Monday, September 1, 2014

Autumnal Image Inspiration - OCC's September Challenge

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

Claudia here to bring to you the new challenge and as autumn is fast approaching I decided to share some personal photograph impressions showing glimpses of our lovely Vienna vineyards and the beautiful Vienna Woods during this time of the year (which is my favourite time of year by the way ;).

(images and collage: Claudia Neubacher)

I challenge you to create a project inspired by this composition of images....either just a single one of them or any combination that inspires you. Be it a certain shape, colour scheme, texture, combination, contrast, effect, composition or theme you see in it - it is totally up to you to choose (and interpret) your source of inspiration from it - as long as you tell us about it in your post! 

 Our prize sponsor for this month is

So don't miss the chance to win some of their awesome stuff by entering a project to our challenge!

My fabulous teamies whom I am so proud to work with have created a bundle of gobsmacking inspiration for you! They made me so proud when I saw what my photographs made them do for "my" challenge! (Thank you, gals! You rock! xxx)

But see for yourselves (and for a larger view just click on the images ...or click the names to get to their blogs to see more and leave one or the other comment there... we all like to get a comment now and then, don't we? ;):

I tried to bring every part of the inspiration collage into this creation!
It started as a piece of slate found in Devon, some tiny pebbles from Ilfracombe beach were added and after a few artistic tweaks I had a wall hanging which will always remind me of a perfect holiday.


Nature begins up to the rest to put, it is cool, raining more frequently, and the wind blows mightily around the House. The autumn draws in the country. Harvest time, but also wonderful time, to pull back into the forest, to rustle through falling autumn leaves, to find mushrooms and uncover hidden secrets in the forest, when the morning mist of the meadows rises.
This was my idea for this mixed media project - Door to secret forest -


The first thing that caught my eye in Claudia's beautiful photo grid was the fabulous glow of sunlight through the leaves in the centre.  I used some acetate to try to recreate the effect.  I also loved the glossy berries and all the twirly gnarly shapes and stems.  The whole piece is constructed on some driftwood to capture the textures of the bark.  


I got inspired by the beautiful colors!
The beautiful shades of green, a bit of silvery grey,
the dark blueberry blue and a touch of pink.



I imagine that this is how my garden looks really early in the morning, when nature rules....


I loved Claudia's image inspiration and knew immediately that I would choose to make something based on the central image of leaves. In addition, many of the colours in the other images inspired me, so I've tried to combine some of those natural tones with my own interpretation of leaves. I have altered a box received as part of a gift. I will use this box as gift packaging - I already know who it will be for! (but it's a secret)


You can see why their makes make me so proud, can't you? ;)

I so look forward to seeing your interpretations and creations (that's the part I always love the most when hosting a challenge... as it is always very exciting for me to find out what you all "see" and create from the same source of inspiration - especially when this inspiration comes from photographs I took) !

As usual this challenge will be open until 11:55 pm on September 28th. If you want to find out who is among the winners and Top3 of our August "Summertime" challenge - hosted by the wonderful Laura, check back on September 8th! ;)

Hugs and happy crafting, 

Claudia xxx

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sponsor Spotlight No.3 - Crafty Individuals

Servus and welcome to Our Creative Corner, dear crafting friends, true followers and visitors old and anew!

Claudia here to invite you to our third Sponsor Spotlight for August! Today it is my turn and huge pleasure to introduce to you a lovely stamp set by this month's prize sponsor

I immediately fell in love with their gorgeous stamp set CI-207 "Ferns and Grasses":

and created this wall hanging for your inspiration:

First I started with stamping the single ferns and grasses with black archival stamping ink onto heavy white printer paper. I left enough space so each would fit with a separate rectangle (which I drew with a pencil and ruler).

Then I cut them all out. I didn't see to same sizes, so you don't have to measure exactly. It's the right angles for the panels we are looking for.

Next I applied three puddles of various Distress stains (Tea Dye, Weathered Wood and Tumbled Glass) on my non stick craft sheet.

Then I took the first of my stamped grass/fern panels and sprayed it with water from the bottle. Once my panel was slightly wet I randomly swiped its edges through the puddles... create something like this:

I did so with all my cut out panels and set them aside to dry. Once they were dry they looked like this:

I love how the watercolour effect creates this "glow" in the centers of the panels!

Then I blended the edges of my panels with DI "Gathered Twigs" (using the ink blending tool).

After that I sprinkled on various colours from my colour spray collection to achieve a weathered and aged look:

For my background I used a square sheet of brown craft paper which I misted with water from the spray bottle and crumpled into a ball to create a highly textural surface to put my panels on.

Once this paper had dried I sprinkled on some paints too and made the creases more visible by applying DI "Gathered Twigs" to them.

I cut another square of the same size from some thick corrugated card (from left over packaging material) to mount my background to (using DecoArt matte Decou-Page).

Then I arranged my stamped grasses and ferns on the panel and glued them in place too. I also added some brads (from Red Lead) for more detail.

I still had one of those fab wood cut beetles (from Um Wow Studio), which I coloured with Distress paints (Wild Honey, Antiqued Bronze) and let dry.

Once it had dried I used my fingertips to apply some DecoArt Traditions "Raw Umber" to the edges and wipe it around. Before that colour dried completely I took some of it off with a soft cloth.

The beetle was glued in place with matte Decou-Page. As I had green and blue colour tones with my grass and fern panels I went for a contrasting colour with the beetle. This makes the greens and blues pop even more. 

The quote (from Hal Borland) was printed out on my computer, the words were cut out and the edges blended with DI "Gathered Twigs" before I glued them in place too.

It says "Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence."

For a finish I added a piece of lace ribbon to the bottom of the wall hanging and a string of rough cord on top.

I hope you like my wall hanging! I leave you with some more close-ups and I also want to remind you of our actual challenge "Summertime", which is still open until 11:55 pm on August 28th!

Hugs and happy crafting, 

Claudia xxx

Friday, August 22, 2014

Flaming June 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 'Flaming June' Challenge that was hosted by Julia!

Our Creative Corner is so pleased to be welcoming Shari from Aint that Artsy Fartsy
As usual, before we show you Shari's stunning creation - let's just spend some time finding out a little bit more about her..... and there is no better way to introduce this fabulous crafter than the introduction she wrote herself!

Hi There!! I'm Shari Trumbull and I'm SUPER DUPER excited to be a part of Our Creative Corner for this Top Talent spotlight.  I was shocked and happy when Julia selected my 'June in Orange' tag as her top winner of OCC's June challenge - 'Flaming June'.  There were so many wonderful creations in orange, that I just didn't think I'd have a chance!  But, here I am, with this wonderful opportunity--Gosh, I hope I don't blow it!!

 1.   Where do you live?   

I live in Sagle, Idaho-USA, which is in the panhandle of Idaho state, about 50 miles or so, away from the Canada/US border.  I've lived here in Idaho with my hubbie, 3 dogs and 2 cats for 5 years now, moving from the Seattle, Washington area where I lived for over 18 years after transplanting from Southern California (from the hood to the woods is what I say!!).

2.   How would you describe your art for the general public audience if they have never seen it before?

Gosh, I guess I'd say I create "art of all trades"....I don't subscribe to any one particular genre of paper crafting, per se--I Love It All and love learning and trying new techniques whenever I can.  Maybe experimental?

3.  If you have lost your Mojo, how do you go about getting it back?

If I find myself stumped and struggling (which may be more often than not), I usually take a break and go do something completely go outside and pull weeds during spring/summer--shovel snow during winter!  I find, if I take my mind somewhere else (where I don't have to 'think'), I will eventually receive that "light-bulb" moment to get my mojo back in gear! 

4.  Do you pre-sketch a design or do you just wing it? How long does it usually take you to make a project?

I don't pre-sketch designs, but, if there's a cool design out there that has caught my eye, I will attempt to recreate it in my own way, for my projects.  Depending on the project, I could take a couple of days to make something, but other times, I'm so in the moment, that I can whip something out in a few hours!

5.  What was the last thing to make you feel happy?

This is a loaded question :)  Winning OCC's/Julia's Flaming June challenge made me happy; having this opportunity as OCC's Top Talent makes me happy; watching the Hummingbirds at our feeders makes me happy, whistling to my Daisy kitty makes me happy....see--loaded question :) 

6.  If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

Well, a different state....hmmmm, that's a hard one as the area of Idaho that I live in is beautiful...But, my dream country to move to is Italy.  I'm a quarter Italian, and it's a fantasy of mine to learn to speak Italian (I LOVE the Italian language), so that I could go there and live and find my Italian-family roots.  I'm also a quarter Norwegian, Welsh and German--all regions/countries that I'd like to visit and soak in!

7.  Do you have any personal goals you have attained or would like to attain in the future?
Oh yes and yes! I believe in setting goals for myself and I've set and attained quite a few, especially the 'big' ones I set for myself last year; Start a Blog (done), Send cards/tags to my fav crafting magazines for publication (done and still doing); Apply for DT spots for my fav blogs and stamp mfgs when they become available (currently doing); Take creative classes online (currently doing); Join in as many creative challenge blogs as I can (currently doing)--the list goes on!  Setting goals for myself helps keep me focused and motivated.  It's such a reward when I can mark things off of my Goal-To Do List! 

If Shari had made it part of her 'to do' list to amaze us with her creation then she can say she achieved her aim! - this is so beautiful!


This is gorgeous Shari! So many beautiful details! It has been such an honour to feature you today at Our Creative Corner.
Thank you for being such a wonderful Top Talent in the spotlight!
If you want to see more photos and details of this wonderful creation and how it was made, then please go along to Shari's blog Aint That Artsy Fartsy 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 the 'Summertime' challenge.
You could also be one of our Top 3 and there is even the chance to be the winner of a super summer themed prize kindly donated by Crafty Individuals... 

There is one more week of the Summertime challenge left, so why not have fun creating! 

Happy Crafting!
Laura xxx


Monday, August 18, 2014

Sponsor Spotlight 2 with Crafty Individuals

Hi everyone and welcome. This is Astrid sharing our second sponsor spotlight from our marvelous sponsors this month, Crafty Individuals 
The wonderful stamp I had to work with was CI 289, this is what it looks like:
The moment I saw it I thought "Country Kitchen". I have a lovely Dutch friend, living close by, she regularly invites me for a coffee in her lovely country style kitchen, so decided to make a little gift set for her.
The set comprises out of a little memo board, a little tag holder and a thank you tag.
Let's start with the memo board:

I took a little wooden board, available from Calico Crafts and gave it 3 coats of Decoart Chalky Finish Paint in Carbon, sanding lightly in between coats. After it was completely dry I also sanded around all the edges for a bit of an aged effect.
Next I stamped my image on smooth card stock in Black Archival, cut it out and then coloured it with a mix of Distress Markers and water-colour pencils. I then fussy-cut some sun flowers from the Graphics 45 French Country collection and arranged them around my stamped image.
To balance the design out, I added some other elements from the same paper collection around the bottom of my board. The word memos came from some little letter stickers I had in my stash. I also added a bit of Vintage Photo Distress Stickles to the centre of each of the sun flowers.

For the tag holder I took a #10 manila tag and scored it from the bottom at 2.25 and 4.5". I punched out a circle at the bottom to make it easier to get the little tag out.

I coloured it with Antique Linen Scattered Straw and Vintage Photo Distress Inks and also added some stenciling and another strip from the papers.
I made a topper for the holder like this:
I die cut a circle with a Spellbinders Nestabilities die, stamped my stamp again and then cut out and coloured just the rooster and the hen. The rooster for the topper and the hen for the tag. I coloured them with the same colours.
Here is the little tag and below you can see the folder after I glued it together and added the topper.
Below you can see the holder from the inside. It closes with a little magnet.
And here finally is the back of the little tag:
For the backing of the topper I simply cut another circle from the papers and then shaped it a bit with a Tim Holtz on the edge die, but of course you could do this in any way you like.

Well, hope you like my little gift set, I love making little craft projects like this every now and so often and this stamp was just perfect for it.

Thank you for visiting and don't forget to come back on the 22nd to meet our latest Top Talent! Also on the 25th Claudia will be sharing another Crafty Individuals project and you won't want to miss that!!

Stay inky!