Friday, August 28, 2015

A sad Goodbye

It is always so sad to have to say goodbye to someone...

Today we say a very sad goodbye to our wonderful Laurie...

She has been such an inspiration to us and no doubt her inspiring creativity has been a joy for everyone who sees it. She is an amazingly supportive, kind and caring team member who has been a delight to work with and we are so glad she has been part of the Our Creative Corner journey....

We hope that you will enjoy looking back at her amazing creations as we share some of those memories with you. Please join us in wishing her the best of luck and happiness wherever her path leads....

Thank you Laurie xxxx

With love and hugs from everyone at Our Creative Corner 


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Top Talent For 'What Makes Me Smile' Challenge

Good morning everyone. It's time for a Top Talent Spotlight again and this month we are featuring the work of the hugely talented Mayoori from Butterflies N' Buttons.  Mayoori was chosen by Jan as the winner of our June Challenge 'What Makes You Smile' with a stunning piece of mixed media art.

Before we see the wonderful piece of art that Mayoori has created for us, let's here a little more about this creative lady:

'Hello Our Creative Corner fans.
I am so excited to be here as the "top talent" of the month. It's really an honor. I am not a person of too many words, but will try my best to answer these questions.Truly speaking I feel like a celebrity. :)))

Where do you live?
I live in the beautiful town of Seattle in Washington. I came to US 4 years back and love this place now, despite of its grey skies.

How long have you been creating?
I have been crafting since my childhood . Did lot of embroidery, drawing , and stitching with my mother. And when I became mother, stitched and pained a lot for my daughters. Made lots of masks and props when I was doing story telling at a school with special kids.
But things changed when I came to USA. Exposure to stores like Michaels , open a new world of paper crafting for me. Started with simple layouts, and now I am deeply into mixed media.

How would you describe your style of art?  
I love all kinds of art and keep trying new things. But lately I have been doing lots of steampunk projects and am thoroughly enjoying it.

Who is your favourite artist and why?
There are so many artists and scrappers whose art I love  seeing and analysing.
Finnabair  group for mixed media, Gabrielle Polocco for scrapbooking are my favs. 

Name three art supplies you couldn't live without.
Well, I can't survive without gesso, modelling paste and metallic paints .

If you could be one woman in history, who would that be and why?
This is a tough one. Well In Indian History, there was this queen named Rani Laxmi Bai, who fought with the British for her kingdom. That was suppose to be the first revolt for the independence of India. I would definitely be her and fight for the independence for India.'

Woww I am done , finally!

Here is the stunning Steampunk Journal that Mayoori has created for us:

 Thanks again for letting me share my project.

Thank you so much Mayoori for joining us and making this wonderful altered journal cover! Your level of detail is outstanding and I just love all the texture, layers and gorgeous colours you've created in such an amazing steampunk style. What a wonderful gift this would make or somewhere special for you to make your art and record your thoughts. We do hope you will continue to play along with us whenever you can! If you have enjoyed seeing Mayoori's art, please pop over to Butterflies N' Buttons for more inspiration - you won't be disappointed!

So, another very worthy winner joins the ranks of our Top Talent group. Will you become the Top Talent for our Summer Challenge 'Mexico Moods'? You have until 28th August to join in so if you have yet to play along, click the challenge title for further details and inspiration. Everyone is a winner for this challenge because Stampington are giving everyone who enters the challenge a $2 voucher for their digital images! No reason not to join us is there?!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tando Creative - Sponsor Spotlight No.2

Servus and welcome to the second spotlight being thrown on the lovely products from Tando Creative who are generously sponsoring our challenge this month!

Claudia here this time to share another inspirational step by step with you!

 Those who know me know how much I love rust in all its colourful forms and when I stumbled upon this image on pinterest, I knew I had to try to imitate this specific colour explosion of peeled varnish and rust - and Tando's mixed media boards, their awesome grab bag of screws and mix of chipboard panels were just perfect for this.
image source: I Luv Cameras on flickr

And this is what I came up with after a happy painterly afternoon in my studio:

I hope the quote is still socially acceptable (if it isn't, please, bear with me as I am no native speaker and honestly love the idea and feeling behind that quote...well, not for every occasion and all the time...but now and then we should just for once stop thinking and worrying too much and too long and start acting and following our guts instead and enjoying ourselves, right?). 

 As I needed a lot of different colour tones and layers to achieve this look I thought I'd rather share images from the various stages than do a lot of write up as the images show pretty well how the project changes with each layer. I used a mix of different techniques to apply the acrylic paints: stippling them on with a stiff (and worn) bristle brush mainly...but also using colour washes and dry brushing. 

Here's an image of the various colour tones I used:

I used DecoArt paints mainly, but you can use any heavy body acrylic brand you have at hand and any colour tones that match or come close to the ones I used. I also took an image of my paint palette so you can see which tones I used. Well, you can also see the two untouched brown colour dots that I decided didn't fit in:

 (click on the images for a larger view)

This time (which is quite unusual behaviour for me) I took the time to exactly measure and center the spots for my screws and panels as this adds to the industrial feel of the project and makes it look more convincing:

Once I had found the right spots I fixed my parts to the mixed media boards with matte DecoArt Decou-Page. 

Next I added some DecoArt media Texture Sand Paste in some spots - spreading the paste with my fingers and a soft brush. I let that dry thoroughly before I started the painting process. 

As usual I started off with a coat of Raw Umber acrylic paint which I stippled on with a bristle brush. This way the acrylic paint itself already creates additional rough texture which adds to the worn look. Then I added some "Black Plum" here and there.

 To make it short: I started with a really (cold) dark brown, then added some purple and dark blue and then went on with various red and orange tones. For finishing my piece off I added the really bright tones like the bright orange, yellow and teal. 

But the images show it best - so here they come (sometimes I took images where you can see the before-and-after effect):

 (a wash this time 
= heavily diluted paint being "washed" over your project 
with a wide soft brush)
top panel shows "after", bottom "before"

Some of the brightness gets lost once the paint is dry. So always apply paint rather generously to get a visible effect.

See how the bright orange from the step before has dried up so much darker? Washes create rather subtle effects - but they really do make a difference (as they add a kind of "randomness" that helps make projects look more natural and less "forced" or "composed", so just keep adding them now and then and keep on with building up loads of layers. 

Stipple on some more of the same colour (this time use the paint directly from the bottle and don't dilute it first) where needed. 

Then go for the really bright tones - don't be afraid if they look too bright at first. It will all blend in once you have added the final layers and tones:

(top panel shows "after", bottom panel "before")

Once you add the bright turquoise or teal, all the layers you have added before will become even more vibrant and form a beautiful and lively contrast to it. Contrasting colours always help each other with "popping" and becoming more visible and "important". The secret to using this effect properly is to add contrasting amounts of them to make this work ( for example a little turquoise here and there against a lot of reds, yellows and oranges...or the other way round...just as you like). 

In the next step I toned the whole project down by applying a wash of diluted Raw Umber acrylic paint over the whole piece - this helped make the panels look worn and more natural:

(bottom panel shows "after", top panel "before")
I used the rest of the wash to paint rusty drip lines in various spots:

I printed out my quote, cut it out and toned it down with some diluted paint once the printed text was completely dry. Then I blended the edges with some dark brown archival ink and a blending sponge. 

I glued the quote in place and also sealed it with the matte Decou-Page or Mod Podge. 
After that I applied a generous coat of DecoArt Liquid Glass on top and let it dry naturally.

Once dry the Liquid Glass looked like this:


I hope you like my approach to industrial looking art and rust in all its glory and beauty and feel encouraged to give it a try too. 
I found it very useful to have photographs of rust as a model...if you are in search for inspiration simply search for "rust" with pinterest. You will find the most amazing and wonderful colour explosions - I promise!

And if you haven't joined in our actual summer challenge "Mexico Moods" yet, I highly recommend you check it out - we have a truly inspiring mood board to draw inspiration from, there are fab prizes to win and it is still open for another ten days! 
Hugs and happy crafting,

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mexico Moods Guest Designer No.2

Hi everyone!

     We are now into the second month of our two month challenge 'Mexico Moods' - We hope that the mood board has inspired you to create some gorgeous summer creations. I am sure you will agree there is something in the mood board for everyone - whether your comfort zone is spicy hot vivid colours, weather worn architecture or using shapes and patterns as your inspiration - this mood board really has something for everyone!

And to inspire you even more we have our second GD for this challenge - the mega talented


She is here to bring you her own unique interpretation that may just give you a spark of more ideas! Her creation is certainly worth seeing....we are so pleased she is joining us today! Over to you Zuzu!


      I am so happy to be guest designer here and I love that mood board that the team are giving us as inspiration. I couldn't decide on Mexico, Morocco, Circles.


.I loved the picture of the gates........

......and as I had a set of Calico Craft Parts gates, that fitted with the mood board images perfectly, I decided to use one of those....

I also used the colour palette from parts of the mood board and I think I managed to also incorporate a Moroccan touch as well as a Mexican "nicho" shrine. Quite a mix really.

I had a little shadow frame photo box in my supplies so I painted it a nice "Indian turquoise" . the front is a grey-board shape (also from from Calico Craft parts) that I cut out a square hole from (can holes be square?).

To make this project I also used some DecoArt acrylic paints, DecoArt metallic lustres, DecoArt antiquing cream "Calico Craft Parts 'wings' " and a stencil. the metal icon embellishment on the inside is a Spellbinders pendant, touched up with DecoArt antiquing cream.

Any questions about the project or products used don't hesitate to get in touch and I will do my best to answer.

Looking forward to seeing how the mood board inspired you! 

Zuzu x

This is amazing Zuzu!  and so inspiring! - thank you so much for being here and adding your own inspiration to our Mexico Moods Challenge!

I hope that seeing this beautiful creation will inspire you to come along and play with us this summer.  
You have until August 28th to add your creations to our challenge -

Everyone is a winner for this challenge because Stampington are giving everyone who enters the challenge a $2 voucher for their digital images!


There will be one overall winner which will be chosen by the OCC DT
There will be the Top 3 chosen by the OCC DT
and there are two winners of sponsor prizes that will be chosen by

So many chances to win this gotta be in it to win it! ;o)

Remember you can enter up to three times!


You'll find all the challenge details as well as lots of inspiration from the brilliant Our Creative Corner design team by clicking on the challenge link.
Happy Crafting

Love from
The OCC team!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Tando Sponsor Spotlight No.1

Hi Everyone, 

          Jan here to welcome you to our first Spotlight 

                                on Tando Creative for August!

I was really excited to receive a Mechanical Book Cover Kit, Screws, Locks and Keys and was all set for a Steampunk themed book.


When I took it out of the packaging I imagined a porthole, a shipwreck and a mermaid!


I started playing with my Dylusions Sprays in shades of blue then added a Sparkle of Perfect Pearls.
Bubbles were needed for the mermaid so I used a TH thinlets die and put Grunge Paste through. When it was dry I re sprayed. I love the sparkling, shimmer of the ocean!

The shipwreck wood was next for treatment. Everything had a coat of white gesso to start. I sanded, cut planks, scored and roughened the board. I used my Prima distressing tool mainly for this job. The first coat of paint was Iced Spruce DP, then Black Antiquing Medium from DecoArt, dabbed off with a baby wipe.

These are the paints and the Prima tool I used, with the baby wipe and the spine of the book.

The next layer was to be eroded metal. I dabbed a layer of Texture Sand, DecoArt, then Quinacradon Gold Paint when the paste was dry. (This is that stage in the photo.)The Antiquing Medium was painted on then wiped off until I was happy with the look. A touch of green Treasure Gold gave a hint of old copper patina.

I stamped some Prima seaweed with Black Archival around the edges to give the impression that the wreck was on the sea floor and had been there some time.

The Prima mermaid was stamped with Archival onto tracing paper then coloured with Distress Pens. I put white on the back because the colours were not as bright as I wanted them to be.

Finally I put the front cover together with Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue and used clamps to hold all the layers together until dry. The board certainly held up to rough handling and didn't warp!

This is a work in progress, the back cover is distressed like the shipwreck. I am planning to create a sea side photo book for my Granddaughter and will assemble the book when I have collected all this years photos.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the stages, it was a fun project. 

There is plenty of time to join in the summer challenge at

                                             Mexican Moods