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

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

With a Song in your Heart

Hello everyone, Alison here.  I'm excited to be hosting the April challenge here at Our Creative Corner, and this month I'm asking you to create "With a Song in your Heart".

Create something - anything! - inspired by and including a song title or lyrics.  To qualify for the prize draw, we need to see the words (the song title or some lyrics or both) appearing on your creation, and you need to let us know in your post the song which has inspired you.

In an ideal world, it would be fantastic if you included a link to the music so that we can have a listen while we look... but that bit's not compulsory!

This month we are delighted to confirm that, in addition to our winner and top three picks, one randomly drawn winner will receive a prize from our generous sponsor Tando Creative.

Please read the challenge description carefully.  In order to be fair, only projects which follow the description and our rules fully can be included in the prize draw.


And to get your creativity in tune, here are the song-inspired creations from the Design Team.

I ended up in an unexpectedly pink and flowery place, guided by my song choice: I Won't Send Roses from the musical Mack and Mabel.  It's a beautiful, melancholy song, full of contradictions - sung by a man who claims he's the unromantic type, yet who can see our heroine deserves those flowers he will never send!  Come and have a listen over at Words and Pictures.



I chose 'For Your Babies' by Simply Red for my inspiration. Whenever I hear the song I think of my daughter who was a beautiful baby, full of smiles and mischief. She's now a stunning young lady of 22 years and I just wonder where the time has gone! I was lucky enough to see Simply Red live at the Royal Albert Hall in London and the song still brought a lump to my throat!



The song I chose is by Pete Seeger, who passed away this February. He was the hero of my teenage years and I still love his songs. The one I chose is called Garbage and even though it is quite a dark song, I chose it because it illustrates so well, how much ahead of his time he was. It is as relevant now as it was then.



For this project I wanted to focus on why some songs mean so much and
for me it is because they bring back memories.The song featured in this hanging is
called 'The song remembers when' by Trisha Yearwood. It is the most gorgeous song with
 lyrics that perfectly describe the power of songs to trigger a long forgotten memory.



I chose a song from one of my all time favourite albums: Nik Kershaw's "15 Minutes". The song title says "What do you think of it so far?" - asking to look back upon one's life so far. I used the whole chorus and matched it with some of the lovely "Found Relatives" images from the new Tim Holtz release. If you'd like to listen to Nik's wonderful song hop over to my blog and click the link I have prepared for you.



I tend to prefer a great melody to thought provoking lyrics so this challenge was just that, a real challenge! However, you'd be surprised what can be hidden away in even the most well known of songs. Any idea where you'll have heard the lyrics " ...feel like a room without a roof" recently (unless you've been living on Mars that is!?!) They are of course from the chart-topping song 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams.



I choose to use the song Rodeo by Garth Brooks, simply because I heard it recently and it reminded me of this Tim Holtz stamp set that I really like and seldom use.  It was a great opportunity to get it out, dust it off and have some inky pasty fun with it.


I hope that's got your creativity ready to play - we can't wait to see what you create, and hear the songs that have inspired you.  Remember we need to see some lyrics or the song title on your project, and please tell us the song that inspired you in your post.

Do have a read of our rules if you haven't played before.  We'd hate to have to exclude any of your projects on a technicality.  You have until 23.55 on April 8th to add your projects to the linky, and I hope you have lots of musical fun!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Back Soon

Dear friends and followers of Our Creative Corner,

The OCC will be taking a break for the month of March, and we will re-open on 1st April with a fresh challenge theme for you.

Apologies to those of you who have been quick off the mark getting scrappy for Linda's challenge... hopefully, we'll revisit the scrappy theme some time in the future!

Winners announcements and Top Talent features will all appear in due course in April.

Sorry for any inconvenience, but we hope you have a lovely month, and we look forward to welcoming you all back in April.
                                    Happy Crafting!
                                          Laura x

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nicecrane Designs Sponsor Spotlight No.3

Welcome back to the final Sponsor 'Spotlight' for this month. 

 Nicecrane Designs has been our sponsor this month and for the winner of the prize draw this month there will be a $20 voucher to spend on some gorgeous digi images at the Nicecrane store!

     For my creation I chose to work with the Bessie Gutmann images - They are so gorgeous!

     In this collection you get two sets of the images - coloured and line drawing images. I chose to work with the line drawing.

      I was inspired by our Guest Designer last month. Trace from inkypinkycraft who had used some burlap panels. I was very keen to do something similar. I didn't have any of the actual panels so I made my own with mount board, painted with Frayed Burlap DP and covered with burlap sheets.

     After the burlap was stuck down I began to decorate the panel.

     The picture of the little girl on the swing was painted with Picket Fence DP to act as a resist for the ink. The Distress paint isn't very opaque, so it is great to use for this...just a light brush of paint and you can still the detail underneath.

 When dry I blended Frayed Burlap DI over the image and then cut it out and stuck it onto ivory card.

       I stuck it to the panel and began to decorate it with some tissue tape

   I added an ivory rose that had been dabbed with Frayed Burlap DI. I stuck some delicate crochet lace and a rustic button alongside the rose.

I added a twine bow

     I used some Tim Holtz Alpha parts for the words....I decided to use the words 'Live, Love and Laugh'. I stuck the letters down onto card and painted them (and the card surrounding them) with Antique Linen and Frayed Burlap DP. I loved how the paint didn't cover very well, leaving a rustic tarnished look to the letters.

     When dry I peeled the letters away from the card and inked the card with Walnut Stain and Frayed Burlap DI.

    I tore around the edge of the words. I would normally have inked the torn edge, but I decided to leave it un-inked to add some contrast.

     So where did the other words go?.....well, this one is part of a set of three.....

 I mixed up the words so none matched and used a different image and tissue tape on each. They all have roses dabbed with frayed Burlap DI, twine string tied into bows and some natural coloured buttons.

I loved making these panels - I do hope that you have enjoyed visiting our Sponsor Spotlights this month. It has been lots of fun showing you just a few of the many ways these gorgeous images from Nicecrane Designs can be used in your own creations!

     There are only three more days of Jenny's 'Three colour challenge (without the use of black)'- why not get over there and join in the fun? You could be the lucky winner picked by who receives $20 to spend in the Nicecrane store! - and of course there is always the 'Top Talent' spot to be won and you could also be picked as one of our Top 3!!! - You have to be in it to win it!

     Hope you will all come back to see the wonderful challenge Linda has planned for you on 1st March! I know you will love it!

   See you then!

Laura xxx