Monday, June 22, 2015

Colour Your World Top Talent

Welcome back to another Top Talent spotlight at Our Creative Corner! 

Laurie selected Suman as the winner of her 'Colour My World' challenge and I'd like to share a piece of Suman's art that she has made especially for us! Before we do, let's just find out a little more about this wonderfully creative lady. Here's what she has to say:

'I am so excited and honored to be here as the Top Talent Spotlight at Our Creative Corner !! I had won the Colour Your World challenge for this entry of mine and was thrilled when I got a mail from Julia and was asked to be in the spotlight.'

Where do you Live?
I live in New Delhi, the capital city of India.

If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
I would love to live in India always but maybe move to Chandigarh or Dehradun away from the Metro city of New Delhi just so be to closer to nature and the hill stations surrounding both these places.  

What other hobbies or talents do you have that you'd like to share with us?
I am a voracious reader and we are surrounded by books in our house on all topics !! Also love to bake and make homemade chocolates!!My biggest talent is to jump headlong into any new thing or craft even when I may not know anything about it, then obsessively work on it, learn about it, research, make my own recipes, working surreptitiously on it while I could be gainfully employed elsewhere  … get the idea…..generally go mad about it…..and as I choose to select THIS as a talent !!! sure you feel lucky that you never asked about my shortcomings, LOL !!

 How long have you been crafting and what made you start crafting?
I started my blog on March 2013 on an impulse. I had been doing some quilling with handcut strips and trying out with glass colors on bottles before that. Mainly started following some blogs with an idea to help my son in his school projects but then got more and more involved. I am so happy to have joined this beautiful world and for the generous support and love from so many of my blogger buddies. All my learning has been from the generous sharing by bloggers around the world and I like to repay my bit by doing tutorials and WIP pictorials whenever I can.

 How would you describe your style of crafting?
Cannot say exactly but am heavily inspired by Indian motifs and Handicrafts!! Love to incorporate textures, layers and organic stuff like wood, twigs, dry flowers, jute/burlap, fabric etc in my creations!!I get fascinated by faces, leaves and birds and love to have these as focal points( one of the reasons I like Image/photo transfers)!! I love Mixmedia, altered art and recycling is always big on my list !!

If you could only use three craft supplies for the rest of your life, what                 would they be?
Hummm….maybe acrylic paints, stencils and Texture paste !!

Isn't it wonderful to find out more about our talented friends from around the world? Thank you so much Suman for sharing with us.
Here is Suman's absolutely gorgeous Finnabair inspired project:

What a gorgeous piece of wall art you have created Suman. It's full of wonderful layers, colours and texture. I'm sure everyone will have enjoyed reading and seeing how you created your art. Thank you so much for joining us as a very well deserved Top Talent! We do hope you join us again soon.

Our current challenge is still open, so if you haven't yet had a play and linked up with us, you'll find all the details here: What Makes You Smile?

Thank you for joining me today for my first time as the host for Top Talent. What an honour it is to communicate with fabulous artists such as Suman - I'm going to like this job! 

Julia xx

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sponsor Spotlight - Number Two

Good morning everyone, Julia here with my sponsor spotlight post. This month we are generously sponsored by the wonderful Tando Creative company.

For my spotlight, I chose a rather large stationery box from Tando:

The box comes as a flat pack item which you construct yourself. Tando provide an inspiration image  on the pack literature too. As you can see, all the pieces are grey board which can then be altered to your own taste. The drawer knobs fastening clasp do not come with the pack.

After constructing the box as per the instructions, all pieces are given two coats of gesso and lightly sanded between coats. The lid is dealt with first by adding DecoArt crackle paste through one of their stencils. Colour is then added using their Media line colours once the paste is dry.

Layers of colour and mediums are then built up until I achieved the look required. This process evolved over a period of time as built up the layers until they were just right. The two acrylic colours were mixed to achieve the desired colour for the outside of the box.

As you can see from this image, the final result had toned down the original colour. Crackle glaze was added (of course) to help age the project and some DecoArt Metallic gold was lightly dry brushed onto the top of some of the stencilled crackle paste.

I found three buttons in my box. The top left button was left over from a previous project and had already been given a coat of gesso. The other two were given a coat of gesso to prime them.

The three buttons are glued together and given two coats of DecoArt Gold Metallic paint.

The final look is achieved by adding a layer of crackle glaze followed by antiquing with carbon black antiquing cream and quinacridone gold acrylic.

The draws are constructed according to the instructions and painted inside and out with Titan Buff acrylic paint. The front section of the drawer is dealt with later.

Some gold embossing powder is used to add a design to the inside of the drawer.

The inside of the drawer is then painted with a teal coloured acrylic paint. Following that are various layers of crackle glaze, antiquing creams and acrylic paints to achieve this very distressed, aged and rather grungy appearance.

In this image you can clearly see teal paint, translucent white paint and some quinacridone gold paint. I just love the effects you can achieve with the DecoArt Mixed Media line of paints.

More detail to show you how the paints can have an effect on the embossed image. A little burnt umber has been added here for extra grunge.

A clear view of the crackle glaze and burnt umber antiquing.

Detail image to show grunged creases of the drawer inside. 

Detail image shows Krylon pen used on all visible edges on the drawers and the box.

Even the back of the drawer knob and the closure have been antiqued.

Colours used to transform the inside of the drawers and the main body of the box.

Mediums used on the inside of the drawers and the main body of the box.

The front panels of the drawers need an opener and here, I am marking out exactly where the drawer knob will be situated. After this the inside is painted to match the drawer shown previously and the outside is painted using the same colour mix used for the rest of the outside.

The drawer front is developed in the same way as the body of the piece - with teal acrylic paint, crackle glaze and a variety of colours to age it. The grungy edges are created using Archival ink on a sponge. It has two die cut sections from a piece the same as used on the box. The little drawer knobs have been sanded and aged with some antiquing cream.

The die cuts used on the front of the drawers match those used around the top of the box.

The main embellishment for the box is a Spellbinders die cut from their Victorian range. I love this die cut so much because it is so versatile. I had to join lengths together to go round the box and trim a length for each of the drawers. The die cut is painted with gesso and then given a rust treatment using DecoArt Acrylic paints. Little runs of Quinacridone Gold paint are added to simulate rust runs. This section of the project is not done neatly and beautifully because I wanted it to look aged and time-worn.

Back view

The lid on the top section is attached using a thin piece of card and I wanted to try and make it stronger. I've cut a piece of grungeboard to fit and distressed it with a scalpel. It is then gessoed and painted with a number of layers of DecoArt paint.

I have made holes and scratches on the surface to give it a more antiqued finish. The 'studs' are stick on pearls which are placed before adding gesso.
The edges of the grungeboard have also had pieces cut out.

I like how the distressed surface looks less than pristine!

If you look carefully you will see some slots on the surface which stand out rather a lot. These are used to help construct the unit and look rather ugly. Here's how I got over the problem:

I used another Spellbinders die which is gorgeous don't you think? This was given a rusty finish and some more 'rust runs' using quinacridone gold paint.

Detail image. Love those hearts! Whilst the construction joints are still visible, I think the eye is drawn away from them to look at the rusted embellishment.

The top section of the box shown with the lid up. I needed to come up with a plan to make a suitable drawer liner which would be durable. Here's what I decided to do:
The inside of the box lid area is finished with a die cut, teal paint, crackle glaze and white antiquing cream.

Detail image. A little quinacridone gold paint has been added randomly. Love the crackle!

A little catch secures the top lid closed and stops the first drawer opening accidentally.

Love how the sun glints on the lid.

I'm really pleased with how the box has turned out and love the fact that it is useful too.

Thanks so much for popping over to see my Sponsor Spotlight post and I hope you are inspired to get a Tando product and create some art of your own. I really like making things I can use and I'm sure this piece will come in handy! Tando have such a wide variety of products that you will easily find something to suit most projects of this style. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Junk In Your Trunk Top Talent

Welcome back to another Top Talent spotlight at Our Creative Corner! 

This month we have two Top Talents for you...Our first was the winner of the Junk in your Trunk Challenge that was hosted back in March by Candice!

Candice selected Sarah as her winner and we are so thrilled to be welcoming her as this months Top Talent!!!
 Before we show you Sarah's amazing creation,  let's just spend some time finding out a little bit more about this creative lady... 

1. Where do you live?

I was born and lived in the Boston area my whole life until moving to Tampa, FL 4 years ago to get away from the frigid winters!

2. Describe yourself in five words? 

Oh wow hmmm maybe complicated.

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

 As a child and teen I loved to dance, sing, write, play guitar, act...everything except art. I thought the definition of "art" was that you must be able to draw a perfect portrait or paint a realistic skyline. It wasn't until a few years ago I learned that art was more than just perfection. Thanks to Pinterest and Youtube I was able to start to learn some different painting and crafting techniques and now I want to try them all! I have a need to create so strong, it's like breathing.

4. What is the most satisfying/exciting..... the designing or the end result?

It depends. With art its definitely exploring and playing with paint and different mediums, being surprised by the results.  When I'm crafting something I think I'm a bit more serious, trying to make some image come alive that's in my head. Of course it doesnt always happen that way and that's ok. When you can alter something or make something completely new and it's done and looks good, that's very satisfying.

5. How do you spend your time when not crafting?

Taking care of and having fun with my two daughters. I love to go to thrift stores, antique markets, etc and treasure hunt. I am very busy with their school and activities during the school year. Living in FL means we can do tons of fun things outside all year, theme parks, the beach, giant craft fairs...

6. What if anything, do you consistently draw inspiration from?

When I realized that I could actually create I went crazy wanting to do everything. It sounds silly but I just never knew how life changing it would be. Now I constantly have ideas spinning in my head, just not always time to see them to fruition. Pinterest, of course, getting a new art supply is great and also taking something old, or "trash" and trying to make it pretty or interesting is really fun~!

7. If someone told you there was no internet for the day, what website would you find you missed the most?

Right now definitely Instagram! I forgot that Instagram, and all the lovely people I follow are very inspirational as well...

 Thanks so much for being here Sarah! It was lovely to find out a bit more about you! We are so glad to have you join us today as our Top Talent

     ....So now it is time to shine the spotlight on the Top Talent creation -  let's see what Sarah made for us!

I am so excited to be joining Our Creative Corner today with this canvas I made. I have really been having fun making these little embellished canvases lately, using lots of media and found objects...

Here is a close up. I love the way the ink accidentally landed in a heart shape.....

This is fantastic Sarah! - This canvas is amazing - Love all the layers and those colours are so wonderful! 
It really has been such an honour to feature this wonderful creation at Our Creative Corner.

Thank you so much for being such a wonderful Top Talent!
If you want to see more photos and details of this wonderful creation and find out how it was made, then please go along to Sarah's blog 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  challenge 'What makes you smile?' and if you are picked as the winner you will be invited to appear here as our Top Talent and have the spotlight shine on something you have made. We will also ask you some questions so that we can be nosey find out more about you....
Please come back on the 22nd to see our next Top talent - Suman, who won Laurie's challenge 'Colour Your World' is appearing here and our wonderful Julia is going to be stepping into the role of Top Talent Coordinator for a while.....
Hope to see you then....
Happy Crafting! 
Laura xxx

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mixed Media makes me smile

Hi there everyone, Jan here!

I am so excited it is my turn to choose the Guest Designer. 

I am delighted to introduce you to the amazing Brenda from Bumblebees and Butterflies.

She always inspires me with her creativity and beautiful pieces. This lady is the Queen of Vintage and Distress. There are so many gorgeous things to look at on her blog. 

It is a pleasure to read how she makes and shares her creative process.

I will hand over to Brenda to amaze us with "What makes her smile".


 I'm so pleased to be joining you at Our Creative Corner today with a mixed media canvas that has so many things on it that make me smile.

When Jan invited me to be a guest I was preparing to go away on holiday and of course that made me happy, but when I came home I needed to spark the mojo again so I decided to write a list of some of those smiley things that I love to use in my work, particularly those of the art kind.

Here's some of those I included - vintage/shabby, heritage photos, trinkets/idea'ology, butterflies, pen nibs, rust, wire, 3D, Tim Holtz, photo booth, collage, numbers .......... you get the picture?

One of the things I love reading about on the blogs is how people go about creating their designs - - -  as they go along, in their heads, sketched in a journal - - - there are just so many ways and if you are anything like me you may well have tried a number of these, but there is one way I can honestly say I never do and that is have a picture of the finished project in my head before I begin - it just doesn't happen for me. I tend to have an idea of where I am going and for this project it was canvas, mixed media, layers, vintage and repeating some process steps that I have been teaching recently - so lets follow my train of thought.


I wanted to used die-cuts to lay down some texture but I knew I needed to have an idea of my layout first so I began to gather elements together laying them on the canvas building the design until I had an idea of what it might look like. Now this isn't to say this is how it will end up (as it didn't) but it sure does give me my starting point. You can see I was also thinking about what final embellishments I might go for, but as you can see some of them changed too.

Here we see layer 1 on the left with the elements from the Tim Holtz Trellis framework die, inked with walnut stain distress ink and adhered to make a textured background. I gessoed around the tessellated shapes but not over the pieces as the card picks up the paint better without it. On the right is layer 2 where I have added  a babywipe painted coat of cerulean blue, cobalt turquoise hue and phthalo green-blue DecoArt media fluid acrylics, keeping the colours very pale and watery.

I have used two of Tim Holtz's stamps to create layer 3 on the left, stamping with black archival ink randomly over the canvas. In wanting something a little more feminine I then used the Tim Holtz flourish die with DecoArt white crackle paste to make layer 4. Now you can start to see the depth building.

Whilst the crackle was drying I started on the cameo frame gluing three card pieces together to give some depth. I then gave it a coat of gesso and dried it, a coat of cerulean blue, then some watery washes of prussian blue hue, cobalt turquoise and phthalo green-blue. When dry I blended walnut stain distress ink all over, flicked it with some water and dried it to get a slightly distressed look and sealed it with glue 'n seal.

I gave the ornate frame three coats of gesso drying between each and when perfectly dry I daubed a little glue and seal in a few places with my finger and also let that dry. I mixed a small amount of phthalo blue-green with translucent white and gave it a watery wash then rubbed over it with a babywipe and some mottle white areas appeared as the glue and seal made a resist. Next I text stamped over it with watering can archival ink and sealed it with glue and seal.

Next on to the embellishments - adding some tiny photos and remnant rubs to the film strip .....

.... messy painting and dipping the bird cages and then inking the edges with walnut stain (these were cut from a muffin wrapper) ......

.... using Tim's altered surfaces technique in his Compendium of Curiosities III to achieve this chippy paint look on a numeric alpha part.

.... painting the long arrow, rusting the pen nib and putting the heart charm and tag label pendant together with paint and treasure gold.

Back to the canvas and I added some of the acrylic paints I was using, mixing them with water, daubing a little on the canvas and spritzing allowing the colour to run and seep into the cracks and crevices.

Finally I started to put the design together, but as is usual with me, I was not happy with just the bits I had chosen to embellish the canvas and more was needed. I had thought I wouldn't put a back on the cabinet frame but the lovely photo booth picture looked lost with a very busy background and the piece of wood I had got out in the beginning to link the top and bottom focus areas just didn't work at all so I used a strip die to cut something more ornate and just dabbed it with some of the paints to achieve this distressed look. The flower is metal and acrylic again given some painty splodges to bring the colours into this very monochromatic appearance.

So finally I put all the elements together - here are some close ups.
There are three main focal points to the canvas, the top cabinet card, collage elements and photo booth picture .....

... the central section that 'connects' the top right and bottom left, thus creating balance and harmony to the overall piece and .....

.... the bottom left section that is smaller in size but still balances the overall composition.

I loved stamping over the small parts from the Trellis frameworks die, it provides additional interest to some of the pieces ....

.... as does the crackled flourish.

The darker brown of the ornate strip seems to provide that additional contrast in colour that was needed to my eye, and although it is a more elaborate piece it still seems to fit with the busy background of .......

.... colour, crackle and stamping.

I added the heart and flower to take away the starkness of the rigidity of the straight ornate strip, it too needed some variation in line.

So I think I got all but one of the smiley things in from my list and loved every minute making it. I hope you enjoy looking at it and hopefully it will make some of you smile too.

My thanks again to Laura, Jan and the team for having me. Don't forget Jan has chosen this fabulous theme so I hope you will be able to pop to the challenge post to see the wonderful samples from the design team and hopefully join in with a chance to win a package of Tando goodies.


Wow, wow, wow Brenda, how amazing to see your creative process step by step. I can't stop smiling! There are so many different ideas to try, the layers, depth and interest are fantastic. I could just keep looking for ages. I love all the tiny details that build up the canvas and add so much to the finished piece.

Thank you so much Brenda for accepting the Guest Designer invitation for June.

I am certainly inspired and hope you will join in the challenge for this month.
I look forward to smiling at your creations!

Jan x