Friday, 10 September 2021

Faded Splendour - Fall Trio

 Hi, servus and thanks for stopping by! 

It's been such a long time that I have been taking a break from crafting and I am just slowly getting back into the saddle - with two studios in which there is always one or the other medium, stamp, cutting die or paper pad missing because it is in the other place...but I found that this forces me to improvise more and also use stuff I have been hoarding on forgotten shelves for ages - so it is a bit challenging but also a good thing ;)

I also found I am enjoying the freedom to pick and use whichever media and products I want to use with a single project (instead of having and/or trying to do an single-manufacturer-design-team-project). 

So here it is - a little trio inspired by autumn which is already in the air these days and which is still my favourite time of the year (even though it also is the most challenging when it comes to health issues I've learned). 

I have already shared this project on the Calico Craft Parts blog (where you can find the list of craft parts I have used alongside the Sizzix "Funky Insects" dies set from Tim Holtz) - simply click HERE to get to their blog to find out about the many cool substrates and add-ons from Calico Craft Parts' wide range of MDF parts. There are also some infos on and pictures of the finished project that I am not sharing in this post...

I really LOVE the Funky Insects dies (which is no surprise as I really LOVE insects in general ;)! 
I want my displayed insects understood as "found beauties" that were already dead and lying on the ground, having been found during a walk in a lovely late autumnal forest (instead of insects having been hunted down and put to death to display them in all their shiny glory). Their wings may be crinkled and the colours already fading a bit, but there is this special beauty in decay and the fact that the splendour is still there and visible is maybe the best proof of their timeless beauty...

I had a pack of self made small background papers - all done using Tim's Distress and Distress Oxide Inks

...and I used some of these to die cut the insects' parts from. I used Tim's Sidekick and fixed it to my Travel Glass Media Mat - two of my favourite products  (I found a "lefty" glass mat on a sale and use it upside down to have the white area to the right) to work with. 

I crumpled the wings and then highlighted the crinkles with gathered twigs Distress Ink. I also used one of the small Detail Blending Tools to blend the edges of all the tiny die cut pieces. 

Using my large Sizzix Big Shot I die cut three of Tim's Décor Frames and primed these with DecoArt Raw Umber Student Acrylic paint. Once that had dried I scraped on some white DecoArt media Crackle Paint here and there and let that dry naturally. 

In the meantime I added DecoArt Triple Thick (using a detail brush) to the insects' legs, eyes and feelers for more dimension and a bit of gloss. 

Once the crackle paint had dried I smudged some walnut stain Distress Crayon with my fingertip across the crackled areas to tone down the bright white and highlight the cracks. 

I also added some antique linen Distress Glaze on top and Fran-tage Aged Copper embossing enamel in some of the untreated spots on the frames. 

For a bit of bling I sprinkled diluted DecoArt Vintage Brass Extreme Sheen acrylic paint on the finished and glued together insects, using a splatter brush

Time to pick some MDF panels from my Calico Craft Parts stash! I decided to go for a slightly different centre piece - so I used a beer mat and two ATC blanks

I also used two label holders and the Faded Splendour Word Element
The ATC blanks and the beer mat got covered with DecoArt Découpage paper using DecoArt matte Decou-Page.

Then the edges were blended using dark brown archival stamping ink, before I fixed the frames, label holders and insects into place using thick black sticky foam pads for additional depth.   

I also like to use the sticky foam pads' excess and cut that to size - that is especially helpful when you don't need a circle shaped pad but a thin square one...

The little signs with the Fig. numbers were stamped in black archival ink using Tim's Classics #12 stamp set and then toned down using Antique Linen Distress Stain

The finished trio.

I hope you feel inspired and like it as much as I do! 

Hugs and happy crafting!

Friday, 30 July 2021

GrungyFlower Still Life - a StencilGirl Project and Video Tutorial

 Oh, well...hey there....long time no thank you even more for stopping by! ;)

As you may have noticed I haven't been spending much time in my studio(s) during the last months but now and then inspiration still likes to strike (at least a little) or one or the other design team project "forces" me to indulge in some creative me-time and I really always enjoy that (and am thankful for it as it keeps me going and in touch with my creative side). 

I am still in the middle of exploring and re-defining myself and my life, being in a new location and also health (or rather meno-pause)-wise forced to find new approaches to enjoying myself and everyday life. The new home close to the lake and the mountains helps a lot with this and I am enjoying my little garden, riding my kayak and exploring new sections of the lake's shore. Hail from one of the last heavy thunderstorms has done some superficial damage to the house and garden, but it is definitely nothing compared to the massive damage farmers and market gardens are dealing with! 

This weekend my son will get his second dose of Cov-19 vaccine and then the three of us will all be on the safe side and relaxed. So we are all well and safe - I hope you and your loved ones are too! 

I am sharing a flower still life with a video tutorial today - done for StencilGirl and with their wonderful stencils of course. If you hop over to their StencilGirl Talk blog, you will learn about what subconsciously influenced my painting - I was amazed myself how much I am obviously visually influenced by my new home and surroundings! 

The ten-minute video shows the whole process and also offers hints on composition and other helpful information on paints and tools used - so I hope you will like it! Enjoy your summer! 

Stay safe!

Claudia xxx

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Two Rusty Crusty Tags for SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges

 Hi, servus and welcome to the start of a new challenge over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges, dear friends! 

A new two months long challenge is waiting for you to be faced and with my inspirational project for May and June I decided to get rusty again! 

I was given some delicious chipboard pieces to play with by lovely Glenda from boozybear - one of our two prize sponsors: two cool gentlemen from the "Canes" set, the beautiful "Umbrella" set, a fine selection of awesome cogs and gears and the fabulous "Stacked Suitcases"! 

Of course these had to be used with some steampunk/industrial style travel theme tags! 

I started with die cutting two #8 size tags from old packaging cardboard using my "Tag&Bookplates" die designed by Tim Holtz - one of the very first dies I bought and still one of my most often used ones. 

I ran them through my BigShot using an embossing folder from Carabelle Studio and another from Spellbinders (I think). 
Then I added a base layer of red-brown acrylic paint - which already gave a great rusty appearance. 
I enhanced that by dry brushing the dried tags with Carbon Black acrylic paint and adding sprinkles of a very dark grey that I mixed by adding a tiny amount of white acrylic paint to the black paint left overs on my palette. I also painted the chipboard pieces with that dark grey tone. 

The hat, shoes, umbrella and suitcase handles were heat embossed using black embossing powder. The buckles got painted using DecoArt Extreme Sheen "Vintage Brass". I also added sprinkles of that to the tags before I fixed the finished pieces in place. The umbrella man and suitcases got a bit of shading with a detail brush and black acrylic paint for more depth and dimension. 

To fix the elements in place I used some chipboard left overs that I glued to the backs. 

The second gear was heat embossed with Ranger "Rust" embossing enamel. 

I found the umbrellas needed to be painted over with Yellow Iron Oxide acrylic paint - as this tone has a bit of a green-ish touch it makes the orange rusty tones pop even more and it also forms a great contrast. 

The quotes were stamped using Tim's "Noble Gent" stamp set. 

Some detail shots: 

I hope you like my two tags! I made these in my new (and not yet fully equipped) studio in our new home in the countryside! I love this spot so much and moving in kept us busy during the last months - so this was one other reason for my being absent for quite some time (besides struggling with break down, exhaustion and depression after an obviously too long struggle with health issues and many nasty side effects from tried out medications...but I won't bore you with that now). 

Here's a first view of my new creative spot at Lake Atter! So far I've managed to put together a base equipment that allows me to play whenever time allows and creativity comes by for a short visit (which isn't too often at the moment, but it is slowly returning). 

Two thirds of the shelves are still empty - and I guess these will only get filled slowly as it is a slow process to find out which things I want to keep and use in my Vienna studio and which ones in our country home. The room also serves as a guest room - therefor the sofa which can be turned into a comfy bed. 

I intend to buy less new crafting stuff, but one item had to bought again - the BigShot. I found I couldn't do without one in either spot! I remember when I got my first one...I was a bit sceptic if I would use it a lot, but I found it really took my creativity to another level and I wouldn't want to miss it now. 

And here's a first picture of the lovely view from my studio window - taken several weeks ago when winter came back for a short but hefty surprise visit after spring had already set in. 

But back to our steampunk challenges! The team and I are waiting for your entry over at our challenge blog! I hope to see you play along with us soon!

Hugs, stay safe and happy crafting! 

Friday, 30 April 2021

Time to Reinvent - a New Studio and StencilGirl Project

 Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by my little (recently quite quiet) creative corner!

Today's post is not just  a kind of update on my creative journey that has come to a sort of halt last autumn but also an invite over to the StencilGirl Talk blog, where I am sharing a new project (slowly getting back into the saddle it seems) and tutorial but also a short video tour around my new studio in my new countryside home at Lake Atter! 

We're keeping our Vienna home and my studio there too - so moving in the house and setting up another studio from scratch there is quite a challenge - especially as I need to decide which materials and tools to leave in Vienna and which ones to move to the new studio in the countryside. 
Deciding which of these to take to the house or leave in the flat still is a challenge I need to meet. Generally I find it hard to nail criteria for dividing stash by as it means you need to know first which kind of projects you will prefer to do in one spot and which in the other. But how do you do this without the feeling of limiting down yourself in both places? 

(impressions from the new studio - more details in the video over at StencilGirl's blog)

So far I have come to the conclusion assumption that I will rather do nature-inspired projects in the new countryside studio and focus on Distress and stencil techniques in the city studio...but what to do with the stencils that are nature themed for example?...I think I will have some items that will need to travel in the future. ;) 

 For now I have put together a kind of base equipment that will allow me to tackle a variety of themes and project types with some of my favourite techniques, inks, paints and products, but I also re-discovered items while browsing my stash that I had either forgotten about or that were among my first acquisitions when I started this hobby and got (mentally) replaced by newer ones over the years. I found these were well worth using again - so I hope they will get to be loved again in the new studio. In the last years I slipped into the habit of "needing" - needing to try out this new product or that new technique or theme...which led to some themes or loved items slipping out of focus...some having been real loves of mine. 

I re-discovered a lot of old texture and nature themed stamps that have been accumulating dust in some forgotten corners in my studio. By forgetting about these I also forgot of themes and project types that fuelled my imagination in the first place...and that still do. 

I have also been feeling lately that I've reached a kind of dead-end with my creativity in many ways - maybe that happened because I somehow lost track of the creative path I originally started on but then found myself trying out too many side trails at once and also designers highways where the urge of new high speed impressions replaced in-depth adventures and a journey that would lead to myself rather than to feeding the "needs" artificially created by something quite shallow - something that is ruled by online marketing thoughts and strategies and not needs of a creative spirit. 

So I am quite thankful for the health crises I am struggling with at the moment, as that forces me to think over a lot of things and re-invent myself and the way of how I want to live my creative side. Setting up a new studio in a new home that also brings me a lot of joy and inspiration from the beautiful nature it is surrounded by is the perfect help! 

The new project for StencilGirl was done in the Vienna studio though (remember - stencils stay there or will travel with me) - and gladly it was a project that brought back my joy in creating after the long break, too. Just me, myself, the beautiful designs, my favourite DecoArt paints and products and the joy of playing with colours and putting together something new to use in my new studio! 

 I hope you will visit the StencilGirl Talk blog too to take the short studio tour and check out the tutorial for this desk tidy! 

Stay safe!