Sunday, 3 May 2015

"The Magic in a Timeless Smile" - May Tag for Tim Holtz' "12 tags of 2015"

It seems like ages since I did my last tag, but yesterday, when I saw Tim's actual May tag for his 12 tags of 2015 I was so inspired that I had to directly head off to my crafting desk and get out all my thoroughly hoarded Tim Holtz stuff to involve in several hours of happily messing and creating with Distress paints, modelling paste and stencils, burlap, loads of idea-ology and other treasures from my stash.

And this is the result which I am quite happy with:

As I don't have most of the new stuff Tim uses on his May tag, I had to improvise with some of the older idea-ology bits 'n pieces, which I think still look as intriguing as ever as they are timeless as is the smile of the lovely lady from the photograph ;)

Using white modelling paste and one of Tim's fab stencils I added some texture to the top left corner of my tag. Once that was dry I gave the whole tag  and stencilled areas a rather rough treatment with various Distress paints and water from the spray bottle.

The edges of the tag were darkened using my "frayed burlap" Distress marker while the tag was still wet. That way the paint from the marker got soaked right in and I got a smudged, softer outline.

I created a "rose-y" pendant for my swivel clasp using a sheet from the lovely "Wallflower" paper stash and an idea-ology fragment. As I don't have the new Sizzix florals dies Tim uses on his tag, I wanted to at least incorporate some roses in a way.

To make the game piece match the colour scheme of my tag I painted it with Distress paint "picked raspberry". The other tones I used on my tag (mainly for adding colour to the burlap and stencilled texture) were "mustard seed", "broken china" and peeled paint". I also used them to paint my little wooden button, arrow and heart. 

 The word band was painted the same way and I used broken china Distress paint to make the letters pop out and also repeat the colour from the woman's dress and eye shadow and also the paper rose (which I made using the TH "Tattered pinecone" Sizzix die).

The adorable vintage flower button is an older idea-ology piece too (and I am happy it finally found its perfect home).

The word band was fixed to the tag using a thin leather cord that is glued in place at the back of the tag.

For a finish I glued some creamy white quillings to the bottom of the tag and added a  (previously distressed) ribbon of the same colour to its top. The repetition of that colour helped blend in the accoutrements flower button and the woman's face. And it also draws more attention to the woman's face as it repeats the skin tone.

Repeating shapes and colours you use with your project (in variations of shape and amount) in different spots always helps "fuse" all your elements to a greater "whole" and "keep them in place".

The photograph was coloured with Distress markers the way Tim describes in his post. I sanded and scratched the edges with the TH distressing tool before I glued all my elements and the chit chat stickers (which I blended in with Distress markers) to their advised spots. For a finishing touch I added some drops of DecoArt Liquid Glass for dew drops (which were meant to emphasize the flowery style of the tag). I saw and totally admired that with some of the wonderful creations from my lovely and awesomely talented friend Laura from Laurart and decided to "borrow" that brilliant idea from her. (I am afraid one can guess this was my first attempt....she does them so much better and so

I had a great time playing around with embellishments, paints, composition and highly textural stuff! And I really wanted to put her adorable smile in the spotlight (and I hope I succeeded)!

Hugs and happy crafting,
Claudia xxx

Saturday, 18 April 2015


Servus and hi and thanks for stopping by!

Today I want to share another art journal page with you that I did in the wonderful Dylusions art journal from Dyan Reaveley. I really love this one as it has a stitched binding that allows all pages to be laid flat while working on them!

I had some ephemera lying around on my studio desk (a torn paper wrap from one of my watch glasses from the watchmakers cabinet and a worn tag from an old pair of Levis) and thought I might use them up.

So I started with collageing them onto my page using matte DecoArt Decou-Page after I had stamped some (rather) random texture in black archival ink (using some Tim Holtz stamps).

Then I applied some DecoArt Americana acrylic paints using a small palette knife. Once that had dried I stencilled a chevron pattern and my "Action" with black DecoArt media Gesso using Andy Skinner's fab stencils.

The white texture was applied using a TCW stencil and white Gesso. Once all had dried I unscrewed my black DecoArt Mister and added some drops of paint here and there.

The red circles were stamped using the cap of an old felt tip pen which I dipped into the red paint. The enforcement ring repeats the circle pattern - only slightly differently (which always helps to keep all the elements in a composition together and create "visual interest").

The main difficulty (as you might all know) is to find the right moment to stop. lol
The substrate paper of the journal is real good quality and a lovely natural white so I decided to let it become part of the creation by leaving (a big) part of it visible.

It was mainly a joyful play with colour and texture composition and building up layers. I hope some of the joy has become visible in a way and that you like it!

Hugs and happy crafting,
Claudia xxx

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

"Pay no Attention to that Man Behind the Curtain!"

Servus and hi!

I hope by now Spring has arrived wherever you are and that you are full of energy!

What do I have in store for you today? Well, if you have missed yesterday's post here in my blog (which provides you with a preview and a link to a new DecoArt tutorial which I am really proud of and hope you will like) I would love to invite you over - just scroll down to the previous post after you have read this one or click HERE.

And today's post is about the actual challenge over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges. If you haven't checked it out yet I highly recommend you do so - we have a great fun challenge theme, great makes from both the Design Teams and Inspiration Emporium are this month's prize sponsor! Yay!

Over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges we show you the team B makes today to fuel your imagination and remind you of our actual challenge

My first thought that immediately came to my mind when reading our theme for the month was that wonderful adorable curtains-scene from the old "Wizard of Oz" movie when Toto reveals the true "wizard" by pulling aside the green curtain.

I just love when - already being "unmasked" - the "wizard" slightly paniccing and hastily pulling some gears and pressing his buttons yells into his microphone "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!!" I sometimes use this quote too when finding myself fiddling with something that somehow goes surprisingly wrong while being watched... lol

So let's raise the curtains and show you my altered canvas which I turned into the place of Oz the Great and Powerful.

It was really hard to photograph my altered canvas as I hardly ever managed to capture the sheen of the DecoArt Shimmer Misters and Interference paints I added, but I think the images give you at least a slight hint of the metallic green sheen that I tried to achieve as it is the main colour of the scene in the movie.

I added a three dimensional curtain of course, which I made from a piece of cloth (cut from an old napkin) that I dipped into previously tinted Paverpol. Paverpol is a great new liquid medium for mixed media artists that hardens once dry but stays flexible for quite some time so you can sculpt it the way you want. You can either brush it on or dip your fabric into it. I discovered it at this Spring's creative fair in Vienna and this was my very first go at it (and it worked pretty well for me).

As you can see I fixed my curtain to a real curtain rail I made from wire. The whole shadow frame was done in a reversed canvas which I first coated with old dictionary pages that were glued on with matte DecoArt Decou-Page to have some tooth for my paints to adhere to and some background texture as well.

The control desk of Oz the Great and Powerful was made from the circuit board of an old (taken apart) remote control, which I sawed in two and glued some other small parts onto (like resistors (thank you, Brigitte! Yes, I still have some of the ones you sent me! Mwah!X), some LED bulbs, an idea-ology light bulb, a piece of a broken hook from a hiking boot, a Prima faucet embellishment...) to make it look like there were a lot of switches to pull and panels to control.

The microphone Oz speaks into is an old ear plug from a disc man my son found and brought me (he always brings me found metal parts like screws or washers to use them on my projects ;). I glued it to a piece of wire I had bent into shape and glued to the top of the frame (with Decou-Page) so it looks as if it was hanging down (just like in the movie).

The round pressure control panel was stamped onto beige card (using one of finnabairs new stamps), cut out and glued behind a watch glass from my watchmakers cabinet.

Oz the Great and Powerful was drawn by hand and coloured with colouring pencils before I fussy cut him and fixed him to the frame and microphone with Decou-Page.

Brave Toto was done the same. 

He's about 3/4 inch tall in real and I used a fine detail cutting knife to cut him out. He is fixed to the frame with two layered and cut to size 3D sticky foam pads.

I really tried to capture all the "drama" there is to this show that key moment when Toto has just pulled aside the curtain and Oz (finding himself exposed) says his epically desperate sentence.

I admit - if I were able to add sounds and smoke to my make I would have. ;)

The metal piece in the top right corner is a piece from a taken apart alarm clock which I bought at the flea market and enhanced with some dashes of Viva Rusty Paper. I also used it on some of the wire pieces alongside some Ranger alcohol inks to make all the pieces blend together and build a warm contrast to the cool green.

The five LEDs to the right are from a broken headlight. The old telephone is a Stampendous stamp from one of my very first stamp sets I bought. I stamped it onto some beige card and painted over it with a very light wash of DecoArt Quinacridone Gold.

The quote was written by hand onto a die cut panel (using the fab Sizzix Tim Holz Alterations "Labels" set) that I had aged with some Distress Stains before. 

The gears texture you can see running around the outer frame was done using a mask and Viva Rusty Paper that was stippled on with a bristle brush. Then I painted over the dried texture with DecoArt media fluid acrylics in various greens and blues (including "Interference Turquoise" and "Interference Green")).

For a finish I dabbed some DecoArt Dazzling Metallics paint around the outer and inner edges of the frame (using my fingertips as always of course) and also sprinkled on some DecoArt Shimmer Mister in turquoise (by unscrewing the bottle and letting some of the paint drip from the nozzle's tube onto the areas I wanted). All silvery metal parts were either treated with alcohol inks or painted with DecoArt media fluid acrylics Quinacridone Gold or Viva Rusty Paper until I was content with the result.

And once all had dried I added my curtain which I admit was a bit scary as it was the first time I used Paverpol. So I did a test panel first to find out if it was tricky to use and about any dos and don'ts....well, even though I had done a practice piece I still was hoping that I would not mess up my frame with the glibbery, wet cloth. I think I only started breathing again once I found that all seemed to develop the way I had

Toto and Oz the Great and Powerful were added at the very end (because I needed Toto to pull the curtain of course and Oz to speak into his microphone).

I had a great time doing this shadow frame using the backside of a 6x6 inch canvas and I really am very happy with the outcome as I have managed to capture one of my favourite scenes from one of my favourite movies.

I hope you like it too and I would love to invite you to hop over to SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges to check out the makes of my fabulous teamies who have outdone themselves on this month's theme "Raise the Curtains!".

I hope to see you join in our challenge soon! 
Hugs and happy crafting,

Claudia xxx

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