Friday, 21 November 2014

Woodland Magic

I recently stumbled over the lovely X-cut Build-a-Scene dies from docrafts and the "Woodland" set instantly won my heart. They have various lovely scenes to build, but as I am a dedicated lover of the forest AND of toy theatres (and shadowboxes in general), I just had to have this one.




The fox is already one of the five dies of this set, but I wanted to have an owl too - so I made one myself. Oh, I can imagine various animals in this enchanted woodland! But for a start I decided to stick to the fox and just add the owl and put the main focus on drawing on the die cut shapes to create an illustration kind of look.




The owl was fussy cut freehand and then painted with acrylics, a white sharpie and a black Faber Castell PITT artist pen (as was the whole forest).




My fox was done the same way and then glued to the layer I wanted him on.





This morning (after I had taken pictures of this project in dizzy light) the sun came out for some minutes and I shot an image of my woodland scenery in full sunlight...which makes the layers and shades pop!



What I love with shadow boxes or little stages of toy theatres is that they reveal more detail when being looked at from various angles:



This creates a special depth that draws you right into this enchanted realm on its own, doesn't it?




I had a wonderful time drawing the bark and the leaves and layering my finished stages to create this tiny piece of woodland. I haven't drawn for ages and this reminded me to start drawing again. Well, we'll see.... :)




I hope you like this piece. This dies set is such a lovely design! Especially this scene stole my heart right away!  Can't wait to do a variation of it! ;)

Hugs and happy crafting,
Claudia xxx


I enter this project to the following challenge/s:

The Artistic Stamper - Christmas is Coming
(the "Joy" and "Happy Holidays" quotes are stamped)

Craft Room Challenge - Anything 3D 
(which is the perfect challenge theme for a shadow box lover like I am. Thank you! ;)

Dies R Us Challenge Blog - Anything Goes - Christmas

Moo Mania & More - Trees
(their challenges are open to other formats than Moos as well....yay! Thanks for the information, Susie ;)

Monday, 17 November 2014

Interfering with the Bling! (a DecoArt media Christmas Tree Ornament Tutorial)

Servus and welcome to some Christmas crafting today.
I am not much of a Christmas crafter to be honest...don't know why because I definitely enjoy looking at gorgeous X-mas decorations done by others. The only time when I really did a lot of seasonal decorating and crafting was during pregnancy and the year after (so I "blame" it on the hormones mainly...lol).

My husband and I still laugh about that day back in that very veeeeery hot summer 2003 when (highly advanced in pregnancy) I fled the constant 89 °F (32 °C) of our flat and went to his office (which had the most wonderful air con) to spend the whole day there creating Christmas tree ornaments in the middle of August. (I guess his colleagues still laugh about it too...giggle. But I still have those ornaments and they are very special to me).

So when I created the Christmas tree ornament I want to share with you today it brought back sweet memories of a very special time in my life ;)

DecoArt will be doing a Christmas DecoArt Blog Round Up on November 19th in their newsletter...so there will be loads of yummy mixed media Christmas crafting tutorials to check out! Make sure you don't miss this! To sign up for their newsletter simply go HERE.




I decided to join in and play a little with the awesome DecoArt media "Interference" colours as they look especially great on "moving" objects. So it seemed perfect for my tree ornament, which would be seen from a lot of different angles!




To create this ornament I used:

DecoArt:
- media fluid acrylics "Interference Green" and "Translucent White"
- Americana "Deep Burgundy"
- Decou-Page (gloss or matte)
- Metallic Lustre "Gold Rush"

Other materials:
- heavy black card
- Spellbinders embossing folder "Mediterranean Medallion"
- die cutting/embossing machine
- thin gold wire
- beads
-white paper
- scissors, pencil, craft knife, ruler, brush, water, soft cloth, cloths pins









Here we go:


1. Fold a sheet of heavy white printer paper in half and sketch half the ornament's shape until content. Cut out and unfold. This way you get a perfect symmetrical shape.







2. On a piece of black cardstock trace the ornament's shape six times and cut out.


You could do eight pieces as well, but then I'd recommend using a ligher cardstock. Otherwise assembling the ornament will become rather tricky.





3. Emboss the six pieces with some textural pattern. I used the fab Spellbinders "Mediterranean Medallion" embossing folder as it has swirls and flourishes, which add to a festive look.





4. On their backs lightly score your ornament pieces along their middle line with a craft knife using as little pressure as possible (otherwise you might cut right through). This will help fold them neatly.





5. Give the prepared pieces a wash of Americana "Deep Burgundy". Don't cover them evenly. We want the black card to show through with some spots.





6. Next give them a wash with diluted media "Interference Green". See to it that you leave puddles of the wash with some areas. Let dry naturally.


If you want your ornament to have the real excessive "interference bling" skip step 7 and move directly to step 8.


7. I wanted to tone down the quite heavy "interfering" of the Interference Green, so I gave my pieces a wash of generously diluted media "Translucent White". Again I saw to it that there were puddles of paint left in some spots, which I let airdry. This helped create a weathered look.




8. Then I highlighted some of the raised areas with "Gold Rush" metallic lustre. I prefer using my fingertip to apply the metallic lustres, but you can use a piece of cut'n dry foam instead.


Take some soft cloth and buff the metallic lustre to a shine.



9. Flip your painted and "lustred" ornament pieces to the other side and paint the edges with the metallic lustre. To do so simply spray a little water on the surface of the metallic lustre in the container and use a soft brush.






10. Glue the pieces together in twos and let dry. I used Decou-page as it dries really fast. You can use either the gloss or the matte version. Fix pieces with cloths pins while the glue dries. Press and flatten the edges of the ornament's parts with your fingers.






11. When dry glue two of the three pairs together and set aside to dry. We have to add a hanging device first before we assemble the whole ornament!




12. Take some thin gold wire and beads and create the hanging device.


The beads at the bottom of the ornament will hold everything in place.



13. Insert the cut to size wire and create a loop at the top of the ornament:




14. Now you can fix the final piece of the ornament to the other pieces! :)




You're done! :)


To show you the amazing effect of the Interference Colours from the DecoArt media range I took two images of the same "wing" of my ornament:




At this angle you can see the Deep Burgundy showing through and the Interference Green giving a kind of patina effect. 
And then I held it at a just slightly different angle and took another photograph of the same wing...



...which makes it look all green and shiny! 
Just imagine how awesome your ornaments will look when swinging gently, moved by the warm air from the candles on the tree! 


This effect is so stunning! (but sooo hard to capture in a photograph *lol). 










I hope you liked my "festive" tutorial and have a lot of fun creating your own Christmas decorations!

Hugs and happy advent crafting,
Claudia 
xxx

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