Friday, 23 June 2017

Guesting at A Vintage Journey

Servus, hi and welcome! Today I have the very special pleasure and honour to guest over at A Vintage Journey where I am sharing a little canvas - especially created for their wonderful "Canvas" challenge hosted by lovely Nikki Acton!



Nikki says: "Let's work with canvas this month in our vintage; shabby; mixed media, art journalling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk style.  It doesn't matter how as long as some canvas is a dominant feature of your project. Perhaps you may use a canvas in the traditional way or use the reverse to create a shadow box? Canvas boards are fabulous to work on or perhaps you have some canvas sheets which can be cut and adhered to another surface."


I did not only use a canvas to work on as my substrate but also a strip of canvas in a very special way to create some extra interest and dimension.




On this piece some of my favourite materials and media to work with came together - raw canvas (which I have learned to love being part of the Canvas Corp Brands design team), some cool steampunk MDF wood shapes from the fantastic and wide range of Calico Craft Parts and of course some of my beloved DecoArt media as well.

My goal was to create something precious or "worthy" by partially using gilding flakes on the MDF parts and in some other spots on my canvas) and then partially "stain" and/or "hide" them - which in a way draws even more attention to them. (we often only find out what things (or persons) mean to us when we find them being taken away from us or in danger of being damaged or stained, right?)

And I have recently promised myself to have more faith - in myself, my body, and life in general (seems I have lost a good deal of that during the last years of struggling with bad health).  But sometimes things happen - unexpectedly - that make us aware of the fact that we have just quit trying again or believing that things can get better).


Hence the gilded wings - to remind me to be more daring and try to fly again without fear of falling or not even getting off the ground.

So this is the motto of my canvas - one that definitely is worth being lived by and that I hope to never forget again.

If you want to find out more about my little faithful canvas and the how-to, simply hop over to A Vintage Journey. I would love to see you there!
Thanks so much for stopping by!


Hugs and happy crafting!
Claudia
xxx

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Surf & Turf at Emerald Creek Dares

Servus, hi and welcome, dear crafting friends! :)


Surf & Turf

is this month's theme over at Emerald Creek Dares and Kim will add an extra prize to the challenge (besides the usual $50 voucher to spend at her store) if you are able to combine both - sea AND land animals with your makes!

I stayed with sea animals this time and did a little art journaling on heavy white cardstock:






other products used available at Emerald Creek:

Believe it or not: I only used Distress Stains and Inks alongside the fab Emerald Creek embossing enamels to create my art journal page and I love how versatile these products are!


Let me quickly take you through the steps (please, click on the images for a larger view):


Using embossing ink I stamped the lovely whale's image from Emerald Creek's awesome "Native Art" collection and heat embossed it (one after another) with Hammered Metal, Mercury Rising, Fractured Ice and Verdigris Sparkle. Then I grabbed my Distress Stains and used them like a wide brush to create layers of the different tones in circular motions. The picket fence Distress Stain had to go first - it would later act as a bit of a resist and come to the surface again. I also used saltyocean, weathered wood and tumbled glass. Then I cut my paper to size and blended the white spots with evergreen bough, faded jeans and chipped sapphire Distress inks using the blending tool. To finish the background off I also used the emboss it dabber like the Distress stains and added some "swirls" that I covered with Fractured Ice embossing crystals and boosted.



Then I went in with a baby wipe and did the same: wiping in short strokes that followed the circular motion of the Distress stains. That made the picket fence swirls visible again. Next I stained an old dictionary page scrap with wild honey Distress stain, drew a little crown for my prince of whales with a black marker and fussy cut it. The central wave image was stamped with embossing ink and heat embossed with Mercury Rising embossing powder. Then I cut out the wave's image in circular shape and glued both - wave and crown to my piece using a glue stick.



The corners of my art journal page were stamped with little waves images from Nicole Wright's "Upstream" stamp set. The quote was stamped with black archival ink to top and bottom of a dictionary page, heat dried and then tinted with wild honey Distress stain. The cut out quote was applied to the page using the glue stick again. I drew a white border and little white highlights using a gel pen. The waves image was shaded in using a black aquarellable pencil and a brush.


My prince of whales has a huge smile on his face. I wonder why?


I am really happy with the swirling effect I managed to create with the Distress stains!


I hope you like my fun art journal project as much as I do! The story about my "Prince of Whales" can be found on the Emerald Creek Dares blog alongside with some awesome makes of my teamies! So I hope to see you over there soon!

Hugs and happy crafting!
Claudia
xxx







Thursday, 15 June 2017

Steampunk Notes - for SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges

Servus, hi and thank you very much for stopping by my blog today! As it is the 15th it is time for "Team B" from SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges to share their inspirational makes.

The theme for our June challenge is once more

"Anything Goes - Steampunk/Industrial"

- so you are free to create and craft away and have some creative steampunk or industrial style fun!






I definitely had a lot of fun and my project for June is another notebook (yes, I never tire of making them...I only have to work on using them too...lol).

When I saw the new "Industrial" Sizzix die (designed by Tim Holtz) I knew I had to have it - finally I could make my own nuts and washers for all my industrial style projects!!! Using the real ones doesn't work because they are way too heavy and bulky...but die cutting them from heavy card and stacking them gets very close to the real thing! I love it!



I also used my beloved "passport" Sizzix die (designed by Eileen Hull) and some card from old packaging to create my notebook with. And not to forget about another "must have" that I used - the awesome Tim Holtz idea-ology "Type Lower" cling foam stamps!




But let's get back to the start:

Often I get inspired by some scrap paper or left overs from previous projects on my desk and this time the idea for making another little book emanated from using up the washes and paint residue on my palette that I used on this project HERE




I tend to use large white sheets of paper when painting objects and taking pictures for tutorials as they do not reflect the light like the craft sheet often does. It also shows the colours more clearly.

So I already had a lot of marks and other random patterns on my paper, but then I also simply turned over my plastic palette that still held the left overs from several paint washes and let the paint drip on the paper. Even the paint that remained on the edges of the palette during this process was used too by dragging the palette's edge across the paper in various directions. I didn't spend a single thought on where to add paint and in which direction. I just tried to use up all of it. ;)

I ended up with a beautifully randomly patterned paper and loved the colour combo - so I glued the dry sheet to some cardboard (left overs from packaging) using matte DecoArt Decou-Page.


As you can see the dry card tends to warp. But as I was going to use two of these for each cover that would not be visible anymore once both pieces would be glued together.

I die cut four cover pieces and then decided which ones to use for the covers' out- and insides.



I added a beautiful industrial style pattern to the covers' insides using a Carabelle Studio stamp. 


The stamped on word on the front cover was outlined with a white gel pen for better visibility.


I stacked three die cut nuts each so I had four of these and two of the large rings for the focal piece. 


Once the glue had dried I used Andy Skinner's quick rust technique and stamped on some rust texture in black archival stamping ink. I also blended the edges using a piece of blending foam.


I heat dried everything before I added a thin layer of DecoArt media Quinacridone Gold using a soft brush.



I used more Quinacridone Gold to create some beautiful drip lines on the covers.


For the book's spine I used another of Andy's quick rust techniques: I sprayed on some DecoArt media carbon black Mister and made sure I pressed the nozzle only half way down - this created lovely spreckles instead of an even mist - perfect for creating faux rust!


The dry spine was given a thin coat of Quinacridone Gold as well.


Time to assemble my book! Yay! 
I used matte Decou-Page and made sure there was enough glue added to all the outer edges so the both pieces for each cover would stick together really well and neatly. 


Then I glued the stacked and painted nuts and washers in place.


For my focal piece I chose one of the lovely persons from the idea-ology "photo booth" pictures and glued the cut out image behind the opening. I filled the inner circle to the brim with DecoArt media Liquid Glass and set everything aside to dry thoroughly (at least half a day). 


The whole note book was given a thin coat of DecoArt media Ultra-Matte Varnish to make it more durable. 


The dry focal piece was glued in place before I die cut my signatures...


...and sewed them to the spine using an upholsterer's needle and rough cord.



Done!










I hope to see you over at our challenge blog to check out my teamies' awesome projects - and to play along of course! ;) The challenge is still open until the end of the month and there are two fabulous prizes by DecoArt media and boozybear to be won - all you have to do is enter a project and be a lucky winner if random.org decides to come up with the number of your entry ;)

Hugs and happy crafting!
Claudia
xxx

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Already found your little paradise?

Do you know a place that you call your "paradise"? A place where you love to go to to forget about everyday life and stress and just be happy? Well, I hope you do - or - if you haven't already found "your personal paradise" - will find it! Everyone needs a place like this to relax, enjoy and fuel up new energy!

Or sometimes a beautiful journey or a trip to the ocean or the countryside can do the job as well.

Anyway - a little travel journal or album to keep memories of a beautiful holiday in might be what you need (or what would make a lovely gift). So if this or the little sneak peek image can lure you over to the Calico Craft Parts blog where I am sharing my latest make and tutorial today, I hope to see you over there! ;)




Hugs and happy crafting!
Claudia
xxx



Friday, 9 June 2017

Metal Tag Pendants for DecoArt Mixed Media

Servus, dear creative friends from all over the world, and thank you for stopping by my blog!

I would like to invite you over to the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog to check out my latest project and tutorial that I have made for you.

You know me - I can never throw away anything - so I had some broken plaster cast left overs that I had put aside some weeks ago without any idea back then on what to use them for...and then the right moment and project came along so they found their "home"...




...on these two metal tags that I had almost forgotten about. (I know I still have to practice a lot when it comes to using moulds and plaster...but hey - as long as the "failures" can be turned into something "right" everything's fine...lol).

If you want to find out about the finished pieces simply hop over to the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog. I would love to see you over there and I hope you'll like my project!

Hugs and happy crafting!
Claudia
xxx



Monday, 29 May 2017

Jaws at Calico Craft Parts!


Just imagine yourself swimming in the ocean. The weather is perfect and the water feels just wonderful! Suddenly there's this strange repeating sound....starting slowly at first........Duh duh...........duh duh........duh duh......duh duh.....duh duh duh duh duh duh......

Well, we have all seen and been scared by "Jaws" - one of those movies that still give me the creeps, even though it first hit the screens back in 1975 (oh, jeez....has it really already been so long?!) and is of quite some age today. But still it makes you check if there isn't a fin out there...cutting the waves..., doesn't it? 




My son loves sharks - he wants to become a marine biologist as you all may know by now ;) - and one of his goals as a grown up is to help ban shark fishing and especially the cruel hunt for shark fins.

We have been renovating and switching rooms lately so now he has a new room - and I just had to use the fab shark wood shape from Calico Craft Parts' awesome "Aquatic and Marine Wood Shapes" range to create a little "room-warming" something to give to him.

If you want to find out what it is that I made for my son, simply click HERE. There's a tutorial too. ;)

Have a wonderful start into the week and thanks for stopping by!

Hugs and happy crafting!
Claudia
xxx


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Quickly Customized Gift Box - for Canvas Corp Brands

Hi, servus and welcome to a quick and short invite today over to "The Creative Studio" from Canvas Corp Brands.

I sometimes create jewellery to give away for birthdays of good friends - and most of the time I don't have a wrapping at hand that matches the gift properly. So I hoard little cardboard boxes of all sizes to decorate them when in need for a new gift box.

This time I used several of Tattered Angels' mists and paints and a broken left over piece of an old plaster cast (really...I just cannot through away anything - not even a plaster cast that went wrong...lol) on an old business card box.



And of course I had to use one of my newly bought Tim Holtz design tapes on it! It just went perfectly well with the necklace that I gave away with the box (as it had self made paper beads from old dictionary pages - the tutorial on how to create that can be found over HERE).




To see the full (but quite short) tutorial, please, head over to the Canvas Corp Brands Blog. I hope you will like it!

Thanks for stopping by!
Hugs and happy crafting!
Claudia
xxx



Monday, 15 May 2017

The Horror from the Depths of the Sea - for SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges

Those who are familiar with H.P. Lovecraft's stories about the Old Ones (of which Cthulhu may be the most well known) and other invented horrors, know that these godlike creatures have conquered Earth billions of years ago (and maybe even have sparked life...who knows?) - but they have never occupied our planet completely (noone really knows what - or who - interrupted their seizure). The old continent R'lyeh for example sunk and now lies somewhere deep on the bottom of the ocean. And this is the place where the Great Old One "Cthulhu" is supposed to rest - waiting for some mad scientist or archeologist to speak the spell that will awaken him again...

By the way H.P.Lovecraft purposely gave his Outer Gods, Old Ones and their lairs names that are unspeakable. He even wanted their language to be as outer-worldly as possible - and he succeeded, didn't he? ;)

My friends and I love to play pen and paper role playing games from the world of Cthulhu. It is great fun to play a character that does not have a clue what it is that he is stumbling into...and later finds him- or herself simply trying to survive and not go mad facing unspeakable horrors.

But enough introductory blurb...(I'm afraid this is going to be a text heavy post anyway, so maybe you might want to get yourselves a cuppa)...my project for this month's challenge over at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges is inspired by Great Cthulhu, lying on the ocean ground, sometimes rising to spread his horror across unlucky humans who get in his way. The diver's helmet is what is left from one of these encounters. And Cthulhu still holds it in his tentacles while lying in slumber on the ocean ground.



He only awakens now and then when he thinks he has heard someone calling...and opens an eye. Only to fall asleep again (hopefully), waiting, dreaming.




Welcome to our May challenge over at 

We are once again having an 
"Anything Goes - Steampunk/Industrial" 
themed challenge - so you are free to create whatever you like as long as it has at least a steampunk or industrial twist to it. 


I got the idea for my project while rummaging through my "bits 'n bobs" box with old bottle caps, metal findings, trash and left overs from other projects and stumbled across two tentacles that I had done months ago when I accidentally had prepared too much Apoxy Sculpt clay. As the two components harden within about 40 minutes after being kneaded with each other you cannot store it for later use. So I quickly decided to make tentacles - but with no idea for a project in mind.

The large magnifing glass maybe was a gift from my husband's uncle who is renovating old-timers (cars and motorcycles). The box I used is the middle sized one from the Calico Craft Parts ATB Cube Kit that I have already partially used HERE. And I bought the diver's helmet on the internet last year or so.




How to make the tentacles: 

Sadly I forgot to take any pictures when I formed the tentacles, but it actually is quite easy: you take a small (maybe walnut size) lump of your clay - you don't have to use the Apoxy Sculpt; a cheaper air hardening clay does the trick as well - and roll it between your palms until you get a long roll. Apply more pressure to one end while rolling so you get a pointy end on one side of the roll. Tear or cut off as much as needed from the other side and flatten.

Then roll really tiny pairs of balls in growing size and stick them to the tentacle. Use an embossing tool with two differently sized pointy ends to press it into the centers of these balls. There you have your suckers!

Bend the tentacle in the desired shape and let harden.
If the clay starts to get cracky dip your fingers into water and smoothen out the surface.
Allow at least two hours for your clay to harden. The thicker the tentacles, the longer it will take.


How to create the Cthulhu Box:

Paint the insides of the ATB cube with DecoArt Teal Dazzling Metallics paint. Set aside to dry.


In the meantime apply some "Navy" DecoArt Americana paint to the tentacles as a base colour. You can speed up the drying process with a heat tool but you can as well let them air dry and assemble the ATB cube in the meantime.


Use matte DecoArt Decou-Page and a thin brush to assemble the box.


Dry brush some DecoArt media fluid acrylic Titan Buff onto the tentacles. Use a soft wide brush and wipe most of the paint off it on a piece of kitchen roll. Only the remains on the brush are used for dry brushing. With a gentle motion and no pressure swipe the brush across the tentacles in different directions. Repeat that until you are content with the result. Let dry or heat dry. 


Create a thin wash of DecoArt media fluid acrylic Green Gold and apply to the dry tentacles.


Next apply a coat of Raw Umber heavy body acrylic paint to the outsides of the assembled box. Let dry.


While the painted box dries take out your Alcohol inks (I used Ginger, Rust and Latte) and apply them to the metal ring of the magnifying glass and the helmet to get a rusty look. 


Rub some DecoArt media Texture Sand Paste onto the box using your fingertip. Use dabbing motions to create a rough surface. Let air dry.


Apply washes of DecoArt media fluid acrylics Raw Umber, English Red Oxide, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide and Diarylide Yellow. Use a kitchen roll to dab off the paint in some spots after each wash. Work from darkest to lightest colour.



The helmet needs a stand: use a cork that fits into the opening at the bottom and cut off the end. Paint the cork with DecoArt Navy Americana paint. 


Use a hot glue gun to fix everything into place.


Sculpt Cthulhu's eye from white air hardening clay. Use whatever feels handy to create a reptile-like surface for the eye to sit in. (I had some texture plates and modelling tools and I used the opening of the tip of a ball point pen around the eye to create smaller circles).



Let dry thoroughly (this may take up to several hours - depending on outside temperatures). Then repeat the same process as with the tentacles - starting with "Navy" and then dry brushing with Titan Buff...


...and adding a wash of Green Gold. Use a fine tip brush to apply a wash of English Red Oxide around the eye.


(you can see that I made a third tentacle as I found that two weren't enough).


Use some rough sisal string and the hot glue gun to fix the eye and the magnifying glass on top.





I found that the box needed some feet - but most of what I had was too big, too high...not appropriate. Finally I found a necklace that was made from coconut discs and these were perfect. Yay! 



Et voilá!
Great Cthulhu and whatever remained of that poor diver...






Oh dear! I hope he doesn't see me! 



Thanks so much for stopping by and reading this far, dear creative friends and visitors! I hope you liked the little excursion into the realms of the Old Ones and their horrors.

Please, let me invite you over to our challenge blog to check out my teamies' makes (they're fantastic!!!) and the challenge itself. I hope to see you play along with us soon!

Hugs and happy crafting,
Claudia
xxx


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