Monday 30 April 2018

Distress the Distressed! - a Calico Craft Parts Blog Invite

Hi, servus and thanks for stopping by! I hope you've had a lovely weekend!

This is just a short post to tell you that thoroughly distressed distressed looking designer paper, daringly scraped on dashes of paint and delicious crackle await you over at the Calico Craft Parts Blog! Simply click HERE to find out about the project and the how-to! Hope to see you over there!

Have a great start into the week!

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Spring has Sprung - a New Emerald Creek Dare!

Finally we have fresh greens and first blossoms outside! Spring has taken quite a while this year to take over - so there's more than enough reason to celebrate its arrival and I did so on a spring blossoms tag that I created for the actual April "Flowers" challenge over at Emerald Creek Dares.

I usually don't do "clean and simple" - but this time it somehow just turned out this way as I didn't want to distract the view from the blossoms and the quote. I wanted to create dimensional glossy flowers using various Emerald Creek embossing powders from Kim's wide and wonderful range. There has been a lot of talk about Kim and Seth Apter's amazing Baked Texture recently, but I wanted to showcase some of her other powders she designs - as I think they're fab too and should not be forgotten. ;)

Sorry for the (still) poor lighting - one of my two cool daylight bulbs went off some time ago and it is really hard to find a replacement. Obviously now - with having different light from two slightly different bulbs in my two work desk lamps - my camera does not do the white balance properly.

Here's the list with the embossing powders I used , but I will name them with the detail shots too, so you can see which ones I used for each blossom or leaf.

Emerald Creek embossing powders used:

other products used available at Emerald Creek Craft Supplies:

I just love how chunky my die cut flowers (I used the new Tim Holtz "Funky Florals" Sizzix die to cut all the blossoms and leaves) turned out!

But let's start from the very beginning.

I used heavy black cardstock to die cut my funky florals from and arranged all the cut out pieces on a sheet of white paper so I could easily see and pick them up. 

Then I got out a bunch of Emerald Creek embossing powders I wanted to play with. Not all of these made it into the finished tag (like the Fractured Ice, Winter's Mistake and the Ultra Puff White embossing powders). 

On the green-yellow leaf to the very left I used St. Paddy's Day ( a sparkly light green) and Flourescent Yellow embossing powders. The red flower was done using Chinese New Year (a sparkly vibrant red with glitter), St. Paddy's Day and Moss Stone Green (a dark earthy green) with Clear Ultra Thick Gloss enamel on top. The pointy twig was covered with Moss Stone Green. 

The large leaf at the bottom was done with a mix of St. Paddy's Day and Flourescent Yellow on the base and Moss Stone Green for the veins. The dark blue flower was created using Steel Sapphire (a very dark metallic blue) and Chinese New Year powders. 

The twig to the left was done using St. Paddy's Day embossing powder with a layer of the Clear Ulta Thick Gloss on top. The yellow flower showcases the Fluorescent Yellow embossing powder  (in a single layer that I didn't melt right to the very finish, so some of the black card still shows through) with Steel Sapphire and Tangerine Orange Sparkle powders for the pieces on top. The bright red flowers showcases Chinese New Year and Wysteria Wonder (a metal purple) embossing powders.

The blossom to the very right was done using Wysteria Wonder and Moss Stone Green and Fluorescent Yellow on top. This image also beautifully shows the Steel Sapphire and Tangerine Orange Sparkle powders again that I used on the yellow flower. And it has captured the sparkle of the Chinese New Year powder as well! Yay!

And I just needed to show you the twig with the Easter Parade embossing powder close up as I love all the sparkly bits Kim puts into the pastel yellow powder! Love love love this one so much!

As I knew that gluing the layers with all those tiny bits and pieces together would end in disaster (as smudged glue would dull the sheen of the embossing enamels' surfaces), I tried to fuse the blossoms' layers by first adding all the different powders to the single pieces, then layering them with tweezers and finally setting heat to all the layers at once - and that worked pretty well!
To not blow away the tiny bits I started with my Ranger heat tool from quite far away and got closer veeeery slowly - this way a bit of the melting had already started and held the tiny bits in place. So no glued was needed at all! Yay!

I also finished off some of my blossoms with a layer of Clear Ultra Thick Gloss enamel. I found that if you heat it too long it changes the colour of the embossing powder underneath a bit towards a more pastel tone (as you can see with the two red flowers in the picture below. These were originally both done using Chinese New Year embossing powder, but the UTE turned the bright intense red into a more pastel looking red. So using UTE on top of embossing powders helps get more colour tones from your embossing powder palette - cool, huh?

I left some without UTE-layer therefore.

The quote was stamped using a clear stamp I found at a dollar store and two different greens - the image using the lighter green (Memento "pear tart" stamping ink) was stamped on top of the darker green (Ranger "Library Green" archival stamping ink), but I moved the stamp slightly to the bottom right this time. This way I got a kind of dimensional effect that I like a lot.

Then I added some sprinkles of Primary Yellow and Yellow Green from my DecoArt media Misters and drew a thin green outline by hand using a permanent ink marker with a very fine tip.

Using tacky glue I arranged and fixed all my leaves and flowers on the tag and then pressed them down by placing an old heavy dictionary on top while the glue dried. 


I hope to see you play along with us at Emerald Creek Dares soon! There's a $25 voucher to be won for spending at Kim's shop! So don't miss the chance and play along! Show us your spring flowers!!!

Hugs and happy crafting!

Monday 16 April 2018

A Field of Tulips at Calico Craft Parts

How we have missed those bright greens and fresh colours of Spring, haven't we? But finally they're all here and the first tulips are brightening up my living room. But as these do not last for long, I needed some to stay. So my project for today over at the Calico Craft Parts Blog is all about beautiful red (non-fading) tulips and Spring! Simply click HERE to check out the project and the short tutorial.

Hope to see you guys over there soon!

Hugs and happy (Spring) crafting!

Sunday 15 April 2018

L'Ingenieur - for SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges

Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by!

As it is the 15th of the month it is time for me to share my make for our April challenge over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges.
As always we are having the "Anything Goes - Steampunk/Industrial" theme, so everyone is free to create away and have some steampunk or industrial style mixed media, tag, card,... or journal art fun. And by sharing your makes with us over at the challenge blog you get the chance to win one of our two monthly prize bundles (being sponsored by DecoArt media and boozybear). So don't hesitate - create!

As you can see I am still in love with the small format of ATCs. And as Calico Craft Parts have recently released some really cool new steampunk style ATC wood blanks, I just had to lay hands on them!

I have been hoarding some beautiful vintage portrait photographs of handsome old fashioned gentlemen that I found at the flea market and these steampunk ATC kits were just the perfect size to frame some of them and turn these beautifully bearded guys into savvy steampunk engineers.

The French dictionary definition of an "Ingenieur" (=engineer) reads: "man, who conducts and leads, with the aid of applied mathematics, works of art". That was just too beautiful to not be used on a little work of art!

I used a colour copy of the photograph and not only glued it to the back panel using matte DecoArt Decou-page, but also sealed it with a thorough coat of the same, before I glued the frame on top. Then I used a soft brush to add a thin layer of DecoArt media clear Crackle Glaze to the picture and let that air dry (I found this works really fast when placing my project very close to the light bulb of my work desk lamp).

Once that had dried, I used my fingertip to rub some DecoArt media Texture Sand Paste onto the frame. I put that back to dry for about ten minutes (maybe even less).

The base coat for my faux rust look was done using DecoArt media Paynes Grey fluid acrylic. I made sure I applied that thoroughly to avoid any white spots from the Texture Paste showing through.

DecoArt media Antiquing Creams Carbon Black and Raw Umber were mixed on my palette, being added a bit of water and then brushed onto the dry crackled portrait. I used a heat tool to dry off the mix, before I wiped off the excess with a damp soft cloth.

With a worn bristle brush I stippled on layers of DecoArt media Yellow Oxide, Quinacridone Burnt Orange and English Red Oxide, adding one on top of the other and going back and forth, until I was content with the look.

As it was a bit too bright for a rusty piece, I used the left overs from my Antiquing Creams mix on my palette to tone everything down.

For a bit of colour contrast I dry brushed touches of Cobalt Teal Hue media fluid acrylic onto some spots.

The quote was fussy cut and glued in place using matte Deco-page. To shade in the text strips I used a water soluble black pencil and a wet brush.


Isn't that just the perfect frame for my engineer? And sometimes a small project that can be completed in short time is just the perfect and most rewarding thing to do. Of course I often wonder if I shouldn't put on some additional gears and stuff and create a highly textural load of elements for the eye to wander and delight on, but many times I find that this would take away from the main elements and their beauty and the stories they tell.

With this ATC frame I just knew I wanted it to be the second star alongside my engineer - and don't they just make a great couple? The imaginative engineer tapping plans and inspiration from the pipeline system leading to his idea filled inventor's brain.

I hope to see your ATCs, tags, cards, altered objects, art journal spreads and other imaginative projects being shared over at our challenge blog. I can't wait to see what you will come up with! The challenge is still open until the end of the month! Simply click HERE to get taken to the blog and to check out my teamies' wonderful makes as well!

Hugs and happy crafting!

Monday 2 April 2018

Happy Easter Monday at Calico Craft Parts!

Happy Easter Monday, dear crafty friends and followers!

I hope you're enjoying the Easter holidays!
As usual on an "every other Monday" this means an invite over to the Calico Craft Parts Blog, where I am sharing my latest project and tutorial.

I almost had started thinking that Easter would pass me by without having done a single Easter themed project (really???!!!), but then inspiration finally stroke and here's a little sneak peek on the result:

To see the whole project and learn about the how-to, simply click HERE. 
The project is also a great one if you want to use up some of your hoarded designer

Slightly Belated Happy Easter (crafting)!

Sunday 1 April 2018

"Happy Moments - Like Beads on a String" - a Baked Texture Project for MixedUp Magazine and Emerald Creek Craft Supplies

Hi, servus and happy Easter, dear creative friends!

I would like to share my latest Baked Texture project that I did for MixedUp to showcase Seth Apter's and Kim's amazing Emerald Creek Baked Texture artists embossing powders. There's a full tutorial and more info on this project on the MixedUp Magazine site.

Here's a little sneak peek:

Alongside a variety of DecoArt and DecoArt media products I have used almost all of the Baked Texture embossing powder colours on this project - Vintage Beeswax (one of my favs), Ancient Amber (my other, Chunky Rust, Rocky Road, Dirty Sand and Patina Oxide....well, honestly they're all favs of mine (including the Deep Sea that I didn't use this time) as I think Seth and Kim really have taken embossing powders to the next level and made them a serious artists medium to use in your artwork.

Learn more about the how-to and the idea behind the project over HERE on the MixedUp Magazine site. 

Happy Easter and happy crafting!

To shop for Baked Texture embossing powders click on the shop button