Tuesday, April 22, 2014

'No more Shopping Sins' Top Talent

Welcome back to another Top Talent spotlight at Our Creative Corner!
    This month we are shining the spotlight on the winner of the 'No More Shopping Sins' Challenge that was hosted by Claudia! Our Creative Corner is so pleased to be welcoming Julie from "Oh Well" who won the Shopping Sins challenge with her gorgeous card.
     As usual, before we show you Julie's lovely creation - let's find out a little bit more about this talented crafter.......

1.) Where do you Live?

I'm a 40-something school secretary, wife, and Mum of two, living in Dublin, Ireland.

2.) Describe yourself in five words?

  Yikes, what a hard question!!  Hmmm, what can I say - optimistic, detail-obsessed, good-humoured (mostly!), procrastinator, bookworm.

3.) How long have you been crafting and what made you start crafting?

 I've been into art my whole life - as a child, I was always drawing and colouring (a bumper pack of markers was always a constant on the Santa request list!).  I went to Art College after school, did Graphic Design, but the constant deadlines actually killed my creative urge for years, and I did nothing more until after my children were born.  Discovering stamping and card-making rekindled my interest in making things about 10 years ago.  I've also dabbled in scrapbooking and mixed-media. 

4.) What colour do you hardly ever use?

 I am endlessly in love with patterned paper, inks, buttons and colours.  I love interesting colour combinations but, like many crafters, I have difficulty using yellow and purple - I don't think I've ever made a purple card!!

5.) What is the most useless item that you have purchased for your craft?

  I used to do a lot of time-consuming hand-stitching on my cards, and I loved the effect - but eventually I had to stop, as the hours I put into each card were getting beyond ridiculous.  I bought a "Sew Easy" when they came out, thinking that would speed things along, but hated it, it didn't punch the holes close together enough for me, so I sold it to a less pernickety friend.

6.) Is there is tool/item that you are drooling over at the moment and wanting to buy?

I don't have a lot of crafting tools, just a Cuttlebug - I like to make things myself, this includes letters, numbers and flowers. I love fonts, my favourite way to individualise cards is to tailor the font I use to the style of papers, image, etc

7.)  What do you enjoy most about crafting?

 My favourite thing about crafting is when friends and family open cards I've made for them - I love to see the pleasure on their faces.  I'm also glad to have met many lovely new friends through this hobby.

Julie has created such a lovely card for all of us to see - how cute is this?

Thank you Julie for being a wonderful Top Talent in the spotlight for us today..... and thank you also for taking the time to design such a gorgeous project for us. It has been such a pleasure to feature your work.

     If you want to see more photos and details of how it was made, then please go along to Julie's blog 
"Oh Well"  and say "Hello" - I am sure she would love to see you there!


                    Would you like to see your work here in the 'Our Creative Corner' Spotlight?

You could be here as our 'Top Talent' with the spotlight shining on something you have created! All you have to do is enter Alison's With a Song in your Heart challenge

You could also be one of our Top 3 and there is even the chance to be 
the winner of a super prize kindly donated by Tando 
          There is one more week of Alison's challenge left, so why not have fun creating!
 Don't forget to come back on the 25th when you will find Alison here to show you her wonderful Tando Sponsor Spotlight! 

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 Random.org 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