside the full list of DecoArt products used on it of course. I hope to see you there soon! x

But now on to my other Wrapped Journal and to our winter special challenge over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges! Winter special means that this challenge is once more a two months long one, so you can all focus on your Christmas crafts and cards and there's still a good chance that you can squeeze in a little steampunk or industrial style project so you can play along ;)

Over at the SASPC Blog my wonderful teamies are once more sharing some really cool projects (as always) and I am just proud and happy to be able to share my project alongside theirs! I will add the link to the challenge blog once more at the bottom of this post.

This is the fully outstretched wrapped journal...I am showing you because I have created a city scenery that stretches across the whole cover.

As you can easily guess: Eileen Hull's Wrapped Journal die is one of my absolute favs at the mo. And I just love to combine it with Tim Holtz dies and acrylic paints and other media! The "Cityscape Metropolis" Thinlits die set is among my favourites as well. If you search the internet for examples you will find these are so versatile and there are so many inspiring makes out there!!!  One of the best dies Tim has ever designed!!!

I have added two sundowns to the scene as my plan was to fuse them into a single sun when the cover is fully wrapped and closed...

I also added some stamped text and a house to the spine...

To create my sun, I used a round Gel Press plate and DecoArt premium paints Cadmium Yellow Hue, Cadmium Red Hue and Quinacridone Gold Hue. I spread the paints on the plate with a brayer, then stamped some gears into the wet paint to lift some off before I pulled a print. 

I pulled two or three prints in these colours, then I added a layer of Phtalo Green-Yellow to one ...

...and a layer of Prussian Blue Hue premium paints to the other print. 

For my houses for the Cityscape I scraped yellow and orange DecoArt Americana multi-surface NEON paintmedia fluid acrylic Green Gold and premium Prussian Blue Hue and touches of Pthalo Green-Yellow randomly onto some crap papers from my stash. These were left overs from other projects where I had cleaned ink off stamps and paints from palette knives on...

Once the scraped on paint had dried, I die cut several houses using the Cityscape Metropolis dies and I also cut a circle from one of the Gel Press prints I had done for my sun.

Time to prepare the cover background. That was quickly and easily done by applying dots of DecoArt premium paints Prussian Blue Hue, Titan Buff, Warm Grey alongside satin multi-surface NEON yellow and Americana Snow White across the whole cover and then smudging these with a plastic card.

I also applied a small amount of Americana Lamp Black to my palette and loaded the edge of my plastic card with it to stamp some random black lines here and there.

Once everything had dried I applied some thinned down DecoArt media Translucent White across the whole cover to tone it all down (so my colourful houses would really pop).

I used matte DecoArt Decou-Page to glue the houses and sun(s) into place.

A thin black horizon line was drawn in black china ink (using a Faber Castell PITT artist pen and a ruler) and that was followed by adding satin multi-surface NEON orange to the "sky"...

...and NEON pink to the "ground" with a soft brush. As the NEON paints are quite transparent, nothing of the gorgeous detail from the background got lost!

White sprinkles (added with Snow White and a splatter brush) finished off my cover and fused all the elements I had added.

With a white gel pen and a black PITT pen I traced the outlines of the houses and suns to add more interest and make the beautiful silhouettes from the Metropolis houses more visible.

Using black archival stamping ink I added the "text and the city" quote to the spine.

I really love how this turned out! Quite colourful for me - but still grungy in a way. The binding was done using a black rubber string. There are several good video tutorials out there showing how to add signatures to the wrapped journal. I like that I can remove used signatures and replace them with new ones - this way I can re-use the journal over and over again. I just have to change the leaflets inside. A7 size notebooks fit just fine!

I hope to see you over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges

Thanks for stopping by
and as always
hugs and happy crafting!