Friday, April 18, 2014

Tando Creative Sponsor Spotlight No.2 - Any Cheering Up Needed?

Servus, dear visitors and friends of Our Crafty Corner!
Claudia here to share with you a creation made from another product from this month's generous prize sponsor Tando Creative!

I got the huge pleasure to play with one of their lovely printer trays with cover

and this is what I came up with:

*giggle...that reminds me: when chatting with Laura about this sponsor spotlight some weeks ago, when she asked me about a project I had done earlier that had circles/dots on it, I said to her "I am afraid I have done too many circles recently. So there won't be any on my sponsor spotlight as I need to do something different! I hope you'll understand."...well, obviously I haven't done too many circles yet. (honestly...I can't stop making them...some kind of desease?) ;)

Well, you might want to grab a cuppa something before I take you through the how-to (and, please, bear with me on the poorly artificial light some of the pictures were taken in. At least the finished project was photographed in broad daylight. Promise!)

Before I assembled the tray I used one of the window layers as a template to mark the four background panels on a colour copy done from one of my abstract paintings.

Why use a colour copy? Well, I wanted to blend the edges of all four background panels with Distress ink "black soot" and found that it does not stick well to gesso or acrylic colours if you want an even border. But it works perfectly on a colour copy ;)

Next I assembled the printer tray and gave the insides and outsides of the frame a thorough coating with white Gesso. I also swiped some of it over the front as a sealant for the next step.

The front of the frame was given a coat of Distress crackle paint "picket fence".

While this was set aside to dry I stamped my favourite friendly monsters (from Stampotique) onto some white card and fussy cut them for later use.

 In the meantime the first crackles had started to appear (and as I am a very impatient girl I speeded up the process with my heat tool). Then I rubbed in some Distress ink "black soot"...

...and whiped the excess off with a damp cloth to make the tiny cracks more visible.

Time to insert my four panels and glue them in place.

My friendly monsters needed a bit of colouring, so I grabbed some brush tip pens and lightly added some colour here and there.

Then I typed my saying on the computer and printed it onto some heavy printer paper. Afterwards I cut out the single words and blended the edges with Distress ink "black soot" before I attached some cut to size sticky foam pads to the backs.

My monsters were treated the same way (I'm afraid this one didn't like what I did to it as it looks a bit grumpy).

After glueing them in place I browsed my stash of cut out "happy mess circles" - circles I randomly cut from scraps of my more colourful experiments (originals and colour copies) and stash for later projects.

After I had chosen three, I placed them (right side down!) in the tray's compartments.

Then I stacked two layers of sticky foam pads on their backs...

...removed the backing foil and closed the tray's cover, pressing down in the spots where my circles were...

..opened it again and "Wallaaah!":

No measuring needed at all and my popping circles were in perfect place so the cover could be closed and opened easily. Yay!

Then I added some circle shapes with a watercolour pencil and a waterloaded brush,...

...stamped some random circles with the ends of felt tip pens using black jet archival ink...

...and for a finish I added some spritzes of Distress stains (using a thin detail brush to sprinkle them on) and one of my coloured monster cuties.

The cover was done merely the same way, but I glued the cut out circles flat to it instead of using sticky foam pads.

Then I covered the remaining sides of the printer tray with white Gesso and let all dry. My "Cheer Up Monster Frame" was done! Yay!

I hope you have cheered up too now! Don't forget that by entering our April challenge "With a Song in Your Heart" you get eligible to win a prize donated by this month's sponsor

or make Top3 or maybe even win the challenge and therefor get featured with our Top Talent, guesting in an extra post on OCC!

Alison (and the rest of the team of course too) is desparate to learn which songs you chose (don't forget to mention them in your posts) and which projects they inspire in you! There's still a bit more than a week's time to join in our actual challenge!

Hugs and happy crafting,
Claudia xx

Friday, April 11, 2014

Give Peace a Chance

Hello everyone!  Alison here again, and I'm absolutely delighted to be introducing our guest for April - Susi of Froebelsternchen.

I'm a huge fan of her beautiful work... she's an absolute artist with paint effects and layers, and her art journalling is stunning.  She's constantly exploring and evolving - and I find that hugely inspiring.  If you've never visited her blog, I heartily recommend it.  Keep an eye out for the brilliant MOOs - they pop up all over the place! - and so many other wonders.

Take a look at her absolutely gorgeous creation for Our Creative Corner, inspired by this month's challenge theme: With a Song in Your Heart...


I am so excited and honoured to be invited to make something for the theme "With A Song In Your Heart".  I chose one of my lifelong favourite songs for this event and tried to express my feelings and inner pictures to this song.  I am sure everybody knows this timeless world-wide hit written by John Lennon - here is a link to hear it:

  In my mind this song is a beautiful statement of love and hope. 

I made some step by step photos for you to see my progress.

I started by gluing random pieces of old bookpages on an 8 by 8 (21 x 21 cm) piece of thick cardboard. I used cheap white schoolglue and a stiff brush for this. The next step was to brush a thin layer of the same white glue all over the surface and let dry this.

(I always use a heat tool to speed up the drying time - but I keep distance to the glue otherwise it will bubble.)

I aged the surface then with dark brown acrylic paint -

I applied a generous amount of paint with a sponge - sprayed with water and wiped away the most of the paint soon after with a rag. While the ground was drying I prepared three torn stripes of homemade colored papers of mine, (I always use acrylic paints and sprays for this, so they don't smear when liquid glue is used) drew a starfish on a sprayed piece of paper and cut it out.

This pieces were arranged on the background and glued on with the white glue by gluing the back and the front of the papers - that seals very good. 

Now it was time to stamp some random designs with matching colors of waterproof inkpads and bring on a touch of white over the whole design to tone  it down a bit ( I took a white colored ink spray - you can also use a simple white wash with water-thinned white gesso or white acrylic paint.)

I coloured some areas with pastel sticks and defined the starfish and all edges with a charcoal pencil.  To get  the pastels and charcoal pencil permanent I sprayed a coat of spray fixative (some artists use hairspray for this).

Then I cut out the letters I needed from a sentiment stamped with black archival ink on white tissue paper and glued it on my starfish with gluestick (a pair of tweezers is very handy for this).

I stamped on white accents with white acrylic paint and let it dry.

I applied a layer of white glue on the starfish - let it dry overnight and wrote my message with white correction pen on the piece and outlined each letter with charcoal pencil. With white oil pastel crayon I made some accents on the starfish. As a last sealing I sprayed two layers of fixative over the entire piece.

I hope you like my creation and maybe you can give the techniques a try to create such an 
Mixed Media Piece - it is so much fun to do and the progress will move and delight your inner artist! Believe me!


Thank you so much, Susi - a beautiful artwork, and some great mixed media tips and techniques.  It's lovely to share in your creative process with all those photos too, thank you.

If you've been inspired to create With A Song In Your Heart, you have until the 28th April to play along.  Don't forget, we'd like to see either the lyrics or the title of the song which has inspired you on your creation, and let us know the name of the song in your post.

You'll find all the challenge details and rules here, along with the fantastic song-inspired projects of the Design Team.  Do come and play!
Alison xx

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A three colour challenge (without the use of black!) - Winner and Top 3

Hi everyone. Jenny here to announce the winner and Top 3 from the 'Three Colour Challenge (without the use of black).

This was clearly a tough challenge and my admiration goes to everyone who entered and made projects without using black - who knew it was going to be such an essential colour!!

Thank you so much to Nicecrane Designs for being our sponsor in February. The winner of the prize was chosen by and the lucky winner is........

No. 2 - Claudine Criner

Well done! Please send us an email to claim your prize!

And now to the winner and Top 3. I was so impressed with the entrants and took quite some time to decide on a winner, but my final vote went to;

I absolutely fell in love with the incredible UTEE butterfly in the centre of her canvas, the trellis pattern and stamping and the beautiful blousy flower in the corner. Well done Julie. An outstanding entry and a worth winner.

And now my Top 3 (in no particular order);

Nicola celebrated the life of Shirley Temple Black, taking the opportunity to alter an image to sepia in order to meet the challenge requirements. I adored the individual embellishments, created to represent elements of Shirley's early showbiz career.

Mary Elizabeth tapped into her family memories to take her first steps into the Primitive Crafts genre, using a myriad of textures and media to create this fabulous home decor piece. I highly recommend that you hop over to her blog to hear more about her family story.

Chris made a fantastic job of stencilling, stamping, distressing and layering her elements for this card, avoiding black and producing a beautiful card in the process.

Congratulations to all the winners. Please feel free to grab the Winner's Badge so that you can proudly display it on your blog.

Our current challenge 'With a Song in Your Heart', hosted by our very own Alison (Butterfly) has just started and it would be great to see you joining in the fun. Make sure you follow the rules to be in with a chance of winning a prize from our generous sponsor this month, Tando Creative.

Take care of yourselves,
Jenny xxx

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tando Sponsor Spotlight

Welcome to the first of three Spotlights here at Our Creative Corner this month -

                    We are so happy that Tando Creative are our sponsors this month.

 They are very kindly donating a prize for a winner that will be selected from the entries by

   I was thrilled to get to play with several Tando items - I love Tando! Their products are so gorgeous and are perfect for any project - there really is something for everyone. 

 I chose a Paperartsy substrate as a base and covered it with Chocolate Pudding Fresco paint then a coat of crackle glaze followed by some Honey Dew Fresco paint.  When this was dry I dry brushed some Sage Fresco paint around the edges and sanded away some paint to reveal the dark brown paint underneath.

I applied some texture paste through the stencil onto card and once it was dry I covered with Stone Fresco paint. I then dry brushed a mix of Mocha Mousse and Chocolate Pudding Fresco paint to add some shading around the face. A tiny bit of Hey Pesto Fresco paint was added around the eyes to add a hint of colour.

I then decorated the clock by covering with French Roast paint and dabbing Sage and Old Gold Fresco Paint randomly with a sponge. I love the tarnished effect this gives.

 One of the corner stencils was used with texture paste on card, and when dry was cut out and covered in French Roast Fresco paint. Then I brushed with White Fire Treasure Gold to highlight the texture.

The leaves were covered with Sage Fresco paint then they were gently sponged with a dab or two of Toad Hall Fresco paint. The edges of the leaves were then dabbed with embossing ink before being sprinkled with Aged Gold Frantage and this was melted.


Die cut flowers were painted with Antique Linen DP and Old Gold Fresco Paint and secured with tarnished brass effect brads. Some curled rusty wire completed the collection of embellishments.

     This was so much fun to make! I really hope you have enjoyed this  Sponsor Spotlight - there will be two more Sponsor Spotlights this month featuring Tando Creative products and they will be hosted by Claudia and sure to come and visit their beautiful creations!

   Don't forget about Alison's 'With a song in your heart' challenge could picked as one of our Top 3 or you could be our 'Top Talent' and be able to show your work to everyone here at the OCC....and don't forget - one of our lucky entrants will be picked by and receive a wonderful prize kindly donated by Tando Creative!

        So what are you waiting for?.....Share a song with us and join in the fun