Thursday, 17 July 2014

Don't miss the Summer Special at SASPC!

Servus and welcome to the announcement of today's start of a wonderful Summer Special we have installed for you over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges!

Besides our regular challenge we offer a special six-week-long extra challenge with an extra cool prize package to be won!

If you hop over to our challenge blog you will find all details and information (plus a bundle of inspiring creations by the DT) you need to successfully join in our summer steampunk fun and maybe even win the awesome prize!

And don't forget about our regular July challenge "Inventions&Inventors" which is open until the end of July and can be found HERE. If you have visited my blog or the challenge blog two days ago you have already seen the makes of Team B too - if not, HERE's the link for finding out what you have missed so far.

If you have missed my DT project for that challenge, I would love you to take a look at it HERE! Thank you for all the heartwarming and fantastic response and wonderful comments on this make so far! It's really overwhelming and so much needed right now! And I am so happy you like it that much! You are fab! XXX

But now to my inspirational project to get you on track for our Steampunk Summer Bonus Challenge :

I loved the encrusted look of the cogs from Agnieszka's moodboard and I also had a scrap from a background I did with the Wrinkle Free Distress technique that matched the colour scheme shown - so I went for little rust worshipping panel ;)

That key sat on my balcony for months - after I gave it a bath in salt and vinegar for a few days it was left to sun, wind and weather to do their job. And what a job they did! :)

I covered the die cut panel with DecoArt Decou-Page first and after that had dried I gave it a coat of DecoArt media clear "Crackle Glaze" varying the thickness from really thin to rather heavy to create cracks of different sizes with different areas.

I rubbed in some carbon black DecoArt media Antiquing Creme and wiped off the excess with a baby wipe. That made the cracks a lot more visible and one of the main focuses of my make.

The gears were painted with DecoArt Traditions "Burnt Umber" and while the paint was still wet I sprinkled some embossing powders onto it. I chose embossing powders that do not melt to a glossy sheen to achieve an even more encrusted look.

The key was fixed to the panel with two pieces of wire, which are closed on the back of the panel.

Good luck, enjoy, have fun with our Bonus Challenge event and a happy holiday and crafting time,

Claudia x

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A "Stand Alone Tray Canvas" Invention

Servus, dear crafting visitors, readers and followers old and anew!

As you may already know the theme for July's challenge over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges is


I still am not fully back on track and struggling with trembling hands and ideas only seldomly hitting my mind (and then most of the time not working out)...but after several weeks of procrastinating I finally managed to come up with a project I dare share with you and call an "inspirational piece".

As I simply couldn't manage to focus on a project long enough to make it feel like "the right one" (still being very nervous and hectic most of the time) I decided to get out my stash and browse my collection of designer papers - hoping that this might spark an idea for a project I would find worth creating. It was some sheets from various Tim Holtz paper stashes and a copy of a students booklet about electrical engineering I found at a flea market that finally did the job for me.

I found an old shoe box and used its lid as a "canvas" (as it turned out to fit my copy perfectly). I covered it with that copy (using Mod Podge as a glue) and then gave it a heavy treatment with Distress stains of all sorts.

I held the lid upright during the process so the Distress stains would create traces from running droplets. I also added some DecoArt Carbon black Traditions acrylic paint through a Red Lead numbers stencil  and stamped some stitching onto it.

Box feet and handles (from Agnieszka's fabulous Retro Kraft Shop) were mounted to the lid using tiny brads. Washi tape was added here and there for more detail. I also sprinkled diluted white and burnt umber acrylic paint onto my "canvas" using a soft brush.

Some idea-ology, the lovely Prima light bulb (which I got as a surprise goodie from Agnieszka) and the alpha tiles were glued in place using DecoArt matte Decou-Page - followed by some more clockfaces (also from Retro Kraft Shop) and a brad. A chipboard gear was cut into pieces and given a coat of "Iced Espresso" DecoArt Metallic Lustre before being added to the project.

I applied some of the brand new and fantastic DecoArt media "Crackle Glaze" through a dots stencil from Red Lead with a soft brush and let dry naturally. Then I rubbed in a mix of "Patina Green" and "Carbon Black" DecoArt media Antiquing Creme and took off the excess with a damp cloth to highlight the creases.

I absolutely adore this stuff! It was partially added with some more spots here and there...

The gorgeous wind up tin toy birdie was a fleamarket find and finally found its perfect new home next to one of the fab halogen bulbs from Angieszka's Retro Kraft Shop!

The lovely box feet are from her store too!

Some Prima embellishments and distressed paper edges were added to create a lot of texture and depth.

So "who invented Steampunk" then? Science fiction writer Jeter only invented the name - but it is the works of Jules Verne, Mary Shelley and others who show that huge fascination there is for us all to the relationship of mankind and machines ever since machines were invented and started taking over what was once a human's job.

So Steampunk is kind of an expression for this ongoing search and dialogue between us humans and the machines we invent. I am not surprised that this obiquitous matter has found its way into a whole new art genre! Art is about asking questions, exploring, creating possibilities and imaginative answers. Where does fiction end and reality start? Where is our place in a world full of machines?

Steampunk is so much more than just a fun thing or simply putting gears and cogs onto stuff and canvases! But I definitely had a lot of (pure and simple) fun creating my "Steampunk Stand Alone Tray Canvas" ;)

I highly recommend you hop over to our challenge blog to find out what my teamies have in store for you (a lot of goodness this is) and visit their blogs too for the full injection of mojo! 
I hope you enjoyed your visit and leave my spot inspired (so I can see your fabulous projects entered to our July challenge soon! Yay!)

Hugs and happy crafting,
Claudia xx

Thursday, 10 July 2014

12 Tags of 2014 - July Tag

Yay! My pre-ordered Sizzix dies arrived just in time to create my July tag for Tim Holtz'  12 tags of 2014!

I really love these new dies! They have captured all I love about spending time at the sea!

I made some slight alterations to Tim's tutorial - so I used UTEE to create dimensional bubbles instead of embossing acetate. I also used part of the "Festive Greenery" Sizzlits die to create some seaweed (which I covered with Distress paints and clear UTEE).

The background was done with Distress Inks and the Wrinkle Free Distress technique. I also added some sprinkles of Distress stains using a fine detail brush which I tapped with my finger.

The big sand dollar was cut from a piece of greyboard and covered with Distress stain "picket fence". The edges were blended with Distress ink "gathered twigs".

I also used Distress paints to customize the "Observations" tag. The seahorse was painted with Distress paints "Wild Honey" and "Barn Door" and then given a coat of Clear Rock Candy Crackle Paint. To highlight the creases I let some Distress stain "Brushed Corduroy" seep into the cracks.

I dry embossed the "explore" using the new Tim Holtz embossing folders. I love how the word looks as if it was underwater - so the silhouette is a bit blurred.

The sea star was painted with Distress paints and then sprinkled with Ranger "brown puffs" and "old paper" Distress embossing powders. As both melt to a non-glossy surface the add wonderful texture.

I added some Idea-ology "linen ribbon" and rough ribbons to the bottom of the tag which are meant to resemble fishing nets and rigging.

I had a lot of fun creating this summer tag and playing with the lovely new dies! I hope you like my tag and have fun creating your own!

Hugs and happy crafting,

Claudia x

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

A Forgotten Swap Post

As I am not very productive at the moment when it comes to creating, I thought I'd browse my archives and stumbled upon this tag I created for a swap I did about a year ago with a wonderfully talented crafting colleague of mine and which we never managed to post about (not really sure why, but fact is: it happened and now I have decided to wait no longer but finally share with you the tag I made for her in an "ordinary" post).

We decided to create a tag with a "time" theme and I chose a favourite saying of mine to use with my tag.

I did a lot of heat embossing, dry embossing and adding metal sheen to create an industrial and time worn look. And of course one of my all time favourites - corrugated card - had to play a main role! And let's not forget to mention the wonderful Ranger and Stampendous Fran-tage embossing powders and enamels! I really never tire of using these!

The wings open to reveal a pocket watch.

The wings were die cut from black card using the Sizzix TH "layered wings" die and later given some highlights with DecoArt Metallic Lustres. The small cogs that the wings are mounted to were die cut using the X-cut cogs and gears dies. One of my favs too.

The texture on the wings was dry embossed using one of the wonderful Spellbinders 3D embossing folders. I love the different layers of depth it creates!

The pocket watch frame was cut using a DoCrafts X-cut die from the lovely Large Dies - "Pocket Watch" set (which I had almost forgotten's absolutely brilliant).

I hope you like it (and I very much hope the recipient liked it too)! It definitely reminded me how much I love to create rust and timeworn effects with a lot of patina grunge goodness! Should do more of it.... ;)

Hugs and happy crafting,

Claudia x

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Monster Cheer Up Frame for Sanja

Servus, dear stamping and media mixing friends!

I know I have been quite quiet during the last weeks...which is mostly due to a really heavy inspirational black out I have been experiencing for quite some time now - still finding it hard to concentrate, relax or simply enjoy what I do without feeling that time's running out on me any second.

But I can at least share with you a project I did some weeks ago for lovely Sanja, who had seen this project on the Our Creative Corner blog and asked if I could do a similar one for her as well - as she urgently needed some cheering up too.

So we decided to do a swap and I received one of Sanja's fab and elaborate cards in return. Well - honestly I should say "in advance" as it took me quite some time to create my cheer up monster frame to send to her in return. As it isn't easy to get the Tando Creative frames with covers at my place I finally decided to build a frame on my own - using packaging material and cardboard.

I gave my friendly monsters some funny party hats - made from washi tape and glued in place before I cut out the stamped monsters and fixed them to the frame.

For a more detailed stepxstep visit Our Creative Corner - using the above link.

The circles were fixed to the inside of the cover with sticky foam pads, so they would stand out a bit and add dimension. The whole frame was first covered with a heavy coat of DecoArt white acrylic Gesso, the frame was coated with picket fence Distress crackle paint.

The outlines of the circles were drawn with a black watercolour pencil and then activated with a water loaded brush. The monsters were coloured using felt tip pens. The smaller circles were stamped using a cap of one of the felt tip pens and black jet archival ink.

The background panels behind the monsters were cut from a colour copy of one of my mixed media paintings. As I wanted to shade the edges of the panels with DI black soot I found it sticks much better to a copy than to the original with the acrylic paints and Gesso on.

Even though I had the trembling hands and struggled with the more fiddly parts of this creation I sooo enjoyed doing this project! The monsters are definitely one of Stampotique's most loveable stamps and I always have a lot of fun using them on my creations!

I hope you like it too! 

And thank you so much, Sanja, for the lovely swap! 
Wishing you all a fab summer and enjoy the holiday!!! 

Hugs and happy crafting/mixing!

Claudia xx
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