Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sponsor Spotlight No.2 - Tando Creative

Servus! Claudia here bringing to you another spotlight inspiration showcasing another of the products of this month's challenge sponsor

If you haven't already seen Julia's fantastic project, I highly recommend you scroll down (or simply click the link) to find out what she made of Tando's advent calender (who would have guessed it was so versatile?).

I chose Tando Creative's  "3 Clocks in 1" for my spotlight creation:

and altered a 3 Euro clock from one of those 1 Euro shops to make it look like this:

I had a massive play with a lot of the new DecoArt media stuff (you'll find a list of all the materials I used at the bottom of this post) and accidentally "invented" a cool technique to create a kind of "splintered enamel" effect.

But lets start with how my clock looked "before":

it looked quite "nice", but was too small, so I was very happy to find that the largest of Tando's "3 Clocks in 1" fit perfectly as a kind of outer frame. I only had to build some framework to attach the clock face. So I used some small pieces of wood (left from a very small canvas) and glued six of these to the back of my small clock - using DecoArt matte Decou-Page.

Then I covered my clock and the Tando piece with a layer of DecoArt's black Gesso from the new media line (don't worry if there are any brushstrokes visible - these will be covered later). 

Once this had dried, I gave it all a coat of DecoArt media "Matte Medium" to seal my surface for further treatment. 

The Matte Medium spreads really easily and goes a long way! It is also fast drying, so I didn't have to wait or speed up the process with the heat tool (which I wouldn't recommend anyway as this can cause nasty bubbles when acrylic colours or medium are getting too hot). 

I prepared some colour washes for the next step, using DecoArt media fluid acrylics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, Raw Umber, Titan Buff and Quinacridone Violett.

 Then I got out the new DecoArt media white Crackle Paint and started painting only a small area of my clock at one time - as the crackle paint dries rather quickly, painting the whole clock would leave you with dried paint - which will prevent my technique from working! 

So here's what you have to do: 

- paint a rather small area with white crackle paint
- take a fine tip brush and load it with your washes (one at a time) and sprinkle these onto the still wet crackle paint
- vary the size of the sprinkles to get large puddles of wet paint as well as smaller stains that will dry quicker
- leave the large puddles of watery paint as they are and repeat all the steps until you have covered the whole clock

Allow your sprinkled on colours to mix and create random colour effects. Don't dab any of the large puddles dry until the crackle paint has done its magic!!!!! 

Once the crackle paint has dried completely, take a piece of kitchen roll and dab off the wet paint from the larger stains - this will remove the  diluted acrylic colours AND the crackle paint and reveal the black colour from underneath! 

This way you get the look of a splintered enamel surface:

You can also see how the black Gesso underneath the white crackle paint makes the cracks more visible! 

Next apply some DecoArt Traditions "Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide" and "Carbon Black" onto a palette and dab the colours onto your clock's edges using your fingertip:

This will create an uneven edge that looks a bit like splintered enamel too. 

I did this with both - my clock and the Tando Clock frame - first applying the lighter colour and then the darker - trying not to work too evenly. 

After all had dried I fixed the clock frame to the clock face with some more Decou-Page (using cloths pins to keep everything in place until dry):


I hope you like my "splintered enamel" technique!!!

I add some more close ups so you can see the variety of effects I got on the crackle paint:

Materials used:

- Tando Creative "3 Clocks in 1"
- a cheap wall clock from the Euro/Dollar/Pound Shop
- six pieces of wood (left overs)
- DecoArt media fluid acrylics:  Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, Raw Umber, Titan Buff and Quinacridone Violett
- DecoArt media black Gesso
- DecoArt media white Crackle Paint
- DecoArt matte Decou-Page
- DecoArt media Matte Medium
- DecoArt Traditions: Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, Carbon Black
- brushes, palette, kitchen roll, water


As it is only a few days past mid-month, I would like to remind you of my actual "Autumnal Image Inspiration" challenge over here at Our Creative Corner, which is still open until the 28th of the month! I would be sooo happy to see you join in!!! 

Hugs and happy crafting,

Claudia xxx

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Sacred Book of Runes

Servus and welcome back to Our Creative Corner, dear creative friends!

Claudia here and today I have the (very) great pleasure to introduce to you this month's Guest Designer - Candice aka Tincan Crafter!

Yay! I sooo admire and love what she does - ever since I discovered her awesome blog - Tincan Handmade Craft Deli - and her most imaginative and enchanting art she shares on it. She also likes to share the how-to and I can tell you that visiting her blog never sees me leave without the urge to create something (at least half) as stunning, captivating and clever as she just showed in her latest post! ;)

So you can imagine how happy (and proud) I was when I found that she said "yes" to the invitation for this guest designers spot!

Thank you for being with us today, Candice! Me and the OCC team are so happy to have you with us today! xxx

But now I leave the stage for our oh so special guest - please, welcome Candice, the Tincan Crafter! Applause, applause, applause (*doing the Kermit the frog wave about)!!!


I have been holding onto an almost unbearable secret for a few months…..

A couple of months ago I was invited to be a Guest Designer for “Our Creative Corner” for September. I was completely floored and excited and so very honoured to have been asked to participate in this way. 

I was challenged to take inspiration from this picture collage as featured at the start of the month. Right off the bat, the knotty tree bark and the vine just jumped right out at me.

After crash-testing a bunch of different crafty ideas, and because I am currently fascinated with all things Viking-like, 
I decided to create “The Sacred book of Runes” as my feature project. 


I bet you are thinking – how in Odin’s name did you find a piece of bark big enough to cover a whole book?  I didn’t!! I have an insatiable need to experiment – during one of those experiments I discovered a pretty cool way to create a bark like texture with texturising medium. 

So I am going to share my technique with you today as well as a few other crafty tutorials on how to make the burned Rune Scroll, Carved tooth Charm, Faux Suede straps and Precious Stones that I embellished the book with.

  • A regular book or journal or whatever you want to turn into an old book of mystical charm.
  • Bulking material to create the layered uneven bark bulk – In the past I have used ripped pieces of chipboard, bunched up masking tape, old linoleum flooring that I cut and distressed, basically I use whatever I have on hand, I am a little too into recycling junk into craft materials, so a lot of my ideas of how to create a specific texture really come from me trying to to recycle my house junk.  For this tutorial I used ripped pieces of chipboard.
  • Strong glue
  • Paint or Universal stain in brown and black.
  • Texture paste.  I am a big fan of Dala texture paste (South African Brand)and buy that by the bucket loads but I am aware that Claudine Helmuth and Ranger also have their own brands of texture paste and I reckon those do exactly the same job.  
  • A spreader like a palette knife or butter knife in a pinch, anything with a relatively flat surface will suffice
  • A skewer stick or toothpick or any pointy, sharp, needle-y type thing.
  • Heat gun if you want to expedite the process.
  • Get your book out. paint it brown if you want to.
  • Decide how much overhang you want off of the book that you are altering.  I didn't bother with too much overhang for this book. If you want a little overhang, cut a piece of bookboard or chipboard, that will serve the dimensions you have decided on. Glue this on the existing cover.  A tip I should add here is that your book will open better if you have a bit overhanging over the edge of the spine, and you make the crease line where the book folds out to open.
  • Cut another piece of book-board slightly bigger than that and rip it into strips.  They don't need to be uniform. In fact if the edges are rough and and ripped and shredded – all the better, it will give you all the right irregularities of ordinary flaking bark.
  • Start by gluing the strips down, some slightly overlapping, some short pieces, some long pieces some tapered pieces.  You control the look and thickness  of the bark bulk by adjusting your tear and layering pattern.  Alternatively, you could stick bunchy strips of masking tape in a way that it creates bumps and ridges.
  • Scoop out some texture paste into a mixing container. You could colour that paste now with the Brown paint or Stain.

  • Go ahead and spread that lovely chocolatey mess like icing/frosting on the book that you have covered in bark bulk. Use the palette knife to trowel it in all the little cracks between the glued pieces.  Don’t worry about getting it smooth.  Just plonk it down and make sure you have a good layer of coverage. Using the Palette Knife gently tap the texture paste icing in an up and down motion to create tiny peaks. Take a skewer and etch out random vertical lines. Let this dry thoroughly.  You could speed things up with a heat gun that blows hot air not the one that is just heat.

  • You can now take a makeup sponge or a sponge applicator and pick up some darker brown or black paint and burnish over the raised edges.  This will create more dimension and make this look like real bark.

  • Bathroom sealing Silicone
  • Cornstarch or Tiling Grout if you really want get cute,

Measure out a liberal amount of grout or cornstarch. Squeeze out some silicone.

  • Mix and knead together until you get a pliable but rubbery texture (like crazy clay but denser and more rubbery). Manipulate it into little rock forms.
  • Leave it to dry and harden, it will keep a rubbery texture though so don’t expect it to be very hard
Paint or dye it with alcohol inks or paint. You can also dust on Perfect Pearls for glimmer.  For added oomph you can give it blast of clear lacquer spray paint to make it all shiny.

  • Thin cardboard
  • Distress Ink
  • Black Permanent Pen or Calligaphy Pen with India Ink
  • Soldering Iron or Incense Sticks
  • Stain paper with Distress Ink (you use whichever colour you feel your scroll should be.
  • Write the Runic Alphabet on the stained paper or make up symbols that look Rune-like.
  • Distress around the edges with Black Soot Distress Ink.
  • To make singe-holes – hold a soldering iron to paper until it starts to singe and burn, if you don't have a soldering iron, a lit incense stick will work fine as well.
  • Roll up into a scroll and keep in place with some wire

  • Fun foam cut into strips
  • Paint or stain
  • Glue
  • Cotton Flock for suede look
  • ModPodge or Glaze Coat for tanned and polished leather look
  • Soak the foam in paint or stain solution or just paint it over the top.  Leave to dry completely. Paint a layer of glue over the top.
  • Sprinkle on cotton flock.  Dry completely.
  • You can adjust the colour by making a light misting spray and misting the strips.

  • plastic bead that resembles a tooth or horn
  • Alcohol Ink
  • Distress Paint
  • Sandpaper or a file
  • Permanent Marker
  • Linocutting tools or engraving tool
  • Lightly sand the the high sheen plastic tooth, rub harder in some places this will create a toothy surface for the ink and paint to stick too
  • Write your symbols on the bead to give you some kind of guide on where to engrave,
  • Use the lino-cutter to scratch or engrave the design into the bead.
  • You can darken the engraving with the thin tip of the marker to give it more contrast
  • Swipe alcohol ink over the whole bead and rub off some of it so that it creates a worn distressed effect.
  • To make the brown wood-like tooth – sand the bead, then apply walnut stain paint all over the bead. Now you can do steps 2 and 3 to finish the look.
  • If you want it to be more polished – give it a blast of clear lacquer spray paint.

And that brings me to the end. I hope you will give it a shot.  Thanks again for asking me to be a part of such a fun challenge for such a fun craft blog.

Tincan (aka Candice)  


Now, did I promise too much? Thank you for all these awesome tutorials and that wonderful load of inspiration, Candice! Mwah! XXX


Dear players and readers, don't forget to join in our actual challenge with my "Autumnal Image Inspiration" - it is open until Sept. 28th, 11:55 pm and I would love to see you play along with me!

Also don't forget to stay tuned for some wonderful Sponsor Spotlight Inspiration throughout the month! Tando Creative are our generous sponsor this time - so there will be a lot of Tando goodness to see! Yay!

Hugs and happy crafting,


Monday, September 8, 2014

Summertime Winners and Top 3

Hi everyone!

Laura here to bring you the Winner and Top 3 from my 'Summertime' Challenge.

WOW! the entries for August were wonderful and each one was blissfully summery. Thank you to everyone for entering our 'Summertime' challenge and showing us what inspires you at this time of year.

First of all I would like to announce who won the summer themed bundle of goodies from our very generous sponsor last month Crafty Individuals

 The lucky winner selected by is 

Well done Hazel....please email us and we will send you the Crafty Individuals goodies. Have fun!

It is always difficult to choose a winner and Top 3 but finally I came to a decision and here they are.....

My winner of the 'Summertime' challenge is -

This gorgeous tag is so amazing! - I adore everything about it - the bright vivid colours, those stunning flowers and that wonderful bee all adds up to such a special summery creation. If you haven't seen this before then I suggest you hop over to see all the pictures and read how it was done - Bonnie has really created some very magical beauty here!


...and now for my Top 3 (in no particular order)

Ahhhh...A summer garden with lots of flowers. Total bliss! I love this card with it's gorgeous contrasting layers, delicate lace and those wonderful hand coloured flowers. It is such a beautifully designed card.

Julie's creation caught my attention straight away! We don't get many jewellery entries here at OCC and I thought this was breathtakingly beautiful. So full of summery colours, dazzling and so exquisitely detailed. 
Super work Julie!

This is such a fabulous tag book! I loved how much detail was in it and how superbly made it was. Those summery colours are just so beautiful and this will obviously be such a treasured keepsake.

Thanks to all who is such a shame I can't show more entries because there were so many I would have loved to have featured here today.
You could be here next month as our winner or Top 3 - Just hop over to Claudia's 'Autumnal Image Inspiration' challenge and have a go! You could even win a prize from this month's sponsor Tando Creative! 
Remember, you have to be in it to win it!

Don't forget! We have more Sponsor Spotlights coming up on the 18th and the 25th so make sure you come back and see what has been made with items from our generous sponsor this month Tando Creative

This months Guest Designer is appearing on the 11th and it a post you will not want to miss!

....and last but by no means least...Julie is appearing as our 'Top Talent' this month...she will be here for her second appearance as 'Top Talent' on the 22nd!

Happy Crafting

Laura xxxxxxx

Thursday, September 4, 2014

September Sponsor Spotlight Number One - Tando Creative

Hello everyone. It's my turn to share a project I made using a product from our generous sponsors this month:

 Love using chip board? Look no further. . . . 
I chose to use one of Tando's house shaped advent calendar kits. Click HERE to go to the Tando site for more information and prices.

House Shaped Advent Calendar
The house comes flat pack and is then made up following the instructions.Now don't get worried - I'm not ready to make Christmas stuff yet! I've had my eye on this kit for a while though. I love the tiny drawers and the fact that you can decorate the piece in any way you choose.
Here's what I decided to do with my kit:

The drawers are just the right size for all those little bits and pieces which can roll around in a larger space and get in a terrible jumble (well mine do!)

The first job was to paint all the pieces - except the drawers - with two coats of gesso and sand lightly on the final dry coat. A stencil and some crackle paste was then used to add detail to the two end pieces of the house.
Once completely dry some random stamping was added in Archival ink. This was followed by various colours of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics as shown. The crackle paste areas were picked out using the wonderful interference paint in the same DecoArt line.
DecoArt Crackle Glaze was applied all over each end section. Antiquing cream in several shades was then applied to some areas of the crackle. Others were left plain.
The roof was given two coats of gesso followed by some DecoArt Modelling Paste through a stencil. Sorry, forgot to take the photo!
Half pearls were applied to the edges of the roof for interest and these had extra DecoArt Antiquing Cream added plus a little graphite pencil. As with the house ends, some areas of the crackle glaze were picked out with antiquing cream whilst the edges were sponged with Traditions paint to give them definition.
The draws are flat pack and they were given a coat of the Media Line gold which is just fab - rich with metallic pigment and a real joy to use as it looks so authentic.
Some stencilling was added to the drawers to make appear more interesting. Probably not entirely necessary but it's all in the detail isn't it?!! I used Stazon because I wanted to make sure it really did just that - stay on!!
The main structure of the house is made of gorgeous, thick chipboard and in comparison, the drawers are a little flimsy. I cut out some extra drawer fronts and stuck on die cuts which were trimmed to fit. Two coats of  gesso followed to give them a good surface for painting and more rigidity.

 The drawers were painted with various shades of Media Fluid Acrylics followed by some more gold interference paint on the die cuts. I love the look but it's quite difficult to capture in a photo. I think it shows quite well in the photo on the left though.

More stencilling was added with gold fluid acrylic followed by a layer of crackle glaze which you can see if you squint hard enough!
All twenty four (only twelve shown) drawers were painted with the same fluid acrylic colours. The Crackle Glaze was antiqued with some Traditions Acrylic (still love them!).
Some drawers had additional die cut flowers added with twists of rusty wire. The flowers were all painted with acrylics mentioned before.
Other drawers were left with just the original die cut details. The edges of the main chipboard structure were finished with a gold Krylon pen - I didn't fancy trying to keep a steady hand with a paintbrush on those narrow edges!

So glad I finished the sides of the drawers - plain grey board would not have been very exciting.
Lots of lovely rusty wire on the side sections and more die cut flowers.

So, there you have my non-Advent Calendar House from Tando! I love bright colours, die cut  flowers, rusty wire, paints and mediums and I think there's plenty of those to see here! What I also like is that this piece can be used too instead of just sitting somewhere to be admired.

Do have a look at Tando products if you haven't used them before as they really are very versatile.

Look out for two more Sponsor Spotlights this month from my very talented Teamies. Have you joined in with our new challenge yet? Click HERE to see all the details.

Thank you so much for visiting our blog today and looking at my project.